The Blue Wall is a block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. On Election Day that block added New Hampshire to its number and Virginia is shifting At the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win. If Virginia joins New Hampshire that number will be 270 out of 270.To win a GOP candidate has to win all nine “tossup” state and one solidly Blue state.Thus, in the next, and into the foreseeable future, Presidential elections will be decided in the Democratic Primary. What are the chances that a Republican candidate capable of appealing to the increasingly right wing GOP will appeal to enough Democrats to win in tossup and Blue states?But what about that RED Map….well it accounts for 149 electoral votes. The biggest Republican victory in decades did not move the map. What was Red before in electoral politics is still Red and maybe less Red considering NH and VA.Republican support grew deeper in 2014, not broader.
With a $4 billion price tag, the recent US midterm election was the most expensive in the country’s history. For the first time in eight years, the Republicans gained complete control of Congress, as well as won victories in key Senate and gubernatorial races across the country.With elections in the US, we are granted the illusion that voters generally have power over our elected leaders, the direction of the economy, and how to tackle climate change and other major issues. But where does the real power lie?Wealth and political power are so dramatically concentrated in this country that elections have become a bitter farce. The recent midterm vote provides a great opportunity to reflect on the structural ways in which the system is rigged against the people.The 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case essentially enabled corporations and billionaires to be able buy US elections and politicians without government oversight. According to David Bossie, the plaintiff in the case and the president of the conservative Citizens United organization, the court ruling helped the Republicans win this year’s midterms.The day after the election, Bossie said that Citizens United “leveled the playing field, and we’re very proud of the impact that had in last night’s election.” He said this corporate funding helped the republicans win, and created “a robust conversation, which is what a level playing field allows, really creates an opportunity for the American people to get information and make good decisions.”
Medical marijuana advocate Tommy Chong on Wednesday told four Fox News hosts their current obsession with an MIT economist over his comments about President Barack Obama’s health care law was similar to the network’s coverage of Benghazi.On Wednesday’s edition of Out Numbered, host Sandra Smith argued that the videos of Jonathan Gruber saying that lawmakers relied on the “stupidity” of voters to pass health care reform were relevant because “they’re not 6- and 8-years-old to the American people.”“But to me, it’s just another attack on Obamacare from another angle,” Chong observed. “Sounds like Benghazi all over again.”“Well, no,” co-host Andrea Tantaros disagreed. “It’s an attack on the American people for how — quote — stupid — we are.”“Did I remember a guy named, what, Mitt Romney said something about 47 percent?” Chong asked.“Stay on topic, Tommy,” Tantaros demanded. “Is it okay to lie and get away with it?”“It’s called politics,” Chong explained. “Of course.”“I think it deserves to be asked — an open-ended question — why do you think Jonathan Gruber said that this administration preyed on the stupidity of the American people to pass this health care law?” Smith wondered.“I think you have to define what stupidity means,” Chong replied. “If you are opposing universal health care based on rumors and lies then that is a stupid way to be.”A PunditFact analysis published on Tuesday found that Fox News had mentioned Gruber at least 779 times since the story broke on Nov. 10. MSNBC had mentioned him 79 times, and he was referenced on CNN just 27 times.
While the G20 summit in Australia made headlines over global warming, economic growth and terrorism, much less attention was paid to the giant spectre of global corruption.That is too bad as this is a problem that is arguably more dangerous to humanity than even terrorism because it siphons off an estimated $1 trillion from developing countries annually through bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, extortion and other financial crimes.Recent World Bank estimates suggest that much of the worlds direct aid to the poorest countries ends up stolen, perhaps as much as $40 billion in recent years.And it has been estimated that up to 3.6 million of the worlds poorest die annually from inadequate health care and living conditions directly because corruption has leached away development aid of all kinds.At its most extreme, corruption causes people to lose faith in government, states to fail and violence to erupt in the form of organized crime and terrorist movements.Only slightly less malign, its the dirty grease that keeps many repressive and violent dictators in lavish power.
Last year saw the highest number of terrorist incidents since 2000, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Worldwide, the number of terrorist incidents increased from less than 1,500 in 2000 to nearly 10,000 in 2013. Sixty percent of attacks last year occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
Back in July, the Los Angeles Times – not VT, Infowars or Truth Jihad Radio – broke the story that Mitt Romney is a drug money launderer. How did we all miss this story? Until John Hankey and then Gordon Duff picked it up.Maybe it’s because the Times story never comes right out and says “drug money laundering.” It doesn’t have to.What the Times article does say translates directly and unambiguously as DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING, in caps, exclamation point.According to the Los Angeles Times, Romney’s company, Bain Capital, “paid out a stunning 173% in average annual returns over a decade.” “Stunning” is not the word. “Criminal” is more like it.