Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sacrifice in Reverse

Chris Christie on Meet the Press this morning:

He (Romney) believes everyone should have skin in the game; he stands for shared sacrifice to make this nation great again.

Shared sacrifice? Those living on the financial edge already have more than their share of "skin" in the game. The term "shared sacrifice" needs to be pointed directly at those who knowingly avoid paying their share of taxes instead of expecting America's working class and poor to shoulder the burden - again.

Losing homes, jobs and health benefits isn't enough for Romney? He wants these same people to sacrifice even more while he and others like him sit in their flush financial lofts?

Political Puffery

I'm not sure why, but I'm interested in two election results that are nowhere near my current place of residence. In fact, I could care less what happens in local races because one of my primary goals is to get the hell out of dodge sooner rather than later.

Anyway, I've been keeping track of senate races in Massachusetts and Missouri. Perhaps because both exhibit cases of extreme right-wing nuttery, such as Todd Akin's inflammatory remarks about women and rape among others, and Scott Brown's focus on his opponent Elizabeth Warren's claims of Native American heritage rather than the issues at hand. My first instinct is to think Akin feels threatened by women, thereby having the need to belittle them as a whole, and that Brown has no specific answers ready to serious questions.

Maybe the most striking theme about right-wing stump speeches is consistent emphasis on the national debt. For the average person, the main area of concern is providing for their own families first. Worrying and casting blame over the debt is fair game, but it hardly ranks as a priority in the daily lives of people just trying to survive. They want answers and results now, not promises that may or may not come to fruition many years hence.

To be honest, politicians from both sides try to use distraction tactics but it's just not working anymore. Their assumption that the average American voter is too dumb to grasp various nuances will hopefully come back to bite them when Election Day dawns. There are those who seize on any excuse to hate or vilify the other side, but rational folk see the political puffery for what it is.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

All in a Day's Idle

This is the broken record playing on Capitol Hill since the right-wing took over the House nearly two years ago:

Is it too much to ask that Democrats take back the House of Representatives and keep the Senate come November?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Whine Extraordinaire

This made me chuckle:

If Mrs. Romney and her husband are finding life difficult now, how can they possibly think it will be any easier in the White House?

A couple of comments following the Politico article also drew a guffaw:

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. (Kostas Moros, California Western School of Law).

I don't think she knows where the kitchen is. (Dan Sylvester).
And so it goes…

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stray Tidbits

> As stern and serious as he appears to be, Martin Bashir actually has a wonderfully sardonic sense of humor. I listen to his TV show on MSNBC every weekday afternoon as I work at my computer. Bashir often refers to the right-wing candidate for president as "Lord Romney."

> According to Open Secrets.Org, 163 celebrities have donated to the Obama reelection campaign; 89 celebrities have donated to the Democratic National Committee and five celebrities have donated to Priorities USA, the super PAC backing Obama. Perhaps the most impressive donations came from actor Morgan Freeman and comedian Bill Maher, who both donated $1 million each to Priorities USA. On the flipside, Mitt Romney has only collected about $16,000 from celebrity donors. Not that money from the famous is better than anyone else's, but they can certainly afford to give more of it.

> NRCC Attack Ad Misleads Iowa Voters: According to Fact Check.Org "a Republican TV ad falsely claims that businesses are forced to drop health care coverage and families are losing health care benefits under the new federal health care law. The ad doesn't mention that the law is expected to increase the number of insured Americans by 14 million in 2014 and by 29 million or 30 million in the latter part of the coming decade according to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report issued in July."

> Ask your best Republican friend this question: If Republican ideology is so prosperous and right for America, why are so many "strongly Republican" states poor, rank near the bottom in education and provide such low levels of income? (interactive share from Move On.Org).

> And, finally, is it any wonder why certain members of the right-wing are viewed as unstable fanatics? Texan Lynches Invisible Obama.

Lame Rebuttal

What is the big deal about a recording of Barack Obama talking about redistribution, which contains the statement "I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure everybody's got a shot"?

Does Romney actually believe the idea of redistribution from the wealthy to the middle class and poor will have the same high impact his disparaging comments about the 47 Percent has unleashed? Not a chance. It merely confirms his lopsided position, making laughable his most recent remarks that his campaign is all about the 100 Percent.

In truth, the counter-attack against President Obama has likely left Romney wide open for more criticism about his preference for the wealthy and dismissal of the rest of us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scary Citizens

More about the 47 Percent:

Big surprise that most of the nasty comments about President Obama come from people living in the South, which follow the Daily Mail article linked above. Some things never change in America, I agree – such as hateful racism dressed as political outrage. Southerners are the first to complain they are labeled "racist" when they disagree with the President's policies, but the intense hatred emanating from the right-wing since President Obama took office lends little credibility to the faux protests. The misnomer of pious southern "Christians" is the biggest outrage of all and is nothing more than hypocrisy at its best (second only to Mormon mantra).

There were literally hundreds of comments following the Daily Mail article. Here's a snippet, both good and bad (my side-remarks are bolded in red):
  • Alex from Louisville, Kentucky: I love all the Liberals ranting over this as if it will drive off Conservatives. 68% of America is conservative leaning (according to whom?) and most are not happy with paying to keep able bodied people at home, watching TV and playing video games while the rest of us work 40+ hours a week. It's the staple of the Tea Party Movement and the reason the Liberals LOST most of the elections in 2010 and we gained the HoR back. Please Mitt, more, more, let Paul Ryan go to be your attack dog to chew up the biased news media and spit them out.
  • Sakara from Kentucky: THE TRUTH HURTS----Obama's biggest fans are the unemployed, and the people who work for the government.
  • Cowboy Mouth from Ft. Worth, Texas: The tattoo-getting, nose-piercing nimrods wonder why they can't get jobs? They are physically able to work but don't want to do a Mexicans job because it is beneath them. Idiots. If you add them all up 50 % seems a little low.
  • Taylor from Atlanta, Georgia: So many people think that they are owed everything instead of going out and working for what they get.
  • Tiffany from Alabama: I'd like to know how what Romney said about the "poor" is any different from how Obama demonizes the "rich"?
  • Plumpy from Lafayette, Louisiana: Romney speaks the truth. All of Obama's supporters are depended on government. They are the leeches sucking the economic blood out of the producers.
  • K.M. from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (skinhead country!): He is 100% correct and decent, hardworking Americans are getting more and more angry about being forced to subsidize lazy freeloaders.
  • Zhang from Lumberton, North Carolina: Fact check - many of Romney's Mormon voters are dependent on government entitlements to support their unusually large families. Very true!
  • T.J. from Atlanta, Georgia: What a bastard. I'm voting for Obama and I paid over $30,000 in Federal Income Tax last year so he can shove it up his golden-spooned ass. My favorite comment to date.
  • Ian from London: When he talks about the 47% of Americans who don't pay tax is he including himself? From what I can see he has done everything possible to avoid tax through offshore bank accounts and offshore companies. Does America really want this guy to be President?
  • Betty Blue Eyes from San Jose, CA: What about multi-millionaires who pay only 14% tax rates because their loopholes are "legal?" Do they think it's unfair that people making much less are in higher tax brackets? How do they feel about people who pay no federal tax legally? These include people on Social Security, people who are disabled, people who are in the lower ranks of the US military, who have low-wage jobs, etc. Why do these unfortunate people have to be kicked for taking advantage of their own legal rights?
  • Penelope from Australia: America- your entire political, social, education and LACK of a health system are a joke most of the rest of the Western world. It's a shame it's not all that funny in that you erroneously pride yourselves on being the greatest democracy the world has ever known when you despise almost half of your own citizens and blame them for being poor, unemployed, sick and poorly educated. Ever thought of trying to solve these shortfalls in infrastructure instead of just blaming so many individuals? Perhaps the most rational comment so far.
Instead of attacking fellow citizens less fortunate than themselves, why don't various right-wingers stop whining and simply pay their fair share of taxes? Or voluntarily relinquish their Medicare and social security benefits if they feel so strongly about the matter? Their savage lack of compassion and burning hatred of anyone slightly different than themselves divides the country, along with their seemingly inherent selfishness and greed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Eyes Peeled

Aside from news and social media, this is an important site to watch as the election draws closer:

At the moment, President Obama is about 100.2 points ahead of Romney on the projected electoral map.

As in previous elections, Five Thirty Eight is typically right on the money. Let's hope they stay true to form this year…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Delusional Grandeur

I have a feeling I'll be screaming at my television set in frustration and disgust nearly every day from now until election day. I was incredulous when Romney was trotted out to make a statement about the violence and loss of American life in Libya. His action was little more than a political tactic in the face of a tragedy, an undignified maneuver that was as obvious as the day is long. He is highly offensive and desperately self-serving, a foolish wanna-be who imagines his statements are just as important as those given by the President of the United States.

Romney assumes most Americans are idiots who don't have a clue to what is really going on, just like many of his right-wing counterparts. It's as if he expects the masses to swallow every word that comes out of his mouth without question, even in regards to the mysterious plans he has to dig America out of its economic slump.

At least President Obama had the grace and dignity not to seize on political opportunity when he made his own statement today, which is the only one that counts anyway.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Mull

I don't typically pay much attention to political party conventions, preferring to focus on the live debates when candidates have to answer real questions. I have to admit, however, that I did watch Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention and also listened to President Obama when he accepted his party's nomination and spoke about his vision for the future of America.

Like most Democrats, I was impressed by Clinton's oration. Aside from Barack Obama, Bill Clinton is my favorite president. When he was in office, I could have cared less when it was discovered he was cavorting with a woman in the Oval Office. I thought: "If that's what it takes to provide a flush economy, let him have at it." I felt sorry for Hillary, naturally, but the big hullabaloo perpetuated by the morally jaded right-wing at the time was a joke at best.

Back to Clinton's speech…Perhaps my favorite part was when he talked about "arithmetic" when reminding everyone about the differences between Democrat and Republican records. Later, Think Progress provided a snapshot Info-graph of the tallies. One of the "info-graph" comments left by reader Jim Wolf put my own thoughts into a nutshell:

When you're stated intention is to make sure that the President is only a "one term President" (Mitch McConnell) and block any and all job-creating-legislation, you don't deserve the right to lead.

Using one of Clinton's phrases, the Republicans have "brass" in attacking President Obama for lack of progress in the economy. Not only do they forget to mention or take responsibility for the bloody mess in which their party left the nation, they have also purposely blocked attempts by the President and most Democrats in Congress to address the issues.

The right-wing moral harping also rubs me the wrong way. For the most part, conservatives claim to God-fearing Christians yet they don’t bat an eyelid when it comes to suggesting cuts to benefits for seniors and low income families. What sort of Christian is it who deliberately abandons those less fortunate than themselves? Does the word hypocrisy ring any bells?

In my opinion, Romney is as dry as salami and as phony as a three dollar bill. There's simply nothing there. It's not just his right-wing political views and apparent lack of empathy with common people that present as glaringly obvious; it's the slyly minimized but still-looming issue of Romney's religion that remains a turn-off for me.

Prejudice in any form is not amongst my personality traits. I typically don't give a hoot about anyone's race, religion or sexual preference. However, having lived in a place dominated by the Mormon religion for many years – not by free choice, but through circumstances beyond my control - I'm extremely leery about a presidential candidate who is not only an ultra-rich conservative but who also happens to practice the same said religion.

In my experience, which spans over several decades in intermittent fashion, the specific religious influence is appallingly duplicitous in regards to business as well as everyday living. Don't be fooled by pious claims of decency and concern for fellow human beings because my bird's-eye view of the culture does not bear this out. I have never lived amongst a more selfish or judgmental group of people in my life who in reality care little for the disabled, poor, minorities or otherwise disadvantaged. They will be the first to donate money, sure. Yet when it comes to treating the aforementioned people with common decency and respect, their self-proclaimed Christianity goes right out the window and is replaced with derision and dismissal. This is not a fleeting observation or rare occurrence, but rather events which have taken place on a daily basis over many years. I've lost count of the times I saw an able-bodied man, woman or child cut in front of a disabled person who was either struggling with a cane or pushing themselves along in a wheelchair; or a grocery store cashier who treated a customer with barely-veiled contempt when they presented a food stamp card in the form of payment for goods.

And no matter how much Mormons profess to be accepting and non-racist, don't believe it for a minute. I worked at a lumber company in Salt Lake City in the 1980s, where I began dating one of the drivers. He was tall, handsome and black. The backlash of hatred and vitriolic remarks we were both forced to endure – often for just going out to lunch together – was a sickening eye-opener into the real local culture. Their track record speaks for itself, frankly. The Mormon church had a strict policy against ordaining African-Americans into their "priesthood" until 1978, when one of their leaders conveniently had a sudden "revelation" to reverse the non-black policy following intense criticism by civil rights and other religious groups. To me, the worst stains on American history are the country's despicable treatment of blacks and native Indians. The fact that Mormons effectively participated in the racially-motivated ostracization until just thirty-four years ago speaks volumes.

As for business, perhaps the narrow-mindedness is not unusual as it seems common to many corporate environments across the globe. The same people who spend every Sunday in church think nothing of stabbing their co-workers in the back during the week, most often when trying to leap-frog to a promotion. I worked at an insurance company – again in Salt Lake City – for more than seven years, where the vicious modus operandi of doing business horrified me. Money was the bottom line, and woe the person who stood in the way of the grubbing. I think many of them would have stepped over their own mothers or best friends to get ahead, let alone someone just trying to survive.

There are exceptions, of course. I know a handful of Mormons who have vast amounts of integrity without prejudice, but unfortunately they remain few and far between.

For all these reasons – mingled with the tiresome right-wing fanaticism - I simply find it incomprehensible that the American people will vote Romney into the highest office in the land.