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Friday, December 30, 2011

Turnabout is Fair Play

In 2004, George Bush successfully depicted John Kerry as a flip flopper. The TV ad with the sailboat was genius, the sails changing direction to portray Kerry as a man without conviction. This successful ad evolved from one speech, one sound byte on one vote, taken entirely out of context, but it worked. Kerry lost in another close election for President Bush. Negative advertising and hardball politics Karl Rove style won the day. With Mitt Romney the probable Republican standard bearer, turnabout is fair play and if the Obama campaign plays it well, this may be Romney's achilles heel. Another New Englander to bite the dust. The difference this time, is that Romney is much more vulnerable than was Kerry, because Kerry's bona fides as a left of center moderate Democrat and his stands on issues, show conviction and principle and cannot be legitimately questioned at all. He was caught up in his words, but his record is consistent. Romney is different. As Governor of the bluest state and Presidential candidate, he has been a centrist moderate. He supported mandated insurance, spoke about a moderate and statesmanlike foreign policy, ridiculed social conservatives for not being mainstream enough and took reasonable and fair positions on social issues. Having lost in the past, he decided to throw all of his convictions and opinions out the window. He decided to get down to the level of the most extreme and most hateful wing of his party. He has been willing to say absolutely anything to appease voters and this disingenuousness speaks loudly with the 75 percent of his party that will not support him. With our primary system causing such moves to the edges, I can understand it but from a purely national campaign standpoint, Romney is open to ridicule and the flip flopper mantle ten times more than was Senator Kerry. Let the games begin. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Romney Strategy

Mitt Romney will be the inevitable winner of the Republican battle for the Presidency, I have little doubt. As such, it is clear what strategy he will be using....politically, not a bad one, but certainly with vulnerabilities to exploit. And exploit them I hope the Democrats do. It is the old us against them class warfare argument that Republicans love to invoke. It is that the government does nothing for America but hand out welfare checks, pitting hard workers against the unemployed, pitting the unions against other workers and painting every recipient of a government paycheck as lazy and entitled. This "entitlement vs. opportunity" strategy is quite interesting coming from Romney whose history doesn't match his current rhetoric. After all, when you do not have conservative bona fides you need to find some to win a primary. The deeper issue, however, is that Mitt Romney represents the wealthy, being one himself. He has a history of job depletion as he made his millions from Bain Capital, and this isn't necessarily bad, but it is hypocritical. He supports the largest entitlement of all. The entitlement for the wealthy. He supports tax credits and exemptions for oil companies. He supports all strategies that isolate the wealthy from paying a fairer share to meet the demands of our people and he supports now, the destruction of programs and safety nets that protect those who just cannot get into his club. This is entitlement too Mr. Romney, only its the wrong side you support. These policies led to the job destroying practices that have limited opportunity, not created it. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Demand the Truth....Please

A Happy and Healthy Holiday to all. Be safe and be thankful.

Today in the NY Times, Paul Krugman writes about the extreme language of falsehoods used by Mitt Romney who is trying to paint the President as an extremist socialist, with a less than American background. Krugman pines, that regrettably this kind of language may not hurt the candidate. I pray he is wrong. Each of us, when making our choices, must demand the truth from our leaders and wannabee leaders. We cannot allow language that is factually impotent to rule our decision making process. We must hold people accountable for a history of inconsistencies and not allow them to hide behind States' Rights arguments or rationalizations about an evolving set of morals and beliefs. Demand the Truth. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Not Malcolm Gladwell's famous book. Blink is the game the Republicans in the House began to play against the President yesterday. John Boehner has neither the intellectual capability nor does he have the will and desire to do what's right for the country. The game he started is a sure loser for him. Don't bluff, when you have no cards. He cannot control his own caucus, didn't put the bill up for a vote yesterday because he knew he could surely lose. Americans know one thing, their paychecks go down on January 1st and the blame will be placed with the Republicans. Blink Mr. Speaker...or else. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Brave Seven

Although I was originally critical of the Senate payroll tax compromise because of its short length, I was happy to accept it due to the McConnell Reid ability to reach serious bipartisan support. This is what our country needs now and in the future. In typical fashion, I became hopeful, only to see today the Republican House muck things up again. These are the worst people. Boehner renegged, too scared to confront his own caucus and the tea party extremists ruled the day. Seven brave Republicans, realizing that running on a tax increase may not be a good electoral strategy, voted with the Democrats. Good for them. We the People lose again. We must run these bums out and fast. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, December 18, 2011


What is lacking from every Republican candidate for President with the exceptions of the unelectable Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, is any cohesiveness in their electioneering. I suppose they are consistent in framing the language to go against everything that the President does, but other than that, no cohesiveness. For instance, the War in Iraq cost 800 billion dollars, much of it being spent during our recession, exacerbating Government's inability to deal with our problems. Today, the opponents to the President who want his job will say we abandoned our friends in Iraq. We are showing weakness, let's not leave and let's spend more. These same folks ignore the fact that the timing of the withdrawal was negotiated by George Bush and the Iraqi government who still, this day, wanted us to leave. These candidates who rail against big government and Obama spending, would continue to spend more money in Iraq. They also claim that tax breaks for the rich will create jobs but won't support President Obama's job creation plan which includes the hiring of returning veterans and tax exemptions for the wealthy companies that employ them. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Our brave men and women belong home, doing the work that our country needs to get done. If only there was a serious opposition to the President which could provide a cohesive and intelligent debate and perhaps a sane alternative? No way. I say good. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Over

Despite the protestations of John McCain, who had the audactiy to criticize the President's decisions to end the war in Iraq, it is about time our brave troops are coming home. Today is a time to reflect and remember the truth, which often gets muddled in the various memoirs and autobiographies of those who engaged in reckless foreign policy. Tens of thousands injured, nearly five thousand dead, during a campaign based on dishonesty and vengeance. George Bush told America that Iraq was a nuclear threat to the United States and our way of life. This was not true. George Bush led by Dick Cheney for this entire campaign, declared the operation over, several years ago when clearly it was not. Once the revelations of poor intelligence were discovered, a spirited debate by leaders of both parties, should have led to a much earlier withdrawl. While our economy struggled, the Republican Congress along with Democrats presided over a policy that cost America over a trillion dollars. No matter how the extremist hawks spin this campaign, the battles never should have been fought and precious American life never sacrificed. Kudos should go out to all those who served, for their bravery and patriotism. As they come home, looking for work and looking to be integrated back into the mainstream of society, let us be reminded that even the portion of the President's job bill asking for tax credits for hiring veterans, is still being blocked by the Republicans. Welcome home. Where are you Americans for reason and truth.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Negative Number?

I know it isn't possible, but we can certainly come close. A recent poll that I saw had Congress's popularity at 9%. Yes, 9%? How low can it go? President Obama's 47% looks damn good under the circumstances. I blame both parties. They are so concerned with political brinksmanship and counting votes for their re-elections that they have taken their eye way off the ball. The Republicans are so scared that they may give the President a win, and actually help the country, that they remain mired in the hell hole they have created. Even as I blog, Congress is up to their ridiculous tricks again. One branch wants to add a requirement to a tax bill that forces the opening of an oil pipe, as yet, not environmentally researched sufficiently for a judgement to be made. And get this, the one thing that Americans overwhelmingly support and the only edge the Democrats have...taxing the rich a bit more, is about to be scrapped I believe. Talk about abandoning your base and mainstream America all at once. So it continues. Another threatened shutdown, another midnight deal, another crisis manufactured while we all sit with disgust. If it was at all possible, Congress's popularity would actually go below zero...For my money, they are already in the negative zone. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Statistics 101

Economic statistics can be overwhelming. In additon, they fluctuate more than a Presidential candidate's position on an issue. What virtually all economists believe, regardless of political orientation, is that some statistics are more reliable than others and represent real themes for the future of an economy. These are GDP, Consumer Spending, Private Sector job growth and Inflation. These are the blue chips when looking at a macroeconomic analysis for really understanding what is happening. If you listen solely to the political debate, the President is being marginalized by his opponents and being ridiculed for having been responsible for our economic malaise. In fact, one of Newt Gingrich's famous stump lines is to declare America in the "Obama Depression". Sounds catchy and is red meat for the haters, but in economic terms, makes no sense at all. So let's look at the stats for real. This morning it was announced that consumer spending has risen for the sixth consecutive month. Private job creation has been positive for 21 consecutive months. Inflation in total has been stable and historically low and our GDP has shown slow GROWTH for every quarter since 2009. We can argue degrees and levels, we can argue tax policy and we can argue the level of regulation required for avoiding future catastrophes, but we cannot argue that the performance over the past two years is a marked and obvious improvement over where we were. In spite of Congressional inaction, declarative statements regarding the need for a one term Presidency and gamesmanship on both sides resulting in stalemate, we are moving ahead. I will take this trend any day of the week. Some statistics just don't lie. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Common Man

It is an electoral strategy for candidates to invoke Main Street or the Common Man when running their campaigns. It is so nice to try and relate to people in a coffee shop, sharing local food, having a brewski with the every day American. After ingesting a Po Boy or sipping a Bud, these candidates usually go home and shower off. After all, Bud isn't beer, and Po Boys arent't gourmet foods. After a day of campaigning and lying to these folks, politicians sip their Chardonnay or Merlot or braised milk fed veal chops so they can feel rich and famous. After all, they need a good meal tonight so they can eat Bratwurst in Scranton tomorrow. I may be exaggering because in reality, people do respond to candidates that share in their lives if only for a few moments during a campaign. What is really troubling however, is candidates like Newt Romney (to use a good Bachmann idea)who claim to speak for Middle America but are as far from them as possible. Newt boasts about his 60,000 dollar speaking fees, but wants to put High School kids to work cleaning schools by firing union custodians. Yeah, this is a great common man approach. Romney goes to a debate and bets 10 grand with Rick Perry over his book. Yeah, the common man really gambles at that level Mitt. Your 250 million net worth really speaks to Mr. and Mrs. Main Street. These outrageous attempts at reaching the people are laughable and scary simultaneously. There are too many of us that respond to this nonsense. We vote against our own interests by continuing to believe the bull crap that the wealthy will if left unrestrained, move our economy. Yeah, move it into their pockets again. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oil for Payroll Tax Cut

With overwhelming public support for an extension of the payroll tax cut and for the wealthy to contribute more to revenue, the Republicans realize that they are stuck. So, what mechanism can they find to further delay giving the President anything that he wants. Of course, the oil interests of this country. Let's see if we can attach something to the payroll tax extension bill that gives more help or breaks or money for the pockets of our poor, disadvantaged oil drillers and oil moguls. Hopefully the President will stick to his guns and refuse to mix the issues which would subsequently let Republicans save face. Their faces should be in the mirror so they can look at the wretched beings they are. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Screw the Consumer

Today,the consumers got screwed, not because of any logic, but because of the continued game of Anti Obama played so well by Mitch McConnell. Richard Cordray, nominated by the President to head the Consumer Bureau was derailed due to the failure of the Senate to invoke cloture. The filibuster succeeds again. Once again, Mr. and Mrs. Main Street loses. Now it is time for the President to invoke some executive powers, bypass the Senate, reframe the agency to avoid advise and consent, and do what's right for the people. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mitt and the Jews

How dare he. How dare Mitt Romney speak to Jewish groups bashing the President on his policy toward Israel. Mitt Romney hasn't the slightest bit of an understanding of that nation, its history or American policy toward it. I am a Jewish American with allegiance to the traditions and guidance from my faith. I am a strong supporter of Israel financially and spiritually. President Obama's policies toward Israel mirror in word an deed, almost exactly, President George Bush's. President Obams went to the United Nations and chastised the premature attempt by the Palestinians for early statehood. President Obama has suggested a Mid East agreement between the parties that parallels those suggested by Presidents Clinton and Bush. President Obama has declared our unwavering support of Israel and has committed to its protection. Perhaps President Obama's civility and tolerance for other cultures is offputting to Mr. Romney, but his brown nosing of the Jewish community and his manufactured opposition to a steadfast policy is going nowhere. Shalom Mitt. Enjoy your visit. Hopefully it will be as a private citizen, if you still want to go after the election. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hawaii and the 21st Century

Last time I checked, Hawaii was indeed the 50th state. Yes, it is part of the United States of America. You know what else, it has technologies of the 21st Century. It has video conferencing capabilities, cell phone towers, television, radio and all the comforts of the technology age. And...the President can actually lead the nation from Hawaii as well as from Air Force One or Washington D.C. In typical fashion, Mitt Romney has nothing substantive to offer the nation so he is turning to the tired complaint of a President taking vacation with the family for the holidays. How dare the President leave DC during a national time of challenges. This from someone who criticizes DC not stop. If the President is leaving DC, then Romney should be happy. Instead, he offers no substance and resorts to the silliness and ridiculousness of a nothing issue. Just like his campaign for President, filled with nothingness and ridiculousness. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Cain Exit

Herman Cain exited the Presidential race because of his behavior toward women while a married man. New Gingrich surges ahead despite his behavior toward his wife, as an adulterer himself, but the extreme right of the Republican party just doesn't seem to care. If you can't see this, then you are blind. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Comedy Act called The Republican Party

A recent survey appropriately deemed FOX as a less informative mode of communication than most others. Yet, the majority of viewers of cable news tune in to Rupert's fiasco, thus continuing the spiral of misinformation seized upon by and promoted by a political party. We know which one. The comic geniuses of the Republican Party. To watch their canidates lie, fail in their marriages while preaching values, say food stamps are used for Hawaiian vacations,call for personhood amendments, run ads of total deception, try and outdo each others' conservative bona fides and advertising that sixty grand is the going rate for a speech and on and on and on is more than just fodder for the Dailey Show, it is pure comedy, plain and simple. Listening to the Speaker of the House call the payroll tax cut "chicken sh-t" is not just funny, but simultaneously deeply disturbing. I cannot believe that as we watch and listen, that there are still a majority of us today, believing this crap. By the way, while this is happening, America shows signs of growth and improvement even in the face of Republican derailment. I would have to call their actions the Dark Comedy of the ages. Oh how they need to go away. I pray each day. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jobs, the Wealthy and the Public Sector

I thought I couldn't get more angry at my Government, but I can. The republican party in its consistent unfettered effort to defeat the President is now proposing another derailment for helping the economy. They have been criticizing the President for not creating jobs or fixing the economy. The President wishes to extend payroll tax breaks for 99 percent of America, originally a republican idea. He wants to ask 345,000 Americans to help pay for the rest of us to get this break. He is only asking for it to be paid once you make over one million dollars, and only from the excess, clearly not the JOB CREATORS that the Republicans love to use as bait. The Republican plan is to layoff 200,000 federal workers instead. Shrink government by raising the unemployment. They call it reducing waste. What about private sector waste? What about private corporations laying off thousands? They don't mind that, because it helps the stock portfolios of the rich. So the Democratic strategy must be to accurately highlight Republicans as job destroyers both public and private. So who are these expendable public employees? The people who process your Social Security Checks, those who keep public buildings and museums clean and preserved, teachers, yes I am an expendable public employee. Trash removal, fire fighting, researchers, public health workers....need I give other examples? The republican party is completely outrageous, gets worse by the day and their hypocrisy and hatred in an effort to protect their extremist flank is borderline unpatriotic...yes, this is a Republican talking point. Democrats should try it. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?