Monday, November 12, 2012

Coverage Comparison


For election night, I was at the Marriott for the GOP Watch Party. There, they were playing FOX news on two giant screens at opposite ends of the room for participants to keep up with the score.

By 10:00 p.m., Obama was at 244 electoral votes while Romney was trailing with 203.

Fox correspondents Bret Baer, Brit Hume and Megyn Kelly were covering the action at Fox studios.

“Obama is more likely to try and work with republicans, now that he is a lame duck,” said Kelly.

Bret Baer subjectively said, “Obama had to appease democrats, his base, by not working with republicans.” However, it is a lack of bipartisan governing from both sides that has seen a gridlock in government productivity.

A democratic guest (unnamed during my viewing) claimed the gridlock came from republicans, who outnumbered the democratic voice in the House of Representatives 233-195.

Brit Hume said, “Raising taxes on the rich doesn’t achieve nearly enough money” to impact the deficit, but didn’t comment on what it does do.

It seems like Fox is looking for a single jubilee that can fix the economy, rather than blending ideas and micromanaging.

Hume said the Obama administration has tried to paint Romney as a vulture capitalist, citing Obama’s $100 million negative ad campaign.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, Fox’s most notoriously frequent guest, said it was an unusual election and that Romney did great for a northeastern liberal. He said this year has seen a “very weak field of candidates”, but was very optimistic about the next generation of candidates, like Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“The future of the party is bright,” Krauthammer said.


When I turned on CNN, Wolf Blitzer was saying Obama was projected to win Iowa. There were roars of applause from Obama fans as the race drew to a close.

Jessica Yellin, Chief White House Correspondent, said this election was “a lesson the Republican party will learn from.”

By this time, Obama had received 43.8 million (49%) of the popular vote, with Romney slightly ahead at 44.0 million votes (49%). Romney would go on to win the popular vote, with Obama collecting the required 270 electoral votes.

I think it is a myth out there that [Obama] does not want to cooperate,” said Van Jones, a CNN contributor. “I think he did want to. I think he had a hard time finding a partner because of the Tea Party caucus.”

By 11:30 p.m., several news stations had projected Obama as the overall winner.

Jim Acosta, CNN national political correspondent reported the Romney campaign was not ready to concede the election.

As of 11:46 p.m., CNN reported Romney was not ready to concede.

The reason was the Romney campaign had disputed the Ohio call, which went against some of Fox’s officials’ reports.


Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, called the election shortly after 11:00 p.m.

Al Sharpton hilariously called Obama’s campaign “flawless,” saying Obama “brought us back from the ugliness politics have become.”

Then again, hindsight is 20-20.

It seems that, upon hearing the projection, Sharpton had forgotten all the vitriolic, antagonistic, mud-slinging tactics presented from both sides throughout the race. He also didn’t seem to realize that Romney won the popular vote, which is far from a “flawless” victory.

Correspondents said it was a much harder race than in 2008 for both sides.

They agreed Romney’s 47% remark was fatal, and reported the mood at the Romney campaign was “deflated.”

“[Republicans] will continue to lose, and marginalize themselves,” Sharpton added.

Rachel Maddow quickly jumped on the fact that FOX was refusing to believe some of their own officials.

Maddow said, if Romney won, Obama’s policies “would have been dialed back along with the rest of his legacy.”

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bringin' it Home

An excruciatingly long election campaign journeys into its final hours.

As the 2012 election draws to a close, it seems that every ounce of news has been juiced from the fruit of our labors.

But the final hours of the election roll on, and journalistic pundits scoop up the few remaining details that could help change the minds of undecided voters.

The Poynter Institute reported at least 30 newspapers across the nation switched from endorsing Obama in 2008 to Romney this year.

Twenty-four of those papers were swing-state papers, like the Wisconsin State Journal. Although the Journal touts Obama as a “more likable and inspiring speaker”, it says “This is now Obama’s economy, even though the GOP shares in the blame for partisan games.”

Sharing is caring. With all the negative spin, vitriolic remarks and persistent gaffes, at least we can all share the blame.

Some of the other re-opinionated newspapers include the New York Daily News, the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Orlando Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle.

Meanwhile, only a handful of papers have flipped to Obama, including The San Antonio Express-News, the San Francisco Examiner and the Winston-Salem Journal – all who endorsed McCain in 2008.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Helps Coordinate Campaign Strategy

The pull for Ohio is shaping up to be fundamental to Governor Romney's potential presidency.

Polls currently show a tie at 49 percent among voters. But, with a margin of error at over three percent, it's anybody's game.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman, on Fox News Sunday, said the energy, momentum and enthusiasm is on his side.

Obama campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, said on ABC, "we feel pretty good about Ohio and think we're going to win it."

President Obama rescheduled his Orlando rally this weekend due to the latest trajectory of Hurricane Sandy.

Romney was also forced to cancel a rally in New Hampshire.

Both candidates have had to suspend campaign duties along the East coast, including fundraisers in New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina - all anticipated to receive Sandy's wrath.

A CNN report shows Hurricane Sandy expected to make landfall near the Jersey shore the evening of Oct. 29.

In response, the New York City Stock Exchange, the Subway, the U.N. building and the Broadway Theatres have all closed in anticipation of the storm.

Written by: Justin Chandler Porter

Monday, October 22, 2012

Face the Nation

Election Day is two weeks away, and Monday’s debate will be the last opportunity for President Obama and Governor Romney to make their case for America.

According to a Sunday poll from NBC News / Wall Street Journal, both candidates are tied at 47 percent, while a Politico tracking poll shows Romney slightly leading, 49-47.

An enduring performance could mean a significant bump in the polls, while a gaffe could spell the end of a hard-fought brawl with very little time to recover. Either way, this could be the most important 90 minutes of the election.

The candidates have previously argued about domestic issues, like border-control, healthcare and social programs.

Major talking points for Monday’s debate will likely revolve around details of the Benghazi attack in Libya, mounting discord in Syria and sanctions against Iran for its nuclear pursuits.

The final debate will take place at 9 p.m. EST at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. It will air on and

Moderator and veteran journalist Bob Schieffer will take the middle seat for the night’s debate. He told he was ready to endure the scrutiny of being caught in the crossfire of the heated debaters.

Schieffer has, since 1972, covered every presidential race and convention. He has been the host of CBS’ “Face the Nation” since 1991.

Huffington Post reporter Paul Abrams said in a report that Schieffer should not focus too much on Benghazi, but rather on heavier issues.

“Benghazi is neither the most important, nor a symptom of the most important foreign policy matters that need to be discussed,” Abrams wrote in a report Oct. 22.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Round 2: Fact or Friction

President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney met Tuesday night at the Town Hall in Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

The venue, much different than the first two, featured undecided voters asking questions directly to the participants.

Much of the heated back-and-forth between the incumbent and the GOP nominee revolved around the loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens, three American soldiers and the confusing aftermath that ensued.

“it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror,” Romney said. Moderator Candy Crowley acknowledged that argument.

Although, the day after the attack, Obama spoke at the Rose Garden with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where he said,  “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.”

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, went on several networks less than a week after the Benghazi attack, saying the incident was uncoordinated and unplanned.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice addresses the U.N.

Obama fired back by saying, “The suggestion that … my team … would play politics … when we’ve lost four of our own … is offensive.”

The event was a fun chance for both men on stage to dole out archaic gaffes and regrettable one-liners.

We saw cameos from Romney’s “47%” line, as well as his line about “letting Detroit go bankrupt.”

Before the Benghazi issue, Sen. Rob Portman said foreign policy was in the president’s favor.

“That has changed now,” Portman said on CNN.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Decisive Denver Debate

Squaring-off at the University of Denver, the incumbent Barack Obama and the GOP nominee Mitt Romney met face-to-face for the first of three presidential debates Wednesday night.

The event, hosted by moderator Jim Lehrer, focused on domestic policies, including the deficit, Medicare and education.

Post-debate polls immediately went to Romney, citing his aggression, passion and energy, but with his all-to-familiar lack of detail. The same polls cited Obama as underwhelming; even cold.

Romney introduced a five-step process that diverges from the President’s current “top-down” policies. It included getting America energy-independent, opening up more foreign trade, balancing the federal budget and championing small business.

Romney also urged America to crack down on China, “if and when they cheat.”

Romney said the role of government is not to be the economic player, picking winners and losers, but to make the private sector more efficient and effective.

Obama persistently referred to Romney’s $5 trillion tax cuts, accusing the nominee of exacerbating the problems that have devastated the economy over the past decade.

“If you believe we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending the military is not asking for,” Obama said, “then Governor Romney’s plan may work for you.”

Obama said asking how we pay for that without dumping costs onto middle-class Americans is a central question of the campaign.

The Brooking Institute’s Tax Policy Center determined large tax cuts to high-income households while increasing the tax burdens on middle-class families under the Romney plan.

Despite the finding, Romney acknowledges, “You’ll never balance the budget by raising taxes.”

ObamaCare, the President’s signature health-care law, was an issue of contention. While Romney aspires to cleave the program if elected, he lacked specifics on how he would replace the program.

Liberal comedian Bill Maher tweeted during the event, “Obama is not looking like he came for a job interview; Romney does.”
Democratic strategist James Carville said it looked like Obama did not want to be there, but expected a big pushback from the President.

This is reflective of the mounting pressure, as absentee ballots are already being filled just weeks before the election.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Faux Politics

Recently, President Obama sat down for an interview with Spanish-speaking Univision, where he said he “can’t change Washington from the inside.” 

Although he was not entirely specific about how that judgment is represented, an overzealous Mitt Romney fired back.

“We’re going to give him that chance in November.  He’s going outside,” Romney said at a rally in Sarasota, Fla.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said the party of “yes we can” has moved on to “no I can’t.”  Clever.

Hindsight is 20-20.  Foresight, on the other hand, is a strategy.

If you’re drowning, you don’t have the foresight to politely ask someone to help you. You just scream. The obvious foresight would be to not walk on thin ice with a backpack full of hammers.

That’s what it seems like Republican nominee Romney is doing.  Romney appears to be drowning in gaffs; exacerbating the great divide between two parties that won’t give an inch, but would gladly take a mile. He came, unprepared and out of touch.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said in a press conference Friday, were Obama reelected, there would be no taxes raised on high-income families.

As much as he would like to believe that, several members of his caucus do not share the same optimism.

Representative Tom Cole admitted that, if Obama wins, taxes would likely to increase for wealthy families. He said Obama would be able to allow the Bush tax cute to expire for incomes above $250,000.

If the president wins reelection, taxes are going up,” Cole said in a Fox News report, “and there’s not a lot we can do about that."

Currently, 47% of citizens pay little to no taxes.  Many citizens who don’t pay taxes are seniors and veterans.  Romney’s statements earlier this week that many of those not paying taxes believe they are victims only adds fuel to the inflammatory perceptions of him.

The two nominees can focus on substance, namely domestic policy, at the upcoming Oct. 3 debate. It will take place at the University of Denver and is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. 

PBS NewsHour host Jim Lehrer will moderate the debate.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who is Uncle Samurai?

Uncle Samurai is Justin Chandler Porter; a Journalism student from the University of North Florida.  He has a black belt in karate and spelling.  He plays the piano and is an excellent swimmer.  He writes screenplays and is almost fluent in Spanish.
Uncle Samurai brings the latest in bureaucratic bantar to those in dire need of a political tune-up.  For local, national and even global newsworthy events, Uncle Samurai roams the wastelands of the internet, scouring for significance among stories that have been equivocated by popular media outlets.

Although the stories aim to be objective, their purpose is subjective:  to fill the information gaps brought on by pop culture and materialism to a generations' struggling enthusiasm.

This blog is intended to cultivate and preserve my personal aptitude for political erudition, and to share that knowledge with the inquiring world.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mayor Brown's Nominees

The nation’s largest city, in both population and land area, is getting bigger, better and stronger!

Mayor Alvin Brown announced Aug. 31 his nominees for a volunteer group designed to oversee the Jacksonville City Council’s new Downtown Investment Authority.

Mayor Brown, and the nine board members of the new DIA
(photo from
Brown and Council President Bill Bishop chose the nine-member board from a long list of qualified Jacksonville citizens who all share the same goal of bringing more business to Jacksonville.

Brown said, in, the goal of the board will be to attract more residents, increase tourism and increase the city’s value through revenue and commerce.

Brown chose five of the nine nominees:

  1. *Melody S. Bishop - architect with Akel Logan & Shafer.  She serves on the A1A Florida Board of Directors and the Florida Foundation for Architecture Board of Trustees.
  2. *Robert M. Clements - Chairman and CEO of EverBank. 
  3. *Kamira Harper - Practicing attorney with the Harper Law Firm
  4. *Donald Harris - General Manager of the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel.
  5. *Paul Perez - Former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida and current Chief Compliance   Officer for Fidelity National Financial.

Council President Bishop chose four of the nominees:

  1. *Antonio Allegretti - Founding Director of the Riverside Arts Market and a partner at the Burrito Gallery.  Current Director of Downtown Engagement for the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce.
  2. *James F. Bailey Jr. - President of Bailey Publishing and Communications and Publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record
  3. *Oliver Barakat -  Senior Vice President for CBRE .
  4. *Donald A. Shea - Executive Director of the nonpartisan Jacksonville Civic Council.  Former executive director of the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority and President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership.

The City Council unanimously approved of the DIA Aug. 15.  The members are all appointed to a four-year term and will perform transparent business the public will see.

Mayor Brown signing legislation to renew downtown Jax
(photo courtesy of First Coast News)
Once funded, the board will put forward a downtown development plan and revitalize Jacksonville’s downtown area.

Click the link to Jacksonville's Official Website to learn more about the DIA and the Better Jacksonville Plan (BJP).