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.

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!

 

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?

Connecting the Dots…

Connecting the Dots…

UPDATE (10/26/12): It appears the news is heating up. Thanks to the Daily Kos, we may well be looking at the real smoking gun in this campaign. Whether it’s enough to take away Romney’s momentum and make even the staunchest racist Republican vote elsewhere remains to be seen. After all, there are those in the Republican party who simply can’t abide a black man in office.

Sometimes it’s terribly hard to see the big picture, especially when people go to great lengths to keep us from seeing more than little bits and pieces. Continue reading “Connecting the Dots…”

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