Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney on Paul Ryan as VP pick: “I selected a leader”


Mitt Romney, after picking Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday, charges into the final pre-convention stretch giving voters a much sharper picture of where his campaign stands as he hits the reset button on the race.

Ryan's selection ends months of speculation and puts in place the final piece of his campaign heading into the Tampa convention. It also leaves no doubt that the Republican candidate aims to run a campaign that draws a sharp contrast against President Obama on both the economy and the debt, considering Ryan's reputation as a budget slasher.

Within minutes of Romney announcing that Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, would be his running mate, the two men and their families boarded the campaign bus for a four-day tour of swing states Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

In two Virginia stops, an energized Romney called for an end to ugly campaign attack ads by the Obama campaign, while praising Ryan and hammering the president about his recent “You didn’t built that” comments regarding American small businesses.

“We took a step forward to restore the promise for America,” Romney said about Ryan, in Ashland, Va. “I selected a leader.”

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Friday, March 9, 2012

McClatchy: Critics say video distorts fight against Lord's Resistance Army

NAIROBI, Kenya — If you haven't yet seen the viral "Kony 2012" video yet, you could soon be in the minority.
The half-hour film urging sustained U.S. military support against an elusive Ugandan war criminal was posted to YouTube on March 5, and by Thursday it had captured more than 36 million views, with Twitter and Facebook feeds bursting with reaction to the film.
The non-profit behind the campaign, Invisible Children, is hoping to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army and an indicted war criminal who is regarded by some activists as an embodiment of evil.
But the film has irked many intimate with the conflict. They charge it oversimplifies a complex war and they take issue with the group's 1-2-3 solutions.
"The war was more than just an evil man killing children. The war is much more complex than just one man named Joseph Kony," Ugandan journalist and blogger Rosebell Kagumire, who covered the conflict in northern Uganda, said in a response to the video posted to YouTube.
"This is another video where I see an outsider trying to be a hero by rescuing African children," she said.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tired of the Republican primary? Thank Michael Steele

Right of Black co-hosts Jeneba "JJ" Ghatt and Shanon are discussing this live tonight at 11 p.m. Tune in here and dial us at 347.308.8978 to tell us what you think about the issue! 

by Jeneba Ghatt

Don’t come looking here for a postmortem on the Michigan and Arizona primary results. Like many who follow politics, this extra super-duper long Republican primary is simply too exhausting to keep up with – thanks to former Republican National Committee chairman  Michael Steele.
During his mired tenure as head of the party, Steele enjoyed certain victories like the GOP takeover in the House and major gains in state and gubernatorial races.  He also came up with the ingenious plan to have an extra long primary season peppered with an endless amount of debates: 20 to be precise.
Steele wanted an extended primary season “… so as to ensure a strong nominee,” Hot Air reported.  The Hilary Clinton v. Barack Obama battle made candidate Obama a better candidate and provided significant time for his baggage and dirty laundry – Rev. Jeremiah Wright, flag pins, William Ayres- to air by the time the generals rolled around.
While it is true that in 2008 Barack Obama hadn’t secured his spot as the Democratic nominee until June, that was different because back then each political party was having its own respective battles before its base.   The parameters of the race were different. There was no incumbent. Each side had a fair shot at the office.
But since last fall, all eyes – Independents, Democrats, undecideds, Republicans – have all been focused on the Republican candidates.  For better or for worse, we’ve all been forced to realize how many different candidates may be the best thing for the country, but also the many different ways they’d be horrible at the job.
The extended season has given each candidate a chance to rise and fall from favor and to reveal every flaw.  In the meantime, the president has been insulated from similar bruising as his potential opponent.
This highly contentious race is also a gold mine for the DNC. There is probably a separate wing over at its headquarters to house all the attack campaign ads that the candidates and their million dollar Super PACs have released this primary season. Free of charge, saving them hours of tape review.
It’s the type of scenario that empowers a Republican voter who has decided to hold his nose and vote for the presumptive favorite and winner, to quickly turn to another aspirant once he or she says something brilliant during a debate.  It all resets the timeline.  By the time he realizes he will ultimately have to vote for that not-so-perfect candidate in November, he is disenchanted even further and may opt to just sit out the race in its entirety. That is unless he just hates the president that much.
And what seem like a race to “out right” one another this slate of candidates is also doing a bang up job of energizing the Democratic base. See Democratic women’s response to 80% of what Rick Santorum has said about contraception and feminism; all statements which Black Democrats have interpreted as an attack on them and what Hispanic Democrats perceive as hostility towards them and the scape-goating  of immigrants.
In this era of Twitter, bloggers and 24 hour news cycle, everyone who wouldn’t ordinarily care about the GOP candidates now has an opinion.
Unlike 2008, the discovered flaws of the candidates are not forgettable because they go to core principals and ideology, while being very memorable to independents – that most important voting bloc of all.
Last December, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus predicted that a lengthy primary season would prevent any candidate from “clinching” the nomination until Super Tuesday or the primary-heavy month of April.
At this rate, even that prediction is at risk of falling short.
Click here at 11 pm tonight to listen to JJ and Shanon debate the super-long Republican primary!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mitt Romney’s “Poli-Optics” Gone Wrong

The WashingtonPost reported that at Detroit’s Ford Field, empty seats stole Romney’s thunder.
“The lunchtime speech was delivered from the 30-yard line before 1,200 suited-up business leaders in folding chairs, in a stadium that usually holds 65,000."

Poor poli-optics led the Post to conclude: 
"The event served up fresh evidence for Romney critics who say he can’t rise to the occasion and rally important elements of the GOP around his candidacy.
Right of Black co-host Jeneba “JJ” Ghatt doesn’t think that’s a leap. She defined “poli-optics” on Thursday’s Season 3 premiere.

Shanon: I’m really stuck on the fact that you used the word “poli-optics.” Do you mind defining that for me please?
JJ: Sure. Poli-optics is the visual aspect of politics… It’s the image of looking presidential and in control.
Shanon: Ok. Did you make that word up?
JJ: No I did not. You guys can Google it!
Click here to listen to the entire 30-minute show with Shanon and Jeneba.

Let's discuss: Is too much attention paid to the “look” of the candidates and their events instead of their substance? Comment below.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The REAL Plan B for the Republican Presidential Race

So there are whispers about a Plan B, or a scenario in which a white knight would swoop in at the last minute, replace the current slate of Republican candidates vying for the Presidency, galvanize GOP voters and run away with the primary election and defeat Obama in November. 

Who could this white knight be? Politico ran a story last week offering up Jeb, Sarah, Mitch and others, including Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Tim “T-Paw” Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, John Thune, Nikki Haley and Marco Rubio.

Politico’s list is interesting, but far from realistic. "Right of Black" co-host Shanon offered her own “Plan B” on last week’s Season 3premiere“Can you imagine if Mittens decided to pull out?” Shanon asked.

In fact, she has. Click here to listen to the audio.
"Mitt should be like 'because you (GOP voters) aren’t feeling me, I’m not feeling you. So I’m backing out! I’m going to leave the race to Newt and Rick! You all can stop calling me Mittens because I’m going home to sit on my millions!”
“So that’s my Plan B,” Shanon said. “Don’t let them keep dissing you, Mitt! Take your ball, walk away, and go home!”

Alas, it is unlikely Romney will shake up the race that much, said co-host Jeneba. 

Shanon agreed, saying “He wants to be president more than anything. If it doesn’t happen this time, it will never happen.”

Click here to listen to the entire 30-minute show with Jeneba and Shanon.