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…


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!


After the RNC in Tampa, only a single set of footprints remains

The Republicans wrapped up their convention in Tampa last Thursday. It was an impressively successful exercise in alternate reality. Indeed, it often seemed like “Alice in Wonderland.” Let me explain.

The beautiful Ann Romney as Alice; Clint Eastwood as an Albert Einstein-inspired Mad Hatter; former Massachusetts governor and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, with his incessantly cocked head and deceitful grin, as the Cheshire Cat; Paul Ryan, with his fictional Ayn Rand principles and his fact-check fails on Obama’s views, proposals and policies, as the wonderland itself.

Mitt and Paul also divined, especially for the GOP Fantasy Convention, an alternate history of America’s arrival here. The convention featured, courtesy of Mad Harry, a discussion with President Obama, who was “present” but not as an African American, but rather as a colorless man, or, I guess, an apparition.

What a show it was! It underscores the dysfunctional political three-ring circus that is “modern” America. I think such politics have raised the steep hurdles America and indeed as collateral damage, the global community faces too. What is at the core of this Wonderland, you ask? Well, it is the notion that President Obama is somehow an empty suit, or as Mad Harry illustrated in his circus like presentation, an empty seat at Mad Harry’s Tea Party.

It is the notion that the president of the United States has been AWOL from day one. Despite probably being a nice guy, he is incompetent, in over his head and incapable. You know, that despite all the prayers, blessings and support of the GOP, Obama is failing America. Somehow, the President should just step aside, accept his fate, and let a real man take over. Or is it a real corporation? In the form of Mitt Romney & Co. Sure, Obama inherited a bit of a tough situation from that other guy whose name shall never again cross our lips in public, but hey; that was then and this is now!

Well, let truth ring throughout the land! This situation America faces is like no other. Not even the Great Depression. While the Depression was economically worse, the 2008 meltdown and current long slow recovery is nearly as bad. And it is I believe, actually worse in terms of the politics, given the GOP war on all things Obama. Let’s apply the salve of truth to heal the wounds, to climb back up and out of the Rabbit Hole, or Romney Hood, or whatever…. and restore America and the American Dream……

The truth is that George W. Bush handed President Obama a colossal, intractable mess. It was borne of two fundamental things that Bush did as president. First, he set America on her Titanic course. He fundamentally altered the annual U.S. budget situation – taking a yearly income that was reducing America’s borrowing and turning it into a massive annual loss, thereby dramatically ramping up borrowing. He did that within his first two years in office. He did it by altering both sides of the budget equation – he enacted huge tax cuts, and also large entitlement and war spending increases. Less income, more expense.

This Titanic course, or perhaps more a Titanic curse – he cast in stone. The political challenges of reversing it are nearly impossible to meet. It requires either raising taxes or cutting spending on valued programs, and more likely both. Further, it is stymied by the new politics of filibustering and other obstructionist tactics by the minority against the majority – what I would call the anti-democracy.

The second thing Bush did is 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. And the creation and sale of trillions of dollars of mortgage and loan packages that were seeded with these toxic bad loans and related derivatives. These NINJA loans were thereby multiplied more than tenfold. And these economic WMD were duly set off just as Bush left office.

The impact, as we are all painfully aware, was near collapse of America’s and, by extension, the developed world’s, financial systems, along with George Bush’s ensuing America-led global recession. Like the Titanic rapidly taking on water and listing, America lost jobs at a rate of some 750,000 each month! And like the Titanic‘s iron hull colliding with the iceberg, the financial meltdown was especially damaging in a way that a typical business cycle recession is not. It was actually catastrophic. One of the main tools for dealing with a typical recession is the financial system. America’s confidence and the restorative leverage available from this tool, was not only damaged, it was very nearly destroyed.

Yet, the TARP program and Obama’s stimulus ended that dramatic death spiral in some 18 months. Unfortunately, this inflicted on America the painful loss of some 4 million jobs. And it robbed America of the principle tools needed for her recovery, such as a strong financial system and fiscal situation. If there is a president to fault, that absolutely is Bush’ fault. We all know that.

In the following two years Obama plugged the gaping hole in America’s hull. The stimulus, health care and other policies Obama has managed to get done have nearly recovered the 4 million lost jobs. The ship is nearly righted. Now, as President Obama has said that is hardly enough, and he is working to get much more done. I would say, given this full context, that it is hardly nothing, either.

The incredible thing is that Obama has walked pretty much alone here – ironically, a bit like the characters from Clint’s movies. Congressional leaders have failed him. Perhaps rather, they decided to be unhelpful in what they still think is a clever sort of way. The GOP’s war on Obama is effective given the tyranny possible by minority party filibustering and other blocking maneuverings. The GOP; the Party of anti-democracy in America.

This is no hypothesis or fantasy; it is fact. GOP leaders are candid, vocal and clear about this war. They are on record. It is their intention to stop Obama and what that has meant is slowing or even stopping America’s recovery. This, in hopes of – wait for it…. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and others being able to say what they said in Wonderland Tampa. Somehow its all President Obama’s fault. Mitt’s speech was, more or less, written in December of 2008, together with the GOP game plan to make it so Obama couldn’t build that recovery.

Its like the footprints in the sand…… you know, the parable, but paraphrased a bit. Looking back, Mitt and the Republicans see just one set of footprints in the sand where they were walking and Obama was trying to work together with them.

Mitt and the GOP look back and point to the one set of footprints, knowing full well whose they are. And, they cry “Mr. President, you have failed us! You have not led, and were not even at our side during our time of need! You are not capable of helping!”

Yet, in truth, we know those are Obama’s footprints. This whole time calmly carrying all Americans forward to a better future…..

What’s Romney’s vision? The skull & bones?

Personally, I think Gov. Mitt Romney might still be involved in Bain. It is clear he was involved well beyond 1999. He owned the company at least into 2002 sometime, perhaps longer. He took such a huge part of it with him in his eventual “retroactive retirement package”, that he must still have interest in it today. We may never know for sure …

I can’t fathom Mitt’s interest in the Presidency. Its not obvious that he has a real vision for America. The jobs mantra is a no brainer, everyone knows that is what is needed. Mitt assumes the masses can be bought with that one promise. From what I can make of it so far, his interest is more about greater fortunes for him and for his friends and his Church. All at your expense and the expense of the majority of Americans.

Once he and the super wealthy 500 have cornered most of America’s money, they can decide how to trickle a bit of it down. More efficient than everyone having a fair chance for themselves and it can be done in a more morally “correct” manner.

Truth is, Mitt is not the right man for the Presidency. He is not even a business man as he advertises. He is actually a pirate, dressed in a business suit! He started Bain Capital and he led the busting and looting of the treasuries of umpteen hundreds or even thousands of companies. Draining their cash and dumping their humans into the street. And he’s buried all the treasure in the Caribbean. Under the Romney skull and bones, except – them’s your bones!

And then of course, tax piracy tactics. Romney and Bain are the bane of the IRS and the American fiscal situation. If the money is in the Caribbean, it might as well not exist for America. This reflects on Romney’s character in two ways. First, it tells us again how ruthless are his ways achieving his own interests. Second, it tells us he is not a risk taker / job creator and he does not Believe in America. Otherwise, he would share his tax returns to show he paid his full fair share and he would put his money where his mouth is and invest his hundreds of millions in America. Maybe even in GM @ Janesville.

Rep. Paul Ryan is his “Lyin’” ideologist (“idiotologist?”) with the enabling idiotology to do more of this on a much larger scale. His philosophy and policies are, as we all know, based on the fictional works of Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. These are simply not true; not even possible, but hey – it helps to support the greater narrative! Aside from growing their noses, this will also grow Mitt’s and Ryan’s immense wealth, principally by eating more of America’s lunch. And the GOP will by night be supervising the bedrooms of the nation, and limiting your freedoms there.

This is disconcerting. Consider for example Todd Akin’s stunning comments on rape and abortion made as though everyone in America agrees with Dark Ages science and social mores. What is so amazing to me is that none of this was touched upon at the RNC last week. It was just an attitude of “We got women too ya know! Look around the convention center – you see them everywhere! We even got a few up on stage. They know their place. We respect and love them, at least the ones that legitimately behave.”

It seems the GOP thinks its acronym stands for God’s Own Party. The Party is not even thinking about changing its views on rape and abortion. Instead, its leadership is trying to cut its exposure – Todd Akin; just “abort” him if you will. Karl Rove, always pushing the envelope, is offering to do worse. And Mitt’s modus operandi is to not talk about it until after the election! Just like his plan for pretty much everything else. Who really knows what he thinks, and since he is not saying, it can’t be good. If necessary, I guess the fall back is to lie in the interest of the greater narrative.

The Republicans in this era are looking to shackle people with bad policies. You know! Have them die sooner and younger with Dark Ages religious ideology, and with poor social policies including “for profit” rather than “for life” health care. Especially older people and anyone that is “needy” or “weak”. Republicans seem to believe the weaker, the older, the poor, the women, the troubled, and so on, should go to Heaven early. God can take care of them. Too expensive here. Gets in the way of tax reductions, wealth accumulation, and the superiority of the w(h)ealthy class.

Mitt’s rallying cry is “Let’s take the Presidency” and “Let’s take the country back”. Well they belong to the American people Mitt and frankly, I am not aware anyone else has taken them.

But you can bet that Mitt and the GOP will indeed take the country back. Way back! Back to before womens’ rights. Back to before human rights. All the way back! To cave man days and to your early grave.

This is the new Republican vision for the greatest nation on earth! One that is too poor to care for its old, too heartless to care for its weak, too biased to treat women as equal and free to choose, and too self righteous and “Godly” to actually do any good.

This is not a platform, it is a tragedy.

Post Script: If Romney became President, look for his hundreds of millions to turn into billions in his so called “blind trust”. Indeed, it is more like a one eyed trust. He gets to look in and call the shots on his money, while his money can’t be seen. Tax return disclosure? Any disclosure? Not on your life!;contentBody