“Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

It’s not very often I find myself as an Irishman quoting Oliver Cromwell, but the latest revelations on Donald Trump’s relationships with and views on Women give me no choice. I am a firm believer in the party system, and believe that true debate of ideas and polices make the eventual winner of an election a better one as they have been tried and tested.

In the US Presidential Election this year there is no true debate. One side have detailed policies and ideas of the future, the other feeds off the anger of those left behind, both economically and socially, but has no true plan to fix what ails them.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)
Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

In the past I have supported (from afar) candidates from both major parties in the United States. This year, I have made no secret of my support of Hillary Clinton and now I feel that if this election is to be a true election, with debate on ideas and policies then Donald Trump must resign as the Republican Nominee for President and be replaced with a candidate with true conservative credentials and the ability to lead the country. Whether that is his running mate Governor Mike Pence or another Republican such as Speaker Paul Ryan that is an issue for the Republican National Committee.

Mr Trump has proven time and again that he does not have the temperament or the ability to lead a country. He has maligned Women, Immigrants, the Disabled and Muslims. He has continued his candidacy through events which would have felled better men, but as he knows no humility and has surrounded himself with ‘Yes Men’ he has continued his campaign.

Mr Trump’s comments about women in the Hot Mic episode is a description of Sexual Assault. Nothing else. It is not locker room banter. It is not excusable for any man, whether a “star” or not to treat a women in the way Mr Trump describes.

America deserves better than Mr Trump. America deserves a debate on its futures and the ideals its holds dear. America deserves a better candidate for the President then the current Republican Nominee. America deserves a real apology from Mr Trump, not an apology that turns political by drawing in President Bill Clinton. That is not a true and real apology.

With less than a month to the Election Day on November 8th and Early Voting begun in a number of states, a solution is needed urgently. Mr Trump if he has any humility would resign as the nominee and withdraw from politics. I for one do not see Mr Trump displaying that type of humility, or humility in any form. He has failed to do so throughout this campaign.

All this brings to mind another quote, one from Joseph Welch in response in Senator McCarthy during the Army hearings. “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

I fear that along with humility, Donald Trump does not have any decency and it would be a tragic day for America were he to be elected to the highest office in the United States of America.

US Election 2012: Election Nerds Unite!

So tonight’s the night that hundreds of political hacks, opinion makers and general election nerds all over the world, stay up or get up early to see what happens in an election that they have no influence over, but arguable has the most effect on them outside of their own national elections, the US Presidential Election. So whats the story?

Well if you haven’t taken a nap, I hope you have tomorrow off because it will be a long night. The first polls begin to close at 2300 GMT in Kentucky and Indiana and the last poll closes at 0500 GMT (Wed) in Alaska.

But these arent the important ones. The battle ground states polls close as follows:

  • Virgina 0000 GMT
  • North Carolina 0030 GMT
  • Ohio 0030 GMT
  • Florida 0100 GMT
  • New Hampshire 0100 GMT
  • Pennsylvania 0100 GMT
  • Colorado 0200 GMT
  • Wisconsin 0200 GMT
  • Iowa 0300 GMT
  • Nevada 0300 GMT

Each state should be called based on exit polls and early results soon after.  So we should have an idea who will win between 0300 and 0500, as I said it will be a long night.

Is it just about Obama, Romney, the popular vote and the electoral college (there is a lot written about those elsewhere so I wont bother). Well it mainly is but there is plenty else going on 11 State Governors, 33 Senate Seats and all of the 435 seats in House of Representatives.

Some interesting races here to watch including can Scott Brown hold his Senate seat from Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Will Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana two Republicans who made bad statements on rape manage to get elected? Will Tammy Baldwin a Democrat in Wisconsin become the first open Lesbian in the Senate? Connecticut too has an interesting race with Linda McMahon (yes her from the wrestling) trying to win a seat and has spent a lot of her own money. It is highly unlikely that the Republicans will gain control of the senate, but will Democrats increase their control? Also will Maine elect independent candidate and former Governor Angus King?

In the House it is expected that the Republicans will retain control, but will Michelle Bachmann retain her seat in the Minnesota 6th? The Californian 30th, 31st and 44th  are also interesting thanks to redistricting and Open Primaries. The 30th sees two incumbent Democrats, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman battle it out. The 31st sees Republican Incumbent Gary Miller take on a Republican challenger Bob Dutton. While the 44th again sees two Democratic Incumbents Laura Richardson and Janice Hahn fight for a seat

In terms of ballot measures, four states are voting on Marriage Equality. Maine, Maryland and Washington are voting to allow Marriage Equality while Minnesota is voting on the definition of  Marriage (between a Man and a Woman).  Arkansas is voting on Medical Marijuana and Colorado, Oregan and Washington is voting on legalising it, while Montana is voting on banning Medical Marijuana. California is voting to ban the Death Penalty and to Increase Taxes to pay for education. Florida is voting to Limit Obamacare (as is Montana and Wyoming) and also on limiting public funds to abortion.

A long but interesting night ahead, and one which will show how Americans are moving on some interesting questions. Enjoy fellow elections nerds!

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Santorum’s Out

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Republican presidenti...

The Race for the Republican Presidential Nomination just became easier as Rick Santorum has pulled out of the race this evening.

Santorum who was trailing Mitt Romney in the Delegate race for the nomination phoned Romney before making the announcement.

“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,”

After the announcement Mitt Romney issued a statement

“Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran,” Mr. Romney said. “He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

The road to the convention in Tampa now looks clear for Mr Romney for the nomination setting it for a clear race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the Autumn.

Time for Republicans to come together?

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04:  Republican candi...
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 04: Republican candidate for president US Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) is seen on a television screen during a caucus night party for Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the Red Rock Casino February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to early results, Romney defeated former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to win the Nevada caucus. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

There has been many calls over the last number of months for US Republican Presidential hopefuls to drop out of the race for the Nomination. With Mitt Romney reaching half the number of delegates required for the nomination, pressure on Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to pull out of the race is growing.

Last night Mitt Romney won the primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin and Washington DC. Now Romney has carried 18 states compared to Santorum’s 11 and Gingrich’s 2. Ron Paul has yet to win a state.

None of the candidates seem set to pull out. Rick Santorum will more then likely re-asses this if he does lose his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24th. He is hoping to get enough delegates to prevent Mitt Romney from gaining the nomination on the first ballot in Tampa in August.

Gingrich and Paul still say they will go to the convention, but with a growing number of senior of Republicans calling on them to bow out, they may eventually follow that advice.

With major primaries coming up on April 24th in Connecticut (28), Delaware (17), New York (92), Pennsylvania (72) and Rhode Island (16) could of course change how many of the candidates will continue to the convention.

The current delegate standings are (1,144 to win) according to AP/Google:

  • Romney, Mitt 655
  • Santorum, Rick 278
  • Gingrich, Newt 135
  • Paul, Ron 51

Barack Obama is beginning to treat Mitt Romney as his opponent as he has criticised him in a speech last night, while Romney ignored the other Republican candidates in his victory speech focusing on Obama’s record in office, this could be a sign of things to come.

Also last night Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination as he has 2,854 delegates which is more then the 2,778 needed to win the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

US Midterm Predictions

Citizens registered as an Independent, Democra...
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As promised yesterday, here are some predictions for the US Midterms.

Senate

In the senate the Republicans need to win 10 seats to gain control of senate. I think they will pick up 12 seats including: Nevada, Florida and Illinois. I think Fiorina will just lose out to Boxer in California, but I am hoping to be wrong on that one!

House

In the House I think the Republicans will end up with between 225 and 235 seats. This could be conservative, but the house is a lot harder to predict.

Govenor

In the various races for the Statehouses, California returning to Democratic control is a foregone conclusion. I think Illinois and Ohio will go Republican. I think Lincoln Chafe (ind) will win in Rhode Island.

Have you any predictions to share?

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US Midterm Elections

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So Tuesday is the first electoral test faced by President Obama, since his election in 2008. That year also saw much celebration by the Democrats as they won many seats in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as a number of state houses. This year that could change. The Republicans look set to win a number of Senate and House seats, this could be because of or despite of the Tea Party.

Senate

There are a number of very interesting Senate races this year. They are mainly in the west. Two that I will be watching closely will be Carly Fiorina’s bid to unseat Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in California. Most of the polling have Boxer retaining her seat, but not by a very wide margin. Most give Ma’am Boxer a margin of between 3 and 8%, so this could be an interesting race.

The other race I will be watching closely will be Senate Majority Leader’s Harry Reid’s attempt to hold his seat against Republican Sharron Angle in Nevada. This is a loss that will be a great victory for the republicans, but if he hangs on, there wont be much for the Republicans to gloat about.

Of couse their are other races to watch. They include the race for Obama’s old seat in Illinois. It looks like that will be a very close one. Republican Mark Kirk looks set to win the seat and defeat the Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, as he has fallen behind in recent polling.

Other races that will be interesting are Florida, West Virgina and Alaska. It will be interesting to see how Christine O’Donnell does in Delaware. The big question here is, will Republicans get a majority? I think they will get a bare majority of 51 to 49.

House

The US House of Representatives is always interesting as the entire house is up for re-election. Here there is set to be a big change. The current state of play is the Democrats have 256 seats and the Republicans have 179. The Republicans need to gain 39 seats to gain control. Most forecast have them winning 40-60 seats so it is expected to see a good few seats change hands. And of course the results of this election will give us a better view of Democratic’s position across the country.

Some of the races to watch are Arkansas’s 1st District, Delaware’s At-Large District, Florida’s 2nd, 8th and 22nd Districts and Idaho’s 1st District.

Governors

39 state governorships are up for grabs also on Tuesday. A few of these are very interesting. In Rhode Island, independent Lincoln Chafee is leading the race to become senator. He was a former Republican senator but endorsed Obama in 2008 and this has led to an interesting race.

In Vermont, Republican Brian Dubie and Democrat Peter Shumlin are in a close battle for the Governorship. In current polling there is a 1% gap!

In Florida, Democrat and Chief Finance Officer of Florida, Alex Sink is locked in battle with Republican and Health Care Activist Rick Scott. In some polls there is no difference between them!

Other states that will be interesting to watch include Obama’s home state of Illinois, where the Republicans could gain. Other states I will be watching Ohio, Oregon and Minnesota.

So I will be getting up early on Wednesday morning (as I have work) to catch up with what has happened and see how it may pan out. Should I make predictions? Maybe tomorrow!

Have you got any tips before I make them?

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Shock: A Politician that wants to be fired?

Seal of Cheboygan County, MichiganImage via Wikipedia

Yes, you read that right, A Politician that wants to be fired. A rare thing? Well I have found one in Cheboygan County in Michigan, USA. His name is Dennis Lennox a Republican from Topinabee. He was elected as a County Drain Commissioner. Why does he want to be fired? He has nothing to do.

“There is nothing for the drain commissioner to do in Cheboygan County except waste taxpayer money,” said Lennox, who defeated a two-term Democratic incumbent in November on a platform of reforming local government and abolishing the office. “We simply don’t need a drain commissioner — we don’t have any drains for the office to oversee and manage.”

Michigan law mandates the election of drain commissioners in counties with a population over 12,000. In smaller counties, the office can be abolished with statutory duties, responsibilities, obligations and requirements devolved to the county’s road commission.

Under Lennox’s proposal, the population exemption would be boosted to 35,000 — allowing rural, cash-strapped counties to save taxpayers money and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. Something every level of Government should be doing.

“Taxpayers deserve public servants who will put their constituents ahead of themselves,” said Lennox. “This proposal is a commonsense reform that saves money and makes government more efficient.”

Senator Jason Allen (R-Traverse City) and Representative Kevin Elsenheimer (R-Kewadin) have both committed to drafting and introducing legislation, and it’s hoped that Representative Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard) — whose district includes part of Cheboygan County — will support the proposal.

The Board of Commissioners will meet on Wednesday to discuss the proposal. The text of the proposal is as follows

WHEREAS, Section 280.21 of Public Act 40 of 1956, commonly known as the Michigan Drain Code, requires a County Drain Commissioner be elected in counties with a population over 12,000, as determined by the last United States decennial census.

WHEREAS, many counties having population in excess of 12,000 may find it more expedient, economical and in the best public interest to have the duties of the County Drain Commissioner vested in the Board of County Road Commissioners.

WHEREAS, because of the population quota of 12,000 here in before mentioned, certain counties, including the County of Cheboygan, are electing County Drain Commissioners only because of said statutory regulations.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners request for the third time since 1955, that the Michigan Legislature amend said section of Public Act 40 of 1956 to allow counties under 35,000, as determined by the United States decennial census, to abolish the office of County Drain Commissioner and transfer statutory duties and responsibilities to the Board of County Road Commissioners if the duly registered electors vote in the affirmative in a general election.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners hereby requests its legislators, Senator Jason Allen and Representatives Kevin Elsenheimer and Gary McDowell, to introduce the legislation providing for such amendment.

I wonder how many positions we can do without in Ireland? I also wonder how many would put themseleves forward to be fired like that? I know the Junior Ministers kind of did, but they didn’t put forward an actual proposal, they just mentioned the idea..

Best of luck to Dennis. Check out his website firedennis.com to keep up with developements and media coverage.

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