The Hangover


I started this blog the day after the first debate and many days later, it’s still paramount, on the thinking person’s mind. I can’t be sure how many people watched it, but I heard a staggering figure, close to 165 million. Pretty good turn out. I wonder if getting to the polls will be as strong.

I was disappointed, and soon heard it was not just my assessment. Sometimes you have to suck it up & take a hit. He did. We did. But I kept waiting for Obama to look up, take command of the conversation, force Romney to recant his lies, force Romney to tell us what he really stood  for, because I still don’t know. He’s always constantly changing his mind.  I can however,  be pretty damn fair and unbiased, when it comes to reality. Obama didn’t perform well. Romney did. I think it surprised most of us.

Of course there were untruths. I caught Romney in 3 off the bat. Distorting the truth is something politicians do well. Is there some school that effectively teaches you how to do this before you become an elected official ?  I wonder.

What was Obama writing all that time ? A love letter to Michelle for their anniversary ? Taking copious notes to set the record straight, or “I wish I weren’t here,” a thousand times ? And when Romney looked at him, why didn’t he look back ? Why didn’t he look up ?  Look up. Look up, I kept muttering to the television. He just had to give a partial glance, because you can’t miss Mitt’s head. It’s so damn big. Really, it is, like Anthony Robbins. I’m talking physically now. Emotionally is a whole other subject.

People said Obama was given the advice not to argue. I would argue that he was given poor advice. I know I have a lot of backers on this.  I heard he was told to be neutral and act presidential. He got neutral, but not very presidential. He did not have command of that podium. 

I bet he won’t be listening to those same advisors next time. He’s a smart man. He’s going to be prepped and go in fighting. And still look presidential. I hope he gets a good night’s sleep, because everyone said he looked tired.  Al Gore blamed it on the altitude. On the Jon Stewart show, he had a clip from 2008, when Obama was last in Denver. That guy was on fire. Dynamic, energetic, quick, confident. No, it wasn’t the altitude.

The easy part with Mitt is that no one knows what the hell he stands for.  As soon as you think you know his platform, he changes the set. What does he believe ? I mean, which ideal ? What plan ?  What is he really going to cut and who ?  Does he have a  healthcare plan ? Job plan ? How is he going to create them and leave them in the U.S. this time. Romney, give us a clue. Something. He has lots of ideas, but I’ve yet to hear a plan on how he’s going to implement them. I guess that’s why he’s etch a sketch. Draw it. Erase it. Draw it. Erase it. Easy. From where he sits.

As Clinton says, “It’s arithmetic.” So Mitt,  you say you’re not going to cut tax benefits for the very rich, you’re giving a tax cut to the middle class, you have a universal health plan, which includes coverage for pre-existing conditions, but really doesn’t, because that’s only under the Obama plan.

What you forgot to tell the American people, is if they don’t already have insurance and not already covered, all bets are off for anything pre-existing. In other words, you’re saying you’ll continue your coverage under the plan Obama put in place, but not yours. Your own staff had to clarify this one. True. The next day, they had to put out fires and set the record straight. I don’t think you even have a plan. Go to his website on health care and see if you can figure it out. I think he has all of 400 pages on it.

So, the big question, is if he plans to keep the tax deductions for the rich, give a tax break to the middle-class. Wait a minute, his middle-class means making about $250k or more. Never mind, that no longer includes me. Because he changes his platform on a regular basis.  I wonder, does he mean his version of the new middle class or the one by the same name that the rest of us have been going by all these years ? According to Romney,  most of us who used to be middle-class, are now lower class or maybe even poor. The bottom line is how does he plan to pay for everything and still bring down the deficit. I’d love to know.

I hope it doesn’t include his traditional business model., which would grind us all down to nothing, because that’s been his effective business model in the past. He’s been so successful at it.  Why fix something if it’s not broke ?  And after he’s depleted us, and taken our homes, savings and pensions if applicable, he’ll outsource us. I hope it’s someplace warm and affordable. Mitt, if you’re listening, Bali would be a nice option, if we have to leave. I hope you’ll consider it.

If we’re gone, that will bring the unemployment rate down. Having less of a population, will be fewer people to count and that’s fewer people to include in being unemployed. That’s basically what happened in Massachusetts. Despite the fact that he claims to have left the state in better shape, our unemployment (yes, it’s my state) grew at merely 1% during that period, while the rest of the country was growing at 5%. In addition, 250,000 people left the state looking for employment elsewhere.

The day before the debate, I was at the bank & a man probably in his 40’s, was in line  He was dressed very casually, in jeans and a t-shirt and someone asked him if he was just getting off work. He looked like a contractor of some kind. I live in an area that’s seasonal, geared more towards summer vacationers.  Although the winter slows down for everyone, it’s the laborers, contractors, electricians, etc. who are able to sustain themselves best throughout the year.

I overheard him talking & the subject turned to politics. I listened intently and after several sentences of total lies, not opinions, not something they read and verified, but outright lies, I interjected. Obviously this man was ill-informed. And I, sometimes being outspoken and having the mouth I do, opened it. I knew the issue and the facts .

I said, “Your last statement was incorrect. You must have been misinformed. It was…” And proceeded to give him the facts on the subject. He looked at me and said, “You’re not voting for that terrorist, are you ?” I was shocked because I had a pretty good suspicion that this man was not middle class. I bet he probably didn’t have a great health insurance plan either, unless he was in a union, but there aren’t many of those here. I could have been wrong, but I just had a gut feeling he wasn’t making $250,000 or more. And that is the middle class today, according to the world of Mitt Romney. Talk about out of touch.

My knee jerk response was, “Oh you mean, the terrorist that killed Osama Bin Laden in 3 years, when Bush couldn’t get him in 8 ? The terrorist that got us out of the war in Iraq, that Bush started, which added billions to the deficit ? I guess he couldn’t find him in the caves, even though informants said he was close on his trail, so he thought he’d look in Iraq. I could go on, but we obviously disagree. ”

I don’t think he expected this. “You must be drinking the kool-aid.” So as light-hearted and non-confrontational as possible I responded,  “Well maybe, but I think it’s a lighter version than the one you had.  Hey look, we may disagree, but we still live in a country where we have a right to our opinion. We don’t all have to agree. A lot of people don’t have that choice.  In the end, we can vote for anyone we want.”  I was very calm and I think he was taken aback by my tone. I sometimes wonder if it even matters how we vote. Maybe there are just a few people somewhere pulling all the strings.

“Let me give you the names of 2 websites that fact check. Some may be Republicans, some Democrats, but their main objective is to check facts. They go after both parties. I use it a lot. I’m a reporter.” I started to write down the names of both sites on a piece of paper. When he was just about to leave the window, I extended my hand to give it to him.

He looked at me and said, “I’m all set. Really.” Actually, he wasn’t all set. He didn’t have the information.  He just didn’t want to be wrong. I’m sure he gets his news from TV, as most people do and unfortunately we all know that institution is no longer a reliable source. Especially Fox. You might as well be talking to Eric Cantor. Or Romney. Someone once told me “Never argue with a fool. People can’t tell which one you are.” I’m better at giving advice than taking my own. Aren’t most of us ? 

So throughout the rest of my blog, my few Republican friends and associates, may not agree with me and they don’t have to.  But.. I am a big fact checker. I worked for an international newspaper, at a time where it was mandatory to get it right. Now people say anything they want and no editor, or producer calls them on it. Especially on TV. I don’t get it. Why bother ? It’s no longer news. It’s opinions. So, if people disagree, do your own fact checking. I encourage it. If I got something wrong, let me know. But here are some facts from various sources.

I can’t understand how a person who works hard for a living, and is probably not even in the upper middle class, let alone the top echelon of wealth, can relate to this guy. Talk about Kool-Aid. They must also be pumping some chemical into the air these people breathe. I wonder, does Mitt have any advisors ? If so, does he listen ? Because he’s made more gaffes than Joe Biden. But Biden isn’t arrogant, intentionally insulting or out of touch.

Mitt and family are currently renovating his 12 million dollar beach house in California.  Great timing Mitt.  To do this as you run for president and pretend to be compassionate and know what it’s like to go without, not have a job or struggle to pay a mortgage or buy food. But.. wait a minute, those people may be part of the 47% sucking off the government.  They don’t matter to you anyway.  You said so yourself. Where exactly did you get that figure ? 

Did I forget to mention that the beach house, is the one that has an elevator in it for his cars ?  Are you friggin serious ? Not for people, but cars ? And he’s chosen to renovate, when ? Now, when people are losing their jobs or still can’t find one, Now, when people are still getting foreclosed on, Now, when banks won’t give money to people who need it.  Now, when kids are trying to figure out how they can afford college. That’s right. This is when he has decided to renovate his house. In the midst of this crisis. How can anyone relate to him ? How can he relate to anyone, other than his tiny circle of like-minded billionaires.

So, no matter how people think, no matter who they vote for,  verify your source. Perception – everything is about perception, even if facts don’t add up. It can make or break an economy, person, or institution. People believe the TV ads. 

Despite claims that Romney left the state of Massachusetts in great shape, he didn’t. When Romney left his term as governor, our state was ranked 47 th in job growth. The unemployment rate grew at less than one percent when the national average was at 5%. He could claim he cut unemployment because close to 250,000 left the state looking for jobs elsewhere, so a lot less people needed to be accounted for.

During his term, we suffered the 2nd largest labor force decline, only behind Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina. The nation as a whole, added 8 million jobs to its labor force. We had a 14% decline in manufacturing jobs. It was twice the loss of the entire nation. He actually had the audacity to veto legislation that would have banned  companies doing business with the state to outsource to other countries. I guess he felt only he had that privilege.

We experienced below average economic growth and were often at the bottom of the pack.  He keeps saying he balanced the budget and under constitutional law, he has to. His proposed tax plan will add 10 trillion to the current debt, according to economics professor Andrew Sum. Great last name for an economist, isn’t it ?

 No matter how people think,  how they vote, no matter where they get their information from, please check it with a reliable source. And that doesn’t mean TV.  Please. There’s little truth in the ads, the rhetoric, the lies, it’s only the delusion of truth.  

There’s exaggeration on both sides. We just need to know that a lot of these facts, sound bites and ads aren’t true.  Again, fact check. Nothing bothers me more than talking to an ignorant person. I have little patience for it. And today, there’s no way to lay claim to being ignorant. Not with all the sources available to us.     

I welcome a lively conversation with anyone offering a different opinion. I might learn something new.  You might also. I’m never opposed to knowledge.  Nor should you be. Know what you’re talking about. Back it up. But don’t tell me you heard it on the news. You might as well have fabricated your own story.  And then it might be best to keep your comments to yourself.

There’s nothing worse than being busted because what you’re saying isn’t true. You’ll look more than dumb. You’ll look ill-informed, lazy, or just wanting to be right.  You’ll look like a damn fool. Frankly, I don’t care about being right. I just want what most people want. To pay my bills, keep my home, have a little savings, know I am safe. As the old adage goes, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? I know what I would pick.

For the real truth, go to : Politifact.com or Politico.com.

They are both fact checking sites. For both parties.

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About aboomersvoice

First and foremost, I'm a baby boomer and damn proud of it. The ones reading this post survived. Some didn't..We are the generation that crashed through barriers, broke through the norm and made our own rules. We paved the way for others to follow their bliss. One of the largest breakthroughs was probably equal rights and opportunities for women. Thank you Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. We burned our bras, well, most of us did. We marched against politics we didn't believe in, staged protests not knowing we could easily be silenced by a bullet, experimented with drugs, meditation and guru's. We traveled with backpacks across the country and throughout the world..We had a voice. We had a choice. We had a mission. We had freedom and we were united. I am a writer, traveler, explorer, observer and participant in life. I am part of the expansion of baby boomers who still believe in the original message of peace and love. Take this journey.with me. Who knows where it will take us next ?
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