Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

My Photo
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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What's Wrong with this Pictures? It Belongs on a Political War Room Wall

There's nothing coincidental about the Republican US House Leadership being all white males.  This selection of white Party men is a reflection of the shrinking voter base of the Republican Party.  It's another startling example of how the Grand Old Party is becoming an anachronism in politics. In other words, out of touch with reality, misdirected about their correct historical or chronological time, like they belong to an earlier time..."
It's time their pictures are marked for political replacement.

The Drudge Report 
Huffington Post: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced who will chair all of the major House committees in the next Congress. And it turns out they all have something in common besides party affiliation: they're all white men. There isn't a single woman or minority included in the mix of 19 House committee chairs announced Tuesday -- a stark reality for a party desperate to appeal to women and minorities after both groups overwhelmingly rejected Republicans just weeks ago in the presidential election.

Huffington Post Politics
"Disappointed to see House committee chairmanships in the 113th Congress will not include a single woman. -PM," tweeted Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who included a link to Boehner's press release announcing the chair posts.

A House Republican leadership aide declined to comment on the lack of diversity in the party's committee leadership. The aide noted, though, that GOP leaders just put four women in party leadership. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) is the new House Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) is conference vice chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) is conference secretary, and Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will represent freshman members in party leadership.

In continuing to pretend the US election of President Barack Obama never happened, or that the Republicans lost ground during the election, the all white male leadership of the US House, by their own actions, volunteered to have their images on the walls of all Democratic political war rooms.  

It's certainly not too early to recruit excellent Democratic opponents to challenge these 2 year wonders, and replace them all in 2014.  


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Science and Politics

As a registered nurse, I am relieved by the requirement in my medical field to produce demonstrated and measurable outcomes when following procedures of any health care intervention where patient progress must be evaluated. This "science" is the basis of scientific based medical practice.
Therefore, it's completely ridiculous when I read about college educated politicians who fall victim to unscientific theories, sometimes even belief in "old wives tales", just because it appears politically expedient for them to do so. 

 For example, by far the most egregious statement of disbelief came from former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin who said women's bodies have some sort of mystical ability to ward off pregnancy during a "legitimate rape". This ignorant and offensive point of view is especially alarming from a man whose political constituents are roughly 50 percent women!

Although my outrage is mostly directed at science denying right wing extremists, a recent article in
 The Week pointed out nearly as equally ridiculous science skeptics from the left of the political spectrum, as well.  Some anti-intellectuals are fearful of vaccines and cell telephones, when there's no science to back up unfounded fears about undocumented side effects or harm.

A column by Shawn Lawrence Otto reprinted from Scientific American:

We Deny Science At Our Peril:
American democracy is slipping off its “foundation of science,” said Shawn Lawrence Otto. Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin strongly favored “knowledge gained by systematic study” over “the assertions of ideology,” and America’s scientific innovation made us the envy of the world for generations. It was America that pioneered automation and electrification, in medicine and biotech, in space and in tech. But now the country is being swept by “science denialism.” Republicans, sorry to say, are the worst offenders, with the party’s candidates denying evolution, human-induced climate change, and even the fact that rape can lead to pregnancy. The GOP has taken on “an anti-intellectual” cast, with an authoritarian demand for “ideological conformity,” regardless of what the facts say. Democrats are not wholly innocent: Liberals indulge in pseudo-scientific fear-mongering about vaccines, cellphones, and anything that’s not “natural.” When neither side accepts any objective test of truth, “public discourse is reduced to endless warring opinions.” We wind up with policies that are determined by “the loudest voices.”

Surprisingly, I've seen some "anti-intellectual" behavior among my nursing colleagues and friends who are sometimes skeptical of vaccines, cell phones and the science of genetic engineering.  In a recent The Mosquito Solution article published in The Annals of Science by Michael Specter, he asks if genetic engineering can eliminate the mosquito that causes a deadly tropical disease, Dengue Fever ?  Specter describes how people who live in developing countries where Dengue Fever kills children are generally supportive of genetically engineered mosquito tests to eliminate the disease.  On the other hand, "anti-intellectual" liberals, in places like Key West Fla, threw scientists out of town who recommended this solution to the area's Dengue Fever threat.

History shows how science and politics can often be at odds, but not usually when clear and convincing evidence, replicated many times over, demonstrates indisputable conclusions or outcomes.  Scientists seldom make good politicians and visa verse. 

Politicians who verbalize anti-science positions for the purpose of achieving leverage over an opponent should be required to provide proof of their educational credentials, before running for office.  Anti-science and anti-intellectual politicians are an embarrassment to their constituents and to institutions that tried to educate them.    

Let experts stick to their fields of expertise and refer one to another when they're asked to speak outside of their professional circles.  Science and politics thrive in two very different academic universes.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It takes One to Know One - Warren Buffett Creates Wealth, Shares Wealth and Supports Optimistic Capitalism

“The ultra-rich, including me (says Warren Buffett) , will forever pursue investment opportunities.”- quote.

Warren Buffett is now taking time to invest in America's future, by speaking out for higher tax rates on rich people, like him.

Watching Warren Buffett speak about wealth is like being in the presence of the real Santa Clause.  He looks like a modern Santa and speaks about money like it's chocolate in a Christmas stocking.  

In other words, he's a jolly man who loves to spread optimism about creating and sharing wealth,

Buffett is charming when dropping quotes like, "Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway (to work).

As a word crafting minimalist, Buffett sure gets to the point, especially when it's about investing money to create wealth.  

Now, Buffett is trying to teach politicians about the value of sharing wealth by taxing the rich.  It sounds so simple. Rich people and the super-rich, should pay more than a 14 % tax rate, especially, considering many middle class taxpayers fall into a 30 % tax rate.

In fact, super-duper-ultra-rich people don't pay any taxes, at all.

Buffett is probably the world's most successful (and arguably likable) investor.When he speaks "wealth", he's talking from a pinnacle that a majority of the universe will never reach.  

That's probably why the very small number of super rich people in the world probably don't say much about Buffett's support for a minimum tax policy, whereby they would pay a base tax rate.  Rarely do people reach the threshold of earning over $500,000  a year or more, to reach before paying the minimum tax rate. They are so few in number that they hardly form a quorum of themselves.

Buffett speaks from experience when he says, 

"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.

Buffett is receiving mixed reviews about his New York Times opinion column about taxing the rich.

He writes: " investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. 'This is a good one,' he says enthusiastically. 'I’m in it, and I think you should be, too'."

"Would your reply possibly be this? 'Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.' Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist."

Ironically, critics of Mr. Buffett's knowledgeable point of view are those who will never earn anywhere near the money accumulated by his company, Birkshire Hathaway.  While some may snub Buffett's taxation opinion, critics who can speak, with authority, from his point of view, are as rare an unicorns.  

In other words, if Buffett says the rich, the "super rich" and the "ultra rich" can afford to pay more taxes, then, who are we, who pay a 30 percent rate, to argue with his experience?

It takes one to know one, my mother always said. For Warren Buffett, those who either know him, or would like to, wish it were possible to emulate his success, even if doing so meant paying a higher tax rate than 14 percent!

Warren Buffett said,  "Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone (esle) planted a tree a long time ago".

American politicians are overdue when it comes to taxing the rich.  For whatever reason, they're timid about taxing the rich but think little about putting the burden of paying for government on the middle class.  Nonetheless, it's never too late to meet a master from among the rare ultra rich and learn from him.

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Arithmetic Solution Can Help the National Debt

There's an arithmetic lesson Americans could apply, advantageously, to wasteful campaign spending to win (and lose) elections. 

As an example, let's use the $6 million negative ad buy in Maine, purchased by political opponents to defeat Senator Elect Angus King.  He won the election, in spite of this ad buy.

CBS news reports:

"BRUNSWICK-Me  'King also wants to require full transparency in campaign contributions. This year, in the seven of the ten most expensive Senate races, outside groups spent more than candidates themselves. King was hit by $6 million in attack ads'."

Maine's former governor attracted $6 million in outside the state political action groups, led by Republican strategist Karl Rove, to defeat him.  

A tongue in cheek rebuttal, King spoke for himself with an image of Godzilla on a TV monitor. 

King, an independent, said his opponents tried to portray him as a monster in the race for November's Senate general election.

King tells Mainer's, "They (negative ad creators) may think we were born at night up here (in Maine), but it wasn't last night!".

Maine voters weren't swayed by the shabby negative ads produced by outside groups.  As a matter of fact, regardless of political party, the ads served a collateral purpose of unifying citizens against such wasteful political spending. 

In Maine, a state with only about 1.4 million people, a $6 million dollar investment could create hundreds of new jobs and solve a myriad of non-profit budget problems. Instead, this ad buy failed to defeat the popular former Maine governor.  Elections are still about candidates, regardless of how much money is spent.

Which led me to think outside the political box about how Americans might use political action money to help solve the nation's debt problems.

My idea? Let's tax political ads like they're luxury items.

Suppose political ads are taxed at the rate of $10 for every thousand dollar media purchase?  

During the 2012 King Senate campaign, that arithmetic would equal $600,000 in found tax revenue!

Just imagine how this simple arithmetic could be applied to all 50 US state budgets!  

Every election allows for a debriefing period when campaign's evaluate what was learned from the most recent campaign.

Rather than a strategic analysis, it's time Americans ask for fiscal accountability with each campaign.  In fact, a $6 million investment in Maine to defeat Governor Angus King was a total waste of money.  Indeed, the GOP would have lost this Maine election, regardless of how much, or how little, money was spent.

At least, by taxing the ad buy at a very high rate, voters would have seen some value in the negative ads.  Perhaps, voters might even pay more attention to truths and identify lies in political advertisements, if they represented sources of badly needed tax revenues going to states' treasuries.  

While state revenues could grow from a political ad tax, the national debt could, likewise, benefit from more solvent state treasuries where federal dollars wouldn't necessarily be so badly needed.  After all, more jobs could mean less entitlement spending. 
Political action committee tax revenues could even be applied to help pay the national debt, as well.  Let's get creative!

Unfortunately, many politicians aren't likely to focus on arithmetic, as the nation approaches a "fiscal cliff" budget crises.  Instead of arithmetic fixes, many politicians will grandstand, rather than calculate.

But, when the dust settles on the 2012 election and the looming fiscal cliff is, hopefully, averted, Washington policy makers must look at ways to bring more revenue into government.  

Taxing political ads for revenue is one solution nearly everyone in Maine would support.  

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dear Pope Benedict XVI: "Du warst nicht da!"

Pope Benedict XVI is about to publish a book where he deconstructs the traditional Christmas nativity scene, the story image of how Jesus Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago.  

Certainly, I'm not qualified to describe the nativity, because I obviously wasn't there.  As a result, I can unequivocally say to His Holiness, with all the authority of any mortal being, that the Pope wasn't there, either, when these mystical events unfolded.  

In his native German, "Du warst nicht da".  (He was not there.)

"According to the Pope's research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present. He also debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols. The (Pope's) book, which is being published in multiple languages in time for Christmas, is the third in a series by the pontiff. The previous two volumes dealt with Jesus' adult life and his public ministry."  

With all due respect to Pope Benedict XVI, it makes no sense for him to deconstruct the traditional image of the nativity scene in his book, because, (to make the point in his native German language):
"Du warst nicht da" ie "He was not there".

To coin an age old cliche, if the Bible says angels and animals were present at the original nativity in Bethlehem, then I accept this as being closer to the facts of the actual occasion than anything the Pope has written in the 21st century.  Any historian prefers to accept the recorded description written closer to the occurance of events, over those of another analyst, especially when the revisions are created over two thousand years after the fact. 

Obviously, I have only read the reports about how Pope Benedict XVI has described the nativity, not his original text.  Reportedly, the Pope describes a simple nativity scene in his book, absent animals or angels.  Even the birth year of Jesus Christ has been challenged by Pope Benedict XVI.

Certainly, it seems like a waste of energy and time for Pope XVI to deconstruct the beautifully familiar nativity scene, with Mother Mary, St. Joesph, Baby Jesus, the shepherds, stable animals and angels signing in the star studded skies over Bethlehem.

Although the Pope doesn't appear to take issue with those who prefer the traditional nativity over his stoic reality, it seems the Pope could find other aspects about the life of Jesus to deconstruct, rather than the nativity. Instead, he took time to over analyze the birth scene of Jesus, just because "he can".  Moreover, he is publishing his point of view on this information just prior to the celebration of Christmas.  This is terrible timing!

Well, Pope Benedict is a very holy man and I'm certainly in no position to challenge him on any spiritual subject.  

Nevertheless, I am completely certain, when it comes to describing the nativity of where Jesus Christ was born, in Bethlehem, "Du warst nicht da".

Labels: ,

Power of Incumbency Implodes the One Term Presidency

Statisticians and  pollsters like Nate Silver, and others, gave a favorable mathematical weight to President Obama's "power of incumbency" in projecting the 2012 election results.  They ignored purely political projections about the President's re-election chances to focus on statistical probability. Social science predictions debunked political rhetoric.

Indeed, statistics debunked Congresswoman Michele Bachmann sang "one term presidency" mantra.  In fact, the power of the President's incumbency, coupled with his campaign's well designed and strategic re-election plan, imploded her failed prediction.  In January, President Barack Obama will begin his second term as our nation's leader.  Congresswoman Bachmann's mantra debunked.

Bachmann's failed prediction relied on right wing zealots, who she thought would rise again, like those who drowned out the 2010 mid-term elections. Bachmann's political groupies turned the nation's  House of Representatives into an obstructionist arm of our US government. They believed their power of intimidation would work, again, against the incumbent president.

But, what is the "power of incumbency", anyhow ?  

"One important advantage for Obama is that a president, using his bully pulpit, has the ability to dominate the news and drown out the opposition. This is likely (what happened)... when Obama (spoke) at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It (was an) international forum (unavailable) to his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who...after all...was simply a (candidate) ...private citizen. Obama (widened) a 'stature gap', that nearly every president enjoys over his challenger, (because of) the respect that the American presidency generates around the world."

Although laws protect against the power of incumbency from having an undue advantage over a challenger, often, just the name recognition of an incumbent is enough, in some campaigns, to win an election.  Of course, name recognition isn't typically a factor in Presidential leadership elections.  Nevertheless, the response of the electorate to a name can be very powerful.   

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's mantra about a "one term presidency" didn't carry the weight of negativity, probably, because her personal political negatives outweighed those of the President. 

Obviously, the power of incumbency can be a proverbial albatross. Thankfully, the President's "Health Care Reform" aka "Obamacare" was declared "Constitutional" by the conservative Chief Justice Roberts Supreme Court.  Moreover, voters still hold Republicans accountable for the US economic doldrums.  Otherwise, if either two realities were reversed, the power of incumbency could have reversed, to become the "weight of incumbency".

Yet, Michele Bachmann and minions sincerely believed they could unseat the incumbent President Barack Obama.  They didn't take the mix of voter turnout into consideration.  

Kimberly Strassel writes  "The GOP Turnout Myth: To win future elections, Republicans will need more than better get-out-the-vote software."

"To win the next presidential race, the GOP will have to understand what went wrong in 2012. To do that, they've got to come to grips with what did, and did not, happen with turnout."

"Even as Republicans (agonized) over their candidate and agenda, many have sought comfort in the notion that a big part of the loss came down to simple mechanics. President Obama had a stunning Election Day operation, which turned out his base. Mitt Romney's shop, by contrast, failed to get people to the polls. That explanation is soothing because it suggests that, in the future, all the GOP needs is a slicker piece of get-out-the-vote software."

"It's also broadly wrong....In the end, it was 334,000 votes—in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire—that separated Mr. Romney from the presidency. Then again, had Mr. Romney succeeded in grinding out a narrow victory, it might also have masked the party's bigger problems."

"Because what ought to scare the GOP is this:  (President) Obama (won) by tapping new minority voters in numbers that beat even Mr. Romney's better turnout (that exceeded those who voted in 2008 for Senator John McCain)."

"In Florida, 238,000 more Hispanics voted than in 2008, and Mr. Obama got 60% of Hispanic voters. His total margin of victory in Florida was 78,000 votes, so that demographic alone won it for him. Or consider Ohio, where Mr. Romney won independents by 10 points. (This) lead mattered little, though, given that black turnout increased by 178,000 votes, and the president won 96% of the black vote. Mr. Obama's margin of victory there was 103,000."

Strassel goes on to write, "...Elections are about the candidate and the message, yes, but also about the ground game. Republicans right now are fretting about Mr. Romney's failures and the party's immigration platform—that's fair enough. But equally important (is) the party's mind-boggling failure to institute a competitive Hispanic ground game. The GOP doesn't campaign in (Hispanic) communities, doesn't register voters there, doesn't knock on doors. So, while pre-election polling showed Hispanics were worried about Obama policies, in the end, the only campaign these voters heard from—by email, at their door, on the phone—was the president's."

And, therein, is the "power of incumbency".  If President Obama had "negative" name recognition, or if he weren't already the US incumbent leader, his chances for re-election could have been, statistically, much less likely.  Pundits, statistics and polls notwithstanding, President Barack Obama expertly used his power of incumbency - and he built on the exponential power of the incumbency of his Democratic predecessor President Bill Clinton.

It was a flashback presidential campaign in 3-D "real time".  

In the face of "Monday morning" analysis, President Barack Obama transcended the myth of the "one term president".  He also  provided the value added benefit of politically discrediting Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's right wing supporters. 

President Barack Obama is an extraordinary incumbent candidate. He proved how to win future American elections.  Yes, it's really all about arithmetic, just like President Bill Clinton told us. "It's about the voters, stupid!"

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ethics in News Journalism - Perhaps a Small Step in Maine

I've been suspicious about media manipulation during this past 2012  Presidential election.  Now, two news journalists resigned on the air to protest management interference in their work.

This story from Bangor Maine Channel 7, in my opinion, might just  be a small step to expose a much wider ethical problem in news reporting.

Media manipulation is becoming even more troublesome, as the struggle to maintain market share among media outlets is probably at cut throat status.  News followers switch their media loyalties faster than we sort through our daily junk mail.  Pressure to retain viewers and followers are intense.  Americans are likely drawn to media where the news favors their personal points of view. But, this has proven to be deceptive, as Fox News led their viewers to falsely believe Governor Mitt Romney was a pre-destined winner of the Presidential 2012 campaign.  This was certainly misleading, if not a pack of downright lies. Nonetheless, the myth that Romney would defeat the incumbent President Obama kept faithful conservative viewers bonded to Fox News anchors.

Of course, it's not a journalist's job to provide just the news people want to read. That's called "entertainment news".  Rather, news journalists are supposed to report, objectively, about what they observe, rather than what followers may want to know, especially at the expense of truth.

Perhaps, the story reported by Maine Public Broadcasting News (MPBN) is a harbinger for other ethical journalists who find the troubling trend toward "entertainment news" to  be completely irresponsible!  

As reported at link above:
"Last night, two television anchors at WVII Channel 7 in Bangor stunned audiences by tendering their resignations live on air. News Director Cindy Michaels and Executive Producer Tony Consiglio had co-anchored the evening newscast on ABC 7 for more than six years. Although neither has pointed to any specific incidents, Michaels and Consiglio both say that the station's managers have been exercising undue influence over news content. But the station's manager disagrees. Meanwhile, as Jennifer Mitchell reports, independent observers are watching to see what comes of it all."

Perhaps, this a small step in a trend toward ethics in news journalism?  I wish them all the best! Nevertheless, I suspect the issues that drove this on air resignation are more widespread than media followers realize.  

Labels: ,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anti-Science Republicans Appear to Need Arithmetic Lesson on Election Outcome

President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, to lead our nation for 4 more years. Yet, thousands of Republicans recoiled into denial rather than accept this outcome.  Many, led by Vice-Presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan, seem to act like the election never really happened.  They appear poised to return to government "obstruction as usual".  

Now, it turns out, one Republican, the Florida Senator Rubio, even courts voters who support the Biblical theory of Creationsim, over the sciences of geology and archaeology. Could this courting of Creationists mean Rubio wants to appeal to Christian right wing voters so he can garner support for his own future Presidential bid? Well, I can't imagine any anti science politicians as a leaders of the free world. Nevertheless, Rubio is courting Creationists.

Republicans who continue suggesting belief in Creationism is somehow a valid science, probably have a hard time understanding how their political party lost the 2012 presidential election.  

In other words, politicians like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, along with former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, would rather believe our earth was created, exactly as we know it today, in 7 Biblical days, rather than accept the science of geologists who have determined the earth evolved since the creation, 4.5 billion years ago.  

Regardless of their resistance to accepting scientific discovery, Creationists are still capable of understanding simple arithmetic.  So, Creationists like Rubio and Huckabee need to know and understand this outcome.  Americans can not move backward:

332B.OBAMA*Popular Vote:51%62,615,406
206M.ROMNEYPopular Vote:48%59,142,004

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Building Legacy: President Obama Transcends Political Status Quo

“We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” David Brower (1912-2000 environmentalist)

President Barack Obama's election victory over conservative political dogma, led by his opponent Governor Mitt Romney, was made possible by voters who agreed with his premise about needing more time to execute his progressive agenda.  

In other words, President Obama was re-hired to transcend politics as usual.  He's expected to pave a path forward for our children, where the opportunities for success begin with a national environment of equal opportunity. 

Creating a healthy environment includes the totality of the human condition.  Providing the inheritors of our nation with access to quality, affordable health care is as important as promoting initiatives to protect clean air, water and environmental pollutants.

President Obama's re-election affirms a direction already paved to protect the following:

1.  A balance on the US Supreme Court whereby any appointments during the next 4 years will protect against another conservative appointment.

2.  Affirmation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka "Health Care Reform" or "Obamacare".

3.  Support for voters rights whereby every American citizen will be offered the opportunity to exercise the US Constitutional freedom to elect our government without undue restrictions or obstructions.

4.  Immigration reform will be an administrative priority. President Obama will affirm our nation's immigration heritage by providing a path to US citizenship for  hard working immigrants and their families, which includes foreign nationals who serve in the US military.

5.  Implementation of a taxation laws whereby wealth is shared to improve the quality of life for all Americans.  This includes taxing super rich people at a rate consistent with what is paid by the middle class.  For example, while Governor Romney reported paying a tax rate of about 14 percent, my husband and I paid at 30 percent.  (Yes, it's aggravating to realize the unfairness of this unbalanced rate.)  Americans don't want tax gimmicks like "closing loop-holes".  Rather, President Obama must transcend these "loop-hole" euphemisms that really mean middle class tax increases.  Using simple arithmetic, our nation's taxation policy must enforce uniformly fair tax rates. 

6.  Support for excellent American education where science and critical thinking skills are essential components of our national curricula. 
7.  Reversing the US Supreme Court "Citizens United" ruling whereby free speech in paid political discourse isn't required to be truthful.

8.  Political campaign finance reform where individual names are revealed to disclose how much money they contribute to Political Action Committees.

9.  Protecting Social Security for future generations.

10. Recognizing the science and theory of about global climate change, rather than marginalizing the discussion of weather into political rhetoric.  

Building a legacy means improving the human condition for many generations. President Obama is given an opportunity to "earn forward", by protecting our nation's environment for freedom, success and upward mobility for all our children. 

President Obama has already transcended the often constraining issue of race and social class to become the leader of the free world.  His beacon of success must now shine on all Americans.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Health Care - Romney Lost on His Own Issue!

Unfortunately, Republican spoilers are inventing reasons why Governor Mitt Romney spent an astounding amount of campaign money to lose his bid to be our American president. President Obama prevailed against enormous challenges to his leadership. A national election was held and Governor Romney was not elected.

Yet, the reason Romney had any credibility to run, as a viable political candidate, had less to do with his self proclaimed business acumen and more due to his success in creating a model health care reform law in Massachusetts, while he was governor. Romney's ability to lead on a dicey public policy issue gave him the credibility needed to claim national prominence.

"Romneycare" was the basis for the "Obamacare" health care reform Americans now have in place, being implemented, today. Somewhere along the political spectrum, Romney lost his moral compass. Rather than running against his own accomplishment in achieving health care reform, he should have embraced his leadership in raising the issue from Massachusetts up to the national level.
There are no suitable excuses to explain why Romney spent so much money to lose the presidential election. He lost because the majority of voters chose to support President Obama. This lack of confidence in Romney may have been exposed by his inability to lead the right wing Republicans or "righties" to accept what they cannot change - ie "the law". Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),[1] commonly called Obamacare[2][3] (or the federal health care law), is a United Statesfederal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.[4]

Perhaps, Governor Romney would be in a better political position today, post election, if he'd been strong enough to withstand undue pressure from right wing conservatives and stood firm to protect the law he originally created. Of course, that's not saying he would have defeated President Obama. Nonetheless, I suspect, if he had supported the US Supreme Court's Constitutional ruling on the PPACA, he would have affirmed his image as a leader. Instead, his defiance of a law, intended to help middle class people afford to pay for health care, just contributed to his image as a wealthy mogul intent on keeping his rich friends happy. 

My hope is for Governor Romney to accept President Obama's invitation to meet and discuss the issues they both care deeply about resolving to move America forward. I recall the graciousness of President George Herbert Walker Bush (41) and Mrs. Barbara Bush when they faced the election of Governor William Jefferson Clinton. No excuses.

Americans want to justly recognize all political leaders and their families who take enormous risks to engage in our democratic political process. With the 2012 election behind us, we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with our families. We are, still, one Nation Under God, Indivisible....

Governor Romney and all who voted for him should look to the future, rather than the past. In so doing, we can all move forward.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Republican Tax Lemmings

Asking the US Congress for the very reasonable decision to slightly raise taxes on the rich seems like a "no brainer". Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers seem like they are entrenched in a crowd mentality about blocking this effort, even after the November 6th election, where President Obama was re-elected because he appealed to America's middle class.

"Nothing is as certain as death and taxes" said American Patriot Benjamin Franklin.

American author Margaret Mitchell added to the mix, writing in "Gone With the Wind",  "Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."

Although America's super rich Republicans were somehow able to afford large campaign contributions to defeat President Obama, many are, apparently, reluctant to pay just a little more in taxes to help reduce the nation's deficit over time.  

Post election reality is still settling in among many Republicans.  Overheard yesterday at a discussion in Portland, Maine, one strident Republican said, "Well, if the people want to vote in a Greece economy, then let them."  This gentleman was hard wired against considering his response as being part of the national debt problem.  Hello?  If the wealthy don't pay more taxes, then the middle class becomes poorer, because they'll be forced to pick up the burden   It's arithmetic. 

US Congressional Republicans are like post election lemmings heading off a fiscal cliff. They seem more willing to make a suicidal plunge into the ocean of entrenchment than to admit they have the capacity to help solve the nation's deficit. 

Hopefully, President Obama's election victory will startle some of these right wing Grover Norquist anti tax groupies into reality.  House Speaker John Boehner is an example of a man who has not yet accepted the fact that his own state of Ohio voted to re-elect President Barack Obama to a second term.  

Perhaps Speaker Beohner needs a civics lesson.  In two more years, he will run for re-election.   

My advise to Speaker Boehner is, the same strategy that worked to re-elect President Obama can, likewise, replace you in Congress.

It's high time Republicans behave like tax and deficit reducing realists by turning their lemming attitudes toward solutions.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 08, 2012

When Fox News Called Ohio - Karl Rove Played Catch Up,0,911700.story

Americans should demand an investigation about how it was Karl Rove thought he had the authority to influence Fox News to recall the Ohio election results, while he was live broadcasting the Electoral College data.  

While Republican strategist Karl Rove continued adding his figures with a pencil, like a third grader in arithmetic class, the number cruncher statisticians called the election for President Obama.  

Rove must have thought he had authority over the Fox News election network anchors, because he was stubbornly unwilling to take the word of brilliant statisticians sitting in a remote control room. 

Therefore, he directed the right wing Fox News network to recall their Ohio projection.  He said it was premature. Of course, it wasn't premature, at all. Rather, it was correct.

Statisticians used their own arithmetic to say the uncounted votes would not exceed the number needed for Governor Romney, so there was no need to prolong the count.

Sadly, Rove's denial of reality was painfully obvious.  Evidently, he was unaware that every other news network called Ohio for President Obama's Electoral College count. Therefore, if Fox News held back, their entire news team would look stupid. Instead, it was Karl Rove, with his pencil in hand, fruitlessly adding, who looked stupid. He would not accept the obvious.  

Perhaps Rove believed he was the only person in the entire world allowed to call the results of the 2012 Presidential election.  Sympathetically, we all have moments in our lives when we're too stunned about an event to respond reasonably.  These life events are rare, but Karl Rove experienced one of them on international television.  President Obama was re-elected without Rove's consent.  Who authorized that?  Hello?  Voters spoke.

Rove experienced an on air TV melt down.  Rove was visibly forced to play election catch up. Rather than the authoritarian right wing pundit who pulled the election night strings for vulnerable Fox News viewers, who trusted his personal projections, he stammered while his pencil worked feverishly to re-create poll numbers. Meanwhile, computer generated data out of Ohio came with lightning speed.  Ohio's 18 electoral college votes go to President Obama, putting him over the 270 required for re-election.

Of course, Rove's pencil count never caught up with the networks.  Ohio was called for President Obama at about 11:15 PM, the election of 2012 was over.

Except, consideration for the veracity and integrity of Fox News, it's not over.  

Americans, like me, want to understand how is was that Karl Rove, on election night, thought he had the authority to ask Fox News to recall their Ohio projections, because they favored President Obama.

What's even more incredulous is how the usually savvy Karl Rove was misled about the Ohio outcome, in the first place, because the polls were undeniably trending to predict the President's win.

Karl Rove looked like Curly in a Three Stooges plot trying to add up polling data, until the sum favored Governor Romney. Yet, his demeanor was anything but funny math. Rove's unprofessional live denial at being told the truth about the election causes me to wonder. How was it Rove assumed the authority to ask that the Fox News projection be recalled or postponed?

It's time investigative journalism catches up with Karl Rove.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Turning Point in American Politics - "The Best is Yet to Come"

Many Americans are dreary eyed this post election 2012 Wednesday, having faithfully followed the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to their second 4 year term. Although this hard won election victory took entirely too much money to be successful, the result marks a political and social turning point in America. It was worth the money, (although I hope to never see such wasteful spending again, in my lifetime) because it marks a turning point in American politics. It shows the world how truth, eventually, trumped the money poured into buying the election. In so doing, this victory marks the rise of America's new and diverse middle class.  They are the face of The New America.
This election victory was supported by the enormous energy and outstanding communications talents of extraordinary people, led by former President William Jefferson Clinton. 

Winning was hard work.

"CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama scored himself a second term in the White House on Tuesday, nabbing nearly all of the key battleground states and proving, resoundingly, that his message about lifting the middle class resonates with the majority of Americans. 'The task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope,' Obama said in his victory speech at McCormick Place."

President Obama's decisive election victory is already causing ire and angst among right wing factions who bitterly opposed his administration and any progressive policies.  Unfortunately, this election victory did not resolve America's social, fiscal or politically divisive problems. Rather, the election appears to have supported the status quo, existing state of affairs, with the president elected by the Democrats while the US House is still Republican and Senate  not particularly different, only a few seats added to its Democratic majority. In other words, politically divided government.  

Yet, it remains to be seen if bi-partisan leadership evolves from this election, because, as the world knows, aggravating gridlock prevailed during the past two years.

With the energy of the 2012 election exhausted, it's time to get America back to work.  President Obama told Americans how "the best is yet to come" in his rousing and inspirational acceptance speech, given to a wildly enthusiastic audience who waited in Chicago's McCormick Place, to celebrate.  

Indeed, "the best is yet to come" is a metaphor for progress.  A majority of American voters rejected right wing extremism and embraced the future by re-hiring President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, for four more years.  

American political scholars will look back on the 2012 election as the day when middle class, and progressive Americans voted our  support for a leader who looks like us and identifies with the world's international communities.  

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Campaign 2012 - What Did We Learn?

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

Media pundit Ed Shultz asked what this year's presidential election says about the American electorate, when money has so much influence over voters? 

In fact, media money in the elections has paid for trumped up facts.  

Two major issues where truth is secondary to facts are:

(a) JEEP negative ad- the corporate executives and media have declared it to be a lie. Nonetheless, the Mitt Romney campaign insists on supporting the scare Ohio ad where voters are lied to about JEEP jobs being moved to China.  This ad was created with money - decadent amounts of it poured into messaging that may or may not stick - this particular ad was a boomerang.

(b) Benghazi, Libya - Republican muckraking a tragedy:  Republicans created a political brouhaha out of the killing of four Americans including our American ambassador Stevens, while we still don't know all the facts about the incident.  Moreover, the incident itself was redefined by Republicans who have made unsubstantiated claims about what happened when the American consulate was stormed by  people in chaos, who included terrorists determined to take advantage of an unstable situation.  

Regardless of who wins the Presidential election, Americans must come together about how elections are managed. Voters must insist on ethically funded elections and overturn the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling, allowing for lies to be paid for based on corporate rights to "freedom of speech" .  

Voters should not be "bought" with decadent amounts of advertising money.  

In buying elections, the voters become as movable as tokens in an election map Monopoly game.  At some point, there comes a time when somebody must "go to jail" for election fraud.

Campaign 2012 teaches us that democracy is a gift we must continue to support with due diligence - let's move Forward!


Sunday, November 04, 2012

Trust - Katy Perry or Donald Trump? YouTube Forward Madonna

At a campaign rally for President Obama Saturday in Milwaukee, Perry sported a bright blue dress with Obama's slogan "Forward."

At this fatigued point in the soon to be history 2012 President Campaign, it's certainly as delightful as cotton candy on the Fourth of July to see a stunning fashion statement in support of President Barack Obama's re-election.

Stunning Katy Perry launched her magnificently decked out body as a new billboard with this sexy photo-op in support of President Obama.  This photo is as iconic an image as Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday Mr. President".

Nonetheless, what does pop artist Katy Perry have to do with politics?  Nothing.  But, she's far more interesting, compelling, entertaining and believable in her messaging than the grumpy nay-saying conspiracy theorist (not to mention filthy rich media mogul) Donald (birther) Trump.  

Katy is beautiful. On the other hand, Trump, let's face it, is rather ugly. Katy is fresh, a YouTube attention grabber and symbolic of the message dominating the design in her brilliant dress.  

Perky Perry is as magnificent for the Obama campaign as Faith Hill is for "Football Night in America", the sexy intro music video she preludes with every Sunday night NFL game.  

In fact, Perry will catch the attention of those elusive "white male" voters who aren't attracted to President Obama - but at least they'll absolutely give Katy Perry a more than once over!  If I had Perry'sr looks and talent, I'd be right there behind her singing back up, (of course, that's a goal for my re-incarnated self).

Let's follow Katy, move Forward and "Dump the Trump" along with his right-wing-nut followers.  Let's Fire Trump.  

Let's move forward with President Obama and be sure Katy Perry sings the National Anthem at the 2013 Inauguration.  

Thanks Katy!  Love you! 

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 03, 2012

My Closing Arguments

Governor Romney has no back bone:

1. He doesn't tell the truth.
2. He won't speak with the press about his position on FEMA; 
3. He won't support the same health care reform law he passed as governor of Massachusetts; 
4.  He won't show Americans his income taxes, 
5.  He won't explain how it is there's an extraordinary amount of money in his IRA account, 
6.  He won't explain how he can sign SEC documents for Bain Capital when he claims he wasn't in charge, he never explained his residency compliance when he was challenged about his address when running for Governor of Massachusetts; 
7.  He continues to back untruthful fearful negative ads even when they are proven false but he won't explain why; 
8.  He won't tax the rich people in his own wealthy income bracket, 9.  He won't describe to Americans what tax loop holes he intends to close for middle class people;
10. He won't protect Medicare, supports a "coupon" voucher system to pay for health care for senior citizens. 

...this litany of side steps and inconsistencies are too many to keep up with.  President Barack Obama is consistent and is a president we can trust.  President Obama's trustworthiness  has earned him re-election.

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 02, 2012

Karl Rove Extraordinary Negative Ad Buy Prior to Election Day

Americans deserve truth in elections. Karl Rove, obviously, doesn't care about truth. He spends millions of dollars in negative ads to focus on spreading lies. 

In Maine, a litany of cheaply made, even laughable, negative ads, were thrown like chump change into a campaign to defeat former Governor Angus King's campaign for US Senate. The ads are filled with lies, plus, they're a huge waste of money.

Certainly, the concept of truth is alien to Karl Rove. Hiding under a series of Political Action Committee (PAC) names, like Crossroads American, the Rove strategy is to throw money on politically negative ad buys, flooding nearly every television market.  

Negative ad money galore!

These negative ads are completely void of facts. Yet, they're filling the airwaves with expensive and wasteful rhetoric to frighten the tiny number of undecided voters into voting for Governor Romney.

Who is Karl Rove and how in the world did one many become so politically influential? Here's his bio

Although Mr. Rove certainly earned his political strategist status, he has no right to use unlimited amounts of campaign money to build lies that feed fear in the electorate.

One ad shows a 30 something woman speaking from her affluent upper middle class modern kitchen, speaking to viewers after looking at her iPad.  She asks what President Obama will do to fix the deficit. Yet, this woman's high quality living status certainly appears to be one of affluence.  How will the American deficit impact her? Not at all, in my opinion.  

Another negative ad falsely portrays China as somehow controlling America's future. Yet, it was the wealthy Mitt Romney who sold thousands of jobs to China to drive profits for his venture capitalist Bain Capital.  Thousands of Americans lost their jobs when Romney sold their companies so Bain capital made loads of money for investors.

Karl Rove's most outrageous negative ads are the lies specifically targeted to alarm factory workers.  Shamefully, Romney - Karl Rove tells Ohio workers that the famous JEEP brand will sell their jobs, when nothing is further from the truth.  This fearful negative ad was repudiated by Chrysler executives. Of course, fear of losing their jobs spins uncertainty, which is exactly what the Romney campaign counts on.

Americans are confused about Romney.  Even those who might vote for him are uncertain about whether or not he is trustworthy. Romney flip-flopped so often, it's hard to remember what his positions are on key issues like health care, the war in Afghanistan or even on privatizing Medicare and Social Security.

On the other hand, everyone knows that President Obama is steadfastly leading our nation forward.  

We need to keep moving forward with certainty. Obviously, Americans can't risk uncertain leadership.  

Romney's campaign lies because Karl Rove believes if they keep throwing enough money into negative ads, it's like a blind man shooting at a target.  Something will eventually stick.  

Truth, on the other hand, is consistently progressive and enlightening.  Karl Rove wasteful negative ad buys will never see the light of truth - they're hugely expensive ad buys, without offering solutions.

How much money has Karl Rove invested in the Cayman Islands?  It's likely there's enough buried treasure invested in those offshore fiscal sanctuaries for him to remain hidden when the world demands accountability for his unethical negative lie campaign 2012 strategy.

Labels: , , ,