Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

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Location: Topsham, MAINE, United States

My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Voting Republican

Maine Sunday Telegram poll raises the question about who votes for Republicans? It's not the rich, at least, not in Maine.

Poor and middle class voters include Republicans. I don't get it.  Maybe, it's because Republicans often write good bumper stickers? 

Americans who mistakenly believe Republican economic and social policies are somehow good for our nation, please watch this very entertaining video now playing on YouTube - no commercials...just the video:

Maine seems to be an anomoly when it comes to who votes Republican. Those at the bottom third of the socio-economic ladder are more likely to vote Republican than the upper tiers. 

"Critical Insights poll found that President Obama has expanded his lead in Maine as he has elsewhere, but that the state is going against the national grain when it comes to class politics. Obama's lead here is strongest among higher-income voters, while Republican Mitt Romney receives strong support from lower-income voters."

While Republicans push for economic policies to benefit the one percent of wealth in America, those who vote for these moguls are often people at the opposite end of the economic spectrum.  

Makes no sense.  

Supporting Romney must mean a person believes in the labeling of 47 percent of Americans as "victims" for accepting earned income from government, like Veterans benefits, Social Security, student loan interest rates, mortgage tax deductions and Medicare?

Why do the people most negatively impacted by Republican austerity policies vote for the candidates who don't represent their best interest? 

Look at where Republicans stand on issues impacting the poor and middle class:

1. Inequitable tax policies: Republicans won't raise taxes on the rich but expects the middle class to pay for the cost of government.
"...Romney has admitted that his tax cuts, if they’re not going to add to the deficit, will have to increase taxes on people he defines as middle income and cut them on people he defines as high income."

2.  Cronyism: Republicans want to continue pouring money into the Defense Department while not supporting job creating programs to improve our Nation Building at Home. Republican mogul supporters will award lucrative defense contracts to their rich friends, rather than put tax money into building roads, bridges, high speed rail and public works projects to improve the quality, and safety of middle class life and work.

3.  Dismissive of the poor:  
“I’m in this race because I care about Americans,” Romney told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien this morning after his resounding victory in Florida on Tuesday. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.”

It's not clear how Romney, or any Republicans, will fix or improve safety nets to help the poor and middle class because they won't raise taxes on the rich to help pay for these programs.  In fact, Romney says time and again that he'll eliminate "Obamacare" (Health Care Reform) where middle class people are finally, after decades of debate, provided access to quality health insurance beginning in 2014.

Indeed, Americans must wake up, as described in the startling but funny YouTube video. 

Here's a few bumper sticker words of advice for Republicans who might reconsider their choice of candidates:

"Romney-Ryan 2012: Strapping Granny to the Roof of Your Car"
This bumper sticker raises the issue of how the Ryan austerity budget cuts the very safety net programs Romney says he'll fix.

"Romney-Ryan:  Restoring America's Aristocracy"
This refers to Romney's deference to the rich by not supporting tax increases for the one percent of wealthy Americans.

"Mitt Romney 2012- Tax Dodger for President"
This refers to Romney's tax rate at 14 percent (or lower) while most middle class people pay higher rates (including my husband and I who pay about a 30 percent rate!).

"Don't like your job? Don't worry! Romney will get rid of it for you."
This refers to Romney's job downsizing company Bain Capital, where the work included the eliminationof thousands of jobs because the venture capitalist company shed employees to raise corporate profits for investors.

In summary, people who vote Republican have no push back on anything written in this blog.  Republicans defend their policies because they believe government is too big, too costly and too regulatory to foster a growing private sector economy.

But, they're wrong.  Americans are among the least taxed people in the world and we're absolutely no better off as a result.  

It's time all Americans follow the excellent advice in the YouTube Video.  Please, watch and enjoy it- and do what it says.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Republican Party - Life or Life Support After the 2012 Election?

Trolling the Internet found two postings that made the reality of a soon to be extinct Republican party seem likely. 

What will happen to the GOP, post the upcoming 2012 election, if trends continue toward a major party defeat

Barring horribly unforeseen circumstances (which might be too terrible to speculate), the conservative bastion of American democracy seems to be floating off the deep end, like boxes of tea cast into Boston Harbor during the 1773 rebellion.

For example, in learning that the liberal
MSNBC news anchor Rachael Maddow grew up in a conservative Roman Catholic home, I was amused by this quote posted on her Wikepedia bio:
"Asked about her political views...Maddow replied, "I'm undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I'm in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower Era..."

Maddow's reflection of a nostalgic political time past, long before Maddow was even born (1973), is an indication that the party of this by gone era is as deceased as the great General Eisenhower (1890-1969).  Heroic Eisenhower was a political and military savior, having breathed life into the GOP, saving it from extinction after four consecutive Democratic administrations had put the conservative movement on life support.  But, the political party Eisenhower saved is not the extremist party it morphed into. Eisenhower could not have envisioned a political party that didn't want to compromise or pay taxes.  Thank goodness, Eisenhower was able to create our nation's interstate highway system with tax revenues and by claiming the property necessary for the project, by using the governments power of "imminent domain".  Indeed, Eisenhower's Republicans party sounds like Democrats to me......

Another example of how the demise of the Republicans, as we know (or knew) them, might be imminent is in the way Governor Mitt Romney was unable to manage his campaign for the Presidency without ingratiating himself to extremists.  When Republican Governor Romney was the leader of Massachusetts, a decidedly liberal, bluer than blue, state, he was a moderate.  As Massachusetts governor, he was pro-choice and passed the nation's model health care reform law, a.k.a. "Obamacare".  This sure sounds more Democrat than Republican to me. Right?

But, what happened when Governor Romney began running for 2012 President?  He became a puppet of wealthy campaign contributors like the Koch Brothers and right wing Tea-Party conservatives, who squelched Romney's style, so the real candidate is like a political turtle. He won't stick his head out or display a moderate political past, for fear he'll be shunned at the polls.  

Romney missed his "Sister Souljah Moment"  

Rather than rise up when right wing radio mouth piece Rush "Bimbaugh" Limbaugh slandered a Georgetown University law student for exercising her right to free speech when she spoke to Congress about contraception, Romney head for the proverbial hills and found a cave to hide in.  Although this moment of political weakness was cowardly, the worst was yet to come when Romney didn't screech at the top of his lungs in outrage about Missouri  Representative Todd Akin, who disgustingly created a new and disgusting concept called "legitimate rape".

Cowardly Romney moments are reported in a recent Washington Post op-ed by Fareed Zakaria, who says Romney is avoiding confronting his right wing base.

Maybe, Romney is a coward.  Perhaps that's the unflattering character trait that drove Romney to do missionary work in France when he was eligible to serve his country in the Viet Nam War (ahhh, France?  Viet Nam?- he chose France, where he wound up involved in a controversial automobile accident where the outcomes are still unexplained).

A 2007 New York Times article described the situation like this:

"There were six people in a car that would comfortably seat five, but otherwise it was an ordinary drive that happened to turn tragic.
On the way back from Pau (France), the car was hit head-on and Anderson's wife, Leola, was killed. Anderson's driver, a 21-year-old missionary named Mitt Romney, is now a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, with the June 16, 1968, accident one of his rare dark moments. Romney, who was seriously injured in the crash and was momentarily feared dead, has long said there was nothing he could have done to avoid the tragedy."

Obviously, the auto accident is absolutely not a political issue but the details of the incident have never been resolved and probably won't be.  It's history.

Nonetheless, what's politically important is whether or not Romney is capable of being President of the United States when his behavior throughout this campaign has been erratic.  Are Romney's labile responses to crucial events the result of his 1968 documented head injury?  It's a rhetorical question, of course, but the public needs to know about this medical history.

Getting back to the point, what's the future of the Republican party? What's to become of the Grand Old Party, if they become "ground on partisanship", so ingrained that they're incapable of governing?

Clearly, Governor Romney, the undisputed leader of the GOP, is completely incapable of reigning in his political party extremists.

Rachel Maddow Democrats, those who might join in her thinking of the Grand Old Party of Dwight Eisenhower as their political preference, will need to find a politically safe place. 

Hopefully, Governor Romney's presidential 2012 campaign will collapse under the weight of incompetence. Of course, this outcome presumes the current polling trends continue and states will eliminate the illegal promulgation of voter suppression regulations.

Although pundits are giving Romney the "doesn't he look good" mortuary greeting, this election isn't over until it's over.

When Romney's campaign is finally declared "dead", I predict the Grand Old Party will slide into the political morgue drawer right next to the graveyard of campaign buttons and dried up balloons.

In other words, it's time America finds a new "Eisenhower" to lead a political movement of centrists, who care about projects like expanding America's transportation infrastructure, maintenance for schools, and public safety facilities and providing health care for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. 

Republicans as we know them today, a flailing party of extremists, will soon be history - just like the 1773 tea in Boston Harbor.  

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Political Polling in a Wind Tunnel

Political polling is not a system whereby polling questions are placed inside a wind tunnel.  It's a data system whereby one poll either validates or nullifies another. Eventually, a preponderance of information supports particular trends and projects outcomes on any of a myriad of issues, including politics.

Once upon a time, we could get away with saying "the only poll that counts is the one held on election day."  With political polling now conducted on practically a 24/7 cycle, it's clearly impossible to ignore trends in public opinion, especially regarding the elections of candidates or ballot measures.  

While the 2012, presidential election was a pollster's toss up for nearly a year, in spite of a contentious Republican primary and an economy in distress, the polls are now trending toward President Obama being re-elected.  

Of course,  this probability sends shivers up the spines of right wing extremists, who wasted many millions of campaign contribution dollars on their candidates and political action committees, because, they believe, their influence can buy elections and, thereby, slam dunk their rigidly extremist agenda.  These right wing "trollers" find any person they can wrestle on the Internet in social media sites like twitter or facebook.  I've been the victim of many social media "righties"- they aren't nice.  

It takes a great deal of intestinal fortitude to push back on these Internet extremists. But, I confront them, because, if they're even remotely close to being the face of a potential Romney administration, I believe they'll push our nation backwards into an austerity desert. We'll be immersed in a right wing nation where only those people who righties think are "worthy" will be allowed to call ourselves American citizens.  

One "twitterzen" suggested I'm unqualified to blog or tweet because I'm uninformed. (Hello? As though he was better informed?  I don't think so!)

Political polls are popular when they affirm a positive, but voters who disagree with the statistical analysis of polling find ways to rationalize the results.  They'll either blame the polling sample or claim the questions lack validity.  Now, a new confounding element, called the conspiracy theory, has been injected into the polling skeptics rationalization.  

Right wing extremists now claim all the political polling currently trending in favor or President Obama are concocted for the purpose of discouraging Republicans from voting, thereby assuring the president's reelection by voters who are Democrats.

These polling conspirators don't take into account the string of incompetent mis-steps made by over confident Republican candidates, especially by Governor Mitt Romney, who have generated mistrust among the electorate.  Right wing puppet candidates, like Romney and others, were largely propped up by rich moguls like the Koch brothers and their cohorts. They're now watching their legalized bribe money, paid in the form of campaign contributions, being washed down the drain like dirty soap scum.  

Obviously, the current polling trends might or might not hold in favor of President Obama's reelection.  As a matter of fact, concerns have been raised about the inability of polling queries to reach people who only own cell telephones.  This one confounding fact alone could skew polling results, except, the preponderance of polls are showing similar results.  In other words, nearly all the current polls are showing a widening lead for President Obama, so there's a very low probability that they're all wrong.  

Eric Boehlert reported in Huffington Post:

"After four years of relentlessly condemning Obama as an historic failure and all around bad person, conservatives are desperately trying to explain the disconnect between their dire Obama denunciations and the on-the-ground political reality about Obama's polling surge. They need a scapegoat, and the pollsters have been cast in the role."

While right wing conspiracists might believe political polls are conducted by people who pull results from papers spinning in a wind tunnel, the fact is, independent polls are trending in favor of President Obama winning re-election.  Polling is not a wind tunnel methodology of data aggregation.  It's as accurate as the day the data is collected and collated.  

But, polling will never be as accurate as the vote count calculated on election day.  Indeed, the old fashioned way of counting votes still trumps the polls, regardless of how the prognosticators predict the outcomes of elections. 

Nonetheless, polling conspiracists need a political reality check when it comes to buying elections.  Its time voters affirm the value of polling, regardless of whether we agree with the analysis, and to demonstrate how rich moguls cannot buy our elections. 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Roman Catholics Voters are Affirming Support for Obama - As Predicted in Maine Writer

Perhaps "Nuns on the Bus" and Sister Simone Campbell, are a reason why Roman Catholics are not following the politically conservative lead of clerics, like Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and are supporting President Barack Obama.  

Roman Catholics are apparently following the social justice teachings of St. Augustine, as articulated by Sister Campbell, who told the Democratic National Convention,  "I am my sister’s keeper. I am my brother’s keeper".

Paul Ryan claims his budget reflects the principles of our shared Catholic faith. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test, because it would harm families living in poverty.

"We agree with our bishops, and that’s why we went on the road: to stand with struggling families and to lift up our Catholic sisters who serve them. Their work to alleviate suffering would be seriously harmed by the Romney-Ryan budget, and that is wrong", said Sister Simone.

As a matter of fact, while I was attending a program in Augusta, Maine, recently, a wonderfully faithful gentleman from Northern Maine, who happens to be a loyal Republican, seemed perplexed about his Roman Catholicism and his political affiliation. He revealed, to the group we were with, that some of his best friends are asking how he can be a Roman Catholic and Republican? I immediately volunteered my affiliation- as a Roman Catholic and a Democrat.

This dear gentleman is likely feeling the impact of the PEW survey results showing how Roman Catholics are supporting President Obama in greater percentages than they supported him in 2008, when he ran against Senator John McCain.

McCain was where he is now: 54 percent. But Romney has only 39 percent compared with McCain's 45. 

Roman Catholic voters are obviously polling exactly the way I predicted in my blogs responding to Cardinal Dolan's inappropriate participation in both the Republican (RNC) and Democratic (DNC)  Conventions.  Cardinal Dolan didn't demonstration ecclesiastic leadership when he used his prayer at both conventions to convey political messages.  Sister Simone, on the other hand, spoke at the DNC, but she supported advocacy for poor people. Cardinal Dolan should have followed her lead.  Guess who received the higher television ratings?  Of course, Sister Simone had among the highest ratings of all convention speakers.  

Dear blog readers, I can tell from the number of Maine Writer blog hits, the speech by Sister Simone was well received.  Better than the presentation in prayer by Cardinal Dolan.

Therefore, the point of this blog is this:  American Roman Catholic Church leaders should follow Nuns on the Bus.  It's time Roman Catholic Cardinals and Bishops center their attention on supporting the social justice teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. 

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quality of Political Ads- Quality of Candidate

If voters were asked to vote on the quality of paid political ads rather than on the candidates, I submit the election would already be over and done with, because it would be a contest between optimism and pessimism. Democratic ads are in stark optimistic contrast with the negative and cynical Republican advertising. Americans don't need more cynicism in government. Rather, we need to believe in prosperity rather than in regressive ideation, like, for example, reinventing contraceptive services for women! Americans want access to economic security. Removing our social safety nets in a time of economic recovery does not instill optimism in American voters, especially when the commercials don't offer any hope other than changing leadership - no plan.

It's a sad commentary on how Americans obtain political news, but the political advertisement is now the arena where people go to get most information about the most important leaders in the world. My husband and I are in awe about how well informed other international citizens are about our American government, while Americans seem to wait until the political television advertising season to learn what most Europeans and Asians know, just by watching our CNN news.

If important choices the voters make in the election booth this year are truly a reflection of the political advertising, then it's clear the New Majority Agenda and Crossroads America must be disqualified for their amateurish, negative ads riddled with lies. In Maine, we're viewing political ads showing in the swing state New Hampshire, so we're exposed to the Democrats and the Republican commercials. Undoubtedly, the morose tone of the Republican ads are a reflection of how the conservative electorate perceive the nation's state of affairs - it's like seeing the world in black and white. Although there's probably no racial analogy in the tone of the Republican ads, it's difficult to avoid the bleak tone without making this assumption. Yet, the Democratic commercials reflect optimism while Republicans are hung up on doom and gloom.

In state elections, outside the national view, the optimism-pessimism contrast is evident in the Senate election for the seat held by Republican Olympia Snowe, in Maine. Independent, Angus King, is certainly worthy of an award for the high quality of political ads his campaign is airing in Maine. Angus puts his high favorability personality front and center into each positive message. In contrast, the opponents ads, ambiguously disguised as political action committees of dubious intentions, are bleak and, simply, unconvincing. Of course, people who accept these ads have the very same cynical outlook on politics as the negative ads- so the negative ads are not changing any minds. The Angus King ads reinforce optimism, change and reflect on a period of political stability in Maine. We are reminded how life was better when Governor Angus King was in charge. Sure, it's a nostalgic view but, nonetheless, accurate- because, "back then" the nation's economy was better.
It's entirely too early to postmortem the Romney campaign - or to declare victory for Angus King in Maine. Of course, I sure hope to see President Obama win re-election and Governor Angus King's campaign be successful. If both of these outcomes occur, then I can be somewhat of a prognosticator, reflecting back on this blog - were these successes a reflection of the campaigns' advertising- or not?

I submit President Obama will win and so will Governor Angus King. I like their political ads.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Romney Campaign - Dunk the Duck Arcade

Romney's presidential campaign looks like the Dunk the Duck carnival arcade game.  Although glitches, mis-steps and glaring inconsistencies are obvious, the number of incidents are becoming like the moving targets in an arcade game.  It's like, the more pop-shots the media has for exposing these errors, the faster they appear on the political arcade.  Like a row of moving ducks, eventually, it becomes impossible to take aim at the campaign glitch of the day.

Here's two recent and avoidable problems:

1.  Romney bad behavior at Hispanic Univsion TV interview- "tantrum":

Anchors who hosted this interview between an Hispanic television audience and Governor Romney reported how the Romney campaign insisted on busing in supporters.  Governor Romney also wanted his introduction to be taped over again.  As a matter of fact, he is reported to have exhibited a tantrum to get his way.

This is an avoidable error - did Governor Romney believe his behavior would escape scrutiny?  Of course, we find out later, this insistence on bused in supporters and a trumped up introduction was deliberate to make President Obama's scheduled appearance seem lack luster in comparison.

Governor Romney's campaign staff should have foreseen problems with the Univision interview and stop gaped the error. In other words, this "tantrum" incident should never have made any news- at all!  Moreover, the report of a "tantrum" can't be an isolated incident. In my experience, tantrums are a pattern of behavior.  It's likely other Romney tantrums have been covered up.  A history of tantrums explains how the serial inconsistencies keep occurring in the Romney campaign - his staff is fearful of confronting him.  This is a huge problem.

Reported by (link above):
"...when moderator, Jorge Ramos introduced the candidate, he also noted the time difference; Romney was giving the audience 35 minutes, Obama offered an hour. The audience applauded, and waited. But Romney was backstage, offended by the introduction. He allegedly refused to appear until Univision agreed to re-tape the introduction."

2.  Emergency Department as a health care safety net- he flip-flopped on 60 Minutes:
It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his Sunday 60 Minutes interview that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.

To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"

Romney responded:  
"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance ... if someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and — and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

Incredibly, Romney was saying that people who don't have insurance can always go to the hospital emergency room. This huge flip-flop statement is plainly wrong minded, not to mention being contrary to providing less expensive and high quality health care.

Yet in a 2010, MSNBC appearance, Romney said almost exactly the opposite: 'It doesn't make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility,' he said at the time."

That's because, back then, Romney was defending the Massachusetts law he signed as governor. It's the one that requires most people to either have health insurance or pay a fine — just like the federal law he now vows to appeal because it's called "Obamacare" (for the life of me, I don't understand how Romney gets out of this hole, but his ardent supporters ignore this obvious hypocrisy like it's a railed off pothole in the highway, they just drive around it.)

He used even more colorful language in 2007, talking to Fox News host Glenn Beck. "When they show up at the hospital, they get care; they get free care paid for by you and me," he said. "If that's not a form of socialism, I don't know what is." (OMG! This isn't socialism, because the cost of uncompensated emergency department care is paid for by cost shifting to private insurance premiums and private pay patients, and that's not socialism.)

As a nurse and former non-profit health care administrator, I don't know how it is Romney's advisers didn't inform him that emergency department care is one of the principle reasons why health care is so expensive.  Moreover, reliance on Emergency Medical Services as somehow being a safety net for acute care, is a myth, unless insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, are willing to pay for it - and right now, there's no bundled payment for ambulance transport.  In other words, ambulance transports are seldom included in health insurance coverage plans, unless trauma related.

Both incidents above were avoidable errors. They are among the growing list of examples of how the one term governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, cannot be relied upon to be President of the United States.

Americans must re-elect President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden. They instill confidence, demonstrated by their consistently steadfast leadership and understanding of the values of the American people. 

Let's be sure to hold the news media accountable for holding up the quick moving "Dunk the Duck" incompetency of the Romney campaign and expose them.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Romney Wrong on Emergency Medical Services and Health Care- Bill Kristol Acknowledges President Obama Inherited Financial Disaster

Two take-aways from the weekend presidential campaign news cycle- (a) Conservative Bill Kristol says President Obama really did inherit a financial disaster and (b) Governor Romney told Scott Pelley how emergency medical services is the safety net for acute medical care.  

Dear Governor Romney, Emergency Medical Services is expensive!  Don't expect EMS to be the safety net for acute care when you intend to revise Medicare and Medicaid- because EMS, as we know it, won't be there at the end of your reforms.

Governor Romney wrongly spoke on 60Minutes with Scott Pelley about how reforming Medicare can save it.  Why fix something that's not broken?  

Medicare is a health insurance policy, many experts are available to recommend actuarial adjustments to the system.  Moreover, don't expect emergency medical services to pick up the pieces when the health care system won't be able to handle the capacity of an aging population if capped health care reimbursement becomes a barrier to health care.

Reforming Medicare does not mean that Emergency Medical Services will be availabe to transport people who need access to acute care.  Among the many mis-statements Romney made on 60 Minutes, he should be held accountable for leaping to the assumption that emergency medical services will be the safety net between sick senior citizens, poor people and death.

Not only is EMS not the right medical care for critical care but the Governor wants to reform Medicare and Medicaid- a source of reimbursement for EMS!  In fact, there won't be any EMS available if senior citizens and poor people must pay for transport with vouchers. EMS is not bundled into any payment system that I know of, so any reform of Medicare or Medicaid will likely exclude emergency care, unless it's trauma related.  I sincerely hope EMS providers get involved in educating their communities about how wrong minded it is for the safety net to acute care services to be supported by emergency medical services- it's expensive, it's not preventive, it's not what emergency medical services providers are trained to do. Assuming EMS will be there as the point of access to acute care, this will require insurance companies to guarantee payment- including Medicare and Medicaid.  It's important for media to point out how wrong Romney was on answering this question.
WASHINGTON -- Downplaying the need for the government to ensure that every person has health insurance, Mitt Romney on Sunday suggested that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured. "Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

On the political front, the weekend news shows were loaded with skeptics with advice for Governor Romney- including conservative pundit Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.
Republican Bill Kristol admits President Obama turned around the financial meltdown of former President Bush "pretty well".

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol says that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is going to have a tough time winning if the election is a referendum on President Barack Obama’s first term. “If this election is just about the last four years, that’s a muddy verdict." The conservative columnist told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday "Bush was president during the financial meltdown, the Obama team has turned that around pretty well,” he explained.

Romney was aggressive on the 60-Minutes interview, but his responses were loaded with huge assumptions that sounded like schemes he concocted to win the presidential election.  

Perhaps the most telling remark Romney gave on the Pelley interview was when he admitted it was his decision to speak about 47 percent of Americans as being "victims".  
Romney: That's not...that's not the campaign. That was me, right? I-- that's not a campaign.  Pelley: You are the campaign--
Romney: I've got a very effective campaign. It's doing a very good job. But not everything I say is elegant. And I want to make it very clear, I want to help 100 percent of the American people.

So, the bottom line is that Romney knows he is the campaign and his response to Pelley about his leadership is the only true comment the Governor can stand behind.  Yes, he is the campaign and it's not going well.  There's no reason to believe his leadership as a President would be any different.  

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Romney Inconsistencies - Health Records and 2011 Taxes

More questions than any news cycle can keep up with, on purpose.
Health records are ambiguous, the tax filing omits investment information and cover ups are "covered up".

Like the Abbott and Costello baseball skit, "Who's on First?", the Romney campaign can't stay ahead of the news. 

In other words, voters can't get a clear answer from the Romney campaign about their candidate's health or taxes. News media and voters are kept in the baseball analogy cycle of wondering "Who" is on first and "What" is on second?

On Friday, September 21, Mitt Romney released a summary health record and 2011 tax information, at the same time. 

Both reports were released on a Friday afternoon, thereby missing the morning news like Today, Morning Joe or Good Morning America. The Friday timing is intentional, to avoid hard questions.

Here's what I'm asking:

1. What's the truth behind Romney's automobile accident in France in June 1968? What were the nature of his head injuries?

Romney's health record claims he's physically fit to be President, while his running mate was declared to be in "excellent" health. As a nurse, I'm asking why the report emphasized "physical health" for Romney while being much clearer about Ryan. There's a nuanced difference between "fit to meet the demands" or being of adequate physical health and the "excellent" described as the health of his running mate . Romney did not reach the threshold of the "excellent" report received by Ryan. In fact, the physician's summary provides documentation of a head injury Romney received in a 1968 auto accident, but no details.

At least one blogger at DaileyKos says the head injury Romney experienced in a 1968, automobile accident in France, was worse than described. 

Blogger DocChap suggests a cover up was initiated at the time of the accident.

Theories are that this accident lead to a tramautic brain injury (TBI) similar to what Iraq and Afghanastan war veterans experience after exposure to roadside bombs. Regardless of the nature of the injury, the facts as I see them are (a) Romney was involved in a serious automobile accident in 1968 in France where a person was killed (b) the priest driving the second car involved in the accident was a bishop named Bishop Jean Felix Albert Marie Vilnet, who is still alive as per Wikepedia:
Jean-Félix-Albert-Marie Vilnet (born April 8, 1922) is a French Prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.
Vilnet was born in Chaumont and was ordained a priest on October 22, 1944. Vilnet was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Dié on September 24, 1964 and ordained bishop on December 13, 1964.
On June 16, 1968, Bishop Vilnet was involved in a serious automobile accident with another vehicle driven by future American presidential candidate Willard "Mitt" Romney.  Vilnet was appointed to the Archbishop of Lille on August 13, 1983 and remained there until his retirement on July 2, 1998.

Theories notwithstanding, Romney's campaign hasn't been forthcoming about this automobile incident. This inability to be forthcoming is consistent with Romney history of cover ups, like paying $100,000 to have computer hard drives of his staff purged after he left the office of Governor Massachusetts, making it nearly impossible for future investigative reporting of his transactions.

2.  Taxes- Romney has covered up tax information for years.  

Were Romney's 2011 taxes deliberately skewed to make sure he paid at least the 14 percent claimed in news interviews? Of course they were.  Immediately, questions were raised about how Romney reported his considerable investment income. 

Previous, undisclosed filings, continue to raise questions.

Tax experts say Romney could have claimed more deductions, bringing his tax rate down to 13 percent, but he deliberately chose not to do so. Of course, there's nothing illegal about not taking deductions, but the error was a deliberate calculation to make his public statements align with his 2011 tax reports.  Unfortunately, Romney's most current reports do nothing to answer questions about previous tax filings, especially regarding issues raised about the legality of his residency when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts.  Legal suits were filed at the time Romney ran for governor, claiming he was not a legal resident of Massachusetts as required by law. Nonetheless, Romney somehow avoided proving the truth of his residency. Subsequently, the residency issue was never clearly proven, because of inconsistencies between Romney's word (he says he was a Massachusetts resident) versus the residence he claimed on his tax reports- being Utah.  

Romney's serial inconsistencies sound like a monotonous drum beat. They're intentionally creating cumulatively irritating noise, too loud to track down the sources.  As reported by "MassBlueGroup", Romney has a pattern of reporting false and misleading statements.

Americans can't abide a potential Romney President, a man who has a history of creating ambiguity and doubt. We'll be a politically paralyzed nation if the media is consumed with second guessing cover ups and inconsistencies.  Sincerely, my dear blog readers, we don't need a "Watergate 2013". 

Informed Americans will vote to re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden because they are trustworthy.

We know "who" they are and "what" they represent. 

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Romney Campaign - Ryan's Boos and Ann's Gripes

This could be a premature Halloween story!,0,7176447.story

Neither Congressman Ryan or Mrs. Ann Romney were properly briefed when they faced audiences last week during public statements. Ryan wasn't prepared to defend his call to eliminate "Obamacare" while Mrs. Romney did not have  a prepared response for Republican critics of avoidable campaign glitches. 

It's obvious, Ryan isn't equipped to handle criticism of his own "Ryan Plan". He had the audacity to stand before an audience of the American Association of Retired People (AARP) and call for repeal of the health care law (the Affordable Care Act) without offering any alternative.  I suspect Congressman Ryan was never prepared to defend his austere budget plan before a national audience of consumers of health care.  My impression is, Congressman Ryan is a spoiled rich kid who simply gets his own way by demanding attention.

From the Los Angeles Times:
Paul Ryan runs into trouble with AARPMitt Romney's running mate and architect of the Republican proposal to change Medicare, Paul Ryan is booed by the AARP crowd as he talks about plans to repeal President Obama's healthcare law. Just five minutes into his talk at the gathering of the powerful 50-and-older lobby, Mitt Romney's running mate — the architect of the Republican proposal to change Medicare for the next generation of seniors — was repeatedly interrupted as he criticized President Obama's healthcare law (Affordable Care Act).

"The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare, because it represents the worst of both worlds," Ryan said as the crowd in New Orleans booed audibly.

"I had a feeling there'd be mixed reaction," Ryan acknowledged, pausing briefly. "So let me get into it."

When he suggested Obama was cutting $716 billion from Medicare over the next decade to pay for the costs of insuring more Americans under the healthcare law, those gathered booed. Ryan's own budget relies on using the same savings from Medicare, but he applies it to paying down the nation's deficit. Ryan also elicited a round of objections when he suggested that the healthcare law "weakens Medicare for today's seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation."

President Bill Clinton explained during his Democratic National Convention Speech:  
"Look, here’s what really happened. You be the judge. Here’s what really happened.  There were no cuts to benefits at all. None. What the president did was to save money by taking the recommendations of a commission of professionals to cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that were not making people healthier and were not necessary to get the providers to provide the service."

"And instead of raiding Medicare, he used the savings to close the doughnut hole in the Medicare drug program — and — you all got to listen carefully to this; this is really important — and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare trust fund so it is solvent till 2024. So — so President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare; they strengthened Medicare. Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry — because that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget. (Cheers, applause.) You got to get one thing — it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did." (Laughter, cheers, applause.)

In Iowa, Mrs. Romney showed the stress of the campaign in her response to a radio interviewer.  She should have been better prepared for this question. When asked for her response to Republican critics, she demanded they "stop it!".

Excuse me, Mrs. Romney, with all due respect, you and your family asked for this debate, nobody forced you into the "ring", it was voluntary.  Using your own analogy, boxing takes an extraordinary amount of preparation and training.  You certainly were not prepared for the radio interviewers question. Rather, your defensive response indicates frustration rather than confidence.  

"(CBS News) Amid ongoing criticism over the management of her husband's presidential campaign, Ann Romney on Thursday responded to the critics in an interview on Radio Iowa: 'Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,' she said."

Griping and booing are certainly negative indicators on the popularity Richter scale.  In fact, this public behavior is downright demoralizing for the candidates and supporters.

Moreover, this behavior is even more indicative of a poorly run national campaign.  Which, of course, is the entire problem.  If Romney cannot run a convention (which was poorly managed) and he can't stay ahead of his messaging or the stress involved in conducting an exhausting campaign, then, he certainly can't run our country.  Quite simply, Romney doesn't have what it takes to be President of the United States.  He doesn't have the right stuff.

A potential Romney presidency is downright scary! Let's not let it happen by voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Three Moving Excerpts - VP Joe Biden Was Most Watched During Both National Political Conventions

Vice-President Joe Biden in Muscatine, Iowa:
This picture shows why Vice-President Joe was the most watched!  His speech said it all, "...we have no intention of downsizing the American Dream!"

"Nielsen finished compiling ratings from all the networks that carried the conventions, and the Daily News reports that Joe Biden came out on top, with 14.7 percent of the 289.7 million U.S. homes with televisions tuning in. Barack Obama came in second with 13.7 percent, followed by Mitt Romney (12.5 percent), Bill Clinton (10.9 percent), and Marco Rubio (10.4 percent). Poor Ann Romney ranked tenth, with only 7.7 percent of TV viewers catching her enthralling tale about that time she and Mitt subsisted on canned tuna."

My op-ed - I liked Biden's sometimes daunting DNC speech because he spoke to the heart of all Americans by providing two take-away indisputable points, emphasized, like a rote teacher, over and over again:

1.  ....never quit on America:  
"You see, we, most Americans have incredible faith in the decency and hard work of the American people, and we know what has made this country. It's the American people. As I mentioned at the outset, four years ago we were hit hard. You saw -- you saw
your retirement accounts drained, the equity in your homes
vanish, jobs lost or on the line. But what did you do as
Americans? What you've always done. You didn't lose faith, you
fought back. You didn't give up, you got up. You're the ones.
The American people -- you're the reason why we are still better
positioned than any country in the world to lead the 21st
century. You'd never quit on America, and you deserve a
president who will never quit on you."

2. ...we won't forget our Veterans:
"A future where we fulfill the only truly sacred obligation
we have as a nation -- the only truly sacred obligation we have
is to prepare those who we send to war and care for them when
they come home from war. And tonight -- tonight I want to
acknowledge -- I want to acknowledge as we should every night
the incredible debt we owe to the family of those 6,473 fallen
angels, and those 49,746 wounded. Thousands critically.
Thousands who will need our help for the rest of their lives.
Folks, we never -- we must never ever forget their sacrifice,
and always keep them in our care and in our prayers.
My fellow Americans, we now -- we now find ourselves at the
hinge of history. And the direction we turn is not
figuratively, is literally in your hands. It has been a truly
great honor to serve you and to serve with Barack who has always
stood up with you for the past four years."

3. ....Republicans want to dismantle the American Dream...
"My fellow Americans, America is coming back, and we're not
going back. And we have no intention of downsizing the American

My take away from Biden's speech, which I watched in total, was all of the above.
Biden reinforced what First Lady Michelle Obama and President Bill Clinton said before him, drove it home like an anvil on a construction project. He spoke from his heart and soul. Americans obviously heard him. 

 Now, we must vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Income Redistribution

Voters learned two new concepts this week - ie "victims" and "redistribution".

As a tit for tat rebuttal for Romney's very bad political week, Republicans dusted off a 14 year old video of Illinois State Senator Barack Obama supporting a concept of "redistribution". It's intended to incite right wing conservatives who, probably, like lots of other voters, have no idea what redistribution means.

Republicans want us to believe "redistribution" is a bad word. In fact, it's how the US Congress gets paid. It's how government pays the bills. It means that government pools the money collected in taxes and redistributes it based upon the best use of resources. All governments "redistribute" resources. Some, by favoring their political friends, while others create a progressive process.

Here's what I think:

Redistribution definition: "The theory, policy, or practice of lessening or reducing inequalities in income through such measures as progressive income taxation and antipoverty programs." (

I submit, redistribution includes sharing wealth, as well as lessening inequalities. Meaning, all government payroll is a redistribution of tax money.

Income redistribution should not include money spent on Medicare and Social Security but, in fact, the safety-net programs do run deficits. Therefore, government must guarantee payment while hoping to recover the money from future contributions to the programs. The problem is, the US Congress took money from the Social Security fund and has not yet paid it back. In other words, the redistribution of Social Security money was authorized outside of the intended distribution of the available money. 

In Medicare, the cost of health care exceeds the pace of the premiums collected. It's essential to bring down the cost of providing health care to an increasingly aging population before Medicare can become totally sustainable- in other words, not likely. As a result, redistribution is essential to keep Medicare solvent.

This is how redistribution's the same way for defense spending, for public health, for sustainable infrastructure, and so on....

In a heated political campaign, the concepts of "victims" and "redistribution" become political buzz words.  Sadly, both concepts marginalize middle class and poor people.  Neither concept raises us up. Rather, they denigrate the human condition.  People who rely on a return for being good American citizens, by rightly expecting to receive Social Security, Medicare, Veterans benefits, student loans or fuel assistance should not be labeled as "victims".  People who believe government should pay for a strong military should not claim "redistribution" is a bad word.

Romney was taped giving the label "victim" to 47 percent of voters who, he said, expect to receive help from the government. This comment rips the scab off of class warfare in America whereby conservative voters believe wealth should be owned by people who create if for themselves. This is an abrasive statement that should make moral people bristle with concern about the values of a potential Romney in the White House.  What ever happened to the concept of "Compassionate Conservative"?

When the dust settles, after the election, the fact is, those who win the elections, at all levels of government, will benefit from income redistribution, because they will be the victims of receiving a government pay check.

"Income redistribution" and "victim", as the Republicans politicize these concepts, are not mutually exclusive. In other words, if we could assign a value to "income redistribution" and to "victim", the two would add up to including all people, those who contribute and those who receive.   Redistribution is part of our responsibility in creating a human condition* in which everyone of us are subscribers.

*Definition of The Human Condition: Encompasses all of the experience of being human. As mortal entities, the term is also used to describe the joy, terror, humor and other feelings or emotions associated with being and existence....

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not Eloquently Stated
Romney’s Conservatism Of The Heartless
Rusty Reno is ticked at Romney over the "47 percent thing", mostly because it shows how out of touch Romney is with actual Americans.

" MITT HAS ALL THE COMPASSION OF A CHARGING RHINO.....", says Maine Writer blog follower Joe in Bangor, Maine.

Governor Romney excused his "off the cuff" 47 percent speech at a private Republican Fund Raiser, hosted last May and secretly video taped, as "not eloquently stated". 

This is what Romney told contributors:
"Well, there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47% who are with him. Who are dependent upon government, who believe that-- that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. But that's-- it's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what."

My question is this. What happened to "Compassionate Conservatism", the Republican social mantra just a few years ago?  Therein is the problem with word creep. "Compassionate Conservatism" morphed to "Compassionate Victimization" other words, "Gee, we're sorry you need help...., maybe you deserve your plight; meanwhile, here's temporary help..". Reminiscent, tragically, of Marie Antoinette who said French peasants should eat cake because they were unable to afford bread. She lost her social compass and her lovely head.  

Compassionate Conservatism quickly became an anachronism- a word relic of the past.  Instead,  political "righties"are falling into lock step behind a concept that 47 percent of Americans are "victims"- even though economic pundits say many of these "victims" are Republicans, themselves.  

Romney's "not eloquently stated" comments rip the scab off a  veiled contempt for people who happen to benefit from government assistance, like Social Security, Veterans benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Pell Grants, student loans, public health assistance....  Yes, it's true, these programs are subsidized by the government, but every one of them is an investment in people who, in turn, build and protect our nation.

Theoretically, "Compassionate Conservatism" has morphed into creating victims of those who benefit from government subsidized programs. This mutation could morph again, to include public servants, paid by tax money, especially the US military, police, fire, rescue and the National Guard, to name a few.

Perhaps Romney's campaign will get over the latest in a litany of communications management problems, but excuses are quickly wearing thin and time is running out to turn things around.

Romney Tries to Get Back on Track After Video:  
"Mitt Romney sought to get his campaign back on track Tuesday after the revelation of a video in which he said nearly half of Americans 'believe they are victims', are dependent on the government..."

In my mind, "not eloquently stated" is an excuse worse than the "victim" comments, made off the cuff, because it demonstrates Romney's lack of conviction to improve the human condition. Instead of showing statesmanship, he shows ambition. Rather than compassion, he demeans 47 percent of all Americans who believe we are our brother's keeper.  

Governor Romney should be ashamed of his "not eloquently stated" 47 percent remarks made "off the cuff" to his Republican right wing colleagues.  But, Americans will be very eloquent when we vote for President Barack Obama to lead 100 percent of all Americans for another term.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Too Many Errors - How Many Can Romney Get Away With?

So many little time, my brief litany of links below....
Rolling Stone Article by Taibbi
Victim Number One in Romney's "Label" of 47 % Is Congressman Paul Ryan
Mitt Romney Holds Shotgun Presser On Hidden Video: 47% Remarks ‘Not Elegantly Stated’Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneyheld a surprise late-night press availability to address the maelstrom surrounding a hidden camera video, showing Romney telling a crowd of wealthy donors that 47% of the electorate are “dependent” on government because they see themselves as “victims,” and that it’s not his job “to worry about those people.” Romney offered no apology, other than to concede that his point was “not elegantly stated,”...

Romney says "I'm not concerned about the very poor...."

Romney statements on Libya were out of line
To the Editor: In a hasty and ill-considered, shoot-from-the-hip appeal to shore up the xenophobes in his base, Mitt Romney's campaign is showing its desperation. To say that the Obama administration sympathizes with the attackers of the U.S. Consulate in Libya is not only absurd and incorrect, it is highly offensive to the vast majority of Americans. And when given the opportunity to temper that remark as more facts became available, Romney doubled down. This was disgracefully naked political opportunism.

Of course we are outraged by a murderous attack on our diplomats. At the same time, it is possible to condemn intolerance that deliberately seeks to inflame tensions with Muslims. What Romney and his advisors don't get is that foreign relations are horribly complicated and nuanced affairs that one does not control with a spreadsheet and a few clicks of a mouse.

At least Mitch McConnell, no friend of the president, had a cooler temperament and the good sense to state that Americans will stand united in our resolve against violent extremists.
Jonathan Caldwell, Stratham New Hampshire

Botched mismanaged Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida

Mitt Romney probably hoped that surprise guest Clint Eastwood would make his day at the convention -- instead, the 82-year-old gave a rambling speech that was as disastrous as the botched bank robbery that he stopped in "Dirty Harry" while playing a jaded San Francisco cop. Eastwood talked to an empty chair representing President Barack Obama.

VIDEO: Clint Eastwood's Bizarre "Empty Chair Obama" Speech at the GOP Convention (With Full Transcript)

David Brooks Opinions:  A Blistering "Who is the Real Mitt Romney?"

David Brooks "The Thurston Howell Romney"

Mitt Romney's One-Two Leadership Punch--Against Himself by Frederick E. Allen in "Forbes"
"Romney has been running as the successful businessman who knows how to run things and make them work, but when it came to his convention, he didn’t. What about being strong and calm in a crisis? That’s another core part of leadership. We found out about that this week, when on the evening of September 11, he issued a statement about events in Libya that “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” It was an intemperate, divisive statement issued before the facts were in, and the facts that emerged didn’t support it: Romney was responding to a tweet that had been issued from within the embassy before any attacks happened,..."

Romney Campaign in Disarray, Says Romney Campaign by Josh Voorhees in "Politico"
"The main thread that runs throughout Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei's lengthy insider account is the story of how Stevens' handled last month's Republican National Convention, in particular his decision to scrap a pair of (already-hastily written) versions of Romney's speech in favor of one he and his boss threw together at the last second...   Eight days before the convention, at a time when a campaign usually would be done drafting and focused instead on practicing such a high-stakes speech, Stevens frantically contacted John McConnell and Matthew Scully, a speechwriting duo that had worked in George W. Bush’s campaign and White House. Stevens told them they would have to start from scratch on a new acceptance speech. Not only would they have only a few days to write it, but Romney would have little time to practice it. ..."

Any one incident, described in the above list, should be enough to convince any reasonably informed voter that the risk of a Mitt Romney presidency is absolutely not worth taking.....

Re-elect known, tried, true statesmen and experienced leadership team: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden


Monday, September 17, 2012

Victim Number One - Congressman Ryan Gets Government Checks

Dear Governor Romney, Just to let you know, victim number one who expects and receives government checks is your Vice-Presidential running mate Congressman Paul Ryan. You should check his paychecks, if you doubt the veracity of my blog. Oh, by the way, not only do taxpayers like me pay Congressman Ryan's salary, but we also pay his health insurance, for his family's health insurance and for his retirement pension. These facts qualify Congressman Ryan as being a victim, given the description of these American citizens you gave in the video released to Mother Jones.

LOS ANGELES — Mitt Romney was dealt a new distraction when a video surfaced Monday that shows him dismissing President Obama’s supporters as “victims” who take no responsibility for their livelihoods and who think they are entitled to government handouts.
Politico went live last night with what amounts to a rather blistering attack on the GOP hopeful's chief campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens, courtesy of a number of unnamed "Romney aides, advisers and friends" who spoke off the record to heap criticism on Stevens for pretty much all of the campaign's recent missteps—from Clint Eastwood's performance-art-meets-stump-speech to the candidate's own controversial late-night statement criticizing the Obama administration in the hours after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

It's time for the "victims" of the world revolt against Governor Romney, that includes the US military, the diplomats, the Congress, the government service workers, immigration officials, airport security, Secret Service who protect the candidate and his family - and so on.... We must call for Governor Romney to resign because he is an incompetent GOP Presidential candidate.  

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Paul Ryan- ".. honored to tell Oliver Twist there's no more soup left"

Poverty is on the rise and the canyon growing between those who have access to wealth and the rest of humanity is evident in Middle East social upheaval.  
"Middle Eastern politicians and business leaders.. confront the problems of persistent unemployment and slow economic growth... amidst...regional unrest."

Yet, American conservative political candidates, somehow, don't see themselves creating problems, when they preach about cuts to middle class safety net programs.  

There's no evidence of socially conservative policies being successful in solving economic problems.  In fact, in my rudimentary research, I can't find a precedent in history where social austerity led to economic or political stability. Nonetheless,  economic upheaval and social instability created several world class writers like Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy and Pearl Buck.

Those who put their political capital behind conservative politicians like Congressman Paul Ryan and Congressman Eric Cantor ignore the historic danger of social austerity.  Let's take a short on-line walk through some modern history:

1789-1799: French Revolution
"... the royal court at Versailles was seen as being isolated from, and indifferent to, the hardships of the lower classes." 

The revolution arose mainly in response to the decline of the Qing state, which...proved.. ineffective in..efforts to modernize China and confront new challenges presented by foreign powers, and was exacerbated by ethnic resentment against the ruling Manchu minority. 

1917- The Russian Revolution:  "...owing to a lack of food in response to the disruption of agriculture. Food became a considerable problem in Russia, but the cause..did not lie in any failure of the harvest, which had not been significantly altered.... The indirect reason was that the government, in order to finance...war, was.. printing millions of rouble notes, and by 1917, inflation..made prices increase...The peasantry were consequently faced with the higher cost of purchases, but made no corresponding gain in the sale of their own produce, since this was largely taken by the middlemen on whom they depended. As a result they tended to hoard..grain and to revert to subsistence farming. Thus..cities were constantly short of food. At the same time rising prices led to demands for higher wages in the factories...

"Greed" is today's equivalent to the above turbulent historic situations, a summary of all the conservative policies reduced to one word. Republicans want taxes cut for their rich friends but expect government to be paid for by the middle class. 

A magnificent report about how Romney used greed to build his business resume is told in, "The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital- How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill"..

When fiscal conservatives recoil at the mention of words like "deficit" and "entitlement", they don't think, out of the box or historically, about alternatives to our social responsibility to care for the middle class, especially, the poor.  Rather than overuse the buzz word "deficit" these conservatives should superimpose the concept of revenue sharing; rather than marginalize people who rely on "entitlements" they should look at how particular programs improve our nation's economy and quality of life for all our citizens.  

Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan is an example of social conservative hypocrisy. He supports cutting programs for the middle class while benefiting from a healthy salary, health care and retirement paid for by middle class tax payers.  

Yet, Congressman Ryan acts and sounds like he's "..honored to tell Oliver Twist there's no more soup left..." the classic scene in the Dickens famous novel, paraphrased by Taibbi in "Rolling Stone".

My point is: Socially conservative politicians create world class novelists who expose budget hawks like Congressman Paul Ryan as regressive zealots. 

Ryan and right wing colleagues collect salaries from tax payers while paying for their ambitions with cuts on middle class and poverty safety net programs.

Thankfully, the Romney-Ryan-Regressive political campaign is currently collapsing under its incompetence.  Although there's no good news to bolster any politician these days, we can't let regressive politicians like Ryan set the social agenda, especially when we need as much economic help and support as possible. 

Let's give Paul Ryan a first edition 1838, "Oliver Twist", as a relic of his failed message to push an irresponsible social agenda without calling for revenue sharing.

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