Has Pennsylvania Lost Its Swing-State Status?

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s victory in Pennsylvania marks the sixth straight presidential election in which state voters have picked the Democrat.

Which raises the question: Has Pennsylvania finally lost its swing-state status?

The battleground status of the historically competitive state was the subject of political scrutiny for much of 2012.  Even when the Republicans made a brisk, last-minute attempt to wrest it away when some polls showed the race tightening, Obama still won without breaking much of a sweat.

If Pennsylvania was shaded blue on a dry erase board after previous elections, this year it might be colored in with a permanent marker.  Pundits and politicians interviewed this week offered differing takes.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/elections/mc-pa-swing-state-status-lost-20121108,0,2981343.story

Where Obama Did Better — And Where He Did Worse

Editor’s note:  Very interesting election analysis regardless of which side you are on.  Shows the differences between McCain and Romney’s efforts in their respective run for President again Obama.

President Obama carried fewer states than he did four years ago.  He won a second term by dominating the nation’s large urban areas — although mostly by smaller margins compared to his 2008 vote totals.

To view interactive maps for each state, by county, for 2008 and 2012 click here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/obama-better-or-worse/?hpid=z3

Not Chris Christie’s Fault Mitt Romney Lost To Barack Obama

English: US_Attorney_Chris_Christie.jpg‎ cropp...

English: US_Attorney_Chris_Christie.jpg‎ cropped as square headshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Interesting opinion piece from the Trentonian on Chris Christie.

Hey Dick Morris:  You live up to your first name.

The political commentator lives up to his name not because he predicted a Mitt Romney electoral college romp, although that’s probably reason enough.  But nope.  Reason is because of his blog post about why he was so miserably wrong in his prediction.

“I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama,” Morris wrote.  “Not to mention Christie’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.  It made all the difference.”

To recap: Morris blames Romney’s loss on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  Many Republicans are also starting to believe this line of reasoning.

Read more: http://www.trentonian.com/article/20121108/OPINION03/121109650/not-chris-christie-s-fault-mitt-romney-lost-to-barack-obama

Economy Remains Issue That Will Occupy U.S. Lawmakers, Several Observers Note

A nasty election season that ends with close results is not going to clear the muddy waters of American political discourse.

Many people likely thought that on Wednesday as the nation once again focused on serious yet divisive problems like the national debt and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The election gave President Barack Obama a second term but left control of the Senate and the House divided between Democrats and Republicans.

“The public re-upped on divided government,” said Glenn W. Richardson Jr., an associate professor of political science at Kutztown University.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=426030

More Expensive Gas Pushes US Consumer Prices Up

WASHINGTON (AP) – Higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices in September for the second straight month.  Outside energy, there was little sign of inflation.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent last month, matching the August increase.  In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent.  That’s in line with the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose just 0.1 percent.  In the past year, so-called core prices have increased 2 percent.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-times-herald/story/more-expensive-gas-pushes-us-consumer-prices/1

Voters ID Issuance Schedule Sites Western Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thursday, October 18, 2012   4:00pm-7:00pm Schwenksville Public Library (290 2nd St. Schwenksville, PA 19473)

Monday, October 22, 2012   9;30am-12:30pm Pottstown Area Senior Center, ( 724 North Adams St. ( located in YMCA), Pottstown, PA)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012   10:00am-1:00pm Upper Perk Senior Center (517 Jefferson St, East Greenville, PA 18041)

Friday, October 26, 2012   10:00am-1:00pm Sunnybrook Ballroom (Flu Clinic) (50 Sunnybrook Rd, Pottstown, PA)

In order to receive the identification issued through Montgomery County, the applicant will have to:

Sign an affidavit that confirms the applicant’s status as a citizen of the United States, a resident of Montgomery County, and registered to vote in the county.

Additionally, those seeking identification will have to provide one of seven approved types of identification: Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Non-photo ID issued by the government, Firearm permit, Current utility bill, Current bank statement, Paycheck or Government check.  Once the affidavit is signed and approved and identification shown, the applicant will have a headshot taken and the ID card will be printed at the location in approximately one minute.

Social Security Worth Higher Tax, Most In Poll Say

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Seal of the United States Social Security Administration. It appears on Social Security cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON – Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations.  And raise the retirement age, if you have to.

Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them.

Those are the findings of a new Associated Press-GfK poll on public attitudes toward the nation’s largest federal program.

Social Security is facing serious long-term financial problems.  When given a choice on how to fix them, 53 percent of adults said they would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations, according to the poll.  Just 36 percent said they would cut benefits instead.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=411559

Feeble U.S. Job Growth Stokes Fears of Global Slowdown

For a third year, the economic recovery in the United States is floundering, stoking fears of a global slowdown as the European crisis escalates.

Last month, the nation’s employers added the fewest jobs in a year and the unemployment rate actually rose, the Labor Department reported Friday. May was not a fluke either. It was the third consecutive month of disappointing results.

The weakening recovery is a serious vulnerability for President Obama as he faces re-election and it provides traction to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, who says the administration has not done enough to strengthen the economy. Because Washington remains deeply divided over how best to stimulate growth, the report increases the  pressure on the Federal Reserve to take further action on its own.

The United States gained a net 69,000 jobs in May, for an average of 96,000 over each of the last three months. That is down from a 245,000 gain on average from December through February. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 in April, though largely because more people began looking for work. And there was more bad news: job gains that had been reported in March and April were revised downward.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/02/business/economy/us-added-69000-jobs-in-may-jobless-rate-at-8-2.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper