Archives for March 2012
What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.
During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.
Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.
Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
If you listen to Rick Santorum, he’s insistant that the number of Michigan Democrats that turned out for him on Tuesday night is a sign that he has some sort of crossover appeal. As you know Santorum’s campaign reached out to Democrats in a last minute effort to win the state, and it appears that enough came out for Santorum to tie with Mitt Romney in the delegate count, where he would have otherwise lost handily.
And while It’s true that many of his big government leanings are very similiar to Left, Santorum’s “support” from Democrats comes mostly because they believe he is a weaker candidate than Romney.
For his part, Romney isn’t letting Santorum’s now cozy relationship with Democrats slide. His campaign rolled out this new web ad yesterday with quotes from Michigan Democrats explaining their support for Santorum:
So the Occupy movement has moved into the next phase of operations, which they are calling “Shut Down The Corporations.” This is a 24-hour protest across the country of major businesses, including trying to “foreclose” on Wells Fargo.
Now let me be clear: many of these corporations have lobbied the federal and state governments extensively, and are direct actors in that vile practice known as cronyism. I am not fans of them. But think about this.
If you, the Occupiers, shut down the corporations, millions of Americans will be out of work. Americans. You know, people. People like you.
You would put folks who are struggling to pay their mortgage, put food on the plate of their family table, clothes on their children’s backs, out onto the soup line. You would aggravate the already tenuous economic situation (which, despite what the mainstream media is saying, is not improving—just take a look at the labor force participation rate) and punish millions of Americans who might even agree with you.
It’s not just executives in their Armani suits and corporate jets who work at corporations. You also have mid-level managers, junior analysts fresh out of college, down to the individual laborers and janitors. Poor janitors, being forced out of a job because you want to shut down their employer.
Does Occupy think through these things? More importantly—do they even care? I don’t think so. If anything over the past year or so has shown, they do not care about what they are doing, nor do they really know what they’re saying. They’re fed up with the current situation—as well as they should be—but don’t have a clue as to what to do about it. And therefore, in their lashing out against the situation, they are hurting a lot of people.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke visited Capitol Hill yesterday for a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Much of what he had to say was familiar. Bernanke repeated what most of us already know, that the United States is headed for severe debt problems if Congress doesn’t take on the river of red ink flowing from Washington.
But Bernanke and the Fed haven’t really taken responsibility for their continued role in the country’s fiscal problems, a point that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who took time out of his campaign schedule to appear at the hearing, hammered home yesterday.
Paul didn’t really mince words in his questioning of Bernanke. At one point, he held up a silver coin, noting that the decline of the dollar has pushed silver higher. Paul explained that a troy ounce of the precious metal can purchase 11 gallons of gas today, whereas it could only buy four gallons in 2006.