Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The BS up with which We'll Have to Put

I could hardly stomach listening to Ryan yesterday again exploiting Obama's saying "you didn't build that." To read the following in this morning's Politico added to my distress: "[Ryan] was forced to put himself through school when his father died...dutifully sav[ing] the Social Security benefit checks he received until his 18th birthday for college tuition at Miami University in Ohio." Even under the theory that the "contributions" his father made from his wages to the Social Security program entitled Ryan to the benefit checks, it was his father, not Ryan who paid that tuition. And, why can't we at least comment on how Ryan is, in effect, dishonoring what his father's efforts did for him by advocating privatizing Social Security? It'd be like Reid pointing out how dishonorable Romney appears in contrast to Romney's father by refusing to release more than two years worth of tax returns, and, with the six-month extension Romney took to file his 2011 tax return, we won't even be able to see that one until after October 15. Of course, the main topic following the announcement of Ryan joining the ticket is Medicare not Social Security. The media won't help Obama here either. Obama passed Obamacare without any Republican help, but, to satisfy Republican calls for reducing the budget deficits, Obamacare cut payments to Medicare providers. Republicans gained seats in the Senate and control of the House in 2010 primarily due to scaring seniors about those cuts to Medicare. Ryan's budget, in addition to calling for the conversion [and that's probably a too charitable word for it] of Medicare benefits from actual health care services to a coupon which may or may not cover the cost of those same services, would retain all of the Medicare cuts in Obamacare. Romney has not [and won't] promise to restore those Medicare cuts, even as he calls for the repeal [and replacement] of Obamacare. Romney, during the primaries, says he supports Ryan's budget. Romney picks Ryan. Romney claims he's not running on Ryan's budget but on his own. Romney won't specify how his budget differs from Ryan's. Republicans as late as this morning were still criticizing Obama for being tougher on Medicare than Romney/Ryan because of Obamacare. If you dare, watch Rich Lowry on Meet the Press be incredibly rude to Rachel Maddow, insisting she answer the question of whether she supports Obamacare's cuts to Medicare, without letting her point out that Romney/Ryan don't call for the restoration of those cuts. Oy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Calling for a National Intervention

I still hold to the opinion expressed below. Undecided voters are going to go with their guts, and, in anxious times like these, their guts will be crying out for relief.

McCain's selection of Palin yesterday was the exact opposite of an offer of relief. If Obama doesn't overreact, and the most recent evidence of keeping it together was the successful convention, and the polls reflect my opinion, the only suspense left will be whether McCain will keep gambling with his decisions.

It's possible that Palin has the potential to be a great President. There's simply not nearly enough evidence of that potential, nor enough time before election day to generate new and convincing evidence.

Before yesterday, McCain's most forceful argument, righteously rebutted by Obama in his acceptance speech, was that in his decisions McCain puts "Country First." There's no way now for McCain to avoid admitting that actually his campaign needs to put "Winning First." It's not a senseless argument. After all, every President, except Ford, had to win the election first. And, there's nothing essentially worse about reminding voters it's up to them as opposed to offering oneself as a leader whom one has to take or leave as is. But, Obama's already done a good job of grabbing that humble populist turf. Essentially, McCain has conceded that Obama is qualified to be President.

McCain is admitting he's a gambler, and he's asking us to give him chips to keep going.

Yeah. Right.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Should Be a No-Brainer, Again.

I set my Mom up with her own blog, though I'll only link to it, if she starts posting. Meantime, I'm reclaiming this space.

So, on the Presidential race (duh), here are my homestretch thoughts. Fair warning - I thought both Gore and Kerry would win big.

Barring some unexpected major event, this election will turn on the economy as the leading indicator of how much change we need.

Both nominees acknowledge that the economy is in very bad shape.

McCain, like his Republican predecessors beginning with Reagan in 1980, says the economy will come around because that's what economies do. The worst thing we should do is look to Federal Government to intervene, because at best it's a waste of time, and at worst it'll delay the inevitable recovery and dampen the growth rate once the recovery does start. McCain may call for a freeze on federal spending while he tries to make cuts and privatize. McCain will be under great pressure to extend the expiring tax cuts that he argued against in 2001.

Obama, like his Democratic predecessors probably going back to FDR in 1932, says proper leadership demands the Federal Government step in. Doing nothing would be practically immoral, especially given how inequitable things have become. Obama may renege on any promised middle class tax cuts once in office, the way Bill Clinton did at the start of his first term. Obama may, however, be able to take back Bush's tax cuts, the ones that are set to expire anyway. Obama will be under great pressure to use the savings from those tax cuts to fulfill other promises, like expanding health care.

I think both nominees will be able to unify their parties and get their bases to turn out. Once again, I think it'll be a close election (popular vote) decided by the self-declared independents who, as they've done before, will mysteriously all break the same way late in the process, leading to a deceptively large electoral vote victory.

It's so hard for me to see Obama not be that victor. I agree with what Bill Clinton said early in the primary season that voting for Obama is a gamble. I can see how present circumstances would make voters not want to gamble. Because, however, McCain won't be able to make the case that he represents a safer alternative, and because there are only two choices, I think voters will decide that not voting for Obama is a bigger gamble.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brighter Ideas

“Our lives would be much poorer without newspapers,” says columnist Jay Ambrose.
But there’s light at the end of that journalistic tunnel. Technology has given us wider range and up-to-the-minute news-gathering tools with enhanced dissemination methods.
We’re allowed newspaper nostalgia — we loyal readers and writers of print. But now we’ve digital journalism, not only giving us news, but research abilities and worldwide opinions.
It’s all there for us, on our computers. No, it’s not on TV where we’re “prisoners” of talking heads. Even static newspapers are limited, replete with wire-service reports and by-lined articles.
Want to know what the world thinks? Want to know the story behind? Want to add your opinions? Get interactive.
We’re not dimming those lights, Mr. Ambrose. We’re upping the wattage.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

We did this to ourselves.

AT&T announces the death of the pay phone, almost 130 years after its birth.
The Daily News chimes in, ’’Pay phones becoming extinct ...,” on July 21.
Cell phones rang the death knell of pay phones. And now we’re all privy to this lack of privacy.
Remember swinging shut that hinged phone-booth door? We were seen but not heard.
And, so long as we fed the coin slot our words meant something, but only to the listener at the other end of the line.
And, remember when eavesdropping was considered rude? Now we’re all forced to listen in.
We did this to ourselves. We’re attached and dependent on those plastic cylinders, our cell phones. We slide them into pockets where once we might have stashed our cigarettes, determined to keep our mouths busy.
Now the time's come to hang up the pay phone, tear down the booth and evict Superman.