Source: Boehner’s GOP Problems Complicate Deficit Negotiations – ABC News.
House Speaker John Boehner is about to begin another attempt at a grand bargain deficit reduction deal with President Obama, a high wire act in which he will be buffeted by demands from the White House as well as from House Republicans
It looks like total gridlock may again happen coming out the gate of the new year. Mr. Boehner in some of his words seemed to say that he was open to compromise but soon took those words back after some in his party chastised him. The sign of a real leader is someone who leads, sometimes even in opposition to some in his party. He does not bend, especially to the least common denominator of his party.
Here we are on the eve of election day and I am strangely somewhat calm. I have confidence that the people of this country will put the good of the country above partisan gain. To me it comes down equally between “who can I trust” and “who will promote the common good“. I, like many of us, have been watching Mr. Romney for months now and the thing that bothers me the most is how he has flipped on issue after issue. More…
Here is an interesting post from my friends over at “Time Goes By” about some of the politicking that has gone on around Hurricane Sandy.
via Jack Welch: I was right about jobs report – Oct. 9, 2012.
Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, had previously contributed content to Fortune, but following critical coverage of his comments on the jobs report and tenure at GE, Welch said in an e-mail Tuesday that he was terminating his contract with Fortune.
In his WSJ op-ed, Welch suggests that the reaction to his criticism of “the ruling authorities” was something he would expect in Soviet Russia or Communist China. “Nope,” he wrote, “that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense.” More…
[Republicans] take care of big money for big money takes care of them. – 20 September 1931 Will Rogers
I don’t think that even Will would have dreamed that we would one day have something called “Citizens United”. That is the Supreme Court decision that opened the money spigot in today’s politics. There are now dozens of groups both Republican and Democrat, but mostly Republican, that go by various innocuous names that put out much of the mud in today’s politics.
Since these guys can hide behind noble sounding names and don’t have to say what their political bent is it is hard to know where they stand without a program. So I took the effort to track down the top fifteen pacs for you. It is shown below. In case you are interested the totals add up to
Republican – $263 million
Democrat – $48 million More…
Source: Romney on ’47 percent’: I was ‘completely wrong’ – politics – Decision 2012 | NBC News.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has described his disparaging remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes as “not elegantly stated.” Now he’s calling them “just completely wrong.”
I am going to dive into the realm of politics once again. Call me a fool if you want; I am definitely not an angel. By his latest flip Mr. Romney proves once again that he will say anything and do anything to become the most powerful person in the world. All multi-millionaires have hobbies and I guess becoming president is his. More…
I can’t understand why Ohio is supposedly one of the swing States in this election. They have gone from 48th in Job creations in 2008 to 4th in 2012. That is the most dramatic change of any State in the Union. Of course this is the result of President Obama giving loans to the auto industry which is a large employer in Ohio. I could really say the same thing about my home State of Indiana. It has gained much from those same loans but of course it is usually a solidly “red” State so sadly to say it is not on the fence.
via Romney ridicules Obama on ‘change’ remark – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.
“I think that I’ve learned some lessons over the last four years, and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside, you can only change it from the outside,” Obama said. “That’s how I got elected, and that’s how the big accomplishments like health care got done – [it] was because we mobilized the American people to speak out. That’s how we were able to cut taxes for middle-class families.”
Mr. Romney’s attack:
“Well, we are going to give him that chance in November — he is going outside,” Romney said. “I can change Washington; I will change Washington. We will get the job done from the inside. Republicans and Democrats will come together. He can’t do it. His slogan was ‘Yes we can.’ His slogan now is ‘No, I can’t.’” More…
via Romney Reframes Donor Remarks to Refocus on Economic Issues – Businessweek.
Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, who is running for re-election in a close race against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a former Harvard University professor, told The Hill newspaper: “That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in.”
While Romney said he was talking about people who don’t pay income taxes, his comments about Americans who feel “entitled” to government help prompted some Republicans to say that they might alienate veterans as well.
Richard Armitage, former deputy Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush and a former Defense Department official, said the remarks showed “that Mr. Romney doesn’t know what this country looks like, and he has no idea how government works.” More…
Source: Mitt Romney video fact check: Is 47 percent of US ‘dependent’ on government? – CSMonitor.com.
That is one of the questions that has been raised after Mother Jones magazine on Tuesday released a video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser May 17.
“There are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” Mr. Romney says in the video
According to the fact checker Mr. Romney is saying I think I am a victim and entitled to food and housing and YOU NAME IT… He includes me and every one else who are over 65 in that group. He wants to get all us freeloaders off the government doles.
I must admit that I do collect Social Security and am on Medicare (I think maybe he is including me twice for that) but I must tell Mr. Romney that I paid 6%+ of my wages and so did my employer for over forty years to get those payments.
Since he has been in the campaign mode for over five years I know Mr. Romney drastically wants to be President. It is a “power” thing to him so he will do whatever he has to do to take up residence in the Oval Office.
But please Mr. Romney take me off your list and put some real number up there. Don’t call all of us who are seniors freeloaders. That attitude won’t get you many votes. But I guess since he was talking to $100,000 donors everyone except the 1%ers are thought to be the “takers” as Mr. Ryan’s hero Ayn Rands says it….
Since Hank convinced me to get off my butt and get involved in this coming Presidential election I will occasionally be bringing up what I call “A grossly blatant political ad”. I promise I won’t become a raving lunatic and start calling everyone horrible names. I will be more civilized than that. These ads will be tongue-in-cheek and one-sided so you have been forewarned. To my conservative friends, don’t take them too seriously and flame me. I likely won’t respond to your usual long parroted litany of reasons why I am wrong so don’t bother to send them. They would be a waste of your time. I won’t listen to you anymore than you will listen to me while I am doing my “grossly blatant ads”. Now let’s get on with it…
I live in Indiana and when they built the latest football stadium with mostly tax dollars we couldn’t name it like we originally did for the first stadium which was called the “Hoosier Dome”. Instead the name calling rights were up to the highest bidder. It turned out to be some Texas oil company named Lucus Oil. I never managed to get inside the first tax payer paid domed stadium that they tore down to make room for this one so for me personally this one like the last one is a waste of my tax dollars. So when I came across this editorial cartoon by Kevin Kallaugher it struck a nerve. Will everything in our company be up for sale in Romney’s America.
I know here in Indiana the current Republican governor who was Mr. Bush’s “my man Mitch” sold our northern turn-pike to a foreign company to balance his budget there was a significant protest but not enough to prevent the asset from being sold. It was readily acknowledged that he gave up billions of dollars of future income for his short-term gain but that didn’t seem to matter to him or his backers.
So is selling America’s assets the reality of Romney’s America? Will we start calling the Washington Monument the “Steve Jobs Finger to the Sky”. Will the Pentagon then be known as ”Halliburton Protection Agency”. Will our police cars be covered with Krispy Kreme ads.
Is the Republican idea of getting rid of government actually to privatize the whole thing? That makes for a great conspiracy theory doesn’t it? But I really don’t want to find out if it is true. In November let’s put the GOP back on the shelf of history where it belongs.
via Fact-checkers find exaggerations in Obama, Biden conventions speeches | Fox News.
President Obama and Vice President Biden made statements in their convention speeches about unemployment, Medicare and other issues that fact-checkers say appear inaccurate or at least misleading.
Among the questionable remarks were Biden’s argument that “after the worst job loss since the Great Depression we created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months” … The Associated Press and others point out that statement is misleading because it counts jobs from the recession’s lowest point to where employment began to grow again – excluding jobs lost earlier in Obama’s term and masking that overall unemployment has increased over that period….
The Associated Press also points out that Obama said in his speech that he wants to use money saved by ending the wars to build highways, schools and bridges. However, the wars were largely financed by borrowing “so there is no ready pile of cash to be diverted to anything else,” the wire service writes….
Other examples include the president saying U.S. auto makers are back on top of the world. “Nope,” writes FactCheck, pointing out that General Motors has slipped back to No. 2 and is headed for third place in global sales this year behind Toyota and Volkswagen.
As promised I am giving you the fact-checkers report for the DNC candidates. Please note that this report comes from Fox News. Unlike the fact-check last week that noted there were some out-right lies in Mr. Ryan’s speech most found by Fox news were at best exaggerations. I guess you could call the first one a deliberate manipulation. I will let these words stand on their own. I just wanted to give a final quote from this article about Mr. Ryan’s speech last week.
However, the group said Ryan, in his acceptance speeches, made “false claims” or gave “misleading statements” at least five times – among them were that president’s health care law funnels money away from Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” FactCheck pointed out Medicare’s chief actuary says the law “substantially improves” the system’s finances and that Ryan has embraced the same savings.
As President Clinton said in his speech last week, just look at the arithmetic when comparing the two conventions.
But what do I know…..
Source: Obama: ‘America, our problems can be solved’ | The Ticket – Yahoo! News.
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over a decade.”
It seems that many in this country think that all problems can be solved in a four-year presidential cycle. Of course life just doesn’t work that way. As noted above it took as decades to get into the troubles we are now digging out of. Years of Republican mantra of deregulation caused the near collapse of our financial sector. That mammoth problem can’t be corrected quickly.
“All they have to offer is the same prescriptions they’ve had for the last thirty years: Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”
As usual President Obama’s acceptance speech was uplifting. He knows just the right words to use get his feelings across. But to me the most significant thing about the speech was the difference between the Republican reaction to these time and the Democratic. The Republican convention last week seemed focused on who to blame for all our current problems and they blamed almost everyone except themselves.
- It is the lazy welfare recipients who are gobbling up things they didn’t earn.
- It is those immigrants who are in our schools costing us a fortune.
- It is the liberal administration now in power
- It is the homosexuals who are causing the downfall of the traditional family
- It is this, it is that…..
The Republican response to our current problems is to blame everyone. Mr. Obama put forward a different approach. He cites the strength of our citizens as the answer and not the problem. He showed us that this is not the first problem that we have had as a country and it certainly won’t be the last one. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan seem to think that the only citizens who can do anything about our problems are the super-rich. If only we give them another tax break then it will trickle down through the economy and create jobs. As Ayn Rand, their hero, points out if only we can keep “those” people away for our riches we will have more for ourselves.
Something happened in the 1980s that caused corporations to no longer think of their employees as assets but to think of them as liabilities. Employees are something to be downsized in order to create a bigger profit. That is the current business mode and that is the basic philosophy of the current Republican leadership. The Democrats showed us this week that it is our citizens who are the primary asset of this country and if we just give them a level playing field prosperity can come to all of us once again.
So to me this election comes down to one basic question. Are our citizens assets or liabilities? It seems as simple as that.
Since my altruist worldview points me more toward the Democratic party than the Republican I’m sure I will have more words about their convention than I did with the Republican convention. I will hold off on the fact-check post until more half-truth/half-Lies are gathered. I just want to make some overall comments about what I saw last night.
As has been pointed out by several media outlets the DNC seems to be much more vibrant than the RNC. I think part of that is because the RNC was pretty much full-time against Obama and not so much for Romney whereas the DNC is pure enthusiasm for Obama. The RNC being “anti” plays very well into the obstructionist/do-nothing theme they have chosen for their party. But I was surprised at how much of a “red meat Republican attitude” prevailed in some of the speeches. They seem to be doing a pretty good job of learning that technique from their adversaries and that is not particularly a good thing in my mind.
Two things caught my attention. One was a comment from Julian Castro in his response to the Romney speech where Romney say he left his father’s shadow and struck out on his own after high school. Julian Castro, who is the mayor of a major city and grew up pretty much in abject poverty said about Romney striking out on his own “He has no idea how good he had it!” Yes, Mr. Romney left Michigan but he left to go to Harvard for pre-paid law and MBA degrees. I’m sure unlike Mr. Castro, or even myself, Mr Romney never saw the inside of a dirty pan working in a commercial kitchen during his college years, or for that matter since then. I’m sure he never had to work a day while in college while so many of us had to work at a full-time jobs along with attending classes.
The second thing that caught my attention was from the Michelle Obama speech. I didn’t record the words but her statement basically said that when there is a door of opportunity opened to you do don’t slam the door behind but instead hold it open for others to come through. Of course by this statement I think she was inferring that Mr. Romney who was brought up in a very privileged environment just doesn’t see the need to hold the door open for others. He thinks everyone should just have to beat it open as he claims he did. He and Mr. Ryan as part of the deficit reduction plans want to reduce, not increase, student aid programs and money to keep our educational institutions world-class. Mr. Romney just doesn’t seem to have the empathy for those like me or Mr. Castro in our younger years. He just doesn’t know how good he had it compared to so many many others.
Like the Republican conventions there were a lot of “half-truths” thrown about. I will get to them in a later post.
Like for the first two days of the GOP convention I was trying to find a fact check article that had some substance but was pretty much unsuccessful. It seems that Clint Eastwood’s rambling rants to an empty chair was the highlight of the night.
Of course, Mr. Romney pulled out the “Obama Medicare $716 billion cut which has been already thoroughly discounted. The other big announcement was that he plans to create 12 million new jobs. The only jobs a president can actually create is in the federal government and I don’t think that is what he has in mind. Here is what one expert said about that
If Mitt Romney were elected president in November, he is likely to oversee an economy that gains 12 million new jobs in the next four years. But, as Mark Hopkins, a senior analyst at Moody’s told the Washington Post, “the baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016.”
So I guess what he is saying is that he will take credit for the jobs if they actually occur It would be interesting to compare what Mr. Romney said last night to what Mr. Obama said four years ago. As I remember they have a lot of similarities. A bunch of promises and little substance to go along with them. But that just seems to be the way of politics now.
To me the crowning words of the night were these from Mr. Romney:
“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division,” Romney said. “This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something.”
If only those words were actually true. If Mr. Romney really wanted President Obama to succeed he would have urged his fellow Republican to come together with the Democrats in doing what they can agree is good for America and not filibuster everything that could have actually accomplished something. It is a fact that the last two congresses have been the least productive in the last one hundred years. But then again since the new radical base of the GOP just doesn’t trust Romney they likely would not have listened to him anyway.
If President Obama had succeeded it would be very unlikely that Mr. Romney would be elected. So five years and millions of dollars of his personal payments would be for naught. I kind of doubt the sincerity of his words above. In order to get to where he is today Mr. Romney had to basically deny almost all of his life’s crowning achievements to appease the now radical base of his party. He had to say that all the work he did to get almost universal healthcare for his State was a big mistake! This alone make me doubt that he has any foundational beliefs that he is not willing to deny in order to gain the Presidency.
The final observation that I want to make before personally putting politics back on the shelf for a while is that the last three nights have firmed up my belief that without some very substantial change the GOP is bound for oblivion. The reason I say that is that when you look at the convention crowd all you see is primarily white faces and old white faces at that. Our country is become a more diverse nation as the years go by. If the GOP can’t find some way to stop alienating those who are not WASPs they are doomed.
But what do I know….
Source: Paul Ryan weighs in on Middle East policy – First Read.
He continued: “In the past day, Iran’s president called our ally Israel, quote, a cancerous tumor that must be excised. Let me be really clear. Under President Romney, our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength. There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world. Strong national defense, peace through strength, strong relationship with our allies.”
This post is part of my ongoing search into just who Paul Ryan is. I want to understand why a very good clergy friend of mine endorses him so highly.
The only thing that kept me from being very upset by this article is that I know that campaign rhetoric very very rarely becomes action upon holding an office. My hero Will Rogers had much to say about campaign rhetoric but I will save that for a future post. Let’s face it the old adage that politicians will say absolutely anything to get elected is as true today as it ever was. I pray Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney maintain that pattern. I certainly don’t want to hear their rhetoric turned into actions if they by some remote chance were to get elected
The words above sound like the mad military general from the movie Dr. Who just aching to get into a battle with anyone he could find. I hope there is some “daylight between America and it friends” when it comes to putting our children into a war zone. I know we consider Afghanistan our current friends and our sons and daughters continue to die there on a daily basis. When we were on the rampage against Iran after the hostage crisis we considered Hussein our friend and ally. Do we really want to use our overwhelming military might, and because we spend so much on it it is overwhelming, when any of our current allies feel dissed?
Mr. Obama has proved to be much more hawkish than I ever dreamed but to put Ryan/Romney there would make President Obama’s actions timid indeed.
But what do I know…
Source: Gallup: No immediate bounce for Romney after Ryan VP pick – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.
I am just not following all this presidential stuff like I used to but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion once in a while and this is one of those whiles. It seems strange to me that the VP pick in the GOP is from the conservative base of the party. Usually you pick a candidate that will bring in some additional votes. The Republican party certainly needs that as they seem to alienate more and more people daily.
But on second thought Mr. Romney is not that popular with the base of his own party. He won the primary process simply because he outspent/outlasted everyone else. So to pick a darling of the radical right is just to ensure he gets most of these guys. But since they make up only about 25% of the electorate who appeals to the other 75%? Maybe, by “preaching to the choir” so to speak Mr. Romney is simply trying to avoid a Goldwater type election where he is tromped by his advocate in November?
I’m sure Mr. Ryan otherwise known as the “Doctor of Death for Medicare” will get his ticket the diehards of the party but I don’t think all those independents, especially us seniors, will be impressed by his choice.
But what do I know….
Most of the presidential candidates both present and past will do almost anything to get elected. What drives them to endure such brutal campaigns? Of course the answer to that is usually a super sized ego. Mitt, or should I say Not, is no exception so the above cartoon is almost believable. But I think most of these guys, and recently gals, really just like the “idea” of being president and having the power it brings. Once they get the job that is another thing. It seems to be more about beating the competition than really wanting to do the day-to-day chores necessary for the position.
President Obama is no exception to that rule. Now that he is in the White House he doesn’t seem to know what to do. The chief complaint against him by both parties is that he is never involved in any of the current bartering going on. I think he want to remain above it all? If he had been elected king instead of president that standoffishness would be tolerated but as president he needs to get down and dirty and get the people’s business done instead of being so aloof.
But what do I know….
Source: GOP presidential contenders drift to the right – Politics – Decision 2012 – msnbc.com.
Mitt Romney is about to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination today. He seems to be the most creditable candidate in the Republican field but that is not saying much. Given his flip flops there is no way I would ever trust him as my president. Here is a quote from the above article:
Romney, who leads in most polls, has rejected his earlier stands supporting abortion rights, gun control and gay rights. He says his 2006 law requiring Massachusetts residents to obtain health insurance was right for his state at the time, but he has condemned the Obama-backed mandate that would cover all Americans.
Here is a guy to spent much of his time as governor making sure that the people of his State all had access to medical care. Then a few years later, for political expediency, he said all that was a mistake. Healthcare should be a privilege for those who can afford it, not a right for everyone according to the 2011 version of him. This is a very base issue for me and it was for also for him for at least a time. If he “changes his mind” on so many issues how can I ever trust him to hold to anything he says on the campaign trail or to even believe that he has ANY core beliefs?
As the old campaign tactic used against a previous Democratic candidate says:
He was for these things before he was against them:
- Healthcare for all
- Abortion rights
- Gun Control
- Homosexual rights
I personally don’t fall on the same side on all these issues but I would not change my attitudes about them just to get more people to like me. Of course Mr. Romney dropped all these beliefs in order to get the big bucks from the Republican establishment required to run for office. Is there any thing that Mr. Romney holds as the foundation of his belief system? I was not a fan of Mr. Reagan but at least he didn’t waffle from his ultra conservative beliefs. He was for his view of “family” even those his personal family was a shambles. He was a “don’t do as I do but do as I say person” throughout his political life. At his core I think Mr. Romney is a centrist Republican who is trying to align himself with the radical right fringe who now control his party. If only he had the courage to stand up for centrist belief he might get my vote. Someone is going to have to get the guts to move the Republican establishment back to the center of American politics. They can only cling to the right edge of the cliff for so long. But given his current attitude Mr. Romney is just not about to be that person.
But what do I know…..