The End’s Not Near, It’s Here!

So this is less of a blog post and more of a goodbye, unfortunately!

I’ve decided to put Politicin’ on an indefinite hiatus, as the new website Loud Mouth has just launched. Loud Mouth is a website created by young people to act as a platform to showcase the work of young people in the UK, be that photography, creative writing or Journalistic style stuff.

It’s a really great opportunity for aspiring writers, and I’m going to be writing something for them every week on American politics, very much like Politicin’. With exams coming soon, and my hopeful transition to university coming in the autumn I want to try and concentrate on writing for Loud Mouth as well as doing school work etc.

But three months & almost 650 views later this blog was the first thing I ever really publicly wrote and that’s why it’s so hard to end it, for now anyway. But I would honestly like to thank everyone who ever read, laughed, enjoyed or even glanced at my blog, I’ve loved doing this so much, and if you want to read some of my new stuff on Loud Mouth the website is; http://www.loudmouth.org.uk/

It’s such a great website and the people behind it are really great as well.

So again I would just like to thank everyone, especially Katrina & SheSpeaks for their constant likes and comments from the very beginning when I thought no one really read anything I wrote, they’ve been great. So thanks again, and remember don’t vote Rick Santorum!

Newt Gingrich: The Immovable Object…

So it’s been eight months, 20 debates, 1,420 rallies, $105 million spent and countless Big Macs (mostly in the Gingrich camp it must be said), and still the Republican candidates are slogging on. Although most of the Republican candidates are quite morally contemptible, you do have to admire their ‘staying ability’, to keep going from small town to small town in an attempt to squeeze those last few votes out of the Republican faithful. I know that if it was me, well after the 1000th rally I think I would be rocking back and forth in the corner only to be institutionalised, strapped into a straight jacket and being putin a padded cell, much like Sarah Palin. And yet the marathon continues!

After last week’s Super Tuesday reaction it was always going to be difficult to follow up to something as exciting as that, and yet I’m pretty excited this week! Firstly, I got Bruce Springsteen’s new album ‘Wrecking Ball’, now usually I don’t do much promoting (although there is more to come later), but I am a HUGE Springsteen fan, and his new album is awesome so buy it, c’mon who doesn’t love the boss?! And secondly, in unfortunately non – Springsteen related news, the second thing that excited me was that this week it finally, finally looked as if Newt Gingrich would drop out the race prompting a huge sigh of relief from the world’s population. Unfortunately however, he disappointed everyone, hence the title ‘the immovable object’, now for once, if you can believe it, I wasn’t making fun of Newt’s weight I was more pointing out his reluctance to step down… Well it might be 20% as a joke about his weight, OK 40%!

Newt had promised, for a third time, that his campaign would surge, and to be fair to the chubby former Speaker of the House it wasn’t just him who thought he had a pretty good chance in Alabama & Mississippi; previously he’s done pretty well in the Southern states, with wins in South Carolina and his state of Georgia. In fact it was Sweater vest Santorum that once again solidified his position as the ‘alternative to Mitt’, although personally I think Santorum and Gingrich should fight each other for the chance to be Mitt’s alternative, apparently everyone else favours a more structured approach! And it was  Santorum who really favoured the structured approach this week winning both of those aforementioned states.

Invoking the faith card from the very beginning, it was quite clear that Sweater vest was going to do well in the deep south states, and in between thanking Jesus and attacking Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum has been on something of a roll, his wins in Miss (It’s a nightmare to spell Mississippi!) & Alabama come on top of his 3 Super Tuesday wins, coupled with his Kansas win this past weekend, and added again by his very probable win Missouri this weekend. He now goes into the great state of Illinois next week for the next BIG ONE, only this time he has $3 million worth of attack ads lined up by ol’Mitt waiting for him, and who said politics couldn’t be friendly!

However the even BIGGER ONE is Newt Gingrich, and his date of departure, which I’ve been hoping for, for about 8 months I think! His defeats in his must win home region of the Deep South ensured that his White House bid is over, you hear that Newt, over! Yet he’s delaying the inevitable and being bloody stubborn about it, it seems only Gingrich & Gingrich’s team that still think this is a 3 horse race, yet realistically, it’s not been a 3 horse race for some time now. Yet it’s not all bad I suppose, I like making jokes about Newt Gingrich, and without him it would seriously impair my ability to make fun of him, well I could keep doing it, but it wouldn’t have as much impact. So Newt’s still running the marathon, but the question is; for how much longer?!

– Just a little note at the end here, I promoted Bruce Springsteen’s album on here earlier, but now it’s time for some shameless self-promotion! A website has been set up by a few university students here in the UK to try and showcase young writers, photographers, artists etc. So basically it’s pretty cool, I’ve written quite a few bits for it on American politics, and the guys who run it are really great so please have a look! It has the potential to be really, really big so please do have a look! It’s called Loud Mouth and I believe it’s launching this Sunday – http://loudmouthofficialblog.blogspot.com/

Why Barack is getting comfortable..

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So things are starting to change, the seasons, the weather, it’s probably Newt Gingrich’s annual underwear changing as well, so it’s good for everyone, in fact in England today we had our hottest day so far this year which is obviously great. It was actually sunny, and as soon as the temperature tops 9 degrees everyone’s out in sunglasses and shorts, and personally I’m not a huge winter fan, so I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit, and by British standards anything above 10 degrees is something of a heatwave! Another momentous change could be on it’s way later this year, not Newt’s underwear (not twice in one year!) but ol’ Obama could be ousted, while I’m sure that England will have another sunny day, I, like so many others, cannot see a change in the Oval Office later this year.

It’s been a damn good week to be a Republican, no wait sorry, that should be it’s been a damn good week to be Mitt Romney, everyone’s favourite Mormon (I don’t know any mormons so he wins by default) cleaned up two Primaries this week in Michigan & Arizona. Personally I thought Mitt would blitz both primaries and finally silence Sweater vest Rick, well, it turns out I was half right, he won in Arizona by a hefty 20ish%, Michigan on the other hand was a bit tighter, and when I say ‘bit’ I mean a lot, and when I say tighter, I mean there was some serious sweating going on in the Romney Campaign HQ. I don’t know a huge amount about the demographics in Michigan but I thought that because Mitt’s dad was governor there, he was naturally, a shoo in. Apparently not, in the end he beat Rick Santorum by about 3%, and even then it wasn’t a HUGE WIN, unfortunately for ol’ Mitt, Michigan divides it’s delegates proportionately, so despite his marginal win he has to begrudgingly split the 30 delegates with Sweater vest Rick, and cue more Romney sweating!

When the results were coming in, admittedly I was asleep, (what? it was like 3 AM here and I have school!) but when I woke up and saw the results I was genuinely surprised at the small winning margin in Michigan. As I said, I’m not sure of the voter demographics, but I mean his dad was freakin’ governor, so surely that carries some sort of influence, and also it’s where Mitt was born, so surely home-field advantage! So that raises the question; Why didn’t Mitt blitz Michigan? Now, admittedly, I’ve been giving the other candidates a bit of a hard time, especially Newt Gingrich, and as a result I’ve left Mitt Romney a tad unscathed, so here it goes; while I’ve very much enjoyed deriding both Rick Perry and especially Newt Gingrich, it turns out that Mitt Romney is no stranger to the ‘political gaffe’, in fact after a bit of research into his comments, especially when talking to voters, it really shows that he has the equivalent people skills of a cruise missile!

On friday, it seemed that ol’Mitt went all ‘Rick Perry’ on us all, trust me that saying will soon be in the dictionary, he firstly seemed to boast that his wife ‘had a couple Cadillacs’, brilliant thing to say in Michigan, he then bizarrely remarked something about Michigan’s trees being ‘just the right height’, but then the real big one, he said he didn’t like NASCAR, again good stuff in Michigan, but he did know the owners of a couple of NASCAR teams, you heard him, Mitt Romney in touch with the 99%. By Wednesday the Democrats had created a video, highlighting the aforementioned quotes and calling him ‘out of touch’, honestly, it’s my dream to go into politics be it American or British, and I would love to work on election campaigns, but there is simply nothing Romney’s team could come back with in response to him being ‘out of touch’, at least Barack made an effort with the whole ‘I listen to rap’ thing, I guess Mitt could go down that road, no one would believe him though, well maybe he likes Vanilla Ice?

Of course the bigger picture is that the Republican party is it’s own worst enemy, it’s contributing to it’s own downfall, and essentially serving President Obama’s next term on a lovely GOP dish. Romney has no real backing from the GOP HQ, and with him being the frontrunner, well it’s a disaster. Their obvious reluctance to get behind their man with the best chance of winning their nomination undermines their best chance of winning the presidency, some party leaders have called for unity but nothing seems to work. Exit polls from Michigan showed that half the voters, only 45%, of Republican voters, felt enthusiastic about their REPUBLICAN candidates, the GOP voters are seemingly waiting/hoping/praying for a fresh candidate that, realistically, may never come. It’s time for Mitt to get back ‘in touch’ with the voters, maybe he could start rapping?

P.S – Apologies for various uncompleted versions of this being posted multiple times, WordPress has changed and no longer likes me. Apologies to anyone that commented previously, as those old incomplete posts were deleted!

Barack… King of Cool.

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You know what? Say what you like about the 44th President of the United States, yeah I’m talkin’ bout Barack Obama, say what you like about him. But one thing you can’t deny is that he’s cool, he’s really cool, he sings Al Green at a conference and doesn’t care. He listens to Jay Z, who I think is a rapper, he is certainly the coolest president in history, I mean sure Taft had the moustache, but Obama just, just, tops him. What I’m getting at is that we cannot, just cannot have someone as un-cool as Rick Santorum, sweater vest and all, being the next president, as a matter of principle, it can’t happen.

Admittedly, this week has been a bit of a dry week, it has been dry, which is why this week’s piece is going to be slightly shorter than usual. There’s been very little material to work with this week, and by ‘work with’ I mean attempt to write a semi-witty article about American politics, the next primaries aren’t for another 5 days, there is very little for someone, who isn’t even in America by the way, to go on, but I like Obama so I’m gonna run with this!

So recently Rick Santorum has been doing pretty damn well, it seems as though he may be the conservative that the Republicans have been looking for. However, for me personally, I despise him, I really despise him as a person and just about everything he stands for. On the other hand, I am quite pleased that he’s knocked everyone’s least favourite living politician, Newt Gingrich, out of the way, if there is anyone I despise more than ‘Sweater vest’ its ol’ Newt. So after writing a paragraph using the word ‘despise’ more times than I think I’ve said the word, I’ll move on.. Rick Santorum quite astoundingly is doing pretty well in Michigan, ol’ Mitt’s favourite second favourite state, but honestly I can’t understand his support, in fact, I can’t understand the type of person who would vote for Santorum.

Now lets be clear, we live in a democratic societies, on both sides of the pond, in fact most of the world does, which is of course a great thing. But Rick Santorum, god bless him, stands for things that take away people’s liberty and free choice; banning of abortion, banning of gay marriage etc. So surely his advocation of Federal bans of these things is, thus effectively removing people’s free choice, is a bad thing? Well isn’t it? Just because HE and others believe that they are right, doesn’t make them right. I can’t understand his views at all, I thought all Republicans want a small non-intrusive government, yet here he is, intruding right into people’s bedrooms, telling them what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Of course all of this ultra conservative rhetoric is backed, by what he believes to be god’s will, but I can’t understand the mentality behind people who decide they know what’s best for others because they are ignorant to other people’s lifestyle.

Got a tad serious for a second there, although I can honestly say I don’t like Sweater vest Rick, I fully respect his voters and believe in a democratic society where people should vote for who they like, but there is something so clearly ignorant about Santorum’s attitude that I just find so frustrating, plus y’know sweater vests aren’t really very cool are they? They aren’t ‘Obama cool’.

Mitt & the Maine-stream..

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Once again my apologies for the awful, it really is, title for this piece, I wanted to try and get Maine into the title somewhere, and lots of people have said that Mitt’s campaign is now ‘back on track’ after a worryingly close result in the ‘Pine Tree State’ (really?). Now I say ‘worryingly close’ but it was probably even closer than that; Mitt was 31% ahead in Maine until everyone’s favourite geriatric – libertarian Texas congressman Ron Paul closed the gap to a mere 3%. Of course Mitt still won, but if it was me; well, I probably would have wet myself in nervousness, several times. Ok so maybe I wouldn’t wet myself, because I would then remember that the winner doesn’t even get any bloody delegates, if I were Mitt I would have abandoned Maine and headed West long ago. If someone wouldn’t mind explaining to me the significance of the ‘straw poll’ in Maine I would be very grateful, it just seems a bit pointless, all that attention and significance, and it means very little. Explanations NEEDED, in the comments section please!

I should probably stop the Maine-bashing now, my parents are going on holiday there later this year and I don’t want the state police to come after my Mum & Dad. Anyway, a ridiculously small amount of people voted in Maine, 5,000 in fact,which again begs the question, why do people really care? The state is hardly representative of the rest of the US, in fact the only state’s it’s even similar to in that respect are New Hampshire and, yeah you guessed it; Massachusetts, Mitt’s state, it even comes with Obama-style healthcare, just don’t tell anyone else. And that, smoothly brings me into my next point, Mitt’s apparent ‘flip-flopping’ is causing him just a few problems, in fact it’s been the main artillery for any and all anti-Mitt talk anywhere in the galaxy.

The annual meeting of the conservative wing of the GOP took place in Washington last week, it brought together just about every US conservative under the sun, including our beloved Sarah Palin (HA!). The CPAC, the meeting thing, came just after Sweater-Vest Santorum triply crushed Mitt, and just before the Maine ‘non vote’. So with Mitt reeling, he had to show that he could appeal to the conservatives, and what better way to do it than trying to do it in front of 10,000 conservative Republicans, who probably don’t like him very much anyway. Well, ol’Mitt won it in the end, he finished 7% ahead of Sweater Vest, 23% ahead of the Pillsbury dough-boy, and 26% ahead of RP. So you’d think ‘big pat on the back’ for Mitt, however things didn’t go down too smoothly, although he won the poll he didn’t exactly do it subtlety; aside from having the word ‘Conservative’ tattooed on his rather sizeable forehead, he instead chose to use the word more than 20 times in an effort to sway his doubters in the audience.

However there were a few detractors who chose to air their views on the former Massachusetts Governor’s supposed Conservative record; a conservative millionaire who owns millions of shares in sweater vests, told an absolute rib-tickler of a a joke, ‘A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar, the bartender says ‘Hi Mitt!’, I’m sure hilarity ensued, I know the next time I need a laugh I’ll go straight to the ‘Republican Party’s collection of jokes’. So while the aisles filled with Republican tears of laughter, another lunatic took to the stage in the form of Sarah Palin, she was on day release and before she returned to her straight jacket and cosy padded cell, she avoided endorsing any candidate but seemed to showsome opposition to Romney, she said the nominee ‘must be someone who can instinctively turn right to constitutional conservative principles.’ While she was being promptly removed as a ‘security risk’, it turns out that once again, the Republican faithful are again spoilt for choice, no wait, that should be lack of choice. Mitt, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul have all failed to ignite any overwhelming support thus far, however Mitt could run away with it comes to the Michigan & Arizona Primaries later this month.

So I’m off to sleep now, it’s pretty late in the old United Kingdom, however theone thing that may keep me up is the thought that Sarah Palin could’ve been Vice President right now, really America? REALLY?!

Newt Gingrich, Or: How I Learned To Start Worrying About American Politics

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At the time of writing this I’m sitting watching James Bond, Casino Royale in case your interested, whilst drinking a great cup of tea, so at this point, aside from being Hugh Grant, I’m being about as English as possible. And even sitting here in the middle of my comfortable English home, I’m worried … on the verge of weeping actually, the thought causing these ill feelings is that Newt Gingrich suddenly looks like the man most likely to face Barack Obama in the General Election later this year.

Honestly, Newt must’ve been Tebowing (see last week’s article) and Tebowing a lot! It’s the only reasonable explanation for what has been a frankly remarkable turnaround. Until last week Mitt Romney looked a shoo-in for the nomination, he looked set to complete a clean slate of wins in the first three primaries, now he’s just got the solitary win in New Hampshire of which he was always going to win anyway. While of course ol’Mitt is probably weeping quietly somewhere, (we could weep together? maybe?), it turns out that the South Carolina result was most wildly celebrated in the oval office as opposed to anyway actually near South Carolina. The result coupled with the Iowa Caucus overturn has significantly weakened Mitt Romney’s challenge for the nomination, and has also significantly weakened the GOP’s chances of winning back the presidency. The Democrats cannot believe their luck, and as the Republican in-fighting continues, the worst man has moved to the front of the queue.

The debate last monday evening was the beginning of the ‘Gingrich surge’, this debate by the way was the 16th debate! The 16th! Apparently Mitt has been most displeased with the frequency of the debates and I do agree, 16 debates really?! Anyway it was this debate that the wily ol’ Texan Rick Perry asked ol’Mitt to release his tax returns, which have now been released at a bit of a measly 15% tax, it had then emerged the Romney had lost to Santorum in Iowa, then Rick Perry realised who he was and dropped out and endorsed Newt, and Sarah Palin somehow managed to get past security to endorse him as well! In the end of course as everyone knows, Newt won SC by a giant 12%.

Although many thought, I was hoping, the Newt train would be derailed before the voting began, it  didn’t happen, although as I said many thought it would, and here’s why: – Newt’s second wife, you know the wife he left to go marry another woman whom he had been having an affair with while being indicted for ethics breaches as the Speaker of the House, while bitching at Clinton for having an affair, Yes that second wife, was giving an interview on how he had supposedly asked her for an open marriage so he could continue his affair with his soon to be third wife… yeah just give it a second for the classiness to waft over you.. And I’ll continue, while this looks like a train wreck of a situation nothing really came out of it, Newt didn’t dip in the polls and comfortably won days later.

**He was asked about all this in a debate, in fact I believe it was the first question of the debate, and he went freakin’ nuts, youtube it!

The problem is that when the topic was raised in the debate, Newt shouted it down calling it ‘despicable’ and that’s not even the problem, the problem is that the crowd stood and applauded his rude response, applauded, why? The Republican supporters sitting in the audience supposedly represent the moral side of America, they pride themselves, most of them, on their moral and religious values, and yet stand and applaud and even worse, vote for the man, while the ‘open marriage story’ may not be true, they vote for a man who left his first wife to marry his mistress, while his first wife was undergoing cancer treatment, and then left his second wife to marry his next mistress, as well as being the only Speaker of the House to be impeached in front of congress.. I mean what are these people applauding? They’re applauding the direct contradiction of their own beliefs and want this man as President!

He’s also promised Sarah Palin a ‘major role’ in the next administration, and if all of this before was not enough of a reason to not vote him, this last part definitely is!

Republicans and foreign policy, not the greatest mix…apparently..

Well, let’s be brutally honest, odds are that no one thought Rick Perry’s ‘oops’ moment could be topped or at least equalled in terms of political foolery. But I’m guessing that some people may have been thinking ‘Well Herman Cain definitely has it in him..’ And those people are right, Mr Cain has certainly delivered, and in top form as well; in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when asked about the Libya conflict, he said: –

“OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct?”

When asked if he agreed with Obama’s support for rebels, he replied: –

“I do not agree with the way he handled it, for the following reason.” After hesitation and shifting in his seat, he said: “Uh, nope, that’s, that’s a different one. … see, I got to go back, see. Got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”

Now this gaffe could not come at a worse time for Cain, or a better time for everyone else, as it gives another terrifying insight into the man who could be President in just over a year’s time… scary stuff, no?

But then again isn’t it time Herman was given a bit of a break, sure he messed up on the Libya question slightly, and he said one of the top priorities was to stop China acquiring a nuclear warhead, seemingly unaware they’ve had them since the 60’s, but when compared with other Republican candidate’s namely Sarah Palin, Mr Cain comes off looking pretty damn good!

Who can forget, Sarah Palin’s, now infamous, explanation of why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her a wealth of foreign policy experience ; “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” Predictably the clip went viral at the time, and early on it looks as though Cain’s blunder might be going the same way.

But, all in all it’s not too bad for the Republicans; of course in the UK if you want to know anything about US politics then you have to watch the superb Daily show with Jon Stewart. And as much as I love to watch Jon Stewart in full ‘republican/fox news piss taking’ flow, you could only watch quite surprised as he declared that, the usual nutcase extra-ordinare, Michele Bachmann had the ‘sanest’ stance on foreign policy out of all the candidates including the seemingly mercurial Mitt Romney.

Whether, Cain’s latest gaffe will set his presidency bid back is anyone’s guess, most thought he was toast after last week but he’s somehow staying afloat, and if he can get through to January and the Iowa caucus without any major scene he should be ok, but until then my best advice for him is to hide in a cupboard and keep his mouth shut…firmly shut!