The second term strategy

Well, no one has ever accused the Republicans of not playing the long game! At some point, perhaps Obama will figure out that his only real hope is to get the people behind him and stop currying favor with the elite, who will turn on him like a pack of jackals. Just a thought!

There is also speculation that Romney may apply a strategy reportedly considered by George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 if he lost the electoral vote to Vice President Al Gore, but won the popular vote–the opposite of what actually happened in the election.

Romney may be preparing a set of talking points that the Electoral College is essentially unfair and back this argument with a massive Fox News and talk-radio blitz that would fuel doubt in the legitimacy of an Obama win. The goal is to turn public sentiment against President Obama with a message that the President’s campaign thwarted the majority of the people. It is has also been speculated on the Democratic-leaning blog, DailyKos, that Romney might be the first presidential-race loser to refuse to concede the election.

A strategy to make a second-term for Obama appear illegitimate would also use prominent business leaders who will be urged to lobby their customers and clients, prominent members of clergy who will speak to their flocks about “the will of man,” and even a fake grassroots movement of Democrats speaking out against the Electoral College result. In fact, Bush’s campaign advisers in 2000 contemplated creating a “Democrats for Democracy” group to make this point, if necessary.

Some polls now suggest that Romney is in the lead with the national popular vote, but most polls in swing states are suggesting an almost impossible path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to be elected. Nate Silver of The New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog runs against the speculation of a Electoral College/popular vote split. He now projects Barack Obama to win 306 electoral votes and win 50.6 percent of the popular vote.

No incumbent president seeking a second term has ever won the electoral college and lost the popular vote. And a win in the electoral college for Barack Obama that is not accompanied by one in the popular vote could cast a shadow over the president and his ability to govern. Republicans have already been fussing about perceived voter fraud to this end, but a popular-vote victory for Romney will further support this cause.

“This is the point she was trying to make,” said the donor who declined to give to the PAC. “I don’t think they want to steal the election by saying ‘the popular vote should be counted instead of the electoral vote,’ I think they want to cut the nuts off a second term for Obama.”

Why post-storm wireless sucks

You just knew it was something like this:

One key factor helps explain why communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy could not use cell phones to call for help and communicate with the outside world: mobile telephone companies have for years lobbied to kill rules that would have forced them to maintain backup power at their cell phone towers.

After Hurricane Katrina knocked out communications along the Gulf Coast, federal regulators proposed that wireless companies have backup power at all cell towers.

But the wireless industry sued to block the requirement, saying it would be a financial burden and regulators didn’t have authority to impose it. An appeals court later sided with the industry.

This week, as Sandy dealt a severe blow to the nation’s most populous region, about one in four cell towers failed, leaving thousands of customers unable to make cell phone calls for days.

The outages exposed weaknesses in wireless communications during disasters and renewed questions of whether carriers should be required to make their networks more resilient.

“The biggest issue is they have not wanted to invest the money in hardening their networks sufficiently against a catastrophic event,” said Harold Feld, senior vice president at Public Knowledge, a public interest group.

To prepare for hurricanes, wireless carriers say they adhere to “voluntary, industry-based best practices,” such as using portable cell towers on wheels, known as COWS, as temporary towers in areas without service. AT&T and T-Mobile allowed their customers this week to use each other’s networks in New York and New Jersey until their networks were fully restored.

But there are almost no rules on how wireless companies should respond to severe weather. While they work closely with federal agencies during storms, they are not required to file detailed emergency plans with them beforehand.

“It’s basically left up to the industry to decide whether to put plans in place,” Feld said.

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