Many of mainstream media pundits have gone on the record with their predictions on how many electoral votes Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will receive. The only problem is that the vast majority are picking Obama to win. Their exaggerated turn-out models tells them so. This is what happens when we leave it to the #RealJournalists (in the words of Juan Williams) to tell us what is going on.
From the ground level, from the people that aren’t creating turn-out models but actually turning out, it looks a whole lot different. Professor Glenn Reynolds, aka @Instapundit, has dubbed this the Ground-Glass Election (as in, we will crawl across ground glass to vote to evict Obama from the White House).
So here’s the opportunity for the #JustABlogger population*, the hoi polloi, to go on record and show the elite how it should be done…and you can win a prize while you’re at it.
WHO CAN ENTER
Anyone but a #RealJournalist. Bloggers, tweeters, school kids, Walmart moms, Latinos with forks, cats with videos. Anyone!
WHAT TO DO
Go to RealClearPolitics.com and use their map tool to create your Electoral Vote (EV) map. [You are welcome to use other sites' electoral map tools, if you prefer. I've just found this one easy.]
Take a picture/screenshot of it and upload the picture to the photo service of your choice (such as Twitpic.com, Yfrog.com or Instagram.com).
Tweet @PruPaine a link to the photo, along with your tie-breaker prediction of the Popular Vote (PV) percentages Obama and Romney will receive.
Example: My contest entry submission tweet to @PruPaine would say…
All entries must be tweeted to @PruPaine by 9pm EST on Monday, November 5, 2012. The final tie-breaker is based on whichever entry is received first, so enter early…but not often! (See Fine Print.)
All entries will be posted here at PrudencePaine.com, linked to your Twitter handle. If you also have a blog and/or a post about your prediction, I’ll be happy to link to it as well. (Just include the link in your tweet, or send it to me when your post is up.)
Because of the fabulous prize! You can choose to receive one of the following (in either Kindle or print):
or a book from the Prudy personal library (I’ve got lots of books on the disaster that Obama has been!).
The winner will be the contestant whose prediction comes closest to the actual electoral vote (EV) outcome of the 2012 United States presidential election. If the winning EV total was submitted by more than one contestant, the winner will be the contestant who correctly predicted the outcome of the most states. A tie in the number of correctly predicted states will go to the contestant who comes closest to predicting the popular vote percentages for each candidate (to two decimal places). If a tie still exists, the earliest submitted tying entry will be the winner.
Void where prohibited by law. One entry per person. Not responsible for lost, spindled or mutilated entries. Entries will not be returned. Consumption may cause racing pulse and increased levels of optimism. No need to see your doctor if this condition persists.
So far, nearly all the #JustABlogger entries are indicating a Romney win. A new post will be started soon to show the entries received.
When you submit your map, you’ll get a tweet letting you know you are officially entered, or that there is a missing component to your entry. Your entry hasn’t been registered in the contest until you get a “you’re entered” tweet. If you don’t receive a reply tweet within an hour or two, feel free to ask if it has been accepted.
Note: Retweets of other persons’ entries do not constitute a separate entry.
Here’s two great videos heading to the final showdown next week.
First up, a quick response to anyone in favor of the Obama administration’s shredding of the First Amendment’s freedom of religion in forcing religious groups to offer products and services that are morally opposed by that religion:
Then there’s a parody of the Obama campaign video by actress Lena Dunham, in which she told young women that voting for Obama is like having sex for the first time…and that it’s uncool not to do it. Here’s Julie Borowski’s spot-on impersonation of it:
In the race to fill the Massachusetts 4th Congressional seat being vacated by Barney Frank (D-MA), trust fund Democrat Joe Kennedy III is pitting his name, inexperience and ignorance against Marine and small businessman Sean Bielat.
So far, Kennedy has had problems in knowing that Jerusalem (not Tel Aviv, as he proclaimed) is the capital of Israel. Nor could he name a current military program that he wishes to cut, despite that being a primary area he’d like to slash in the federal budget. (The two programs he did name are either nonexistent or already cut.)
But his utter lack of fundamental knowledge in all things foreign policy and military defense became crystal clear in a recent debate at Wellesley College. A man in the audience asks Kennedy whether he supports the drone program. His jaw-dropping response is, “I am a supporter of the President’s drone initiatives. I am a supporter of certainly the strike that the President launched to, that ended up in the killing of Osama bin Laden.”
[The clip cuts off quickly, but Kennedy doesn't attempt to correct his reply. For those thinking it is impossible that he simply misspoke, the entire question and Kennedy response is at the end of this clip, and Bielat's response to the question is at the beginning of this clip.]
It’s no wonder that Kennedy wants to dodge the issues when he’s just running on his name. Catch the clip from the Today show here where they follow Kennedy to knock on voters’ doors. The woman can’t get out her entire question before he interrupts her to inform her his grandfather was Robert Kennedy:
Bielat makes an excellent point, in that the trust fund kid is utterly unqualified for a Congressional seat.
In a conference call, Bielat and his senior media consultant Sarah Rumpf said the campaign’s internal polling has been showing Kennedy’s numbers as steadily declining, noting that even among those that support Kennedy, one-half of them say they are not sure about him.
Rumpf offered other anecdotal evidence that Kennedy’s leading, but diminishing, support is soft by noting that Scott Brown for Senate signs tend to have a Sean for Congress sign next to it, but the Elizabeth Warren for Senate signs often stand alone.
The campaign has also found that when they approach supposedly committed Kennedy voters and provide them with information on Bielat’s positions, the voters are frequently willing to switch their position.
The campaign is feeling very optimistic about their chances, if they can just reach enough voters in time. “Not only is it winnable,” said Bielat, “but we will win this race.”
But the thing that will help Bielat the most is a campaign contribution. He’d like to raise $500,000 more to pound the airwaves in Boston this week. (He is already on air in the Providence media market.) His internal polling indicates that they have significantly closed the gap, and a blast of ads could push him to victory.
Go here to view the Final Surge video (with great tidbits such as Joe Kennedy the Third has only worked 27 months in his entire life, and up until 10 months ago, he was still living with his mother). That’s where you can contribute to the campaign as well, or visit SeanForCongress.com for more information on keeping this House seat Kennedy-free.
For a bit of fun, Bielat’s campaign has put together a clever website KardashianOrKennedy.com illustrating the banality of the Kennedy campaign through a “Kardashian or Kennedy: Guess Who Sent the Tweet” quiz.
In the final presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season, President Barack Obama tried to score points by lampooning Governor Mitt Romney’s criticism that under the Obama administration, our US Navy had fallen to levels not seen since 1916.
In doing so, Obama sneered that we don’t have many bayonets or horses in the military either because times change.
Yet, our Marines are indeed equipped with bayonets. And the soldiers serving in Afghanistan use military horses.
In fact, Vice President Joe Biden was in New York City at Ground Zero for the dedication ceremony for a statue heralding the proud service of our horse-mounted soldiers.
A statue honoring soldiers who served in Afghanistan on horseback was rededicated Friday at the World Trade Center site. The 16-foot-tall Special Operations Horse Soldiers statue, located on Greenwich Street near the Path Station, commemorates when U.S. Special Operations team members rode horses into combat during the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Riding with and advising Northern Alliance warlords fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda on steep terrain in Northern Afghanistan, it was the first time U.S. troops rode horses in a military operation since 1942.
“Having the terrorist attacks here, bringing this back home, it’s priceless, words can’t describe the pride and honor we all feel,” said U.S. Army “Horse Soldier” Master Sergeant Michael Elmore.
“Only one had ever been on a horse in his life. He is a no kidding cowboy. The other men had never been on a horse. In the spirit of great Special Forces guys they adapted and began to conduct a horse-mounted operation with their Afghan counterparts,” said Special Operations Deputy Commanding General Lieutenant General John Mulholland Jr.
The statue was made possible by private donations, with $750,000 raised in six weeks.
“Mulholland and his guys would never ask for anything and that’s the beauty of it. They’re the quiet professionals so we wanted to do something to recognize them and all those who went and served to fight the battle of 9/11,” said Constellations Group CEO Bill White.
“The message is that military service to your country is an honorable thing,” said Sculptor Douwe Blumberg.
Among those on hand for the ceremony was Johnny Spann, whose son Mike was the first American to die during the invasion while working with the CIA.
“Hopefully the dedication of this Horse Soldier Monument will make people more aware and maybe they will get interested in reading about it or whatever. It’s a part of our history, and it’s important people know exactly what took place,” Spann said.
The statue was first dedicated by Vice President Joe Biden on Veteran’s Day.
During the debate, Obama also noted that he’d been at Ground Zero. Apparently he paid no attention to the statue there. Or perhaps he walked by it and just laughed at how preposterous he thought it was—just like he did in the debate.
It’s even odder to know that celebrity-obsessed Obama didn’t know about the horse soldiers because Hollywood knows. According to a special report at the Daily Caller, “Secret Mission: The Horse Soldiers of 9/11,” “producer Jerry Bruckheimer is producing a future movie about America’s ‘Horse Soldiers.’”
The Daily Caller story begins:
It was the news the world breathlessly waited for immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks: a report of the first American troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
All at once the world’s attention focused on an iconic photo of those Special Operations Forces doing something no American military had done in nearly a century: They rode horses into combat.
Their secret mission: secure northern Afghanistan by advising the warring tribal factions that formed the Northern Alliance. During the 2011 Veterans Day Parade on November 11, a new monument to these men — and to all Americans in uniform — made its way down New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue on the way to its final home, a stone’s throw from Ground Zero.
What a fascinating, uplifting story. One that our President should never belittle with derision dripping from his lips to score political points. In trying to make Romney look small, he mocked our heroes.
And in doing so, he proved he is a very small man with a large ignorance of military equipment.
(hat tip to @LifeOnAHorse for alerting me to the statue story. Follow the retired Navy man. And thanks to @MissSaraEliza for alerting me to the Daily Caller story.)
The rocky terrain found in remote areas of Afghanistan isn’t easy to traverse, even by jeep. Native horses become a mode of transportation. Pack animals, especially donkeys, also become familiar partners. For some of America’s elite troops, however, knowledge of horses and their four-legged relatives isn’t familiar territory. The first time they actually halter a horse, saddle it and ride it may be at Smith Lake Stables.
“That’s why the only horses we get, that the government buys, are what we call dead broke,” Rossignol says. “We can’t afford to have anyone get hurt.”
But there’s more to it than just learning about tacking up and riding a horse, Rossignol says. The troops also learn herd management and how to treat common equine health issues affecting equines.
“We teach them about anatomy and basic vet care,” he says. “That’s because many times these troops are working with the local people.”
That’s one side of the Special Forces that isn’t often seen by the Americans at home. In order to establish a good rapport with an agrarian or nomadic society, a Special Forces member might offer to help care for sick or injured animals owned by local peoples. It’s all part of spreading goodwill.
Yet despite the benefits of maintaining a select group of horses for military training, the horses associated with Fort Bragg have faced some budget cuts. Land originally used for pasture was deemed too valuable for grazing, and horses were moved from the actual military base to their current home at Smith Lake Stables, a few miles away.
There the moderator sits. A member of the Gang of 500, the Washington journocrats, The Journocracy, appointed to their role by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Oh, the prestige, the honor, the gleeful stab at those who have held them in lesser esteem.
As the debate begins, most moderators believe they will be fair and impartial. But as time rolls on, the moderator’s irrepressible bias slowly emerges.
See, speaking now is the candidate for whom the journalist has a natural affinity. It’s okay if they let the guy ramble on, they think. Using the “my primary duty is to be a facilitator” excuse, they can generously permit the guy to fully explain his position and make a few attacks on the opposition.
But then it’s the other guy’s turn. Ugh, thinks the moderator, some of his positions are just untenable. How can anyone fall for this baloney?
In a normal interview, the journalist would rake the guy over the coals with a passel of hard-nosed questions. But here on the debate stage, the journalist-as-moderator must foster an appearance of a balanced approach. So they begin tensing up, hoping the guy will shut up soon.
Just as we try to watch Sunday morning news shows with an open mind, the other side’s talking points are often like nails on a chalkboard, rife with so many lies, distortions, naivete and meaningless babble. We just want to scream at the stupidity, tell them a thing or two, or change the channel if it becomes too inane to handle.
But journalist-moderator is stuck there on stage, having to smile and listen to stuff they dislike. Sooner or later, they interrupt. They can’t help it. “All right, all right, I think we’ve got that. Now let’s hear the better side.”
Then when their secretly preferred guys speaks, it’s like a soothing balm. Ah, yes. There’s the logic that America needs to hear, they think as their guy goes over the time limit and beyond. The moderator thinks it would be impolite to interrupt while he is on such a roll. The moderator knows where the candidate’s rambling point is leading and will, with cheerful, hearty forbearance, give him a chance to get there—or perhaps sneak in a little prompting word or two to refocus him on the proper argument if he gets lost.
[Recall when Jim Lehrer rescued a momentarily stumped Obama with the key word "balanced," to which Obama looked grateful and spilled out his stump speech on "balanced approach."]
If the other guy attempts to break in or complain, they get the stink eye the first time and then the verbal rebuke the next.
When it’s finally wrong guy’s turn to speak, again with the grating wrong arguments, the moderator feels they are doing the audience a favor by ending such babble. Surely everyone else must feel the same need to cut him short. But to be generous, the moderator permits a few more seconds, endures it all just a tad more to show how reasonable and balanced they are. And then smack! “Let’s move on.”
Yet, there’s an inherent flaw that goes beyond the impatience the liberal journalist will have for the conservative candidate: The seasoned journalist covers politics daily and has heard much of this information before, but many in the television audience are just now tuning in, and most of it is rather new to them.
By not giving equal time, by constantly interrupting one but not the other, is to give the other side a clear advantage. Time is money. If a candidate were to buy four minutes of national wall-to-wall channel television ad time, just how much would it cost them? This may be the only shot a candidate gets to connect with the audience.
The moderators need to get back to benign moderating. If journalists feel incapable of doing it without putting their stamp on it, let’s have non-journalists do it. How about a business man? Or a housewife? Someone who will just moderate and get out of the way and be fair about it.
If the Commission on Presidential Debates had clocks running showing the audience and the candidates the amount of time they are getting, the moderators would have a much better guide than their internal tolerance clocks to ration out the critical time allotted to each candidate to make his case to the American public.
A new movie has hit select theaters, but you can see the movie now—either on DVD or through live streaming to your TV from Amazon or Video on Demand.
The movie: Occupy Unmasked. An expose on the Occupy Wall Street movement and mindset. A short summary of the film from the OccupyUnmasked.com website reads:
While the Liberal establishment and mainstream media portray the Occupy Wall Street movement as organic and nonviolent, Occupy Unmasked reveals the sinister, organized, and highly orchestrated nature of its leaders and their number one goal: Not just to change government, but to destroy it.
Led by hugely influential conservative visionary, the late Andrew Breitbart, Occupy Unmasked delves deep beneath the surface of the Occupy movement to show its dark anarchist roots. Behind the largely naïve students and legitimately concerned citizens looking for answers stand those who advocate the use of violence, black bloc operations, and intimidation as protest tactics – the same tactics they used during the anti-war protests of the 1960′s, anti-nuclear weapons protests of the 80′s, WTO protests of the 90′s, and the IMF protests of recent years.
Take a look at the Occupy Unmasked movie trailer:
From the tidbits I’ve seen and all I’ve heard, this is quite an eye-opening look at this chaotic movement, and one that needs to be seen by anyone who supports or holds romantic notions about Occupy Wall Street. (I’ll post my review later once I resolve my technical streaming issues and can finally view the film. I’m very excited to see it.)
Another good reason to support this movie: It’s a production of Citizens United. Yes, that Citizens United. The one that won the US Supreme Court free political speech case that President Barack Obama used to scold SCOTUS court justices at his State of the Union and whose efforts drive liberals into a frothing tizzy.
Back in 2009, the satire website The Onion did a spoof on how the media avoided doing any negative story on Barack Obama. Ann Coultertweeted a link to it yesterday (with no mention of it being three years old), and it just goes to show how the media has, if anything, grown more protective of him—especially in the wake of the AlQaeda murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens on 9/11 2012.
WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.
“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”
Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”
Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.
“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”
“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”
So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.
While Obama has expressed no remorse for the grisly murders—point-blank shootings with an unregistered .38-caliber revolver—many journalists said it would be irresponsible for the press to sensationalize the story.
“There’s been some debate around the office about whether we should report on this at all,” Washington Post seniorreporter Bill Tracy said while on assignment at a local dog show. “It’s enough of a tragedy without the press jumping in and pointing fingers or, worse, exploiting the violence. Plus, we need to be sensitive to the victims’ families at this time. Their loved ones were brutally, brutally murdered, after all.”
Since the media enjoy special protections, get unique access to people and places from which the hoi polloi are excluded, I’d suggest a professional oath of objectivity. But would that be the thing that would finally make them shape up and do their jobs properly? No. Our President, Congress and cabinet members take a loyalty oath to protect and defend the Constitution—the foremost priority of their jobs—and they often ignore that pledge, with no penalty. Oaths don’t seem to mean much anymore.
Plus the profession already has a code of ethics. Take a look at it. It is laughable (cry-able?) how few of the mainstream media political reporters actually abide by a tenth of these simple Society of Professional Journalists rules.
If you weren’t watching the 2012 Republican National Convention before it came on network television at 10pm on Thursday night, you missed some marvelous testimonials about Mitt Romney, the person. I hesitate to describe them because my words cannot do the content justice.
They are all relatively short, especially when considering your vote will last for four long years. It’s worth taking a moment to get to know Mitt Romney.
First, there’s the humbling tale of Pat and Ted Oparowski and their young son David’s terminal illness:
Second, there’s the moving testimonial of Pam Finlayson, a former member of Romney’s church:
Finally, there’s the video compilation of home movies and more testimonials to Romney’s life and career:
Pass the word. Share the videos with the ambivalent. Ask them to give Mitt Romney a chance.
Amazingly, the people who side with PETA and express smirking outrage over Mitt Romney putting a dog on the roof of his car think it’s hilarious to torture and humiliate a poor orange tabby cat.
In a nonsensical video to promote the host city of the Democratic National Convention, the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee hauled a distressed cat around town to awkwardly pose it in front of Charlotte landmarks with references to cats. The banality of it all is criminal enough, but look at the abuse they inflict on the animal.
The creature is obviously miserable throughout, seeking a getaway when not being manhandled and shoved into the video frame, legs akimbo. Good thing it didn’t sprint into traffic or leap into the path of the oncoming train. Look at its pitiful face in the final frame where one eye twitches and the Committee thinks looks like a wink. It’s not.
If this were a real movie, it is highly doubtful that the American Humane Association would sign off on the treatment of the animal during the making of the movie.
Shame on the DNC. Someone needs to rescue poor Fernando from their inhumane clutches.
A Prudence Paine wire service photographer managed to score a coveted ticket to see the new Romney-Ryan ticket up close and personal as their enthusiastic tour swings through the North Carolina Piedmont area.
Here the unexpectedly huge crowd queues up early in High Point, a city that was once the pinnacle of American furniture craftsmanship and other manufacturing industries. Today, many of its long-heralded companies, factories and stores are closed. The economy is decimated. The people are struggling to survive.
This is a crowd hungry for economic leadership, for a revival in American manufacturing, for simple pride in America.
The media likes to claim that Romney and Ryan are just for rich people. Look at all the rich people that poured into town to hear him speak:
The Absolute Style Furniture factory showroom could only hold 500 people (according to unofficial information given to our reporter), but thousands arrived, wanting to check out the new guy on the ticket…
A small gaggle of protesters turned up as well.
But the crowd was all smiles for the High Point police. No pepper spray was even needed on the protesters!
Once the crowd gets indoors, and into an overflow room, they discover it’s not much cooler indoors. But, as our reporter reports, everyone is feeling very patriotic being there.
NOTE: More pictures are coming in. Live-photo blogging it here.
As the heat inside built, so did the anticipation of seeing the candidates. Even the Secret Service guys were smiling.
As the main room was filled to capacity and the overflow rooms were getting packed, the crowd kept streaming in. The invitations has noted that people could not bring liquids to the event. Unfortunately, that made everyone rather parched after waiting for several hours to get into an oven-hot room.
The crowd grew so large that the small building couldn’t hold them all in one location, so many are moved into the company’s showrooms where they can view the rally on television screens. Yet the crowd remains cheerful, and your PrudencePaine.com wire reporter reports that “Everyone is sweating like hell but happy laughing and don’t seem to care. Secret service guys are friendly!!!”
Our reporter reported that the crowd at the furniture factory rally was primarily middle-aged, about 35 years old and up mostly. LegalInsurrection readers report that many of the crowd were women. This couple was representing the younger set.
The crowd was filled with many people who are already Romney and Ryan fans, and convention hats are already coming out of the mothballs. Paul Ryan told a reporter that he had Nirvana on his iPod. This hat smells like campaign spirit.
When the Romney-Ryan campaign arrived at the Absolute Style Furniture factory, they came in two official tour buses, with a few other assorted buses for press and others.
It’s interesting that the buses have different emphases in their messaging. This must be the Populist bus: “The Romney Plan: For a Stronger Middle Class” and “More Jobs. More Take-Home Pay.”
And this must be the Patriotic bus: “Believe in America.”
Electricity runs through the crowd when the Secret Service escorts arrive to lead the candidates into the factory.
And then the candidates take time to pass by the crowds that haven’t made it inside. (Squint hard! They’re at the back of the police car in this shot.
And then they head inside, where they thrill the people in the two overflow rooms with a brief visit of three minutes or so before heading into the main room to start the rally.
Our reporter reports that by the time the rally began, the heat and dehydration had gotten to a few patriots, as word spread through the crowd that as many as four people had fainted. (Or perhaps they were simply overcome with tingling for a balanced budget.)
For that many people to turn out in the depressed town of High Point, North Carolina, on such short notice, shows that Mitt Romney has indeed injected his ticket with lots of hope for change. The right kind of change. Toward fiscal responsibility. Who knew such a thing would ever turn out a crowd like that?
The Daily Caller is reporting that over 10,000 people turned out for the High Point rally, with 1,200 gaining entry to the event, and an estimated additional 10,000 crowding along the street outside the building. The AP (typically no friend to Republican candidates) seems to back that up, albeit with different numbers of people in the various locations:
Thousands came to see the GOP ticket at a furniture company in High Point, N.C., on Sunday near Greensboro. About 1,500 waited — some more than five hours — in a cavernous warehouse with struggling air conditioning, while 2,000 packed into a cleared-out furniture showroom where the air was sticky and heavy. Thousands more stood behind barriers erected on the street outside — Romney and Ryan stopped on their way in to give high fives to a few in the cheering crowd.
A bit about Absolute Style: It is a “minority-owned” business, in that its owner is a woman, Melanie McNamara. In May, the local Business Journal noted that it was adding five to six jobs to its 28-person workforce, and they had already received 200 applications. That illustrates the dire situation of the High Point furniture industry, and how small businesses willing to take chance are going to be the key to getting this economy back on track.