Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012: One Step from the Abyss

"I took one step into the abyss
One step into the void
One step further than I'd ever been
It was something I wanted to avoid..."
Graham Parker & the Rumour :  "Three Chords Good"

I always viewed New Year's Eve as Amateur's Night.   A night when those unaccustomed to running with the big dogs came out from under the porch, usually with disastrous results.  After a particularly spectacular rotten New Year's Eve in the early to mid 80's (the exact year I have blocked from my memory) I got into the habit of challenging people to a contest over who had the worst New Year's Eve story.

What I can remember about my entry is not pleasant.   Our ride ditched us on a 20 below zero night at a party hosted by our college friend Geek who had invited several obviously underage teenage girls.  Shortly before midnight I could hear the 16 and 17 year olds retching through the bathroom door, only to come out and french kiss my friends at midnight.  Thankfully I was able to convince a group of Northwest Airline stewardesses to give my brother and I a ride back to my parents house where we still resided.

I had just crawled into my warm king sized water bed (it was the 80's after all)  just in time for our (former) friend who had ditched us wake me up pleading for help as he had run out of gas.  In those temperatures it was literally a potentially life threatening situation.  Ever the nice guy I asked my father for permission to use one of his cars to which he in no uncertain words refused.  Nevertheless, I waited a few minutes then stole the keys and crept out of the house to save Seavey.

I brought a gallon of gas to Seavey who was outside the Bishop Whipple Building at Fort Snelling, sarcastically thanked him for deserting my brother and I the previous night and hurried back to my parents house on West river Road praying to God my father was still asleep.  Luckily the household was still asleep and just as I climbed into my warm watetbed the phone rang.  You guessed it, Seavey, and he had again run out of gas.    ...to be continued...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Skol Vikings

Vikings, heroes of song and story.
Vikings, winner of ancient glory.
Fighting for the right,
Fighting with our might,
With the strength of ten, 

and one extraordinary man.

Vikings, Packers are not safe when near them.
Vikings, only the evil fear them.
Steel in our eyes,
Iron in our thighs,
Virtue in our hearts,
Fire in every part,
Of the Mighty Vikings.

Join us at the sideline,
Standing there with pride,
Victory is here,
Raise a mighty cheer,
At the sight of Vikings.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Enjoy Your Bowl Game Gopher Alums, It Only Cost $800K

As you are watching Jerry's kids battle Texas Tech this evening just a reminder not to fawn over new Gopher Athletic Director AD Norwood Teague  or Head Coach Jerry Kill.  While Kill did get the Golden Gophers into a bowl game this year, it comes at a very high price.

You see, when Coach Kill arrived in 2010 he looked over the schedules for the upcoming years and was scared of those perennial ACC football titans. the UNC tar heels.  "Scared of a school known for its legendary basketball program?"  You ask.  Why Yes, so much so that the fainting goat cried to Papa Jo-el Maturi's replacement, Norwood, who backed Kill's phobia to the tune of $800k to buy their way out of the contract.  According to Norwood it all comes down to confidence.  Confidence.  That is what the goat's explanation was and Norwood "saw the light" of Kill's feeble excuse.

With money so short and my kid owing $60K in student loans for her U of M education, the idea that these two clowns would rather pay a king's ransom then man up and play a mediocre football program is simply pathetic and a criminal waste of public funds.

 http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Gophers_AD_supports_Jerry_Kills_decision_to_dump_UNC_from_schedule101612

 http://www.mndaily.com/2012/10/17/gophers-pay-800k-opt-out-games

(Tip of the hat to one of my colleagues at work whose praise of Kill was the impetus for this article.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Beautiful American, Robin Reineke: She Identifies the Dead on the U.S. Mexican Border

 The following is an email I sent to the BBC radio program Outlook regarding their story Naming the Dead on the Mexican Border which was originally aired December 20, 2012 and replayed this morning, Christmas Eve 2012.


Dear BBC:

It is 3:52am in Minneapolis, MN USA and I have to be up for work in a couple of hours yet I dragged myself out of bed on a very cold winter morning to convey my gratitude and admiration for a fellow American and human being.  Robin Reineke exemplifies the very best in the human spirit:  empathy, warmth, compassion, fairness and a "there by the grace of God" attitude as she goes about her very important work of identifying the remains of her fellow human beings who, through forces most often not of their own making, wind up in a life or death struggle in the hopes that they can provide meager sustenance for their families back in Mexico and Central America.

What really got to me and chokes me up as I type this email is the story of the group of Guatemalans that became lost and Ms. Reineke had the sad but honorable task of contacting families of the deceased and then traveling to the small village in Guatemala to identify the victims and inform their loved ones of their demise.

Approximately 10 years ago I had a person knock on my door to inquire if an old Toyota pick-up I had parked in back of my garage was for sale.  The vehicle had a broken axle and was sitting there rusting away because I had not gotten around to having it towed to the junk yard.  This person offered me more than a fair price for what I believed to be nothing more than scrap metal and asked if he could come over the next Saturday and work on it.  I agreed thinking he was going to prepare it to be towed.  To my utter amazement, in just a few hours and with nothing more than the most basic hand tools, the man had hand chiseled a new part, repaired the axle and had the truck up and running and drove it off my property. 

Over the course of the next several years I got to know and admire my new friend from Guateamala.  He told me of how at the age of 16 he was walking along the road to his village when he was pressed into military service by a passing truck of Guatemalan army soldiers.  Being just 16 and having never been separated from his mother and family before, he had run away from the army training camp where he had been taken and this innocent, scared act of a homesick teenager marked him as a deserter and probable communist sympathizer. Most Americans probably are unaware that in this small central American country just South of Mexico, more than a quarter of a million Guatemalans have died in what amounts to a civil war.  So I have very little patience for the so called Minute Men, Tea party and other types that William Lederer and Eugene Burdick so effectively parodied in their novel "The Ugly American" over a half century ago.  I truly know that for every Ambassador MacWhite caricature (i.e. the real "ugly American": an ethnocentric, jingoistic fool) there are a hundred Robin Reinekes.

So thank you to the BBC and its reporter for bringing us this truly inspiring story of a beautiful American, Robin Reineke.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Robert Bork: Constitutional Coward Who Did Nixon's Bidding As Trigger Man in Saturday Night Massacre Dies's

Here is my email to PBS' Talk of the Nation Political Junkie Segment on the death of Robert Bork:

Political Junkies?  You guys are not even casual users if you can mention the passing of Robert Bork and NOT mention his infamous deed which cost him a seat on the Supreme Court.  He was Nixon's trigger man at Justice on the Saturday Night Massacre (#3 at Justice after his two superiors refused, rightly, to fire special prosecutor).  My father was a chief counsel of a judiciary subcommittee and later staff counsel for Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Eastland.  My father's good friend and Judiciary Committee Chief Counsel, Francis Rosenberger under Eastland still had contacts with with committee staffers in the know when the votes were tallied, so I know on credible authority that was the real reason when the judiciary committee caucused and voted down sending his nomination to the floor.(Although Bork gave them window dressing with his testimony).

Monday, December 3, 2012









Eat your hearts out Notre Dame and Alabama!  The BCS Championship Bowl?  Forget about it! Thanks to outgoing Minnesota Athletic Director Joe El Maturi aka Minnesota's Poppa Joe, the man who fired the best football coach  the University of Minnesota has had since Murray Warmath, Glen Mason, and replaced him with Mr. Goatfer Nation himself, "Terry" the idiot Brewster, and when that didn't work out so good, instead of learning from his mistake and going with competence baby, Maturi went cheap and the sympathy route hiring a small school bumpkin whose one trick pony, er, I mean goat, is to faint  during or shortly after each Gopher loss!  And what is the University of Minnesota's beautiful reward for the Maturi Mistake:

THE MEINEKE TOILET BOWL?

YOUR RETIREMENT CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH.

 

Get your Maturi Minnesota Meineke Bowl Merchandise and    Cheer on the Road Kill Tour Finale:

Monday, November 12, 2012

He's the One at 51!


The Great Roll Call
"She's the One" but today I turn 51 and taking my two kids to see the greatest rock n roll band the & E Street Band Thanks Pete!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

 

What will Tag, Blip, Ditto, Dot, Rainbow, Blitzkreig and Xyklon do now their Dad is a complete failure? 

 

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Nickel And A Nail (In Romney's Chances)

They say good things come in threes.  Just a week ago I am fairly certain that the President would have been happy with just one lousy break, as in "What does a guy gotta do around here to catch a break?"  But just as things seemed to be spiraling out of control and thoughts of a Romney victory were beginning to look less like the desperate dreams of the lunatic fringe and more like a distinct possibility, it happened.  The proverbial game changer.

Just like the Protestant Wind swept in and destroyed enough of the Spanish Armada to sufficiently weaken it setting up the English victory at the Battle of Gravelines and saving Queen Elizabeth I's England, Hurricane Sandy swept past Florida and hit the Jersey Shoreline as hard as Snooki got punched in the bar stopping Romney's momentum in the polls and in the minds of the American people.  Unlike Snooki's one punch KO, Romney's campaign was hit by a flurry of blows, anyone of which was stunning in and of itself, but the combination of so many shots in quick succession may be too staggering for Romney/Ryan to recover from.

First it was the endorsement from Republican, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Powell's endorsement is particularly devastating considering that he is one of the few and maybe only former high profile Bush Administration cabinet member who retains a favorable public opinion and reputation for candor  and honesty.  Then even more amazing, at least to me, was the cooperation and candor of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who praised and continues to praise the Obama Administration's handling of the storm and its aftermath.

So there is three good things and you are thinking the good luck streak is over when former Republican, now independent, Mayor of New York and America's Jewish Mother, Michael Bloomberg endorses the President and rubbed the noses of the know nothing Conservative Republicans whose mantra has long been that Global Warming is a hoax.

All the while candidate Willard is a voice in the wilderness , too remote for the public to hear or even care.

So that's four, what about the fifth punch?  The nickel was the revelation that there was little or no delay in responding to the storming of the Libyan "Embassy", and the nail in Romney's chance of ever becoming President came this morning in the form of the October economic and job numbers which were better than expected and showed slow but steady progress.  Forward.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kurt Bills Gets It 25% Right In Only TV AD Buy

I don't know what I'm more surprised about, mentioning non-candidate Kurt Bills within 10 days of Election Day or that he got something right, albeit only about 25% right.

Here's what Bills got right:  There is a HUGE scandal over at the Hennepin County Attorneys Office.  The scandal is over the Hennepin County Attorney not prosecuting perhaps the most serious of all crimes in a nation governed by a constitutional form of government.  The Hennepin County Attorney refused to prosecute the case in the face of such overwhelming evidence even comic strip attorney Steve Dallas of Doonesbury fame could win a conviction against this band of heinous criminals.

But that's where it ends for non-candidate Bills, he gets nothing else right or even remotely close.  The scandal does not involve former Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, but rather it involves current Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.  The scandal does not involve Minnesota Ponzie King Tom Petters, but rather criminals infinitely times more dangerous and corrupt.  Yes I am talking about the largest criminal syndicate in Minnesota State history:  the Metro Gang Strike Force.

If Mike Freeman had any moral, ethical or honorable cells left in his criminally cancerous carcass, he would either reopen his investigation and win prosecutions against these armed and dangerous felons who are putting the lives of all Minnesotans in danger on a daily basis or he should at least have the guts to resign.

So non-candidate Bills, if you are going to blow your wad and entire campaign war chest on your only TV ad buy of the election, at least get it all right, not just a quarter.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

(Losing) 2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad?

Only if you are the San Francisco Giants or Meat Loaf but certainly not for the chameleon candidate, Mitt "Leggo my Eggo" Romney.  Apparently, and I say apparently because you never know what Mr. Waffle is going to say next. Let's face it, Willard Romney makes John Carey look like Winston Churchill.

 "Mitt" Romney is so Moderate these days...(audience participation part, you say:)  "How moderate is he?"  Mitt is so moderate he makes Mondale look like Mountbatten.*

The spin coming out of the RNC and Romney's camp goes something like this:

       "He accomplished what he had to in the first debate and by merely showing up to the next two debates and saying whatever he had to to soften his image for the sake of the women's vote and more centrist independents, he accomplished his mission with flying colors."

Talk about a bunch of apologists.

All I know is that the proof is in the pudding and you can't have your meat til you eat your pudding.  Finally the proof is in.  Henry Blodget, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider and Mike Norman Economics have teamed up to provide irrefutable proof that the President's economic stimulus worked.  See

Here Are The Charts That Should Get Obama Reelected...



chart






*The author is showing off his literary skills and historical knowledge through the use of alliteration and arcane reference to Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Candidates, StartYour Engines: Who Was That Guy in the Mitt Suit Last Night?



Who was that shy, needy girl dressed up like Mitt Romney debating the President last night?  Willard, you of all people, should be the last one to criticize the President about an"Apology Tour" after last night's performance!  Jeez, talk about being b----slapped and set straight.  Listening to the Third Presidential Debate  replay on the radio, without having to look at Mitt, mugging like a male model, really allows you to focus on the content of their message and the President had by far the superior message.

As I started to drift away on Mitt's mellifluous musings, I kept getting so startled by what I heard I kept having to put on my glasses to see if I could see just who the hell this person was that was saying all these moderate things.  There was only one thing I was sure of , and that was it sure as hell wasn't the Willard Romney who I watched in all those Republican Primary debates.  Whatever happened to that Macho Mormon Man who use to openly boast at debates that he was  "severely conservative" and that the undocumented should "self-deport"?  Did he ditch the Tea Party, Birthers, Birchers, Koch Brothers and Neo-Cons somewhere on the way to the debate like they were a bad date?

Wait a second...his real name is Willard, he was all of a sudden pleasant and agreeable?  "Fun to be around?"  You don't think, it couldn't be... A History Channel 2 episode of "Cowboys and Aliens"?  Nah.  "Invasion of the Body Snatchers?"  Perhaps.  Could it be that it was the real Willard, Willard Scott, our favorite DC weatherman, dressed up in the Mitt suit last night?  You just never know.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A message from Bruce

Dear Friends:
The election is coming up on all of us and we all have strong feelings about it. I’ve been getting asked a lot about where I stand, so for those who are interested, here goes.
This presidential election is different than the last one because President Obama has a four year record to run on. Last time around, he carried with him a tremendous amount of hope and expectations. Unfortunately, due to the economic chaos the previous administration left him with, and the extraordinary intensity of the opposition, it turned into a really rough ride. But through grit, determination, and focus, the President has been able to do a great many things that many of us deeply support.
Domestically, that record includes working to increase and expand employment for all, protecting our all important social safety net, passing guaranteed health care for most of our citizens, with important new protections for all of the insured, rescuing the auto industry and so many of the American jobs that go with it, protecting and enhancing the rights of women, and bringing us closer to full acceptance of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
In foreign affairs, that record includes following through on the removal of troops from the misguided and deceptive war in Iraq, and vigorously pursuing our real foreign enemies, especially the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Right now the opposition’s resort to voter suppression in so many states is not receiving as much attention as it deserves. I believe that all of us, of whatever views, should be opposing these anti-voter, anti-citizen efforts.
Right now, for the President to be effective in his next term he needs our increased support and he needs support in the Congress, where some sterling candidates, such as current Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, challenger Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and so many others, are fighting to make their constructive voices heard.
Right now, there is an ever increasing division of wealth in this country, with the benefits going more and more to the 1 percent. For me, President Obama is our best choice to begin to reverse this harmful development.
Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction.
Right now, we need a President who has a vision that includes all of our citizens, not just some, whether they are our devastated poor, our pressured middle class, and yes, the wealthy too; whether they are male or female, black, white, brown, or yellow, straight or gay, civilian or military.
Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country “…where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.”
That’s why I plan to be in Ohio and Iowa supporting the re-election of President Obama to lead our country for the next four years.
Bruce Springsteen

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

President Wins Split Decision in WrestleMania II

You knew that the second of three Presidential Debates between the incumbent, President Barak Obama and his challenger Willard "Mitt" Romney would be unlike any other Presidential Debate in history when former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich entered the ring in a sequined tuxedo, a microphone was lowered  from the lighting scaffold and and the pint sized leftist announced in his high pitched squeal:  "Are you Ready to R-U-M-B-L-E?" 

Reich, looking alot like Tattoo, the former Fantasy Island star, Herve Villechaize in his pint sized tuxedo, was greeted by the crowd with a hail storm of empty beer cans and bottles, a mixture of green Genesee Cream Ale cans and brown Genesse Fyfe & Drum and 12 Horse Ale bottles which quickly buried the runt.

After an undercard that featured a battle royale of Congressional leaders that came down to"chinless" Mitch McConnel succumbing to a submission hold by the surprisingly scrappy and Nappy Nancy "La la Palooza" Pelosi, the level of anticipation and excitement rose to a near frenzy as the main event's combatant's entered the ring.  A pre-debate coin toss determined that the President would go "skins" allowing Willard the Contender to wear his customary sacred undergarments aka oversized grey woolen longjohns.

After a heartfelt sermon punctuated by an expletive filled Homily delivered by a near comatose Pastor to the Presidents, Billy Graham, the combatants met at center ring where the evening's pugnacious referee, the troll like "Candy Corn" Crowley checked each wrestler for foreign objects.  Finding an empty wine bottle hidden in Willard's sacred undergarments, a souvenir, no doubt, leftover from Mitt's missionary work in France while dodging the Viet Nam war draft, the ogre-like Crowley chastised the pride of the tabernacle to fight fair...(to be continued)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another Vote For Hope, But Hopefully Not Change




Bruce Springsteen's official web site http://brucespringsteen.net/ just made the following announcement:


"Bruce to appear for Obama-Biden campaign in Ohio and Iowa

Bruce Springsteen, a supporter of President Obama and Vice President Biden, will appear in the Parma, OH area and Ames, IA on Thursday, October 18. The appearances will be free and open to the public. Specific information including timing and location will be released in the coming days.
“Bruce Springsteen’s values echo what the President and Vice President stand for: hard work, fairness, integrity,” said Jim Messina, Obama-Biden campaign manager. “His appearances will help with our get out the vote effort in these critical swing states and we are thrilled with his ongoing support.”
President Bill Clinton will also join Bruce for his appearance in Ohio. We’ll share additional information as soon as it becomes available."


Chip Cravaack Pimps His Father for a Lie: The $700 or $716 Billion Republican Lie About Medicare Will Backfire in the Internet Age



From Paul "Alfalfa" Ryan to Chip "What'd you expect me to do, you moron" Cravaack, the Rebublican candidates this election cycle keep shamelessly repeating the lie that the Obama Administration will steal or rob the Medicare program of $700 or $716 Billion dollars and give it to "Obama Care".  I keep scratching my head and wondering why an organization with as much media manipulation savvy as the evil Madison Avenuers over at the RNC would make this thoroughly discredited lie the center piece of their strategy this election?  A lie so blatantly false that the best fact check source to disprove it is Congressman Ryan's own proposed budget which uses the exact, very same $716 Billion anticipated savings, to pay down the Bush deficits. 

To add insult to injury, I just had the displeasure of viewing perhaps the most shameful add in American political history:  Chipper Cravaacks' new ad where he pimps his own father for a lie.  Why?  Why would someone use their own father in the most pandering and shameful way all over a narration which is a blatant f___ing lie? 

Then it dawned on me, this is all they got.  "What?", you ask.  Hold on now, bear with me, put on your evil Madison Avenue "sell cigarettes and death" to the American people dunce hats, got in on now?  Good.  Now just think back and remember the Reagan playbook.  If you repeat a lie enough, the stupid, lazy, American Idol/Survivor watching Red State Americans who get their "news" from Fox and Clear Channel affiliates will believe it.  Why would they believe it?  Because those sources do not adhere to basic journalistic principles.  So when the facts do not fit your narrative, don't change your narrative instead manipulate, lie, pimp your own father out because in the short term it may work.  Remember the Iraq War?  Sure you do.

The Republicans knew they were dead meat this election cycle because of one huge issue Medicare and the Ryan Budget which calls for ending Medicare, the third rail in American politics, and replacing it with a privatized "voucher" system much like GWB's proposal following the 2004 election to privatize Social Security.  There is now almost universal acceptance, and I say almost because there are still those ignorant, dumb ideologically driven Tea Baggers and Republicans who exist in an alternative universe and actually believe their own lies, that the Bush plan would have been disastrous in light of the financial meltdown in 2007-08. 

But why would you draw attention to an issue that hurts you, especially since you have no solution to the problem and your rhetoric is predicated on a lie?  As incredible as this may sound, the Reagan/Republican playbook calls for going long, the political equivalent to a hail Mary.  Instead of taking on an issue honestly, an issue you don't care about since you're rich and have got yours, you demonize, trivialize and flat out lie about it.  Instead of running away from it since you cannot possibly win on the facts and logic, you double down, make the face of killing off Medicare your Vice President nominee and run with what you brung, a lie.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post VP Debate Debate: Romney Lover Wishing He Had Morning After Pill

This is the third installment in the Election 2012 debate by proxy series featuring your host, the kind, thoughtful, usually quiet, almost reticent progressive intellectual, Plainsense, versus his mean, thoughtless, loudmouth, almost hysterical , histrionic beyatch from the Fracted up state of SoDak, Mr. Biggy Small herself,
Romney Lover.  Let the games begin:


Plainsense:   How was that can of whoop a$$?   Biden the beast!  Ryan the yeast, infection!
Plainsense:   How many times is Ryan going to repeat the totally discredited and fact checked lie about robbing Medicare of $716 billion?
Romney Lover:   They took $716 billion from Medicare and transferred it over to Obama care. If this is hard for you to understand then you and Biden should room together at the sunny side home for seniors.  *(See Ryan and Republicans: What's Reality Got To Do With It? )
Romney Lover:   Biden was rattled, rude and completely off his game last night. Ryan appeared much more presidential. It made me think about how I will smile when they put that useless sob out to pasture. He has been on the Gov. Dime since 1970 and it is time for him to fade away. Oh, wait, he also got his son a job now. How nice. They are like Kennedy's. No ambition other than to get elected and draw a Gov. Paycheck for life.
Romney Lover:   He talks about "leveling the playing field." All that means is redistributing wealth. Why didn't Ryan go for the throat when hair plugs Biden was throwing out all the baseball talk. So you want to level the playing field huh, well right now everyone is given a fair chance to play the game, would you like to give them 5 outs instead of 3 to level the game, must all games end in a tie? Can we actually have a winner and loser in this game? Hi, I'm from Scranton........ Who gives a shit?
Plainsense:   Oh tax cuts for millionaires and Willard paying only 14% isn’t redistribution of wealth? I'm paying more for those swine?
Plainsense:   We must have watched 2 different debates because Biden killed him threw the lies back in his face and spit on him! 4 MORE YEARS 4 MORE YEARS
Romney Lover:   Didn't you hear Ryan last night; if you taxed every single one of those rich people at the Clinton rate the extra money would hardly be noticeable.
Plainsense:   Turn out the lights....the party's over....
Romney Lover:   you are delirious. Biden was rude to the female moderator as well as Ryan. Man, he came off appearing as a befuddled stuttering senior. Your prism is severely skewed.
Romney Lover:   Doesn't it seem a little fishy that the great old USA has a corporate tax structure that is higher than socialized countries? I suppose this was a lie as well.
Plainsense:   Victory is here raise a mighty Cheer and sing the song of Hercules!!!
Plainsense:   Did you see my tweets?
Plainsense: Best Moment: Biden responding to criticism of stimulus I received 2 letters from Ryan begging for some of the job creating economy growing stimulus: HYPOCRISY WAS NEVER SO SWEET AND SO I TWEET BIDEN NUMERO UNO!!
Plainsense:  Turn out the lights...the party's over...
Romney Lover:  I don't follow anything you say anymore after you raised the race card again on the roll call. It made me so mad I just deleted it as a favorite. Your writing is dead to me.
Plainsense:  Do you think I should wear a blue or black cumber bun to the Inaugural ball?
Romney Lover:  Oh, I didn't hear your last point some old guy in the room kept interrupting, sneering, laughing and generally being rude while the adults were trying to talk.
Plainsense: You don’t think George Allen calling someone the equivalent of the N word makes him a racist? Where are you from Spear chucker?
Romney Lover:  I thought the word was Micaca or something like that.
Romney Lover:   If you are going to look at every word spoken in this country and trace it around the world to see if it means something else in a different country and then argue that foreign countries meaning applied to the word when spoken in the USA then you obviously have too much time on your hands.
Plainsense:  Give me a break, the facts are that George Jr. Klansman was raised in morocco or a n. African country for several years as a boy with his mommy and that is the local n word. So when he sees an opponent's staff, a person of color filming him, he looks into the camera and calls him the equivalent of the n word and later tries to say he made up the word, didn’t know the meaning OH BS as my dad would say. Working in the fields you get you back burned working neath the wheels you get your facts learned baby I got my facts learned real Good Badlands you got to live it every day...
Plainsense:   4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years 4 more years
Plainsense:   Did you watch the replay of Frontline The Choice 2012? Of course not because you do not like to be informed, easier to swallow the lies you are fed on a daily basis from the RNC
Plainsense:   It's over. The lights don’t shine no more....
Romney Lover:   It is going to be closer than you think. But, you go ahead and put on your tux and get ready. If you lost maybe sausage will dance with you.
Plainsense:   The best television journalism source paints a stark contrast between the President a man who believes in something and Romney a man who only believes in his own ambition who will say and do anything to achieve what his father could not...sound familiar we tried that guy once and things didn’t work out so well or do you consider GWB a success because if you do you are delusional and I will not waste my breath on the unborn.
Romney Lover:   Ok, let's try your method. Nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus and 4 years later the economy is hardly improved. The market is back up but unemployment is down and you have a trillion dollars in the debt. Yes your shining model is a turd! Oh, I forgot it was GWBs fault. Just like it is the evil corporation for inner city poverty and crime, or all these racist white people hold down minorities or whatever else. You have no successful policies so paint the opponent as either rich or a racist. Man, have you ever had a vinyl record just keep skipping over and over and then if you put a penny on the head it pushes the needle down harder and no more skipping? Well, I wish you would put a penny on your head.
Plainsense:   Hardly improved? What planet are you on? First week in office Obama signs exec order making it mandatory wall St. and banks pay back rescue $ under Bush it was voluntary. Puts a floor underneath the second coming of Hoover Depression saves auto industry and for every one of 200,000 plus jobs in industry he saved multiply by 7 the # of jobs with suppliers and support and service industries. Romney "let them fail editorial" FACTS FACTS FACTS!  Why don’t you read something instead of watching fox cable and ignorant fat white guys?
Romney Lover:   Oh he ordered the banks to pay back their loan and cherry picked one heavily union employed industry to save. Hooray, union autoworkers over every other company out there struggling during tough times. Someday, his team of 15 appointments will decide what type of health care procedures are necessary for you, too bad you are not union, oh shit his team just pulled the plug on you in favor of a union supporter. My mind is completely color blind but relies on everyone to take responsibility for their own situation. When will you take responsibility and consider the information coming out of the Whitehouse and realize their model cannot be sustained. I don't know if vouchers are the answer, but I can tell you Government providing SS and Medicare for every senior over 65 is not a viable model. Why not offer an option for younger folks. Let them invest their own money or a portion; ease the burden a little off social security. I'm sure that pig Biden collects his check every month along with his VP pay. Oh, I bet he doesn't collect it, because they have their own system in place that they set up for retirement and health care. Hmm, doesn't that smell a little funny to you? If Obama crapped in a bag and said it was chocolate you would believe him.
Plainsense: There you go again...just look at the imagery in your above rambling run on paragraph: SS (obvious subliminal Nazi reference) constant analogy to anything scatological (e.g. “crapped") union bashing which is simply code for another type of bashing you subconsciously draw attention to out of self -hatred and need to present "front" to outside world which merely emphasizes your need to jump on a sofa on Oprah.   I can only guess you will surgically attempt to shorten your limbs to be more Cruise like.
Romney Lover:   Stop the madness. I only hope MN is invaded by health care seeking Canadians and the only person to protect you and your overweight hound is Dayton and Obama. At that point in time you will wish GWB was in your house with a line of cocaine and a full arsenal aimed at defending your freedom.
Plainsense:   You’re just lucky crazy eyes is stopping in Marshall MN with his scatter gun this weekend and not continuing west or the entire population or your state's only worthwhile resource, pheasants, might be in danger. I'll stake my rep and street cred on crazy eyes being more of a sportsman then Timothia the First whose wife routinely beat him out in fishing and hunting. Typical Republican NRA hunter, all equipment and bluster and no ability. Y'all would starve to death if Iran ever sneaks in the big one and we go back to the Stone Age.

** Postscript:  For an excellent and concise fact check summary of the VP debate see USA Today's (of all places):   Fact check: A 2nd look at Biden and Ryan claims

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Future is Now: What Control of the U.S. Senate May Come Down To? A Macaca Moment

Return with me now, all of you Over the Hill Gang members to a less cynical time.  To a time when a Republican President was hunkered down in the White House trying everything under the sun to stave off impeachment.  Enemies lists, using the IRS, CIA and FBI to discredit political rivals as well as ordinary American citizens who had the courage to stand up and speak truth to power.

And in his spare Richard M. Nixon was still strategizing.  Always scheming, Tricky Dick was devising and then sending his secret plans to this man's father hoping he would implement them on Sundays.  What am I babbling about? The Axis of Evil?  Sort of.  President Richard Nixon would devise football plays and send them to George Allen Senior, the coach of the Washington Redskins and father of right wing Republican former U.S. Senator from Virginia, who displayed the poor judgment of using some of these amateur play calls.

Eventually these senile old kooks would be driven from office with the senior Allen eventually succumbing to the football equivalent of being fragged by his own men, he died of pneumonia after his team dumped a cooler full of Gatorade over his head following a college football game.

His son, George Allen, Jr. carried on his father's tradition of poor judgment culminating in his spectacular implosion while running for re-election to his Senate seat which he planned as using as a stepping stone to the White House.  For those of you not familiar with George's Macaca Moment, Macaca being the North African equivalent to the South Afrikaner kaffir and the American "N" word, I bring you this reminder.  "But why is this relevant?" you ask.  Because this racist, phony born again is running for his old U.S. Senate seat against former Democratic governor and genuine good person Tim Kaine.  And it is this race, my dear friends, that control of the U.S. Senate may come down to in the 2012 election.

Watch this video and ask yourself if this two-bit racist is deserving of being elected to another 6 year term in the Senate.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Pre-Debate Debate: Plainsense vs. Romney Lover II

Due to the overwhelming response of our readers who could not get enough of the carnage known as Plainsense vs. Romney Lover I, tonight the Great Roll Call brings to you as part of its Pre-Debate Coverage, Plainsense vs. Romney Lover II, the second in its ongoing series of surrogate Presidential Debates. 

Without further adieu I bring to you your host Plainsense and his confused, irrational, mean spirited, Tea Bagger, suburbanite, Republican opponent, Romney Lover. 

Tonight's topic for debate:  Charitable Giving.

Plainsense: Some random thoughts on charitable giving. As a Christian, I truly believe in the Bible's teaching that among the concepts of "...faith, hope and charity ... the greatest of these is charity" Corinthians 13:13

Romney LoverIs it wrong of me to think by paying taxes I am supporting a charity and therefore, I don't have to give to anyone else? You know what, I'm going to start calling Obama "Robin Hood." He wants to take from the rich and give to the poor.

Judges:  Advantage Plainsense.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Romney Room



Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, what to do. Magic millionaire, tell me today. What position should I take today?  Should I be conservative or should I be moderate?  What a dilemma to represent the intolerant!

Immigrants bad. Minute Men good.  Oh no, look at the direction the polls took.  Did I say bad?  I meant good.  Why don't you believe me, although I don't know how you could.

One day I say this, one day I do that.  I do whatever for the Fat Cats.  What's my plan?  I haven't a clue.  Hey Clint, when you're done can I borrow the chair too?  Maybe I can also look like a fool.

Willard "Mitt", Walter Mittey, whatever happened to Ann's other...

What's that you say? "I'm not nice?"  At least I'm more authentic than Vanilla Ice!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Great Roll Call Is Now on Twitter: Have you answered http://thegreatrollcall.blogspot.com/ lately?

The Great Roll Call

The Great Roll Call@Mghtyfieldofvsn

 What does it mean that The Great Roll Call is now on Twitter?

Consider the attributes that have made The Great Role Call your choice for a journal on American political thought.  Now modify, manipulate, concentrate and condense those thoughts into 140 characters.   

What are the results?  A lot of incomplete ramblings and non sequitors?  Yes, perhaps.  But I am still learning.  It is no small feat for someone with a professional degree for writing interminably long tombs and calling it a "brief" to limit themselves to a mere 140 characters.  Hell, I yawn in more characters than that! 

So if you are the type of person who rubber necks and gawks at accident scenes, who roots for the fire when the orphanage burns and/or makes change when the offering plate passes you but somehow always wind up with more money leaving church then when you came, well don't bother following The Great Roll Call@Mghtyfieldofvsn on twitter because you are a Republican or small minded conservative and it will only piss you off.  But for everyone else, oh hell, even the Republicans, Conservatives, Birthers, Birchers and Tea Baggers are welcome.  If you keep an open mind, well, you might even learn something.

So welcome aboard, man up and dive in. 
-Plainsense, September 27, 2012

 

 The Great Roll Call's Creed

Life is short so ride whenever you can, only listen to good music, drink the best craft beers and smoke fine cigars.

 Locations:

Physical:  Across from Laughing Waters.   Virtual:   http://thegreatrollcall.blogspot.com/

Tweets

  The Great Roll Call   The Great Roll Call@Mghtyfieldofvsn
"To all the friends and strangers and even enemies who answered the Great Roll Call when...rabid scum ...tried to put me in prison." -HST

 
The Great Roll Call@Mghtyfieldofvsn
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro! Twitter will never be the same. Have you answered thegreatrollcall.blogspot.com lately?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Count Me In as one of the 47%ers

Desperate, delusional and dumb Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney sealed his fate  in Boca Raton, Florida where he was caught revealing his true feelings toward the American people.  Speaking in front of a group of wealthy fund raisers, Romney lashed out at the American public "Forty-seven percent of the country", he said, are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

Romney's message has been so out of tune and alienating to middle and working class America that neo-con William Kristol has all but conceded Romney's defeat and in a semi-tongue-in-cheek fashion suggested he step aside for a conservative dream ticket of Ryan-Rubio.  Even conservative-light Republican apologist and NY Times columnist David Brooks got in on the Romney bashing with his column entitled Thurston Howell Romney.

Perhaps the best description of Romney's candidacy that I have heard to date comes from the always perceptive, St. Louis Park native, Tom Friedman who described the 2012 race as the first Presidential campaign in history "...where both candidates are running on I'm not Mitt Romney...".  Friedman goes on to give his hypothesis that the reason Romney sticks his foot in his mouth so often is because he is not authentic, not organic.  Rather, Romney is just saying what he believes the far right, now the base of the Republican Party, wants to hear.

Listen to Charlie's always excellent interview of Mr. Friedman:  http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12561

Friday, September 14, 2012

Breaking News: Judge Strikes Down Walker's Actions banning Collective Bargaining as Unconstitutional!


A Wisconsin judge just struck down the state law used by Gov. Scott Walker to effectively ban collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday that the law violated both the state and U.S. Constitution and was therefore  null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees.

Walker spokesman Cullie Verner VonWerwie says he is confident the decision will be overturned on appeal or else the Reichstag may be in danger.  It was not clear if the Brown Shirts aka Walkerites would obey the court ruling or again engage in illegal or unconstituional acts. The law took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and had been in effect for more than a year.

Here is Judge Colas' opinion:

Madison Teachers et al., v. Scott Walker et al.

Best One Liner to Come Out of Either Convention: "Ask Bin Laden if he is better off today than he was four years ago"

What a difference eight years can make.  It was only eight years ago that then presidential candidate John Kerry was missing in action, wind surfing while Boston burned , so to speak, .as some rich, billionaire friends of the Bushies were spreading lies about Kerry's military service.  Say what you will about Mr. Kerry's politics, but the fact remains he was a true war hero and the Swift Boaters were literally full of shit.

That does not let Mr. Kerry off the hook in my book for his conduct upon returning from the war or for ignoring the Swift Boaters outrageous lies.  In politics these days, nothing is beneath the dignity of responding to.  Kerry so botched his parties chances back in 2004, a Republican analyst later said of Candidate Kerry:  "He was so stiff he made the trees in the Wizard of  Oz look animated and loose" (I paraphrase).

Now, just eight short years later, it is the Democrats and their candidate, President Obama, who have the advantage on national security issues over their opponents. Let's face it, compared to Mitt Romney, John Kerry is a man with gravitas and his one liner at last month's DNC:   "Ask Bin Laden if he is better off today than he was four years ago" was hands down the best one liner to come out of either parties convention.

Finally, the best parody video to come out of the conventions was again a no brainer, going to the Leonard Nimoy narrated spoof entitled "Mitt Romney, a Human Being Who Built That".  See it at:  http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/scarce/romney-human-being-who-built-narrated-leona


Thursday, September 6, 2012

FactCheck.org on Clinton Speech at DNC: "...we found his stats checked out".


"Our Clinton Nightmare


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former President Bill Clinton’s stem-winding nomination speech was a fact-checker’s nightmare: lots of effort required to run down his many statistics and factual claims, producing little for us to write about.
Republicans will find plenty of Clinton’s scorching opinions objectionable. But with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out.
Overselling ‘Obamacare’
The worst we could fault him for was a suggestion that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was responsible for bringing down the rate of increase in health care spending, when the fact is that the law’s main provisions have yet to take effect.
Clinton said that “for the last two years, health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years.” That’s true, as reported by the journal Health Affairs in January of this year. But Clinton went too far when he added: “So let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are.”
Actually, the major provisions of the 2010 law — the individual mandate, federal subsidies to help Americans buy insurance, and big reductions in the growth of Medicare spending — haven’t yet taken effect. Experts mainly blame the lousy economy for the slowdown in health care spending..."

President Clinton Makes President Obama's Case



In what will most likely go down as one of the the best political speeches of this race if not since the  presidency of John F.  Kennedy, former President Bill Clinton once again proved that he plays chess while everyone else is playing checkers.  Displaying his usual Clintonesqe command of the facts and clarity of purpose, the former president laid out the chronology of events that have made up the Obama Administration, then summarized and directly took on nearly every major criticism and talking point of President Obama's challenger and critics and laid vanquish to them.  All in a mere 48 minutes, which is brief and concise in "Clinton time".   If this were a boxing match, the Romney corner would have thrown a white towel into the center of the ring while Congressman Ryan muttered "No mas, no mas!"  As Carly Simon once sang:  "Nobody does it better...".

The following is the text of President Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention as prepared for delivery and released by the convention’s press office:

 
We’re here to nominate a President, and I’ve got one in mind.

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. A man who ran for President to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before the election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. A man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs were created and saved, there were still millions more waiting, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside.  A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.
In Tampa, we heard a lot of talk about how the President and the Democrats don’t believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everyone to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

The Republican narrative is that all of us who amount to anything are completely self-made.  One of our greatest Democratic Chairmen, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants you to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, but it ain’t so.

We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity.  We think “we’re all in this together” is a better philosophy than “you’re on your own.”
Who’s right?  Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24.  In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs.  What’s the jobs score?  Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!

It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.

Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats.  After all, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and built the interstate highway system. And as governor, I worked with President Reagan on welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals. I am grateful to President George W. Bush for PEPFAR, which is saving the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to both Presidents Bush for the work we’ve done together after the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.

Through my foundation, in America and around the world, I work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are focused on solving problems and seizing opportunities, not fighting each other.
When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better.  After all, nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.  All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes.  Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn’t see it that way.  They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness.

One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.  He appointed Republican Secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation.  He appointed a Vice President who ran against him in 2008, and trusted him to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act.  And Joe Biden did a great job with both.  He appointed Cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries.  Heck, he even appointed Hillary! I’m so proud of her and grateful to our entire national security team for all they’ve done to make us safer and stronger and to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I’m also grateful to the young men and women who serve our country in the military and to Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for supporting military families when their loved ones are overseas and for helping our veterans, when they come home bearing the wounds of war, or needing help with education, housing, and jobs.

President Obama’s record on national security is a tribute to his strength, and judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship.
He also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on Health Care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn’t work out so well.  Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work.  Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to keep President Obama on the job!

In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President’s re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.
In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn’t say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years.  You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did; to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts; to increase defense spending two trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they’ll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids.  As another President once said – there they go again.

I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.

Are we where we want to be? No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month.  The answer is YES.
I understand the challenge we face.  I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy.  Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don’t feel it.

I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995.  Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn’t feel it yet.  By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history.

President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did.  No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years.  But conditions are improving and if you’ll renew the President’s contract you will feel it.  I believe that with all my heart.

President Obama’s approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America must take to build a 21st century version of the American Dream in a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities.
So back to the story.  In 2010, as the President’s recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around.

The Recovery Act saved and created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95% of the American people. In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs.  But last year, the Republicans blocked the President’s jobs plan costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here’s another jobs score: President Obama plus 4.5 million, Congressional Republicans zero.
Over that same period, more than more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama – the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.

The auto industry restructuring worked.  It saved more than a million jobs, not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country.  That’s why even auto-makers that weren’t part of the deal supported it.  They needed to save the suppliers too. Like I said, we’re all in this together.
Now there are 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than the day the companies were restructured.  Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here’s another jobs score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand, Romney, zero.

The agreement the administration made with management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage over the next few years is another good deal: it will cut your gas bill in half, make us more energy independent, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and add another 500,000 good jobs.
President Obama’s “all of the above” energy plan is helping too – the boom in oil and gas production combined with greater energy efficiency has driven oil imports to a near 20 year low and natural gas production to an all time high.  Renewable energy production has also doubled.

We do need more new jobs, lots of them, but there are already more than three million jobs open and unfilled in America today, mostly because the applicants don’t have the required skills.  We have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are being created in a world fueled by new technology.  That’s why investments in our people are more important than ever. The President has supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for open jobs in their communities. And, after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the drop-out rate so much that we’ve fallen to 16th in the world in the percentage of our young adults with college degrees, his student loan reform lowers the cost of federal student loans and even more important, gives students the right to repay the loans as a fixed percentage of their incomes for up to 20 years.  That means no one will have to drop-out of college for fear they can’t repay their debt, and no one will have to turn down a job, as a teacher, a police officer or a small town doctor because it doesn’t pay enough to make the debt payments.  This will change the future for young Americans.

I know we’re better off because President Obama made these decisions.

That brings me to health care.

The Republicans call it Obamacare and say it’s a government takeover of health care that they’ll repeal.  Are they right? Let’s look at what’s happened so far. Individuals and businesses have secured more than a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance premiums because the new law requires 80% to 85% of your premiums to be spent on health care, not profits or promotion.  Other insurance companies have lowered their rates to meet the requirement.  More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents can now carry them on family policies.  Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care including breast cancer screenings and tests for heart problems.  Soon the insurance companies, not the government, will have millions of new customers many of them middle class people with pre-existing conditions.  And for the last two years, health care spending has grown under 4%, for the first time in 50 years.

So are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it? You bet we are.
There were two other attacks on the President in Tampa that deserve an answer. Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the President for allegedly robbing Medicare of 716 billion dollars. Here’s what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None. What the President did was save money by cutting unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that weren’t making people any healthier. He used the saving to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program, and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.  It’s now solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare, they strengthened it.

When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama’s “biggest coldest power play” in raiding Medicare, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget.
At least on this one, Governor Romney’s been consistent.  He wants to repeal the savings and give the money back to the insurance companies, re-open the donut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs, and reduce the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years. So now if he’s elected and does what he promised Medicare will go broke by 2016.  If that happens, you won’t have to wait until their voucher program to begins in 2023 to see the end Medicare as we know it.
But it gets worse.  They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming decade.  Of course, that will hurt poor kids, but that’s not all.  Almost two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for seniors and on people with disabilities, including kids from middle class families, with special needs like, Downs syndrome or Autism.  I don’t know how those families are going to deal with it. We can’t let it happen

Now let’s look at the Republican charge that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work.
Here’s what happened.  When some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama Administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%.  You hear that? More work.  So the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform’s work requirement is just not true. But they keep running ads on it. As their campaign pollster said “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Now that is true. I couldn’t have said it better myself – I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.
Let’s talk about the debt. We have to deal with it or it will deal with us.  President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade, with two and a half dollars of spending reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases, and tight controls on future spending. It’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

I think the President’s plan is better than the Romney plan, because the Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility: The numbers don’t add up.
It’s supposed to be a debt reduction plan but it begins with five trillion dollars in tax cuts over a ten-year period. That makes the debt hole bigger before they even start to dig out.  They say they’ll make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code.  When you ask “which loopholes and how much?,” they say “See me after the election on that.”

People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets.  What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.  If they stay with a 5 trillion dollar tax cut in a debt reduction plan – the – arithmetic tells us that one of three things will happen: 1) they’ll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle class families will see their tax bill go up two thousand dollars year while people making over 3 million dollars a year get will still get a 250,000 dollar tax cut; or 2) they’ll have to cut so much spending that they’ll obliterate the budget for our national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel; or they’ll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education and other programs that help middle class families and poor children, not to mention cutting investments in roads, bridges, science, technology and medical research; or 3) they’ll do what they’ve been doing for thirty plus years now – cut taxes more than they cut spending, explode the debt, and weaken the economy.  Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left.  We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down.
President Obama’s plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation.

My fellow Americans, you have to decide what kind of country you want to live in.  If you want a you’re on your own, winner take all society you should support the Republican ticket.  If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a “we’re all in it together” society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If you want every American to vote and you think its wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama.

If you think the President was right to open the doors of American opportunity to young immigrants brought here as children who want to go to college or serve in the military, you should vote for Barack Obama.  If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American Dream is alive and well, and where the United States remains the leading force for peace and prosperity in a highly competitive world, you should vote for Barack Obama.

I love our country – and I know we’re coming back. For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we’ve always come out stronger than we went in.  And we will again as long as we do it together. We champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor – to form a more perfect union.

If that’s what you believe, if that’s what you want, we have to re-elect President Barack Obama.

God Bless You – God Bless America.