And Next Tuesday’s Winner Will Be……..

For better or for worse, the absolutely brutal 2012 presidential election cycle will hopefully and mercifully end sometime next week, after the last polls close late on Tuesday, November 6th.  “Hopefully”…because it’s possible to have a repeat of the election count/recount/court battle that ensued in Florida in 2000 when neither GW Bush nor Al Gore could definitively claim the presidency until the Supreme Court settled the issue on December 12, 2000, almost 5 weeks after the November 7th election of that year.

We all know how THAT turned out, don’t we?

It could possibly happen again in one of the swing states, including Florida, where in 2000 the use of paper “butterfly ballots” was an issue.  This year most polling places are using electronic voting machines, but there is some suspicion about them as well.  And of course, with this election being so close in so many states, challenges to the initial result are probably inevitable.  But hopefully (there’s that pesky word again) we will get through the challenges quickly enough to not dramatically affect either the outcome or the timing of the final determination of the winner.

Most (but clearly not all) voters are aware that this election also involves electing congress because all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives are in play every two years, as well as one third of US senators.  In this hyper-partisan environment, the party that wins/retains a majority in each house of congress will have a much greater impact on voters’ lives and future than the individual members that win elections.  In each house of congress, the majority party will control the schedule, the agenda, the committees and subcommittees.  This is incredibly significant considering the fiscal cliff of “sequestration” looming on January 2nd, 2013.

Thus, the election of congress is a lot more important than most people realize.  Even republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said that he doesn’t think sequestration can be fixed during the lame duck session of congress, which will occur after the election but before the newly elected members replace the losers and/retirees in January 2013.  That’s probably because the losers and retirees that are leaving in January have nothing more to lose if they defy their “no comprise” lunatic GOP leadership.

With this in mind, here are the predictions:

US House of Representatives:  The GOP will retain a majority of seats, and therefore control, but their present lopsided majority of 241 republicans to 194 democrats will be significantly reduced, perhaps by as many as 10, though more likely by five.  Five democratic pickups would change the numbers to 236 to 199, while 10 pickups would result in final numbers of 231 republicans to 204.  That would make it harder, but still not impossible, for the House to continue to stonewall ANY democratic proposals.

US Senate:  The democrats will retain control, although they will likely lose at least one seat of their slim majority to the GOP.  That doesn’t do much either way, since they still need 60 votes to break any GOP filibuster, which the GOP has used more over the past four years of the Obama administration than in all of previous US history combined before 2009.  The chances are that they will not be able to overcome the filibuster.

And finally…the presidency, itself:  Romney and his “lie, pivot, lie, deny, lie, change positions, etch-a sketch” campaign organization probably felt their stomachs hit the floor with a loud thud when the largest (in girth) Romney surrogate in existence, New Jersey’s republican governor Chris Christie, said on national TV yesterday for the whole world to hear that Obama was doing a great job during the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  he called the president’s response to the disaster “outstanding”, and said that FEMA was doing  great job coordinating with state and local disaster relief efforts.

 See it HEREChristie praises Obama

This flies in the face of Romney’s statements about FEMA during a 2011 republican presidential debate, when he said he’d eliminate FEMA and send its role and its responsibilities down to the states, and and that he would even privatize it if he could.  Anyone paying attention would see this as yet another case of Romney not being able to get his foot out of his mouth fast enough.  The result?  The polls show Obama opening his lead in many swing states and even taking the lead in Florida away from Romney for the first time since early October, right after the first debate.  Of course, that’s right now, not next Tuesday.  🙂

So, assuming Obama doesn’t screw up bad over the next six days, and Friday’s job report isn’t too bad, Obama, who needs 270 electoral votes to win re-election, is going to win 290 electoral votes.  And if the jobs report on Friday IS bad, Obama will still win with 271 elector votes.  It’s arithmetic, as Bill Clinton said.

That would make Mitt Romney the LOSER!!!! 

Actually, come to think of it, he already IS a loser.

 

If You’re STILL Undecided, You Shouldn’t be Voting

Do you remember the 1978 hit song by Meatloaf, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”?

 

Meatloaf sang that two out of three ain’t bad;  He wants her, he needs her, but “there ain’t’ no way” he’s “ever gonna love her”.  Why does that ring a bell…?

President Obama and Mitt Romney have now completed their three debates, with Obama winning two out of three (which ain’t bad, don’cha know).  He might well have won the first one, too, if he had just remembered to bring his mind along with his body, but he left it elsewhere that night.  As a result, Romney took the first debate, giving his campaign quite a boost in the polls.  The final two debates should have similarly swung the remaining “undecideds” towards Obama, but they didn’t!

Thus, with 13 days left before election day in the USA and early voting already underway in many states, the remaining “undecideds” must be either

1.  not paying attention (which should disqualify them from voting),

2.  remaining undecided because they are SEEKING attention,

3.  have no idea how the US government really works (this alone should be disqualifying in its own right), or

4.  just have issues with basic decision-making.

This last category of people is easily recognized:  They can’t decide such simple things as which sock to put on first, the left one or the right one, or whether to put sugar in their coffee before or after the cream…or milk…or coffee-mate (they also can’t decide which).  The world is a confusing place for these people, and confused people shouldn’t be voting, either.  And why?  Because their confused vote might well elect the next president that the rest of us have to endure for 4 years, to say nothing of the congresspeople and senators who will decide our laws.  Remember Florida in 2000?

Besides electing the president of the USA for the next four years which includes the general agenda of the president’s political party (a fact lost on many), general elections are extremely critical in a polarized nation like the USA.  That’s because in each of the two houses of congress (the House of Representatives and the US Senate, for those who aren’t really sure), the party with the majority controls the agenda of proposed legislation that gets debated and voted on, as well as (pay attention…possible test question) the various committees in each house that mark up legislation before it any full vote.

These facts seem lost on many voters who are still “undecided”.  They only consider the person, and not what the person’s election might mean to the party’s political power to control budgets and laws for years to come.  These facts are just TMI (too much information) for many “undecideds” to deal with…just more data seemingly designed to add to the already overwhelming confusion and turmoil over whom to vote for…or, put another way, who to saddle the rest of us with for the next 2 or 4 or 6 years.

And if someone doesn’t know why it’s either 2 or 4 or 6 years, that person shouldn’t be voting, either.

Based upon not only the candidate but the candidate’s party affiliation, a primary criteria any voter should consider is the philosophical views and positions of the candidate’s party that will be brought to office, and the effect of that on the power of that party in government.  Unfortunately, most independent voters tend to ignore this completely, even if they can make an early decision.

Thus, if an voter is still undecided only 13 days out from the election, the basic political competency, intelligence, and knowledge of that person should be challenged.  After all, aren’t those the reasons that children aren’t allowed to vote…because they are, as a general rule, politically incompetent and ignorant and inexperienced in political realities?  What, then, is the difference between those children and undecided voters only 13 days left in an election that began almost two years ago?

Conversely, on the extreme opposite end of this issue are voters who have extremist views that they would imposed upon all of us if they could.  No, not the Taliban, but people like  republican Richard Mourdock of Indiana, running for the US senate and claiming that pregnancies resulting from rape are “God’s will” (no shit!) and whom Mitt Romney has endorsed (now pay attention), or republican congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, seeking re-election, who believes a pregnant woman’s life is NEVER in danger, (no shit, again!), or even republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, seeking re-election, who thinks homosexuality is a disease that can be cured at her family’s clinic with prayer therapy. (yeah, she really does!!)

So: Pop Quiz time:  What’s the connection there?  Three congresspeople with extreme views, one with Romney’s endorsement:  the beginning of a political power caucus in congress that could ultimately be powerful enough to impose extremism upon others.  If they can convinced the undecided voter, that’s even more dangerous.

So if you’re still undecided, then PLEASE stay home and don’t vote.  We PROMISE we won’t tell on you.

Presidential Debate #2: “Rocky II” vs “Binders Full of Women”…WOW!!

Barack Obama became Rocky Balboa in “Rocky II” last night.  And his closing statement in the debate about Mitt Romney’s previous “47% of Americans” statement almost sounded like when Rocky yelled “Yo, ADRIANNNNNNE….I DID IT!!!!!! at the end of that movie (watch it HERE…skip to 3:30)

Like, WOW!!!!, dude.  🙂

This was not the Barack Obama that snoozed through the first debate two weeks ago, wondering why he even had to be there.  This Obama was energized, assertive, in command of facts and data, folksy with the audience, and didn’t let Mitt Romney get away with most (though not all) of his fabrications and unworkable solutions.

Mitt Romney, for his part, continued to pivot his positions on issues such as contraception availability, his impossible, unworkable tax reduction plan, taking credit for accomplishments in Massachusetts in which he had little or no part, and demonstrating his total insensitivity or complete lack of understanding for women’s equality and issues.

Regarding women, he made it crystal clear that he thinks that women need special “flexibility” in the workplace because they need to get home in time to cook dinner.  Evidently, he is so wound up in his traditionalist roles of men and women that he is unaware that there are lots of men who also have the same need to get home to take care of kids and cook dinner as well.  This is not the 12th century anymore, but you might not have been able to make that distinction if you only had Romney’s statements about women at last night’s debate.

Romney also tried to push his traditionalist views on marriage and child-bearing, tying those views to gun violence in the USA.   He acknowledged, possibly after he realized that he had insulted single parents, that there are good single mothers and fathers out there, but the clear implication of his comments was that gun violence and children raised by single unmarried parents were connected.

He also made a big deal about how he had been a missionary (in France, mind you, not in darkest dangerous Africa), and how he had been a pastor in his church for years.  How being a missionary and religious pastor somehow qualifies someone to be the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation on Earth was neither explained nor hinted at.

A couple of times during the debate Romney got into Obama’s face, interrupting the president in mid-sentence and challenging him to answer some question or other.  And when Obama began to answer the question, Romney interrupted him again and asked the same question.  It looked like a Romney effort to bully and intimidate the president.  To his credit, Obama didn’t allow himself to overreact to Romney’s rude behavior, and the tactic mostly backfired.

The president, for his part, was mostly strong and confident and continuously took the fight to Romney.  Obama seemed mostly relaxed, almost enjoying himself, with the exception that on a couple of isolated occasions he seemed to be groping for words.  However, compared to the first debate, Obama stood his ground, explaining facts and numbers, and addressing the audience in a personal and credible way.  Obama did himself a lot of good, particularly in light of his embarrassing performance during the first debate which Romney did not so much win as the president lost HUGE.   In the words of some of the pundits, Obama, at a minimum, stopped the bloodletting.

There also were two other extremely memorable moments in this debate, besides Obama’s closing statement where he absolutely SLAMMED Romney on his secretly recorded statement that 47% of Americans are a bunch of freeloading, government-dependent “victims”  (watch that HERE).

The first moment was when Romney attempted to convince the audience that he proactively supports equal pay for women because he recruited women in Massachusetts in 2004 from “Binders Full of Women”  (his words!).  As one might expect, this gaffe has gone absolutely viral in cyberspace.  Within two minutes of Romney inserting his foot in his mouth with this phrase, a web site was secured to display multiple humorous possibilities of what “binders full of women” might look like.  Check it out HERE.

The second, and one that promises to become a historical (and perhaps hysterical) moment in presidential debating, was when Romney demonstrated his utter ignorance of recent history regarding the assassination of 4 Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.  You actually have to watch Romney’s own words to understand how badly he looked on this issue:

This exchange sucked all the air out of the GOP’s recent attacks on the Obama’s administration’s handling of this affair.  It demonstrates that the GOP will invent any issue and then promote their fabrications as fact.  But last night, it was laid bare for all to see.

Question:  How can there still be undecided voters after this?

Answer:  Because some people are chronically stupid.

Why Tea Party Extremism Is Dangerous

With less than a month until the US presidential election,people seem to be focused on the forthcoming vice-presidential and 2 remaining presidential debates.

But something much more insidious than the political lies heard at debates is hanging on this election, which for reasons that defy logic has not gotten the public attention that it should.  The religious extremism of certain elected GOP officials has seemingly gone largely unnoticed and under-appreciated for its potentially damaging influence over the lives of everyone in this country.

For starters, many Tea Party members of the US government operate from a fundamentalist religious point of view, opposing abortion, contraception, gay rights, separation of THEIR church and state, equal pay and rights for women, evolution, global warming, stem cell research, respect for science, and other “anti-scripture” views.  And this force covertly works to undermine the social and scientific progress of the past 200 years in the USA.

Consider, for example, Todd Akins, the republican US congressman from Missouri, who is running for US senate against democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill.  Akin has made a whole litany of statements that reflect the extremism that seems to go hand-in-hand with contempt for science ans social freedoms:

“[Social Security and Medicare] are enslaving people and destroying people’s lives… Basically we fought a war on slavery already, we don’t want that anymore.” (1/10/12)

*   “[Doctors are] giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant.” (1/22/08)

*   “I think [food stamps are] destructive; putting people in chains to the welfare state is not compassionate and it needs to stop.” (6/11/12)

*   “One of the things that did distinguish me from some of my colleagues here was the fact that I would support a repeal of the 17th Amendment.” (6/11/12)

*   “Our freedom is seriously threatened right now… I hope we will fight the battle with ballots and not bullets, but the Second Amendment is our last ditch of defense.” (4/24/12)

*   “[Claire] had a confidence and was much more ladylike [in 2006], but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging.” (9/26/12)

*   “The federal government is destroying things right now. It’s paying women to have children out of wedlock. What you pay for, you get more of. That’s nuts.” (5/25/12)

*   “The bottom line is you’ve got a conservative House, you’ve got a bunch of socialists in the Senate, and you’ve got a commie President. That’s where we are.” (4/16/11)

*   “[Student loans are] the stage three cancer of socialism that is threatening our freedom.” (6/2/12)

*   “From what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” (8/19/12)

“I don’t believe in [global warming] at all, okay?… I just don’t think the evidence is good there from a scientific point of view.” (8/1/12)

Although many people have already seen these statements, Akin is still running even with McCaskill in Missouri, which says something very scary about half of the Missouri voters.

And there are other, somewhat less reported incidents that foretell a potentially ominous story for the USA should the GOP somehow regain full control of both the US congress and the presidency.  Remember Mitt Romney has no positions of his own on anything other than those of the people he’s facing and/or dealing with:

In Arkansas, republican state representative Ron Hubbard stated publicly that slavery was a “blessing in disguise” for the African Americans because without it, they would still be poor in Africa.  And another republican running for the Arkansas house of representatives, Charlie Fuqua, advocates deporting all Muslims for the USA, as well as the death penalty for unruly children!

And moreRepublican US congressman Paul Broun from Georgia has called evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory “lies from the pit of hell!“, adding that the Earth is only 9000 years old, was made in just 6 days, and that “God’s word is true.”  Unimaginably, he is running with NO opposition from a democrat in his district…which means he’s re-elected to Congress!!

Even morerepublican US senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma recently stated that global warming is the biggest hoax ever, because the scriptures (!!) says that Noah was told that after the flood that killed everyone on Earth except Noah’s immediate family, that God felt so bad that He said He’ll never do it again!!

WTF!!!!!!

And finally, these folks believe to a somewhat less violent extent (for now) what the Taliban believes when it comes to women:  They are not really equals, and their body parts must not be mentioned in public.  The very word “vagina” is abhorrent because vaginas are evil items that cast evil magical spells upon men.  Remember when Michigan state rep Lisa Brown was recently banned from the GOP-controlled Michigan state house for saying the word “vagina”?

People need to be afraid, They need to wake up, and they need to act NOW, because if the GOP sweeps this election, the motto in this country will be…

America:  Welcome to the 12th Century

 

 

p.s.  No wonder 20% of the people in this country claim total non-affiliation with any religion….

 

Presidential Debate #1: WTF!!!!???!???!

If you’re an Obama fan and you missed last night’s debate, you were one of the lucky ones.

Although the smart money still says Mitt Romney will still lose this year’s presidential election, note that if he does lose, it won’t be because of his performance standing up to president Obama last night.

Romney came to the debate prepared…ready to engage the president, cast doubt and aspersions against the president’s policies and record over the past three and a half years, and to demonstrate to the undecided voters that he has what it takes to take on the US president in public.

Obama, on the other hand, simply showed up, seemingly reluctantly.  He had none of the fire we have come to expect from him when he passionately speaks on the campaign trail.  He countered Romney’s steel-sworded attacks on his record and policies as if he was sparring back with a rubber sword in his hand.

What’s worse and absolutely unacceptable in a debate of this kind is that when Romney spouted his lies and misleading claims, Obama just let them stand without challenge.

When the debate was finally and mercifully over, the press was quickly unanimous, as were the multiple subsequent polls, that Romney had won the debate hands down.  He had been decisive and aggressive debating the president.  He had appeared cool, calm, and confident.  The president looked and sounded like he needed a nap.

Romney used an additional tactical tool  to win this debate:  Lies.

To be fair, Obama stretched the truth a few times as well, but Romney completely lied about his tax break plans, his Romney-care experience, his Obama-care replacement plans, and a multitude of other issues.  He said that 23 million people in the USA are unemployed, which is false.  He said that there was no tax deduction for moving a company overseas, when there is.  He said that Obamacare had caused healthcare premiums to rise by $2500 a year, which is not only untrue, but the last year’s rise is the lowest rise in many,many years.

For most of these lies, president Obama just let them slide.

However, The Daily Kos did a partial list of Romney’s debate lies that is worth repeating here.

  • The Lie:  Romney claimed that “pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.”                                     
  • The Truth:  They’re not.
  • The Lie:  Romney said that President Obama had “cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare.”
  • The Truth:  Obama didn’t.
  • The Lie:  Romney denied proposing a $5 trillion tax cut.
  • The Truth:  He did.
  • The Lie:  Romney said President Obama had “added almost as much to the federal debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
  • The Truth:  Not even close.
  • The Lie:  Romney resurrected “death panels.”
  • The Truth:  That was called “one of the biggest whoppers of the night.”
  • The Lie:  Romney stated that half the green energy companies given stimulus funds had failed.               
  • The TruthOnly if three out of nearly three dozen is half.

The real burning question has to be:  Why the F**K did Obama act in the lackluster way that he did, allowing Romney to climb all over him?  We can only speculate about the answer is.

Obama and his advisers are smart people.  They surely believed that Obama was ready for the debate after being prepped for it, just as Romney was prepped by his people for the same debate.

But Obama has a problem with marketing that we have all seen before.  He assumes that the American people are all intelligent folks that research the truth about legislatively passed programs, as well as the veracity of political claims by political candidates.  He first demonstrated this undeserved faith in people when he and the democrats passed health care reform in 2010, and then did an absolutely awful job of marketing the benefits of the health care reform law.  The republicans then turned it into an anthrax attack against the American people.

Thus, last night was like the aftermath of the 2010 passage of health care reform all over again.  The republicans, this time spearheaded by Mitt Romney and his entourage of lying thugs, climbed all over Obama in the debates, and Obama was caught flatfooted.  It’s a safe bet that no one was more shocked then Obama himself that he had sucked so bad during the debate with Mitt (The-Lying-Twit) Romney.

Today Obama and his advisers have got to be smarting over his horrible performance last night, while the republicans are celebrating Romney’s first-debate victory over Obama.  But there are still two more to go, plus a vice-presidential “for-entertainment-purposes only” debate that although fun to watch, will serve no useful purpose.  🙂

And hopefully, Obama will be Rocky…he’ll come back ready to take on Romney regarding his credibility, his lies, his twisted reality, and his idiotic flip-flopping positions on EVERYTHING  over the past year.

Because if he doesn’t, the next four years are really gonna suck.  HUGE.