Member since: Tue Nov 6, 2007, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 1,147
Number of posts: 1,147
By Gabriel Debenedetti
(Reuters) - In today's highly polarized political environment it is somewhat surprising to find voters who backed John McCain in 2008 and now support President Barack Obama, but they exist.
Roughly 5 percent of respondents in Reuters/Ipsos polls said they chose the Republican contender in 2008 and will switch to Obama in 2012. This number peaked at around 9 percent two separate times over the summer, according to data collected since January.
Who are these defectors?
Jeff Waltrip, 56, is a retired electrician and retail worker who has voted Republican all his life. But in his view Obama "has done a good job with what he was left with, and I truly believe that allowing Mitt Romney in there is going to make the world a whole lot worse than it is now." Waltrip said he liked the Republican ticket in 2008 because McCain is a veteran and because Sarah Palin "made me laugh."
The McCain-to-Obama switchers are 55 percent male, and 34 percent of them are 55 or older. (Overall, Obama trails Romney 34 percent to 52 percent among white men over 50.) About 72 percent of them are white.
They are largely from the East Coast; nearly 4 in 10 live in the mid- or South Atlantic. Nearly 3 in 10 finished their education after high school, and nearly 2 in 10 have a bachelor's degree.
Two-thirds say they are absolutely going to vote, choosing "10" on a 1-10 scale for likelihood of voting.
Even though 38 percent of all voters believe the economy is the election's most prominent issue, just one-third of the McCain defectors agree. Character matters more.
"Right now if I had to choose it would be Obama, because he's more personable," said William Holliday, a 58-year-old retiree from Convis Township, Michigan. "Romney has changed his position so many damn times, you don't know what he thinks at all. But they're both liars."
Holliday said that in general he leans Republican. "I did vote for McCain four years ago in spite of the fact he picked Palin. Because I thought that was a cheap trick he pulled there." He worries that if Romney is elected he will put "Cheney and Rumsfeld back in there to run the show."
Jeffrey Baker, 56, a retiree in Strong, Maine, thinks Romney's refusal to release his taxes disqualifies him. "If you can't be honest from the start, I don't want you in the Oval Office," he said. Romney, whose personal worth has been estimated at roughly $250 million, has faced criticism from Democrats for not releasing enough years' worth of his tax returns.
"Four years ago I voted for John McCain because I thought he was more experienced, and I thought we needed someone with some military background," Baker said. "Mitt Romney - I don't believe he has the experience that's needed. He's a businessman, he knows how to make money. That's all well and good, but we've got people to worry about."
Baker is unhappy with the entire campaign. "There's nothing going on. No information, no nothing," he said. "Everybody says they're going to do this, they're going to do that. But nobody says how they're going to do it."
He's basing his vote on a general sense that "Obama is more for the whole country than Romney is," alluding to the leaked video. "Romney, that's his honest feelings. He doesn't really care about the 47 percent."
Waltrip also believes Romney is out of touch with lower-income Americans, and he mistrusts the candidate's religious convictions.
"I've always felt like the Mormon Church was more of a cult," Waltrip said. "I'm sort of afraid that his interests are going to be strictly for the Mormon Church."
Overall about 34 percent of likely voters said they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate if he or she were Mormon, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted during the week ending October 21.
The defectors to Obama remain a smaller subset of respondents than those who voted for him in 2008 and now support Romney. The Reuters/Ipsos polling shows 10 percent of voters plan to cross the aisle in that direction.
The Reuters/Ipsos database is now public and searchable here: http://elections.reuters.com/#poll
(Editing by Prudence Crowther)
Posted by Dalai_1 | Sun Oct 21, 2012, 12:27 PM (0 replies)
By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 10/20/12 7:15 PM EDT Politico
The Obama administration is denying a report that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks that could be a last-chance opportunity to avoid war over Iran's nuclear program.
Citing senior administration officials, The New York Times reported Sunday that Iranian officials have agreed to negotiations, but not until after the presidential election, so that they know whether they're negotiating with President Obama or Mitt Romney.
But National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor offered a denial.
"It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections," he said in a statement.
"We continue to work with the P-5 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. The president has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure."
The Times report came barely more than 48 hours before the presidential candidates prepare to take the stage for their third and final debate, which will focus on foreign policy. Signs that Iran is willing to negotiate on its nuclear program could be helpful to Obama, who has long favored a diplomatic resolution to tensions with Iran and has implemented new sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran into negotiations.
Posted by Dalai_1 | Sat Oct 20, 2012, 07:30 PM (2 replies)
Posted by Dalai_1 | Sat Oct 20, 2012, 07:26 PM (0 replies)
One of my favorite movies of all time is Frank Capra's “It's A Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart. In the film, Stewart's character, a despondent and near suicidal George Bailey, who runs a small savings and loan in the town of Bedford Falls, is given a gift: the chance to see what his town would be like if he'd never been born — if he'd never extended a helping hand to his neighbors when they needed it most, never helped his community understand how much they depended upon one another.
In this alternative vision, the town's plutocratic banker, Mr. Potter — without the decent George Bailey to counter him — rules everything. A bottom-line-is-everything, every-man-for-himself mentality runs unchecked, resulting in Bedford Falls' metamorphosis into “Pottersville,” an amoral, soulless place.
The movie has a happy ending, thank goodness, but its themes endure to this day and echo in the current presidential election, which at its core asks the question: What kind of country are we? Are we Bedford Falls or Pottersville? Are we all in this together — and stronger and better because of it — or are we entirely on our own, with a few “makers” on the top of a heap of “takers?”
I'm supporting President Barack Obama because there is no question about his answer to that question. Having observed Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts, and then watching him in the Republican primaries as he tacked this way and that whenever it suited him (but mostly to the far right, the Tea Party radicals, even the birthers), I can't be sure of him.
As a student of American history, let me give some perspective. Much like Franklin Delano Roosevelt (one of the subjects of a new documentary series we are working on — if Romney doesn't get his way and PBS isn't eliminated), President Obama took office at a time when lax regulation of the financial industry had brought us to the brink of a complete collapse, creating an industry that needed nearly a trillion dollars in President Bush-authorized bailouts. He also inherited two off-the-books wars that had further ballooned our budget deficit, an auto industry on the verge of bankruptcy, and a loss of prestige in the international community.
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Posted by Dalai_1 | Fri Oct 19, 2012, 04:10 PM (13 replies)
Sidwell Friends, the school where President Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia attend, evacuated students and staff from its Wisconsin Avenue campus this morning following a phoned in threat. The details of the threat and whether it had any connection to the First Family daughters was not immediately available Thursday morning.
The following message was distributed through the school's emergency notification system around 11:30 a.m. today: “This is an emergency message from Sidwell Friends School. Due to a suspicious phone call, the buildings on the Wisconsin Avenue campus have been evacuated. We will notify you when further information is available.”
More updates as further information become available
Posted by Dalai_1 | Thu Oct 18, 2012, 11:53 AM (16 replies)
President Obama up to 80%
rmoney down to 24%
Posted by Dalai_1 | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 09:40 PM (5 replies)
Is Romney really a job creator? Ronald Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, takes a scalpel to the claims.
Bain Capital is a product of the Great Deformation. It has garnered fabulous winnings through leveraged speculation in financial markets that have been perverted and deformed by decades of money printing and Wall Street coddling by the Fed. So Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capitalist creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise.
Mitt Romney was not a businessman; He was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. (Charles Ommanney / Getty Images)
Nevertheless, Mitt Romney claims that his essential qualification to be president is grounded in his 15 years as head of Bain Capital, from 1984 through early 1999. According to the campaign’s narrative, it was then that he became immersed in the toils of business enterprise, learning along the way the true secrets of how to grow the economy and create jobs. The fact that Bain’s returns reputedly averaged more than 50 percent annually during this period is purportedly proof of the case—real-world validation that Romney not only was a striking business success but also has been uniquely trained and seasoned for the task of restarting the nation’s sputtering engines of capitalism.
Except Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way—out of inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market fostering a new product, service, or process of production. Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale—the faster the better.
That is the modus operandi of the leveraged-buyout business, and in an honest free-market economy, there wouldn’t be much scope for it because it creates little of economic value. But we have a rigged system—a regime of crony capitalism—where the tax code heavily favors debt and capital gains, and the central bank purposefully enables rampant speculation by propping up the price of financial assets and battering down the cost of leveraged finance.
So the vast outpouring of LBOs in recent decades has been the consequence of bad policy, not the product of capitalist enterprise. I know this from 17 years of experience doing leveraged buyouts at one of the pioneering private-equity houses, Blackstone, and then my own firm. I know the pitfalls of private equity. The whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. Occasionally, we did invest in genuine growth companies, but without cheap debt and deep tax subsidies, most deals would not make economic sense.
Posted by Dalai_1 | Mon Oct 15, 2012, 08:50 AM (0 replies)
Will Ohio's H.I.G.-Owned E-Voting Machines Give Romney the White House?
October 12, 2012 at 10:14:18
By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
Electronic voting machines owned by Mitt Romney's business buddies and set to count the votes in Cincinnati could decide the 2012 election.
The narrative is already being hyped by the corporate media. As Kelly O'Donnell reported for NBC's Today Show on Monday, October 8, Ohio's Hamilton County is "ground zero" for deciding who holds the White House come January, 2013.
O'Donnell pointed out that no candidate has won the White House without carrying Ohio since John Kennedy did it in 1960. No Republican has EVER won the White House without Ohio's electoral votes.
As we document in the e-book WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA'S 2012 ELECTION ( www.freepress.org ) George W. Bush got a second term in 2004 thanks to the manipulation of the electronic vote count by Ohio's then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell served as the co-chair of the state's committee to re-elect Bush/Cheney while simultaneously administering the election.
The widespread use of electronic voting machines from ES&S, and of Diebold software maintained by Triad, allowed Blackwell to electronically flip a 4% Kerry lead to a 2% Bush victory in the dead of election night. ES&S, Diebold and Triad were all owned or operated by Republican partisans. The shift of more than 300,000 votes after 12:20 am election night was a virtual statistical impossibility. It was engineered by Michael Connell, an IT specialist long affiliated with the Bush Family. Blackwell gave Connell's Ohio-based GovTech the contract to count Ohio's votes, which was done on servers housed in the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thus the Ohio vote tally was done on servers that also carried the e-mail for Karl Rove and the national Republican Party. Connell died in a mysterious plane crash in December, 2008, after being subpoenaed in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit focused on how the 2004 election was decided (disclosure: we were attorney and plaintiff in that suit).
Diebold's founder, Walden O'Dell, had vowed to deliver Ohio's electoral votes---and thus the presidency---to his friend George W. Bush. That it was done in part on electronic voting machines and software O'Dell happened to own (Diebold has since changed hands twice) remains a cautionary red flag for those who believe merely winning the popular vote will give Barack Obama a second term.
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Posted by Dalai_1 | Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:41 PM (13 replies)
Posted by Dalai_1 | Mon Oct 1, 2012, 04:34 PM (11 replies)
President Obama 77.8%
Mitt Romney 22.2%
Ohio 80% President Obama
Florida 68% President Obama
Virginia 73% President Obama
Posted by Dalai_1 | Fri Sep 28, 2012, 08:13 AM (0 replies)