Liberty Ballad, 2012

Or, Showdown at Voter’s Booth

(to the tune of Liberty Valance)

When Willard Mitt Romney rides to town, the womenfolk will hide, they’ll hide
When Willard Mitt Romney walks around, some menfolk will abide
’cause the almighty buck is the only law, that Willard’s understood
When he’s lootin’ companies straight ‘n fast–he is mighty good.

From out the East Wing a “stranger’s” come, a law book in his hand, a man
The kind of a man America still needs, to tame these troubled lands
’cause the almighty buck is the only law, that Willard’s understood
When he’s lootin’ companies straight ‘n fast—he is mighty good.

Many a face does this man show, and many a wasted vote will fall
The man who’s fought Willard Mitt Romney, he’s fought, GOP‘s men ‘n dark money
He is the bravest, most honest of ’em all.

A taste of Liberty make’s a man stay on, even when he should go, stay on
America’s tryin’ for a peaceful world; so she is free to grow
But the almighty buck is the only law, that Willard’s understood
When the election show down comes at last, just a law book is no good.

Alone and afraid half America prays for ballots to return each one, on a fateful day
’cause of what liberty stands for both men fight, they’ll get out the vote
From the moment when America became full-grown, the very first thing she learned
When two men face off in the voters’ booth, only one wins the retur-r-r-ns

Everyone’ll hear the ballots ring out, voters’ll see Willard fail
The man who’s fought Willard Mitt Romney, he’s fought GOP’s men ‘n dark money
He is the bravest, most honest of ’em all.

The man who’s fought Willard Mitt Romney, he’s fought GOP’s men ‘n dark money
He is the bravest, most honest of ’em all.

Entrust your vote to

Barack Obama / Joe Biden 2012
Move America Forward

Pres. Barack Obama at Foreign Policy Debate
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Message to Congress – that’s it for you filibuster!

In viewing the remaining landscape in this election, I was thinking what is the right prism through which to view the presidential debates and the remaining part of the campaign. And what is the right frame of mind in the ballot box come time to vote. I am sharing this opinion piece with this in mind. I also think it might put Vice President Joe Biden‘s comments in context.

Today, at this very moment, America needs leaders who are not first a Democrat or a Republican; but American. I see that in President Barack Obama. I see he is leading from his heart, from an inclusive vision deep within. From his belief in America, being himself on an historically improbable path, fulfilling an American Dream. A man rich in character, able as a young man to work through personal challenges about his roots, his father, and his very being. Emerging in a positive, uplifting place with an amazing grace.

Obama is doing what is right, despite being fettered by current American politics; shackled as it were to the ground, by the Lilliputian right, the little men trying to contain a giant. Obama and America are also challenged by America’s electoral and political system too. The main challenges are twofold; (1) Congress is broken and (2) there are only two ideologies; crafted precisely as opposing ones by only two opposing parties.

These politics weigh on America, weaken her; and afford Lilliputian tragedy, at the expense of Americans who, as Biden so aptly stated, remain “buried” these past four years. Under the economic and financial sins of the fathers, the next generation(s) shall struggle if amends can not be made. Amends that demand a strong program and a strong mandate from this election. Even if Americans can ‘t put their finger on it or articulate it; these challenges reflect in America’s unhappiness with its Congress and concern about its direction.

Beginning with the latter of the two, America has only two political parties. Entrenched parties; a power duopoly with insurmountable barriers to entry for any other. Mostly, the barrier is money; but also political process, and political culture. In terms of the process, you just have to look at Gov. Mitt Romney, the perennial Presidential contender; it’s a personal marathon consuming years of time, oceans of money, and galaxies of energy. Plus requiring personal strength and deep reserves of equanimity and confidence to endure personal attacks and insults, and withstand the sledgehammer of character destruction. Just to become a party’s nominee; then comes the election race!

In terms of the political culture, the visibility and importance placed on party affiliation is beyond reason. For example, “declaring” your party when voting; it’s like declaring your religion when introducing yourself. Maybe worse. And changing it is perhaps harder, even for a single vote. It is pervasive in American politics; yet think about it – why is your party affiliation asked when you vote? To remind you of your allegiance to your party before you vote for your nation? To remind you of your ideology? While it is there to support the primary voting system, this can be handled in other ways. It is not really any part of what you do at the ballot box. When you are there, you are simply an American, seeking what is right for you and your country.

Now also let’s think for a moment about “independents” who are the bane of the political parties; the ones being chased this moment and until election day. Yet they are the truest practitioners of democracy. What’s happened to individual political freedoms? You should have your personal, private, undeclared choice of vote for whoever and whatever. Any time, all the time and on every issue! Do not vote one party or the others philosophy, principles or I dare say, propaganda; and certainly not on wedge issues. It is not right for politicians to draw imaginary dividing lines through the country along old civil war fault lines, for political gain. And stoking the flames. Not right at all! Vote your belief about what America needs at this moment for her best future. Your patriotism comes here in the ballot box, to your Nation, not your party.

Now to discuss the other major challenge of Congress. Just think filibuster. It’s tantamount to a four letter word, actually. Some may not grasp precisely what it is; all understand what it does – nothing; big time! As witnessed these past four years. It has been the darling of Congressional leaders, too many Lilliputian little men with little strings. Trying, trying, and ultimately tying Obama, the Nation, and you, to the ground.

Add to that the modus operandi of both parties’ congressional leaders. This includes obstruction through filibuster and other tactics, slander, stretched truth and outright lies (mis-leaders as much as leaders?), and blind ideology. Such ideology spouted so often for so long, the parties and partisan hacks start to believe the fiction and start making decisions with it – Ayn Rand anyone? This obstructionism is more reflective of the GOP, in my opinion. Indeed, I think it’s been done to an extent unheralded these past four years. Brazenly. Overtly. Proudly, and fully on record. For a stated single inexplicable purpose – to stop Obama, whatever it is he is doing. Lilliputian small men indeed.

Now add to these political process and culture issues, the literally limitless money flow from narrow pools of people and yet narrower pools of interest. The money is wrapping round the politicians, warping their decisions and the nation. The red states and blue states notion that Obama has for some time been decrying? This is a symptom of the underlying problem and hopefully can be changed. But how? For one thing, bust the filibuster; kill it, make it a ghostbuster. The partisan minority must not thwart the will of the majority, by definition, that is “anti-democracy”. The other thing is more political parties; democracy must enable and support a more open political arena. This must be at the heart of the American way, the democratic way for an enduring civil society. Of course, this takes more time than the blink of an eye left until election day!

So what can you do now? Simple. Vote out obstructionist politicians. That’s it, just vote against any politicians more focused on limiting Obama’s future, than expanding America’s and yours. Do it right now! Let’s go! Just say “That’s it for you (fili)buster”! This will send Congress a message. A strong one. American’s are not going to take this any more!

This gives Pres. Obama‘s good efforts leverage to propel the country Forward. Obama deserves another 4 years to move America along his well defined, worthy path and direction. I think he is focused more on doing right by America and Americans than most politicians in living memory. President Reagan is perhaps a good comparison.

So you can do it. It’s in your handsThe change is you!

References

See Building a Nation; the change is you for a larger discussion of the challenges in American politics.

https://paulstewartblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/from-breaking-to-building-a-nation-that-change-is-you/

Osama bin Laden reaches out from his watery grave

Osama’s hand is ominously reaching from his watery grave! He is smiling out on the fierce battles and killing we are witnessing overseas. He would like the instability, and the foment of words and ill feelings, running together in rivers of hate and trailing into pools of blood. May the Gods have mercy on all of us and calm things down? Is this another test for America?

Breaking news today on new violence in Libya and further violence in Pakistan. The firestorm was originally lit by the controversial anti-Islam film trailer “Innocence of Muslims” thought to have been written and produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, using the pseudonym of “Sam Bacile”. Videos of the trailer dubbed in the Arabic language were apparently uploaded during early September 2012 and redistributed by Morris Sadek, a Coptic Egyptian-American blogger.

The Benghazi, Libya violence is apparently a backlash in support of the United States against extremists there who may be behind the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. The Pakistani violence comes despite an ad on Pakistani TV featuring President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who denounce the video. The video and its creators are just a couple of the current torches burning for Osama bin Laden and a living testament to his goals to incite religious war; pitting Christians against Muslims. The flames have spread to pockets of the globe far and wide as so deftly reported by Nina Rai in her recent post. This is a ruse when the real war is actually extremists and terrorists against the multi-denominational civilized world.

Whoever is behind this video is working with mal intent, and looking to light the fuse of a powder keg, floating in a giant cauldron of rocket fuel. As many already know, the video intentionally makes a mockery of, and pours ridicule and scorn on, the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. It seems intentionally placed for the destructive impact. Right in front of those who are most insulted and maddened to violence by it; and it’s as if the perpetrators are rubbing their noses in it too, to get things going.

I fear we are on the brink of an expanding, possibly explosive, religious war. As I said earlier, Osama’s finger prints are on this; right from his watery grave. He is smiling, despite the barometric pressure many leagues beneath the sea. His hate lingers with us here; regardless of his death. We risk inadvertently succumbing to it, being enveloped by it and joining Osama in a religious war like the Dark Ages except with mass media, and more massive weapons.

America heightens its own danger by replying with a “no apologies”, no consideration, and a just “stand your ground” mentality. Shoot, reload, shoot again and then aim. Perhaps this is a test coming in the heat of this election season in America; or a reminder, or even a clarion call!

A call to remember America still fights the real and present danger of not just ghost of Osama bin Laden, but of the hate he fomented and the seeds of war he planted in his infernal lifetime. His followers, his pretenders, and those who seek to harm the United States or other countries and their people must be repelled; nay headed off at the path. With means that are more than the conventional ones; not solely with a blind brute force and firepower reply.

The real enemies are the terrorists and the radical extremists of all religious persuasions. Osama simply brought the ragtag bands of ne’er do wells into a loving fold of hate and aggression. Yet; there are also the accomplices, the willing and gullible and naïve. I would refer to Rush Limbaugh as a prime example. These are those easy to say an eye for an eye, the ignorant, the bellicose, the opportunists looking for ways to politically or socially exploit religious divides. To exploit the lack of trust and understanding between the peoples of the world’s great religions, including the Christians and Muslims. We know who these people are; people like Terry Jones, the Pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, in Florida. This man or the people behind this Innocence of Muslims Project seems another.

Perhaps the biggest enemy and the greatest risk lies in ignorance and fear. Ignorance leads to stupid actions by people who actually formally represent the United States. There is more than one case of desecration of the Koran by people who serve in the forces. These people maybe did not understand the repercussions of their actions perhaps, but the damage has been done. Ignorance has a cost. Fear can cause people to behave with prejudice and disrespect. It can also cause over blown reactions. Such as we are seeing by the Muslim crowds now, and such as we saw on a more limited scale in the United States following 9/11. Actions against Muslims, and people thought to be Muslim, but who were actually Sheiks etc. It also happened to the Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians in the Second World War.

The defensive weapons for fighting back include a vigorous physical defence but sharply focused against defined enemies; being principally armed terrorists. Drones, CIA, FBI etc. are the weapons. Physically protecting Americans at home and abroad with troops and physical and safety barriers and safe houses. Another is separation of church and state, which is a topic the needs a separate article to do it justice.

The offensive weapon, is to not be offensive. It is to stamp out ignorance, it is to take cool and careful consideration before speaking, and before acting. To thereby stamp out prejudice and replace it with warmth and mutual respect. This is not for the terrorists and such of course; it is for real people; whether they happen to be Muslims, Christians or other denominations, or atheists or agnostics for that matter. In short for all good people; the vast majority of humanity on the face of the earth. We are mostly made of the same stuff with the same basic goals in life and we must build common bonds in our humanity, with mutual respect, and mutual understanding.

Osama bin Laden would love to see, as the fruit of his life’s efforts, a full-blown religious war. With Americans dying in droves, American Embassies in flames; and her people at each others throats about it. Of late, some Americans and others abroad, have poured fuel on this hateful Osama-flame. I say that some people have already fallen precisely into Osama’s trap of fomenting global religious war.

America needs leadership that understands this and can drive an agenda that refuses this game and douses this flame. That has the skills to build the bridges between peoples, rather than focusing solely on armies that separate and annihilate them. This requires not only the investment in and wise use of force, and power, but its surgical and careful use, coupled with intelligent and thougthful diplomacy. And sometimes, yes sometimes, at the right time; an apology. When it is honestly owed.

I say to those who call America’s current leadership “apologist” for sympathizing with the Muslim people against the ignoramuses at best, or terrorists, at worst who created this hateful film, that they are wrong. On two counts; one, sympathy is not an apology, it is the understanding of some one else’s view. Who would not be upset if their most sacred religious persona is willfully and thoroughly desecrated and their nose rubbed in it? And two, realizing and acknowledging this is not traitorous or apologist. It is simply being human and helpful to express understanding of their good religion’s importance to them. Just as ours is important to us; yours to you and mine to me. This will reduce the Osama-flame and then extinguish it.

People of the Muslim religion did not kill Ambassador Stephens and the others who have so tragically died. The killers were the militants and terrorists; and the rabble rousing crowd; fueled by Osama’s flaming hate. And the people that started and enabled that, are the makers of that sorry video.

Some who read this may say, well these people, whoever they are, have a right to free speech in this country. I say, yes they do have that right; yet with this right also comes responsibilities. In this case, particularly grave ones.

I believe that free speech is never “free”. What you say has consequences, good and bad. You must take responsibility, here and now to your fellow man and ultimately, later, to your maker wherever she may be.

So it is critical to vote in this election. There is much at stake. And Lord knows America can’t afford a mistake.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocence_of_Muslims

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444620104578010750711899438.html

http://abcnews.go.com/International/deadly-anti-us-riots-pakistan-obamas-ad-denouncing/story?id=17291751#.UF1OEVHEjnI

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2196969/Osama-Bin-Laden-death-Amazing-eyewitness-account-worlds-wanted-terrorist-shot.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Osama_bin_Laden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depictions_of_Muhammad

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/0920/Pakistani-TV-stations-air-a-real-Made-in-USA-video.-Will-it-calm-violence-video

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/09/21/regime_runs_apology_ad_on_pakistani_tv

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13034875-libyans-attack-militia-groups-protests-call-for-disarming-of-militias

Its the dishonesty, stupid!

At the Debates. Romney: I think Obama will lie. Sketch by Paul Stewart II

Mitt is totally independent. He was born himself; nursed himself, and never inherited a thing. Not even his genes. Maybe his jeans, that’s all. He actually built himself; out of ear wax and army surplus digital parts. Only thing missing is a heart, and a clear connection from his tongue to his brain. But hey, he’s self-made so he’s better than all the rest.

Romney is good at numbers, but not at people things. Sometimes he is confused – “people are corporations too!” for example. Its okay though, Mitt’s been successful as a corporate raider. So many corporations, so many people too, have been raided. So to Mitt it seems people and corporations are all the same. If you don’t need them, after their valuables have been drained, well; throw them out, let them go bankrupt or better yet, both! Show them who is the successful one!

Mitt is also not too good at saying what he is supposed to say; not at first. No internal processor at his core telling him when he gets out-of-bounds. After he’s said the wrong thing a few times, and he gets some vociferous, helpful feedback, he learns what to say though. Even if he still doesn’t quite say what he should, he stops saying what he shouldn’t.

Fortunately, his strength is in giving No Apologies. Not one! Never! Even if he is wrong; especially if he is wrong. Mitt knows only how to double down. It’s like a game to him. If you apologize, you lose.

Further, its hard because Mitt wouldn’t know an apology if it punched him in the nose. Umh.., well, I guess that’s not actually good, but its manly and tough. Unfortunately right now though, it is causing his campaign to fall down.

Mitt says his campaign is now about 100% of Americans; not exclusive of that 47% mentioned in that now infamous comment; or rather in that long-winded rant; which went on giving chapter and verse on dependency. Now that he has made the 100% of Americans clear, simply by saying it, we can be sure that it is true! It does not matter that it is 100% opposite to what he so passionately said before to his peers.

Yes Mitt’s campaign is about everyone: the good, the bad and the ugly! Even you! Maybe Barack too; if he would just provide his college transcript. Mitt’s campaign now officially includes everyone retroactively to the beginning of time; at least as far as the creation, but not the Big Bang. Just to make you feel how honest and sincere is this change for you going back its now permanent, although going forward……

It is certain that Mitt, as President will formulate manifestly appropriate provisions for the bad 47% along with the good guys like him in the 1%. And his policies will reflect his real thinking. Or whatever thinking he ends up with after a few false starts stating what he really thinks. Although at that point, as President, Mitt can stick more to what he really believes, if we only knew what it was…..

Seriously though, its okay! Mitt is just a misunderstood comedian. This has all been a joke; we have been “pranked”. It’s all in fun, it’s just a hair cut. Ann has told us before he is a bit of a prankster and likes to have fun with people. He really does intend to look after 100% of Americans. Maybe some just a little bit differently from others. But every single one.

You can trust Mitt! Ann has told us that too! And besides, he’s been open and shared everything with us; even one year of his “low tax” returns….. Mitt is so happy it was not a zero tax year, or he’d be in the 47% too; and deriding himself. That wouldn’t be funny; being lumped in with those um, low life people.

So don’t worry; be happy. Vote Mitt! He will be a sensational President. He Believes in America. No one it seems has even pointed out the best sign of his great qualifications! He is W. Mitt Romney. Another W.! Not just in substance but in name too!

So he is a sure-fire President. A safe bet indeed! It seems he will:

  1. inflame the Middle East; he’s already got the embers going, just look at his foreign tour, and the latest comments about how he will bring peace there;
  2. dismantle America’s safety net; who needs the meek and the weak? Let them inherit nothing too, and why not accelerate their decline (Mitt says let’s keep that our little secret; just like the tax returns, until say November 8th or perhaps 9th. No telling now ya hear?); and
  3. speed up the redistribution of all wealth to the rightful 1%.

Indeed on this last point, as President, Mitt will light a bonfire of opportunity for… well… for the 1%! Starting with himself and his family, and all of his friends. He has plans to put much of it in his blind trust where it can’t be seen.

The best part is the trickle down to you, the 52%, or is it the 99%; at least, the part of the trickle that doesn’t evaporate in the heat of the 1%’s success…..

And of course, after the 100% campaign, Pres. Romney will be true to his word; which ever one it is that he then decides he really meant. No risk for you there though….. we do know what he means.  Right?

What does Mitt really believe? It seems that he is in the Wonderland that Paul Ryan built on fictional works of Ayn Rand, along with Alice and Mad Dirty Harry. Will Americans see the truth and leave Mitt there?

Bear hugs for Obama; Lift off for America come election day?

It is so exciting to see the enthusiasm of Scott Van Duzer, the Pizza Restaurant owner in Miami, for Pres. Obama, as reported by multiple pool reporters. Fantastic! I hope and believe many Americans will have Scott’s level of enthusiasm for Obama on election day.

Americans are now coming to realize it is time; indeed, it is high noon. Americans of all stripes; red and blue stripes, black and white stripes, are best served to strongly unite behind Pres. Obama and his inclusive and progressive program for Americans. All aboard! Prepare for America’s final lift off out of the Great Recession!

Much of the ground work is laid. The crushing fall that started 4 years ago was stopped out in late 2009, some 18 months into Obama’s first term. America’s recovery phase then began. At its outset the pace of recovery was quickly building. However, it slowed in 2011 and 2012, principally because of “right wing” turbulence. and rogue economic waves washing back to American shores from overseas. Such as the well known Euro crisis and the slow downs in China and India.

America is now best served to re-elect Obama with a resounding vote on his clearly spelled out program to lay the foundation for an economy built to last. Americans can ill afford to change course now. They need to resolve to go forward with Obama’s good, practical and sensible plans to rebuild America and put her back to work. Not just to rebuild from the crash, but to build to her full potential, to finally make progress in restoring the American Dream. No squeaker election will get you there. It won’t take you forward, at best it would be a standstill, at worst, it will take you back.

And switching away from Obama makes no sense at this time. America needs to build on the strength and momentum of Obama’s good efforts so far. He will follow through and finish what he has started. In his eyes and in the lines of his face, the greying hairs, the serious demeanor, you can see and feel his steely courage, his mettle and his resolve.

America is best served if she follows through with Obama on his:

  • clear, inclusive program.
  • progressive social policies.
  • long-term vision for a more educated, more competitive workforce.
  • fiscal plans for the deficit and the debt. Plans that are not draconian and will not lead to a more prolonged recession.
  • courageous, measured and intelligent foreign policy.
  • vision to restore the American Dream.

It is in the interest of the large majority of Americans and America at large to re-elect Pres. Obama. It took courage to elect him in the first place, and it will take some courage to re-elect him. Particularly over the brew of visceral emotions and the cacophony of half-truths, one fifth truths and outright falsehoods. Yet, I believe he will be resoundingly re-elected. America needs him.

I have a lot of confidence in the American people. I believe they will give Obama a bear hug in the form of a strong mandate to lift America into a broad recovery and a renewed prosperity that will include you too!

 

 

Bill Clinton’s DNC speech triggers revisit of “insanity”; Romney believes.

Comments Thursday night by Pres. Bill Clinton in Charlotte, N.C. have triggered a search for a new definition of insanity. Political insanity at least. Indeed, multiple definitions are emerging. Comments made by Pres. Clinton have crystallized the basis for a new definition.

To paraphrase Pres. Clinton, he basically said, Pres. George W. Bush and the Republicans gave Obama a financial and economic Armageddon just days before handing Obama the reigns. Yet now, Gov. Mitt Romney and the Republicans want Americans to fire Obama and hire them back! The logic? Obama is not cleaning up their mess fast enough!

Republicans have long been publicly declaring their visceral dislike of the President. Also, that their prime focus and number one goal is removing Obama from office. This goal’s battle plan includes thwarting all Obama’s economic moves to deliver America to a full recovery and renewed prosperity. It has been noted to Republicans that the shackling of Obama’s efforts, are at the cost of the American people and economy.

No embarrassment or twangs of guilt have been expressed however. Perhaps Republicans feel this cost for Americans is the price of admission to the show they have put on. Indeed they feel it has been an impressive and worthy show. Americans have witnessed challenging, almost magical ideological and verbal contortions. There has been Olympian flip-flopping, double speaking and some mild fibbing.

Obviously, the right thing for the Republicans to do is work with their President in these nearly unprecedented times. Had they done so, I believe many millions of Mitt’s promised jobs could already be counted on the recovery score board. And one of them might already have been yours! Yet, instead of helping Pres. Obama, when he repeatedly asked, they said “You do that! That’s not our job!”

Mitt today was lamenting the August jobs report, which is an increase in jobs, however, as Pres. Obama has said, this is not enough; more must be done. However, as Bill Clinton so eloquently and forcefully explained, in any discussion of the unemployment rate, and job losses, you have to start from America losing 750,000 (yes, 750 thousand – you read that right) jobs per month during the first 18 months of Obama’s term.

By the 19th month, Obama managed to put a floor under the free fall. However, the financial & economic collapse carpet bombed 4.5 million jobs out of the economy. In the 29 months since the floor, Obama’s efforts show consistent, albeit not rapid, recovery. Nearly all those lost jobs are now recovered. This is not a bad thing, even if it is less than desired. And, those jobs originally were not lost by Obama. Mitt and the Republicans don’t believe they were, but they would like you to.

So, what is the new definition of insanity?

  1. Believing Republicans are helping Pres. Obama with getting America’s recovery going?
  2. Believing Republican shape shifting ideology trumps progress through working together?
  3. Believing Obama should own Bush et al’s Armageddon; all 4.5 million bombed out jobs?
  4. Believing Republican propaganda that Obama failed and is the problem; whereas Mitt, and the Republicans, are a solution?
  5. Believing Obama is incompetent because he can’t handle the Armageddon in a timely manner? Republicans are more quickly able to handle their own Armageddon?
  6. Believing Obama is too slow with job creation; because if Republicans can lose jobs at 750 thousand per month, Obama is a lesser being because he is only able to recover them much slower?
  7. Believing you can stock pile thwarted jobs for after an election?
  8. Believing that Mitt Believes in America?
  9. Believing in the Republican’s alternate reality and history. And that that single set of foot prints can only be your own; all as illustrated by the remaining set of footprints at the RNC?

Or is it all of the above? You decide!

I would love to hear if you believe you have a better definition of insanity. Please share it in the comments section below.

If you are grounded in facts and reality, then no matter where in the world you are, when you look up – you will see Obama’s vision, strength and leadership…

Obama believes in America, does Romney? Or is Mitt really just becoming the new definition of “pirate”?

I feel a new opinion piece coming on…… stay tuned…

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Are we better off than four years ago? What will Obama say at the DNC in Charlotte?

Sunday, on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, George asked White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe three times whether the United States is now better off than four years ago. It was entertaining to watch Plouffe, who did not directly answer that question.

To some people it may seem odd that Plouffe didn’t answer head on. Stephanopoulos’ three-peat implies, and many right-wing political commentators are saying, that Obama is culpable and America deserves better. Although I agree the Plouffe conversation was odd, it was not odd because he didn’t directly answer the question. Let me explain.

Obviously, it is a dangerous question to answer directly. No matter what you say, you seem to make the excuse that it is former president George W. Bush‘ fault. I know Pres. Barack Obama approaches things with truth. So the only other alternative is a truthful answer – that America is now approaching where she was four years ago. People have been through hell and don’t really feel things are getting that much better yet, and might not for a while. However, things are getting better and the pace will accelerate, Europe and China willing.

For Republicans, led by Gov. Mitt Romney, fiction is perhaps a third answer. They seem happy with fiction, including three-hour marathons, social and fiscal policies based on Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” and indeed, an entirely fictional world, akin (or perhaps Akin?) to Alice in Wonderland. A world wherein Gov. Romney is divining an alternate, amnesiac history of America’s arrival to this election. (You can refer to the link below for my September 1, 2012 article “Only a single set of footprints remain at the Tampa RNC” for elaboration on that world.)

I think, in order to avoid a potential “gotcha” moment, Plouffe repeatedly answered indirectly and in a way that left that four letter word “Bush” out of the sentence. It seems that neither side can bear to say it. I believe Pres. Obama well understands and is carrying out his challenging responsibilities. He is not looking for scapegoats or sympathy and he credits the American people with the capacity to remember who was George W. Bush. Certainly though, no one is going to ask where is he?

The oddity to me is this – why was Stephanopoulos so persistently asking the wrong question? Now my thinking might seem odd to you! But think of this. Four years after Katrina hit New Orléans – was it reasonable to ask New Orléans if it was better off than before Katrina? Four years after 9/11 – was it reasonable to ask New York or America if it was better off than before 9/11? Self-evident answers. No. And no.

You can argue 9/11 or Katrina was a greater human tragedy. However, the impact on America of the 2008 financial system meltdown and the ensuing recession is unprecedented except for the Great Depression. Also, and importantly, by their nature and condition, America’s challenges – fiscal, financial system, economic and political; created what has been a deep and intractable recession.

Bush created the elements of the underlying intractable situation in America. Borne of two fundamental things he did over his 8 year tenure. First, he set America on what is best described as her Titanic course, by fundamentally altering the U.S. fiscal and budget situation. He started with a yearly income that was reducing America’s borrowing and turned that into a massive yearly loss, and in doing that he dramatically ramped up borrowing. He did more than just create a fundamental shortfall in revenue compared to costs. In fact, he created a fast growing, exponentially growing, shortfall. And a fast growing national debt. He did this principally by enacting the now famous “Bush tax cuts” and also large “unfunded” Medicare entitlement and war spending increases.

The second thing Bush did, was enable the engineering and installation of WMD in America’s financial system. For example, he enabled NINJA, or no-income, no-job mortgages and loans. Plus the creation and sale of trillions of dollars of mortgage and loan packages that were seeded with these toxic bad loans and related derivatives. Thereby multiplying their toxic impact more than tenfold. And the WMD were duly set off just as Bush left office with their full damage and destruction evident only after some 12 months.

This is what generated this Great Intractable Recession. It bears noting that the financial meltdown made it more severe than a typical business cycle recession. A strong financial system and a strong fiscal situation are the main tools for generating a quick recovery. Given what Bush’ era and the WMD had wrought, America’s confidence and on the restorative leverage of her financial and fiscal condition cannot help, and in fact, impair her recovery.

And that red elephant we see every day that is riding, kicking and screaming, on the President’s back? Yeah, that is a big part of the challenge too….

The right question(s)? Try these:

  • What has it been like fighting back from the twin financial and economic calamities?
  • What are the things already done, what are you doing now?
  • How far along are we in the recovery phase? It seems to be taking forever.
  • What can everyone do to help move America forward?
  • What can we expect in the next 4 years if Obama is re-elected?
  • Oh and of course, how has it been carrying that big red elephant on your back?

I think Obama and his team are going to answer some of these questions for everyone this week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

So stay tuned!

References.

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12889195-footprints-at-the-republican-national-convention-in-tampa-florida

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-obama-senior-adviser-david-plouffe/story?id=17116438

http://www.boston.com/politicalintelligence/2012/09/02/democrats-defend-president-obama-after-mitt-romney-says-americans-are-not-better-off-than-they-were-four-years-ago/KS2ogcsMiaCzwrQnO6gJdO/story.html?rss_id=Top+Stories

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-gladnick/2012/09/02/david-plouffe-dodges-stephanopoulos-better-four-years-ago-question-thre