Category: Mitt Romney

“Sick of the slant?” Inadequate description…

“Sick of the slant?” Inadequate description…

Truth hurts.

Why am I living in an apartment I can’t really afford, trying desperately to make ends meet and stay afloat in an increasingly hostile world? Because we reacted like the trained monkeys we are when the government told us this was what we had to do in order to protect ourselves.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, because I believe that I’m right: Osama Bin Laden might have chosen the wrong way to communicate his problems with the way the US functions, but I understand the cause behind his actions and I can understand why he did it. That single belief ultimately cost me my marriage.

The USA Patriot Act was, and remains, the single most damaging thing our government has ever done to us, but it isn’t the only thing. I have friends who have suffered permanent physical damage because of our need to Remember. Until this week, when our leaders suddenly pulled a solution out of thin air, we might have gone to war AGAIN. Some of us are actually disappointed (??!?) that we’re NOT going to war against Syria.

Really?

If we had President Romney instead of President Obama, it wouldn’t have been a question, because Romney represented the corporations and they WANT us to be at war.

When it takes the comedians in our world to speak the real, honest truth, because we can’t get it anywhere else, we should be asking ourselves just how much we should believe and we should DO something about it.

Cracked.com: The 6 Weirdest Things We’ve Learned Since 9/11

Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage: ‘Who Cares HOW We Avoided A War…’ (VIDEO)

We could start by voting every last politician who supported and continues to support the USA Patriot Act out of office as fast as humanly possible.

You want your freedom back? That’s where you start. Can’t let the terrorists win? They already have. And the only ones to profit from it are the corporations (including our major news outlets) that make their money from the profits of war.

I don’t know about you but I want my country back.

Now.

They never had it so good. Wait. What?

They never had it so good. Wait. What?

CPAC Participant Defends Slavery At Minority Outreach Panel: It Gave ‘Food And Shelter’ To Blacks

Say what?

Really?

Okay, all you Tea Party members. Listen up, because this is important.

This guy, 30-year-old Scott Terry, is a prime representative example of the sort of people who vote with you.

I’m sure he’d love me to death: Outspoken independent woman from a religiously questionable background. The only thing this guy lacks is an armband or a hood. Though, honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to discover he simply left them at home, along with his guns.

The 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting is taking place right now up in Baltimore, a heavily African-American city, and it’s clear from the news coming out of there just how very out of touch with reality these people are, and why they simply could not fathom a Mitt Romney loss last November.

We are still fighting the Civil War, 150 years later. And these (I will remind you) are the jerks fighting the absolute hardest to keep their weapons.

All the earmarks are there. The rise of American Fascism, the ruling class (see Michigan if you don’t believe me that this is happening), and the movement to take away the Democratic process.

It’s by sheer dumb luck that the guy serving the drinks had a camera he could use to capture our aspiring leader-to-be on video, saying to HIS supporters what he couldn’t say to the rest of the American public. His partner, Paul Ryan, said this on camera, just a few days ago:

According to Merriam-Webster.com, the word “Fascism” is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 38th most popular word. This means something. It ought to be terrifyingly familiar to you, too. And all because of this guy, Arthur de Gobineau, and his writing way back in 1855:

An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races

The CPAC conference is happening in the moral equivalent of my backyard this weekend. Not 150 years ago. Not 75 years ago. Now.

Just how far are we from repeating the mistakes of early 20th Century Germany? I’d say one election away, maybe two.

The Tea Party is mad as hell that we’re not there now, and they’re not going to go away just because we don’t like what they have to say.

This isn’t going to just age out.

The guy in question is 20 years younger than I am. That’s a full generation younger than me.

Someone taught him to think this way.

How did that happen?

Ask yourself.

How?

And what are you going to do about it?

One month to go…

One month to go…

The end of November is often too busy to step back and look at where we are. Between prep for Thanksgiving (which came disturbingly early this year) and all the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday-Tuesday… and so forth, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually accomplishing anything before the Advent calendars start opening on the 1st.

In my life, today is a chance to step back and remember. Two years ago, I lost a true best friend to long-term health problems that might have been diagnosed differently if the ACA were already in place and functioning, and if medical insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries cared more about the people they serve than they do about their own pockets.

It’s a time for me to reflect on changes in the last year, but most importantly, to review a week or so’s worth of news that could escape attention in all the craziness that leads up to the “Holiday Season” in general.

I’ve been paying attention, mostly on Facebook, so here are some of the highlights (if you can call them that) of November’s last gasp.

A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy by Warren E. Buffett

New York Times: SUPPOSE that an 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.

Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law

Palm Beach Post: Former GOP chair, governor – both on outs with party – say voter fraud wasn’t a concern, but reducing Democratic votes was.

Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception

Reuters: Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

Senators Make Bid To End Indefinite Detention In NDAA

Huffington Post: A bipartisan group of senators made a bid Wednesday to end the indefinite military detention of Americans in the United States.

Declaring that a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 put the country on a path to repeat the shame of World War II’s internment camps, they argued the offending language should be stricken in this year’s defense bill.

Michigan Public School System being destroyed. RIGHT NOW.(UPDATE x11)

Daily KOS: If you or anyone you know and care about live in Michigan, or if you care whatsoever about the public school system in this country–or, for that matter, education of our children in general–I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read up on Michigan State House Bills 6004 & 5923, and State Senate Bills 1358 & 620.

Robertson tells Christians: Radiocarbon dating proves no dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark

Raw Story: Televangelist Pat Robertson says that radiocarbon dating proves that the Earth is older than 6,000 years — and he’s telling Christians not to “cover it up.”

On Tuesday’s 700 Club, a viewer wrote Robertson that her “biggest fear is to not have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom” because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.

And finally (because I can’t resist one last dig):

Romney’s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Washington Post: Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.


Mitt Romney addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Romney’s campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

A perfect illustration of an imperfect society…

A perfect illustration of an imperfect society…

From Rachel Maddow: Arizona’s “broken-on-purpose election” video [replacement; original’s gone]

These are crazy times.

Insane.

Makes you wonder how we got where we are today, except that the evidence is everywhere. You just have to know where to look.

At the same time hundreds of thousands of voters are at risk for disenfranchisement thanks to Arizona’s Maricopa County and others, and the state of Texas, where talk of secession is out in the open again, we’ve moved back 50 years to a time when there were still “whites only” water fountains.

Want an interesting insight into what Arizona’s like these days? Have a look at the articles posted here.

Arizona elections still not over as suspicion builds

Arizona Republic might be a liberal paper in a strictly conservative state (or not), but it seems to me that our country is suffering from a mad swing between conservative, moderate and liberal that looks more like the Sword of Damocles than a pendulum. At any moment, with enough provocation, we could find ourselves in the second Civil War.

Perhaps that’s too alarmist, but with petitions all around Maryland requesting secession over the fair-and-square re-election of President Obama, and the recent declaration by the standing Majority Leader that nothing will change, we are working rapidly toward a boil-over.

The really odd thing here is how few people represent the secession movement, but how our view revolves around these movements statewide. For a clearer picture of how this year’s election went, see the image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/idvsolutions/8182119174/in/photostream/lightbox/

We’re not just a country of red and blue states. The mix is far more purple, when there’s anything to show at all. The image separates blue and red by counts of one dot for ever 100 voters (either blue or red).  There’s an awful lot of “white” space in this map, though. The Electoral College, for all its faults, does fairly well with restricting the representative vote to the number of voters in each state. Popularity contest aside, it’s a sad thing when what was good for Bush isn’t good for Obama.

I’ve heard from more than one Tea Party voter that Obama’s majority does not represent a mandate. Even Obama himself says this. But others aren’t so sure. John Nichols of The Nation lays out the comparisons between Obama and Bush, and of their predecessors where a majority was clear. No matter how nasty the taste might be, there is no question who won the election, and talk now of secession smacks much more of sour grapes than of any meaningful discussion regarding infringement of rights.

Jim Wright, of Stonekettle Station (a blog EVERYONE should read immediately), gets it right again. Folks had better simmer down before they start something they’re going to regret.

Or else.

Something’s happening here…

Something’s happening here…

The last two days I’ve gotten up with the goal of writing a purposeful review of the last few weeks from my point of view as a liberal with Attention Deficit Disorder. I got distracted by Facebook and printing out my novel in progress and simply forgot to get around to it. Today I would be identified as gifted as well, though back when I went to school I was just “smart and lazy.”

But I digress. It happens a lot.

You may have noticed by now, if you’re following along at all, that I have a laser-thin focus on certain aspects of this year’s election process. This is a sometimes positive, sometimes hellish aspect of ADD. It allows me to work on a task with a frightening single-mindedness that excludes everything, often including tact.

This morning, as I left services that were devoted to counting blessings and honoring our veterans, this song popped up on the radio.

Subtitled “Stop, Hey What’s That Sound” by the record company exec who signed on Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth is often associated with the Vietnam war, even though its writer, Stephen Stills, was actually inspired by the Sunset Strip Riots of 1966. The song captured my attention as an excellent jump-off point for this post.

I’ve been paying increasing attention to the political rhetoric that has brought us to where we are today, with a second term president and a congress that looks very much as it did two years ago. Such close attention, in fact, that I’ve flooded my friends’ FB feeds with warnings of the coming apocalypse if Romney should become President. Thankfully, we avoided the mess, but it’s a short-lived happy dance because now the real work begins. And some really don’t want to believe it’s over, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Me? I had a four-hour nap the day after the election because holding my breath that long meant taking a very long recovery nap afterward. I’ve tried being more relaxed about the results, but with conversations between my friends, it’s clear I wasn’t the only one stressed out.

There are, to be sure, key differences in balance and in the winners of this year’s election cycle, but I’ve been surprised at the ongoing and frightening comments that haven’t gone away post-election.

In the last week, two Facebook friends have taken me off their list, mainly for pointing out the inconvenient truth. It’s as if Karl Rove’s disbelief in the election results has spread like a virus. It’s still gloves off with those who think President Obama should not be in office, that no matter what we say about those who’ve obstructed progress, it’s still somehow all his fault. Small business employees are facing retribution in the form of layoffs now that it’s clear the Affordable Care Act will go through. Somehow, the abysmal record Bain Capital has for moving American jobs to China are irrelevant.

Really? Why? Because employers might suddenly have to pay their fair share? Because we’re dealing with a looming Fiscal Cliff that was of the Republicans’ own making?

The GOP’s deal with the Devil, Sequestration, was supposed to be a threat to scare voters into choosing Romney, but it failed. The GOP’s rhetoric should in theory have coaxed those voters into Romney’s corner. Instead, the GOP threw insults at the 47%, as Romney so handily identified the Brown voters, questioning their intelligence, value and dignity.

This campaign season has overflowed with vinegar, not honey. We’ve suffered through some 20,000 campaign commercials.

Twenty. Thousand.

Saturation. All thanks to big money and Citizens United.

How could they expect it would go otherwise? The GOP continues to run on the assumption that the “minority” vote isn’t real enough to beat down the “white” vote, but they’ve just been handed a warning that they’re wrong. No amount of rounding up Hispanics in Arizona will keep the voting the way they want it to go.  Five days after the election and they’re still counting votes, to the tune of over 500,000 early and provisional ballots. Voters are rightly concerned about disenfranchisement.

This isn’t about Black and White anymore. It’s about Rich White and everyone else. If you need a label, call the rest Brown. And by Brown I mean all shades, from pale on down to rich, deep chocolate. President Obama might not have carried a landslide victory in the popular vote, but then he didn’t have to, thanks to the Electoral College. His supporters are all shades and ethnicities, from many religious and a-religious backgrounds, of all ages and all financial backgrounds. And genders.

Two years from now, we’re going to see all this nastiness again, only this time we’ll be on the other side of Sequestration. I suggest strongly that you pay attention to what happens between now and New Year’s Eve, because that’s the direction Congress will take in the coming year.

And in the meantime, I think it’s time the rich men in charge put on their big boy pants and learn to play nice with the rest of us. If we can do without, so can they.

Returning to reality…

Returning to reality…

When Jon Stewart called Rove out in this episode of the Daily Show (here: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) he was pointing out a problem with Rove’s math.

All day, when I haven’t been plowing through deadline-driven work or cleaning up a huge backlog of filing, I’ve listened to news stories on NPR and reading articles about the aftermath of Election Day 2012. The news items all fall into roughly two categories of analysis:

1. We knew it was going to turn out this way and how sad it is they didn’t; or: Why it worked out this way and what we/they did wrong.

2. What now? How are we going to fix the mess we’re in, now that the game has changed?

One thing is crystal clear: The GOP miscalculated their margin of viability and they’ve gotten the wake-up call they deserve. Denial is a hard place to be, which is why I’ve thought all day about how to write this post without sounding like a gloating witch. Honestly, in the hard, cold light of day, we’ll get over this.

Rachel Maddow explains the 2012 election and its result in 3 minutes, 13 seconds of glorious truth.

The transcript here, because eventually the YouTube video will vanish again into the Memory Hole of the Internet:

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night and he really did win.

And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month.
And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.
And the polls were not skewed to oversampled Democrats.
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.

And climate change is real.
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is a thing.
And Benghazi was an attack on us. It was not a scandal by us.
And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns.
And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.
And the moon landing was real.
And FEMA is not building concentration camps.
And UN election observers are not taking over Texas.
And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.

Listen.

Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons, but it was also
possibly a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two-party system in government and the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to
confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems and we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff.

And if the Republican Party and the conservative movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed door locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual lived truth of the world then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the Republicans got shellacked and they had no idea it was coming

And we saw them in real time–in real, humiliating time–not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they’re going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again.

And that will be a painful process for them I’m sure but it will be good for the whole country, left, right, and center.

You guys we’re counting on you. Wake up! There’s real problems in the world. There
are real, knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there.

If the Republican Party and the conservative movement and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation.

And in that spirit, congratulations everybody. Big night.

Since January, in ever-increasing ways, I’ve become thoroughly sick of the radical Right’s rhetoric. I honestly thought, after growing up during the 1968 riots and surviving ten presidents, many race-based assassinations  (I was 16 days old when Kennedy was assassinated so I count his administration, too), that we were past all this thinly veiled racist, misogynistic,  homophobic crap, but there is simply no question about what the GOP in general and the Tea Party in particular expected in this year’s Presidential race.

NPR’s probably got the best lock on the main deciding factors: The “brown” vote, together with a diverse coalition of citizens whose liberal politics and religious beliefs, gave President Obama the edge he needed to win, not just by popular vote but by an Electoral College landslide.

Facebook has images popping up on multiple feeds that compare the “red” states of 2012 to maps showing slavery states in 1860. These remarkable divisions are clear and extremely disappointing. Why aren’t we beyond this by now?

The summary works like this: If you choose to accuse every brown person (African-American, Hispanic, Asian or other) of being part of the 47% who suffer from greed and laziness, failing to tow the imaginary line of strict morality, expecting them to give up rights to healthcare, family planning and legal immigration, you get what you deserve.

Reducing a woman’s access to family planning and abortion, particularly in regard to rape, is going to get you booted out of office. Basing your agenda on abridging basic civil rights, regardless of your opinion over the appropriateness of private behavior isn’t just wrong, it’s reprehensible. And it will cost you a seat in the Senate or the House.

The GOP has barely retained their majority in the House, but they have lost ground in the Senate. Continued shenanigans with filibusters and the looming economic Fiscal Cliff will ultimately cost the Tea Party’s constituents, and there is absolutely nothing standing in the way if President Obama wants to clasp his hands casually behind his back while Sequestration kicks in, meaning GOP leaders will either find a way to compromise or find themselves on the other side of the Capitol’s chamber doors in two years (or less).

It’s game over for the obstructionists of 2010. They no longer have the mandate they once did for doing as they please. While most of the GOP’s supporters remain white, male, and over 50, that number has shrunk sufficiently to tip the balance in favor of those whom the social safety nets protect. Four years down the road, their majority will shrink even further, leaving more progressives in place, in areas with higher populations.

Of all the reactions I read in the last two days, Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) says it best with this post: Hemlock With A Small Side Of Schadenfreude. I warned my Facebook friends this morning to swallow whatever they had in their mouths before reading this article because Wright is dead on with his analysis, not just of the utter disappointment in Romney’s huge loss, but in the way the world will be now that the election is over.

I’ve posted the articles I found most useful or interesting below.

“We knew it was going to turn out this way and how sad it is they didn’t; or: Why it worked out this way and what we/they did wrong:”

John Scalzi (Whatever): Post-Election Notes For the GOP (Not That They’ve Asked For Them)

Slate: The Five Stages of Fox News Grief

Slate: A Vast Left-Wing Competency How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning—and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon.

NBC News: Karl Rove’s election nightmare: Super PAC’s spending was nearly for naught

“What now? How are we going to fix the mess we’re in, now that the game has changed?”

The New York Times: Back to Work, Obama Is Greeted by Looming Crisis

Politico: The new Senate: More compromise, less filibuster?

In the end, we’re in for an interesting couple of months, while Congress figures out how to pull back from Sequestration, if it happens at all. No matter what, there’s a lot of healing that’s going to have to happen first.

In the final analysis…

In the final analysis…

Today is a day for quiet celebration and for concern.

Yesterday was my 49th birthday. Today is the 40th anniversary of Richard M. Nixon’s landslide victory against George McGovern; 40 years of watching and waiting through the rhetoric, the endless punditry, the concession speeches and victory cheers. It’s been 30 years since my first voting year.

In the end, despite heaps of cynicism and skepticism, my electoral college guesses proved right. I recorded my bets when states hit about 60% of precincts reporting in clear majorities, 75% or higher in closer races. I spent most of last night, into the wee hours of the morning, watching Huffington Post’s Election Results. This morning I checked back in and saw no overnight surprise upsets.

Interestingly, only a few of those listed in the Washington Post’s Pundit accountability summary got the numbers close to right. Three assumed Florida would go to Governor Romney, two to President Obama (the more likely outcome in the light of day), with the votes for third-party candidates appearing to affect Governor Romney (Gary Johnson) somewhat more than President Obama (Jill Stein), though neither one did enough damage to change the final numbers:

With Florida:

Josh Putnam, Davidson College: Obama 332, Romney 206. ”Everything above is based on a graduated weighted average of polls in each state conducted in 2012,” Putnam wrote in explaining his methodology. “The weighting is based on how old a poll is. The older the poll is the more it is discounted. The most recent poll is given full weight.”

Markos Moulitsas: Obama 332, Romney 206. “Currently, national polling assumes a big dropoff from registered voters to likely voters. I don’t believe that’ll be the case, and we’re certainly not seeing it in the early vote—Democratic turnout is up. And the RV models have been more accurate historically.”

Without Florida:

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: Obama 303, Romney 235. ”The model estimates that Mr. Romney would need to win the national popular vote by about one percentage point to avert a tossup, or a loss, in the Electoral College,” Silver writes.

Sam Wang, Princeton Election Consortium: Obama 303, Romney 235. “In terms of EV or the Meta-margin, [Obama has] made up just about half the ground he ceded to Romney after Debate #1.”*

Jamelle Bouie, The American Prospect: Obama 303, Romney 235. “[I]f Obama wins on Tuesday, the political science on debates will have won out; they can shift the short-term situation, but they don’t fundamentally change the direction of an election.”

*NOTE: Since I first published this post, the Washington Post has revised Silver’s estimate to include Florida’s numbers, putting him up with the 332/206 numbers.

Here in Maryland, as in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington (as well as Iowa, where a judge’s status was in question because of his support for Marriage Equality), we have affirmed that Marriage Equality is right. In Maryland in particular, we have upheld the right for same-sex couples to marry by a majority of 52%.

Maryland also affirmed the Dream Act, and will now be able to hold our politicians involved in corrupt or criminal activity accountable, suspending them without pay. While I’m not thrilled to see gambling expansion in my state, the barn door’s already open, and there’s no turning back now, I guess. In Colorado, for the first time, a state (Colorado) has made recreational marijuana use legal, which will likely push the question to the Supreme Court. With luck, the Court will also address jailing for marijuana use and start to cut our prison population as well.

In general, I’m happy to have a quiet house today, and the sense that things will be calmer, at least for a while. Friends will find a way to mend relationships torn by political grief and misunderstanding.

Though the fiscal cliff still looms large, congress will hold its lame duck session shortly and (with luck) will see a way to steer clear of the threat to our programs. If not, I hope President Obama and the confirmed Democratically controlled Senate will find a way to smooth out the mess the Tea Party-controlled House has made of our politics in the last four years.

Meanwhile, I’m turning my attention to unfinished projects over what remains of November. I have a novel that needs  serious revision, assorted tasks for work that are near completion, and the rest of 2012 to survive, assuming the world doesn’t end on December 21st. There are bills to pay, tax forms to file, chores that always need doing.

Life goes on, even as we fit the new changes into our lives and hope for the best.

Time to pay the piper?

Time to pay the piper?

In my post Connecting the dots…, I drew a parallel between Bain Capital’s transfer of Sensata’s factory and jobs to China, and asked some serious questions about how Delphi relates to the Romneys’ taxes.

It appears this whole thing is about to blow up in Mitt Romney’s face, as the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) announced on Halloween, two days ago, with only four days left to Election Day.

From the UAW web article, Unions, good government groups file ethics complaint against Romney for failing to disclose big auto rescue profit:

“The American people have a right to know about Governor Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue,” said UAW President Bob King. “It’s time for Governor Romney to disclose or divest.

It’s clear that the Romneys are doing their level best to avoid being nailed for conflict of interest, but aside from that, their direct intervention in Delphi has cost thousands of people their jobs and homes. From the same article:

“When I first hired in everything was going well,” said Heath Lindsay, a former Delphi worker from Dayton. “I bought a home, got married, and had a child. When the bankruptcy happened, my pay was cut in half and we lost our home to foreclosure.  My pension was terminated in 2007 and was turned over to the PGBC [Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation]. I am eligible for a 401(k), but I can’t afford to contribute to it. When my wages were good, we could get by but I am the sole provider for my wife and kids and life is a lot harder now,” Lindsay added.

Since Super Storm Sandy hit New Jersey and New York, Romney has done his level best to hide his actions deep inside a sham-filled show of support for the storm’s victims, but even this disgusting display of pretend concern has given us a better picture of what President Romney might be like under pressure.

Even more important, Congressional Republicans have done their part to hide the effects of tax cuts on our economy, the biggest possible scam they’ve ever pulled off since taking control of the House and Senate two years ago. They don’t want you to know just how little tax cuts do for our economy because, in the long run, the only people they care about protecting are those who stand to lose big bucks if the tax rates return to pre-Reagan era levels.

We have four days left to the general election. I’ve already voted in Maryland. At last count, I’m one of 43,000 people who have made it to the polls. Today is the last day to take advantage of early voting here, and the polls will stay open until 8pm tonight. Do what you can to vote out the Grand Old Party and help restore America. We can’t undo the Patriot Act, repair our damaged education system, or fix our economy unless we get rid of ALL the obstructionists and keep the White House clear of the Tea Party agenda.

Do your part to help!

 

Still standing…

Still standing…

Six days left.

It appears Hurricane Sandy is the October Surprise folks have wondered about. The unexpected size and devastation in the super storm’s wake (it still hasn’t finished with the states, though the storm has finally dissolved across the lower part of Canada) leaves a lot of questions  unanswered.

The storm’s intensity has surprised the people in its path, not only with its extensive damage, but also with the areas it left mostly untouched. So, too, will this election bring about vast changes in some areas and not in others.

I had amassed twenty or thirty links to articles I wanted to read and possibly include in this post as indicators of the things you should consider when you go to the polls (if you haven’t already gone). The list below is all that remains. I suggest you read these articles before you vote, though I strongly suspect you’ve already made your decisions.

I’m off shortly to vote at an early polling place in Maryland because it’s my civic duty and because I want to make sure that I take advantage of the opportunity. Nobody knows what will happen in the next six days. As the blue sky finally shows here in Maryland, I can smile and be thankful that I survived this storm knowing in my heart how many others did not. Even if they have their lives, some of our brothers and sisters have lost everything they own, washed away or destroyed by water and mud.

There are six days left until Election Day. If you really, truly want to know what the next President will do, listen to what he does NOT say as much as what he does now. President Obama has canceled campaign stops because his duty is to the people. Gov. Romney is taking advantage to stump and offer ill-timed photo ops when he should do what he can to give direct aid to those who need it most.

I can’t say it any better than Susan Eisenhower why you should vote for President Obama and why you should select candidates for the House and Senate who will move our country forward and not simply stand in the way of progress. The numbers don’t look good, especially for the House race. The obstructionists are winning, and so we’re likely in for another two-year slog (at least) before parts of the country are finally fed up enough to choose change instead of retrograde politics.

We can no longer look to the past to recapture the golden era of cocktail parties and social-climbing. We should be all about social justice now, for those of us who are denied their civil rights through marriage equality bans, by blocking or destroying chances for our youth to reach for higher goals through the Dream Act than working at the counter at the local McDonald’s. You each have it in your hands to improve things for your fellow humans. It all comes down to this.

Two years ago I was still mourning the loss of my father from Lewy Body Dementia and reeling from the death of a board member at my theater who had finally succumbed to breast cancer when I packed up and headed to Florida for the [failed] launch of Discovery and a week at the parks.

On the way there, another friend was on the brink of death from cancer in California and my friend Richard was in the hospital for what we thought would be another relatively brief stay that turned out to be his last. His birthday was October 30 and in all the hubbub of trying to get to Disney on schedule, I managed to forget.

We made it there in time for Halloween, had a relatively up and down week where we kept readjusting our schedule to accommodate the on-again, off-again launch windows, until finally Kennedy Space Center decided to scrub the mission so they could do a thorough check of the shuttle.

We pulled out of Epcot’s parking lot late on my birthday, November 6. When we finally stopped for dinner, I chose Perkins and ordered pumpkin pie (instead of chocolate cake) in honor of Richard’s birthday. Kayta passed away while we were on the road. At some point near the same time, Richard went from ill to critical and I found myself breaking speed laws to get north as quickly as possible.

Aside from the obvious ugliness of the last few days, I have a couple of years’ worth of grief and baggage floating around in my particular morass of a brain. Coupled with this, I last spoke with my father for my birthday, almost three years ago.

Forgive me if I seem angry a lot lately. I’m sick to death of the rhetoric that says the needy should just suck it up and take the cards they’re dealt. I’ve lost so many friends in the last few years, along with family members, I can hardly keep track anymore. Many of them died because they couldn’t afford better care, or the right medicine. Funerals are in my future as we move into the real fall and winter. And as we progress through the next five to ten years, these events will increase. Baby boomers are aging and the excesses of the sixties, seventies and eighties are catching up with them.

This is the real disaster that frightens the rich. They know what universal healthcare will mean to the country as 75 million people age, become unable to give their share of the work and pay taxes. The more we understand the foundations of autism, the scope and breadth of other diseases, the costs of mega storms like Hurricane Sandy or the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, the cost of tsunamis and storm surges in Japan, the more they realize where their money will go and how hard it will be to justify their comfy multi-million dollar homes.

This hurricane has taken away so much, even though parts of the US went untouched, even as I grieve for those who are in the cold and dark because of a senseless act of nature, I’m incensed at the political rhetoric that would seem to portray these victims as money-grabbing freeloaders who only want to suck the futures away from our children.

Remember your brothers and sisters in Haiti, Cuba and elsewhere along the coast as well as your own family, friends and familiar places. The temperatures are dropping and many of these people are without heat, light, or even homes. Snow has fallen in West Virginia because of the merged cold front. It’s not just about flooding.

Don’t do what I did during Katrina. Collections of tangible goods are meaningless. These donations waste valuable time and resources. If you can spare something, give to the Red Cross, including your blood. Those of you who swear by private donations, now’s the time to step up and give money or volunteer your time if you can.

Thank you.

Why ‘Voting Your Conscience’ in Deep Blue or Red States Is a Terrible Idea For Those Who Don’t Want a Romney Presidency (The popular vote may become a factor this year.)

Big Mitt Romney Supporter Caught In Voter Fraud? (Texan Meat Loaf seeks to cast ballot from former L.A. home.)

How The United States Is Reinventing The Slave Trade

Mysterious Docs Found in Meth House Reveal Inner Workings of Dark Money Group

No Exception: Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock aren’t outliers. Banning abortion for rape victims is the new Republican mainstream.

A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians (WARNING: this post is going to be oh-so-very-triggery for victims of rape and sexual assault. I am not kidding.)

Retired NSA Analyst Proves GOP is Stealing Elections

Questions of ethics and responsibility…

Questions of ethics and responsibility…

In just the last few days, we have had a number of troubling breakout stories hit the news which might call into question the ethics of Republicans running for office. It saddens me that even in the face of these troubling news items, the race is still too close to call in states.

Let me share a story. I promise it will have some meaning in the larger sense, but for now I’m going to give you the small picture. It’s one that bears on today’s political issues and on our appearance in light of the world we share.

When I was a child, of some now-unremembered, relatively young age, I had specific tastes in food that might seem odd (or maybe not). Two of my deepest desires, for fresh, sweet butter and for the cream filling inside Oreo cookies, got me into a world of trouble with my father. It wasn’t the first time and I’m sure it wasn’t the last time he got angry at me for my behavior, but I sure remember his reaction, all these years later.

The Butter Incident started out innocently enough with my taking the opportunity on occasion to dip my index finger across the top of the butter stick in the fridge. Over time, my finger wore down the top of the stick so that it sloped slowly down to about half an inch shorter than either end. Quite obviously, something was happening to the butter. When Dad called me on it, I lied, even though he must have known I was the culprit. Having observed young children, the level of oblivious that goes into “I didn’t do it” when the clear evidence shows otherwise is simply stunning.

Dad sent me to my room for lying. I suppose I must have been angrier for having been caught than contrite at having done the deed, but as I know for a fact that I was the guilty party, with a clear recollection of the taste of Land O’Lakes often recalled as I hunt for comfort food. Besides, there were clear fingerprints as evidence.

The Oreo Incident was much worse, in the long run.

Dad built a nice wood storage box for our fireplace, sat it on the floor next to the mantle, and filled it with wood for the fire. Rochester weather being was it was, we had fires going much of the winter, and he didn’t want to haul the wood in every time he wanted to light a fire. I found it a convenient hiding place to hold the chocolate cookie parts when I was too young to figure out the “peas in the trash” method of disposal. I recall disposing of half a bag of Oreos by eating the cream out of the centers and dumping the remains in the wood box.

I’d have gotten away with it, too, if Dad hadn’t discovered the parade of ants leading from the outside to the wood box and back. Dad’s discovery led to a violent outburst, which ultimately resulted in a kicked-in hole in my bedroom door. (Fortunately, I wasn’t harmed in the incident.)

I learned quickly that the truth was the best method to avoid such outbursts. If I got in trouble, for the most part, I tried to own up to it.

These days, it seems no matter how nasty the retribution might be, some people just feel there is nothing large enough to keep them from doing harm, on a level far uglier than taking a little cream out of a cookie or swiping a little butter off the top of the stick.

On the brink of our next election, with several states already accepting early votes, stories are coming to light that we should have seen far, far earlier.

I have in mind Donald Trump’s fizzled-out bombshell of a smokescreen:

 

Aside from making himself an instant laughingstock, it appears Trump had something of his own to hide. This ill-conceived, inept stunt, timed as it was, also failed to take attention away from a damaging report of his inability to do the job. In a fit of glorious irony, the news has broken that the condo association for his own building, Trump Tower, fired the Donald. Better than any spanking, I say.

But that’s not all.

A few days ago I suggested a link between Delphi and Bainport, and that this might be the smoking gun to which Ann Romney referred when she said there would be no more tax reports because she didn’t want to give the press any more ammunition. It was odd timing that at around the same time these issues were percolating to the top, Ryan got caught with his hands up to the elbows in an ad hoc photo-op that cost the soup kitchen far more than Ryan’s campaign.

A little over 48 hours ago, news has broken that a 20-year-old divorce case that set Mitt Romney and his associate Tom Stemberg (founder of Staples) against Stemberg’s ex-wife in a nasty court case which left Maureen Stemberg Sullivan essentially destitute might have included lies from Romney that indicated Stemberg had a lower real net worth than court records indicated. Earlier today, Stemberg Sullivan appeared in court and later this afternoon the court approved the unsealing of Romney’s testimony. She will file a separate motion to lift the gag order shortly, though not necessarily in time for the election.

Getting one’s hand caught in the cookie jar used to mean something. Children learned that truth and honesty were always the best methods. I am sad that this rule appears to apply only to those who aren’t rich enough to hide their lies. When will we learn that the same rules apply to everyone?

Theme: Elation by Kaira.