Third Party & Independents

Swinging Hard in North Carolina

Posted by AllardK on October 24, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Kay Hagan, junior US senator for North Carolina came in to the Senate with President Obama in 2008, and is determined it seems not to leave the Senate until after Obama leaves the White House. Whether she has managed to distance herself enough from the president and his low approval ratings remains to be seen, but she is leading Republican Thom Tillis, Speaker of the State House, by a slim but consistent margin. Polling shows Hagan has a clear lead among women voters, a strong lead among young voters, and an overwhelming lead among African American voters. And both candidates have just about the same approval rating within their own party. RealClearPolitics, however, has a difference of about a percentage point between the two candidates in their average of several polls including the PPP poll that shows Hagan ahead by 3, with Tillis quickly closing what had been a 4 point gap, starting about a month ago. If North Carolina breaks late, as it seems to have a tradition of doing, then it may be an even closer race than many polls are showing and will mean a late night in November until the final result is known.

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A Question for Governor Kasich

Posted by AllardK on October 22, 2014 at 4:15 PM

According to John Kasich's friend Curt Steiner, Kasich is a solid GOP man but a "biological Democrat" meaning the son of a mailman was raised in a working class and Democrat environment. While Kasich has been in politics for the GOP most of his adult life and was already a state senator in Ohio at 26, he has always been a centrist, although he would likely label himself as a pragmatist. So, Ohio Governor Kasich's getting into bed with Obamacare is nothing to be shocked about. Even if he says he is not in bed with Obamacare, or only part of it, and that the press completely misquoted him. This is of course about Medicaid, and the fact that Obamacare has made more people eligible for Medicaid and has increased federal funding for individual states. It would have made it mandatory for individual states to accept increased levels of funding and eligibility for Medicaid in order to continue to receive the cash from Washington D.C., but the Supreme Court, in a very mixed decision in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that had the justices all over the place, gave the states the right to opt out of the increase and stay at pre-Obamacare levels of Medicaid.

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Boots for Ebola; No Boots for ISIS

Posted by MichaelMears on October 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

As much as the President or democrats or others don't want to believe it, Obama IS a war president. The "Bush's fault" argument doesn't hold much value anymore because, yes, Obama did bring troops home from Iraq, but he sent thousands more over to Afghanistan, and he's been at war his entire presidency. He's just not a strong war president.

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3 Dollars a Day in Wisconsin

Posted by AllardK on October 13, 2014 at 1:47 PM

It's a quite a change to go from being a high-powered Harvard MBA grad working for Mckinsey & Co. in New York and Washington DC to working with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County in her home state of Wisconsin. But that's what Mary Burke chose to do a few years back. after spending some time working for the family business her father set up, Trek Bicycle Corporation, where she briefly held a couple of executive positions. From the boys and girls club to spending her own money to get elected to the Madison School Board was a logical step for Mary, who had also spent some time as Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce for Governor Jim Doyle. So in a way, Mary Burke is a perfect Democratic candidate in a state with a generous health care and pension benefit scheme for state employees: someone who will use her business skills to micromanage the state's entitlement streams without cutting back too much anywhere. What's there not to like about Mary Burke if you believe in free health care for lucky state employees?

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When ATF Gunwalking Went Wrong

Posted by AllardK on October 8, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Let's be fair to Eric Holder. The absolute mess over Operation Fast & Furious which he is trying to cover up, on executive orders from Obama himself, actually started in 2006 with Operation Wide Receiver. It's not the multiple regulations at state and federal levels on gun sales and exports of guns. It's not the fact that straw purchases, nominee purchases where the final buyer is unable to or unwilling to directly purchase a firearm, is not illegal. It's not the fact that the ATF already had been doing what are called gun-walking operations to trace possible illegal firearm purchases and intercept them at the final point of sale, mostly in a focused and small scale manner which ensured most earlier gun-walking operations ended successfully. It's the fact that with Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast & Furious, the ATF got into bed with Mexican authorities.

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The IRS Got It Wrong ... Again

Posted by AllardK on October 7, 2014 at 7:06 PM

As far was Washington is concerned, $5.2 billion is petty change as the beltway joke about a billion here, a billion there and suddenly you're talking real money, cynically states. As far as the average taxpayer, it is a lot of money. So when the IRS reveals that it gave out $5.2 billion in fraudulent tax returns, it does not sit well with taxpayers who are still waiting for a check for amounts overcharged by the tax authorities. But the larger question is, why do you have to give money to Washington in order for them to decide how much you overpaid and then send you back all, or some, or none, of the amount overpaid? The reason of course, is that the tax system is a huge and complex redistribution mechanism for transferring wealth between interested parties and achieving specific political goals for the benefit of some and at the expense of many. It is created by legislation which is created by lawyers, public service economists and policy wonks in general. It is a deliberate intrusion meant to affect behavior and outcomes. And if deemed necessary, violent force is applied to achieve those goals.

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The Death of the Death Penalty Is Long Overdue

Posted by DFaris on October 2, 2014 at 2:49 PM

There should have been a consistent national outcry over the death penalty for a long time now, but the case of Clayton Lockett is as good a reason as any to bring the issue back to the forefront of public consciousness once again. Lockett, a 38 year old man, was executed in a 43-minute ordeal by the state of Oklahoma back in April. Officials called off the execution 33 minutes in, but Lockett spent ten more minutes writhing and gasping before he finally died. A recent autopsy showed that Lockett was killed by the lethal injection drugs, and not a heart attack, as was previously reported.

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CEO Pay

Posted by Roy Ellis on October 1, 2014 at 9:31 PM

A recent WaPo article suggest the CEO pay gap is greatly underestimated. A new study, by Harvard Business School, found that while people think that the average CEO makes 30 times more than the average worker, the real figure is something like 350 times the average worker.

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Is Greg Orman a Liberal With a Lot of Money?

Posted by AllardK on September 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Politics in Kansas lately seems like one big family affair, both of the political kind as well as the kitchen-table kind. It all revolves around Pat Roberts, the long-time GOP senator in the state whose re-election has suddenly got a lot less certain. Chad Taylor's decision to drop out of the race has meant that remaining independent challenger Greg Orman, a wealthy businessman, is now even or ahead in the polls. For GOP strategists, he is a liberal trojan horse riding under the cover of being an independent and a businessman. But it is Greg Orman who Pat Roberts will have to defeat to keep Kansas a GOP state, at least in the US Senate, and not undercut the party's attempt to win back control of the upper house in November. That means that Robert's political family, in other words his longtime Republican colleagues as well as younger GOP supporters are flocking to the state to give speeches and help out any way they can. That includes Senator McCain, Jeb Bush and even Rand Paul, as well Paul Ryan. That's two senators, a former governor and Bush family member, and a potential GOP presidential candidate for 2016. Will it work?

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The Senate Race in Georgia and Voter Registration

Posted by AllardK on September 25, 2014 at 2:33 PM

The race in Georgia for the senate seat of retiring Sen R Saxby Chambliss is quite frankly, a little nasty. It's a close race of course - why else would it have to get nasty? After earlier this week linking, or attempting to link, Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn's participation in Points of Light - the NGO run by Neil Bush - with Hamas, a terrorist organization, they are now accusing another group with links to Democrats of voter fraud, a felony in Georgia. The New Georgia Project was founded by State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and is dedicated to registering minority voters in Georgia. Abrams is part of Michelle Nunn's inner circle and Nunn's campaign believes that registering minority voters in sufficient numbers will tip the balance in her favor in the closely contested race for senator between Nunn and Republican David Perdue. Every senate seat counts even more than usual in these midterms, so it is not impossible that the GOP in Georgia has decided to play a little rough. The question is, are they within their rights to ensure that voter registration is done properly?

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Stealing From Taxpayers in Alabama

Posted by AllardK on September 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Tim McCollum is an ambitious pubic servant. The assistant attorney general with the Alabama Department of Public Safety stated that photographing public records is stealing from the state's tax payers. If you want a copy of some part of the public record, you're going to have to pony up the cash for those 3 pages of photocopying that would otherwise not flow into Alabama's state coffers. According to Tim McCollum's world view, it should be the Availability of Information Act and not the Freedom of Information Act. But does any state or local government, or the federal government, have the right to charge for copies of the public record, even as it adheres to FOIA? Each state has it's own version of the act and some are more restrictive than others, but where do fees fit in? According to FOIA's website, they do charge for some freedom of information requests, but that is to cover any work that must be done to retrieve the information. It seems that someone who takes the trouble to photograph public records in Alabama is doing all the work themselves.

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The Terrorist Who Lived in Rochester

Posted by AllardK on September 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM

If you are a returning member of the military, having done a turn of duty in Iraq, concerns about Veteran Affairs and the quality of medical treatment that you will receive, should you need it, is not your only worry. Aside from planning how to rejoin the workforce, there now appears to be another, far more serious, risk you could face. A Yemen-born naturalized US citizen has been arrested in Rochester accused of providing resources and logistical aid to potential ISIS recruits. But Mufid Elfgeeh has also been charged with purchasing and possessing handguns with silencers to be used against returning soldiers as well as any Shiites who happen to live in the upstate New York area.

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The Facts Are Catching Up To Globalisation

Posted by Roy Ellis on September 15, 2014 at 8:47 PM

An article,'The Roughed Up American', by Robert Samuelson in today's WaPo related the true facts as to how citizens have fared, economically over the last decade or so.

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Obama, the Unconstitutional War President

Posted by Rhinehold on September 13, 2014 at 1:38 AM

Besides the modern precedence of President Obama’s defeats in the Supreme Court in regards to their 9-0 rulings against him, the President has repeatedly violated the wording and spirit of the Constitution, as well as his own words, several times in waging war, a power that was given to the Congress for a variety of good reasons.

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Say it Mr. President

Posted by AllardK on September 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The terrorists in ISIS come from around the world, especially the developed world, according to info-grams at CNN's site. Finland, in percentage terms, has a relatively large population of jihadists in ISIS for example. Australia, Canada, the USA of course, and Britain and France all have residents who have joined the crazed army that is terrorizing locals and foreigners alike. For all those determinists who love to point to poverty as the ultimate cause, this data is an obvious refutation of their posture. This is ideology at work, a fanatical creed with delusions of medieval empire; a Caliphate that can act as the base for further conquest. That means any Western citizen, and especially American citizens, anywhere in the world are targets of ISIS. They are a criminal group. They are a terrorist organization. They are a religious organization with military and political ambitions. If there ever was an enemy of the USA and the Western World, ISIS is it.

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