Gallup: Likely 2012 Voters Look Like 2008

PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — Likely voters in the 2012 presidential election look like those who voted in 2008, the Gallup Poll reported Friday.

Gallup said 48 percent of likely voters this year are male, up 1 percent from 2008, while female voters dropped 1 percent to 52 percent. The percentage of the electorate that is non-Hispanic white remains the same at 78 percent.

Blacks make up 11 percent of likely voters, down 1 percent, while Hispanics are 7 percent, up 1 percent. Voters less than 50 years old are only slightly less likely to vote this year than in 2008 while the share of the electorate older than 50 is up slightly.

This is good news for the Democrats since high participation by black voters and students helped send President Obama to the White House. But Gallup also reported the percentage of likely voters identifying themselves as Democrats this year is down 4 percentage points to 35 percent, while self-identified Republicans are up 7 points to 36 percent. Gallup found that 46 percent of respondents said they are Democrats or leaning that way while 49 percent called themselves Republicans or Republican-leaning.

In Gallup’s daily tracking poll, Republican contender Mitt Romney led Obama 51 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, up 1 point from Thursday. The candidates split registered voters with 48 percent each, the first time Obama has not been in the lead.

The tracking poll is a seven-day rolling average that includes  data through Thursday.

Gallup reports that the margin of error for tracking poll data is 1 percentage point.

Gallup based the results of the electorate’s composition on a random sample of 9,424 likely U.S. voters at least 18 years of age from Oct. 1 through Wednesday. The margin of error was pegged at 1 percentage point.

More For Less

This puts it in a nutshell. From a recent column by Ann Coulter: “Since Obama has been president, everything you own — your home, pension, savings accounts, weekly paychecks — are all worth less. Meanwhile, everything you need — gas, food and anything else that requires fuel to be transported to you — costs more.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Gee, just like the government. There’s a report out of Washington that the Barack Obama campaign has taken out a $15 million loan from Bank of America to finance some last-minute advertising against Mitt Romney. According to the story, the loan comes due on Nov. 14 — eight days after the election. Wonder who will pay it if he loses?

One less thing to worry about. Have you heard the rumor that Harry Reid will try to jam the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty through the Senate during a lame duck session in November? Apparently, it’s not going to happen. Two of my favorite Senators, Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), have gotten 35 other Senators to sign a letter promising to oppose any such efforts. Since a treaty requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate, this should be enough opposition to block ratification this year. But don’t relax; as you know, the left never gives up.

How much would George’s house fetch? The Wall Street Journal asked an appraiser to estimate the value of some historic properties. Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and its land were valued at $106.4 million. Mount Vernon, where George Washington lived, was appraised at $150.2 million. And hold onto your hats: The appraiser said the White House and its 18.8 acres are worth a staggering $1,457,736,190. By the way, none of these estimates include anything for the “historical significance” of the properties, since the appraiser said those numbers would be impossible to determine.

–Chip Wood 

 

Place A Vote, Get A Gun

If you live in the Atlanta area, voting on Nov. 6 might get you a free gun, according to several billboards around the city. Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, Ga., is running a controversial promotion.

The store has put up eight billboards in the Atlanta area advertising a raffle. If you bring in a voter sticker, you’ll be placed in a drawing with a chance to win a Glock handgun or Browning rifle.

State Senator Vincent Fort, a Democrat, filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Secretary of State. Fort said that the promotion violates a State law that prevents people from offering money or gifts in exchange for voting.

“I immediately knew it was illegal,” Fort told CNN.

Jay Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors, says he just wants people to be involved politically.

“It’s getting people involved in the political process,” he said. “Take an interest in your government. See what your politicians are doing.”

After receiving letters from the Secretary of State, Wallace revised the promotion. Now, anyone can participate, not just voters.

However, the billboards have stayed the same, which read: “Vote. Win A Rifle.”

“I wish they would fully comply with the law by changing the wording on the billboards,” Fort said.

CEOs To Pressure Congress On Fiscal Cliff

A group of leading American CEOs has joined together in initiating a campaign to encourage Washington lawmakers to come to an agreement about what should be done to avoid the impending fiscal cliff.

According to The Hill, chief executives from dozens of the Nation’s biggest corporations have joined to coax an agreement to break the fiscal stalemate that has kept the 112th Congress from making progress with regard to the ever-expanding National debt.

“What we’re trying to do is drive support for the radical middle, the 70 percent of us … that really want to do the right thing down the middle and recognize that the only way you can govern is through compromise,” said David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell.

The executives say they want a deal from Congress that would reform entitlement spending programs to cut the deficit and overhaul the tax code to create more revenue. This would strike balance between Democratic and Republican plans that Congress continues to argue over.

With $40 million in private donations for its cause, the group plans to embark on an aggressive advertising campaign after the elections to pressure Congress. Chief executives joining the cause include the heads of Aetna, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, General Electric and Boeing.

The CEOs were organized by the nonpartisan group Fix the Debt.

Bikes, Walkers Before Cars, Bloomberg Says

NEW YORK (UPI) — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a conference Friday he regarded pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit riders more important than motorists.

Speaking at the “Designing Cities” conference at New York University, hosted by city transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg reminded the planning professionals streets were not made for cars, saying, “The streets were there to transport people. They are not for cars.”

Arguing that mass transit is a solution for gridlock that complicates urban movement, he said, “Cyclists and pedestrians and bus riders are as important, if not I would argue, more important, than automobile riders,” noting, “Mass transit is the only way to work ourselves out of congestion.”

He also pointed out New York was a safe city, the New York Post reported Friday.

“You can walk through this city if you’re a woman during the daytime in any neighborhood in the city and not have to look over your shoulder,” he said, adding that at night there are only a handful to avoid.

What Foreign Policy Debate?

Phew! Aren’t you glad that the Presidential debates are finally over? Don’t you wish that all the political ads, phone calls and emails were as well? Is it just me or has the political season seemed extra-long this year — and extra-nasty, too?

The final debate last Monday turned out to be far different from what I expected. I was surprised that it was Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, who was cool, calm and collected. While it was Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, who came across as the feisty street fighter, throwing all sorts of punches (a few of them below the belt).

Remember, Obama was supposed to have a huge advantage in this go-round, just because he is a sitting President and Commander in Chief. Instead, he came across as a snarling and snarky underdog — albeit one who was certainly well-prepared.

More on that in a bit. But first, I want to comment on the biggest surprise of the evening: how lightly Romney let Obama off the hook. I thought there would be a huge outcry over the murder of four Americans, including our ambassador, at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the fact that the Administration tried to disguise what really happened there. Indeed, Bob Schieffer, the moderator that night, must have expected the same thing, since this was the very first question that he asked.

Two days before the debate, I told a group of friends that I hoped when the subject came up, Romney would look directly into the camera and say something like: “When I am President, I promise the American people that I will never allow my press secretary, my ambassador to the U.N. or anyone in my Administration to mislead the public as happened after the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”

That sure would have gotten the fur flying. Apparently, Romney decided that it was more important for him to “act Presidential” during the debate than to go for the jugular. Aside from one remark about an “apology” tour, I thought he was surprisingly gentle and restrained in his criticisms of Obama.

But all of that is really just an introduction to my main point today: It’s hard to have a meaningful debate about foreign policy when the two candidates agree with each other about 99 percent of the time. Let’s face it, folks: Both Romney and Obama are members in good standing of the establishment’s foreign-relations club. They both believe in an interventionist policy; their only disagreements are in relatively minor details.

Both supported sending our troops to Afghanistan. Both endorsed a gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces there. Both insisted that the Afghans had to take responsibility for defending their own country.

But how about subjecting Germany to the same standard? Or Japan? Or Great Britain? Or any of the hundred-plus other countries around the globe where U.S. troops are stationed? How about insisting that some of these countries begin providing for their own self-defense? (Or maybe argue about Donald Trump’s suggestion that we at least bill them for our services.)

Foreign aid? They’re both in favor of it, with just minor disagreements between them. Our membership in the United Nations and its various regional subsidiaries? Nothing to argue about there, folks.

The whole “there’s nothing to debate here” attitude made me wish that Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for President, had been on the stage Monday night. Or even better, that Ron Paul had won the Republican nomination. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, would have meant a real foreign policy debate.

Remember when George Wallace used to argue there wasn’t “a dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties? Well, when it comes to an internationalist foreign policy, you can knock eight pennies off the total. Today, there isn’t 2 cents’ worth.

So does it really make any difference who gets elected on Nov. 6? Yes, I believe it does. Let me tell you why.

I believe that the biggest issue of this election — in fact, the single biggest issue of my lifetime — is the growing power and cost of government. Here in the United States, we’ve allowed the Federal government to become dangerously large and inefficient. (Thank goodness we don’t get all the government we pay for.)

Now, I don’t expect Romney and Paul Ryan to lead a crusade to bring back Constitutional government. In fact, I think it is likely that the Federal government will be bigger and more expensive when they leave office than it will be at the beginning of their term. That’s what happened during Ronald Reagan’s two terms, and Romney is no Reagan.

So, no, I don’t expect miracles if Romney wins. But I know what will happen if he loses. Obama has already made it clear that his big-government redistributionist schemes will go into overdrive. The Barack Obama who campaigned as a moderate will not be the same person who takes the oath of office in January (an oath to “preserve and protect” the Constitution that he has no intention of keeping).

If Obama wins, it will be Katy-bar-the-door time, folks.

Yes, it will definitely slow him down if he has to contend with a Republican majority in the House. It will be even better if Republicans win control of the Senate. But, frankly, the President won’t even need new legislation from Congress for much of what he wants to do. A lot of the increases are built into existing law.

And where he can’t get Congress to go along, he’s shown that he’s perfectly willing to appoint unConstitutional czars (he has 23 of them so far) and issue new executive decrees to achieve his aims.

So, yes, this election matters — maybe more than any other contest in my lifetime. Not because Romney is the greatest champion we could have; I hope I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t think he is.

But he’s sure a lot better than the alternative. If you can’t vote for Romney with enthusiasm, then do what a neighbor of mine says he’s going to do: Hold your nose when you cast your ballot.

In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, a group of likely voters was asked, “How much difference [will] the election make to you?” In 1996, only 21 percent said “a great deal.” By 2004, that number had increased to 45 percent. But this year, a clear majority of 55 percent answered “a great deal.”

I think they’re right. And that’s why this year, I’m going to hold my nose and vote for Romney. I hope you will, too.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Obama At Florida Rally: ‘Where’s My Plan?’

President Barack Obama spoke at a rally in Tampa, Fla., and tried to make sure everyone knew his economic plan. There was only one problem: He couldn’t find his plan.

Obama’s plan, “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security,” is a 20-page, glossy magazine that the campaign released just two weeks from Election Day. In it, Obama explains his five-point plan to turn around the economy.

While referencing his plan at the recent campaign stop, the President lost his copy.

“Where’s my plan?” Obama asked.

He then realized it had fallen off his podium to the ground.

“Oh, it dropped. I couldn’t find my plan,” he said.

Romney campaign spokesperson Ryan Williams responded to Obama’s plan: “A glossy pamphlet two weeks before an election is no substitute for a real agenda for America. Instead of offering a plan to get our economy back on track and create new jobs, President Obama is offering more tax increases, more spending, more debt, and fewer jobs.”

Massive Storm Possible On East Coast

Preppers in the Northeast should prepare for some harrowing weather next week as what is being dubbed as a “perfect storm” is predicted by forecasters and could affect people from North Carolina to Nova Scotia.

“It is likely that significant impacts will be felt over portions of the U.S. East Coast through the weekend and into early next week,” the National Hurricane Center said.

On Thursday, Hurricane Sandy battered Cuba before taking a turn that could lead it right up the East Coast. The hurricane could track north just in time not only to cause heavy rains but also to meet a cold weather front, which would make for a potential Hurricane/winter weather hybrid event that could cause up to $1 billion in damage, forecasters say.

Some meteorologists are predicting a mix of steady gale-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and possible snow starting Sunday and continuing past Halloween on Wednesday for people in the eastern part of the United States.

“It’s going to be a high-impact event,” said Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hydro-Meteorological Prediction Center in College Park, Md.

“It has the potential to be a very significant storm with respect to coastal flooding, depending on exactly where it comes in. Power outages are definitely a big threat,” he said.

Officials say that if the storm makes landfall as expected on the Northeastern coast, it has the potential to grow into a storm that will “go down in history books.”

Prepping For The Assault On Iran

U.S. and Israeli troops held “their largest-ever joint military drill” Wednesday in preparation for the coming assault on Iran.

“Make no mistake. The U.S. is 100 percent committed to the security of Israel. That commitment drives this exercise,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin in a news conference at a training site near a beach in the Tel Aviv area.

Perhaps he understated the commitment. President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney mentioned Israel at least 31 times (depending upon who’s counting) during Monday’s foreign policy debate in Boca Raton, Fla. It seems now that America’s foreign policy is Israel’s foreign policy.

If any country was mentioned as much as Israel, it was Iran. Never mind that all you’re being told about Iran’s designs and nuclear capabilities are lies, as I noted here some time ago. But Americans have bought the lies. Iran is the enemy of Israel and therefore the enemy of the United States. Iran is the bogey du jour.

America’s empire surrounds Iran. Romney thinks Syria is Iran’s path to the sea. His understanding of liberty is as sound as his knowledge of geography. But Bibi Netanyahu has Romney’s ear. Not so much Obama’s, but the Jewish lobby controls the cash and, therefore, controls Obama as well. Though Obama seems to understand Mideast geography, his appreciation for liberty is worse than Romney’s, if that’s possible.

US Bases
www.juancole.com

 
The United States used its air power and al-Qaida to topple Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi. It is using al-Qaida to try and topple Syria’s Bashar Assad. Make no mistake; regardless of which sock puppet wins the election, war with Iran is inevitable. It’s all part of the plan for the New World Order, and the elites have their designs on Iran’s oil fields.

There will be an attack on Iran. The question is: Will Russia and China sit back and watch, or will they join the fray?

Deceased Hawaii Vet’s Vote Won’t Count

HONOLULU, (UPI) —  A Hawaii World War II veteran’s final ballot won’t count because the 93-year-old died before Election Day, his family said.

Frank Tanabe, who served in the Military Intelligence Service during the war, had never missed voting in an election, his daughter Barbara said. Though gravely ill, Tanabe filled out his absentee ballot for the Nov. 6 election and sent it before dying Wednesday at his home, KHON-TV, Honolulu, reported.

Under Hawaii law, that ballot will not count. State law permits early voting for absentees, but stipulates the voter must be alive when polls close for the vote to count.

Lawmakers in the state acknowledge the law may need to be changed, if only for practical reasons.

“Once you’ve already voted, it’s very difficult to fish one ballot back out,” Rep. Karl Rhoads said.

Clinton May Remain At State After Election

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may stay in her post for a while if President Barack Obama is re-elected, she suggested in an interview.

“A lot of people have talked to me about staying,” Clinton, 64, told The Wall Street Journal.

She did not indicate how long she might stay in the Cabinet, saying it was “unlikely” recent events would delay her departure.

The Sept. 11 death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the consulate in Benghazi have left a cloud on Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, the Journal said Thursday.

Her job approval rating was near 70 percent before the consulate attack, now acknowledged as an act of terrorism, and there had been speculation she might run for president in 2016, when she will turn 69.

Clinton has taken responsibility for what she called the “terrible events” in Benghazi but Obama said during his debates with Republican nominee Mitt Romney the buck stopped at his desk.

“Secretary Clinton showed leadership in acknowledging her ultimate responsibility for security failures,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a harsh critic of the administration, said during congressional hearings, adding “such a willingness to take responsibility in this administration has been too rare.”

Man: Obama Effigy Not Meant To Offend

MORENO VALLEY, Calif., (UPI) —  A California man questioned by the Secret Service after hanging an effigy of President Obama at his home said the incident was a misunderstanding.

Eddie Million of Moreno Valley said he purchased the President Barack Obama mask at a clearance sale last Halloween and this year decided to put it on a human-like figure suspended from a noose as part of his seasonal decorations, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported Wednesday.

Million said he was questioned by a pair of Secret Service agents Tuesday.

“This is just a misunderstanding. This is getting all blown out of proportion. It’s down. It’s gone. We didn’t want to hurt the president,” he said after speaking with the agents. “It was just for a party.”

Million said the hanging Obama was meant to be an innocent Halloween decoration.

“Something spooky,” he said. “A noose is scary. It’s Halloween. We have zombies in the back — figures, ghosts, zombies.”

He said he realized the decoration could be seen as controversial after being visited by police Monday.

“I started thinking how bad it looked, and I took it down immediately,” Million said. “If I had it to do all over again, I absolutely wouldn’t have done it. It was not meant to offend anybody. It was just supposed to be a decoration.”

“They said that [incident] could have been construed as a threat to the president,” Million said of the police and Secret Service. “They said my name is going to be on file. They said they’re just going to make a note.”

Live Shark Found On Golf Course

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., (UPI) —  A California golf course worker said a 2-pound shark discovered still living in the grass near the 12th hole was the most “bizarre” thing seen at the course.

Melissa McCormack, director of club operations at the San Juan Hills Golf Club in San Juan Capistrano, said the small shark was found in the grass with puncture wounds indicating it had been carried by a bird, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Wednesday.

“We couldn’t believe it was still alive,” McCormack said. “There was a puncture wound under his dorsal fin and there was fresh blood. We assumed he was picked up by a bird and dropped there.”

“This is definitely the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen here,” she said. “There’s been nothing as bizarre as this. We’ll get the occasional mountain lion and coyote, but nothing like this.”

McCormack said the shark was put in a bucket of water and taken to Dana Point Harbor, where it was released into the ocean and immediately swam away.

Dan Sforza, assistant chief of the California Department of Fish and Game, said the idea of the small leopard shark being carried by a bird “sounds fishy to me.”

“It seems weird it could be out of the water that long. It doesn’t sound like it could be a recipe for success,” he said.

Sforza said the shark may have been dumped at the course by a human.

“Leopard sharks are legal to possess but they have to be 3 feet long,” he said. “There is a black-market trade out there for leopard sharks. They’re real cool-looking. Maybe it got too big for someone’s tank.”

Bus And Truck Crash With No Drivers

PATTERSON, Pa., (UPI) —  Police in Pennsylvania said they are investigating a bizarre crash between an unoccupied bus and an unoccupied truck.

Patterson police Chief Rich Cindrich said the McCarter Transit school bus, which had been parked by its driver on the street for about half an hour, began to roll downhill around 9:55 a.m. Tuesday and struck the truck, which then also began to roll down the hill, the Beaver Times reported Wednesday.

“We think it probably sheared the parking pin on the truck,” Cindrich said.

He said the vehicles traveled downhill side-by-side until the truck flipped over onto its side and the bus struck two utility poles before coming to a rest about 0.1 mile from where it was originally parked.

Cindrich said no injuries were reported.

He said police are still attempting to determine why the bus started rolling.

“If it malfunctioned, odds are it would still be in the on position. Since it was in off position, it almost seems like somebody would have disabled the brake,” Cindrich said. “(But) we don’t have any witnesses, so we can’t say yes or no.”

Man, 79, Chases After Suspect

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  A 79-year-old New York man helped police capture a shoplifting suspect by chasing after the man until he dropped a piece of paper bearing his name and address.

James Marr, who said he runs “obsessively” in Central Park six days a week, said he spotted a Duane Reade worker chasing after a man “with a full laundry bag” Oct. 4 while yelling “stop thief,” the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

Marr said he noticed the worker was losing ground, so he joined the chase until the suspect dropped a piece of paper.

“This was the dumbest thief ever invented,” Marr said. “Out falls this piece of paper and it’s a court document with his name and address on it.”

Trevor Frasca, 27, was soon arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental administration, possession of stolen property, petit larceny and resisting arrest.

Gun Raffle Rewards Voters

SMYRNA, Ga., (UPI) —  The owner of a Georgia store has raised the ire of a state senator by offering guns as prizes for a raffle open to voters.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, filed a complaint Tuesday with the Georgia Secretary of State against Jay Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, which is offering a promotion to enter customers in a raffle to win a Browning rifle or a Glock handgun if they vote in November, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.

“It’s just getting people involved in the process,” Wallace said. “I don’t understand what his problem is. Is he afraid somebody’s going to get involved in our political system?”

Fort said the promotion runs afoul of a state law banning people and businesses from offering money or gifts in exchange for voting or registering to cote.

“I sent a letter to the secretary of state this morning, asking him to look into it and put a stop to the raffle,” Fort said. “These billboards are prominently positioned all over the metro area, and I’m surprised the secretary of state didn’t intervene earlier.”

Number Of Obama, Romney TV Ads To Top 1M

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., (UPI) —  The Obama and Romney campaigns are likely to spend $1 billion to air 1 million-plus ads by Election Day, a UPI analysis of a U.S. university study indicated.

The campaigns of President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney already set a record by running more than 915,000 commercials on broadcast and cable stations from June 1 to Oct. 21, the Wesleyan Media Project study found.

The airtime cost of those ads was about $900 million, The Daily Beast said the Wesleyan analysis indicated.

The number of political ads in that 143-day period represented a 44.5 percent jump from the 637,000 ads aired in the same period of 2008 and a 43.7 percent increase from the 634,000 ads aired that period in 2004, the study found.

Presidential political advertising typically increases dramatically in the final days before the election, but if the current advertising-frequency rate simply continues at the average pace of the days the Wesleyan researchers studied, the two campaigns would be on trend to reach 1 million ads Nov. 3, three days before Election Day, the United Press International analysis indicated.

The advertising money spent for to air those ads would top $982 million that day and go over the $1 billion mark two days later, the day before the election, the UPI analysis indicated.

“When all is said and done, 2012 will go down as a record pulverizing year for political advertising,” media project Co-director Erika Franklin Fowler said.

“We’ve already surpassed the total number of presidential ads aired during the entire 2008 campaign,” she said. The campaign still has 12 days to go before the Nov. 6 election.

“What is especially striking is that the ads are concentrated on fewer markets than 2008, meaning that a smaller number of Americans have witnessed the onslaught of messages in the race for the White House,” said Fowler, an assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

Las Vegas, Denver and Cleveland have been the epicenters of presidential advertising this year, the Wesleyan study indicated. Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Fla., and the District of Columbia are also top markets this year for campaign ads, the researchers said.

In the first three weeks of this month, pro-Obama ads outnumbered pro-Romney ads, 112,000 to 97,000, with pro-Obama ads leading in 13 of 15 top media markets.

Pro-Romney ads had a slight advantage in two key battleground markets — Columbus, Ohio, and Norfolk, Va. — while Obama led in Denver, Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla.

“One reason Obama has been able to win the air war in most media markets is that his campaign is funding most of its own advertising, which entitles his campaign to the lowest rate charged by local television stations,” said media project Co-director Travis Ridout. “By contrast, many ads supporting Romney are paid for by outside groups, which must pay whatever the market will bear to get their ads on the air.”

The researchers also observed that the advertising this year is highly negative, with Obama ads more negative than Romney ads.

Eleven percent of Romney campaign-sponsored ads and 6.3 percent of Obama campaign-sponsored ads airing Oct. 1-21 were positive, meaning they spoke only about the sponsoring candidate, the study found, while 52.1 percent of ads sponsored by the Romney campaign were negative “contrast ads,” as were 63 percent of ads sponsored by the Obama campaign.

The Wesleyan Media Project is supported by grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Wesleyan University.

Obama: Romney Hiding His Plans

DAVENPORT, Iowa, (UPI) —  U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday the only way Republican challenger Mitt Romney can hope to be elected is if he keeps his plans secret.

Obama — at the start of a 48-hour, cross-country marathon that took him to six swing states, as well as Los Angeles and Chicago — spoke to 3,500 supporters at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa, about his rival’s “Romnesia,” the inability to remember past policy positions.

“So two weeks from the election — because he knows that if he actually told everybody what he wants to do he probably wouldn’t get any votes, so he’s doing everything he can to make sure that you don’t notice what he’s been saying,” Obama said to laughter.

“We’re gonna pull an all-nighter!” Obama said. “No Sleep! We’re starting in Iowa, then we’re gonna go to Colorado, then Nevada, California, then we’re gonna go to Florida, then Virginia, Ohio, and then we’re going to Illinois to vote.”

Romney held a rally in Reno, Nev., and then went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before heading for Ohio.

Obama’s cross-country marathon followed appearances Tuesday in Florida and Ohio.

“We are doing this now because we see this as a pivotal time in the election,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, campaigning at Cleveland State University, said too many barriers still confront minority children, especially when it comes to access to quality education.

“That’s unacceptable,” Ryan said. “We owe every child a chance to succeed.”

Campaigning Marion Harding High School in Marion, Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks were interrupted by a baby.

“I don’t blame that baby for crying,” Biden quipped. “You know what, she just realized what it means if Romney gets elected.”

In an announcement on Twitter, Mega-millionaire real estate developer Donald Trump says he’ll give $5 million to charity if President Obama releases his college and passport records.

2nd Third-Party Debate Planned

CHICAGO, (UPI) —  A second debt for third-party presidential candidates is in the works for Oct. 30 in Washington, organizers say.

The Free and Equal Elections Foundation said registered viewers from the first debate will select two candidates to take part in the second event, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s first debate in Chicago, carried on Ora TV’s You Tube channel, featured Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party.

Former CNN host Larry King was the moderator, but it wasn’t known who will serve in that role for the second debate, the Post said. It is to be streamed at www.freeandequal.org/live and through other, yet-to-be-announced media outlets.

In the first debate, Anderson, Johnson and Stein expressed support for legalizing marijuana to varying degrees, the Post said. Goode opposed it.

The New York Times reported Johnson noted he had smoked marijuana and drank alcohol in the past but no longer uses either. “The drug problem is prohibition-related, not use-related,” he said.

Stein said “the most serious health impact from marijuana is the illegal drug trade,” the Times said, while Anderson said drug offenders not convicted of another crime don’t belong in prison.

Goode said he would leave it to states to decide and would cut federal funding drug enforcement for economic reasons.

The Times said all four agreed U.S. military spending should be cut.

Anderson called the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows indefinite military detention without charges being brought, “the very definition of tyranny.” The Times said the other candidates didn’t argue his point.

Goode said the United States “should stop trying to be the overseer of the world,” and Johnson said he would cut defense spending by 43 percent and Stein said she would outlaw drone strikes.

Stein proposed free college for everyone, but Johnson said he’d do away with federal college loans.

Goode said the United States should stop issuing green cards until the jobless rate falls below 5 percent.

A Third Party Vote Is A Vote For America

On Monday, Americans watched a supposedly liberal candidate for President and a supposedly conservative candidate for President agree on the importance of massive military spending.

Those who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 with the hopes of less American meddling in the Mideast heard him talking about why he has used drone attacks galore in the region, even killing an American citizen in the role of judge, jury and executioner. They heard why we must remain in the Mideast and why America must shun cuts to military spending.

Mitt Romney agreed with Obama on his points and upped the ante, suggesting that not only should cuts be shunned but also that military spending increases should be championed. And conservative voters watched yet another Romney forward-march toward centrist candidate, effectively Etch A Sketch-ing much of the “true conservative” Republican persona that many voters on the right so badly wanted to battle Obama in the coming election.

Oh yeah, and they talked about Israel. And Israel. And Israel. And Israel. It became apparent that the third and final Presidential “foreign policy” debate focused largely on domestic policy. When the candidates did focus on the intended topic, the differences in position were non-apparent.

So the choice — the “direction for America’s future” choice — is clear, and the next four years are going to be a continuation of the past 12: a back-and-forth over taxes at home that never reaches a clear and concrete conclusion to the benefit of anyone; a continued assault on Constitutional civil liberties; a continued boon to the American and International banking cartels; and, without a doubt, a continued effort to line the pockets of America’s ever-expanding military industrial complex, which will take the lives of more American volunteers abroad and continue to double down its domestic expansion.

Often, it seems that these political writings are constantly dismal in tone. But there is no other option, for the readers will continue to lie to themselves until they are no longer allowed a political opinion. But, for all of those who continue to lambaste anyone who suggests that neither Obama nor Romney is the man for the job, here are some points with which you may agree at least slightly.

  • America is financially doomed due to a little more than half a century of government ineptitude.
  • The only way to reverse the coming economic calamity is to implement drastic change and completely alter the way citizens of the Nation view their place in the world and their responsibility at home.
  • This was not a Nation built on the idea that a ruling class has the authority to manipulate a peasant class.
  • The government no longer works for you.
  • Debt cannot be lessened by increasing spending, whether it is on corporate welfare, domestic entitlements or the military.
  • A government with the ability to print money ad infinitum has no reason to tax its citizens’ income.
  • The National Defense Authorization Act, domestic surveillance dragnets set up to catch anyone critical of government, parliamentary police forces and threats to free speech, personal property and the right to personal defense must all be eliminated.

Neither Obama nor Romney agrees with any of these things. They both incorrectly believe that governments can effectively create jobs. They both believe that safety always trumps liberty. They believe in and belong to the ruling class and are surrounded by members of the military-industrial and banking cartels that flourish only when Average Joe flounders. They both believe that increasing government spending in one way or another will help to reduce the government’s debt.

So, say again that a vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama; it doesn’t matter because a vote for Romney is a vote for Obama. A vote for either man is a vote for moving again further from the principles upon which this Nation was founded.

A third party vote may indeed be a fool’s errand, because a vast majority of the population of this Nation is informed only by corporate-controlled (and, thereby, government-controlled) mainstream media that have gone to great lengths to black out any message but that of the two (one) party status quo.

On Tuesday, another debate was broadcast. It wasn’t carried by FOX, MSNBC, CNN or any other major television news networks. It was, however, shown on Russian semi-state-run network RT, as well as C-Span and a handful of online news channels.

The event, sponsored by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, included the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson, the Constitution Party’s Virgil Goode and the Green Party’s Jill Stein (none of whom you’ve probably heard of) along with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The debate was refreshing; and, while the candidates agreed on many of the issues of the zeitgeist, they certainly offered a clear collective rebuttal to the ideas of Romney and Obama.

Because most readers probably don’t know much of anything about the aforementioned third party candidates, this column will not pick apart the debate but will rather challenge readers to wake up from the Romney/Obama coma and watch the event below. There are no funny moments or personal attacks, but it looks a lot like what one may expect the Nation’s Founders had hoped for modern political discourse.

*The debate begins at 1:02:55.*


 

Johnson took the night. Though the Libertarian is on the ballots in 48 States, enough to secure an Electoral College victory, it is evident that he won’t win in the Presidential election. America is too lazy to digest anything but FOX/MSNBC mind mush and demand a clear alternative to Thing 1 or Thing 2.

Voting Machines Rigged For Obama?

It’s not even Nov. 6 yet, and voting problems are already here. At an electronic ballot machine in North Carolina, a crucial State in this year’s race, a vote for Republican challenger Mitt Romney shows up as a vote for President Barack Obama.

Early voters in Gulford County noticed that when they pulled their vote for Romney, the machine registered the vote for the President. It happened at the Bur-Mil Park polling location.

“I was so upset that this could happen,” said voter Sher Coromalis.

But Guilford County says the problem is not something out of the ordinary. The machine just needs to be recalibrated.

“It’s not a conspiracy it’s just a machine that needs to be corrected,” said Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert.

Election officials claim that the problem has been fixed, and no additional complaints have been voiced.

“I should have just mailed it in,” concluded Coromalis, who eventually got her vote for Romney counted correctly.

No Laughing Matter

All right, the “horses and bayonets” meme sweeping the Internet like one of those cat-doing-something-adorable pictures actually made me laugh. And the “ships that go underwater” Facebook fad is pretty damned funny, as well. Hell, I even considered the “binders full of” meme that dogged Mitt Romney last week worth at least a grin. Hey, I joke as much as the next pundit. Actually, the next pundit is Bob Livingston; so I joke a great deal more than the next pundit. But I don’t let the laughter distract me from the bigger picture.

I’m well aware that Barack Obama knows what a submarine is. Well, I’m fairly sure. Come to think of it, perhaps we should move along. But lost in the snickering was the fact that Obama was trying to belittle Romney’s expertise in the foreign-affairs arena. And, in doing so, Obama was also trying a little too hard to distract us from the very real failures that have defined his own tenure.

To quote the cool kids: “You got jokes, Mr. President?” I’m not really laughing. Obama’s attempts to change the narrative on what happened in Benghazi, Libya, feature more plot twists than a M. Night Shyamalan film festival. I’ve noticed Chris Matthews at the Democrat Channel is back to claiming a crappy YouTube video is responsible for the brutal murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow innocent victims. How many versions have they offered? Seven? I’m just waiting for the Huffington Post inevitable banner headline:

NEW DETAILS EMERGE ON BENGHAZI — COLONEL MUSTARD SOUGHT FOR QUESTIONING
Retired officer rumored Romney bundler; Authorities claim he did it in the conservatory with a B-40

During Monday’s debate, Romney stated: “Is al-Qaida on the run? No.” Liberals lit up the blogosphere with outrage over what they characterized as Romney’s complete lack of awareness. Most took to chest-thumping over the execution of Osama bin Laden by SEAL Team 6. And perhaps Romney is mistaken; al-Qaida is indeed on the run. Unfortunately, it’s running directly toward and over our people.

Obama is currently running an ad that claims he dropped the curtain on “a decade of war which has cost us dearly.” Of course, he’s referring to our exit from the Iraqi theater. But while he conjures up images of himself surrounded by olive branch-toting doves, our servicemen and servicewomen continue to face ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. And the enemy there has become even less predictable and more sinister than ever, likely in response to perceived weakness. To paint himself as worthy of that Nobel Peace Prize wasted on him a few years back, Obama is not only brushing aside the fires of Benghazi, he’s turning his back on the thousands of flag-draped coffins he claims to meet at airports in between fundraisers and golf outings.

Obama’s reaction to increasing hot air from the Islamofascists who own Iran — including both their bellicosity toward Israel and their brazen attempts at loading their missiles with “the good stuff” — is about as funny as a Bill Maher therapy session, albeit with less rancor toward the ladies. As Romney pointed out during the debate, “Iran is four years closer to a nuclear bomb.” Nuclear bombs are seldom funny. Nuclear bombs wielded by guys whose idea of kicking back involves a nice brick of C-4 and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” on Blu-ray Disc are scarier than a night with that thing the TV tells me used to be Cher.

I’m not suggesting we start kicking in doors worldwide, looking to aerate the cranium of every two-bit jihadi, narcoterrorist and/or tin-pot dictator; although, I wouldn’t mind if they all simultaneously contracted terminal cases of lead poisoning. But as much as Obama seems to want to make jokes when he’s not out on his worldwide “apology tour” and as much as I enjoy making jokes about his endless parade of disgraces, Obama’s term has been less “funny ha-ha” and more “funny pile of corpses.”

We are the United States of America. We get to deal from a position of strength. We don’t forget the names of our soldiers, sailors and Marines — or those of our border agents and ambassadors. And that’s no joke, Mr. President.

–Ben Crystal