Monday, October 15, 2012

Why I am voting Against Obama

Let me make this first part clear. I am not voting for Mitt Romney, rather I am voting against Obama for President. This leaves me with two choices. Either selecting Mitt Romney as the lesser of two evils or waste my vote by going 3rd party. I am currently registered to vote in Arizona which is expected to give it's electoral votes to Romney with 50 to 53 percent of the popular vote. Obama is only expected to get 40 to 44 percent.

Why I am against voting third party
The simple truth is this: Third Party votes for President is a WASTED vote. Please note this only applies to the Presidential election. Third party votes work just fine for congress, governor, and state elections. The reason third party votes is a waste for Presidential elections is called the Electoral College.

When you vote for President either in the Primary Election where you vote for your party's nominee, or the November election where the two nominees go head to head the winner of the election for each state usually gets all of the electoral college votes. This is the case for 48 out of 50 states. Nebraska and Maine are the only ones who currently split their electoral votes.

Ross Perot, the most successful Third Party candidate in recent history got 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992 but got Zero electoral votes. In fact some say that such a large third party vote was responsible for electing Bill Clinton in 1992 even though almost 2/3 of the country voted against him. Likewise in Florida where Bush beat Gore with 543 votes Green Party Candidate Ralph Nader got over 90,000 votes in total.

If you were to vote Third Party, as a mater of principal I would do so only if you live in one of the 36 states that are a sure win for either Romney or Obama. Currently there are 9 swing states that could go either way and a few others such as Arizona where a winner is most likely but not guaranteed.

In my opinion the Electoral College is an outdated system and needs to be replaced with a popular vote. Currently unpopulated states such as New Hampshire and Iowa have an unwarrented influence on who the party nominiees are. We should have one day and one day only for Primaries and then in November the general election. Currently the Electoral College allows for the rare posibility as in 2000 where Bush beat Gore even though he got less votes. Furthermore, you are not technically voting for a president at all. You are simply voting a suggestion to your state's chosen electors on who they should vote for. Our Electors are NOT accountable to the voters at all. They are appointed by the state legislature and their only requirement in the US constitution is that they not be an individual holding office or a person who profits from the government (which I think means government employee but I could be wrong)

In my opinion it would be very difficult to get rid of the Electoral College simply because it would wrest control from the two parties currently in charge of Washington. However there could be improvements made on the state level. This is where ballot initiatives take place. Sadly only half of our states allow ballot initiatives but it is a start. We should demand that our state split the electoral votes to reflect the popular vote.

Secondly we should support third party candidates in our state legislatures whenever possible. There are some local elections where we do have really tight margins and have to chose the lessor of two evils. In the few cases such as that, third party votes should be avoided.

While few and far between third party candidates have won elections in state legislatures, congress, and even a governor with Jessie Ventura and Lincoln Chaffee. Although Lincoln Chafee was a Republican for most of his political career. He left the Republican Party in 2007 a year after he was voted out of office citing that the party had become to conservative for him. He ran for Governor in 2010 and won and is currently our only Governor not tied to either Party. Currently there are no third party candidates in the House of Represenatives and only two in the Senate. One is Joe Lieberman who ran as an independent in 2006 after losing his Nomination for the Democrat Party in 2006 although he faced almost no opposition from Republicans as they all endorsed him over Alan Schlesinger (the 2006 Republican Nominee) The other is Bernie Sanders who has pretty much been an independent his whole life.

However, with more and more voters losing faith in the two main parties the chances for third party candidates to get into the state legislature and governorships is quickly becoming a reality. Once this happens changes can be made to how our state chooses to divide the electoral votes. If we can get enough of them in Congress, we could enact a constitutional amendment to do away with the Electoral College, however we will still need state legislatures to ratify this and we need 3/4ths of them to do this before the Amendment happens. We cannot abolish the Electoral College simply by passing a law or executive order. It is a very long and difficult process and it starts by getting third party candidates in our state legislatures.

So I hope I convinced you all to vote for either Romney or Obama as these two are the only options. Now I would like to convince you as to why I will be voting for Romney and I hope you will as well. For the record, I technically am voting against Obama rather than for Romney. I believe Romney to be the lesser of two evils. Likewise, in 2008 I voted "against" McCain solely because I saw a real threat in Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin cost McCain the Presidency that much is clear. Now in 2012 I see more harm in a second term for Obama when he will no longer be accountable to the voters.

Before I get into this, I would like to point out some of Mitt Romney's lies. He knows these are lies, his educated supporters know these are lies, yet he is not being called out on these.

Number 1 Lie: Obama has cut the military.

First you need to understand what Baseline Budgeting is. For the sake of convincing Romney Supporters I will embed Rush Limbaugh's 15 minute long video.

If you do not have 15 minutes to listen to Rush then here it is in a nutshell. Baseline Budgeting began in the Nixon Administration as the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and was amended in the second term of the Reagan Administration Deficit Control Act of 1985. They factor in rate of inflation and multiply it by the rate of population growth. So for example, if the government spent 100 dollars on cheese, next year we could be looking at spending $105. Then if someone wanted to cut 4 dollars from the cheese budget, the party NOT in power would tell everyone that cheese is being cut by 4 dollars a year. Even though we are spending more than we did last year.

Government spending is almost never actually cut. Rather what is "cut" is the rate of growth in spending. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of this lie. Whenever the party in power wants to cut the rate of growth in spending the other side calls this a cut.

So what is actually being cut from the proposed Military budget. Well for starters is the 487 Billion over the next decade. For the year 2013 we will see 5.2 billion in cuts or basically 1% of the Pentagon Budget. That is correct 1 percent and yet the Republican's are screaming the sky is falling when it is in fact due to the Republican House of Representatives and the Bipartisan Senate that mandated these cuts in 2011 with the 2011 Budget Control Act that they agreed to in order to raise the debt ceiling.

It is 2013 and only 2013 that we will see an actual cut in spending for the Pentagon and this cut is by one percent. Remember we are in the process of bringing our troops home from Iraq and putting them more in charge of their own security. Compare the one percent cut being proposed for 2013 to what former President George H W Bush (Bush Sr) did after the Cold War. This chart has been adjusted for 2012 dollars.

However as you can see by this chart, even though there are 487 Billion dollars in cuts in the rate of growth for the military, it will still grow for 2014 to 2017.

When you have a government that spends 16 dollars on muffins (Technically that was the Justice Department but still) you can afford a 1 percent cut in spending. Especially when in 2014 your spending goes up again. Maybe buy your muffins at Costco for just one year. They are big and cheap.

Likewise Romney has repeatedly claimed that the Obama Administration has cut the Navy to where we were in 1916. Well Romney was citing a report from this source and in 1916 you can see we had a total of 245 ships and in 1917 we jumped to 342 and that was when we entered World War 1. Now in 2011 we have 285 ships. FYI do you want to know who had the lowest in recent history? George W Bush with 278 in 2007. Under Obama the Navy technically has grown since Bush. In fact in 2001 when Bush assumed the White House he inherited a Navy with 316 ships. He left Obama with 285. That is under 8 years of Bush 31 fewer active duty ships was in the Navy when Obama took over.

Now manufacturing ships is NOT like a car factory. It is not like we can just roll them off the assembly line. It takes years to build these things and in 8 years of Bush it is clear that he let the Navy slip. Take another look at that 1916 and 1917 chart. Do you see what is missing? Air Craft Carriers, Frigates, amphibious and mine warfare (for landing parties), nuclear submarines with ballistic missels, and the Navy's newest addition the Littoral Combat Ship which is designed for close to shore combat, surveilance, and relief.

Furthermore, our Navy is faster and thus can be dispatched much more expeditiously than it used to. Our naval weapons are superior, and with our Air Craft carriers we can launch planes from around the world.

Now on the Air Force Romney does and does not have a point. I agree that the age of our air craft is a concern. Recently 1.7 Billion was cut to halt production of the F22. Guess who co-sponsored the bill? Senator John McCain. The F22 is being phased out. We are no longer doing air to air combat in the skies like we did in World War 2. Predator Drones are the future of the military. Not only are they cheaper, but also they do not endanger the lives of our soldiers. In previous wars a fleet of planes were needed to drop a ton of bombs to destroy the target. Now one predator drone flying high out of reach of anti-aircraft weapsons can take out a target with one shot.

In addition, there have been cuts to the number of soldiers. The reason is we are returning to pre-war levels. We are phasing out Iraq and other places and handing the role of security to the armies we have trained. Coming from a military family I just could not let that lie slide.

Now in this section I would like to try to convince my atheist and libertarian friends that Mitt Romney is the lesser of two evils.

According to current polls the Democrats are expected to maintain a very slim majority in the Senate, however even if Republican's win the Senate, they will not be able to accomplish anything without the Democrats help.

One big concern is the appointment of judges. The President appoints more judges than just the Supreme Court, however these must be approved by the Senate. A big concern to many is that if Mitt Romney will be elected the Supreme Court will outlaw Abortion. Let's review our history.

The two biggest Pro-Life candidates were George W Bush and Ronald Reagan. In fact it was Reagan that insisted that a tougher anti-abortion clause be added to the Platform at the Republican National Convention in 1980. The one for 1976 basically said the issue needs more discussion. It should be noted that Reagan and the Republican's controlled the Senate from 1981 to 1987. (Senators are sworn in on January 3rd following the election)

Likewise George W Bush had control of the Senate until the 2006 elections. There is a side note for "Jumpin Jim Jeffords who after running as a Republican and won, decided to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats. He did promise to stay as a Republican long enough for Bush to get his Cabinet positions filled. With this split caused a temporary control of the Senate by Democrats with a split of 49 Republican's 50 Democrats and one independent, however in 2002 The Republican's retook the Senate and held onto it for four years.

It should be noted that both Reagan and Bush had the theoretical power to put through their choice of Justices. Reagan tried to do just that with Robert Bork. The Senate in 1981 rejected him. The Republican controlled Senate rejected a nominee. George W Bush also tried to get his private attorney Harriet Myers on to the Supreme Court until she was laughed out of Washington in 2005 under a Republican controlled Senate.

The Senate is part of a system of Checks and Ballances on the power of the President and even when it favors the President's party, it is still NOT a rubber stamp. If Reagan and Bush couldn't get the job done, Mitt Romney has no chance.

Just like Abortion, I do not believe that Mitt Romney poses a threat to our religious liberties. This is expressly because he is a Mormon. As a Mormon, Mitt Romney knows all to well the dangerous power that religion can have when it is unchecked by government. Remember the Church of Later Day Saints was persecuted across the country and had to flee to the territory of Utah. They had to flee for their very lives at some points in their history such as the case in Missiouri and Executive Order 44.

While Mormonism has gained some acceptance, about 27 percent of Christians hold an unfavorable view of Mormons according to a 2007 study from Because it is so old I am not going to reference it. However according to a 2011 study 32 percent of the general public does NOT consider Mormonism to be a Christian Religion. For the lulz neither do two percent of Mormons.

This has to do with Mormon's unusual beliefs. For starters they believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers. They believe that Native American's were actually Lamanites and killed their Hebrew brothers the Nephites and that is why the red man is red. I guess Walt Disney got it wrong in this song now considered racist by modern standards.

Likewise Mormons know and accept the strange history of how Joseph Smith found and translated the Golden Tablets into the Book of Mormon.

Mormons have other beliefs that are unique to their faith. They believe that they can become gods and populate their own worlds. They also believe in something called Magic Underwear.

Still there is no getting around "Mormon Jesus"

Of course when you discuss Mormons with non-Mormons one of the first things that comes up is polygamy. It should be noted that only some Mormon denominations have banned polygamy. There are a few who still practice it. These denominations split from the LDS church when the church banned the practice. According to these groups the LDS church caved to political pressure rather than to scripture. It should also be noted that Polygamy is practiced all throughout the Old Testament and the only mention in the New Testament is in 1 Timothy Chapter 3 which states that deacons (a greek translation of servant but an officer of the church) be a man of one wife. Divorce was not common and most interpret this to mean polygamy.

The Church of Latter Day Saints ended polygamy by proclamation in 1890 and it currently excommunicates members who practice it. It is of course my view that consenting adults should be free to marry whomever they wish. This includes homosexual and polygamous arrangements. I see no point in allowing 3 or more people to shack up and have it be legal but if they dare make a lifetime commitment to each other in a legally binding contract it is something that we prosecute and lock people away for.

It is because Mitt Romney comes from a religion that suffered persecution and constant threat of execution, that I believe he will respect the religious liberties of others in the law he signs and the justices he appoints to the courts. When it comes to Abortion we need to look at Romney's track record. Sadly all polititians lie. We have a record for Obama and we have a record for Romney when he was a governor.

For the most part he did govern as a pro-choice governor. However in 2005 he did veto a bill that would have allowed emergency contraception (sort of a post intercourse contraception) for hospitals and pharmacies. However he did come out in support of stem-cell research. See the article here

Now a concern for some pro-choice people is the slew of laws that may reach the President's desk. Most notably is the bill No Taxpayer Funding For Abortions Act or HR3. There are a few things to consider. First the Senate is expected to remain in Democrat control. The bill passed the house but was deadlocked in the Senate. Even if the Republican's gain control of the Senate the majority will be to slim for them to effectively do anything. It takes a 60 percent majority to break a fillibuster and neither party will have that. The bill never reached the President's desk.

Remember Ronald Reagan and George W Bush could not get it done even with control of the Senate, We have four fresh faces in the Supreme Court but even if a new choice is added, whoever it is must be approved by the Senate which in recent history has had a habit of NOT being a rubber stamp. Roe v Wade is Safe. Where the danger for reproductive rights truly lies is in your state legistlatures. So know who is running in your area and where they stand.

Gay Rights
Another issue many people might have is gay rights. It is only recently that a few states have given homosexuals the same rights that heterosexuals have. Sadly many places have tried to put equality on the ballot and when the majority gets to vote on the rights of the minority the outcome is usually for the majority. As people of my generation and the next take our rightful place in this world will equality become a reality.

Romney is primarily against marriage equality but he does have some pioneering in the rights of gays. He has received endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans (a gay rights group) in the past. At the time of this blog he has not gotten it for president but he is scheduled to meet with them later this week to discuss the Employment Non Discrimination Act. When Massachususts was first gearing up for Same Sex Marriage he was against it as well as being against civil-unions. He however was in favor of domestic partnerships that had many of the same benefits.

However, the fight for Marriage Equality is NOT going to take place in Washignton. The Defense of Marriage Act (Signed by Democrat Bill Clinton) was overturned by courts and is awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on if they will even hear the appeals. There is not enough power in the Senate to craft a new bill to replace it. The Marriage Protection Amendment which would place in our constitution that only a man and a woman can be married has never made it to the President's desk. This includes the times under Bush when he had control over congress.

The fight for marriage equality will be in the states. Half of our states allow for ballot initiatives. The rest it is up to the state legislature so be sure to know who is running and where they stand. The road to marriage equality will be a long one but it will be something I will see in my lifetime. We just simply need the older generations to no longer be the voting majority they are now. This will happen as they get older.

Why Obama MUST be stopped and we need to vote for the lesser of two evils.
Obama is a serious threat to our civil liberties. As a libertarian I believe he will be more dangerous in a second term when he is no longer accountable to the people.

The war on drugs IS a failure. Back when Obama was running for president he went on a few shows such as Jay Leno and joked about his drug use.

Now let's take a look at what would happen to citizen Obama if President Obama and his Justice Department had caught him with weed. Here is the federal penalties as they stand now. First he would get a one year prison sentence at a federally mandated minimum. Because he is half black, he more than likely would have gotten a stiffer punishment. If he is caught just two more times he runs the risk of getting a felony conviction and a mandatory 3 years in prison. Even if he just has a roach (a leftover marijuana joint)

Under the rules that the Obama Adminstration heavily enforce, citizen Obama's life would be over. One of the first questions asked on a job application is for your arrest record. Having done hard time in prison for a Felony would disqualify him from most high paying jobs. It would prevent him from voting for the rest of his life in 12 states. Felony Voting laws vary by state to state. Most prohibit voting while in lockup and a few more prohibit it during the time of probation.

Furthermore, Obama has gone beyond the wildest dreams of Bush in his war against weed. More and more states have legalized marijuana for medical uses. The Obama Administration is furious with this and has began to target and seize assets of those who rent to dispensaries. See the news here.

Now it is clear that Obama lied, as do all politians. However, in the case of Obama's lie he is hurting people. He is going against the wishes of the people that have voted to allow medical marijuana. He is usurping federal authority to trump states rights. He is turning cancer patients and the people who treat them into felons to work as slaves in tax payer funded labor camps. This is not an exageration.

Comapnies such as Corrections Corporation of America and GEO group are selling their services to our government for a fee. First they either buy prisons previously built with tax payer dollars from cash strapped states, or they build new prisons and charge the state a fee to house their inmates. They then get to use the inmates as slave labor to build anything from paint, furniture, even uniforms for our military.

Those who refuse to work are placed in solitary confinement and other punishments. Now it makes perfect sense to have non-violent offenders serving years in prison to serve as slave labor to make products for pennies and drive down wages for everyone else. Forget illegal immigrants taking our jobs, we need to watch out for potheads taking our jobs.

Had citizen Obama been caught by President Obama every time he light up he would have spent years in Prison and would now be a felon and would never have made it into a good school and never would have been elected to office let alone the President. Citizen Obama's life would have been over had President Obama gotten his way.

Getting our citizen's behind bars is not enough for the Obama Administration. His Justice Department is pushing hard to extradite Richard O'Dwyer to the United States. Who is Richard O'Dwyer. He is a citizen of the UK. He has never been to the United States. He has never done business in the United States. The Obama Adminstration is extraditing him for something that is perfectly legal in the UK. You can read more about his case here.

What kind of country do we live in that we get to tell sovereign nations to hand over their citizens to us for violating our laws in THEIR country. It would be different if the crime occoured here in the US and Richard O'Dwyer fled to the UK but that is not the case. Richard O'Dwyer has never been here. Richard O'Dwyer is the test case, to see if the United States can simply extradite anyone they feel like to put into their forced labor camps. If extradited Richard O'Dwyer faces 10 years in our prisons for something perfectly legal in his own country.

In Canada, it is legal for their citizens to travel to Cuba, will our government start extraditing them for breaking our laws? What other laws will we try to enforce in other sovereign nations?

Egypt has issued a warrant for the arrest for controversial pastor Terry Jones (infamous for burn a Qu'ran day) for his involvement in the movie Innocence of Muslims. So far the Obama Adminstration has remained silent on whether or not they will assist Egypt in the arrest and extradition of Terry Jones. If our President was consistent, he would offer any help to Egypt that they requested. Of course if our President dared to hand over our citizens to foreign governments for breaking their laws in our country there would be an uproar. However the plight of Richard O'Dwyer remains largely covered in blogs and alternative media.

So this begs the question? Will Mitt Romney be any different. No. He will not. Romney has made it very clear he is anti-marijanua and he will have no problem locking up more and more of our citizens as slaves. So why vote for him? We should vote for him in the hopes that he will be a one term president. We should vote for him simply because he won't be able to accomplish much in Washington with a deadlocked Senate.

Just as I saw real danger in Sarah Palin, I see real danger in a second term of Obama. Likewise I have concerns about Joe Biden making it as our next President. I think if elected Romney will become so unpopular that he won't win re-election, and with the forecast for the next term in Congress he won't do as much damage as Obama currently is.

As you know Universal Healthcare is something that I think needs to happen. Obamacare is a patch, it is not a solution. However it is better than what we have at the moment. I do not believe Romney is a threat to Obamacare for two reasons. One, his past actions as Governor. Polititans lie, but Romney has a proven track record and Obamacare is very very similar to the plan he signed into law as Governor. Second, even if he intends to undo Obamacare, the votes are just NOT in the Senate to get it done.

I know I am talking about putting someone who actually believes that Native American's are of Jewish descent in charge of Education is a scary proposal. However despite the Department of Education, curriculum is chosen at the state level. Each state gets to chose their text books. So it is important to know who is on your school boards and vote accordingly.

Let's face it I have mixed feelings about Romney when it comes to the environment. However one thing I have always sided with the republican's on is energy independence. We need to drill more of our own oil, but also green technology is also on the way. Electric and Hybrid Cars are more and more common and now there is even an air powered car that costs just $10,000.

One of the things that I strongly disagree on with the Obama Adminstration is taxes. They want to help curb the deficit by making the rich pay their fair share. The problem is, the rich already pay their fair share. They have for years, even with the tax cuts enacted in the Bush Adminstration.

According to the Wall Street Journal the rich do get richer but they also are paying more and more taxes when you look at their share of the whole.

According to the Heritage Foundation in 2009 the top 10 percent paid 71 percent of all federal taxes. The bottom 50 percent paid about 2 percent. Raising taxes not only won't solve our deficit but will also slow the growth of our economy. Cutting taxes works every time it is tried. Each time under Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush Jr revenues went up. Sadly so did expenses and this was a huge problem for Bush. The war on terror was very costly and when Wall Street fell and the recession hit, many were out of a job. Fewer tax payers and run away spending was a disaster that we are still paying for.

The solution to our budget is to curb spending. This is being done with the war in Iraq nearing completion. Keep taxes low, and cut spending and we can have a surplus again.

Simply put, I am supporting Mitt Romney in order to vote Obama out of office and hopefully four years from now we get someone better that I can actually for for. I do hope that at least a few of my atheist and libertarian friends have been persuaded by this blog.