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VERSION 2.0 THE 2012 ELECTION
PART ONE * JANUARY 1, 2012
LECTURER IN CHIEF
THE END OF THE WORLD
IDIOTS IN CHARGE
The Republicans started campaigning too early for this Presidential election cycle. The party has found itself with a mish-mash of bad candidates with scrambled messages. In the Big Circus Tent of American Politics, the GOP has left only a trail of dung in the minds of the general public.
In an economic climate where at least 6.5 million Americans have permanently lost their career jobs, the Republicans cannot get any traction. People have been turned off by the non-stop corruption, sleaze and lies of their elected officials that it may be a lost cause, a sinking ship, a Mayan prophecy at hand.
With the Iowa caucus kick-off (where a mere 100,000 people buy and cast their opinion in an unscientific homespun state preference poll) at hand, the candidates slop through the muddy cornfields of the political landscape looking for strangers who will give them a pity pat on the head.
The clubhouse leader in the race is not even in the race. Future history books will state that in 2008, the Republicans ran the first zombie for President, John McCain. In order to give any life to that campaign disaster, the spunky Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, was brought on the bus. Now, Palin has figured out that she can make more money being a potential candidate than an actual candidate with her quasi-celebrity status she does not have to run for office anymore.
Michelle Bachmann Tea Party Overdrive is a Sarah Palin Lite edition of the Conservative Soccer Mom. She comes across as a deer in the headlights politician - - - totally frozen when she goes off script.
Tim Placenta was the other Minnesota candidate who came from the conservative back wash from Sen. Al FrankensteinÕs liberal election victory. He quickly got out of the race because he had a last name that TV anchors would butcher and no campaign money.
Pizza Godfather Herb Cain Mutiny is the Alan Keyes Lite because he is not a policy wonk but a former business executive. His self styled flight from the ŌDemocratic plantationĶ has caused his distracters to call him a racist even though he is a black man giving his own personal testimonial. But as with all Republicans with a hint of moral outrage, an alleged personal scandal of the sexual nature derailed and suspended Cain's campaign as he had surged to the lead in the national polls. His 9-9-9 tax plan turned into No-No-No very quickly with the stories of alleged multiple affairs, coaxed to the surface by Obama aides and supporters. But which such scandals, the party abandons those charged to the media wolves (who seem to only feast on Republican red meat because when Democrats have similar scandals, they are sympathetic and supportive.)
Mitt Romulus Care is the media's Trojan horse candidate, a moderate to liberal Republican from Massachusetts who adopted a state wide universal health care plan before Obamacare. The mainstream media pundits wonÕt admit it, but they would rather have Obama lose to a moderate like Romney, who is a Nelson Rockerfeller Lite, than a zealot Republican conservative. However, Romney is a terribly boring campaigner; like a door to door evangelic without a clear message.
Eye of Newt Gingrich has had his campaign implode twice since it started; once with his senior staff bolting and the next with the candidate himself opening his mouth. There is enough hot air bellowing from his mouth but he cannot lift himself off the ground. The author of the Contract With America now cannot get any traction once the press gets a hold of his baggage. Gingrich has more baggage than a porter in a 1920s movie. He was in favor of health mandates when he was in Congress long before it became a curse phrase. Also, taking a million dollars from Freddy and Fannie Mae to help them lobby Congress for more money which created the mortgage implosion scandal will be hard to explain away from voters whose house equity is underwater.
Texas Governor Rick Perry Tinnitus is the George W. Bush Lite. He came off dumber than a tumbleweed during the debates. Also, he has an Amazon Tax issue in his state which has many small businesses to consider fleeing the state because Texas wants to tax interstate commerce. You cannot run a pro-business message when you are also strangling small businesses at the same time. As Iowa rolls around, Perry is still sitting in the corner with a huge dunce cap on; unable to figure out how to get it off his head.
Ron Paul is the outsider inside the Republican Party. He is a Harry Browne Lite, a libertarian in name. For twenty years, Republicans feared the message of the Libertarians, so much so that they adopted many of that third party's platform items and allowed state election laws to change to make it more difficult for third party candidates to run. Paul has the Bobblehead problem of being too progressive on social issues and too conservative on economic and foreign policy issues to connect with a independent Republican voter.
Meanwhile, while the Republicans slog through their own mess, President Obama continues to make curt speeches thinking that he has solved all man kind's problems prior to his next round of golf or vacation. While he continues to tell us what to do, he has never had a grasp on how to actually govern (or run the executive branch). His cabinet officials are all off on larks of their own choosing which is fine with Obama because then he does not have to make any real decisions. In reality, Obama does not have to run for re-election again. He could claim that he accomplished all his uber-liberal agenda items in his first term and retire as the greatest man on the planet revolving around his ego.
We begin the new year high unemployment, stagnant wages, skyrocketing core inflation, massive public debt borrowings and no vision except more government micromanaging of society and its resources. For the first time in history, student loan debt now exceeds all American credit card debts. The unemployment rate for people aged 30 to 69 is 29 percent. The misery index is at an all-time high. Pollsters don't even ask the question anymore whether you were better off four years ago.
People are so tired of the institutionalized corruption from insider contracts to corporate welfare bailouts that the end of their world may be at hand. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. There is much speculative debate about what it means; the doomsayers believe the world will collapse in a great flood, others claim that it means a rare astronomical event will mark nothing more than a new calendar cycle. In reality, the special interests, whether religious, pagan, or global warming environmentalists latch on to anything to secure their position (and public funding) on page one of the news. School children know from an early age the climate of earth is directly affected by the sun's rays, the ocean currents and more importantly, the wobble of the earth on its axis. What the Mayan calendar really shows is the convergence of several important events happening right now: the sun is going through a sunspot phase which will release more radiation toward earth; the earth's electromagnetic field shields most of it, but it is weakening in a probable dramatic polar inversion; and the earth is going through a progression, in which the wobble of the earth is about to conclude and a new shift of the equator to the sun will occur. If all three events occur at the same time: more sun activity, a reversal of the north and south poles, and a shift in the earth's axis relative to the sun - - - major planetary changes from disruption of the electrical grid to large shifts temperate zones will impact plants, animals, sea levels, crops, and living conditions for people. It would be the computer Y2K with real consequences.
It is doubtful whether world leaders are aware of basic school planetarium principles. They are too busy fending off man-made derivative disasters in the global banking system and government bankruptcies to focus on any big picture items.
The real disaster at hand is that the idiots that ruined the nation are still in charge. Their main purpose is to maintain their power by getting re-elected. To get reelected, they solicit campaign funds in exchange for support and votes on legislation. One can hardly wonder why normal light bulbs costing 50 cents will now be energy-saving bulbs costing $5 under new laws effective in 2012. A green agenda is more expensive to the consumer, but more profitable to the light bulb manufacturer (and political donor). But that is the short sightedness of Congress to pass bills without realizing the consequences, intended or unintended, from their actions. The Election of 2012 is shaping up to be a poor choice between the lesser of two evils. It is not a comforting thought when the nation is at a critical crossroads in history.
PART TWO * JANUARY 8, 2012
MODERATE INSIDERS TO THE FRONT
WANE OF THE INDEPENDENTS
IDIOTS STILL IN CHARGE
The Iowa parlor opinion polling was completed (with some controversy about whether the state party can count ballots properly) with Milt Romney the straw poll victor, by a slim 8 vote tally over dark horse ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, who became the conservative wing flavor of the week after Newt Gingrich's diving board collapse in support. Libertarian Ron Paul finished third. Tea Party runway model Michelle Bachmann finished last, and ended her Sarah Palin Lite campaign the next day.
The national cable news networks, sans Fox, were giddy at the Romney victory. The anchors continued to hammer home their Democratic strategist talking points that Romney is the most electable of the bushel basket of Republican stones. It is a backward notion but shows how professional politicians now view elections: it is all about winning, and not about platforms, ideas or values. Pundits want voters to only vote for winners and not idealists. That philosophy downplays sound bite marketing plays of past election cycles; the new reality is the racing form and the odds of victory. Romney has the name recognition and the money to fund a long primary campaign. As a moderate, he allegedly captures the liberal side of the Republican regular party members. That is supposed the help Romney in the general election because independents are more moderate than conservatives believe. Even Democratic candidates run to the middle in general elections since the independent vote is now larger than either party membership rolls. The Democrats think Obama can beat a moderate Republican because the conservative base will not support Romney.
The growth of independent voters is because mainstream America is fed up with the career politicians micromanaging their lives. The new independents believe that there is no difference between a Republican or a Democrat. They are the same gears in a runaway bureaucratic machine. But independents cannot choose a viable third party candidate since the two major parties control the state legislatures. During the past two decades, they have written election laws so harsh that independent candidates cannot get easy access to the ballot. Then, the parties snip off the popular rhetoric of an independent candidate as their own (false) solution making the third party outsider irrelevant in a general election campaign because he or she is not electable. This mantra is employed to keep the party regulars in power election to election.
Independents are aware that the nation is on the brink of collapse due to the weight of the incompetence of their public officials. Massive federal deficits, high taxation, high unemployment, special interest corporate welfare, massive state and local deficits, increasing crime rates, political corruption and looting of the public treasuries continue to be institutionalized as the new normal. Some historians compare the warning signs to the Fall of the Roman (American) Empire.
Obama ended the military operations in Iraq to appease his liberal doves in his own party. He is blocking energy policies and new pipelines to appease his liberal environmentalists. He is forging ahead with new tax the rich (but in reality the squeezed middle class) to appease his liberal socialist friends. Obama can continue his liberal agenda without cloaking it in the robe of a moderate because he is running unopposed for a second term. It does not matter that the consequences of his policies will hurt small businesses, the unemployed or the overtaxed middle class. Obama's handlers know that there are no real challengers in the Republican party to overthrow the status quo: big government and big government spending and regulation.
Burt Wolfe had a recent PBS special on America. He found that what puts the US ahead of everyone else in the world is the history of the inventor, small business entrepreneur. Those individuals are the agents of real change, real progress, and real wealth creation. Wolfe interviewed people who indicated that the worst thing in America today is the reliance on management to figure things out and not the entrepreneur independence. Corporate management gets rewarded (and highly overpaid) whether they make money or lose money. This same philosophy is apparent in the federal and state capitols: elected officials retain office whether they make citizens lives better or worse. With a small business-inventor, he or she wins or loses on his own talent; the risk to reward; the human capital and sweat equity to succeed. But the free spirit inventor is now an anomaly in our culture, since big government programs have trained generations not to work hard to succeed on their own, but wait for the next program hand-out and empty promise like Pavlov dogs at a feeding bowl. And that is the darkness that has encapsulated the American way of life; the reality show of idiots being highly rewarded for acting like fools.
It is foolish to say that Romney, Santorum, Gingrich or Paul are outsiders. They are all politicians. They are all been elected officials. They are all spouting the drum beat of their political forebearers. They are saying what people want to hear but with the long lasting substance of stale chewing gum.
PART THREE * FEBRUARY 5, 2012
A REBEL WITH A CAUSE
ANGER IN THE PULPITS
In an election cycle, the candidates are like peacocks strutting themselves. However, this season they are more like plucked naked turkeys. The Emperor cranes have no feathers. And voters have not looked, or worse, do not care.
South Carolina is a Republican conservative base. The Right thought this would be the ground to halt the Romney bus in its tracks as the high unemployment state would rebel against a Massachusetts liberal Republican. Carolina people should still be stinging mad with the Obama National Labor Relations Board's unilateral blockade of a new Boeing plant. Carolina is a right to work (or non-union) state; Obama's minions decided to make it a test case to buy some election year loyalty. But apparently, it was not enough of a fight to set torches ablaze and run down to the polls to vote for the most conservative candidate on the GOP ballot. Romney won. Easily.
Romney won but just campaigning in Carolina, and not get lynched on his Massachusetts record. Romney won when he actually got people to vote for him on election day. Romney won because the media red herring of being the most electable candidate has gotten traction. Romney won because his own real opponent is now Mr. Hot Air Balloon Face, Newt Gingrich.
The conservative's conservative, Rick Santorum, gave up the state the weekend prior to the vote. Even with the Iowa test score administrators finally giving him a slim caucus win a month ago, could not stem the high tide of boredom his campaign waded through the campaign stops. He was smart enough to call it hopeless and go home to bet the mortgage on the Steelers in the playoffs. Oh, dear. It is really time to re-group.
Rick Perry had already abandoned ship and went back to Texas to sulk. His debate performances were so bad, educational achievement scores in the deep South suddenly rose. He had fallen off his own high horse, and was trampled to death by his own words.
Ron Paul is still on the campaign trail because he is on a carnival ride that he cannot get off of - - - he is not running for office but leading his libertarian cause against the status quo in Washington D.C. Again, people all over the country like what he says, because he says it well. But they just cannot get over the hump to pull the lever and actually vote for him. It is like going to the county clerk's office to ask for a marriage license for a platypus bride.
So all the Republican candidates have been mere condiments with no meaty platform or charisma. There is plenty of issues on the fire pit. Obama's economy: dreadful. Obama's foreign policy: miserable. Obama's Justice Department policies: criminal. Obama's spending: out of control, over a cliff, incoherent suicide. But every time a candidate starts to raise such an issue, it looks like he is tossing old roadkill at the audience. The rhetoric is tired, the message is garbled, the solutions non-existent and the pompous factor is rising fast.
So the Democrats can seize the Moment of Dullness to cook the numbers in their favor. The January unemployment rate went down, said the headlines. But the real reason is that millions of unemployed workers fell off the rolls and are no longer counted in the official unemployment rate of 8.5%. The real unemployment, underemployment rate is more like 15.5%. Minority unemployment is closer to 25% and that is the alleged Democratic base. But numbers can lie and liars can figure they can repeat their headline enough times to brain wash the public in believing that their lives are getting better.
For worse. As the grocery store receipt sticker shock continues to climb (while the quality of food declines), the intestinal fortitude of the American people will start to be sorely tested. The question is whether they will get angry enough in time to harness the right person to challenge the Democrats free spending Roman orgy in November or whether the gastroenteritis will cripple the people into an apathetic coma. A recent poll found that more than a third of the electorate wanted a new candidate to jump into the race. That is not going to happen.
And the two GOP front-runners won't change their inner stripes to queasy their uneasy stomachs. Romney and Gingrich both appear approaching a Euro-conservative moment. They are both tried and true big spending program pork project guys in fiscal responsible sheep's clothing. What they are going to say next is that they should be elected because conservatives are better managers of the spending programs. Not that they will cut the programs or stop the spending, but manage it better. Which is how Europe has collapsed and is now wallowing in their own fiscal cesspool. Conservative spenders are the same as liberal spenders, and neither are managers because they don't change the problem but add scented feces to the wallow pit.
Romney may be ahead in the delegate count and Gingrich may hold a second banana position while Perry is in the Texas capitol whittling a pointy stick as Paul continues his political vaudeville act which may amuse some in the media to tedium. Santorum may follow Herman Cain into the loser-gets-a-radio-show Sarah Palin career path gig to bank his 15 minutes of fame. How sad must the basset hound face of the Speaker of the House be if his party cannot get its act together by this summer.
PART FOUR * FEBRUARY 11, 2012
NEWT'S THREE WAY
PARDON THE INTERRUPTION
THE PAC MEN
CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?
Romney may be still ahead in the delegate count, but the roots of his gray sideburns must be on fire. Gingrich continued his endless attacks on Romney's record, calling him every name in the conservative boogie man book: moderate, liberal, mandate heavy and from Massachusetts. He even lashed back when Romney pointed out that Gingrich is a career politician by saying Romney was jealous since he had lost a race to Ted Kennedy. All this sparring led to another man to sneak in the ring. Under the cover of an actual vote, Santorum shocked the mainstream media by winning the dog and pony shows in Nevada, Minnesota and partial caucus in Missouri.
None of this really matters since the delegate count is so low. A nominee needs more than 1100 delegates at the convention. Romney, still in first, has less than ten percent of that total. And with more states using a pro rata delegate formula, the race may not be decided until the final primaries.
What is more interesting is seeing what the electoral vote is for each GOP contender at this point. Delegates may nominate a candidate, but state electors in the general election will cast the votes for president. If a candidate can win the Republican race in these early states, logic presumes that he should be able to hold in the general.
So the breakdown is simple:
Romney wins New Hampshire (4) and Florida (29) for 33 electoral votes.
Santorum wins Iowa (6), Nevada (6), Minnesota (10) and Missouri (10) for 32 electoral votes.
Gingrich wins South Carolina for 9 electoral votes.
Paul wins only some debate points and better luck next time back pats on the train platform going out of town.
Gingrich must be smarting the most for the Nevada loss. His biggest SuperPAC backer is a Nevada casino owner who is willing to pour millions into unregulated campaign ads which should give Newt an edge against the Romney campaign war chest. But to the surprise of both big money players, Santorum won. He won without the big donor backers that the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed with its Citizens United decision last term. Money is free speech and campaign donations are political speech so game on!
Money is always a corrupting influence in politics. Now, there will be more of it. Obama is churning his way to his goal of a billion dollar war chest to carpet bomb any Republican nominee into the Stone Ages. But even the President, with the power of incumbency and the perks of instant national press coverage, decided he could not escape the lure of having SuperPACS supporting his cause. He unleashed his staff to go out and tell big money donors that it was okay to fund the New Bullies on the election block. Game on!
All this bickering, back stabbing, name calling and money loading has done nothing to help define the issues or find solutions to the nation's problems. In fact, the candidates and media seem to not notice the fact that Main Street is still stuck in the quicksand of high unemployment, rapidly increasing food and energy inflation and the erosion of personal savings by negative interest rate policy of the Federal Reserve. Financial capital is still seized up by the major national banks. Human capital is still on the sidelines, growing more every quarter as more unemployed people fall off the national unemployment counter (when unemployment benefits run out.) The real unemployment rate that includes the five million people who fell off the government survey is higher than ten percent. The unemployment and underemployment rate (those stuck in part time jobs but want better full time employment) is more than sixteen percent. Minority and urban unemployment in the old rust belt is more than twenty-five percent. The malaise in the job sector puts a malaise on the economy. America is stuck in neutral falling backward down a steep slope.
The US Senate still refuses to pass a budget in some sort of self-denial that there is no crisis. The federal deficit has sped by the total gross domestic product by more than a trillion dollars. The trade deficit has widened so the US is importing more goods from overseas. Times continue to be a bleak side of spectrum. But elected officials continue to boast that things are getting better; but there is more work to be done. More sacrifice, more fairness. But at a certain point, you cannot get blood out of an unemployed turnip.
PART FIVE * MARCH 10, 2012
LINCOLN OR DOUGLAS?
INCUMBENT SPOILED CHILDREN
THE FAT GREEK COUSIN
Mitt Romney fancies himself as Lincoln because he is tall. I have been to the Lincoln Library, the Lincoln Log Cabin, played with Lincoln logs as a child, and went to the site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate to watch a demolition derby, so I can say without a shadow of a doubt, Romney is no Lincoln.
He is not really a poor manÕs Lincoln impersonator. And Newt Gingrich is no Stephen A. Douglas either, or yet. Douglas was a short, pudgy, arrogant, political insider who thought more of himself and how he could get ahead than being a true statesman. His insider deals in Illinois on par for the course; the long tradition of private profit from public service. Gingrich has miles to walk in DouglasÕ tiny shoes to be one of the giants of self delusional promotion. But Newt fancies himself to have several one-on-one Lincoln Douglas debates with Romney. No moderators. No questions. Just pure debate give and take for hours on end.
He fails to realize that such debate style went out of fashion immediately after the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The advent of mass media, telegraph wires to radio to broadcast news stations makes such grandstand debates rubbish antiques even in the arena of bare knuckle politics. Romney would probably ride into such a venue in full polo regalia but riding a donkey. And Newt would be carried in by four men in togas struggling with the weight of a Newt filled Roman coach. And they would have to bus in crying children who know abuse when they hear it.
When Obama cries out about fairness and money (of which he claims to have too much of) he is lying. Demofiends love money. They are obsessed by it. Bill Clinton is running around the world giving $500,000 speeches. DonÕt you think Obama wants that action? Clinton now has his own pro-celebrity golf tournament on the grave of Bob Hope. DonÕt you think Obama wants to have his own golf shindig on the grave of Bing Crosby? Of course he does. He has all the trappings of the emperor king lifestyle. Even if he leaves off, he gets full secret service (in gopher mode) and the ability to get other people and organizations to pay for all his daily needs (food, transportation, entertainment). Only ego stops him from retiring after one term.
Newt's relentless attacks on Romney did knock Mitt down a peg. But it also scuttled Newt back to third or fourth place as Rick Santorum bolted ahead by winning Nevada, Minnesota and Missouri's partial state caucus klatch. Progressives in Minnesota put Ron Paul second, which gives the Four Horsemen of the GOP Apocalypse another round of good feelings to march into Super Tuesday. There are some people who believe that if you watch Fox News your brain will turn into a convenience store frozen slush. A few of those people are parroting the spinmasters punch list of items from Washington DC As one foreigner observed the brilliance of AmericaÕs founders who quarantined all the elected officials in the District of Columbia preserve. There, politicians would only wild upon themselves.
But like spoiled children, elected officials will always scream Look at Me! Look what I am Doing!! And to do so, they pass laws. And when that does work, they pass mandates. And if anyone objects, they get offended like a school yard bully and punch back. It is quite juvenile but that is the state of American political debate. The elected ones have given themselves so much immunity and perks ancient Roman leaders would blush. If you would move the capitol to an off ramp in the middle of Iowa, all the same nonsense, corruption and official juvenile behavior would follow. These are the leaders of the free world who lost the will or are just too lazy to read their own legislation. They are the smartest people in the room by their own accord; but a bag of garbage in a landfill is still just a bag of garbage. The game of incumbency is so rigged by the incumbents that real change will never happen. Just the sheep's clothing will be worn by a different wolf from either the Republican or Democratic pack. Anyone who offers a common sense solution to a problem is disemboweled as an imbecile, a naive hick or a rave lunatic. And since they control the pulpits of public information, they can drown out any alternative voice. Even though Congress' approval ratings are at historic lows, around 11 percent, the incumbents continue to get reelected and further empowered (by their own egos) to continue their corrupt and stupid personal profiteering as leaders of the new autocracy.
This election has shown to date that the drone of the spoiled childlike candidates turns off more voters than ever before: the messengers are dentist drills. Their commercials are fingernails on chalkboards. They believe they will be the next people to walk on the political waters but act without intellectual honesty of pond scum. Millions of dollars in spending has given the Republican party a burned but raw centered carrot cake after Super Tuesday mixed bag of victories for every candidate except Paul. Romney clings to the hope that the delegates will find him the most electable. Gingrich hopes that Santorum will run out of money and drop out so he can try to convince conservatives to come back to his leaky bandwagon. And Santorum hopes that Romney's boredom personality will set fire to his large campaign war chest and turn him into an ash pile of despondent ruin.
Even Obama could not skate in Oklahoma, where he only got 57 percent of the vote. He lost more than a dozen counties. In a Democratic primary - - - the incumbent President fell on his face but does not recognize that he has fallen from his coronation in Grant Park in 2008.
In the last Presidential election cycle, the internet was the new tool of the savvy campaigns, in recruiting the youth and donations. This year, there is no hoopla over net campaigns making any difference. In fact, the general public appears more apathetic than ever before; the endless GOP debates turned off more people not getting a cable news paycheck. The drone was endless, like a knocking V8 on its last legs.
There has been many things around to get the electorate mad, really mad. The economy continues in a financial stupor. Government deficits are strangling the middle class with a choke hold that would explode action hero heads off. And you have the US Attorney General explaining the use of drone bombings overseas as a difference in due process; Ōthere is a difference between due process and judicial due process. We can only assume he said that drone bombs' due process is indiscriminate pain whether friend or foe. Or that there is no due process in any war zone which would include the War on Drugs and his lunacy of arming the cartels with automatic weapons. The nation's best and brightest are not running the country or running to run the country.
The candidates continue to pander to the primary voters. There is a larceny in their vague promises of better times ahead. It may ring true to the miserable who are also out to screw someone in order to feel better about their own plight. But America was not founded on sour, backbiting patent medicine salesmen. The public knows what is wrong. The economy is wobbling toward a weak plateau of a growing underemployed middle class and a increasing dependent on aid entitlement class. The previous recession lost 3 million permanent jobs. Corporations thought outsourcing was the business model for profitability. This recession and financial meltdown has led to a loss of 6.5 million permanent jobs. Only 64 percent of the working class is gainfully employed. Fifty percent of families now receive some form of government checks.
We know that we are a very large fat cousin of Greece, but the candidates are in feeding the denial of this new reality. There are no national solutions that the candidates want to say because the truth will alienate some segment of special interest population. Cut backs in any program will anger the recipients and the bureaucrats administering it. The waste in spending is still staggering. A Detroit News article indicated that an $11 million stimulus grant to counsel the unemployed on how to dress for job interviews (besides being a stupid concept to fund) only had two customers. Only two. How can anyone spend $5.5 million to tell a person to dress appropriately for a job interview?! Only the federal government, whose spending is like mainlining opium with like consequences.
PART SIX * MARCH 18, 2012
GRINCH THAT STEALS AIR TIME
GAS AND WIND BAGS
LURCHING TOWARD THE DARKNESS
Mitt must be having fits. His standup comedy routine in the south was more wooden and off key than cigar store Indians. And the Newter, who never passes up a chance to give a dig (or have a meal), said he had been eating grits all his life . . . then I guess the Beltway serves soul food because Newt no longer lives in the deep South. Since his banishment from the House, he has stayed on like many other career politicians, sucking at the teat of the government bureaucracy, as a lobbyist or paid pundit.
The southern strategy has been to tap into the inherent conservative nature of the deep south: religious and anti-federalist. But the three stoogies on the Republican ballot, Romney, Santorum and Gingrich, are all large government gear heads who think they can manage the System better than Democrats. That is the European conservative model which led to huge national deficits, more entitlement programs and high unemployment. These are faux conservatives, conservatives in name only. Moderates bait them into compromises all the time for the sake of national unity. In the end, at best, the problem is merely pushed under the rug for another session or two.
So when Santorum wins Alabama and Mississippi after Romney had spent a lot of time and money there, it is a major blow to his national image as the only electable candidate of the bunch; one who appeals to both the independents and conservatives of the party. What was even worse: finishing third to the honey baked swine who continues to spout Reaganisms to pander to the monied ultraconservatives to keep his weak float in the parade.
Gingrich continues to suck the air out of Romney's sails. If he could cut out Gingrich, Romney thinks he could win one-on-one with Santorum for those moderate conservatives on name recognition alone. Instead of the I am like you acting on the campaign trail of liking heart stopping sweet pecan pies, Romney can go back to his boring academic stump speeches which he is more comfortable in delivering. He thinks Mr. Sweatervest's routine will fall apart when the heat gets on his record in Washington and his lobbyist ties. But the message is foggy because Gingrich continues to eat up air time before each primary as the self-proclaimed underdog in the race. Americans love the underdog story. But not necessarily for president.
In less than a month, gasoline prices have skyrocketed more than 70 cents in the Midwest to around $4.29 per gallon. That is a huge move in prices that is directly affecting the pocketbooks of every voter. The candidates blame Obama for not allowing domestic drilling. Obama blames the oil companies for price gouging. In turn, the oil companies are actually exporting record amounts of gasoline from US refineries. It may not be a supply issue but a demand issue. The American economy is much weaker than Washington dares admit. Unemployment is far higher than the Labor Department dares admit. It just stops counting people after their unemployment runs out. And a displaced worker who finds a part time minimum wage job is counted as a fully employed patriot. Bankrupt, but marginally employed. The telling fact that gets no traction is that only 64 percent of the able bodied work force in America has some sort of paying job. And those people now have more than one-third of the nation on their backs paying for government programs, unemployment and social security safety nets. You can only load a pack mule with so much weight before it groans then keels over dead.
The trail down the campaign canyon does not end in El Dorado. It ends badly. A snake pit of dangerous, coddled, loopy and arrogant individuals who think they know better than the common man on how to solve the common man's common problems of the day. These individuals ride the mules down the cliff side, kicking their taxpayers to the brink of the edge of disaster by throwing money over the side to laugh as the wind catches the bills and make them dance like strippers at the DC nightclub. That's all they do: take money and spend money, which is not their money to begin with. None of the candidates addresses that enigma. None of the parties are willing to confront their own wasteful spending habits. They refuse to recognize that the system is broken because a child covered in crumbs never admits to their parent that they broke the cookie jar.
PART SEVEN * MARCH 24, 2012
ILL TIDE IN THE WASTELAND
CYST BUCKETS OF RUBBISH
STUMBLING TO MADNESS
It is official: the long winded political season has bored Illinois voters into a coma. A severe coma. An irreversible coma. A pull-the-plug terminal coma. The coma of all comas. Illinois citizens have abandoned most hope in the system by surrendering at the polls: no one showed up to give a damn.
In a presidential election year when the entire framework of federalism is at a historic pivot point, no one cared. It was an awful turnout directly caused by dreadful candidates who pitched and yawned their way through a heavily Democratically corrupt state like e-coli through a warm salad buffet table. The harsh static of the stump speeches lulled the voters into a sense of nothingness: nothing could change things, so why bother. The weather is nice, almost summer like, go for a drive. Until one realizes that a mortgage payment has just been shoved down the tank lid and out the exhaust pipe at $4.29 per gallon. But that near record high for petro did nothing to fire sparks in citizen brain cells to go out and vote for change.
The last time the Illini pulled the lever for change, they got this:
Yes, Illinois is Obama's convenient home state for political purposes. Yes, Illinois is controlled by Democrats in the state house, the governor's mansion and the Chicago city council. Yes, Illinois is filled with the Obama base: unions, career politicians, backroom fixers and big government program spenders. But Illinois is a rust belt state where the rust has eaten through all the meaty metal. Illinois is now a lumpy speed bump on the road through the Midwest to other states having a slightly better economic time of it. The state is left with vicious, taxing tapeworms.
The state motto on the license plate could be changed to LAND OF LARCENY. It would fit. An indicted state representative won his Democratic primary election by a landslide. A Congressman under a House ethics investigation in his role in selling a Senate seat with the former governor, who is now in federal prison, won his Democratic primary election by a landslide. And those events raise no eyebrows or concern among state leaders or leading private citizens. It is just the way things are in the former land of Abe. It is an ill tide that has flowed like toxic waste to Washington DC Obama's first three years will be highlighted by an out of control Justice Department gun program, the worst kind of crony capitalism, massive federal loan fraud in special interest programs like green energy (bankruptcies) and a massive federal deficit.
But the Republican candidates never shine any light on those critical faults. No, they would rather blab on about how they, in the vaguest of terms, would change the course of the nation, cage the out of control big government tiger, and get people back to work. But in the course of trying to define themselves, they have been bitch slapping each other negative ads, crude remarks, and pandering lies like Three Stoogies slapstick.
You look at them and then realize why people stay home at election day, hiding under the beds counting the few remaining dollars left in their mattress. You have the most boring man with eyebrows in the world. You have a weasel in a sweater vest who could not be trusted to valet park your car at a shopping mall. You have self-absorbed greasy sleaze who refuses to drop out of the election because he has nothing better to do with his measly life. If they were fraternity pledges, they would be beaten into becoming sorority pledges by any common sense intellectual. How else can one describe a mass of quivering cysts with eyeballs and 15 second soundbite mouths?
And they won't go away. The just move on to the next primary state like locust. Zombie locusts. Feeding only on campaign donations and fake applause at rally speeches. If there were such things as land piranhas, they would sink their fangs into fleshy politicians and immediately gang and turn on their siblings like flying dead zombie fish. The Republicans are putting on a pathetic show of boredom while Obama is doing what he does best: nothing. Obama is coasting to his vacation convention because he cornered the Democratic donors early, rewarded his past donors magnanimously and now has special interest SuperPACs in reserve for the general election. The low turnouts in states with some political savvy like Illinois is another sign that most voters really want another candidate. They see all the candidates as being from the same trash can.
Not even local referendums on tax bond increases or an insane scheme by hundreds of villages to become their citizen's electricity broker got people interested enough to cast a yes-no vote. The state utility board sets the rates for the traditional electric utilities. But deregulation gave electricity brokers an opportunity to contract directly with consumers by buying power in bulk and allegedly passing on the cost savings to customers. But the old utility producers will still create the power, distribute the power over their lines, through their own meters, through their own accounting systems and do all the maintenance on the grid. The deregulated companies have been trying for years to sign up customers, and when most calls come in, they get a quick hang-up. People in Illinois are not Enron stupid. When was the last time your local government program ever saved you a dime? Ever. The answer is never. In the fine print of the brochures, it was stated that the local elected officials could never guarantee that a consumers electric bill would actually go down or be less than the current regulated charges. In fact, there may be more charges like termination fees and long term supply contracts. Why would a village do such a thing to their own citizens? Well, a simple observation would be that by courting deregulated power distributors, elected officials have another industry to lobby them. And we can only imagine what that is all about. Oh, terribly sorry, sir but it is sunny today so your electric rate has just doubled.It is crazy stupid but that is what most government programs are today.
Even the ghost of Ronald Reagan could not have been called back from the after life to call out the truth to the clowns in charge. Reagan championed the cause of small government, deregulation and left the prosperity of the nation in the hands of those who could really accomplish it: individuals. If one looks at the speeches of the candidates, and back check their records and former positions, you would find that no candidate comes close to the Reagan philosophy. They are all proponents of big government solutions to national problems. They share more attributes with bureaucrats than statesmen. They offer themselves as the solution for future problems that they themselves will create. Yes, it is a crazy stupid notion but how else can one describe the candidates who are more concerned about managing the remaining few family dollars stuffed in the mattress of the family hiding under the bed? They truly believe they can take that money away and make the family's problems go away with pixie dust and big dictionary words. And that is why the family did not go out to vote on election day; they felt that the clowns would break in and take the money away without even going through the faux ritual of promising a better tomorrow today.
PART EIGHT * APRIL 7, 2012
YOU CAN'T GO HOME
It should have been no surprise to election watchers that Romney would win Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia. What do all those places have in common? They are liberal states. Wisconsin, despite the wave of Republicanism in Madison which has caused union recall elections, prides itself on its progressive politics. Maryland, as a bedroom community for Big Government, also leans Democratic. And DC is DC
So liberal states tend to lean left, even in the GOP as a means to appealing to a broader base. A moderate Republican is like a non-Molotov cocktail throwing entitlement advocate. Romney's track record in Massachusetts tends to net moderate Republicans who like the idea of government solutions to society's problems.
Santorum continues to demand that Gingrich just go home and die. The pair has been dividing the more and more apathetic conservative base in the last few primaries, giving Romney the appearance of gaining strength toward the nomination. Romney is now just over 50 percent there . . . and basically, the rest of the field needs to make sure he does not win a third more of the delegates before the final states concede the race. Santorum returns to his Waterloo primary moment . . . his home state of Pennsylvania. The last time he ran state wide there, he got beaten badly as an incumbent Senator seeking reelection That, in modern politics, is really hard to do. If Santorum loses his home state, his campaign is toast.
The story is worse for Gingrich. One of his many revenue plays, a policy think tank, just filed for bankruptcy because the organization's fundraising from Newt's speeches and donors dried up when he formed his campaign committee. Gingrich is a one man band that you see in the airport playing for loose change. It is a another black eye for one of his enterprises cannot make it and fails. The stink of failure is hard to get off. So Gingrich is hiding out waiting for the smell to pass, and hopes to make some sort of coup at the convention. But that strategy is a delusional pipe dream. Ron Paul is drawing bigger crowds now than Newt.
Part of the problem for conservative Republicans is that the most conservative states, the South and West, hold their primaries later than Democratic strongholds in the East and Rust Belt. That means it is a harder road for a pure conservative to stay in the race to get to those favored primaries. Add to the problem that Romney is outspending his opponents three to one in advertising, Santorum and Gingrich will run out of cash and support long before the primary season ends.
The national media is still pulling for the wooden speaker, Romney, to win the nomination. They believe that the teleprompter king, Obama, can wipe out Mitt during the fall's heavily tailored debates. But those affairs look more like a bad puppet show from here: Obama cannot run on vague promises of change - - - he has an ultra-liberal track record and hours of personal gaffes on basic subjects, including his recent comment that it would be unprecedented for the Supreme Court to overturn a duly passed law from Congress, Obamacare. Well, that was so wrong that liberal pundits heads exploded; the Court has the last word on the constitutionality of laws since 1803. None the less, an Obama-Romney national election may put the nation into a deep, deep sleep. Which is fine for the DNC, since a low turnout favors their candidate.
But as Santorum knows, even an incumbent can lose an election, badly.
PART NINE * APRIL 29, 2012
THE RUN OUT
GINGRICH FADES AWAY
ROMNEY UPS THE DULLNESS
OBAMA OUT OF TOUCH
It will be a quiet summer after all. Rick Santorum quickly quit in the face of a) family matters, b) campaign finance weakness and c) a pending home state loss to Romney. It is better to get out before you get beat badly in your own back yard. You don't invite a bully over the house for tea and cookies to expect him not to run you over with his fists holding rolls of quarters. Santorum was the conservative wing's Hail Mary pass this election. No other deficit hawk Christian value wonk wanted to leave their cocoon of incumbency to challenge the sitting President, mano on mano. So when Santorum suspended his campaign (in order to quit without releasing his delegates to get a speech slot at the convention), the conservative wing wept in silence in their corner.
Newt Gingrich just ran out of money like a steam locomotive runs out of water in the desert. Newt's major failing in this national campaign was that he really is an unlikeable candidate. He has the same demeaning lecturer's tone of Obama in snipping comments at reporters and anchors. He thinks he knows better, and is not artful to tell you so. His time had already past; his Contract With America got him the fireworks ride to the House leadership in an era of new conservatism forged ahead by Ronald Reagan. Reagan was never a fan of the Newt. Newt liked to be a king in a court of political jesters. So when he finally got his wish with Santorum stumbling to a stop, it was too late. The conservative Republicans don't change bandwagons mid-stream. they wait to see if Romney is a true Republican or Satanic liberal in a tailored three piece suit.
American politics is now a game of Big Money. SuperPACs are allowed unlimited resources to push issues (and indirectly endorse candidates). Candidates need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars (attached to hundreds of thousands of special interest promises). The election system is flawed, broken and corrupt. But it does not matter because principles have no function on election day. Name recognition, sound bite banter and one last ounce of personal fear will control who a voter will cast his lot with this November. A dull second generation aristocrat from Massachusetts or an out of control, entitlement heavy emperor from the White House.
Both Romney and Obama are exceedingly dull. Stump speech cue cards and teleprompters will be the Way after the conventions. Marketing cow patties as the greatest organic soap will rule the days and weeks ahead. Obama has not grown into the presidency, because when he was elected he never intended to govern. That is hard work. He left it to his lackey puppeteers to scatter the liberal agenda throughout the executive branch and cabinet agencies. He never got Congress to work with him, because he believed that was beneath a president. He was the man of big ideas. Let Congress work out the details. And if they don't, he will lecture them to work harder. Romney has the same clueless perspective of the presidency. He believes that his business background is somehow going to change the course of Big Government. The federal government was never established to run on any sort of business principles. It is immune from accountability, profitability, or responsibility for taxpayer trust funds. The only way Romney can slow down the runaway train of reckless spending is to bore Congress to death with his first State of the Union speech.
Which is still a possibility. Obama is still out of touch with mainstream America. His agencies continue to spin economic numbers to give the appearance of a slow recovery when in fact nothing has changed since the last election. The unemployed have become the perpetually unemployable. Growth in industry is happening overseas and not in Middle America. Real inflation is stripping away savings faster than burning stacks of hundred dollar bills. And blaming the rich for everyone else's problems rings hollow. The whole foundation of the United States was based upon the opportunity for any citizen to become rich. Those who embrace the last vestiges of the American Dream can succeed. But with almost half of the people in the US getting some form a government check (welfare, Medicaid, social security, disability, government pensions, VA benefit and unemployment), the working class is not big enough to support the promises of a golden safety net. Most Americans realize that the US is closer to becoming the next Greece than returning to an economic superpower like China.
PART TEN * MAY 14, 2012
FLAPPERS & FLIPPERS
FRACKING THE NATIONAL PYSCHE
All that is left for the Republican headmasters to stop grinding their dentures and poke through the ashes of the primary and over kill debate bonfire pit to find suitable ashes to mold into a viable candidate in the general election. Romney may be duller than one coat of flat paint on wallboard. He tries to be funny but he is as humorous as a dead squirrel. He continually tells people that he is a smart businessman, but he has run one of the dumbest campaigns. His last two chief rivals barely endorse him; Santorum sends out a tepid midnight email of kudos and voodoo doll niceties. But what is most disturbing to the mainstream is Romney's constant flipping on major issues. The news media has Romney on tape contradicting Romney. He tried to run away from being a moderate to win over conservatives but turned himself into a wind sock: flipping around whereever he thought the breeze was coming from.
President Obama has also flopped hard. Despite his alleged Christian beliefs, we found out that the cost of his policy position is a mere $15 million. Obama raised that much money at a George Clooney Hollywood fundraiser right after he made his support of gay marriage official. This was one of liberal Hollywood's major issues. So Obama embracing the left wing of his party like a child with his security blanket. For the critics are coming out of the wood work: Clinton called him an amateur. Foreign officials called him a disappointment. The state with the most per capita federal spending/entitlement programs, West Virginia, voted a jailed convict 40 percent in the Democratic primary. That is a stunning NO vote against Obama. It may because Obama and his environmentalist wing are blaming coal power for the ills of the planet. Apparently, Obama fails to realize how electricity is made in the USA. He must think everyone powers their homes and offices by sending kites with skeleton keys into the sky.
Both Candidates need a crash course in reality. The public knows there is no difference between establishment candidates. Ego and money sucks people into the system. And once inside, self-preservation is the only goal. The budgetary disease of fiscal blinders has permeated state and local governments. The game of public finance cooking the books, conflict of interest padding of official pensions and crony insider deals are crippling the economy. No politician who is selling his vote to special interests will ever admit responsibility or accountability for their actions. They believe the system has been so bad for so long, no one really cares anymore. They believe that they can direct the public over the cliff like lemmings. It some ways, they are correct with that assessment. But their own piracy of the treasury may pale from the obsessive greed of their benefactors.
Much like the Pirates of the Caribbean, investment bankers pulled alongside national governments and sold new financial products that were supposed to save them millions in their borrowing costs. Those credit swaps were complex derivatives made up from thin air which had no economic value in the real world. But those instrument keys turned and suddenly governments owed their bankers hundreds of millions of dollars. Investors did no due diligence and bankers got huge million dollar bonuses for each huge sale. Corruption was the norm.
Government lust for new financial instruments led to manipulation of their balance sheets. These new financial instruments were not called debt so some nations booked them as assets. But they were; some derivatives had actual loans at high interest rates imbedded inside the pages. Greece had used the latter to spruce up their national balance sheet in order to be admitted to the Euro Union. And once it was learned that Greece in reality had more than six times the amount of national debt (more debt than GDP), the latest financial crisis hit the headlines. Bankers don't get caught; they throw up their hands and say government clients were sophisticated investors who knew or should have known what they were buying at market. And good deals often go bad. Greece may have won the deficit nation in peril award several years running, but American leaders continue to acknowledge that the US deficit of $16 trillion is more than the US GDP, just like Greece. And the same assurances politicians give the public in form a entitlement promises without funding is the same as Greece has told its people. The day of reckoning is near.
What may shatter the American economy more than the status quo would be another Big Bank meltdown. JP Morgan admitted that it had a $2 billion loss from derivative deals. The bank's doublespeak on the issue shows the problem brewing: first, the CEO said the transactions were not proprietary trading (this is what the Volker Rule wants to eliminate, the bank betting its own assets on risky financial deals or pure gambling contracts), but then later said the transactions were "hedge positions" to manage risk of other assets on its balance sheet. Well, its that not the same thing?
No one knows how many of these derivative contracts are bad or going bad. The market during the 2008 crash was estimated at more than a $100 trillion. Today, that number is pegged at $600 trillion. JP Morgan got in trouble managing its synthetic risk portfolio. That translates into made up securities. Big bank finance is nothing more than unregulated gambling when it comes to these exotic financial instruments. Bankers are addicted to these instruments like drug addicts to heroin: the profit margins are huge and no one understands what they are doing: in chaos there is opportunity to make money. Since these deals have no basis in reality or have a tangible component of real value, the face value of the risks is unlimited. As Warfront Buffet once said, derivatives are the weapons of mass destruction in the financial world.
The candidates will not tackle this issue for many reasons. They can't claim to understand the market. They receive vast amount of Wall Street campaign donations. The banking industry has spend more than $300 million lobbying Congress and regulatory agencies since 2008. As outsiders say, the bankers are welding influence in order to game the system. Including putting in new loopholes in any future regulations.
But is not just the financial markets that will not be intelligently addressed by the candidates. The national deficit continues to be kicked down the road on false ten year projections to get through each election cycle. A national energy policy is frozen in fear of another Gulf spill while national gasoline prices remain near $4/gallon. The lack of business credit has stalled the economy as the top five national banks effectively control 55 percent of the financial capital. And number crunchers finally realize that if Obamacare is the law, it will cost more than triple the initial costs; effectively bankrupting both state and federal treasuries. At the same time, personal liberties are being eroded by NSA legislation to spy on Internet users or seek private information without a warrant. The candidates cannot relate to the average person's current employment, financial or privacy plights.
Obama and Romney live the privileged life, well above the fray of the common man.
PART ELEVEN * AUGUST 12, 2012
THE DANCE CARD
LIES FROM THE FLANKS
The dance card is now completed for the November prom. Mitt Romney surprised a few pundits by selecting Wisconsin conservative congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential candidate. In pure Mutt gaffe mode, Romney screwed up the introduction, calling Ryan the next President of the United States. Thud. Campaign managers always say that the first major decision a candidate does is pick his vice president. It is supposed to give the public insight into the candidate's decision making process. Historians counter by saying naming a vice president to the ticket is a meaningless exercise, as voters don't vote for the vice president.
But the Ryan selection is telling. It is clear that Romney was not gaining any traction with the general public. The polls are merely a negative referendum on the President and the economy. Romney cannot articulate any clear, simple and galvanizing message of why Obama needs to be removed from office. Romney hits the stump speech one liners on repealing Obamacare, lower taxes and getting the economy moving to canned but muted applause. With this tepid campaign style, Romney is still collecting $100 million a month in campaign donations because there is a massive fear that the toilet of Americana is about to explode unless someone fixes it. And despite all the lumberjack shirt photo ops, Romney has never done any physical, hands on household plumbing in his life. So he needed to call on this year's Joe the Plumber.
Many voters have come to the conclusion that this is going to be a Subprime election. Romney is the Republican version of a bumbling former Dem candidate John Kerry. And even former supporters look upon Obama as Jimmy Carter, version 2.0. The comprehension of not really having a good choice to set an agenda is not lost on the American people. What both parties shrinking hard line bases want is to have an apathetic independent middle decide to give up; thereby securing their parties power bases for another four years (of misery through elitist arrogance.)
Ryan had been the point man in the Republican House on budget issues. As a deficit hawk, Ryan is trying to turn over the runaway spending of the federal government. But the paralysis of the Democratic senate and an AWOL leadership from the White House has left Ryan and his colleagues barking at a brick wall. The divide is so great that no resolution is possible with the status quo. One side believes that the government needs to spend trillions in order to jump start the economy. The other side believes that government spending is wasteful counterproductive cancer on real economy recovery and growth. Stuck in the middle is a growing underemployed and depressed middle class who are finally realizing that the career politicians are the problem. They are getting hammered in every aspect of the American Dream:
*** their nest egg, the equity in their homes, has vanished in the Wall St. maelstrom of corrupt greed
*** their real value of their weekly pay check has shredded to 1980s purchasing power as inflation that the government refuses to recognize hits the pocket book of skyrocketing gasoline prices and doubling of food prices
*** the expensive education and diplomas have no guarantee to get a career and steady employment to retirement
*** parents now fear that their children will not have a better opportunity than their own experiences.
The wild card in this election cycle is Citizens United ruling: the PAC ads have turned into a vicious cesspool of lies and absurdity. The Supreme Court ruling holding that campaign spending is free speech has left activists with unlimited budgets outside the candidate's control to create and distribute attack ads. One TV ad accused Romney of causing a man's wife's cancer. Come on. Is that the level of political discourse to be unleashed by a correct interpretation of the Constitution? The founding fathers would be shocked and outraged by the current public policy (non)dialog. Clearly, this is not the America that they envisioned in 1776.
So in the next two months we have fleets of Swift boat attacks. And the truth of the allegations will be lost in the coverage of the special interest protests. This shapes up to the be the nastiest and worst presidential campaign in the history of the nation.
PART TWELVE * SEPTEMBER 1, 2012
THE PANIC ROOM
THE OLD MAN AND THE CHAIR
THE BIG TENT
OVERCOOKED RED MEAT
BY THE WAY . . . .
The Republicans may have pulled back the old folk vote from the Mediscare cliff by giving a rambling old man center stage at its convention. It is quite unconventional to have an old guy argue with an empty chair. It seemed like an Abe Simpson bit. A crazy old coot speaks for the fearful fixed income crowd. It was either a brilliant Alzheimer re-wire moment or deadpan absurdist theater. Hollywood rarely takes risks today. It is all about the franchise film series. Safe. Simple. What the audience expects. So when the Romney show committee decides to go off the rails to do something unconventional - - - Clintmaggedon.
Clint Eastwood took the stage in a rambling challenge to the President, his broken promises, and a stealth meanness toward others. But he is Clint Eastwood. He is rich and old enough to do anything he wants because in all reality, he really doesn't care what other people think of him, including the President and his Hollywood buddies.
Eastwood used a favorite litigation defense trick: blame the empty chair. When a co-defendant has been dismissed or is not participating at trial, the remaining codefendant usually points blame to the one party who is not there to defend himself. But even in those situations, there still is plenty of blame to go around to everyone. So the purpose of a celebrity dress down of the incumbent opponent is to break the aura of popularity of the person from the policies. Obama is the bad guy and this script had Dirty Harry using a shotgun approach to take down Obama in the polls. The Eastwood appearance overshadowed the rest of the convention and its message.
The Republicans have been portrayed as a rich, white man's club. But a Democratic party leader could not answer this question during the coverage: Why do the Republicans have so many women and minority governors? The parade of women, minorities, former Democrats giving speeches showed that the Republicans do have a large political tent. There was a poll just prior to the Tampa telecast claiming that 100 percent of the Black vote was going for Obama. It was a ridiculous statement, for on the same broadcast a young Black woman spokesperson for Romney and a former black Southern Democratic Congressman addressed his fellow constituents and independents on why he supports the Romney ticket. There was a much more diverse rainbow in the Romney camp than in the Obama cabinet.
But the Democrats had their guns trained squarely on VP nominee Paul Ryan. They called him the point man for Republican radicalism like cutting back spending, balancing a budget, changing welfare and destroying Social Security benefits. The Democratic attempts at red meat attacks were over done and fell mostly on deaf ears because the focus shifted toward Hurricane Issac and the last week of summer vacation for those families that still had a regular paycheck and some savings. In fact, a few pundits had the gall to blame the Republicans for Issac's shift toward the Louisiana coast.
Of course, most people realize that Mother Nature hates New Orleans or that she agrees with the NFL on the Bountygate penalties against the Saints. That type of cause and effect is standard operating procedure in political circles today; a circular logic that defies logic. Romney's undercurrent is not being a Reagan small government free market thinker, but a moderate better manager of public funds and programs than the spendthrift Democrats. As half of the electorate has come to realize that there is no difference between Republicans or Democrats; they are both part of the same big government crony spending machine. The only fight is who is going to drive the machine off the fiscal cliff. It is also the reason that this large segment of the electorate is so apathetic about both candidates that they will not vote in November. So the candidates are going to throw as much red meat at the fringes of their party if 90 percent of the independent vote appears to be staying home.
So when Romney took the stage, the air was out of the convention floor and national interest began to wander toward the opening of football season. Romney gave the best positive speech of his political career, but most people will not see it or be moved by it. Timing in films is critical to deliver the punch line; Romney's acceptance speech found itself out of synch with the American public's end of summer chores. Romney will not get the normal ten percent convention bump in the polls, because the people who have made up their mind a long time ago and are steadfast in their ire against their opponent. So when the numbers don't move, Romney may think the sky is falling and run for the Panic Room, but that would be premature. Obama still has his chance to have his Eastwood senior moment in Charlotte.
PART TWELVE * NOVEMBER 4, 2012
BALLOT OF BAD
FORGET TRUTH IN CAMPAIGNING
FORWARD IN REVERSE
AND THE WINNER IS . . .
The final campaign speeches are full of lies. When Obama rails againt Romney's statement that he would have allowed General Motors to go bankrupt; that Obama claims he saved GM from bankruptcy. Apparently, the President does not know the facts or the law. GM did go bankrupt, wiping out existing shareholders and retirees. Instead of a conventional new private lender, the United States effectively purchased the business as part of the reorganization in bankruptcy. It is such a basic fact is ignored and misunderstood that is the most annoying in this campaign as it runs down to the finish line. The vile personal attacks in the battleground states have been vicious, false, misleading and dirty. We have gone from democracy to Machiavellian.
When Superstorm Sandy hit the NY metro area, the first television images of battered citizens who lost their homes, their communities, their basic lifelines - - - it looked like a replay of Katrina. Many of the reports had the displaced screaming about the lack of government response to their plight. Where was the help? It did not help that NY mayor Bloomberg was more concerned about pumping out the subways and getting the marathon started in the battered boroughs. President Bush got creamed in the national media for the tipid response by FEMA. But President Obama got a pass from the national media with the Sandy response. In fact, several national media outlets went after Romney when he was helping to raise Red Cross disaster supplies. Just because Romney was helping a private organization with aid was somehow offensive to the media? Especially, when a faux outraged borough president yelled that the Red Cross was not on the ground within hours of the disaster. Nevermind that first responders are local agencies, such as the borough emergency services. But the bigger disaster, the quicker to shift blame away from the locals to some national figure. Red Cross or Romney, it did not matter.
Obama continued his final push by saying America wants his bottom up economic recovery plan, with an alleged strong middle class. However, he cannot explain how the working middle class is going to better off on January 1st when Obama's new taxes for Obamacare will hit most middle class families with at least 8.8 percent more in investment taxes, another 2.0 percent in employment taxes, and then higher income tax rates. He cannot show one of his stimulus plans having worked at all.
Romney is just as bad in the lack of specifics department. He states that the nation is in a job crisis. He is the only candidate who has actually created jobs. But he does not say how he will get the 23 million underemployed Americans back into a full time, solid wage jobs. The simple fact is that a president cannot create any private sector jobs. Congress and the President can only create roadblocks in tax codes and regulations to hamper the free market. Both candidates will not admit that deep down in their personal governing theory is a micromanagement style: top down government.
Romney's speech of new change is an illusion if the public does not change the current stalemate in Congress. The Democratic U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in three years. But since the Presidential race has been so close, the media has not covered the Congressional races.
There is a growing disenchantment within the Middle Class. They believe that there vote does not count. It will not lead to change. If the litmus test is are you better off today than four years ago? the Middle Class would vote overwhelmingly NO. But if big government programs have conditioned citizens to count on government checks, then the lower classes would say YES. The crater that is happening is a large sinkhole: if the public gets used to free government money for not working, they will not seek real work. This is the true crisis in Europe: there is a growing vocal class of native citizens who no longer want to work for a living. They expect the government to take care of them, cradle to grave. And socialist Europe is on the abyss of total collapse.
The idea that some national media outlets have refused to cover the Libyan embassy terror attack, or the botched cover-up from the White House and State Department is as outrageous as the campaign lies. Four Americans, including an ambassador, were killed by terrorists. The powers that be in Washington refused to add security to the embassy, or refused to act on the intelligence on the ground when the 7 hour attack began. The Obama foreign policy has been non-confrontational. It has been to blame American values first in order to think that enemies of the US would change their minds. America's weakness in foreign affairs has opened the doors wide open for massive upheaval. The Arab Springs of Democracy have turned into bloody civil wars in Syria and Libya and unrest in Egypt which puts a Middle East nuclear conflict on the front burner. But the U.S. is nowhere to be found in the region as a resource to keep peace.
If half of a president's role is to conduct foreign policy, then Obama has failed to lead in foreign affairs. Romney has no diplomatic experience except running the Salt Lake Olympics. If the foreign policy litmus test is whether the world is safer now than four years ago, the answer is NO.
So the public has a choice between two candidates with no specifics on the national agenda and no true understanding of current foreign affairs time bombs.
The pundits call the election is down to a few key states: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and Nevada. But after Romney's strong first debate performance (where Obama would have been better served by sending an empty chair in his place), more states came into play: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado and Minnesota. But reports of electronic voting machine errors in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland where a screen vote for Romney actually prints an Obama vote - - - this election will wind up not in just a few battle ground states, but in battleground court rooms over voter fraud. This election will probably be as close and dirty as the Bush-Gore dead heat.
There will be no true winner in this election.
THE DARK ABYSS OF POLITICS
Commentary on the 2012 Election
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