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Friday, August 31, 2012

Ten Reasons Why the Republican National Convention in Tampa Failed

If I had bi-location abilities like a mystic, my first act of rescue at Tampa's Republican National Convention would have been to wake up the group of enraptured fans who were, apparently, hypnotized for television cameras, while watching a litany of boring political speeches.  I wonder if white, upper middle class fans in the convention arena rehearsed their glowing poses. They were ready for their close up photographs, like they were on a "kiss cam", their glowing faces fixated, like neon magnets, on staged events in front of them.

Rather than rouse the independent voters or cement the right wing political base, the speeches left viewers wondering if they missed something?  


Simon Owens writes in "The Moderate Voice", how Romney entered the convention as an underdog and left as one, too. 

Unfortunately, it was hard to endure the mis-cues, the negativity, the "blaming everything on President Obama" rhetoric and lies, but I watched, because, I didn't want to miss "the big one".  

Surely, I thought, something big would come out of this convention, when Governor Mitt Romney accepted the nomination to run against President Obama in November.  Instead, I found 10 reasons why, in my opinion, the convention failed to win voters who might have been waiting to see how a potential President Romney might lead our nation.  Although Romney's wife, Ann Romney, told the beaming audience how her husband "would not fail", he did, in fact, fail to lead Republicans through a stellar celebration, framed to showcase his introduction to American voters.

Here's my top ten reasons for the failure:

1.  Sarah Palin, the pretty right wing darling, was nowhere to be found. The woman is charismatic!  She would have lifted the ceiling of the convention with right wing enthusiasm. In fact, even Fox news snubbed her.http://tinyurl.com/8g7lvw6

2.  Republican National Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, thought he could get away with spreading Republican rhetoric on Wednesday's, MSNBC's "Morning Joe", spewing racist euphemisms for the purpose of muckraking negative sentiment against Obama, just to stir up white angry men voters.  Instead, the conversation enraged pundit Chris Matthews who put Priebus in his place. Nonetheless, Republicans called MSNBC to fire Matthews.  Priebus went whining to reporters about how he thought Mathews was "a jerk", but he couldn't say Matthews was lying or wrong in his attacking remarks.

"Priebus also said the the two shook hands and that someone from MSNBC had been trying to call him all day, possibly to make amends. And while he said no amends was needed, he did refer to Matthews as an Obama “surrogate.”

3.  The convention was boring. 

4.  Many keynote speakers didn't mention Governor Mitt Romney's name, until about half way through their self gratifying speeches. New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie's unconventional convention speech, somehow forgot to shower praise on candidate Mitt Romney:  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/republican-convention-biggest-moments-2012-mitt-romney-nominated/story?id=17127301#6

5.  Mrs. Ann Romney's important speech was scheduled on the same night with Governor Chris Christie, but he missed delivering a rousing Romney endorsement. 

Moreover, one review says Ann Romney overplayed her "being poor" stories. http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/2012/08/31/ann-romney-overstepped-playing-poor/tSVWCAFoIdh96hb1vxh9sL/story.html

Did anybody notice the designer wrist watch Mrs. Romney wore with her pretty red dress?  

Boston Globe blogger Joanne Weiss writes:
"Inside, (the convention) it’s easy to get caught up in the fervor, project the partisan cheers onto a nation. But when you’re watching in a quiet room with your spouse and your Twitter feed, you view these speeches more skeptically. You approach them with...questions, like.. 'What’s that Ann Romney just said about tuna fish?'" 

6. US Congressman Paul Ryan filled his acceptance speech with lies, especially falsely claiming that an automotive factory in his district of Wisconsin was closed during President Obama's administration.  Ryan lied.  In fact, the factory closed while President George Bush was still in office.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444772804577621551971442634.html 

7.  Actor Clint Eastwood upstaged Governor Mitt Romney's official acceptance speech.  As the delusional "mystery guest" Eastwood decided to go rogue with his anecdotal remarks.  Was the nomination of Governor Romney about Eastwood's legacy?  
http://tinyurl.com/8slmg7j

8. Americans never heard how a Romney-Ryan would be able to deliver a better America. There were absolutely no specifics. In fact, when Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie asked Ann Romney to name one specific policy her husband supported to help women, she sidestepped the question. She did not have an answer.

9.  The Republican Party Platform is unbridled right wing extremism
Regarding women's health and reproductive rights, the Party's platform is regressive. It's time for the Republicans to stop pandering to right wing extremists and tear up the entire platform document.

Ezra Klein writes about the 10 Oddest Things in the Republican Party Platform in his Wonkblog:  

10.  Nowhere in the Republican Convention was there a mention of the wars Americans are engaged in nor was time taken to provide sympathy and support for millions of victims of the raging Hurricane Isaac, battering the Gulf Coast.  In fact, for the first time since 1952 there was no mention of war in a Republican National Convention.  This is strange given the Republicans in the US Congress are determined to raise the US Defense spending as their way of providing stimulus money to preferential voting districts.  


By any measure, the Romney-Ryan Republican National Convention lacked coordination and was certainly void of positive star power (Clint Eastwood certainly failed to provide this element, if that's what was intended). Chairman Reince Priebus is responsible for the failures.  Although Priebus knew Tampa sits square in the path of the risk for tropical storms and Gulf hurricanes. There were no contingency plans for the program in case weather caused glitches.  

Romney-Ryan-Preibus were unable to coordinate a National Convention.  I sincerely doubt they can run our nation.

Incredulously, the Republicans will get a political poll "bounce" out of this fiasco.  This is quite irresponsible on the part of the voters who should give this convention a C minus grade.

Next week, Democrats have their week in the limelight.  Fortunately, the Democratic Convention organizers cannot do any worse than their Republican counterparts.  Hopefully, I can write about 10 reasons the Democratic National Convention is a huge and convincing success!    

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ryan's Pinocchio Nose - New York Times Digests His Speech and We All Throw Up



Congressman Paul Ryan's acceptance speech at the Tampa Republican Convention was decoded in The New York Times.  

It's loaded with lies, but the rapture infected partisan audience bought every word.

Now, the news media are nearly unanimous in debunking Ryan's speech.  Fact checkers are scrambling to decipher Congressman Paul Ryan’s lie infested speech last evening in Tampa, when he was nominated to run as Mitt Romney’s running mate for Vice-President. I submit the lies Ryan gleefully spewed on the nearly hypnotized euphoric Republican audience were deliberate, because his job is to strategically detract venom from Mitt Romney. 

In other words, if the media is busy debunking Ryan’s lies, they’ll be too preoccupied to pick apart Mitt Romney. This strategy could lead to an improvement in Romney’s likability ratings, because he won’t be assaulted every day for his inconsistent issues with Bain Capital, his tax returns, his off shore money investments or his support for the ridiculously right wing GOP party’s anti-women’s health platform. It will take a 24/7 fact checker to stay ahead of the GOP lies, deliberately told, to win the Presidential election and turn our nation back to a pre-1950s society.

Perhaps the greatest lie of all in the Ryan speech had to do with his complete lack of accountability for the problems he rails about.  Congressman Ryan is the obstructionist who prevented President Obama's policies from moving our nation out of the deepest economic recession since the Great Depression.

It's worth reading The New York Times annotated version of the Congressman Paul Ryan speech:


Unfortunately, a dangerous quote adequately describes Ryan's speech lies: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― Adolf Hitler 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mrs. Ann Romney - Nice Speech, Pretty Dress

http://tinyurl.com/bqtnt5u
Sasha Issenberg

Although Mrs. Ann Romney is a lovely appearing lady, who picked a perfectly coiffed red dress for her anticipated speech at the Republican National Convention last evening, August 28, in Tampa, she looked better than she delivered.

If substance were measured in looks, she'd get a 10, but not if I were listening to her on the radio.

Like the song in "Chorus Line", Mrs. Romney got "Looks 10" but, substance, "3"

Sasha Issenber writes in "Slate":

"...Ann.. seemed to miss the mark... because (her speech) was free of revealing anecdote"...

Quote from Mrs. Romney's speech:

"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage,' Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once."

Really? 


I so wanted Mrs. Romney to succeed before the GOP convention, because she's very likable. 

Unfortunately, like her thoroughbred horse entered into the summer Olympics, she didn't qualify for a medal.

Nonetheless, Mrs. Romney is an effective spokesperson for her husband, Mitt, who has been running for President since he was born, per the tongue in cheek by David Brooks in the NYTimes!

But, she didn't tell us why Governor Romney wants to be the President of the United States. Worse, she didn't say what he'll do if  (gulp!) elected!  

But, Mrs. Romney's line about five screaming boys on a rainy day is almost as laughable an anecdote as Sarah Palin saying she could see Russia from her window, as Alaska's governor.  These aren't the anecdote's voters want to hear.  Rather, we want insight into how Presidential candidates make decisions, what makes them worthy leaders and, yes, at least 5 substantive reasons we should vote for them, rather than the others.

I recall seeing video of an old television interview with John F. Kennedy, when he was asked about the 1957, impending birth of his daughter, Caroline.  In those days, before anybody thought of  knowing the sex of a baby before it was born, Kennedy was asked if he and Jackie preferred a boy or girl? In that moment, President Kennedy provided insight to his soul. Rather than laugh or make light of his answer, he became serious and sincere when he said it didn't matter to him, so long as the baby was healthy.  Although this anecdote doesn't seem profound,  it was a brief moment when the future President left a legacy about sexual preference, which is a cultural problem in many societies today. President Kennedy's response in the 1950s saw into the future, a time when sexual preference would not be a barrier for women to succeed. His forward thinking and heartfelt response demonstrated a sense of the future, as well as compassion for his first born child and for his wife, Jackie, the baby's mother, all in one very brief sentance.  

Of course, the Kennedy's aren't running for President in 2012, but Mitt Romney, who failed to defeat Senator Ted Kennedy, is running.

Yet, Mrs. Romney was unconvincing when she told an adoring audience that her husband will not fail, if he's elected President. 

Mrs. Romney comes across as too perfect, like porcelain. 

Having 5 screaming young sons cloistered with Mrs. Romney on a rainy afternoon doesn't stir any more emotions than a gym class preparing for an intramural volley ball game.  

We expect more from Mrs. Romney than she gave in her speech to an adoring Tampa audience, last night.  I'd like to hear her say why she loves Mitt? What attracted her? Recall when Hilary Clinton spoke during the video she hosted at the 1992 Democratic convention, when she explained why she followed her future husband to Arkansas?  "I fell in love with him" she said.  Enough said.

What about Laura Bush, who stood up to her husband George W. Bush, when he was falling into the spiral of alcoholism?  Many women identified with Mrs. Laura Bush. 

Well, congratulations, Ann Romney, for looking beautiful during your convention speech, but it was a  "looks 10 - substance 3".
Your convincing stump speech introductions didn't quite reach out and grab the nation.

Frankly, Sarah Palin might have been a better draw. 














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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Republicans: "F" in Science and Proud

"I regret that my poor choice of words caused some people to understand what I was saying"
Although we assume most Republican politicians are college graduates, many, apparently, skipped science classes or received failing grades. 

Moreover, they're evidently proud of it, because no accredited college or university would claim Creationism as being anything other than Biblical legend. 

 Ann McFeatters writes how the Republicans are now an anti-science party. http://www.salemnews.com/opinion/x321548065/McFeatters-Why-are-Republicans-anti-science

"For a nation that values the traditional science and technology edge over most of the world, it's astonishing that so many Republican politicians treat science as unproven theory or disregard it completely," writes McFeatters.

Anti-science thinking was once corralled into the concrete belief in Creationism over Evolution, about how God created man. Now, newly concocted theories about conception have entered this anti science curricula.

Former Republican Presidential candidate Governor Mike Huckabee proudly raised his hand when a debate moderator  asked who, on the panel, disagreed with evolution? 

Reporting in a Oct. 23, 2007, "Salon", http://www.salon.com/2007/10/23/huckabee_3/:
Johnathan Alter said Huckabee “raised his hand in a debate when the candidates were asked en masse if they believed in intelligent design.”

Wait, there's more!

Now, Missouri Congressman & Senatorial candidate Todd Akin is, thankfully, cut off by his own party faithful after expressing a nutty belief about women having weird magical power over their reproductive system, during the assault of a rape.  Akin even used the neologism "legitimate" rape  while re-inventing women's physiology. 

A New York Times report by John Eligon and Michael Schwirtz:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/us/politics/todd-akin-provokes-ire-with-legitimate-rape-comment.html
"KANSAS CITY, Mo. — ....Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, provoked ire across the political spectrum on Sunday by saying that in instances of what he called 'legitimate rape,' women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy."


Missouri legislative Democratic minority leader Mike Talboy, said that he had spoken to members of both parties about Mr. Akin’s comments and had found uniform outrage. “Nobody has defended him,” Mr. Talboy said. “That, I think, is pretty telling.”

While Republicans vigorously campaign about how their ideas will improve the nation's economy, voters cannot assume the GOP will ignore fundamentalist and anti-scientific ideation, if ideological zealots are allowed to influence public policy.

Which is exactly why Americans must fully understand the important political choice we are faced with in our 2012 leadership election. Tragically, far too many voters are easily led by failed science politicians, like Mike Huckabee or Todd Akin.

Blogs like this and Ann McFeatters are read by people who agree with us, but our challenge is to reach voters who need a reality check about the Republican's anti-science beliefs.  

Fact: There's simply no way the earth was created in 7 days, or years or months. Fact: Women have zero ability to physiologically prevent a rape forced pregnancy.

Unscientific beliefs are not isolated concepts.  Creationists and people who fall victim to magical thinking about a woman's reproductive system, are dangerously capable of manufacturing any number of other strange science notions.  

Another horrible specter of past unscientific thinking, bringing shudders to my skin, is right wing zealots who might even re-invent eugenics. Given the scientific ignorance evident in Creationism and reproductive physiology, anything else is possible.

Republicans who refuse to consider cuts to defense spending are eager to jump on "stimulus money" or "entitlements". This ideation comes from the same magical thinking as those among them who believe in Creationism or reproductive magic.

Fact: defense spending comes from the same revenues as entitlements!  Defense spending is stimulus for the friends of Republicans who own big corporations while entitlements help the middle class. 

It's time Republican magical thinkers join the 21st century.  

We've sent men to the moon, there's a tech-speaking rover named "Curiosity" roaming around on Mars, but Republicans, like Huckabee, insist that evolution didn't happen and Akin says women can physiologically prevent pregnancy during a rape.

Americans should demand to see the college degrees from both Huckabee and Akin, before allowing either one of them to take any future oaths for political office.










  







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Monday, August 27, 2012

Building America Forward

Republicans speak about austerity in government, but wealthy supporters waste many millions to wine, dine and donate to party candidates, while calling for cuts to middle class safety net programs. Medicare needs to be supported, student loans need to be readily available, affordable health care must be accessible to everyone. The politics of fear has no place in our nation. Yet, Americans hear the opposite from Republican politicians who buy their messaging from extremely rich contributors. 

"Holding Power Accountable" published by Common Cause, writes:
"Big money has long dominated our elections, and the problem only got worse in 2010 after the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which paved the way for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections, adding to the enormous influence they already have within the political process."

"...money in politics is not so much (the problem)...as it is who pays (and) what they get in return, and how that affects public policy and spending priorities. Common Cause is working diligently to expose the role of special interests and promote reforms that put democracy back in the hands of 'we the people'."

Americans need to wake up to the reality of money, rather than voters, being in charge. Why do rich moguls want to own American politicians? There must be a payback. I submit, the payback is an insatiable need to increase the wealth of the rich on the backs of the middle class.

Money is now more influential than voters. Yet, voters pay the salaries of the elected officials, while appearing to become less relevant in elections!

Voters will eventually realize how our politics is becoming less democratic. Instead, wealthy moguls like the conservative rich Koch brothers and others, are buying our candidates. Wealthy GOP contributors with a vested interest in the outcome of the Presidential election will buy their position of tax cuts, for the rich, while they know, full well, the middle class will pay the bills of running government.

American middle class voters have a lot to loose if Romney is elected President. Voters who buy into the myth that the American dream is built entirely on individual ingenuity will ignore the progress of past initiatives that built the standard of living enjoyed in America today. Investments in infrastructure, education, national security, innovative technologies and, yes, safety net programs are part of the American dream. Our collective American social consciousness has developed because government programs have been there for those of us who have grown to appreciate the value of our tax investments.

Governor Mitt Romney has not captured enthusiasm with middle class voters, but his campaign would be absolutely nothing and going nowhere without the venom of right wing extremists, who want to dismantle progressive government. Many of these extremists happen to be rich men with greed as an agenda.

We cannot change America for the better by dismantling or recreating past progress. Building America forward requires improvements on progressive policies of the past, rather than concocting ways to dismantle past political accomplishments.

If rich moguls like the Koch brothers and other right wing wealthy conservative are paying for political candidates, it's time they stand before our nation and explain their motives. Why do they invest in candidates, like they're expensive thoroughbred race horses? The kick back is most likely greed motivated.

Electing a Romney administration will put rich moguls in charge of America. These un-elected men are not interested in building our nation forward, but, rather, appear focused on dismantling our progressive past.

It's essential we re-elect President Obama for the sake of putting voters in charge of elections and validating the progress of past efforts to support the middle class.
















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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Is Cardinal Dolan an Apologist for Republican Social Policies?

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-dolan-will-give-concluding-prayer-at-republican-convention/

Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, agreed to lead a prayer at the close of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. I believe the Democrats should respectfully ask Roman Catholic women religious to pray, at their convention in Charlotte, SC next month. I prefer praying with nuns, who work side by side with the poor, the disabled, women in crises and children who live in homeless shelters, than a Roman Catholic Cardinal who appears to endorse cuts to health care and social programs, proposed by Republican austerity policies.

Is Cardinal Dolan an apologist for Republican social policies? I pray not, but, frankly, I don't know.

What I know is this. Millions of Roman Catholic women stopped listening to church Bishop and Cardinals when they started interfering with reproductive rights and strictly endorsed the methodology for natural family planning.

Moreover, mothers have been reticent, if not mistrustful, of Bishops and Cardinals ever since the scandal became evident, whereby Church leaders ignored decades of sexual abuse by many priests who preyed on children. Many women will not be impressed by Cardinal Dolan praying at the GOP convention, because the Republican positions to de-fund family planning and social service safety net programs will impact on the everyday lives of working mothers who are often caregivers for aging parents.

On the other hand, women respect the work of modern Roman Catholic religious nuns. In the footsteps of Mother Theresa of Calcutta or St. Mother Cabrini, these devout women go about their charitable mission supporting the needs of the disabled, the frail, prisoners, the homeless, women and children, regardless of how church leaders view their work as being too feminist.

Perhaps Cardinal Dolan, naively, believes praying with the Republicans will somehow help the Roman Catholic Church. But he must know how politics often creates religious martyrs - remember St..Thomas a Beckett and St. Thomas Moore.

In Italy, Roman Catholicism is more tradition than religion. Ireland has seen the faithful leave the church by the thousands, as a result of the sexual abuse scandal. Many of Canada's Roman Catholic churches are tourist attractions, used for weddings and funerals. In America, millions of Irish Catholics (Cardinal Dolan's own heritage) are leaving the Church.
 .http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2558753/posts

In other words, rather than see its leaders praying at a political convention,  the Roman Catholic Church needs to feed its dwindling flock.

No doubt, Republicans need prayers, but they can go to church to receive penance and redemption, just like ordinary people.

Cardinal Dolan might even consider celebrating a Mass for the Republicans, rather than appear to be a political apologist.  Many Roman Catholic Republicans would justifiably relish this spiritual opportunity.

Of course, Cardinal Dolan could use his convention prayer to raise Republican social consciences, woefully lacking when they demand more tax cuts for the rich. But, in all due respect, Cardinal Dolan should use the opportunity for prayer to call on Republicans to support the social justice teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Of course, Cardinal Dolan is proud to be asked to pray for the Republicans. After all, times have changed since the Republicans worried about Democrat John F. Kennedy bringing his Roman Catholic faith to the White House, when a myth prevailed that the Pope would unduly influence our national interests. Thankfully, Republicans have come full circle about Catholicism. 


Still, Cardinal Dolan should know that his convention prayer will look as though he is supportive of Republican policies that fly in the face of Roman Catholic social teaching. 

Cardinal Dolan is a Prince of the Church who could be an admired religious leader, if he used his time in Tampa praying and caring for the inevitable victims of hurricane Isaac, scheduled to make landfall as a potentially devastating storm.   Instead, Cardinal Dolan appears to be more of a Republican apologist, than a religious leader.

Certainly, Cardinal Dolan knows how his own home at St. Patrick's Cathedral in on 5th Avenue in New York City, was built because of the dedication of Pierre Toussaint, a Black Haitian hairdresser, who faithfully gave his money to construct the first church. Toussaint is the first layman buried in the crypt below St. Patrick's main altar. Toussaint is said to have been a humble man.

So, it certainly wouldn't hurt to remind Cardinal Dolan about the humble origins of his beautiful Cathedral. Humility is a challenge for all Roman Catholic Cardinals, and that's the truth.

I certainly have no problem advising Cardinal Dolan to return to his roots as an Irish Catholic. He should forgo prideful offers from Republicans, who have not demonstrated their moral responsibility to support social safety net programs and women's health. 

In summary, Cardinal Dolan should invite Republicans to pray at his Cathedral built on the toil of Venerable Pierre Toussant, rather than be an apologetic adornment at their national convention.


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birthers and Racism - Appealing to Right White Voters

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/mitt-romney-birther-joke-outrages-president-barack-obama-campaign-article-1.1144125

Governor Mitt Romney is not a stand up comic.  Still, the former Massachusetts governor used a "birther joke" when addressing a political rally in Michigan, the state where he and his wife were born. Justifiably, President Obama's re-election team is outraged by Romney's failed joke.  

By bringing up the degrading birther topic, Romney raised, once again, the subject of President Obama's legitimate birth in Hawaii.  Paranoid thinkers, who are overwhelmingly right wing Caucasian zealots, love to harp on this issue, because it feeds their racist bias against our President.  

In other words, "birtherism" reminds voters that President Obama's father was African. 

"Birtherism" is racism, without using overt racist language. 

But, Romney lowered himself to joking about the wasteful subject of "birtherism". But, the comment wasn't funny. Instead, it was intentional to appeal to right wing Caucasians in the audiences who thrive on racist bias against President Obama.  

President Obama's mother was an American citizen. President Obama's birth is recorded in Honolulu, Hawaii, a US state on August 4, 1961, when  Hawaii was a US state. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama

Yet, "birthers" claim President Obama's birth documentation is somehow fraudulent.  No amount of convincing changes their concrete minds. They don't have one shred of evidence to contradict the testimony of Hawaiian officials, many of them Republicans, who swear to the legitimacy of President Obama's birth record.  Hundreds of journalists and politicians have examined this issue, wasting their time trying to disprove the obvious legality of the President's birth document. Paranoid zealots think all of these expert and objective opinions are wrong.

We know Romney and his wife were born in Michigan.  Therefore, there was absolutely no need for Romney to remind the audience about where his birth certificate is found.  His comment inappropriately raised the "birther" issue while speaking to a Michigan audience. His comment was deliberate, just to appeal to right wing zealots who continue to harbor paranoid ideation about President Obama's legitimacy, based upon his place of birth.  

Let's recall how Governor Romney continues to deal with his own legitimacy as Massachusetts governor, when he claimed to be a state resident, but his residency was never clearly proven. Let's also remember how Romney's father, also a Presidential candidate, was born in Mexico.

Romney calls on President Obama's campaign to raise the level of discourse while he lowers himself to fuel "birther" paranoia.  

Meanwhile, Governor Romney has not explained to Americans why he wants to be President or what he will do if he wins the election.

Birtherism is an act of desperation by Romney to lock up right wing voters who cannot abide an African-American President.  

For Governor Romney to be an inspiring leader, he must raise Americans up rather than play to the lowest common denominator of concrete thinking.  He should apologize for his ugly birther joke.

Of course, Governor Romney could easily change the conversation by revealing his income tax information. At the same time, he could also explain how it was he signed Securities and Exchange Commission documents as the Chief Executive Officer of the investment firm Bain Capital, after he left the firm.

Romney's continual avoidance of his public accountability and fiscal transparency is troubling. We already know Romney was born in Michigan, but we don't know why his extraordinary wealth is invested outside of America, other than, for obvious tax sheltering purposes. 

Birtherism turns off reasonable voters, because the subject is camouflaged racism.  Romney thought he could sneak the birther subject into a largely white Michigan political rally, cloaked as a bad joke.  Instead, it showed Romney to be a pandering politician, desperately trying to woo right wing voters. It's another example of Romney's poor judgement and uninspired leadership.

President Obama's campaign is correct to hold Romney accountable for inappropriate rhetoric. 

Let's vote for inspired leadership and re-elect President Obama. 







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Friday, August 24, 2012

President Obama Rises Above Racial Profiling

Perhaps the most admirable trait President Obama internalizes is his ability to smile while rising above the racial hatred thrown at him by right wing extremists, who despise his ethnicity as a Black man in America. 

President Obama is charismatic. He holds the attention of many racist Americans who wait for him to fall into a racial stereotype. Thankfully, he can't do it, because his Presidency is about leadership, not stereotypes.

It's sad to say, but many people have overtly told me they cannot vote for a Black president. Yet, not one of these same people can point to even one reason why they have this racist belief. Not one reason.

Thankfully, President Obama leads America with steady competence. He carries an awareness of his extraordinary place in history. He intends for his legacy to be a positive exclamation mark.

Moreover, President Obama believes in his abilities to meet the challenges he faces, while continuing to project an optimistic outlook on life and our nation, in spite of extraordinary negativity heaped upon him 24/7 by right wing media and political attack ads.

Regardless of the many mega-millions spent by the super-Political-Action-Committee attack ads, hurling negativity at President Obama, his "likeability" ratings don't falter. Americans are skeptical about the economy, they express confusion about the future of Medicare, they are worried about the nation's deficit, but they view President Obama positively.

So, millionaires with wealth to spare to denigrate President Obama in amateur attack ads, like New Majority Agenda, and others, would do far-far better if they gave their money to charity. At least, by giving to charity, they'd be productive, instead of destructive, people.

Of course, just being likable doesn't get anybody elected to the important office of President of the United States, but it doesn't hurt, either.

Right now, Governor Mitt Romney is increasingly unlikable. He has made too many mis-steps by not standing strong in support for women's health, by aligning himself, like a tether, to right wing extremists, by waxing ambiguous about the future of Medicare, and for his lack of transparency about his taxes as well as where his wealth is stashed.

Surely, if the election were about who is most likable, the outcome would be a slam dunk for Obama.

I can't see the likability dynamic changing before the November 2012 election. But, I pray for those who continue to harbor racist feelings toward President Obama. Perhaps the Hurricane Issac, currently heading for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla, will clear the air and blow away racist vision. Americans with a racist bias must see President Obama for the positive, competent leader he is, rather than as a Black man running for President.  

Let's not racially profile our President. Rather, let's recognize President Obama's leadership qualities and re-elect him.








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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Counterfactual History- Republicans are Experts

http://sn106w.snt106.mail.live.com/default.aspx#!/mail/InboxLight.aspx?fltid=5&n=1741365730!n=1395046499&fid=1&mid=d0ee9524-ebe0-11e1-8ec6-001cc4ed9884&fv=1

If Republicans have a magic plan to fix our nation's economy, they're surely wasting a ton of money on messages that don't tell us how they'll do it. Journalists like Paul Krugman and others say Republican pundits are creating a "fantasy world of incorrect and tendentious facts"

A "couterfactual history" concept is catching on, whereby information is spewed, just for the sake of making headlines. Republican candidates, super-political action committees funded by rich moguls and wealthy individuals with a self interest in owning candidates, spend unlimited advertising monies to create tension withing the electorate, without providing factual information. 

For example, it's simply not true that President Obama caused a trillion dollar national deficit. It's a fact that Republicans began this fiscal spiral by creating two unfunded wars and a Medicare D drug benefit, thus, expanding entitlements. 

Short term memory Republicans completely wax over these deficit enhancing facts.

Republican campaign strategy seems to engage in fanciful thinking. Just changing presidential administrations won't accomplish anything except to change the course of our nation from a wealth sharing capitalist economy to a system whereby America's middle class will loose benefits, while the burden of balancing the budget  is put on their income taxes. I can't understand how the American electorate avoids knowing these facts about our role in deficit reduction? It's our taxes the Republicans want to use to balance the budget.  Democrats want the rich to pay more tazes, but Republicans don't buy into this at all.

It's frightening to realize how the electorate relies on negative attack ads to reinforce fears for the future. It means public relations specialists are earning their big salaries in creating counterfactual information, while the media is left grappling for crumbs in a 24/7 news cycle. Journalists have little time, or money, to create fact from counterfactual information.

Mega-millions are spent on researched attack ads claiming the nation would be better off with a new Republican president. Do not believe them! Just look at the candidate. Governor Mitt Romney is running for President as one of America's wealthiest people, but he won't tell Americans why his wealth is invested outside of our country. How did Romney become so rich? He took middle class jobs from floundering corporations and outsourced them to fatten the profit margins of these companies, while providing a return on investment for his friends and colleagues at Bain Capital.

Americans need to pay attention to Romney's business practices because, regardless of how he tries to air brush his magical thinking about creating jobs, the fact is, he'll be sure to see his rich friends get richer in the process.

Instead of information about what will change our lives for the better, we're led downward in a regressive discussion about social issues that have virtually nothing to do with politics. Like, where in the US Constitution are the issues of abortion, Medicare, Medicaid, women's health, rape, incest and pregnancy discussed? Rather, what's presented in the US Constitution are equality under the law protections for "We the People".

Where's the objective media in this quagmire of counterfactual information?

Unfortunately, many media personalities are maximizing the headlines for ratings, while investigative journalism is a relic. Journalists like Richard Engel or Bill Moyers are sidebar story tellers. Media personalities, like the morning and nightly news anchors, put stories like "making a difference" into their precious news time. Viewers usually learn absolutely nothing of substance after watching main stream news programs. (Thank you Morning Joe for adding "what have we learned today?" in their morning wrap up - but even this segment gets too close to entertainment news.)
 http://video.msnbc.msn.com/morning-joe/48415865#48415865
Democrats have been terrible at creating counterfactual history, preferring to stand tall on principle. Take the "swiftboating" of Senator John Kerry as an example. Who would believe Senator Kerry could create a story about receiving war decorations for his service in Vietnam? But counterfactual experts, like Carl Rove, made myth out of fact whereby many Americans, embarrassingly, believed the lies.

Democrats will probably never be as good as Republicans in creating deliberately devious messaging. Yet, we can demand to see facts to support magical thinking. We're also very capable of doing repeat reality checks on counterfactual history.

Regardless of the outcome of this 2012 presidential election, we must become experts on learning the facts about our leaders. Otherwise, we're doomed to allowing expensive counterfactual experts rule our elections.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Akin Won't Budge in Missouri Senate Race: Who's In Charge?

http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/national/rep-todd-akin-wont-drop-senate-bid-over-controversial-comments

In spite of a groundswell of influential Republicans calling on Congressman Akin of Missouri to resign from the US Senate Race against the incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, he's standing on his right wing support to remain in the election.  This is politics at its worst; it's a power struggle.

Akin publicly claimed he was advised by physicians who told him women who are raped have some kind of built in magical power to prevent pregnancy. Therefore, he concluded, legalizing abortion in the case of an unwanted pregnancy caused by rape or incest is not necessary. Akin says the Republicans calling on his resignation are "overreacting" to his ignorant statement.

This obstinate decision is driven by ideological right wing supporters who want to control the American Republican Party. They don't care what Akin stands for regarding the health and safety of women, so long as they own him. If Akin doesn't step down as a US Senate candidate, it will be a victory for the right wing of the Republican party against the establishment. It's a clear act of defiance and bodes danger for all Americans, as the radical supporters of Akin want to control our nation, which, bizarrely, includes the reproductive rights of women.

Americans must come to understand this looming danger rising on the political horizon. Right wing extremists will control the Republican party by winning primary elections, when turnout is low, thus increasing the likelihood of a right wing candidate winning. Systematically, they are targeting one election victory at a time until their control over government will become powerful enough to dismantle all the progressive programs Americans have supported for the past 70 years.

In Missouri, the voters are involved in a political power struggle for control of the Republican party.

Americans must wake up and recognize this dangerous right wing entrenchment as an infringement of our rights as these radical supporters want to control our Democracy by imposing their ideological beliefs on all of us.

Why can't Governor Mitt Romney control this right wing extremism? Because, the copious amounts of money in this year's election is coming from these extremists and even the party leaders seem incapable of holding back these zealots.

It's time for Republicans like Governor Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain to bring the Republicans back to being the Grand Old Party of American bipartisan politics.



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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rape and Incest as a Presidential Campaign Issues: What Century is This?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/gop-platform-abortion_n_1815021.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

When my husband and I travel around the world, we're impressed by the attention American politics receives, evidenced in conversations with practically any foreign nationals we encounter.  

Which is why the rape, incest and resulting horrible ideation voiced by Congressman Akin of Missouri is such a miserably degrading example of American politics. These subjects make all Americans look stupid.

Congressman Akin of Missouri demonstrated ignorance, like a pre-stone age humanoid, when he told a conservative Fox-and-Friends news anchor that a woman's body somehow, magically, blocks pregnancy when rape occurs.  Moreover, contrary to Akin's dementia induced comment about "legitimate rape", a rape is rape- it's never legitimate. 

Rape is an act of violence against women. Too often, it's perpetrated on family members who are defenseless young girls.  Rape is rape.  Incest is the rape of a family member.  Both acts of violence should be condemned and never rationalized, mitigated or qualified in any way. 

But, believe it or not, this is just the beginning of the politics of women's health Americans are now embroiled in.  Wait! There's more:

"Draft language for the 2012 Republican Party platform includes support for a constitutional ban on abortion without specifying exclusions in the cases of rape or incest (according to CNN). The news comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) suggestion that victims of 'legitimate rape' rarely get pregnant. The GOP Senate candidate running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) faces calls to abandon his campaign from both parties despite attempting to walk back his remarks."

Rape as violence and a political issue is worse than a disgusting commentary on the low level of American political discourse. For many people in the world, rape is as violent as gun violence among those who have expressed worry about the danger of living in the United States.  

Many Americans have an inflated image of ourselves as inheritors of the land of the free.

In reality, the image of gun violence has superseded the "streets lined with gold", once envied by those who aspired to become American citizens.

Now, rape has entered the political discourse.  

While Republicans create obstructionist policies to limit voters rights and keep immigrants out, they won't substantially act to prevent the cancerous growth of violent imagery, now dragging us down as civilized people.  

Governor Romney didn't even criticize the degrading language Rush Limbaugh used when he "name called" a woman Georgetown University student on his right wing radio show.

It's waxing nostalgic to recall the "olden days" when politicians focused on issues about world affairs, taxation, public health policies or defense initiatives.  

This is the 21st century.  We know rape and incest do, in fact, sadly, often lead to unwanted pregnancies.  

Politicians have no business, whatsoever, speaking about either degrading subject, except to condemn them both for being criminal acts of violence.
  
Republicans must remove any discussion of women's health issues and abortion from their national platform.






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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blog Reader Asks How a Medicare Voucher System Will Cost Beneficiaries $6000 a Year

Peter Barbella from Littleton Massachusetts writes:

"Can anyone explain, in plain English, exactly what is a Medicare Voucher system? Precisely how is it going to cost me an additional $6000 per year? I have yet to see a rationale explanation that would allow me to take sides one way or the other."

Although I have not read the Medicare Voucher plan as proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan in his budget cutting proposal, the concept is predicated on shared risk between the insurance company and Medicare.  At the end of the day, the insurance company will do whatever it takes to generate a profit from the vouchers while, at the same time, negotiating with the beneficiaries for the amount of services provided. Today, the amount of services provided under Medicare are paid under a shared risk reimbursement formula with the provider, not the beneficiary.

Medicare guarantees certain basic benefits while negotiating payment to the providers based upon several formulas known as prospective payment (PPS), or diagnostic related groups (DRGs), or Fee for Service or Pay for Performance, and other models.  Medical care is covered, presuming the procedures are necessary and the costs are reasonable.  

On the provider's side, like physicians, hospitals, clinics, etc, the services provided are monitored and evaluated for quality and necessity. Beneficiaries seldom see the detail of the Medicare reviews the providers must respond to if certain procedures are questioned. If a procedure is deemed unnecessary, the provider eats the cost and the beneficiary is never charged.  A Voucher System will put the guarantee for payment on the beneficiary.  If Medicare denies the procedure, the beneficiary will pay for it under a Voucher system.

Therefore, when Peter Barbella asks how the beneficiary will see a $6000 increase in out of pocket expenses under a Voucher Plan, the answer is based upon the retrospective data Medicare collects about payment to providers, like physicians, hospitals and home health agencies.  In simplistic language, if the average cost of a procedure (let's say, just for example, gall bladder surgery) is $3,500, but the beneficiary doesn't include gall bladder surgery in the plan selected from the Voucher menu provided by the insurance companies, then the provider risks, either, not getting paid under a Voucher Plan or the beneficiary will have to pay for the procedure.  

Medicare data knows the average cost of gall bladder surgery.  In fact, Medicare knows the cost of gall bladder surgery by zip code, by physician and by hospital.  Medicare also knows how prevalent gall bladder surgery is among the 65 years and older population. Therefore, a Medicare actuarial analysis can project the risk of gall bladder surgery and the cost of this procedure across the entire Medicare population.

Although I have not read the Ryan Voucher Plan proposal, I suspect the $6000 out of pocket, projected to be cost shifted to beneficiaries, is likely based upon the amount of money the providers are denied during routine Medicare reviews of utilization. Of course, it's unlikely a gall bladder surgery procedure will be denied under a review, but, certain medical tests associated pre or post operative care might be denied. On the other hand, if a beneficiary's Voucher Plan does not provide for the gall bladder procedure, it won't be covered at all.  Under any Medicare plan offered today, a cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) would be covered, but under a Voucher system, the cost of this procedure would be capped. Moreover, it's quite likely the beneficiary would be charged for any cost over the cap.

What's worrisome is that the $6000 figure is based upon retrospective data and does not allow for inflation.

As beneficiaries age, the cost of care will likely exceed the amount of money they each may select for their Voucher Plan, thereby risking even more out of pocket expenses than the projected $6000, especially when adjusted for increasing cost of care and inflation.

A question not currently being asked is how much such an extraordinary change in the Medicare benefit, from the current system of reimbursement to Voucher, would cost the federal government.  

Mr Barbella is checking with other data sources to verify how the Medicare program will be impacted by a Voucher System and I'm looking forward to responding to his future questions.  







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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Medicare Voucher - Blog Reader Compares Medicare D Confusing Enrollment as Harbinger

Blog reader Jacques from St. Louis Missouri responds to the "Medicare as Metaphor" blog: http://oneturkeyrun.blogspot.com/2012/08/medicare-as-metaphor.html

"If the Medicare Voucher program proposed is anything like the Medicare Plan D for drugs, it will be a disaster."

The reason Jacques says this is because the Plan D started at $6/month for every company and the plans were identical. Now, the plans cost from $30-60/month and have many options, like no deductible, no co-pays, no doughnut hole, ... To get the cheapest plan, he needs to go to the Medicare website every November and see which is the cheapest for him and his wife, given their drug mix.

Every year, a new company comes up with a plan cheaper that all the others, sometimes by a factor of two to three. Each year there's another "lowest" plan; he never knows which will be the best plan from one year to the next. He changed plans three times in four years. And sometimes, the best one for Jacques is not the best one for his wife. The drug companies hope beneficiaries won't do their homework and will stick with the same plan for another year, without realizing that the price changed. It's a mess, but, he says, still manageable and he only needs to contact one pharmacy with his new plan information.

"If I had to go through this exercise every year for my Medicare and supplemental plan, I would go crazy, picking the cheapest one every year, and come January, I have to contact all our doctors, clinics, hospitals, with our new plan information, not to mention the problems resulting with illnesses that overlap multiple plans. This would be a nightmare."

In fact, Jacques, who has a PhD in astrophysics, is absolutely correct.
A Medicare Voucher program will cause enormous confusion among aging beneficiaries. He is absolutely correct about overlapping plans. Beneficiaries will find themselves paying double premiums on overlapping plans as one illness may not be covered by certain vouchers. Meanwhile, the insurance companies will rake in government premiums paid for by the Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Vouchers are cash cows for insurance companies, just like Medicare D plans are for the pharmaceutical companies.

Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare" fixed the "donut hole" so seniors will see less out of pocket expenses for their prescriptions. Nevertheless, as more drugs are made available "over the counter", the Medicare D won't pay for them anyway, while premiums for the "D" benefit continue to roll in.

Congressman Paul Ryan made a name for himself proposing cuts to Medicare via the proposed implementation of a proposed Voucher program. Yet, the fact is, he and his family can afford health care coverage even if here were no Medicare benefit. Moreover, Congressman Ryan has the best government health insurance available, paid for by US taxpayers.

Insurance companies are understandably profit driven. But it's unethical for them to access Medicare money to inflate their profits,  not to mention the risk of insurance fraud it opens up for people who can't manage how to shop for Medicare Vouchers.

Please forward this blog, kind readers, to people who think the idea of Medicare Vouchers are a savior for the Medicare system.  

Saving the Medicare system takes more beneficiaries who require fewer health care services who are younger than 65 years old. Medicare would be financially healthier if younger beneficiaries were better informed about how to manage their health care.

Medicare Vouchers aren't the answer to fixing the program's solvency. Informed beneficiaries are.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Senator John McCain Passed Over Romney When He Selected Sarah Palin

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/VP-pick-rarely-makes-a-difference-in-the-race-3785922.php
Although Vice-Preisential candidates rarely make a difference in a presidential election, they are factually one heart beat away from being president, a sad reality of modern politics.

It's hard to believe Congressman Paul Ryan is any more qualified to be one heart beat away from the Presidency of the United States than Sarah Palin was, four years ago when John McCain selected her for the position.  Even more concerning, McCain passed over Governor Mitt Romney in favor of then Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin during his candidate search.  As it turned out, Sarah Palin was rejected as being qualified to be one heart beat away from the Presidency.  Now, Romney is a potential president while his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan to be his vice-presidential running mate is no more qualified for the heart beat position than Palin.  What does this say about the caliber of people the Republicans are willing to nominate to lead our nation?  Surely, Republicans can find highly qualified candidates to run for the nation's highest office without having to accept second hand politicians.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/john-mccain-sarah-palin-mitt-romney_n_1680089.html

2008: "Sen. John McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee, said Tuesday that he didn't pick Sarah Palin over Mitt Romney for his vice presidential candidate because of Romney's tax return issues; he just thought Palin was the better candidate, Politico reports." 

Republicans need to look inward before they have the audacity to call for President Barack Obama to replace Vice-President Joe Biden as his running mate.

God help us if Mitt Romney, passed over for McCain's Vice Presidential pick, is somehow elected to be President, when we have a President who is highly qualified for the job.

President Barack Obama is qualified, experienced and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as Commander in Chief.  

Governor Mitt Romney has none of the above Presidential qualifications. Moreover, doesn't reveal why he even wants to be President.  Voters who are against President Obama need to ask themselves why they would want to replace him with a man who was passed over for Vice-President and who selected a running mate who is about as popular as Sarah Palin was four years ago.










Thursday, August 16, 2012

Biden - He's an Unchained Melody

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/15/russell-simmons-biden-was-right.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_afternoon&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_afternoon&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet

Vice-President Joe Biden gave new meaning to the word "unchained" when he delivered a speech intended to fire up a largely African American audience. His seemingly serendipitous comment, claiming Romney's intention to "unchain" big banks and Wall Street with deregulation, putting our nation back into the situation that caused the Great Recession, quickly became a rant, whereby the specter of Black Negroes in chains was raised. 

Biden's "...put ya'll back in chains" comment resurrected imagery like ghosts in a cemetery. This dark (no pun intended) flashback recreated the slave roots of most African-Americans.  His chant rang with truth, like a prophetic melody.  

Racism, long simmering among many who dislike having an African American president, is now unchained.

Critics relish any opportunity to put down Biden's frequent gaffs, but, thankfully, the Vice-President didn't back down on this opportune moment, when his comment quickly ignited national news, on a weekend.  "Put ya'll back in chains" may even have been intentional. Regardless of his intention, Biden's gaff was necessary. Like a broken clock, right twice a day, he rang on the "unchained" imagery at just the right moment.  Biden "unchained" sang the truth about how Blacks are perceived by many racists in this country.  His raw truth bristled the backs of the Romney supporters who have been using a euphemistic racist campaign strategy since the primary election, to fire up angry white voters.  Think about Gingrich's comments regarding creating a Food Stamp nation or when Romney said "I don't care about the poor".  Each time the label "welfare" is used, its intended to stereotype racism (in my opinion).

A negative ad sponsored by the Republican National Committee is tying the euphemism of food stamps to rally people who harbor racism to vote against President Obama.

Now, Biden's chant, however intended, puts the racist element on the front burner.  "Put ya'll back in chains" is precisely the lyric I hear from many who pound away on twitter every time I stand up for Democratic social policies, gun control, sharing the wealth, caring for the poor and, most especially, and particularly, when I name and defend President Obama.  It's discouraging for me to read the caustic comments I receive from people who degrade President Obama on my twitter feeds.  Their misguided comments are racism in 140 characters. When I confront these dangerous comments, the tweeters who post them are driven like demons to become more angry, aggressive, and increasingly degrading. They absolutely never back down.  In my mind, the terrible twitter tyrants, who attack my progressive postings, are the people Vice-President Biden correctly chants will "put ya'll back in chains".  Certainly, I feel the shackles whenever they rail on me in the twitter feeds.  These twisted twitterers want to own the popular social networking site, just to spread their hateful propaganda for their own nefariously racist purposes.

Biden's "unchained" chant is supported in the Daily Beast op-ed by Russell Simmons, an African-American business mogul http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Simmons

Simmons defends Biden. He writes:

"Joe Biden's truthful comment that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would put "ya'll back in chains", sat fine with me. Here's why and here's one example.
 The greatest cause of the destruction of the fabric of the black community in the past forty years is drug legislation that targets and imprisons those who live in under-served communities. The consequences of these draconian laws are that it takes diseased people, locks them up for long periods of time, educates them in violent criminal behavior and dumps them back into the community. The money for this operation is obviously funded by the "good old boys" who run Wall Street." http://tinyurl.com/8wmgjgo

Biden "unchained" has connected with African-Americans. Let's hope the phrase holds through the election, because African-Americans must be motivated to vote for President Obama, while their enthusiasm has come into question during this reelection campaign.  

By seizing the moment, Biden's "put ya'll back in chains" may be just the Unchained Melody the African-American community needs  to fire up their voting base.  Moreover, it rings of racial truth.










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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Medicare as a Metaphor

Congressman Paul Ryan's choice as Romney's vice-presidential pick quickly ignited Medicare as a metaphor for American social policy. In other words, Medicare has morphed from a government insurance program, primarily for senior citizens, into a social concept. Do we want to take care of our nation's middle class, poor, disabled, children and veterans, or not? Medicare symbolizes all of the above.

Ryan's VP pick has unequivocally opened this long simmering national debate. His self named "plan" to reduce the nation's deficit by cutting spending (without raising revenue) was just another dusty Congressional document until Ryan's pick by Romney launched the "Ryan Plan" into the national spotlight. 

Now, there's a real risk that a Romney-Ryan administration will change progressive social policies like Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Veteran's benefits, Planned Parenthood, Head Start, student loans and so forth.

Does the Ryan Plan really propose to cut these and other important programs? Obviously, I'm not sure because I certainly haven't read the document. But, changing Medicare is a central component of the Ryan Plan. What he proposes is for Medicare to morph into a voucher system. It's terrible public policy. But, a Voucher system is a cash cow for private insurance companies that will sell confusing products.

It's unclear if the Vouchers will include the Medicare Part D drug benefit. It's unclear how the Voucher products will cover physician specialty care. It's just unclear about how much money a Voucher program will cut or cost.

A Medicare Voucher system is a metaphor for all the social safety net programs, passed by Congress with rigorous public vetting over the past 80 years, since the FDR singing of the Social Security law.
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2004/site_packages/ss_privatization/3150fdrs_soc_sec.html

Because the Ryan Voucher proposal is flawed, all other proposals in his plan are tainted. It's just like your mother said, "Watch the company you keep'.  If Medicare is cut, so, it probably goes, for all the other social safety net programs. 

What's most alarming about the Medicare Metaphor is the complete lack of data to support regressive social policies. Instead of cutting social programs, our nation should be focused on improving our nation's quality of life. For example, our nation's infant mortality rate is 34th in the world, where Singapore and Iceland are among the best. (Infant mortality is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.) 

Our nation's educational outcomes are outpaced by other countries in reading, science and math. 

In fact, US life expectancy is 38th in the world, while Japan is first.

Meanwhile, the US tax rates are lower than most highly developed. countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates

Polls indicate presidential candidate Romney didn't get the political "bump" he hoped for from his selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate.  The lackluster roll out of his VP pick has the probably unintended consequence of putting Romney's vision for the nation's future into the spotlight.  If Romney's vision for the future includes imposing the "Ryan Budget" on us, then, at least, his choice created a clear understanding of why he should not become our President.  

Medicare is a metaphor for the concept of caring.  

Romney flubbed up on the Ryan roll out. He wasn't prepared for questions about how the Ryan Budget impacts the struggling middle class.  My suggestion is for Romney-Ryan to completely rethink their political strategy and embrace both Medicare the program and the metaphor it represents about a nation of caring people.






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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Newt Gingrich Endorsement is Second Strike in Ryan Roll Out- Iowa State Fair is Third

You must know you're in trouble when the first national endorsement for Ryan's pick as Romney's Vice-Presidential candidate comes from Newt Gingrich.

But there was another clue. 

On May 3rd 2012, The Weekly Standard reported on Congressman Paul Ryan's Kenosha, Wis. town hall meeting where about 20 constituents expresses snickers and jeers during his budget cutting presentation. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/man-plan_648570.html 

Obviously, Mitt Romney's vetting staff didn't read this particular article.  If someone had read it, the campaign would have thought twice about sending Ryan, solo, to the Iowa State Fair, where he was also heckled. Iowa's popular state fair was a poor entrance place for Ryan to begin his national tour. His stand up solo was scheduled immediately after the "foiled by mis-steps" roll out of his pick as Romney's vice-presidential running mate, the announcement made on a Saturday, at a staged for TV venue, in government rich Norfolk, Virginia.http://oneturkeyrun.blogspot.com/2012/08/foiled-ryan-roll-out-whats-this-about.html

So, Ryan's first week on the job as a vice-presidential candidate hasn't gone well and the harbinger for this rough take off began with the Newt Gingrich endorsement.  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79606.html

“[Ryan] has grown into one of the great intellectual leaders in this country, his work on the budget is extraordinary. It is a real decision by Gov. Romney..." (Gingrich)

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79606.html#ixzz23W5LI5iF


Certainly, we can't disagree about the second sentence. Indeed, the Ryan choice for his running mate is a "real" decision by Romney, but it's a bad choice.

Ryan is an anti-intellectual.  He's a concrete thinker who made a name for himself by putting his by-line on a report called the Ryan Budget.  His plan is to destroy progressives who have supported sensible public policies whereby our Capitalist economic system shares the wealth through taxation with the middle class.  His regressive policies have turned on the middle class, those of us who pay his Congressional salary.

Ryan's endorsement by Newt Gingrich is hypocritical cronyism. The two men are a mutual admiration society.

But where's the Ryan endorsement by real GOP leaders like Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin or even Dick Cheney?

Mitt Romney calls Paul Ryan a "great leader", but only if we believe in leadership that disenfranchises the middle class.

Strategically, Newt Gingrich is not the first person who should have endorsed Ryan's candidacy.  Frankly, the first media endorsement, should have come from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Ryan needs to "charm" hard to become a campaign "darling", as some past VP candidates have managed to endear the public, like Al Gore or Ed Musky in campaign's past.

Although Democrats, like me, smile about the foiled Ryan roll-out, ground down by the Gingrich endorsement, the danger of a right-wing Romney-Ryan administration is, nevertheless, frighteningly real.  Americans must understand the risks of giving the Romney-Ryan political team control over our government.

Romney-Ryan's election team wanted to hit a home run with the VP roll out announcement. Instead, it's three strikes for the batter- a foiled roll out event, the Gingrich endorsement and the Iowa State Fair heckling. But, before we think the team is on their way out, we know it's only the first inning.
























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