10/19/2012 archive

Constitution Party Candidate: Virgil Goode

The little noticed Constitution Party presidential candidate, Virgil Goode does not appear on many state ballots this November but where he does, it is believed he may have some impact on the electoral college outcome.

Virgil Hamlin Goode, Jr served in the US House of Representatives from 1997 to 2009, first as a Democrat, then an Independent and finally as a Republican. He was defeated after six terms in the 2008 election to Democrat Tom Perriello. Goode subsequently joined the Constitution Party.

The conservative Constitution Party was founded in 1991 as the U.S. Taxpayers’ Party by Howard Philips who was the party’s presidential candidate in 1992, 1996 and 2000. In 1999, the party changed its name to the “Constitution Party.” The party’s platform is predicated on the the original intent of the Founding Fathers, found mostly in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The party largely focuses on immigration calling for stricter penalties towards illegal immigrants, a moratorium on legal immigration until all federal subsidies to immigrants are discontinued and the unemployment rate is below 5%. The Constitution Party has some substantial support from the Christian Right and in 2010 achieved major party status in Colorado.

Goode is well known in Virginia and his candidacy has caused some concern among his former GOP friends and Virginia state party officials. Virginia is among the nine states where the 2012 election will be decided. If Goode swings enough conservative votes from Mitt Romney, it could give Virginia’s 13 electoral college vote to Barack Obama and another four years.

Recent polls show Obama about even or slightly ahead of Romney in head-to-head Virginia pairings by 4 to 8 percentage points. Only one, a Washington Post poll of 934 registered Virginia voters conducted Sept. 12-16, included Goode, and he was the choice of 2 percent. The poll’s sampling error margin is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“He’s still a household name in some parts of Virginia,” said Mark Rozell, a political science professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “Unlike other candidates, Virgil Goode has the potential to siphon off a sizable number of votes regionally.”

Rozell said that if it comes down to Virginia in a very close election, Goode could draw 1 percent to 2 percent of the vote to become this year’s Ralph Nader, although statistically it’s unlikely.

Constitution Party presidential nominee Virgil Goode responds to five key debate questions

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

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Paul Krugman: Snow Job on Jobs

Mitt Romney talks a lot about jobs. But does he have a plan to create any?

You can defend President Obama’s jobs record – recovery from a severe financial crisis is always difficult, and especially so when the opposition party does its best to block every policy initiative you propose. And things have definitely improved over the past year. Still, unemployment remains high after all these years, and a candidate with a real plan to make things better could make a strong case for his election.

But Mr. Romney, it turns out, doesn’t have a plan; he’s just faking it. In saying that, I don’t mean that I disagree with his economic philosophy; I do, but that’s a separate point. I mean, instead, that Mr. Romney’s campaign is telling lies: claiming that its numbers add up when they don’t, claiming that independent studies support its position when those studies do no such thing.

New York Times Editorial: An HPV Vaccine Myth Debunked

One of the most preposterous arguments raised by religious and social conservatives against administering a vaccine to girls to protect them from human papillomavirus, or HPV, has been that it might encourage them to become promiscuous. That notion has now been thoroughly repudiated by a study published on Monday in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. [..]

Over all, there was no difference between girls who had received the vaccine and those who had not in such indicators of sexual activity as pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and counseling on how to use contraceptives. As one expert said, parents should think of the vaccine as they would a bicycle helmet; it is protection, not an invitation to risky behavior.

Andrew Rosenthal: Another Strike Against DOMA

A second federal appeals court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act today, rejecting as unconstitutional the law that denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

The story of the couple behind the lawsuit that led to the ruling illustrates why DOMA is not just unconstitutional, but muttonheaded. [..]

There is no social purpose behind DOMA, and no constitutional validity. It is driven entirely by religious intolerance and homophobia. It’s good to see the courts taking action to get rid of it.

Eugene Robinson: Why the chill on climate change?

Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change.

President Obama understands and accepts the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is trapping heat in the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic long-term effects. Mitt Romney’s view, as on many issues, is pure quicksilver – impossible to pin down – but when he was governor of Massachusetts, climate-change activists considered him enlightened and effective.

Yet neither has mentioned the subject in the debates. Instead, they have argued over who is more eager to extract ever-larger quantities of oil, natural gas and coal from beneath our purple mountains’ majesties and fruited plains.

Jeff Biggers: Clean Coal is a Hoax, Mr. President, So Drop it

Out of all the meaningless slogans bantered around this election season, President Obama’s clinging to the “clean coal”“Clean coal” is a hoax, and the president knows it, and outside of appeasing a few Midwestern Big Coal sycophants and his Duke Energy coal buddy Jim Rogers, who helped to underwrite the Democratic Convention this summer in Charlotte, Obama has little to gain from invoking the offensive phrase.

You’re offensive, President Obama, to use your own words.

Offensive to coal miners and their families who have paid the ultimate price, offensive to people who live daily with the devastating impacts of coal mining and coal ash in their communities and watersheds, and offensive to anyone who recognizes the spiraling reality of climate change. banner ranks as one of the most specious.

Dilip Hiro: The Alliance From Hell

The United States and Pakistan are by now a classic example of a dysfunctional nuclear family (with an emphasis on “nuclear”). While the two governments and their peoples become more suspicious and resentful of each other with every passing month, Washington and Islamabad are still locked in an awkward post-9/11 embrace that, at this juncture,  neither can afford to let go of.

Washington is keeping Pakistan, with its collapsing economy and bloated military, afloat but also cripplingly dependent on its handouts and U.S.-sanctioned International Monetary Fund loans.  Meanwhile, CIA drones unilaterally strike its tribal borderlands.  Islamabad returns the favor. It holds Washington hostage over its Afghan War from which the Pentagon won’t be able to exit in an orderly fashion without its help. By blocking U.S. and NATO supply routes into Afghanistan (after a U.S. cross-border air strike had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers) from November 2011 until last July, Islamabad managed to ratchet up the cost of the war while underscoring its indispensability to the Obama administration.

On This Day In History October 19

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 19 is the 292nd day of the year (293rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 73 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1781, hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.

The Siege of Yorktown or Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory by combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and French forces led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis. It proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War  in North America, as the surrender of Cornwallis’s army prompted the British government eventually to negotiate an end to the conflict.

In 1780, 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to assist their American allies in operations against British-controlled New York City. Following the arrival of dispatches from France that included the possibility of support from the French West Indies fleet of the Comte de Grasse, Washington and Rochambeau decided to ask de Grasse for assistance either in besieging New York, or in military operations against a British army operating in Virginia. On the advice of Rochambeau, de Grasse informed them of his intent to sail to the Chesapeake Bay, where Cornwallis had taken command of the army. Cornwallis, at first given confusing orders by his superior officer, Henry Clinton, was eventually ordered to make a defensible deep-water port, which he began to do at Yorktown, Virginia. Cornwallis‘s movements in Virginia were shadowed by a Continental Army force led by the Marquis de Lafayette.

The French and American armies united north of New York City during the summer of 1781. When word of de Grasse‘s decision arrived, the combined armies began moving south toward Virginia, engaging in tactics of deception to lead the British to believe a siege of New York was planned. De Grasse sailed from the West Indies and arrived at the Chesapeake Bay at the end of August, bringing additional troops and providing a naval blockade of Yorktown. He was transporting 500,000 silver pesos collected from the citizens of Havana, Cuba, to fund supplies for the siege and payroll for the Continental Army. While in Santo Domingo, de Grasse met with Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, an agent of Carlos III of Spain. De Grasse had planned to leave several of his warships in Santo Domingo. Saavedra promised the assistance of the Spanish navy to protect the French merchant fleet, enabling de Grasse to sail north with all of his warships. In the beginning of September, he defeated a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves that came to relieve Cornwallis at the Battle of the Chesapeake. As a result of this victory, de Grasse blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. By late September Washington and Rochambeau arrived, and the army and naval forces completely surrounded Cornwallis.

After initial preparations, the Americans and French built their first parallel and began the bombardment. With the British defense weakened, Washington on October 14, 1781 sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses. A French column took redoubt #9 and an American column redoubt #10. With these defenses taken, the allies were able to finish their second parallel. With the American artillery closer and more intense than ever, the British situation began to deteriorate rapidly and Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms on the 17th. After two days of negotiation, the surrender ceremony took place on the 19th, with Cornwallis being absent since he claimed to be ill. With the capture of over 8,000 British soldiers, negotiations between the United States and Great Britain began, resulting in the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

2012 NL Championship Series- Giants at Cardinals, Game 4

So far the Cardinals have followed the ‘scrappy underdog’ playbook perfectly.  Split on the road, win at Home.  They could even look on today as a day off, but that would be a mistake.

When you’re winning you don’t want to give your opponents a chance.  First of all, why work harder than you have to?  By closing out now you get extra rest to straighten out your rotation and your Bullpen and heal up.

Also it’s fairer to your opponent.  I think I’ve told you about my ex-brother-in-law who liked to pile up insurmountable leads and then wait until you were close enough to finish you off.  Let’s start again at even you jerk.

Finally, I’m not sure it wouldn’t be less painful for Giants fans.  I keep thinking about this one kid in the stands couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13 years old, wearing his rally cap like his Dad and watching on the verge of tears as the runs ticked down.

When you’re that age it seems like forever.

But we’re still 2 games at Busch away and if they head back to AT&T Park with the Cards down 3 – 2 needing a sweep not a split anything could happen.

That’s why they play the games.

Starting tonight for the Cardinals is Adam Wainwright (14 – 13, 3.94 ERA) facing Tim Lincecum (10 – 15, 5.18 ERA) of the Giants.  Beltran will sit to rest last night’s injury.  You can tell the Giants think this game is important because they’ve shuffled the line up moving Posey to bat 3rd and Pence down to 6th.

Lincecum is an interesting story

Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports: He was the game’s best pitcher. He is now the guy whom the Giants sent into relief to start Barry Zito. This one start will not answer the question of who Lincecum will be – a washout whose league-worst 5.18 ERA indicates the beginning of a quick and painful downfall or the victim of a bad season bound to recover – nor is it trying to. What’s material in the postseason is how someone is playing now. It is a season for small-sample-size guesses, for gut feelings – for a marriage of numbers and scouting. And based as much on the latter as the former, Bochy is convinced that the Lincecum who revealed himself over the past two weeks as a crack relief pitcher – 8 1/3 innings, one run, one walk, nine strikeouts – is more real than the up-and-down mess who time and again followed one good start with a handful of bad ones.

Gwenn Knapp, Sports on Earth: After losing Game 3 to the Cardinals, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced that, yes, the most decorated player on his team would be promoted from middle relief. Bochy had no other reasonable choice. The other options, Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, had not delivered much beyond anxiety in their postseason appearances. There’s more to it than a default, though. Lincecum seduced Bochy. He beguiled his way back into the rotation with three stalwart relief appearances that blurred the memories of a 10-15 regular season, a 5.18 ERA and two wan final starts. One can assume that he barely made the playoff roster at all — who carries five starters in the postseason? — except for the quirks that allow him to relieve in a way that few starters can, and a history that demanded his presence. The Giants didn’t owe it to Lincecum to keep him for the playoffs. They owed it to themselves.

On the other hand-

Jayson Stark, ESPN.com: So what won’t those St. Louis Cardinals put themselves through to win a postseason baseball game, huh? That whole one-strike-away thing? Mastered. That death-defying, six-runs-behind-and-live-to-tell-about-it act? Done. That fabled infield-fly-rule magic? Been there. Done it. And that old gong-the-starter-in-the-second-inning trick? Perfected that one, too. So you know all that nutty stuff that happened to them in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday? Why the heck would that be a big deal? A 3½-hour rain delay in the bottom of the seventh inning? . . . A starting pitcher who allows 12 baserunners in 5? innings? . . . The scary sight of Carlos ‘Mr. October’ Beltran grabbing his knee and leaving the game in the second inning? . . . And ripping through the bullpen before the raindrops and then having to ask the closer to rip off the first six-out save of his life? No problema.

And lest you think I’m getting all soft and sentimental-

Junior League Games will be carried on TBS, Senior on Faux.