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Mark Levine’s 2012 Election Prediction – Obama 332 — Romney 206

November 4, 2012
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Obama will win 332 Electoral Votes to Romney’s 206. Florida will be very very very close.

 

Democrats pick up a seat (including independent Angus King in Maine) in the Senate to increase their majority to 54 seats.

 

Democrats win 5-10 seats in the House.

 

Obama wins 26 States & DC:
Eastern Time Zone
FL less than 1 point — this state is the I’m most likely to be wrong about. But if it does go to Romney, it will be by less than 1 point. Still I predict Obama ekes out an EXTREMELY tight victory.
VA 0-2 points
OH 2-4 points
NH 2-5 points
MI more than 5 points (but not much more)
PA more than 5 points (but not much more)
DC, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, ME (including the Second Congressional District)

 

Central Time Zone
IA 2-5 points
WI 3-6 points
MN more than 5 points
IL

 

Mountain Time Zone
CO 0-2 points
NM more than 5 points

 

Pacific Time Zone
NV 3-6 points
CA, OR, WA

 

Hawaii Time Zone
HI

 

Romney wins the other 24 states, all by margins of more than 5 points, except NC where he ekes out a narrow victory of 1-3 points.

Romney = Bush 2

October 28, 2012
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Remember the “compassionate conservative”?
Remember the man who said he was a “uniter, not a divider”?
Remember what happened to him?

And frankly, he had more consistency than Romney…

The Next Alexandria City Council [ISTV]

October 8, 2012
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Tonight, Inside Scoop TV features candidates for the City Council of Alexandria, Virginia:

Del Pepper

Tim Lovain

John Taylor Chapman

& Allison Silberberg

Playing Politics with Terror in Benghazi

September 28, 2012
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Breaking the restriction both candidates had self-imposed to avoid politicking on September 11th, Mitt Romney made an astonishingly unprofessional claim. Before he even knew the facts, he made the astonishing assertion that the Obama Administration “sympathize[d]” with the terrorists who murdered four American heroes.

 

Now that is low. When extremists on the Left claimed that Bush supported the attacks on September 11th as a justification for invading Iraq, I told them they were nuts. Disagree with the President all you want — and I did disagree with Bush on the War in Iraq — but saying Bush wanted 3,000 innocent Americans to die on 9/11 so America could take over Iraqi oil fields was more than I could stomach. The President of the United States is often wrong, but if you are going to claim he is evil, you need some pretty hard proof.  Otherwise whoever makes such an accusation is either a liar or a wacko.

 

Romney’s claim that Obama sympathizes with America’s enemies is equally abhorrent. It’s perfectly fine to disagree with Obama’s policies. It’s perfectly fine to question the Administration’s security arrangements at the consulate, just as it’s fair to ask Paul Ryan and the other Republicans in Congress why they fought State-Department funding for such security. But accusing the President of the United States of sympathizing with the murderers of our Ambassador and consulate staff is beyond the pale. It shows someone who speaks without thinking.

 

Romney’s too smart to believe this nonsense.  He knows there’s a world of difference between condemning a crude anti-Muslim piece of trash designed to inflame tensions (as Bush and Karen Hughes did) and sympathizing with terrorists. President Obama made a brave call to take out Bin Laden and to conduct successful drone attacks. In fact, I’m quite confident that these particular terrorists will meet an American drone quite soon. President Obama, whatever his flaws, does not sympathize with America’s enemies. Nor has any American President. And Romney knows this. He should not have tried to seek political gain from this horrific murder of some very honorable Americans.

 

When the United States is attacked and innocent Americans are killed, all Americans should stand together as one, support finding out exactly which terrorists did the attack, and cheer as our Government brings them to justice. Such an attack should not divide Democrats and Republicans. It should bring us together, as it did for 99% of us on September 11, 2001.

More Spin than Disclosure in Romney Tax Returns

September 21, 2012
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At 3 pm on Friday, Mitt Romney will release his tax returns. But as of 2 pm, the campaign has already released its favorable spin on them, saying he paid a 14.1% effective rate, gave 30% to charity, and paid an average of 20% over the last 20 years (without showing us those returns or telling us the rates over these 20 years). So what – pre-3 o’clock – can we already glean about the release?

 

1. Playing with Timing: Designed for Maximum Spin & Minimum Information

 

As any political analyst knows, dropping news late on Friday guarantees the least possible coverage because it is too late for a weekday, because Saturday newspapers and television have the smallest viewing numbers, and because Sunday news shows often consider Friday to be “old news.” By dropping these complicated returns so late on Friday, the Romney Campaign hopes the initial story (he released his returns!) hits the evening news, but the real details (what’s in the complicated returns that will take some time to figure out) come out too late to give any meaningful reporting on them.

 

2. Playing with Averages: Why 20 Years, Instead of 10? Why an Average and Not Individual Rates?

 

While refusing to release more than two years of tax returns or the tax rates for any year prior to 2010, Romney has released a statement from an accounting firm that his tax return average rate over twenty years (which no one had asked for) was at 20%. Why would he release an average rather than individual years? And why twenty years rather than the ten requested by the media that is typical for candidates? Probably because very high tax rates for five years in the 1990′s can cover up for very low tax rates over the last decade. Recall that twenty years ago were the first years of the Clinton Presidency when Clinton raised the top marginal rate to 39.6%. Also recall that under a Democratic Congress, from the second term of the Reagan Presidency through Clinton’s first term, the maximum capital gains rate was 28-33%. It wasn’t halved to a top rate of 15% until the Republicans took Congress and George W. Bush became President.

 

Simply put, under Democratic rule, rich people like Mitt Romney paid more in taxes. (In fact, it’s the primary reason we had a massive budget surplus under Bill Clinton.) As Clinton would say, it’s arithmetic. Do the math. For example, five years of 39.6%, averaged with fifteen years of 13.5% gives an average tax rate of just over 20%. No doubt this is closer to the truth of Romney’s returns. But he almost certainly releases a 20-year average, rather than the rates for individual years. Why? Because the latter would show that in the early 90′s, he was paying more than 30% in taxes. And in the Bush Jr. years, he was consistently paying under 15%. So Romney releases a twenty-year average, rather than a 10-year average or individual years, to hide this inconvenient truth.

 

3. Making 2011 Look Good

 

Romney’s aides have bragged he gave 30% of his wealth to charity. While that is certainly generous, it happened in the one year he knew would be released during his Presidential Campaign. The real question is what did he give in past years. Here, giving a 20-year average would be useful. But Romney is not disclosing that.

 

4. Hiding Tax-Dodging Schemes in Earlier Tax Returns.
Did Romney Take Advantage of the 2009 IRS Swiss-Bank Tax Amnesty?

 

No winning Presidential candidate in the past 40 years has released fewer years of tax returns than Mitt Romney. So why can’t he release the minimum of 5 years that, by custom and convention, has been deemed sufficient for other candidates in the past? Romney’s been running for President since 2007. He’s had time to manufacture his returns to clean up his act. Why not just disclose them? My guess is it all has to do with those secret Swiss bank accounts.

 

Prior to 2009, the Swiss Government refused to disclose to the United States bank accounts held there by Americans seeking to avoid payment of U.S. Taxes. But that all changed in 2009, when following a dramatic whistleblower disclosure at Swiss bank UBS, the Swiss Government handed over to the IRS the names of thousands of wealthy American tax scofflaws. The IRS then gave these Americans illegally hiding their money from U.S. taxation a one-time amnesty from criminal prosecution if the bank accounts were disclosed on the 2009 tax returns and all back taxes were paid.

 

I believe Romney took advantage of this amnesty– as I suspect we will learn in a tell-all book a few months after he loses the election. That would mean that Romney was absolved from criminal prosecution in 2009. However, he would never want to show the American People that he cheated on his taxes prior to the 2009 disclosure. I would love to see one reporter ask Romney if he took advantage of the Swiss-bank tax amnesty of 2009.

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