Tag Archives: 2012 presidential race

Nation Spends $2.5 Billion on Nothing : The New Yorker

7 Nov

One day after the costliest Presidential election in U.S. history, Americans awoke to the ugly realization that the nation had spent $2.5 billion with absolutely nothing to show for it.

“Four years ago, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, and that is still the case,” says Professor Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota. “The only difference is that we as a nation are out $2.5 billion.”

via Nation Spends $2.5 Billion on Nothing : The New Yorker.


Sarah Palin Ran a Faster Marathon Than Paul Ryan – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic

3 Sep

Is he saying that Ryan is a liar ANd a whimp to boot?

What’s awe-inducing about Palin’s feat is that she accomplished it at 41 after having four children, while Ryan’s mark was set at 20 and Edwards’ best came at 30. There are only about 40 thousand women who were that fast or faster in 2011. (More comparisons: The average marathon time for a woman aged 40-44 in 2011 was 4:47:34. The average for a man aged 20-24 was 4:22:48.)

via Sarah Palin Ran a Faster Marathon Than Paul Ryan – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic.

Paul Ryan: The Man Who Wasn’t There | The Nation

24 Aug

Judged by the entirety of his career, Ryan is merely a good-looking version of a typical Obama-era Republican. He calls for budgetary discipline while exploding the deficit. He speaks of lowering taxes but merely shifts the burden to the middle class. Back in the Bush administration, he rarely met a boondoggle he didn’t embrace. On social issues, he may as well be Pat Robertson: Ryan co-sponsored a federal “fetal personhood” amendment, voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and offered legislation to prevent Medicaid from funding abortions even in cases of rape or incest.

via Paul Ryan: The Man Who Wasn’t There | The Nation.

The grandfather clause (repost) — Crooked Timber

13 Aug

I saw a reference to (US Representative) Paul Ryan’s plan to kill Social Security and Medicare, but only for people currently under 55 (he doesn’t say “kill” of course, but if it was going to make things better he wouldn’t need to exempt everyone likely to care directly about the issue) and it reminded me to post this.

A policy like this has what economists like to call a time-inconsistency problem. To get the policy approved, Ryan needs the votes of people currently over 55 (hence the exemption) and in the current US situation, any Republican majority has to rely heavily on older voters. Say the plan passes. Sooner or later, the combination of demographics and the electoral pendulum means that the Repubs will be out, and the new primarily majority will face three choices (a) Repeal the whole thing if they can do so before it comes into force (b) Keep on paying high taxes to fund benefits they will never receive for the benefit of the selfish old so-and-so’s who voted to cut the rope once they had reached the top; or© extend the same cuts to the (as of 2011) over 55’s, and claw back some money for themselves.

If I were an over-55 Republican, I don’t think I would want to count on (b)

Discussion follows at the link below.

via The grandfather clause (repost) — Crooked Timber.

Empty Town Halls and ‘Easter Bunny Epiphanies’: On the Campaign Trail With Gary Johnson | Swampland | TIME.com

1 Aug

Gary is indeed “the pot guy.” He’s a libertarian who wants to legalize drugs, downsize government and balance the budget in one year by slashing spending by 43%. He would toss out the tax code and replace it with a Fair Tax on consumption, and solve America’s illegal-immigration problem by handing out more work visas. Johnson is a pro-choice, pro-civil-union fiscal conservative who doesn’t wear religion on his sleeve—a perfect fit, by his analysis, for New Hampshire. But he’s not a plausible contender in a Republican Party that has already had to adjust its contours to make room for Ron Paul.

via Empty Town Halls and ‘Easter Bunny Epiphanies’: On the Campaign Trail With Gary Johnson | Swampland | TIME.com.

The Green Team: Jill Stein’s Third-Party Bid to Shake Up 2012 | Swampland | TIME.com

1 Aug

Wednesday morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spoke to about a dozen people–and a couple dozen empty chairs. She had gone to the capital, in advance of the Green Party convention in Baltimore, to announce her running mate: Cheri Honkala. So who is Honkala? And for that matter, who is Stein? Here’s the first thing they’ll tell you: They’re candidates not named Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

Born in the 1980s, the Green Party’s national profile peaked in 2000, when Ralph Nader took 2.7% of the popular vote in the chaotic presidential election that put George W. Bush in office. (One imagines Al Gore still wakes in the night cursing Nader’s name.) Not long after, in 2002, the Green Party recruited a physician and health advocate named Jill Stein to run for governor in Massachusetts. She lost that race and three more in the state over the next decade, while making two successful bids for Lexington Town Meeting representative. Meanwhile, the Green Party candidates in 2004 and 2008 failed to get more than 150,000 votes.

The election fight between Obama and Romney will be close, and a third-party candidate who mounts a significant campaign might be cause for concern as November nears–whether that’s libertarian Gary Johnson or the Green Party’s Stein. For now, Stein says she’s still introducing herself to the American people, trying to generate interest in the party that’s deflated over the past decade.

via The Green Team: Jill Stein’s Third-Party Bid to Shake Up 2012 | Swampland | TIME.com.

How to Protest the Major Parties Without Throwing Away Your Vote – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

26 Jul

If you aren’t crazy about the Republican or Democrat, but think of your vote from a utilitarian perspective and are uninterested in purely symbolic gestures, here’s how to impact presidential elections in two easy steps:

1) Postpone your calculated support for someone you don’t like until you’re standing in the election booth. Before then, support the third-party nominee you’d like to see win. If a pollster asks who you support give their name, not the major-party candidate you may wind up voting for in the end. Doing so doesn’t squander your vote on someone who won’t win, but could be the difference between a Libertarian or Green Party candidate being included or excluded from TV debates.

2) Think about whether or not you live in a swing state. If so, maybe it makes more sense to vote Republican or Democrat. But if you live in a state like California, where the Democrat will obviously win, or a state like Utah where the Republican is obviously going to win, your vote is going to have a lot more impact if you’re part of a third-party surge that signals disaffection to others.

via How to Protest the Major Parties Without Throwing Away Your Vote – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic.

Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate, and the Chances of Making a Difference – NYTimes.com

12 Jul

What Dr. Stein lacks in name recognition, however, she is trying to make up for these days in high-energy organization and low-cost social media outreach. When she officially accepts the nomination at the Green Party’s convention this weekend in Baltimore, she will be the party’s first candidate to have qualified for federal matching funds — a milestone for this 11-year-old alternative party and potentially a major boost for a campaign that does not accept corporate donations.

The Green Party of the United States expects to be on the ballot in at least 45 states and to spend about $1 million on its campaign. At the moment, it has secured ballot access, an organizational test in itself, in 21 states, including the battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, where the major party candidates, President Obama and Mitt Romney, who are raising tens of millions of dollars every month, are locked in a tight race.

While Dr. Stein barely registers a blip in national polling, experts point to Ralph Nader, the Green Party nominee in 2000, who was seen by many Democrats as siphoning just enough votes from Al Gore in one state, Florida, to tip the election toward George W. Bush, a Republican. Nationally, Mr. Nader had captured only 3 percent of the vote.

Could such a scenario unfold again?

Unlike Dr. Stein, Mr. Nader, a lifelong consumer advocate, enjoyed high name recognition. But now, more than a decade later, the Green Party has matured to the point at which Dr. Stein’s lower profile may be balanced by a more savvy political operation.

via Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate, and the Chances of Making a Difference – NYTimes.com.

By Dumping on Mitt, Is the GOP Making a Steal Plausible? | The Nation

10 Jul

It’s actually good, from a Republican point of view, that party powers like Rupert Murdoch, his Wall Street Journal and Bill Kristol are piling on Mitt Romney as a lousy candidate now, in July. And not just because it gives Romney a chance to shake up his campaign and satisfy his overlords’ demands over the summer. (He’s already begun.) But by squeezing him through the Adjustment Bureau now, the top GOPers can, by November, sing another tune: Romney is a plausible candidate, he can beat Obama. That way, if he “wins” with the help of massive voter suppression, it won’t seem so much like they’ve stolen the election.

I’m not saying Romney can’t win fair and square; sure, he could, especially if the economy spirals downward. But the Republicans won’t risk giving fair-and-square a chance. This is playing out most nakedly in Pennsylvania, where Obama is up over Romney by a Real Clear Politics average of eight points. No problem, says state House majority leader Mike Turzai. In tallying up the party’s achievements last month, he brayed, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

That’s no idle boast. As the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote yesterday, “More than 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo identification cards from the state Transportation Department, putting their voting rights at risk in the November election, according to data released Tuesday by state election officials.”

via By Dumping on Mitt, Is the GOP Making a Steal Plausible? | The Nation.

Jill Stein Needs Your Help, Running Green, Running for Peace

26 Jun


FROM: David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Leah Bolger, Bruce Gagnon, Chris Hedges, George Martin and Kevin Zeese

Dear Friends in the Peace Movement,

We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip by. By taking action over the next five days the peace community has a chance to inject a compelling and courageous peace advocate into the 2012 presidential campaign, to have a voice in the national debate over war, militarism, and military spending.

You know what is going to happen if we leave this election up to the two major party candidates. President Obama will defend his troop surges, his excessive Pentagon budgets, his preparations for war with Iran,  his escalation of the drone wars, his crackdowns on whistleblowers, his indefinite detention policy, and his new role as manager of the White House assassination list. Mitt Romney will not question these policies, but will promise to pursue them with even more enthusiasm. In debates and interviews, the American people will have the Big Lie drilled into their consciousness: that our nation must accept escalating military engagement and must visit worldwide violence against all who defy the U.S. government. Continue reading