The current primary system is ridiculous. Every year it seems the voting starts sooner and sooner because certain states want to be first. These are traditionally Iowa and New Hampshire. Still, other states who are jealous a looking to hop them. The Primaries were supposed to start on Feb 6th with Iowa until FL tried hopping the processing by holding their primary on Jan. 30th. Thus Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina had to hop back in front of them and voting happens in Iowa on January 3rd. Here is my idea to solve this problem.
Divide the states into 5 regions. I have divided the states as seen below
Some of the states don’t fit their typical region name, most notable probably is Nebraska which is never called “Southwest” but the lines were drawn the way they were in order to get 10 states in each region.
So instead of the way the current system works, each election one of the 5 regions would have the honor of being the first to vote. I did a random draw and came with the following order: Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, West, Midwest.
The nomination voting would begin on the first Tuesday in February and only 1 state would be voting that day. In the example here to Southwest would be the representative and a state randomly chosen within that region would be 1st. In my test case Arkansas won that random selection as they would be the 1st in the nation. Two weeks later states from regions 2-4 would have a state vote, in this test case West Virginia from the Southeast, New Hampshire from the Northeast and California from the West. One week after than another 3 states (CO, IN, WI). One week later, 3 more states (NM, FL, RI). So within 1 month we have completed phase 1 where 10 states have voted, 2 from each region.
After phase one is phase 2 where every 2 weeks there are 10 primaries, 2 from each region. After these 8 weeks all 50 states will have voted. 1 week later DC and all other nomination territories vote (ie. Puerto Rico, Guam).
Under this method there is fairness and the process does not get stale. Both large and small, swing and non-swing, rural and urban states get a say. It does favor the smaller states since there is more of them, but this good as smaller states typically have more retail politics.
So lets scrap the current system and use this one or a tweak of this one.
Mitt Romney 1/1- Its been a bad 10 days for Mitt. He looked horrible with Brent Baier. Cain drops out. Still the favorite but its not inevitable anymore (pvs 2/5)
Newt Gingrinch 2/1- Whenever I declare a candidate dead (and basically everyone else too) go but him on the intrade market. The flavor of the month is Newt and I believe he has staying power. (pvs 10/1)
Rick Perry 8/1- Perry seems to have righted the blunder ship with a witty ad poking at himself. Too bad its most likely too little too late. (pvs 6/1)
Jon Huntsman 8/1- Huntsman is finally getting in his groove, but he made some big mistakes early running away from his conservative record. As they say, you never have a second chance to make a first impression. (pvs 20/1)
Ron Paul 20/1- The Chic thing to do is say Paul can win Iowa. I don’t think so and even if he does, so what. Mitt should be thanking Paul for taking 15% of the vote out of play so that he only needs to get 40% (pvs 20/1)
Rick Santorum 30/1- Traditional campaign politics may be dead. (pvs 25/1)
Michelle Bachmann 50/1- She claims she has yet to have a gaffe. I am not joking. (pvs 30/1)
Dropped Out: Herman Cain
I am a proud alum of Rochester Institute of Technology. At RIT, hockey is king and we just moved to Division 1 in 2005, after being a D3 powerhouse. My friend and I decided to travel down to the game at Cornell about two hours away. It’s a classic hockey rink that holds about 4,000 people and has a low ceiling that makes the arena very loud. About half of the arena is the student section and the whole thing was packed.
The key is where I bought my tickets. If I would have bought them at RIT, we would have been placed in the RIT area, about half a section. Instead I got them on the Cornell web site, sitting right behind the Cornell goalie 2 periods, only one section away from the end of the student section among a sea of red. We were the only RIT fans on that side of the arena.
Being surrounded by this mob emboldened me to be as loud for RIT as I could be, who was a heavy underdog as a new D1 team vs consistently one of the best D1 hockey teams. Quickly Cornell scored and the fans all point at the RIT goalie and say the following “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, sieve, sieve, sieve, sieve, It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!” The scored again and Cornell is quickly up 2-0.
Clearly I am a little discouraged by what is happening. Then RIT scores! The entire rink goes silent as often happens and we are ecstatic. We quickly then use the same cheer against their goalie. Being right behind the goalie he heard us. The crowd was having none of it though. The students and then everyone else around us, probably about ¼ of the rink is pointing at us and they chant “These guys suck!”So that is my favorite live sporting event. They say that Lynah rink is one of the best places to see a college hockey game and I agree 100%. The place is electric and loud.And I really liked being thrown in with the Big Red fans. The best pro sporting event I was at was the famous Bug Game between the Yankees and Indians in 2007 ALDS and the energy as this game was bigger than that for an early regular season game. RIT lost the game but they played well against a much better team. It would be a sign of good things to come as RIT went to the Frozen Four in 2010, the 1st Atlantic Hockey conference team to do so in only their 5th year as a Division 1 Hockey program.
I realize that not everyone following this blog knows exactly where we are in the process and what are the scenarios for who wins the nomination and how quickly that happens. I will not go through all the rises and falls by the candidates thus far, only where everything stands from this point forward.
The GOP Nomination has set up to be a race between two people. Mitt Romney and an alternative to Mitt Romney. We have spent this entire year trying to find who that alternative to Mitt will be, and we still are not certain who that will be. Currently the alternative seems to be Newt Gingrich. The problem is every month or so that alternative seems to be a certain person and then that person is knocked down for one reason or another.
All of this positioning is being done before the Iowa caucus, which occurs on January 3rd. The voters of Iowa can choose an alternative or they can choose Mitt. If they choose Mitt, Mitt will win the Primary in New Hampshire with ease and will coast to the GOP nomination and the GOP. If another candidate wins, that person will be viewed as the contender against Romney to his right. Every candidate except Mitt Romney needs to someone else other than Romney to win in order to have a chance at the nomination.
So if Mitt wins Iowa it’s a quick race. If not, there are three contenders in New Hampshire. Mitt is the favorite right now in New Hampshire, but whoever wins Iowa will try to take the momentum into New Hampshire and cut into that Mitt lead. Also Jon Huntsman is biting Mitt’s ankles right now planted his whole campaign in New Hampshire and hopes for a miracle win there. Whoever finishes 3rd there is done.
Then we go to South Carolina and this state will most likely tell you for sure who will win the nomination. If the perception is that the NH and SC races were draws or close to it, then the Florida primary will clean up all the details. If Florida doesn’t clean everything up, we are in for a very long process. In this case, its all about delegate math like we saw in the democratic primary in 2008. If it looks like we are going this way I will comment on it then.
Who Ought to Win
Steve Jobs- If Jobs won it would be a lifetime achievement award of sorts. Biggest inventor probably since Edison died this year. Changed how the world works. The iTunes changed how we listen to music. The iTunes store changed how we buy it. The iPhone ushered in the Smartphone era. The iPad could end up being the swiss army knife of the 21st century. Not to mention other things such as the apple store business model, the Apple II, Pixar and my mac fanboys will point out even more.
Other Good Choices
Arab Youth Protesters- Through social media the Arab youth has taken down dictators who have been in power for decades. This would be a solid pick.
Gabrielle Giffords- Dem. Congresswoman who was shot in the head by an assassin and survived. And amazing story of hope. The Sully Sullenburger pick of this year.
Angela Merkel- The rock of a leader in Germany as all the winds and waves happen in the economy.
Barack Obama- The POTUS always is near the top of this list. Rightfully So. The Killing of Osama bin Laden makes him a serious contender alone.
Seal Team 6- They successfully killed Osama bin Laden. Nuff Said.
Not a joke, but No Chance
Silvio Berlusconi- A horrible leader that does help sum up the horrors of the financial problems in Europe.
Eric Cantor- The face of the GOP opposition to Obama. Young, smart and in leadership. Kinda half Boehner, half Ryan
Hillary Clinton- Doing a great Job as Secretary of State, but no real reason for her to get the nod.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan- Leader in the middle east. Needs to make the list but can’t win.
Mike Mullen- Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs. Big player in US military policy. Bigger choices though if your going to go this way.
Rupert Murdoch- Media Mogul with a huge wire tapping scandal.
Mitt Romney- The GOP frontrunner and the only serious looking contender for the GOP nod. Can he seal the deal?
Paul Ryan- Policy Wonk helping to shape the GOP Opposition against Obama.
Ai Weiwei- Never heard of this guy but he is an artist fighting for democratic reform in Beijing, China.
Anonymous- I did not know about this hacking group. An interesting influence they had but not a serious candidate for person of the year.
Warren Buffett- Obama pushes the “Warren Buffett Rule” and he gets consideration, I do think so. If you want to pay more taxes send a check Warren.
Fukushima 50- The meltdown in Japan was huge, but this aint the right frame to win Time POY.
Kate middleton- British Royality that I also put in the next category up but that didn’t seem right to Cantor and Clinton
Nicolas Sarkozy- Kinda the #2 to Angela Merkel
Charlie Sheen- Winning??? Heck No!
Elizabeth Warren- Smart woman facing scott Brown for Senate Seat. Very interesting race mut not a serious POY nominee.
Are you kidding me??
The 1%- The top wage earners aren’t doing anything new. And I am personally sick of hearing about how they are so much more evil today than before.
The 99%- Thanks Occupy Wall Street. Lets not divide ourselves in this way. Also, about 66% of the people don’t like ya, so at most your like 20%
Casey Anthony- This is the first time she gets mentioned on the blog. And the last. This story shows everything I hate about American tabloid journalism
Michelle Bachmann- Maybe if the POY is based off the Iowa Straw poll in August.
Herman Cain- A Tea Party flavor of the Week who never had a serious chance at the GOP nomination.
Reed Hastings- CEO of Netfix. So he backtracks on a stupid business decision and makes the list? You gotta be kidding me
Kim Kardashian- Who would be a worse pick, her or Casey Anthony. Crap, I mentioned Casey Anthony again.
Lionel Messi- Soccer Player, not a world cup year. No way.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn- Scandal clad IMF Fund chief. Case became more shaky as time went on.
I have stayed away from the Conrad Murray case. First off I hate this kind of news and I generally avoid it. But alas, the news even fell into my world yesterday as it started off “Hardball” on MSNBC and I caught some of the coverage on Piers Morgan Tonight. The people who came on that show to gloat about how Justice was served and spoke about Michael Jackson’s legacy. Piers asked one of the people what was Michaels Jackson’s number one legacy. The person said, its not the dancer or the singer but his amazing children and how great a father he was.
Let me state the Michael Jackson legacy clearly. He is a freak who was one of the most talented pop stars of the modern age. He was NOT a great father. He took his baby and held him (or her) over a 2nd story ledge. Seeing him do any interview was just bizarre. He paid this Conrad Murray a ton of money to give him the medical cocktail. Most of the blame rest on Michael himself. Conrad is no hero, but he clearly had no chance of a fair trial in this case.
So the correct verdict may have been issued in this case. But it left me more than anything with a sick feeling hearing the Michael Jackson lovers talk about Justice and the Michael Jackson legacy. It feels very cult like more than anything.
Mitt Romney 2/5- Could things be going better for Mitt. The frontrunner has women problem and knows nothing. Its holding a legit stalker behind. Meanwhile, Mitt just slowly plods along. Mitt is going to have to have a major screwup in order to lose this one (pvs 4/5)
Rick Perry 6/1- Shades of howard dean? What was that speech in New Hampshire? He is heading the wrong way, but he more than anyone still has the money and team behind him that he could pick up the pieces from the inevitable Cain plunder (pvs 5/1)
Newt Gingrinch 10/1- Newt vary quietly gaining traction and if Perry can’t resurge Newt may very well surge. He still has way too much baggage but what he does have is a brain and that may actually be useful later. (pvs 100/1)
Herman Cain 12/1- His boom has been unexplainable. He leads most the national polls. He still has no chance. When the voters stop flirting with him they will get serious when its time to vote. Not to mention his women problems. (pvs 30/1)
Jon Huntsman 20/1- Huntsman is very smart and a great General Election candidate. Too bad for him he does not fit the ethos of the GOP primary voter. These voters are going heart over head too much to seriously consider him. (pvs 15/1)
Ron Paul 20/1- Will he run as in Independent? Paul could end up being the Barack Obama lifesaver. (pvs 20/1)
Rick Santorum 20/1- Santorum has visited all 99 counties in Iowa. A great juxtaposition is Santorum vs Cain. Santorum has run a great by the book Iowa campaign. Cain has spent almost no time in Iowa. Yet Cain leads in last DMR poll at 23% and Santorum at 5%. (pvs 25/1)Michelle Bachmann 50/1- Chalk up me saying Bachmann was for real in June as horrible commentary. Still, I do know something about politics, trust me!! (pvs 30/1)
Issue 1 is composed of 3 parts. Parts two and three of the constitutional amendment are agree upon as generally good law on both sides. Part one is where the dispute is. Right now Judges must be under 70 when they start their term. The proposed amendment moves that age up to 75. I personally think no maximum age makes sense. I trust in the voters in elected cases and the legislature in appointed cases to ensure that judges are competent to do the job. This goes with my position of fewer limitations on running for office. I oppose term limits and personally don’t even like the minimum age in the constitution for House, Senate and President.
Issue 2 is the issue getting all the attention here in Ohio. It is a referendum on Senate Bill 5. Senate Bill 5 is a law passed to help balance the state budget by changing government union contracts. If you listen to the “no” people on Issue 2, they claim this law makes so that teachers can’t teach, firemen can’t fight fire, police can’t fight crime and nurses can’t help the sick. This is total nonsense. What senate bill 5 does is ask gov’t employees to pay more for their health care and pay more into their own pension. It also makes strides into having teachers onto merit pay.
It’s a real debate if public employees should have to sacrifice a little more. I believe that it does make sense. These people work for the government, and the government is broke. Under senate bill 5, gov’t employees are asked to pay 15% of their health insurance coverage. This is less than half the average amount paid in the private sector. They are also asked to pay 10% of their pensions. In an era where pensions are almost a thing of the past, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the taxpayer is still paying 90% of these pensions.
The last major issue is merit pay. I favor teacher merit pay. When you are able to more closely link performance to pay, you get better performance. I went to intercity public high school. I have had some horrible teachers who ought not be teaching at all. It’s a shame that they are protected by our archaic system. On the other hand, I have had teachers who worked their tail off and were getting paid far less than they deserved. She later left for a private school because of the low pay. It would have been amazing if we could have kept her. I am not saying SB 5 would have kept her, but it takes steps in the right direction.
Senate Bill 5 is not a perfect bill. Legislation almost never is. Still, it is a good bill. It helps gets the states budget problems in order and has good things on teacher reform. Unions, as they usually do are proclaiming this is an end of the world bill. It is not, sure it cuts benefits on public employees. What worries the most the unions the most is that it will lower their power. I care more about the state being economically viable and teachers being paid fairly. I will be voting YES on Issue 2 in order to keep Senate Bill as Law.
Issue 3 is a constitution amendment that makes it illegal for the government to force people to buy health care insurance. I support issue 3. I believe it is wrong to force people to buy something. It’s a good thing if people are covered by health insurance. That way, when they go to the emergency room, it’s not being paid for at the highest rate by taxpayers. Still, forcing people to buy goes the wrong way. The right way is to incentivize buying health care. This could be done through the tax code or otherwise. I am for providing healthcare to the poor (Medicaid) , in particular the children of the poor (SCHIP).
People opposing Issue 3 are makings claims that just aren’t so. Issue 3 has nothing to do with pre-existing. It just insures that no one is forced to buy health insurance. Never before have Americans been forced to by something (do not confuse with paying for privileges, such as car insurance or hunting license).
Parma Council Ward 1
I am supporting the independent incumbent, Mary Buchholz Galinas. She has held office since 2002 and from what I read has done a good job. She is receiving a fight from the Parma Heights son, Bryan Byrne. She is a rare non-democrat in a Democrat controlled town. She is a moderate, and mostly pushing sensible reforms that most people agree with. For example, she was the leader on a law requiring background checks for coaches in rec leagues. Now she is focused on reform in the budget in these tough times.
Parma Board of Education
Karen Dendorfer is a current member of the Parma board of education and seems to be doing a good job and has received multiple awards for her good work. She was endorsed by the Cuyahoga County GOP.
Sean P. Nickelos was put onto the Board two years ago. His focus seems to be cost cutting during this hard time. He was also endorsed by the Cuyahoga County GOP.
So the story broke over the weekend that 2 women accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. They were paid off and signed non-disclosure agreements. Herman Cain today finally said that, yes, they did accuse him and yes, they were paid. He said this only after denying it never happened and ask telling a reporter who asked him about it “Were you ever accused of sexual harassment.” I am taking Cain at his word that he did not do anything that would be considered sexual harassment. Still, the way his campaign handled this crisis is a prime example of why.
The campaign knew this story was coming out 10 days before it did. Instead of getting in front of the story, they were sloppy and behind it the whole time. What they should have done was dumped the story themselves on Friday afternoon. Why then? 1) It’s a holiday weekend. 2) The World Series was that night 3) It avoids all this cover-up that just makes you look stupid. They do that and it’s a minor story. I mean really there is little here. But when the open and frank outside the beltway candidate acts coy and blames the media, it sends all the wrong signals and hurts his brand. If his campaign was professional they would have had a plan on tap for when this happened. Instead they look stupid.
What Cain did in regards to these charges hurts him very little. How he handled it shows us a lot about him and is yet another example why he is not ready for primetime and not fit to go up against Barack Obama in the 2012 election.
I hate my cell phone. I consider it a necessary evil in the world today. I don’t like that people feel they should be able to contact me whenever they want and I am supposed to be ready to answer. Now it’s time for me to get a new cellphone. AT&T is pushing the iPhone on me. Get a free iPhone 3G with a new two year contract! My brother has a 4G. My friend just got the brand new 4GS. Part of me says to get one, because its rapidly becoming the only game in town. Most of me is repulsed by the who movement in cell phones to become a device to do everything. I was listening to the Tony Kornheiser Radio show last Friday and he said the following:
“Why won’t somebody make a dumb phone. That is what I want. . . See when the people come to PTI, for example, the guest come to PTI, and they all want to take pictures with me and Wilbon. They don’t have cameras. The only people who have cameras are people over 50. The other people all have, iPhones or cell phones or whatever that take pictures. What happened to the concept to the concept of just having a phone. Why can’t I just have a phone. Why don’t the phone people make phones anymore. I don’t understand that, why does it have to come with reservations for 6 at the Palm. Why can’t I just have a phone?.... It’s like when I go to the dry cleaner. OK. I don’t want to go to a dry cleaner who offers me a deal on kitchen cabinetry. I just want that dry cleaner. My feeling is, if this is what you do, do it well. If you have a pet store, just sell pets and pet food, don’t try to sell me real estate in South Florida. So when I want a phone, I just want a phone”
I almost shouted “Amen” when I heard that. I want my phone to be able to call people and receive calls. I want to be able to text, though I don’t even need that honestly. Why has the phone and the internet merged? Don’t get me wrong, I see the benefit of being able to access the internet from anywhere. But why has the merged into a phone? Does not the phone suffer when it becomes a swiss army knife? I want to be on a phone that does not break when you drop it and does not drop calls.
Two years ago I asked for a phone without a camera and they had none. Why does your phone need to have a camera? As Tony said, most people use their phone as a camera. Personally is repulses me. It’s a horrible quality image. If you want to take photos, carry around a digital camera! I mean it could have some practical use here and there but there is no way it ought to replace a camera.
Sadly most people don’t agree with me. Most people want this one device that does everything. This time I am a holdout and will get a dumb phone. Next time though, I fear the only phone I will be able to get is a smartphone. I know I sound like an old man like Tony Kornheiser, but I just want a phone. Honestly, I don’t even want that. But please, just give me a phone.