Tag: President Obama

DEAR PENNSYLVANIA

To the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Despite the lack of evidence of “voter fraud.”  Despite the fact, that for years people have voted with other “acceptable forms of identification.”  Despite the fact, that the stated objective of the “Voter ID Law,” passed by the PA legislature, is to insure a Romney victory in the Commonwealth, over President Obama, in the November election.  Despite the fact, that older citizens, college students and minorities are disproportionately affected by this law.  Despite all of these facts, Judge Robert Simpson of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has decided to uphold the PA Voter ID law.

This from CNN.com:  “Judge Robert Simpson, with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, on Wednesday issued an order expressing no constitutional reason to stop the law from taking effect, despite writing in his decision that he had “sympathy” for the witnesses.

‘At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for the counsel. Rather, I must analyze the law, and apply it to the evidence of facial unconstitutionality brought forth in the courtroom, tested by our adversarial system,’ Simpson wrote.”  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/15/pennsylvania-judge-upholds-voter-id-law/

Though the ACLU and others have vowed to continue this fight, next, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and if necessary, beyond, the PA GOP has declared victory, and is sure that this legislation has given them a leg up, an advantage, in their efforts to retain control of the Commonwealth, and to defeat President Obama, in Pennsylvania, in November.  But, their celebrations could be a bit premature.

Let’s look at a few other facts:

There are 8,478,509 registered voters in Pennsylvania:
• 4,311,203 registered Democratic voters
• 3,132,039 registered Republican voters
• 38,031 registered Libertarian voters
• 997,236 registered all other party voters

(Note: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pennsylvania’s voting age population is estimated at 9,829,635).

Since Jan. 2010, a total of 345,439 approved new voter applications were processed:

• 149,806 registered as Democrats
• 103,518 registered as Republicans
• 6,537  registered Libertarian voters
• 85,578  registered all other party voters

This data can be found at:  http://gantdaily.com/2010/11/02/nearly-8-5-million-registered-to-vote-in-pa/   More complete data can be found at: at www.dos.state.pa.us.

Now, it is projected that up to 10% of registered voters in PA could be affected by the voter ID law, perhaps as much 20% in urban areas.  Even if those projections are correct there is no guarantee that the objectives of the PA GOP can be met.  Indeed, due to the collateral consequences of their voter suppression efforts, it is more likely that those efforts will energize what might have been an apathetic, over-confident, Democrat base.  There is another collateral consequence that possibly wasn’t considered.  Independent voters are watching these efforts, as well.  It is not difficult to discern what is happening here, and American’s don’t particularly like to see people trying to game the system.  I don’t believe they are taking into consideration, that Americans want their competitors to “play fair.”

The Democrat Party has people working hard to get voters properly ID’d and registered, but what I find truly remarkable, is that groups like Rev. Al Sharpton‘s “National Action Network,” and Rev. Jesse Jackson‘s “Rainbow/Push Coalition are actively working to see that “all” eligible voters have the required identification, and are registered and prepared to vote.  Listening to the Reverend’s Sharpton and Jackson, I’ve not heard any talk about  party, except that one party is disproportionately affected by these efforts.  They, simply, want all eligible people to vote.  They “are” playing fair.

Notice, also, that Democrats are out registering Republicans, in the Commonwealth, by almost 50%.  This will have a significant impact on the PA GOP’s voter suppression efforts, as well.

All of that being said, let’s look at the worst possible outcome.  That the law stands, and all of its negative projections are met.  Based on the statistics, a 10% loss of the Democrat electorate would not give the GOP a majority of the vote in Pennsylvania.  (This is with voters voting along strict party lines.)  When you factor in the Presidents current lead among independents, and several other demographic areas, this entire voter ID episode could end up being, just an expensive charade.

But let’s not take anything for granted, Pennsylvania.  I’ve got a challenge for you.  It’s “EACH ONE REACH ONE.”  If each eligible, properly credentialed, voter takes a moment to insure that a person, a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member, has the proper identification, then, all of these PA GOP voter suppression efforts will be, nothing but, a waste of time and money, on their part.

That waste of time and money just may be the most important part of this entire episode.  I have deliberately stayed away from talking about the groups that stand to gain the most from these voter suppression efforts.  Groups like the people behind the Super PAC‘s, that are spending vast amounts of money to influence your/our elections.  When we stand up to them, when we let them know that our elections are not for sale, when they see [that] there is no return on this, and these types of investment(s)…., well they are businessmen and women, practical thinking men and women.  There is a better way forward for America, a “fairer” way forward for America.  When this episode is over, perhaps, we can direct our combined efforts towards finding, that better, fairer, way.

In the meantime, citizens of Pennsylvania, “EACH ONE, REACH ONE!”

And then, on November 6th, VOTE!!!!!

WHEN IS A LIE NOT A LIE? WHEN IT’S THE TRUTH!

The “right” is upset, again.  The “right” has been outflanked, again.  The “right” has been out “strategized,” again.  The “right” has been out-maneuvered, again.

What has become painfully obvious is that the Romney campaign, indeed the entire Republican campaign, to unseat the President, is ill-prepared for the task.

At some point the Romney campaign strategists had to know this and other situations would arise to call into question the candidates’ past, his present, and to challenge his vision of the future for the nation, he desires to lead.  They were not ready, it seems, leading one to suspect that they are not ready for the questions and challenges to come.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, they whine.

You’ve got to at some point wonder are they upset at what the Democrat’s did, or are they upset that they did it?

Let’s start with what the Democrat’s did.

At the beginning of the week Priorities Usa, a Democrat leaning super-PAC rolled out an ad titled “Understands.”  The ad features Joe Soptic, a steel worker at a plant named GST Steel, that was purchased and then managed by Bain Capital, beginning in 1993.  The company took on hundreds of millions of dollars in debt while, at the same time paid Bain investors millions in dividends.  The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001 and ultimately closed it’s Kansas City, MO plant.  700 employees lost their jobs, their healthcare and portions of their pensions.  (Their pensions were partially protected by the federal government.)  Joe’s wife, Ilyona, was still employed at that time and maintained her healthcare. After later losing her job, and health insurance, Ilyona was diagnosed with cancer.  At that time, neither of the Soptic’s were covered and less than a month after her diagnosis, Ilyona succumbed to her illness.

The Republican’s, from the party to the pundits, were horrified.  The President was accused of accusing Romney of killing Joe’s wife.  Bill Burton’s Priorities Usa PAC was accused of lying.  Joe Soptic was accused of lying.  The President’s campaign was accused of complicity in the accusing of candidate Romney of being complicit in closing of the plant, and it’s subsequent consequences.  From the House to the Senate, from the Romney campaign to the pundits, all were up in arms [that] such an assertion could be made.  But, their assumption about the assertion, misses the mark.  For those who are upset, about the ad, I’ve got a “movie parable” for you.  This is from the movie “Enter The Dragon,” Bruce Lee’s character speaking:

Lee: …..It’s like a finger pointing at the moon.
[Looks at student who is looking at the finger; smacks student again]
Lee: Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!
[Student bows; Lee smacks him again]

The right is so busy focusing on Joe Soptic, they are missing the entire point of the argument [that] the ad raises.  Actually there are two arguments raised, successfully.  First, had the “Affordable Care Act” been law at that time, both Joe and his wife would have been able maintain their healthcare after losing their jobs.  (A fact that was pointed out by a Romney spokesperson when she was challenged by a reporter about the ad.)  Second, the ad demonstrates what Bain Capitol did, and, does to workers and their communities.  What Bain does is by no means illegal.  But, let’s be clear, their purpose was/is not to save jobs.  What Bain does [is] try to save companies,  If jobs are saved in the process, good.  If jobs are saved at that job location, well that’s even better.  But that is not their purpose.  Even saving companies is secondary to making profits for their investors.  Now, again I say there’s nothing illegal with what they do, but what they do is germane to the discussion about Romney, because he touts his experiences at Bain as, an example of, his qualifications to be President.  We as citizens “do” get to ask, if the way Bain Capital operates is the way the country will operate, under a Romney presidency?  If so, then, is “that” the country we want?

The ad does not accuse  candidate Romney of anything other than being associated with, indeed the leader of a company that has had a profound effect on this individual’s life, and other’s at GST Steel.  The ad could have and should have gone further.  It should have told about the effect that losing 700 jobs out of a community, can have.  The effects on the dry cleaner, the corner store, and other small entrepreneurial business’ that depended on them to survive.  It should have told about the loss of revenues to the city, the county, even the state due to lost tax dollars.  How those lost revenues affect public safety, teachers, and community services.

Now the right can and will make all manner of nuance based arguments about the ad.  The timeline, the offered buyout from Bain, the fact that Joe’s wife had healthcare (after Joe lost his job), until she didn’t.  But, nothing in the ad is untrue.  Nuance can sometime be a tricky thing, though.  It can sometimes lead to truth and the truth can sometimes be painful.  Just ask, Romney spokesperson, Andrea Saul.

This ad is about a man, and a community, that was hurt by Bain Capital.  And that’s the TRUTH!

Can you imagine the surprise around the right-wing world when this ad was presented.  My guess is that their surprise matched or even exceeded their horror.  This type of attack is not what those, on the left, are known to use.  They’ve dropped their dichotomous passive aggressive nature, or at least the passive part, and have began to pursue answers to questions the right is not accustomed to being asked.  They are being challenged in areas that democrats past have feared to tread.  That’s where the real failure of Romney’s campaign rests.  Areas such as the economy (Congress’ failure, not the President’s), foreign policy (Bush’s wars, not the President’s), and taxes or should we say tax fairness are now off the table for Republicans.  Not that they won’t try, though.

What’s left is personal and personality.  Personality first.  Mitt Romney is no match for President Obama in this regard.  The Presidents “favorable” ratings are much higher than Romney’s, and among independents, the gap between the two is widening.

As for personal, well, there are some who will not vote for President Obama for any reason.  They didn’t before and they won’t now.  One can read into that whatever one choose’s.  We know, though, that it is not because he pulled us back from the brink of depression, that he saved the auto industry (saving more than a million jobs), that he passed financial reform, or the affordable care act.  It’s not because he gave everyone making under $250,000 a year, a tax break.  It’s not because he ended one war and is ending another.  We know it’s not because he killed bin-Laden (and about 20 other terrorist leaders).  We know he’s done these things, and many other’s, with little or no help from the republicans in the legislature.  There is a painful TRUTH in there, as well.

And that’s no lie!

PRESIDENT? OR PRESIDENT!

Depending on which poll is being discussed, it’s being stated that one in six Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, and only one in four believe him to be a Protestant.  At this point in his professional and elected life, to have to defend who he is, to be challenged about his beliefs, is just lunacy.  That one in six, and the one in four, well, they have a problem.  Honesty!  These people should just come out of the closet and admit their prejudices.

By his support of same-sex marriages he could not be a muslim, and they know that.

By his inclusion of private insurance in the affordable healthcare act he could not be a socialist, and they know that.

By his long association with the Baptist church and his confession of faith ( not to anyone but God and Jesus matters), he is to be considered a Christian, and they know that.

By the documented evidence of his birth, in Hawaii, he is a citizen of the United States of America, and they know that.

By almost 10,000,000 votes, with largest vote total in American history (69,446,897 votes) he was elected POTUS, and they know that.

As Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces he has reduced the threat to the US from groups like al-Quada, and they know that.

His administration navigated this country from depths of recession, to a stable state, to a beginning recovery, and they know that.

This done, in spite of stated and documented attempts to thwart him, even at the expense of said recovery, and they know this, also.

Their prejudices are feeding their fears and their fears are preventing them from accepting who he is and what he has done for the USA.

They know it, they might as well admit it.