Why Obama Will Win

Yes, I know.  Can’t predict Obama will win or I’ll jinx it. Still 36 days to go till Election Day and anything could happen.  That’s the current thinking among the liberal media.  I bow to Rachel Maddow, Norman Goldman, Lawrence O’Donnell, Thom Hartmann and others of their high caliber in respect of their professional experience and expertise in analyzing political situations and trends.  But sometimes, too much experience can get in the way.  It’s like having a problem with the audio speakers connected to a computer.  The husband, who knows all about computers, checks for missing drivings, file corruption, registry errors and decides the audio card has failed.  His wife comes over to the computer and asks if he checked if the audio cable from the speakers became unplugged from the computer.  He hadn’t thought of that. He checks and by golly, the cat must have pulled the cable out of the audio jack on the back of the computer.  Problem solved.

Sometimes it takes someone with the lesser experience to clearly see the simple answer.  That’s why I think I have an observation that all of the professional, paid political pundits missed.  Obama will win the election because the Republican Party has decided to hand it over to him.  Look at the evidence logically: they fielded the worst slate of candidates ever seen during the Presidential primaries.  Either the candidates were flavors of the month or they never stood a chance. Every one fatally flawed and some were outright buffoons. Romney outspent every one of them and he was never able to attract more than about 25% of Republican voters.  He simply outlasted everyone else. Then he picks a running mate who is poison to senior citizens and women.  The team is quickly sinking into the dustbin of presidential campaign history.

Why is no one asking why Jeb Bush, the heir apparent to his brother, didn’t enter the race? The door has been held open for him since 2009. What about Mitch Daniels, the other much bally-hooed future front runner.  Chris Christie? He would have been more at home in the clown circus of this past year and will I guarantee he will be no more than a footnote by 2016. But why no heavy hitters, no Republican stars running for President this year?

The answer is as simple as checking to see if the audio plug was pulled out of the back of a computer: the Tea Party.  The movement started out in 2009 as a protest against the banks and taxes but for the most part what it was protesting was about as formalized as the Occupy Wall Street movement when it first started out.  But the Republican Party fairly quickly saw that the Tea Party was driven by racism and fear and was composed of low-information people with easily malleable minds that could be controlled, and just as quickly subverted the Party to suit its own needs. The Republican Party set the agenda and funded candidates for state offices and for Congress after President Obama took office.  It even promoted the birther offshoot.  The Republican Party’s goals were realized when in January 2010, the Tea Party took over control of the House and de facto control of the Senate.  This is what gave John Boehner the confidence to declare the Republicans would create jobs and Mitch McConnell to declare that the Senate Republicans’ most important job was to hold President Obama to one term.  The mistake both men and the Republican Party made was in thinking the Tea Party once in Congress could remain under their control. They were wrong. Oh, boy, were they wrong.

I truly think that both McConnell and Boehner thought they could stymie Obama’s “liberal” agenda while forwarding their own. And why not? Hadn’t the Democrats, who had lost their spine after 1981 while voting Antonin, Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito onto the Supreme Court, also voted for TARP and to approve George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq? Hadn’t they always rolled over when it counted? The three things that scuttled both men’s grand plans were: 1. The no new taxes pledge.  2. The Tea Party had plans of its own.  3. Harry Reid grew a spine.

A despot learns early on that in order to retain absolute power that can be bequeathed to his/her heirs and to even become beloved among the people you have to give the people a little something. They may grumble about wanting more, but they will also fear losing what they have.  This is the way you keep them under control.  Every despot who after seizing power with the intent of taking everything away understood that in order to retain power he/she had to employ fear, violence, imprisonment, torture, and murder.  And every despot—or his/her heirs that employed these same tactics, eventually was deposed. This is consistent throughout history.   You gotta give the people something to keep them under control, whether it be steady job with decent wages and healthcare, homeownership, retirement, or welfare.

In January 2011, the Tea Party took over Congress and state governments with one agenda: to have it their way.  Power, wealth, absolute control over every aspect of society that wasn’t signing on their agenda. And the Republican Party sat back and let them give it a try just to see if it would work.  By the end of 2011 the Republican Party could see the experiment was a dismal failure, its approval ratings were in free fall, and people in and outside its base, were getting very, very restless.  John Boehner tried to bring the Tea Party back under his control, but those horses had left the barn way back in January.

The Tea Party became the Republican Frankenstein’s monster.  I don’t think Boehner and McConnell had planned to drive the U.S. to the brink of bankruptcy over the raising the debt ceiling, and I don’t think they had planned on the Super Congress which mandated would cut off the udders of the sacred cow/milltary budget, and the push to pass the anti-abortion bills might have caught them by surprise.  What probably angered them was the Tea Party monster’s refusal to introduce or consider any jobs bills at all. In the entire history of Congress, both parties had typically found ways to compromise and work together for the greater benefit of the country.  But the Tea Party refused to be budged off its ideology and it was plain for all to see that Boehner lost control of the House in 2011 and that Eric Cantor, who had re-made himself in the image of the Tea Party, was calling the shots.

As this rupture within the Republican Party widened, its approval ratings began to tumble. When the presidential primary season rolled around, it was clear Republican voters were searching for and running to the newest Messiah, only to find the person was no more than a snake oil salesperson.  They rejected every one of them until the only non-Messiah left was Mitt Romney.  The Republican Party has not so much embraced Romney as settled for him. Settling for has no deteriorated into writing off the Presidency and hoping to retain control of at least one chamber of Congress.

The Republican Party sees that the record lowest approval ratings for Congress in history coincide with the Tea Party takeover and the move so far to the right the base and independent voters are being made to feel like they’re liberals, a feeling uncomfortable and alien to them.  It knows that if it ever hopes to regain control in D.C. and elect Jeb Bush president, it needs to kill (figuratively speaking) the Tea Party and its sycophants like Sarah Palin.  So, it is allowing Obama to be re-elected and Obamacare to remain to be a thorn in the side of its base. The base will be riled up over how the Tea Party did nothing but gridlock Congress AND enable Obama to be re-elected that it will return to electing mainstream Republicans to Congress.

Yes, the Republican Party wants to the Tea Party to die so it can be the Republican Party again and start winning presidential elections.  It’s like a phoenix which must die by fire in order to be reborn from the ashes.  There is no other logical explanation why it has fielded two absolute incompetents to run against Obama.  Romney’s falling approval ratings are bad enough but his most unforgiveable sin is that he is bringing down the ratings for Fox News, and that cannot be countenanced.  The best evidence of the Republican Party abandoning Romney is Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS group moving money out of the Romney campaign and into selected Congressional races, like those for Todd Akin and Scott Brown.  Of course Rove has aligned himself with the Tea Party and perhaps there are powers greater than him who want him gone with the Tea Party as well.

Remember that unlike the Democrats, the Republicans think long term.  They were planning their takeover of American politics back in the 70’s and they achieved that goal. Even Bill Clinton was more Republican than Democrat. So they are perfectly happy to write off eight years of Obama, who is similar to Bill Clinton in quite a few ways.  Their new four-year plan starts next year in preparation for the midterm elections in 2014. The Republican Party always believes, despite the panic it instills in its base, that it has all the time in the world. Except of course, if the Mayans were right about the world ending 12/21/2012. But I think Karl Rove bought the rights to the Mayan calendar and reset the date to 2016 if a Democrat wins the White House again.

Reporting From Stockholm, this is NPR

Thank goodness for NPR.  The entire outside world (which doesn’t include Fox) is publishing polls that President Obama is surging ahead of Mitt Romney, yet in the closed-in universe of NPR News Romney is running neck-and-neck and could win the whole thing.  To prove its point, NPR goes out of its way to research and dig and scour to find Republicans who believe to their core that Romney’s business acumen is the remedy for Obama’s failed economic plans, and that Paul Ryan is not a wealthy as some, and lives in modest house in a real American small town (these are statements from an actual Republican woman as heard on Morning Edition today), and is a budget guru (as the corporate media describes him).  That Republiwoman also waxed rhapsodically over the prospect of voting in Ryan as president after eight years of President Romney.  She is most definitely a resident of NPR’s closed-in universe.

Are these people part of the 47% that Romney painted as “victims” and non-income tax payers and thus by being for Romney they are totally ignoring his contempt for them?  Are they comfortable with the inept way Romney went off half-cocked with misunderstood information and turned the murders of four Americans in Benghazi into a political commercial himself?  There’s no way to know because NPR doesn’t research and dig and scour THAT deep for the little details.  Instead of “we report, you decide”, NPR’s motto should be “We decide what we report.”

Almost every story NPR reports on the Romney/Ryan smacks of a paid political announcement.  If the FEC was on the job, every NPR story about Romney should include the audio message:  I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message.”

Just to be “fair and balanced” NPR allows one reporter , White House correspondent Scott Horsley, to somewhat report both sides of the story by including criticisms of and trouble with the Romney/Ryan and campaign and positive stories on the Obama presidency and campaign. But he’s about it. Andrea Seabrook, a reporter with NPR for 14 years, just quit so she could return to the world of real journalism.

“I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you’re doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say,” said Seabrook to Politico, “And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real. … I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters. … To me, as a reporter, everything is spin.”

And with NPR these days, EVERYTHING is spin, but it’s spun towards the Republican Party.  In almost every political story reporters will interview Republican politicians, Republican campaign officials, and Republican voters.  Even if the story is ostensibly about Democrats or Obama, no one but Republicans will be interviewed for their opinions on Democrats or Obama.  The stories write themselves.  If there is a Democrat interviewed, that person is the ONLY Democrat interviewed among the group of Republicans who precede and follow that person so the Democrat gets lost in the Republican crowd.

Another trick NPR employs is evident in almost all Obama/Romney stories.  The story is presented from the Romney/Republican point of view.  This personalizes the Romney and aligns the listener with him. It also serves to present Obama as the distant President who is separate and remote from the listener. Cool trick, huh? The newsreader, for example, will report that Obama and Romney are campaigning in the swing state of Ohio, and will then describe the charges Romney made against Obama at a campaign stop and then play a sound bite.  You see, a sound bite lends credibility to what is being said because if what is being said isn’t important, why play a sound bite? Then, to present “both sides” the newsreader will then describe what Obama said—but without the sound bite, inferring that it was just regular stump speech rhetoric of no importance.

By the same token, when there is a story about a bad weekly jobs report,  the story is again presented from the Republican point of view.  There will be a sound bite of John Boehner criticizing Obama’s job creation performance and why it isn’t working as he then segues into how the Republicans have a plan to create new jobs. This is the same talking point he’s been giving for almost four years but NPR still dutifully plays it because if they go to the trouble of playing the audio clip, it HAS to be true, right?  And the listener tends to identify with who they hear speaking.  When NPR feels like it wants to appear fair and balanced for this story, the newsreader will add a comment that the Democrats disagree with the Republican approach.  No audio clip which means that it was just more political rhetoric, and it also serves to position the Democrats as distant, weaker, and objects of ridicule.

With Romney writing off 47% of the electorate, Obama being the one ahead in the polls 49%-50% to Romney’s 41%-47% ( I know, Romney’s characterization of the electorate doesn’t make mathematical sense) you’d think that NPR could unearth at least ONE disgruntled Republican voter.  But there are none within NPR World, which more and more seems like it is being supported by listeners like YOU, if YOU contribute heavily to a Romney Super PAC.

Maybe NPR is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome by Proxy.  The Republicans have been holding its federal funding hostage for years and perhaps  NPR has grown to identify and align itself with the political party that is seeking the demise of it all publicly-funded broadcasting.  Or perhaps if NPR has adopted the concentration camp mentality of“if we just do what we’re told, maybe they’ll let us live”.

NPR used to stand for actual, truly fair and balanced reporting (as opposed to the Fox version) of the news.  So what does NPR stand for these days?  Now Promoting Republicans.

Today’s Class Lesson: Rahm Emanuel Hates Teachers

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-teacher-strike-expected-to-go-into-2nd-day-20120910,0,4057997.story

Rahm Emanuel is a slime, despite the hummer bestowed on him by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in today’s editorial. .  http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/169329466.html

Emanuel is a slime because he’s never been about being a Democrat or ever had the people’s best interests at heart. He’s always been about money and the power money can bring. He’s also been about supporting corporate interests; just look back on his records with Clinton and Obama. And it speaks volumes about them that he was senior advisor to Clinton and White House Chief of Staff for Obama.  He was the pit bull for them both.

Make no mistake: this teacher’s strike is not about money, no matter how the media is intent on framing it. The two issues are reversing the education “reform” movement which has forced teachers to teach to test scores, and judging student and teacher performance solely on test scores. Many school districts have cut out the arts and even physical education from their curricula to focus exclusively on math and English test scores.  This is Obama’s primary focus too and he, and they, are wrong.

Emanuel is framing this strike as being over wages and hurting the kids.  The education of Chicago school kids are the last thing he’s concerned about.  He is no different than the Republicans (which, like Clinton and Obama he is more like than Democrats) or the Kochs or Rove or Adelson, or anyone of those guys. He’s out to privatize education, to move it all online, thus busting all the teachers’ unions, and handing the administrative contracts to his politically-connected business associates.  Instead of one teacher working with a classroom of 30 students, you’d have one online teacher handling 200-300 students.  What will be produced are generations of students who are not creative, have no experience or interest in the arts or exercise, or anything outside getting passing scores on standardized English and math tests—just perfect for jobs as low-paid service industry workers.

Emanuel’s other goal is to increase the number of chartered schools paid for by public taxes.  This is a core Republican goal because what wealthy parents wouldn’t want their child to go to an expensive, exclusive school on a poorer person’s tax dime? The Republicans pulled this same trick off in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of unionized teachers were fired and then re-hired as non-union employees for lower wages.  It’s like being a $40 an hour union auto worker before the bailout, getting laid off, and then after the bailout being re-hired back into the same exact job for $12 an hour with the SAME EXACT LIVING EXPENSES YOU HAD BEFORE BUT CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO PAY.  Chartered schools providing better education than public schools is a myth that Emanuel is helping to perpetuate along with the Republicans.

The bottom line here IS money, but not for the teachers, but for the wealthy, political campaign contributors are trying to effect a hostile takeover of the American educational system.

After Soaring With Bill, Barack Brings Us Back Down To Earth

President Obama’s DNC speech was pretty good overall.  He didn’t take us on an astral trip like Bill Clinton did, but it had its highs—and lows.  He mixed in references to Michelle, Malia, and Sasha.  He hit the bullseye with a couple of zingers aimed at Romney/Ryan.  He ended the speech by turning the DNC/Time Warner Cable Arena into a tent show revival meeting with his preacher’s call and response cadence and the overall power of his oratory gifts.

But as good as most of the speech was, there were certain points that escaped most people and pundits but raised my b.s. antennae big time:

“I’ve signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers, goods that are stamped with three proud words:  ‘Made in America.’” The Panama trade agreement enables corporations like Bain Capital and multimillionaires (billionaires?) like Mitt Romney to hide offshore accounts there that the IRS can’t touch, let alone investigate.  Neither the South Korean nor the Colombia trade agreements do much if anything to create American jobs.  And please check out the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement.

“I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan or endanger our coastlines or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers.”  Obama has opened the Arctic Ocean to offshore oil drilling off the Alaskan coast.  The oil damage from the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster is still there because the oil companies STILL don’t have in place the oil spill response plans mandated by the federal law, as was amply displayed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (leaving more families with dead relatives but no bodies to bury) in the Gulf of Mexico.  This doesn’t faze Obama in the slightest:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-epa-shell-arctic-20120831,0,6058124.story

But it sure fazes the U.S. Maritime Forces: http://www.usnwc.edu/Research—Gaming/War-Gaming/Faculty-Blog.aspx

For even more on this, read “Vultures’ Picnic by Greg Palast

“…where we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.” In other words, fracking.  See below about mountain top removal to learn about the same environmental, human, and wildlife damage caused by fracking.

…”a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal…” “Clean” coal? Ask Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  about clean coal and he’ll show you his documentary “The Last Mountain” about mountain top removal.  Ask the people of West Virginia who no longer have beautiful forested mountains to look at—and they’ll show you scarred, pitted, debris-strewn muddy lands and polluted water, ground and air, about clean coal. They’ll show you their x-rays verifying rampant cancers and diseases of the vital organs.  What they won’t be able to show you is the wildlife that disappeared and never came back.  Ask the families of the 25 Massey Energy coal miners who died in the 2010 Big Branch Mine explosion about clean coal and they’ll show you 25 gravesites.

Another power source he left out is nuclear.  Even after Fukushima, and after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Irene pummeled the Atlantic and Gulf coasts Obama is pushing for new nuclear power plants in Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and in other states.  Japan, France, and Germany are now cutting back or working to eliminate nuclear power from their grids and replace them with safer, renewable energy sources (not so much Japan) but the Obama administration is either eager to fund new plants or re-certifying aging nuclear power plants way beyond their engineered life expectancies.

“From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings…” Is he talking about Burma or Myanmar? They are the same country but believe me, they are not the SAME country.  Just ask the National Human Rights Commission.  Ask the CIA about the SPLA/M in South Sudan and mass torture and genocide inflicted on civilians. Libya? Ask Freedom House about their “7” rating for the new government of Libya’s political rights and civil liberties atrocities.

“…and we certainly don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules.” That’s exactly what TARP was all about.  The banks (and Wall Street) broke the rules while gambling with OUR money, not theirs.  The Bush Administration may have created the plan but it was Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that the billions of dollars be given to the banks with no strings attached, lest they become a bit nervous from the micromanagement and cause a worldwide panic that would have economies falling like dominoes.  He was confident that if you handed banks all that free money, they would do the right thing and hand it over to consumers in the forms of easy-peasy personal, business, and mortgage loans.  He was so SURE they would do that…

Make no mistake: I am voting for Obama because there is no other choice.  Every complaint I have lodged against him would be a thousandfold worse under a President Romney.  I do believe that Obama has a conscious and may be eventually persuaded to do the right thing refusing all the policies I cited here.  If Romney ever HAD a conscious, it is locked away in the Cayman Islands keeping his money company.

Memo To The Obama Campaign: Grow A Backbone

Just when Michelle Obama had the Base embracing Barack Obama the way she embraced the DNC hall last night, the Obama campaign pushes it away.

Last Monday, the California Democratic Chairman John Burton said this:

“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie… Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it,” Burton said Monday before the Blake Hotel breakfast. He said Ryan told “a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”

He also added about the prospect of a Romney/Ryan White House: “That’s real danger.  That’s not bullshit stuff.”  He also said this about Paul Ryan: “What Paul Ryan said was a bold-faced lie to all the American people and he doesn’t care that it was a lie because it doesn’t matter because it sounds good.”

On September 23, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said this:

“The opposition in this year has already imported into this campaign a very interesting thing, because it is foreign. They have imported the propaganda technique invented by the dictators abroad. Remember, a number of years ago, there was a book, Mein Kampf, written by Hitler himself. The technique was all set out in Hitler’s book – and it was copied by the aggressors of Italy and Japan. According to that technique, you should never use a small falsehood; always a big one, for its very fantastic nature would make it more credible – if only you keep repeating it over and over and over again.”

Burton was just paraphrasing what Roosevelt said about 68 years ago (except the “bullshit stuff” and the Ryan assessment were pure Burton), but it is as true now as it was then.  However, while this FDR passage is probably his second most quoted words, Burton has come under fire—BY HIS OWN PARTY, namely, the Obama campaign.  Not only was Burton forced to apologize to the GOP,  he was thrown under the bus by Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said that Burton’s rhetoric  “doesn’t have any place in the political discourse here in Charlotte.”  It’s up in the air if Burton will be “requested” to resign as CalDem chair.

It seems like the only Democratic men with balls spoke at the DNC last night. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said last night “It is time for Democrats to grow a backbone.”  This backbone growth needs to start from the top down, not the other way around.

Today’s GOP are most assuredly using the same playbook that was written by the GOP in 1944 and you expose this Nazi-inspired ploy by ripping the playbook from their hands and holding the pages up to TV cameras so that the American people can read them and realize that some of them are being duped—again.  You don’t get all faux self-righteous while indignantly sniffing “This sort of thing just isn’t done” and dismissing Burton with a “we’ll deal with you later”.

In ineptly attempting to keep Obama above the partisan fray the Obama campaign runs the danger of alienating the portion of its base that desperately wants the campaign to grow a backbone and will sit out Election Day to wait four more years for a Democratic presidential candidate who has one.  That’s exactly what a portion of the base did in 2010 and if they mistakenly think something works they will stick with it.