Friday, October 28, 2011

Does the Media Help Discern Votes?

In 2008, widely respected columnist Stuart Taylor writes: "one reason that candidates get away with dishonest campaign ads and speeches may be that it is so hard for undecided voters like me to discern which charges are true, which are exaggerated, and which are false. Most people can't spend hours every day cross-checking diverse sources of information to verify the accuracy of slanted stories and broadcasts." Perhaps it is true that slanted stories and broadcasts do exist, and indeed those instances provide great difficulty in discerning who to vote for.  However, one must take into account that while the media is the direct liaison between the government and the people, there are three sides to every story.  In this case, its the media's story, the government's story, and the truth.  See this video on various coverage of political issues covered by various media sources.  

Some may view the media as a paper shredder in the way that the flow of information is parallel to a sheet of paper, that paper is sent through the shredder (the media in this case) and fed in pieces to the public.  However, some may view the media as a phenomenon that involves human beings; human beings who have their own political beliefs.  There is no doubt that some outlets of media are more or less conservative than others.  However, what comes into question is how much the media should be relied upon in deciding the elections by way of the popular vote.  

In viewing this graph, specifically looking at Rick Perry, between positive and negative feedback, 52% of viewers expressed feedback to him based on news coverage from May-October.  If this graph is completely true, in viewing the statistics of all of the major candidates (those who have higher poll ratings), the news alone is a major player in the tone people have for the candidates.  With so much influence on the public, it is no wonder that so many are skeptical of the news.  Perhaps it is beneficial to do research and finding graphs and videos such as those above in this blog in an effort to fact check and find the most accurate information as possible.  While it is widely believed there is no way to tell what is happening within the hierarchy of the government without being within the hierarchy of the government,   as a democratic nation we must vote.  If it is the media that provides us with the most tools to find the preferred candidate, it becomes our duty as citizens to discern the coverage we believe to be true over the false ones in order to discern our vote for the best Presidential candidate.  

Perry's Struggle With The Media

Presidential Candidate Rick Perry like many of the current and past Presidential candidates has come under fire by way of the media.  According to Maggie Haberman of, in an effort to win the Republican nomination, Perry has had to defend himself for not being conservative enough to the conservative media.  He has been accused of being soft on immigration issues and that is enough to have deprived him of the title of "the most right-winged" candidate in the race.  This video below will include a brief discussion of these accusations, specifically about immigrations office, as well as provided a small clip of Perry defending himself against such claims.

Perry, along with the conservative media, have called his remarks in debates regarding issues of immigration "over-compassionate."  Perry was sure to defend himself by recognizing his blatant over-compassion on such an issue.  Being compassionate has proven to be a weakening factor in Republican debates and justifiably so.  Really, does America really want a compassionate leader?

Perhaps Perry has read the history books regarding past Presidential candidates and their struggles with the media and he just may be trying to learn from them.  For example, another candidate aiming for the White House who was under fire for by the media was Richard Nixon.  Nixon ran unsuccessfully for President in 1960 losing by a small margin to John F. Kennedy, and than ran unsuccessfully for Governor of California in 1962.  After two consecutive losses, Nixon at that time bitterly announced his exit from politics.  Specifically addressing the media, Nixon shouted " won't have a Nixon to kick around anymore."  That was true for a short time until the Watergate scandal.  Point and case, Nixon and the media did not exactly have a "lackluster" relationship.  In regards to the media, perhaps Perry is under the impression that if he can't beat them, he may as well be with them.  In the overall grand scheme of the road to the White House, perhaps Perry is just playing his cards correctly in a game that requires much strategy.  The obvious strategy here would be influencing the media to emphasize his "right wingedness" in an effort to influence the people to vote for him.  Granted the media may place a spin on things, and can at times distribute "questionable" material, perhaps this story should end with a campaign ad from Rick Perry.  Established, said, and paid for by Rick Perry and his people, perhaps this piece of cinematic magic will be efficient enough in showing the people who the ultimate right wing candidate is.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jon Huntsman on Foreign Policy

Former Utah Governer and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman takes his stance on foreign policy. He explains a 5-prong foreign policy plan.  This includes rebuilding the U.S. economy, expansion of trade agreetments, increased counter-terrorism efforts, strengthening of relations with major world powers, and decreasing drug violence in Mexico and Latin America.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks about Congressional struggles with the federal budget and the effects of those struggles on the transportation industry and the jobs in that industry.  He explains that the political platforms in which these Congressmen are arguing on behalf have resulted in a lack of jobs and efficiency in the transportation industry.

Protests Relevant to Election

Matthew Segal speaks about the protesters of Occupy Wall Street.  What has come in to question, is how the issues being addressed on Occupy Wall Street correlate with the issues of party platforms, and moreover, how these issues will be relevant in the 2012 election. In this video segmant, a clip of Bill Clinton on the Dave Letterman show with his view of such questions.

The Pizza Godfather and his Attempt to "Whack" Abortion

As of recently, I have found myself continually writing about Herman Cain.  To me, he is quite intriguing. Even more intriguing, are the numbers, which show him to be highly regarded by the GOP.  In fact, the GOP has praised the candidate for his desire for a radical reform in taxes, and his plainspoken tone of voice.  However, the media has not been so soft on Cain, claiming that "he had better get serious."  While opinions of the CEO of Godfather's pizza have been running rampant as of late, his approval nonetheless amongst his party has remained consistent.  However, it was not his 9-9-9 plan nor his accusation of blacks being "brainwashed" or "racist" that caught my attention.  It was his latest interview with Piers Morgan of CNN yesterday regarding his stance on abortion.  Here is a portion of that interview:

My analysis of this video is as follows: Huh?  That is right, I am confused Mr. Cain.  When asked if one of his female children and or grandchildren had been raped and impregnated, would he wish for the baby to come to life, he said "two separate issues."  Mr. Cain, while you have been praised for your plainspoken style, it has become apparent that you may lack the capacity to answer a question.  Is Herman Cain pro-choice or pro-life? According to this video, that would depend whether or not the circumstances involved his family or not.  Perhaps if he gets elected to the White House, he can flip a coin.

Further on in this interview, Cain explained, "As to my political policy view on abortion, I am 100% pro-life.  End of story.  I will appoint judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution.  Judges who are committed to the rule of law know that the Constitution contains no right to take the life of unborn children.  I will oppose government funding of abortion.  I will veto any legislation that contains funds for Planned Parenthood.  I will do everything that a President can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life."  Mr. Cain says end of story.  Here is a hypothetical story to think about Mr. Cain.  A young women has been raped and she is now pregnant.  In addition to her now not legally able to give up her child, the new 9-9-9 tax reform plan has been enacted and now she must pay an extra 9% on her income that will support her child.   So I end this story with a question: Mr. Cain, how do you plan to advance the culture of her life?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Political Party Platforms

For 167 years political party platforms have stated the aims and principles of political parties.  On May 1, 1844, the Whig Party Platform of 1844 advocated for the election of Henry Clay for President of the United States based on the fact that he was the best representative to carry out the political agenda of the then Whig Party.  See the very first political party platform below:


Resolved, That, in presenting to the country the names of Henry Clay for president, and of Theodore Frelinghuysen for vice-president of the United States, this Convention is actuated by the conviction that all the great principles of the Whig party—principles inseparable from the public honor and prosperity—will be maintained and advanced by these candidates.

Resolved, That these principles may be summed as comprising, a well-regulated currency; a tariff for revenue to defray the necessary expenses of the government, and discriminating with special reference to the protection of the domestic labor of the country; the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands; a single term for the presidency; a reform of executive usurpations;—and, generally—such an administration of the affairs of the country as shall impart to every branch of the public service the greatest practicable efficiency, controlled by a well regulated and wise economy.
Resolved, That the name of Henry Clay needs no eulogy; the history of the country since his first appearance in public life is his history; its brightest pages of prosperity and success are identified with the principles which he has upheld, as its darkest and more disastrous pages are with every material departure in our public policy from those principles.

Resolved, That in Theodore Frelinghuysen we present a man pledged alike by his revolutionary ancestry and his own public course to every measure calculated to sustain the honor and interest of the country. Inheriting the principles as well as the name of a father who, with Washington, on the fields of Trenton and of Monmouth, perilled life in the contest for liberty, and afterwards, as a senator of the United States, acted with Washington in establishing and perpetuating that liberty, Theodore Frelinghuysen, by his course as Attorney-General of the State of New Jersey for twelve years, and subsequently as a senator of the United States for several years, was always strenuous on the side of law, order, and the constitution, while as a private man, his head, his hand, and his heart have been given without stint to the cause of morals, education, philanthropy, and religion.

Today, our great nation holds its elections on the ideological foundations of two major parties using political party platforms.  As time has continued on, not only has the language of these documented platforms evolved, but the issues as well.  Additional issues that did not exist during the 1800's such as social security, immigration, abortion, and energy make for great debate in the long process of electing officials in the United States.  This contrast can be seen in the 2008 Democratic Party Platform, which occurred on August 25, 2008.  See the contrast in the language and agendas below in this passage from the platform:

We will start by renewing the American Dream for a new era – with the same new hope and new ideas that propelled Franklin Delano Roosevelt towards the New Deal and John F. Kennedy to the New Frontier. We will provide immediate relief to working people who have lost their jobs, families who are in danger of losing their homes, and those who – no matter how hard they work – are seeing prices go up more than their income. We will invest in America again –in world-class public education, in our infrastructure, and in green technology –so that our economy can generate the good, high-paying jobs of the future. We will end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care, protect Social Security, and help Americans save for retirement. And we will harness American ingenuity to free this nation from the tyranny of oil.
While the context and substance of these platforms have evolved, they still serve the same purpose and that is to state the aims and agendas of political parties.  Regardless of the fact that today there exists major divide between the Democrats and Republicans, the more important issue is that there is a divide amongst members of the same party.  Therefore, it is essential to have these platforms to give candidates amongst the same party the opportunity to debate their differences in such a manner that the best candidate is chosen to represent their party.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bringin' in the Big Bucks

Mit Romney's campaign revealed Friday that the presidential candidate brought in $14.16 million in the third quarter.  This brings the Massachusetts governors July-September total to near $32 million.  The campaign further revealed that the $14 million came from over 56,000 contributors.  At the end of the third quarter fellow the campaign of fellow candidates Rick Perry and Ron Paul revealed that Rick Perry has just over $15 million from the third quarter while Ron Paul has just over $8 million.  Herman Cain reported to CNN on Thursday that his campaign has hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash on hand and most importantly no debt.  On the Democrat side, President Obama's re-election campaign reported raising $42.8  million between July and September with the Democratic National Committee raised nearly $70 million in the third quarter.  While Obama is currently trumping the others in the amount of money racked in, he still has quite a battle to face for re-election.  With all of the money being racked in, is that the biggest factor for the 2012 elections?

For a large portion of the history of the United States, regulation of funds in federal election campaigns was very loose.  However, there were some reforms.  In 1867, The Naval Appropriations Bill was a legislation aimed at stopping the shaking down of naval yard workers for political donations.  In recent decades the Federal Election Campaigns Act came shortly after the Watergate scandal and placed further limitation and stricter regulation on campaign funding.  However, considering such reforms and regulations, the numbers show that candidates in recent elections who have won had a large amount of campaign money during their elections.

While there may be a large amount of money flying around, it will be interested to see if the pattern of the candidate with more money defeating their opponent continues to exist.

Cain: The Wedger

Herman Cain started off what is known as "the Barnstorm of Tennessee" on Friday with a speech lambasting questions from the media regarding his economic advisors and his 9-9-9 tax plan.  Cain refused to name his economic advisors along with his foreign policy advisors in an effort to protect their confidentiality and additionally, to avoid being attacked.  According to Cain, "They often ask me, 'Well, who are your economic advisers?', and they hate it when I say 'I'm not going to tell you.'"  Additionally Cain states, "I'm not going to tell you! They're are my advisors, not yours.  They just want to know who my smart people are so they can attack them."  It seems as though Herman Cain has become very popular as of late, however, through his actions he has also placed himself opposite the media and the black community.  Speaking particularly about the media, in rejecting the medias request for information, Cain may be rejecting the publics outlet for information.  Is such a movement wise when trying to wi the popular vote?  While Cain may feel entitled to protect himself and his staff, such incidence begs the following question:  Is Herman Cain placing a wedge between he and the people?

In looking at these numbers, it would appear he is not.  At least for the moment.  Cain has not only been known for his 9-9-9 tax plan, but also for accusing the democratic black community along with 81% of America of being brainwashed.  How this method is working in his favor is beyond me.  Whether he admits so or not, recent headlines covering Cain would support the argument that Herman Cain is placing a wedge between himself and the black community.  On Tuesday, Cain accused "liberal" democrats of being "racist" for questioning his ambitions as a black conservative republican.  While Cain uses powerful words such as racism, and brainwashed, he has managed to creep his way up the polls in the last two weeks.  See the following interview with Herman Cain where these charges of racism and brainwashing can be seen.

The video about correlates with a recent article which claimed that Herman Cain sounds like a white Republican when he is talking about Black voter.  That he is literally speaking their language when he says African Americans are too "brainwashed" into staying on the "Democratic plantation."  And furthermore goes as far to say that Black voters are "racist" for not supporting him.  

I have to hand it to the guy, as outrageous as some of his claims may sound, I believe he is saying the things that a large amount of people are thinking but choose not to say.  For that reason amongst others, Cain has found success in the polls over the past few weeks.  However, the people should approve with caution, for if Cain is so troubled in telling the media who his advisors are for a proposed movement, perhaps the public may be in for further secrecy should he become president.

                                                                  WORKS CITED

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What Political Party Are You?

What political party are you?  Maybe you are the political party that your parents told you to be, or maybe you do not know what political party to affiliate yourself with.  In 2008, the country was destined to put a Democrat in office,  when President Bush's approval rating was a measly 28% while congress's approval rating was 20%.  Today, as we are approaching the Presidential elections, President Obama has found himself heading towards the same predicament as President Bush; ending his presidential term with a less than 50% approval rating.  With the elections in sight, how will the people of the United States vote?  A political party has been defined as a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates, and trying to seat them in political office.  For those who are not sure where they stand, maybe use this quiz as a meter stick:

So, where do you stand?  The country has found itself in a unique situation in terms of populations that usually vote one way surveying to vote another.  Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the popular vote pans out in 2012 considering the shift of directions certain groups have taken.  For example, consider the Jewish vote.  While it does not make up for a mass amount of the popular votes, the current Republican win for seats in New York has the current administration concerned as for the Jewish vote in 2012.  Since 1980, the Democrats have comfortably possessed the Jewish vote but perhaps this coming election may bring a different outcome.  In addition, the Hispanic vote may have a lot more of an impact in this upcoming popular vote in battle ground states based on issues of immigration and other left-leaning strong holds.  See the following chart.

Sixty-seven percent of voting Hispanics went for Obama in 2008.  It is no mystery as to why Democrats have received support from Hispanics when looking at the amount of advocacy on issues such as illegal immigration slated in favor of the Hispanic population.  California recently revised the DREAM act, which will now include college scholarships for illegal immigrants who graduate high school.  However, in order to get the votes, the voters also have to show up.  This will be a large part of campaigning strategy for all parties especially in battle ground states where the Hispanic votes could provide a strong edge.

While choosing a political affiliation may be about as easy as playing drums with no arms, more complex will be the strategies that democrats and republicans will have to employ to win over certain groups in the presidential campaigns.


Are The Wall Street Protests Too Much?

As if there is not enough of a divide in Congress, the Wall Street Protests have further divided Democrats and Republicans with the events that have transpired recently in New York City's financial district.  These protests have attracted national media attention and have sparked many remarks from various members of Congress.  On the conservative side, it has been argued that these protesters are taking it "too far" and acting like mobs.  Representative Eric Cantor, the number two ranking republican in the house described the American protesters as "mobs...pitting Americans against Americans."  Running to the defense of the protesters, democratic members of congress have spoken up.  Democratic house member John Lewis from Louisiana explains that the protesters "only wish to be heard."

While there is no doubt an extreme amount of controversy arising from these protests, politicians are heavily debating these acts.  Democrats are advocating for the constitutional rights of the protesters while the republicans are arguing of a created divide.  However, while Republicans are very much vocal about their disdain for the current protests, they remain peacefully silent during Tea Party rallies.  While at the same token, Democrats hold nothing back when criticizing the dividing ways of the Tea Party rallies.  However, the Wall Street protests are not about the politicians.  They are about the people who are trying to convey a message, or tons of messages in the case of these protests.  Of the many issues at hand, protesters are speaking of issues that may be very relevant to the 2012 Presidential elections.  For example, many protesters are speaking of the economy and its impact on small business owners. Mass amounts of people were spotted chanting that its easy to criticize people who are doing things that others have not done (in reference to small business owners).  How many people who actually criticize small business owners have actually started up small businesses?  Perhaps this would be Obama's opportunity to advance his approval ratings considering his re-election campaign director is the son for former Bank Of America CEO Charles Gifford.  Maybe politicians will get the messages and make changes.  Or maybe everyone, politicians and protesters alike, will continue to chant and contradict each other.  Hopefully history won't repeat itself.


What Communication Strategies With Political Parties Should Obama Use To Win in 2012?

Discussion with Mississippi Governer Haley Barbour regarding the strategy Obama should use in the 2012 race.  Discussed are the approval ratings of the current administration along with how Obama should communicate to political parties along with voters in different parties to win.

What Will It Take From Democrats and Republicans To Win Over The Hispanic Vote?

Open phones to public to discuss the role of political parties in winning over the Hispanic vote in the 2012 Presidential elections.  Republicans argue that they are in favor of winning over the Hispanic vote due to the fact that the Democrats emphasis on economic issues have trumped social issues that heavily impact the Hispanic community.

Role of the Conservative Party Members in 2012

Tom McClusky on the conservative party's role the 2012 Presidential election.  He discusses the fact that within the conservative party there is a concern for candidates to address not just economic issues, but social issues as well.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Natural Born Conspiracy Theorists

On September 11, 2001, many people lost their lives on a tragic day that will forever plague our nation with sadness. However, while that day brought this nation many deaths, a number of new born establishments have arisen as well.  For one, the United States now has the Department of Homeland Security, a stronger military, and another war for their resumé.  Webster's dictionary defines a conspiracy theory as a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.  The United States, perhaps, became popularly familiar with conspiracy theories on a mainstream level with the arrival of many documentaries such as "Loose Change."  This particular documentary presents a radical view of the government, its reaction to 9/11, and the economy.  See a piece of this footage to briefly understand what some of America's "conspiracy theorists" have been up to.

While presenting a radical view, this documentary may have empowered politicians and media personnel to stretch the definition of what a "conspiracy theorist" is.  This claim may be somewhat justified as such reactions have presented a somewhat clear misinterpretation of the definition as evidenced in the media, and government's reaction to these conspiracy theories.  Before anyone throws their computers against the wall, I urge you to listen for there is a method to my madness.  While I agree that some of these views are completely radical, I must explain that the term "conspiracy theorist" may be mislabeling people.  For example, if a college student does not receive their financial aid in time to pay their tuition when they took all the necessary steps to ensure an on-time disbursement of their funds, and they question the school when they do not receive them, are they conspiracy theorists?  If a mechanic tells a customer they need new brakes when that customer changed their brakes a month earlier and that customer questions the mechanic, is that customer a conspiracy theorist?  Most likely not.  However, it turns out that if one questions the government and its functioning then they may be subject to being accused of being conspiracy theorists. Branded, demoted, and labeled a conspiracy theorist for noticing flaws in a large system.  Perhaps to some, a person who questions their government is a conspiracy theorists, but to many, these inquisitive people are only utilizing their democratic right.  The right to speak their mind, and speak directly to a bureaucratic system in which noticeable inefficiencies exist.  Perhaps one should not be discredited for noticing flaws in a system that is in place to benefit them.   Ironically enough, this phenomenon of labeling people "conspiracy theorists" is not limited to the regular citizen.  In fact, the very politicians who lead this country engage in these activities.  Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the latest candidate to join the Republican presidential campaign, suggested that President Obama secretly wanted Medicare to go bankrupt so retirees would be forced to enroll in the new health care law.  See the following article:

While this issue may seem far fetched, it is a very relevant issue in regards to the popular vote and the presidential election.  It would be far more beneficial for citizens to be able to exercise their democratic right to speak their minds considering the ability citizens possess to vote for President!  During the elections, citizens are urged to vote to make a difference.  Finding inefficiencies may provide a framework for voting for a candidate and such frameworks should be accepted.  There may be many people who would agree that they believe there are inefficiencies within the government while simultaneously feeling no suspicion of being subject to a conspiracy!  Be American: speak, listen, vote, and do not throw stones if you live in a glass house!

Where There's A Palin, There's a Christie?

I must say that I have seen more of Sarah Palin on the Internet in the last month than I can handle.  However, given the scandals, priceless euphemisms, and ambitious feats she brings to the table, who can bypass articles about her?  I find myself saying "I don't know if I can handle another Sarah Palin spectacular today" on a regular basis, but I found this particular story to be interesting.  An article I had the privilege of reading from Fox News has recently published that should Palin enter the race for President, Governor Christie will certainly enter the race.  See the following article:

Indeed, Palin has been on the receiving end of major criticism for good reason.  Ranging from rumors of extramarital affairs to making erroneous geographical analogies, Palin has certainly made a name for herself on a personal level and America has not missed a beat in noting her every move.  Palin and Christie in the race in 2012 would not only satisfy a heated rivalry, it would also generate major publicity.  In addition, according to polls from the McClatchy/Marist poll of registered voters, Palin is only 5 percentage points head to head behind Obama.  Palin's remarks regarding her confidence in winning the presidency in 2012 in correlation with the positive polls were as followed according to Fox News:  "Americans are ready for someone outside the box."  While she may be at par with a very unpopular President, she will have steeper competition.  Especially should Christie enter the race, given his strong support from the Republican Party to include the entire Bush family.  

While some may say that Palin has a plan that will get many nowhere fast in life, in the words of Governor Christie on the Jimmy Fallon show, "Who knows Jimmy.  It's a crazy world."  This quote in response to being asked could Palin win the race to the White House.  Perhaps Governor Christie is right.  This is a crazy world we live in.  The people of the United States can only hope for a diligent President, who knows their geography, is scandal free, and can provide for the people what they deserve: democracy.  Regardless, should Palin and Christie run in 2012 one thing is certain: these elections will be entertaining nonetheless.