Saturday, September 29, 2012

Obama: the Great Candidate

Romney is such a bad candidate that it's easy to see him as "losing" this race instead of seeing Obama as "winning" it.  But let's give Obama credit where credit is due.

He's just a hell of a campaigner and he has an excellent campaign staff.

He campaigns hard.  He's out there almost every day at multiple events.  And his staff puts him in places that matter.  Romney by contrast is lazy, takes lots of days off and rarely does more than one event on any one day.  Apparently Romney's sense of entitlement led him to believe he wouldn't have to work hard to win the presidency.  And his staff makes strange choices in his scheduling, repeatedly sending him to states he has already bagged or ones he's obviously lost.

Obama has had a plan for his campaign all along.  And he and his staff have stuck to it.  He has also been consistent in his message. But  Romney's campaign and message seem to be catch-as-catch-can.    That's no way to run a business, let alone a political campaign.  Romney and his Bain associates who help run his campaign have no respect for the job they are trying to do. He was tearing apart and rewriting his acceptance speech AT THE LAST MINUTE, and it showed.

Obama has a good ear.  He hit the exact right note in his convention acceptance speech after working on it for weeks.  Pundits chastised him for not "soaring" in his rhetoric as in 2008, but that would not have been appropriate in these economic times.  He chose to lift the people in another way, by reminding them of the best that's in THEM.  The speech was about the people, not about him.  He spoke to the good in people, their sense of fairness, and their willingness to help out their brothers and sisters.  It was about "We the People".  It was the way the Kennedys and Martin Luther King reached people.  And when people feel good about who they ARE, they want to hang on to that.  Romney, by contrast, has a dark view of Americans as caring solely about financial success.

Obama IS the president.  He said so in his acceptance speech.  And he looks like a president at all times, acts like a president, and talks like one.  He has dignity  -  miles of it.  That's why he can croon the blues and do other light-hearted stuff without turning people off.  He's PRESIDENTIAL.  And Romney is not.  Romney's a pathetic jerk, a semi-demented doorman.

Obama's a fighter.  People like that quality.  Romney pretends to be one.  People can tell the difference.  So can our enemies.  Romney merely talks tough but there's no conviction in it.  He can't even fight a political campaign, so how would he do against our enemies?  He said he wouldn't have gone after Bin Laden  (then changed his tune of course).  But Obama killed Bin Laden.  And Obama's gutsy on the campaign trail.  We all like a gutsy guy.

But Obama also has a great sense of humor, plus a comedic timing any top comic would kill for.  Romney has a fake cackle and a pathetic sense of what's a joke.  Plus he has no sense of the room, as they say in show biz.

Finally, there's Obama's smile and his contrasting cool.  It's a remarkable combination in one man.  I haven't seen this since JFK and FDR:  a calm, resolute demeanor that can switch to a wonderful smile that lights up the world.  We call them "the happy warriors", and we love them.

The rest of what's great about Obama is what he isn't.  He doesn't whine.  He doesn't brag about his own remarkable success in life.  He doesn't tie dogs to the roof of his car.  He doesn't hide his tax returns or his plan for the tax code.  He doesn't tell lies.  In other words, he isn't Mitt Romney.  And that's the biggest plus any candidate could want.

But don't short-change Obama's positives.  Some commentators say he's mainly lucky.  No, that's not it.  He's worked hard and played smart,  and he plays the long game.  Remember that he and his team beat the sure-winner Clinton team in 2008 by figuring out how the caucus states could give him the primary win.  (He's also got a great plan at work for the so-called "fiscal cliff" that's coming at the end of the year, but that's for another posting.)

And, honey, he's got a good singing voice!  The only pres in history that can sing!  You gotta love it!

He's campaigning hard, and we must do likewise.  It's OUR country at stake.  Obama is trying to help US!  We are the ones at risk.  Help get those voters to the polls because if Obama loses, YOU lose.

Hey, Mitt, you know those old gangster movies where the crook finally "sings" and gets sent to the "Big House"?  So let's hear you "sing" about those tax returns!  Maybe you'll then qualify for yet another big house to add to your collection?  It'd make a great musical:  "Singing in Sing-Sing"!



Romney Campaign A Train Wreck

All the pundits  -  imcluding a lot of GOP ones  -  agree that Romney is the worst candidate ever.

What hasn't been as widely noted is that he's also got the worst campaign ever. Let's count the cars as his campaign train inexorably plunges off the tracks, noting that this train's engineer is a much-touted organization man. Really?

1. Romney's campaign is almost out of money.  His super pacs have some large amount but have to pay five times the TV ad rate charged to candidates.  Paying five times as much is not a good business practice!  Obama by contrast has a goodly sum in his own campaign account  -  thanks to you!  -  and can get the cheaper rate.

2.  Romney and Ryan spent yesterday in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, two states they have already lost.  All the GOP experts have been screaming at Romney to campaign where it matters.  Instead he is now headed for Texas, which he has already won.  Why this wasting of their last precious days?  Answer:  They are trying to raise money.  How could a vaunted money man like Romney be in such a financial pickle?

3. The Republican National Committee HIRED people to do voter registration of Republicans.  Turns out the GOP hired a firm run by a guy who already had a record of being accused of conducting registration fraud.  So the GOP and the Romney campaign did a lousy job checking him out.  His outfit has now been caught submitting blatantly fraudulent forms in counties all across Florida and is now under criminal investigation.  Instantly the GOP fired the firm even though it was doing GOP voter registration in other states besides Florida.  Thus, in key states,  the GOP/Romney effort has NO voter registration drive in the last ten days allowed.  What a way to run a business!  And it was the GOP that enacted voter suppression laws to protect against "voter fraud"!  Chutzpah to the max!

4.  Romney and the GOP don't have the volunteers.  That's what Item 3 tells us.  They had to PAY people to do what Democrats get done by volunteers.  This is not only a waste of money but a clear signal that either the grassroots GOP still don't like Romney or that Romney's organization failed to reach out to grassroots volunteers. Neither speaks well for the Romney campaign.

5.  Romney's campaign is flailing around and unfocused. It's a new "issue" every day. Like throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping some if it will stick.  If this is coming from his advisers, it's bad advice. If it's his idea, then his staff is failing to tell him that he's just looking desperate.  A presidential campaign is not a food fight.

6. Romney's campaign is scheduling him for smaller and smaller venues and picking weird audiences to fill the seats.  Example: he's just met with veterans, and these were very old veterans. They are not going to run out and start doing precinct work.  They can't run anywhere!  They are too old to walk precincts!  (I'm 76 and know what I'm talking about.)  Also Romney just did an event with the cadets at the famed Virginia military academy.  These kids can't leave the base and go out and work for a candidate.  If the campaign wants to "rev up the troops", as we say in politics, it has to go where the troops are actually available to do something with the "rev".  Is this the Romney version of the waning days of the Civil War when the Confederates threw the kids and old men into the fight?

7. Can we conclude that Romney just can't draw a big crowd?  Is that why he's appearing at enclosed meetings with vets and cadets?  Can't his advance team pull together a decent-sized crowd?  Obama isn't getting 40,000 as in 2008, but he's had some rallies in the 20,000 to 30,000 range this year.  Romney hasn't.  Not by a long shot.

Well, that's enough cars falling off the track for now.  There will certainly be more.  I'll be happy to keep you up to date on the Great Romney Train Wreck!


Hey, Romney!  As your train teeters off the track at an ever faster rate, you might just throw those tax returns out the window so we have something to remember you by.  For now, all that will endure as a symbol of your campaign is that empty chair!  And, yes, Mitt, unlike jet planes, trains have windows that open.  Toss 'em, baby, toss 'em!        

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Election: Blowout or Blowup?

Are we headed for a blowout of an election?  Is Obama going to repeat the 2008 results? This would be astonishing, given the criticism he has endured from the left and right and the media over the past four years.  And it would be unprecedented given an 8% unemployment rate, so the experts tell us.

Well, folks, it just might be happening.  Things began looking good long before the conventions.  The key indicator: Obama's likeability numbers have remained strong all along, while Romney's have remained upside-down.  Rule Number One of politics is that voters elect the candidate they like as a person. In fact, Romney is setting a new record:  until now no major party presidential candidate has ever headed into an election with upside-down personal "favorable" numbers.

People also like a candidate they can trust.  Romney's biggest mistake has been refusing to release his tax returns.  No matter what's in them, he has given the impression he has something to hide.  And it's a simple issue:  release or not release.  You don't have to understand the tax code to get it:  there's something that he's hiding.  He might have explained away his flip-flopping on other issues, but he  chose to (or had to?) stand firm on the one thing that's really killed voters' trust.

The other issue was you.  By the millions, small donors were sending in their donations to Obama all through the summer.  This wasn't happening for Romney even though the GOP before 2008 always out-collected Democrats on small contributions.  The enthusiasm to "beat Obama" wasn't running as strong as had been predicted.  And Obama' supporters were staying strong!

Now Romney's house of cards has really come crashing down.  His convention was a disaster.  The polls this week are against him at astonishingly high levels.  He keeps shoving his foot into his mouth in lieu of the silver spoon. His 47 percent crack isn't going away. His campaign staff are starting the blame game against each other.  Republican Joe Scarborough has covered his face with his hands, moaning "Sweet Jesus", thus epitomizing the despair of GOP opinion leaders at their dreadfully inept candidate.

Meantime, Obama's popularity is so strong he's lifting some Democratic Senate races that were deemed losers by the experts.

Obama's small contributors have become 3 MILLION strong; he out-raised Romney and his rich friends last month; and Romney is hard-pressed for funds.  Further, the Democratic rich are now getting on board with big checks; George Soros just gave $1 million to an Obama super pac and others are rushing to do likewise.  Meanwhile, the GOP super pac spending doesn't seem to be making a dent:  You can't successfully smear a candidate whom everybody already knows and a majority like.  And super pacs are charged up to five times as much as the TV ad rate candidates' campaigns have to pay.

The polls this week have been so good for Obama as to make you dizzy.  He's leading by 10% in Ohio, the state the GOP MUST win.  No GOP candidate has ever won without Ohio.  Obama's also leading in Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, and all the "swing states", with even a slight edge now in North Carolina. Not that he needs North Carolina.  With Pennsylvania and Michigan now safely bagged, all Obama needs is Ohio plus six more electoral votes from any pro-Obama "swing" state to reach the magic 270.

The other magic number is 50%.  Or just a tick over it.  For the first time, Obama's job approval rating has reached 50%, and his polling numbers in most of the swing states have also reached 50 to 51%.  That's called "winning"!

And Romney is bleeding support from his strongest segments.  His lead with white men has dropped by a big amount, as has his lead with seniors.  Regarding the latter, his "bold" pick of Ryan was more "bad" than "bold" because of Ryan's dire plans for Medicare.  Seniors DO NOT like the voucher proposal. Regarding white men, they may be white but they are not crazy.  Apparently Romney's  disdain for the 47% really offended many of them. They are IN that 47%!

There's not only talk now of a Democratic pick-up in the Senate instead of losing the majority, but there's also the first faint whispers among the talking heads of a possible Democratic recapture of a House majority.  Wow!

So is it going to be a Democratic blowout?  Or could it still turn into a Democratic blowup?

It's up to you.

Sure, Romney could score big in the debates and turn things around.  And, yes, voter suppression could   skew the outcome.  Or Europe's economy go in the tank. Or something else awful happen.  But the most frightening thing is that Democratic voters may stay home, lulled by the good poll numbers.  That would be a disaster.

And it's in your hands.  You who stuck by Obama all through the dark times and made the good numbers possible.  Now is the time to bring in that harvest.  Help get out the vote!  Polls don't win elections. Voters win elections!  YOU are the ones who hold the key!

Can we go this last mile?  We damn well better!


You're losing the election, Mitt, because of your non-release of your tax returns.  So why not release them now?  What have you got to lose at this point?  Freedom from prosecution for fraud?





Thursday, September 27, 2012

A 47%er and Proud of It

I'm one of  the 47% Romney despises.  And I'm am proud to be in the 47%!

I'm 76 years old and live entirely on Social Security.  All the savings my second husband and I had for retirement instead went to his medical expenses before he died.  Because I now have only Social Security as income, I owe no federal income taxes.

In his infinite ignorance, Romney doesn't know that a big chunk of the 47% he attacks are elderly people like me.  Also he fails to recognize that those of us who collect Social Security and use Medicare PAID into those systems for years and years.

I got my Social Security card when I was 12 years old.  My husband also began working as a kid.  We worked all our lives.  We put ourselves through college in the days before Pell grants and federal loans, but I certainly do not begrudge these to today's students, bless them.  (They too are among the 47% who get benefits but are too low in income to pay income taxes.)

My husband spent his whole working life in the defense and advancement of this country.  He worked on the space program, on the U2, on the ICBM silos.  He spent years in Vietnam as a civilian helping set up systems to detect Viet Cong tunnels into our camps.  And he was shot at.  He spent more years installing radio surveillance stations on the entire perimeters of Russia and China so we would know what they were up to and not launch  WWIII because our radar picked up a flight of birds.  He spent a lot of lonely years in hardship postings.

Before marrying my second husband, I raised six kids as a single parent for 15 years, working at whatever I could that would allow me some time with my kids.  My youngest had epilepsy and died at age 16. The others all turned out great and are solid, contributing citizens. I worked as both a volunteer and paid staffer in political campaigns and as a teacher of thousands of youngsters.  And I wrote a book,  "Women of the West" (under my then-name of Dorothy Gray).  It's about inspirational pioneer women on the frontier and, after 36 years. it's still in print.

In short, my second husband and I earned every single penny of what I get in Social Security, and we did it the hard way, all the time paying a higher rate of income tax than Romney pays.

Today there are millions of single parents struggling as I did.  They don't pay income taxes because they DON'T EARN ENOUGH!  The fault is not in their stars but in our society.  We have an economy that grossly favors the Mitt Romneys and not working people, as does our tax system. And compared to other leading nations, we do next to nothing to help our single parents or families in general.

Obama is trying to help families.  That's what Obamacare is about.  He's also trying to lift wages and create jobs.  That's what his Jobs Act would do if the GOP would let it pass.  He's trying to help all people get better educations, including single parents.  That's why he took the federal student loan program out of the hands of the banks and increased Pell grants.  He's the best friend of single parents.

Romney's whole holier-than-thou orientation looks down on single parents as moochers and probably as immoral.

Obama is also the best friend of Social Security and Medicare.  Romney is their enemy and thus the enemy of the 47% who are over 65 or will get there in a few years.

I'm part of the 47% and proud of it!  And I'm proud to support our fine young president.  Romney and his fellow plutocrats should hang their heads in shame for exploiting this country and not carrying their share of the cost of all they benefit from.

Those of us on Social Security may be old, but we are not stupid!


Hey, Mr. Romney!  When I was working as a consultant so I could stagger my hours around raising six kids, I had to pay the entire Social Security deduction of 15% because there was no "employer" to split the charge.  So I was paying a higher percent just for Social Security than you now pay in income taxes on your entire income.  Tell you what, I'll show you my tax returns and you show us yours!





Monday, September 24, 2012

Citizens United Destroyed Romney

It's so ironic it makes you want to tickle the cat.

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United has helped destroy Romney's candidacy. He's done a lot of the heavy lifting himself, to be sure, but Citizens United has really knocked him sideways.

Let's look at how that happened and then laugh until Thursday.  By allowing anybody, including corporations, to give unlimited amounts in political donations, the Supreme Court unleashed the two immensely wealthy sugar daddies who kept Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum going and going like a couple of Energizer Bunnies throughout the GOP primaries. Newt and Rick succeeded in extending the contested nature of the primaries long after Romney should have bagged the game.

They thus harmed him in three ways.  First, they cheapened him as a candidate.  They were such obvious idiots that people had to wonder what was the matter with Romney in not being able to put these guys away.  It began to appear that Romney was just not a very good candidate, which turned out to be quite true.

The bigger blow, however, was financial.  The pair of right-wingers forced Romney to spend all his primary money fighting them off.  Over the summer he therefore had no funds to paint a portrait of himself for the American people.  Obama's campaign saw their chance and took it, gleefully filling in a picture of a fat-cat, tax-dodging Bubble Boy who had little interest in or understanding of his fellow Americans.

Meantime, Romney couldn't spend the money that was coming in for the general election.  He had to wait until after the convention.  (And what a fun convention that was!)  By that time it was too late. As the polls show, by August a sizable majority of American voters had come to believe that Romney did not care about them but only about his fellow rich guys.  (Which is, of course, utter truth.)

The third blow was that Romney couldn't get a running start on setting up a ground game.  The months he grappled with Newt and Ricky should have been used to build a grassroots campaign.  Ask the Obama people because that's exactly what they were doing during that time and ever since.  Romney, the quintessential Organization Man, fell way behind on building his organization.

It is altogether fitting and proper that Romney got hoisted on the money petard.  That the rich candidate with the rich friends ended up short of money when he needed it most is a lovely piece of justice.  All thanks to the misguided machinations of Chief Justice John Roberts, friend of the rich and corporations  and architect of Citizens United.

John Kennedy said that life isn't fair.  But once in a while it really is. Enjoy the moment!


No, Mitt, we won't be bought off with just the 2011 returns and "summaries" of other years.  We're not the idiots you think we are.  We want the details of full returns and all their schedules and attachments because that's where the devil is.  Oh, boy, is it!




Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ann Romney: Frazzled Princess

Ann Romney is angry.  That's not a good sign for her husband's campaign.

On an Iowa radio show the other day, Princess Ann voiced her royal outrage at fellow Republicans.  Yes, I said Republicans!  They had had the temerity to criticize her husband's faltering campaign as the polls consistently turn against him.  "Stop it!" she barked.

Maybe she learned how to bark from the dog on the roof of the Romney car?  But she needs to learn something else.  Anger is a no-no in a political campaign unless it's directed at an injustice or some other non-personal thing.  Anger about something personal  -  like people (justly) criticizing your candidate husband  -  telegraphs campaign panic.  She went on to say that this campaigning venture is "hard", but she had just made it a lot harder for Mitt.  People don't like whiners and anger.  Nobody ever forced Ann and Mitt into this race;  it was most definitely their own idea.

Why did she ever think it would be easy?  Because of her sense of entitlement.  Remember back when she said "It's Mitt's turn"?  That sense of entitlement pervades the whole Romney persona and campaign strategy.  It certainly permeates the "47%" perception Romney embraces.  The rich are entitled, apparently, to pass judgment on those who struggle or are old or disabled or in the military.

Romney has believed from the beginning that the economic sluggishness entitles him to beat an incumbent president.  He chose to ignore that the President is well-liked by voters.  He chose to ignore that the American public is smart enough to continue believing that the economic problems we have are the fault of George W and the GOP.  Romney's analysis of the presidential balance sheet was all based on business figures.  By this approach, 8% unemployment and a big deficit (also George W's) entitled him to win.  Of course, other potential GOP contenders like Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Chris Christie looked at the situation as the real politicians they are and saw that 2012 was not the year.  Not against this president, this superb campaigner.

It's standard to denigrate politicians.  But I differ.  Politics is our alternative to civil war.  It's how this multi-faceted country holds itself together.  And  -  may I reiterate?  -  politics is not the same as a business.  Nor is running a country.  That's Romney's fundamental misconception.  As I pointed out a year ago, his declaration that the auto industry should be allowed to go bankrupt was a businessman's approach and totally bad governance.  It was also EXTREMELY bad campaigning.  It's losing him Ohio, and no Republican has ever won without Ohio.

The deep irony of all this is that Romney, Ryan and the GOP are so rabidly against "entitlement programs".  Yet they are steeped in their own entitlement.  They deserve everything:  tax breaks, federal subsidies, and the presidency. They are also entitled, so they think, to "not care" about the 47%.

Well, Princess Ann, you can huff and puff all you want but you can't blow down the brick wall your husband and his campaign are heading for.  That solid brick wall is the solid good sense of a majority of the American people.  And, no, that's not the 47% voting their own interest; a lot of the 47% are YOUR voters who are too dumb to vote their own interest.

So bark away, Ann.  Snap and snarl.  Now you know how that dog felt strapped to the roof of a car by your own dear husband whom you believe the American public is "lucky" to have as a candidate.

With luck like that, who needs enemies?


Say, Ann and Mitt, where did you get the idea that you are entitled to withhold your tax returns from public scrutiny?   Your snit at being pressured reeks of a sense of entitlement.  "Those people"  -  that's what you called the public that wants to see those returns.  Golly, how dare we!



Friday, September 21, 2012

GOP Swarms the Lifeboats!

Romney is sinking the GOP luxury liner!  All across the board, GOP candidates for Senate are going down, down in the polls and separating themselves from Romney's ugly 47% attack.  GOP House candidates are also dodging away from him.

And his own campaign national vice-chairman has just jumped ship!

Tim Pawlenty SAYS he's leaving the vice-chair because he's got a new job.  Oh, sure.

Give us a break!  National vice-chair is mostly an honorary position.  Almost all so-called chairs and vice chairs hold down full-time positions elsewhere.

Chairs!  Romney just can't escape them, can he?  First, Clint Eastwood. Now Pawlenty.  It's almost as good as the dog tied to the roof of the car!

I'll bet Pawlenty is laughing to himself all the way out the door of the Romney campaign.  Back in the primaries he held his fire during a GOP debate when the moderator set it up for him to shred Romney on the ex-governor's Massachusetts health insurance mandate.  Pawlenty didn't go after Romney.  He was being SOOOO nice to Romney.  A lot of good it did him!  Romney passed over him for Veep after all!

But if Pawlenty is laughing he's the only one in the GOP doing so.  Even former-governor Tommy Thompson, now the GOP candidate for the Wisconsin Senate seat, is screaming bloody murder at Romney for taking away his lead. His Democratic opponent, Tammy Baldwin, has turned a 9% polling deficit into a 9 point lead! Go, girl!

All the swing states now give Obama a respectable lead, and all the close Senate seats are suddenly going Democratic.  Even Montana's gallant Democratic Senator Jon Tester has got a tiny lead in spite of being buried by outside GOP super pac bucks.

Thank you, Mitt Romney, for being the worst candidate ever.  Like the song says, "That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me."  Or for the U.S. of A.

But Romney doesn't get all the credit.  Obama has been a very good president and is a very good man.  And he is  -  bless him!  -  a wonderful candidate.  His speech at the convention wasn't a soaring vision; it was better than that.  It was a reminder to us of why we are Democrats:  we care about people.  The Republicans care about money, mostly their own.  Big credit goes to the American public for recognizing this.  The crazies, the greedy and the haters make a lot of noise but they are not, and never will be, the majority of the American people.

We are not home free yet  -  by a long shot. But we are on the road, and we will see it through.  None of us are dumb enough to slack off now.  Volunteer to get out the vote.  Pass up that six pack of beer or that night out at the movies (it will be on Netflix).  Send the money to Obama.  DO IT NOW! The super pacs are still ready to pounce!

And send some money to Senator Jon Tester, our tractor-driving, hard-fighting guy out in Montana!  Don't let Citizens United's super pacs deprive him of his seat in the state that tried to get Citizens United overturned.  And it isn't just his seat.  And it isn't just Montana's. It's OURS.  It's also our majority in the Senate!

Together, we are not out-financed. We are not apathetic. The "enthusiasm gap" is gone!  Together, we are winning this damn thing! Can we bring it all home?

You bet your sweet seat cushion that YES WE CAN!


Hey, Mitt, Larry Flynt is offering a million smackers for a copy of your tax returns.  Why not get the reward yourself?  After all, you apparently really really really love money.  And you may need that million to help pay off the campaign debt you are heading for!  Go for it, Mitt!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romney Cooked The Books and Is Going Broke?

Romney's campaign is out of money?  Did we beat him at his own game?

The big business guy who flaunted his fund-raising achievements this summer actually doesn't have the money he claimed he'd raised.  He cooked the books!  Much of the money he's claimed for his campaign was actually earmarked for the Republican National Committee to support Congressional campaigns, and Romney CAN'T TOUCH IT.  You can read the grisly details in a New York Times story on September 19: "Romney Campaign Cautious With Ad Budget, Even in Key States."

The Romney campaign being "cautious" is because Romney folks can see the bottom of the pot.  In fact, virtually all that's maintaining their effort now is super pac money.  And, guess what!  There doesn't seem to be as much of that as Rove & Co. once boasted.  As the NYT points out, Obama is outspending Romney on ads almost 2 to 1 in the battleground states, even counting Romney's super pac funding.  If Romney and his super pacs have lots of moola, they have sure picked a strange way to use it  -  or not use it  -  in a campaign.  If they are sitting on millions and millions and millions, when are they going to spend it and on what?  Christmas?

Another sign Romney is having trouble with funding:  the campaign is buying ad time only a week at a time. By contrast, the Obama campaign has just booked another $40 million in air time through to the election.  That's the smart way to do it.  As anyone knows who has bought air time, buying it in dribs and drabs isn't smart.  You have to pay higher rates, for one thing.  Worse is that by the time you get around to buying more, all the good air time is gone.  Spots at 3 a.m. aren't really too great.  And Romney is paying a higher rate for ads now because super pacs don't get the deep discount that campaigns do.

Is this any way to run a business?

Romney's aides claim they are just spending "smartly and efficiently".

Really?  Can someone explain to me how?  It doesn't add up. (Also the aide is misusing the word "smartly". It  means "quickly", not "cleverly".  Romney just lost the word-lovers' votes!)

So Romney has been lying about money for months.  Yet he wants us to trust him regarding his tax returns and his economic plans and his tax reform plan.  But he isn't at all trustworthy about money, is he?  Having lied about the money he raised for his campaign, did he also lie to those he persuaded to invest in companies that Bain then took into bankruptcy?  One does wonder.  Was it at Bain that he learned the "creative accounting" that's misrepresented how much campaign money he's got?

But the really fun question for now is:  Why has Romney hit the wall financially in his campaign?  Why did this super-hyped, money-raising-machine stumble into the gutter?

Because of YOU!

YOU beat Romney in the money-raising game!  Romney got most of his money from the $5000 per couple crowd.  Those donors cannot legally give him any more.  But you gave Obama $3 and $30 and $100 and therefore can  -   and do  -   keep on giving.  And there are so many Obama supporters contributing, our smallish donations add up big-time.

Poor Mitt Romney. He doesn't have a million supporters mailing him their widow's mite and the coins from between the couch cushions.  And he's run out of posh friends who can write $5K checkies.  That's why he's running to Utah to do fund-raisers instead of campaigning in the swing states.

And what of those jillionaires supposedly writing zillion dollar checks to the super pacs?  Honey, rich people LOVE their money and don't like to throw it away.  They can read poll numbers as well as we can.  Why, they may be asking themselves, send money to a guy who's losing?

Well, it ain't over until it's over.  Right now Romney looks like a loser.  I've called him a loser for a whole year and had great joy in pointing out his flaws and his total lack of political know-how.  In fact, I've never seen such a bad campaign and such a bad candidate.  But as my old mentor Ted Baer taught me a hundred years ago, a month is a year in politics and anything can happen.

We can lose by not getting out the vote.  We can lose by not continuing to send in the widow's mite and the couch coins.  After all, Romney and the super pacs still have some millions left, and he's busily raising more.

But so far we have done the impossible and beaten Moneyman Romney at his own game!  YES WE DID!  Now let's win this election!



So Romboid, did you cook your tax returns too?  A little legerdemain there with the numbers?  Let us check your arithmetic, buddy!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney & Ryan: The Real "Dependents"

Mitt Romney has just been revealed on video tape heaping scorn on the 47% of Americans who "pay no taxes", are "dependent" on the federal government, and will, he claims, vote for Obama because they want to keep the goodies coming.  He claims they aren't "taking responsibility for their lives."

What a nasty and untruthful man Romney is. As studies establish, the 47% are the elderly, the disabled, the can't-find-jobs, and the families trying to get by on just one-one thousandth a year of the annual income Romney has.  And they pay some taxes, even if not federal income taxes.  The sales tax, for example, takes a disproportionately bigger bite out of their meager funds than it does out of the Romneys and Ryans of this America.

But the biggest distortion in Romney's attack on the elderly, crippled and poor is his conveniently overlooking the real feeders at the public trough.

Like him.  He happily buys Cadillacs and dressage horses with his continuing earnings from Bain.  A big chunk of Bain's earnings comes from the giant hospital chain HCA, which has been over-billing Medicare for billions and billions of dollars. (See my postings on this topic on August 14th and 17th and the cited NY Times stories.)

The old and disabled, the crippled veterans, and the working poor can't compete with Romney's giant score in getting federal largesse!  Romney is the all-time trencherman at the trough!

And what we give to our poor, our elderly, our orphans, and struggling families, we give willingly and openly because we are a good people who take care of our neighbors.  What Romney is getting from us is by stealth and cheating.  It's also driving up the cost of Medicare and threatening its future existence for us old folks and you who will  -  I guarantee!  -  get old.

And what about Ryan?  As a high school kid and then a college student, he got Social Security benefits because his father had died.  He took the fed money even though his grandparents were rich. (He hadn't heard Romney's advice about ask your family for money.)  His family fortune was made by his great-grandaddy's road-building company.  Golly willikers!  Sure looks like government dollars, doesn't it?  And his current family income includes profits from BIG OIL!  The oil industry enjoys enormous federal subsidies and tax breaks.  Billions of dollars a year in federal subsidies are going to oil companies making billions of dollars every quarter at record-setting levels while the rest of us are struggling to pay $4 a gallon for gas!

One of the biggest and most profitable oil companies PAYS NO FEDERAL INCOME TAXES!.

Instead, it pays over the money to Paul and Mrs. Ryan and their ilk.

That's YOUR money, gauged out of you at the gas pump or stolen from you by the oil companies shifting their tax liability to YOU!

Let's be clear.  Romney despises 47% of the American people.  That's about 150 million people.  Gosh, that's a lot of people to despise!  But it's okay:  Romney has been momentarily kind to a few people, as touted by his campaign.  That makes him "a kind and decent man", right?   Baloney!

The percentage figure that matters is not Romney's hate-targeted "47%".  The percentage figure to keep in mind is 1%.  Romney and the rich folks.  THAT 1%!  Occupy Wall Street tried to celebrate its one-year anniversary this week and got clobbered for it.  But it's okay.  OWC launched the "1% v. 99%" awareness that sparked off Obama's successful line-drawing with his campaign.

The numbers that count are still the same.  It's the 99% v. the 1%.  Our fight in this election is not just on behalf of the 47%. It is actually a fight on behalf of all of us.

So let's help our folks get to the polls.  They may be ground down by the struggle of being poor or sick, or they may be exhausted with holding two low-pay jobs to feed their families.  Let's give them a hand to get to the polls so that they can vote on OUR behalf.

Because, folks, I've got news for you.  Old age is coming to get you, illness can get anyone, and if the GOP takes over the government we are going to have an economic collapse that could impoverish the most well-off among you.  YOU are the 47%-in-waiting!


Come on, Mitt Romney, show us the tax returns!  Show us how much you have slopped off the public trough from Bain's HCA over-charges of Medicare.  Show us how much you have hidden overseas. SHOW US THE MONEY!



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bleeping Kansas and Racist Romney

No, that's not a typo for "Bleeding Kansas", the name Kansas earned in the bloody years just before the Civil War.

It's the name it now deserves for continuing the same old racist fight of the 1850s and the 1950s.  No one has "come to burn Lawrence just over the line", as the old song says of those guerilla warfare days 150 years ago. Kansas is doing a good job of ruining itself, of playing the racist version of anti-Obama. And worst of all, it tried to do this officially in the name of the whole bleeping state!

How? By keeping Obama's name off the ballot as a candidate for the presidency!  (You can't make this stuff up!)

This is looney-land to be sure. This past week the state's official elections board was demanding a "certified" copy of Obama's birth certificate on the grounds the one Obama has produced might be "a forgery".  And the board was entertaining the totally specious argument that citizenship requires both parents be citizens even if the person in question was born in the USA.  That legal argument isn't one. It's been rejected by all courts for 100 years. And as for the birth certificate being a forgery, what are they growing in Kansas besides corn?

Need I say that this Kansas elections board is entirely Republican and led by the man who helped design Arizona's ugly anti-immigration law?  Hate, hate, hate.  Apparently it's a fuel that is lots more potent than ethanol!  This guy is all over the map stirring up racism.  Happily, the courts have crimped his Arizona effort, and today the petitioner who filed the complaint to keep Obama off the ballot has just withdrawn his request.

But where was Mitt Romney?  He should have spoken out about this unAmerican effort to keep his opponent off the Kansas ballot and thus deny Kansas voters their right to chose their president.

Romney has joined the racist rage against Obama.  Let's just admit it.  Romney is not a "nice" man who is in over his head as a campaigner.  His "stumbles", "awkward jokes" and "oversights" are not just incompetent bumbling.  They are clearly calculated to signal his base that he's with them on the race issue.

Let's look at the big one.  This week he jumped into the Libya horror story, misstated the facts, and was thus deemed to have criticized Obama out of his own "lack of good judgment", especially as to his "timing."  Per the experts, he should just have waited a few days.

Oh, no.  That's not what was going on.  Romney DELIBERATELY said what he did.  He picked his time without regard to facts on purpose!  While things were still foggy, there was an opening for him to say that Obama (through the US embassy statement) had "sympathized" with the anti-American murderers.  That's the word Romney used:  "sympathized".  And he used it again the next morning even when the emerging facts had totally contradicted his version of events. (The embassy statement came before the murders.)

Romney doesn't care if his "timing" seemingly showed "poor judgment".  There are only a negligible number of undecided voters left to persuade. His only hope now is to get his base out to vote in numbers higher than the Democratic vote. Thus Romney was talking to his base and telling them PRECISELY what they want to hear.  He was "waving the bloody shirt" of those four dead Americans, alleging that Obama is not a good American but "the other":  Muslim sympathizer, Socialist, non-citizen, president by fraud, blah, blah. In fact, he's saying Obama is a traitor who supports  the killers of Americans. That ought to get the nut jobs out the door to vote!

So stop it, you people who say Romney is really a decent guy.  Open your eyes.  He's worse than a person who is racist by conviction.  He's CHOOSING racism for his own advancement.  That is so cold and calculated that he is far more evil than some benighted idiot who grew up ignorant and indoctrinated in racism.  And of you don't know the prior indicia of Romney's appeal to racism, you haven't been paying attention.

The whites of America are becoming the minority.  Some of them can't stand this.  Romney is leading them in this, their last-ditch battle against reality.  This is why his whole campaign has more than a whiff of the world of the 1950s.  Experts say this looking backward is a personal flaw in Romney.  No, it's a calculated campaign strategy.  The 1950s:  the Cleavers were white, Jim Crow was still king, and Rosa Parks was still in the back of the bus.

Mitt Romney knows exactly what he's doing.

The only question is whether the Democrats will be so outraged as to get off their duffs and vote. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished because this campaign is a struggle for the soul of America.


Romney, you can run (for the presidency) but you can't hide (your tax returns).  We can't forget them. No we can't.



Friday, September 14, 2012

It Isn't Just the Polls

Yes, the polls look great!  So what if "experts" warn this could still just be Obama's convention bounce and that it could fade?

I respect that, but there's other factors that the analysts can't measure.

Romney got NO convention bounce.  Not during his convention nor after.  Has there ever been a zip bounce from a convention?  (Maybe Chicago in '68, but I don't recall the numbers saying so, as hideous as that Democratic convention was.)  This means that the more voters see of Romney the less they like.  Too bad more didn't see him.  But that's another factor:  the 30% drop in viewing of the GOP convention.  What's the statistical implication of that?  Analysts can't measure it because there's no history of such a thing.  And the voters who did watch saw a boring, empty man saying nothing and a once-exciting man talking to an empty chair.  They also saw a badly-run convention: lead speakers promoting themselves instead of the candidate.  If a guy can't run a convention, how can he run the country?  The ABSENCE of a bounce thus counts infinitely more than high-bounce v. low-bounce even though statisticians have no way to measure its implications.

Donors.  Obama beat Romney in campaign collections in August and not just in the dollars.  The big number is 98%, the percentage of funds that came from small donors.  Romney got only about one-third of his moola from small donors.  Small donors become volunteers.  Volunteers get the vote out.

Headquarters.  In the swing states Obama has two or even three times the number of headquarters that Romney does.  This is great news regarding a ground game.  But it also says something else.  Romney can certainly afford more headquarters, so why doesn't he have them?  The answer may be that he doesn't have the potential volunteers to make those headquarters hum.  You don't send the threshing machine into the field where there's no crop.  It would be terrible for him to have headquarters that were virtually empty of volunteers.  The tv shows would love the contrasting footage:  bustling Obama hqs v. Romney empty rooms.  (In politics, never hire a room you can't fill.)

Feeling good.  This is a metric just now showing up in the polls.  Right-track v. wrong-track has moved in a positive direction for the first time in a long time!  If we can get through the next six weeks without a financial disaster, we should be in good shape on election day.  EVEN if the next job reports are flat, as they were this month.

Follow the money.  But not the ad money.  Look at the stock market money and the betting parlors.  Both are strongly betting on Obama.  These bets count ever so much more than the money the stinking rich are betting on Romney.  The rich can afford to spend on Romney in order to preserve their privileged status; they are betting on THEIR MONEY BUYING THE ELECTION. The little guy who bets his sawbuck with the bookie is betting on OBAMA TO DO THE WINNING.  Get it?  And the stock market is betting on Obama winning and that such is good for the economy.  Romney's own "class", i.e. the investor, likes the present improvement in the economy and sees better days ahead.

Tone.  Romney and Ryan are gloom and doom.  Obama and Biden are about the home of the brave and the land of the free and the compassion of the American people.  Romney can mouth the words to patriotic songs, but Obama's  convention speech reminded Americans of the song in their own hearts.  Critics say his convention speech failed.  They are dead wrong.  He spoke to the best in us.  Romney speaks to the worst.  Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" has become, in Romney's message, "Last One Off the Titanic".  Americans LIKE to hope.  No sinking ships for them!

Yes, it could still all go wrong. The anti-American demonstrations in the Muslim countries could get really, really bad and thus make Obama look bad.  An "October Surprise" in September.  But my son in Norway says that the Pakistanis and other Muslims he's met there tell him Obama is very popular  among their people back home.  It may turn out that Obama's trip to Cairo, his childhood in Indonesia, his African father  -  all turn out to be big assets now.  All the things the haters hate about him may keep a lid on some terrible spread of anti-American violence in the Muslim countries.

In short, what the haters hate about Obama may help insure his win.

The irony of this is so sweet that I think I'll have waffles for breakfast.


Hey, Mr. Romney!  Speaking of waffling, how come the only position you've stood firm on is NOT SHOWING YOUR TAX RETURNS?        



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Romney Shoots One Foot; Fox Shoots The Other

This will be a brief blog because I'm laughing too hard to type.

Having totally discredited himself on foreign diplomacy during his summer  trip abroad  -  by insulting every country he encountered  -  Romney didn't learn to leave it alone.  Instead he has jumped in on the Libya mess and disgraced himself to an even worse degree.  Hoping to capitalize politically on our country's travail, he instead seems like the guy who panics when something happens.  He's John McCann flapping around with his head off when the Crash began.  The contrast with Obama  -  so cool during the raid on Bin Laden  -  is stark.

The second wound Romney has just suffered comes from Fox News.  Its new poll shows Obama up by five points over the Nowhere Man.  It also answers Romney's question about "are you better off?" More accurately, it tells us what the voters' answer is:  42% say "Yes"; 15% say "Same".  Thus a clear majority reject the Romney contention that Obama has made things worse.  Romney's entire campaign message just died.  As I wrote last week, "It Is NOT the Economy, Stupid!"  (Oh, it's lovely to be right once in a while.)

And Obama's job approval?  Fox says it's now 50%.  That is the highest it's been for a long, long time in anybody's poll.

Fifty per cent is always a nice number.  Because it's so close to fifty-one.  And fifty-one per cent means EVERYTHING!

Enjoy the moment!

Neither wind nor rain nor snow nor sleet will make us forget about the tax returns, Mitt.  Nor is the media forgetting them.  What about just hand them over?  You know the song? "Let the sunshine in....."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dare We Say IT!

It's happening.  The polls this morning confirm it.  So does the sun in the sparkling blue sky of early autumn.  "It" is making a nice day into a splendid one.

The "experts" called it "bounce".

Nate Silver says it's demography.

I recently dared call it "mo".

Let's call it what it is.  Obama is WINNING!

His so-called convention "bounce" actually began BEFORE the conventions as a sort of creep, as I noted yesterday. It grew during the GOP convention even before Cliff scolded a chair and Romney pretended to care about people.  It got up and walked boldly out of the Democratic convention.  And now, baby, it's MOVING!

And we can see it as it really is.  Not a bounce but the ballgame!  Obama is winning!  He hasn't won yet, but he's on the way!

I won't bother you with this morning's poll numbers.  They are GOOD, inside and out.  Obama has not only gained overall but in those indicators that matter big-time, and he's gained with some surprising groups, like white men and the elderly.  In fact, one poll has him improving with white working class men better than with women!  He's also gained tremendously in job approval and in trustworthiness on pocketbook issues.  Wow!  Take that Mitt Romney!

And it's not just the national polls, which don't really mean much because the electoral college means everything.  Obama's leading in the swing states, and that lead has grown.

But it's a nine-inning game, folks.  We're now only entering the eighth.  Things can still happen.

One indicator is still worrisome.  According to these newest polls, fewer Democrats are "likely" to vote than Republicans.  Those Democrats who are deemed likely to vote do express more "enthusiasm" than likely GOP voters, but don't be deceived.  Enthusiastic or not, those GOP voters WILL vote on election day.  They can't help it. A Republican with two broken legs will crawl to the polling place to vote. This is, and always has been, a fundamental truth of political campaigning: Republicans vote.

We still have to get out our vote.  We still have to register more Democratic voters.  We still have to finance Obama's ground forces.  We still have to offset voter suppression in several swing states.

Can we do these things?  YES WE CAN!  YOU BET WE CAN!


Hey, Romney, a guy named bennbenji in Vermont tells us you have those tax returns in a locked box in one of your 2885 closets in one of your five or ten houses.  Question:  Is that also where you're keeping the secret specifics of your tax reform plan, your secret budget cuts, your secret magic for keeping the best of Obamacare without paying for it?  That box of secrets is mighty damn big!  Did you need the elevator in your garage just to get the box of secrets up into the house?   What an odd life you live!  So open that box and give us the tax returns!          

Monday, September 10, 2012

Obama Beats in Bounce and Bucks!

Obama out-raised Romney in August!

And his bounce from the convention is not only good but doubly good because Romney got NO bounce.  Zero. Zilch.  This virtually never happens to a candidate  in a presidential election.  "All brides are beautiful on their wedding day."  But not Mitt Romney!  

Let's look at the money first.  Obama beat Romney by $3 million  ($114 mill to $111 mill).  The $3 mill is not, however, the real story.

YOU are the real story!

A whopping 98% of Obama's money came from donations of $250 or less!  That's an amazing percentage! Only 32% of Romney's did.  So it was YOU who put Obama ahead.  GOOD FOR YOU!

This tells us two things.  First, Obama's supporters are "fired up and ready to go."  Romney's aren't. People follow their own money.  If folks contribute to a campaign, they are "invested" in that campaign.  It's now THEIR campaign!  And they are not only going to vote for "their" guy but make sure others do too. In a close election the resulting commitment to work for the campaign, by identifying favorable voters and getting them to the polls,  is EVERYTHING.  Now it looks like Obama will have a larger base of campaign workers than Romney will.  And that's what counts.

This isn't just me blathering.  Studies show that people are more bound by what they give than by what they get.  It's one of the nicer aspects of human nature.

What else do we learn from Obama getting so much from so many and Romney so much from so few?  The timing tells us something.  All summer Obama built a well-deserved negative view of Romney.  The result?  Obama succeeded in rallying his troops, a big achievement in these economic times and with a generally skeptical press. He looked like a fighter and a winner.  Romney kept stumbling into the ropes, increasingly looking punchy from all the blows. People do not donate money to losers.  By early August the GOP small donors  -  the people the GOP must have as voters and workers  -  were putting away their checkbooks, while the Democratic small donors increased in number.  This seemed to indicate that Obama's summer campaign might be succeeding not only with his base but with a larger electorate.

And it was.  By the end of August, Obama was not only still holding on in the polls despite an onslaught of lying super pac ads, but was also inching ahead.

And that brings us to the bounce.  It wasn't really a bounce at all!

Yes, Obama had an excellent convention and Romney's was a mess.  But Obama's gains in the polls began BEFORE and DURING the Republican convention.  Something else was going on!  Something better than a bounce!

Dare I say it?  Yes, I'll stick my neck out.

It's called "mo".  And it's starting. The very first tiny beginnings of something indescribable and wonderful.

I think it was George Bush Sr. who cut the word down from "momentum" to "mo".  It's an almost inexplicable energy that starts to rise at some point in a candidate's campaign.  You can almost feel it or smell it in the air.  When it starts to flow, it feeds upon itself and keeps growing.  The candidate feels it, is energized and feeds it further.  The electorate feels it, like iron filings being pulled towards a magnet.  Campaign volunteers feel it and start putting in extra hours and laughing a lot.  The last ones to notice it are the members of the media.

It's not here big-time yet.  By that time the media will have to note it.  And it may never arrive as a great wave, as something like 2008.  But it's here, like the first hint of autumn in the air.  Something small and ineffable is out there. Still small and perhaps delicate. And I love it!

Can YOU feel it?  Taste it?  Smell it?  I'll bet you can!

Now let's make it grow!


Mr. Romney!  Mr. Romney!  Collect call for Mr. Romney!  Collect your tax returns, please, and show them to the American public!





Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's NOT the Economy, Stupid! And Obama Wins!

[ A DISCLAIMER:  I don't believe in "the races".  There's only one race:  the human race.  I don't like categorizing people as "minorities".  Nevertheless, politics in America still swirls around these distinctions.  So if we are going to swim in the pond, we have to get wet.]

Game over!

Obama is not only getting his convention bounce, but he will score his basket throw for a November win!  It's mathematically assured, not just wishful thinking.  And it's not just this morning's new polls that tell us this  -  though they are looking good!  -  nor the way Obama WAS "the President" in his speech while Romney was an obviously pathetic wanna-be, scratching at the window.

It's the demographic numbers.  It's what you SAW at the two conventions.  Just a glance at the delegates tells the story of this presidential election and its inevitable outcome.  The GOP delegates were almost uniformly white.  The Democratic delegates were definitely not.  He who has the support of the "minorities" wins this election. And the skin tones at the conventions merely reflect the reality of the divide between the two parties:  minorities support Obama overwhelmingly. Thus he wins in 2012.

This isn't just a factor.  It's the whole game.

This assured victory for Obama is not any feel-good theory on my part.  In fact, if this election is a done deal, what's to blog about for two more months?  And why should any of us lift a finger for Obama?  (More on that later.)  Most of all, doesn't it just seem too good to be true?

Ask two guys who really know numbers:  Nate Silver and Karl Rove.  The all-time odd couple, for sure!  Everybody knows who Karl Rove is but mostly for the wrong reasons.  His one incontestable achievement is that he grasped the political reality of demographic changes back in the 1990s and launched a strong effort to make the GOP the Latino friendly party.  (That's a whole blog by itself.)  It worked!  In 2000 he got George W close enough to a winning total that it took only one more vote to make him president.  (Thanks a lot,  Sandra Day O'Connor!)  And Rove did this by just shaving the usual Latino vote for the Democrat.

Time passes.  In the intervening decade the GOP stupidly scuttled Rove's courtship of Latinos just as Latino population numbers and geographical distribution explode.  It was the biggest boner in American elective political history!            

And now comes NY Times statistics analyst Nate Silver to whisper just how big a boner it was.  He recently posted a column seemingly indicating that there is no way Romney can win.  Nate was very low-key about this.  No blare of trumpets. (Nate's a quiet guy. Plus he's got to keep his NYT column going for two months.) )  His point is that, according to the numbers, the so-called minorities will provide Obama with the majority.  And that's that.  Game over.

"Oh, sure", you shrug. "If turnout is high."

No, says Nate.  Even if minorities come out in the same proportion as in 2004, Obama has the win. Yes, Nate said 2004!

Further, this is true even if the whites turn out in greater numbers than in 2008. Yes, greater than 2008!

Apparently Obama's lead among minorities is so large  -  and they are such a large portion of the public    -  that a big turnout isn't a big issue.

This is hard to believe.  I want to believe it, but it seems too good to be true.

But it could be. The caveat is that Obama still requires a solid number of white votes.  He still has to draw almost as many as Kerry did in 2004.  And don't snicker!  Kerry drew a lot of votes in '04.  But for Ohio being snagged by the GOP, Kerry would have won the election.

So now it's clear why the GOP has leaned on race-baiting these past three years in hope of stoking more whites into a pro-GOP, anti-minorties vote. They can't switch the Latinos to the Republican side because the GOP base hates the new spread of Latinos and other minorities into the North, rural Midwest, and the Old South.  Having wedded a racist base decades ago, the GOP can't risk its base when that base is now seeing Latinos in its formerly lily-white Southern and Midwestern towns.  With these new folks in town, many more whites are very uneasy. Thus the GOP dared not support the Dream Act, and  Romney had to endorse Arizona's racist anti-immigrant laws.  It is not really about illegal immigration; it's about skin color.

All the GOP can do is keep playing for more whites.  Their bet is that most blue-collar, nominally Democratic whites are potentially racist.  This is the bet that Nixon made in 1968 with his "Southern strategy"  and Reagan made with his talk of "welfare queens" and "strapping bucks on welfare".  Nixon in '68 and Reagan in '80 won their bets and their elections.

Will this strategy work again for the GOP?  Or have all the potentially racist whites already left the Democratic rolls?  Will current economic hard times make new racists out of whites who feel newly financially threatened by "the other"?

Without specifying the reason, Nate Silver includes in his projection an upturn in whites voting Republican this time.  This is probably a prudent move on his part, but it is a sad one.  If he is doing it, not because of a perceived increase in white racism but because of white displeasure with the economy, then why isn't he doing the same with the non-white voters?  Indeed, blacks and Latinos have been hurt the worst by the Bush Crash we are still struggling with.  Apparently Nate is silently acknowledging that the GOP race play is working up to a point. How much?  He's projecting it's going to raise the GOP white turnout about 2%.  Not enough to give the GOP the win, but a sad commentary on some portion of America's whites.

On the bright side, there's the simple justice of the larger result. The GOP's use of racism has finally backfired on them. (No matter Marco Rubio, etc., people of color are very astute at recognizing racism.) The racist evil launched by Nixon and Reagan now rises from their respective graves to push the GOP into its own. This election is but the first step of the GOP into its ever-deepening grave. The GOP will not only lose the presidential race in 2012 but national elections a long way into the future as demography shifts against the Republicans at an ever-increasing rate.  In short, the GOP in 2012   -  and hereafter  -  is toast.

So can Democrats lean back, crack a beer, and relax?  Absolutely NOT!  Tune in next time for "Why Democrats Still Need A Good Turnout".

But, meantime, it's okay to smile.  Evil has lost a great battle.


Be a good boy, Mitt.  Do as your daddy did.  Give us those tax returns!  You're gonna lose anyway, so 'fess up!


Friday, September 7, 2012

He Did It! The Hope Lives On!

Obama did it!  I've heard all the great speeches of the past 70 years, and his was right up there!  In fact, given what he had to do in that speech  -  what a challenge it was!  -  maybe we have to reach back beyond my 70 years to Lincoln at a battlefield cemetery, explaining why we had to go on with a struggle that was long and difficult and costing 800,000 lives. Why we had to go forward and finish the job. These are difficult speeches to construct!

So I guess a lot of us worried whether Obama could pull it off.  He couldn't soar as in 2008 because the people are not in a soaring mood.  He couldn't defend because that would look weak.  He couldn't blame Bush or the present Congress because that would look worse.  And he couldn't give "the specifics" of a "grand vision", as the commentators demanded, because "specifics" and "grand vision" don't go together.  

So he looked to you, and he found the hope he gallantly passed on to us last night.  He was absolutely truthful when he said he found his inspiration about this country in the Americans he has met. The folks who are battling on against tough odds.  He was also absolutely truthful when he said that all that we have achieved in these four years is because of you and that this presidency is yours.  And we have indeed achieved a lot.  And so he chose you as the theme of his speech. A brilliant choice!

Yes, we Democrats let him down in 2010 by not getting out to vote. We stuck him with a hostile Congress.  But we won't let him down again.  No, we can't!

In this one speech he said what I have tried to say for a year.  That we are a people who care about our brothers and sisters.  That America is something far better than just a money-making machine.  The Republicans have proved repeatedly that their economics don't deliver even prosperity, let alone make this the society we want to be.

Obama doesn't get paid like a big CEO, but he gives the world's toughest job all his heart and his fine intellect and his high courage. He's gone gray caring about us. All he asked last night from us is that we match his hope by giving him our vote.

He could ask for more. And if he won't, I will.  Get other people to the polls!  We are fighting a devilish vision of America and its name is legion.  We are fighting social injustice, racism, vote suppression, denial of health care and opportunity to learn, schemes to bilk our people, warmongering, and shredding of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that shelter our most vulnerable neighbors. (The GOP plans to slash Medicaid enormously. Two-thirds of Medicaid goes to caring for our parents and grandparents in nursing homes. MediCARE doesn't pay for that! MedicAID does! And YOU are in line for an old folks' nursing home because we ALL get old!)

We are also fighting those who will destroy our planet.  Of course if we lose this environmental fight against the GOP greedy and the Know-Nothings, none of us will have to worry about getting old.

In a way it's a shame that Obama has to "fire up" the troops.  We should already have been burning with zeal, given the threats that face us if Romney is elected.

This is a life and death election.  OUR lives and OUR deaths.  Remember the little girl who needs the heart surgery, whose mother begged for her life on the convention stage?  As the mother pointed out, if Romney's elected, the little girl will die.  None of the commentators (cynical poseurs that they are) paid any attention to her plight.  But Obama did in his speech. This isn't pathos, folks; this is reality. That little girl has counterparts all over this great country.  Are we going to let these children die so Romney and Ryan can have MORE tax cuts for the wealthy?  Should even ONE CHILD die so that Romney can pay only ONE PER CENT in taxes?

Obama spoke last night on behalf of these threatened children and all the others of us who will be ground under foot by the Republicans.  But a HALF BILLION DOLLARS is being spent to drown him out.  So we have to fight money with money.  GOP donors are writing million dollar checks.  Obama just sent an email asking if his speech was okay and could we send him $75?  Poor guy.  He has to beg money from us to help him to help us!

Yes, President Obama, the speech was a master work. And, yes, we are going to help.  Yes, we can and we will.


Mr. Romney, the President didn't demean himself last night by demanding your tax returns, but I will. I've got plenty good meanness in my old bones and am happy to de-mean some in your direction:  Hand over the tax returns, buddy boy!  It's our RIGHT to see them!



More than that, he did it splendidly.  And we're his toughest critics because we are the ones who are literally going to live or die depending on whether Obama wins this election.

I already write about that little girl who won't get her heart surgery if Romney is elected and repeals the Affordable Health Care Act  (See: Outsourced Elves and a CHild's Heart) Obama spoke of her last night in his speech.

The commentators ignored her mother's plea from the convention stage.  So don't trust their evaluation of Obama's acceptance speech.  They don't get it.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Voice of 2008 Was Enough

Bill didn't talk to a chair.

He talked to us.

He didn't talk to the seemingly ubiquitous "small business owners" who monopolized the attention of the GOP convention. (By tax code definition "small business" actually includes a lot of big, big businesses.)

He just talked to us Americans.  As if we were all one people.  As if we had some sense.  As if the truth counts.

Ol' Bill not only gave the best speech anyone's ever made on behalf of Barack Obama but gave the best speech Clinton's ever made.

So what's left for Biden and Obama to say tonight?  It seems like the bar has been set awfully high. But let's not worry.  Contrary to all the media hype, Bill Clinton is not the only "great communicator of the era".  I'm not sure when an era begins and ends, but we Democrats have had a plethora of great speakers in my time.  The Republicans have had only one, the much-touted  Ronald Reagan, and he stole a lot of his "moves" from Ike: the tilted head, the lifted shoulder, the lop-sided grin.  Reagan was pretty good after a lifetime of performing, not just as an actor, but as a vociferous union-busting president of the Screen Actors Guild and a pitchman for General Electric, the company with the most labor law infractions in the history of the National Labor Relations Board.

Well, we'll give the GOP their Reagan and match our "great speakers" against the GOP any time.  Ours is quite a list.  FDR, JFK, Bobby, Teddy, Shirley Chisolm, Jesse Jackson, Mario Cuomo, Cesar Chavez, Julian Bond.  And there's others. By contrast, the GOP have had nobody except Reagan because the GOP has no passion for anything but money. A good speech comes from passion about people but not from passion about money. Money is only paper and corporations are NOT people.

Forgive an old woman a sentimental moment. (A good Democratic Convention stirs memories of the golden lads and lasses now gone to dust.) I've heard most of our great Democratic speakers.  FDR's fireside chats on the radio when I was a little girl. Then in 1960 sitting in the LA Coliseum, holding my three-month-old baby girl and hearing JFK accept his nomination. Bobby on tv addressing a Detroit crowd of African-Americans on the night of King's assassination.  Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech live on tv as he gave it. Shirley Chisolm getting 152 votes at the '72 convention as the first woman and the first black to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Cesar Chavez at 7 a.m. in a parking lot talking in sweet, gentle Spanish to farm workers headed out to the fields. Teddy, my dear old Teddy, giving "The Dream Will Never Die" speech at the '80 convention and calling us his "golden friends".  We cheered for forty-five minutes afterwards, still a convention record.

They are all gone now.  They had spoken to the best in us. And I loved them and I missed them.  Then  -  after the better part of forty years in the desert  -  there was Barack Obama in 2008.  Like those who were gone, he spoke to the angels in our natures.  I'm very grateful I lived long enough to hear the clarion call raised again of hope and  compassion.

No matter how well  Barack Obama does tonight, in his 2008 speeches he gave us all that we really need from that time forward. He brought us the sweet reassurance that, over the last seventy-six years, the voices have not died and the dream indeed lives on.  And by the way we stood up when he called us. we know the dream will always be in us, waiting for the call.  And in our children.  And in their children.  That will be their inheritance.

The greedy GOP leave their children only money.  We leave ours the poetry and passion of life and the  voices of our singers of the song.                    

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Outsourced Elves and a Child's Heart

"If Romney were Santa Claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves!"

So spake former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in a rip-roaring speech on the first night of the Democratic Convention.  And the crowd roared right back, full of energy and enthusiasm.  Not down and sad-looking like the GOP delegates last week.

And Michelle Obama loaded the bases and hit a home run!  She's become one of the best political speakers EVER!

But the most impressive speaker at this convention  -  at any convention ever  -  was that mother who came on stage with her husband and two little children.  The mother was nervous.  But she had pulled her courage together because she was there to fight for her little girl's life.  The little girl was maybe three years old.  Her skirt was a bit too long.  She wasn't dressed up fancy.  The other child was maybe just under a year old and began to cry in her dad's arms, almost drowning out her mother's message for a bit.

But mom soldiered on.  She's used to soldiering on.  When you have a sick child,  that's what you do.  But her soldiering on is no longer going to be enough.  That little girl needs heart surgery.  And her mom had come to tell you that if Romney is elected he will repeal the Affordable Care Act and her little daughter will die.

She didn't use the word "die" because she didn't want her daughter to hear that word.  Also, she probably can't bear to say it aloud. She probably wouldn't have been able to finish her speech if she had had to say that word.

But it is the word.  Sarah Palin rattled the cages of the know-nothings with blather about "death panels".  The real death panels are the likes of Palin and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  They are determined to take away the only life-saving hope of millions of Americans  -  access to health care insurance that can't be denied because of pre-existing conditions or, as in the case of the little girl, because you have reached the dollar cap on coverage.

That mother came there to ask YOU to save her daughter's life.

If Romney is elected and repeals the Affordable Health Care Act on his "first day in office", as he has pledged, that little girl will die.

Lots of other people will also die because they won't be able to get medical care.  One of our family friends died two years ago because he hit the cap on his policy. The Affordable Care Act was too late for him. His name was Steve and he was only forty-two years old.  If he'd asked us, we would have scraped the money together somehow.  I'd have mortgaged my house. But he was too shy to ask.

But when it's your little girl, you have got to ask. You have to beg and plead and do anything to save your child's life.  And that mother did.  She was scared on that stage, but she's more frightened by her daughter dying.

So what's it going to be, folks?

Are we going to save the little girl's life? Are we going to get Obama re-elected by contributing some dollars and lots of volunteer work?  Or are we going to let the "death panel" GOP condemn that child and many more like her to dying for lack of medical care?

The Jews have a saying that he who saves one life saves the world. Now's your chance to save the world.

I don't think you need that big an incentive.  I think you'll dig down in your pocket and you'll also sacrifice some time to help Obama just for the sake of that one little girl.

And they who thereby save that little girl save not just the world but themselves.


Hey, Mitt, how much did you deduct for Ann's medical expenses on your income taxes?  It must have been nice to have all the money you needed for her treatment.  So how much was it?  Why can't we see those tax returns?  Because so many of us could never pay for such care when we need it?  



Monday, September 3, 2012

Better Off? YES WE ARE!

Romney poses the question "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"  To quote another GOP luminary:  You betcha!

Let's us count the ways Obama has benefitted America (in no particular order).  Much of this he had to do on his own because of the GOP House blocking him many of his efforts.

1.  The auto industry is alive and well.  It was near death's door four year's ago. A million jobs saved!    

2.  Our financial system is stable.  It was crashing four years ago.

3.  Bin Laden is dead, as is most of the Al Queda leadership.

4.  Four and a half million jobs have been added in four years, more than in eight years of George W.

5.  The housing market has turned around.

6.   Personal income has risen.

7.  You can get health insurance even if you have a serious pre-existing condition.  And no more cap       on your coverage!

8.  Millions more children have health coverage through CHIPS, as do the under-26s because of the      
Affordable Health Care Act.  And millions more Americans will get coverage in just over a year!


10. We are getting out of Afghanistan, with another 33,000 troops coming home this fall.

11. Student loans are cheaper because of the removal of the intervening private lenders and the cutting of interest rates.

12. Almost one million undocumented young people are not going to be deported.

13. Native Americans are getting billions in oil/gas royalties previously stolen from them.

14. TWENTY BILLION dollars from BP, as demanded by Obama, is going into Gulf Coast          

15. Women can more easily get equal pay for equal work because of the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

16. Seniors are saving big bucks on RXs because the new health care act plugs half the "donut hole".

17. TWENTY-NINE straight months of job growth, while deficit-cutting Europe drifts down, down.

18.  Larger pay checks for our families with Obama's "payroll tax holiday."

19.  TWENTY-FIVE MILLION acres of coral reefs protected off the Atlantic Coast in a new preserve.

20.  A new anti-nuclear weapon treaty with Russia.

21.  The stock market has more than doubled and is back to pre-Crash levels.

22.  Corporate profits are high.  (Well, some folks rejoice in that.)

23.  The bad aspects of No Child Left Behind and its "teach-to-the-test" have been alleviated.

24.  The "green" industries of the future are growing lustily after getting a boost from the feds.


26.  Better regulation of Wall Street has been enacted and future bank bailouts are barred.

27.  Consumers are better protected from credit card lenders.

28.  Billions are going into repairing and upgrading our roads and bridges.  (Job, jobs, jobs!)

29.  Global warming to be lessened by enormous reduction in gasoline consumption due to Obama's       imposing higher mileage requirements on auto makers.

30.  Doubling of Pell grants.

31.  Big increases in veterans' benefits, plus an Obama jobs-for-vets program that's cutting vets' unemployment.

32.  A little African-American boy asked the President if he could touch his hair.  In that touch a whole generation of brown-skinned children set aside any feelings of inferiority whites might try to impose on them.  They now know that any child can indeed grow up to be president.

Maybe this last thing on the list was the best thing of all.  Sure, Obama's being president has stirred up the racist nuts, but it has also shown the children of this country, brown AND white, a path forward away from racism. There should be no going back.

So are we going forward by helping re-elect Obama?



I may have forgotten some of Obama's achievements, but we haven't forgotten those Romney tax returns  You hear that, Mr. Romney?!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Obama HAS Held Back the Oceans!

I don't recall Obama promising in 2008 that he would hold back the oceans.  Was Romney lying about this too in his acceptance speech?

If so, the joke is on Romney.  Obama has actually held back the seas, as I'll explain shortly.

But first let's recall the GOP 2012 conventioneers laughing along with Romney at the idea.  It's hard to know if they were scoffing at the alleged chutzpah of Obama or the notion that the waters are rising. After all, they are staunch deniers of climate change and its resulting rising sea levels.

In short, they are ignorant and proud of it.  Stubbornly proud of it.

Indeed, the American GOP has seemed to be the world leader in denial of climate change.  But now one of my grandsons has found an Australian blog site which urges Aussies to dive into the ocean and attack the coral reefs. Smash them! Kill them!

Why?  Because the reefs are the focus of strong environmental concern.  And they are not doing well.  Warming of the oceans and acidification from CO2 are taking a serious toll.  We must reduce fossil fuel use or lose the great coral reefs, which are vital to the chain of life in the oceans.  We should cherish the reefs for their own sake  -  as does grandson Ted  -  but, for the more crass among us, the reefs are what help sustain fisheries, a serious component of our food supply.

The Aussie blog is clearly the ridiculous work of a nut job who fears environmentalism  But the GOP ridicule of climate change is more serious stuff.  If it triumphs it will likely kill us all. It's fed in part by the fundamentalists' insistence on an anti-science interpretation of the Bible, as if their God couldn't come up with some really clever things like physics, math, evolution, cause and effect, etc.

The real driving force in the denial of climate change, however, is the fossil fuel industry, i.e. the oil, gas and coal bunch.  Why do you think the Koch brothers are funding millions against Obama?  Those millions come from oil.

And that brings us to how Obama has actually held back the oceans. He did it by using the executive power to order that gasoline mileage must double and emissions must be reduced.  This will be an enormous cut in the CO2 that is frying the planet.  It won't stop climate change entirely (it's already here) but it's a giant step forward for the environment.

It's also a big break for consumers, reducing the cost of running our automobiles.  And it helps lift us out of oil bondage to the Middle East, vastly improves our balance of payments, and reduces the likelihood of oil spills and other horrors.

Obama not only did one of the greatest pro-environment moves in history but he did it with such cool.  When the auto makers were plummeting into bankruptcy, he knew he had them right over a barrel, a barrel of oil.  He didn't have to insist on an environmental quid pro quo, but he did:  "I'll bail you out, but you accept my regs."  This tough bargain did him no good politically.  The environmentalists have decided he's no good.  (They too can be very stubborn; I know because my environmental activism goes back to the 1950s.)  Like almost all Americans and the media, they have chosen to ignore his great achievement.

But the oil baron Koch brothers and the GOP haven't failed to notice what Obama did.  They want him OUT of power so that the new auto regulations can be repealed by Romney.  When Romney & Co. talk about "ending regulation" so as to "unleash business", it's not about some little nit-picky regs!  IT'S ABOUT OIL!  TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF OIL!  Obama's big, big auto regs mean far less money for oil-producers.

And the Koch brothers and the GOP will lie and deceive and spend perhaps a billion dollars to get rid of Obama and the new auto regulations.  They might even get nastier than that.  With so much money at stake and -  as the GOP convention made clear  -  their great love of money,  they may literally stop at nothing.  This is why Romney & Co. have never try to squelch the loose-cannon, racist crazies in their ranks.  Quite likely they would not weep if one of those loose cannons literally turned the firepower on our president.  It's happened before. He's getting more threats of violence than any prior president ever.  And someone put a bullet in the White House wall.

So the Aussie nutcase may be urging that people kill the coral reefs, but the nutcases here are being nudged toward killing too.  I hope like anything that I'm just a paranoid old gal, but I remember JFK, Martin Luther King, Bobbie, Medgar Edwards, the attempt to shoot Truman, the shots at FDR that killed the mayor of Chicago.  And we all remember Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the little girl who died next to her.

Our only weapon against the lies, hatred, and potential violence is our vote.  And the votes of our brothers and sisters.  We must do all we can to get out the vote.  Our only weapon against the hundreds of millions of oil-soaked money coming at Obama is our $50 and $100.  Okay, even our $5 and our $10.

Help Obama hold back the oceans.  For God's sake, save yourselves!


Hey, Romney, had any income from Big Oil? Like your pal Paul Ryan?  Let's see those tax returns!