RE-ELECT OBAMA NOW!!

             As  UMOC 193, though not a newspaper, a televison station, a radio station, a labor union, a business association, or any organization established to promote its members’ particular common interests, I am making my first ever political endorsement for the Mid-Term 2010 elections. In the future this endorsement will be as anxiously anticipated as those of the New York Times or Washington Post and as respected as that of FoxNews.

                    I have followed many races across the country for the Senate and The House Of Representatives, though not all.   There are several gubernatorial races (and I do believe that is the first time I have ever typed gubernatorial) that have achieved prominence. Since Pennsylvania is my neighbor the Corbett-Onorato contest and its ads have permeated my cable stations and infiltrated my mind.

                     There are a number of candidates who are intriguing for other than their espoused views on the pertinent issues, delving into impertinent ones themselves or else having, shall we say “quirks” that induce the media into delving into these impertinent issues on the candidates’ behalf.

                    We have Jan Brewer for Governor of Arizona channeling her inner M.Night Shyamalan so she not only sees dead people, she sees decapitated dead people in the Arizona desert.

                    Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell does not beat around the bush, or at least not around her own bush, but would undoubtedly love to hear Frank Sinatra sing his signature “Witchcraft”.

                   Here in West Virginia  John Raese is in a close race with Governor Joe Manchin to succeed to the Senate seat of the late Robert C. Byrd. That race is so close in fact, that somewhere along the way it may be apropos to use the old maxim that one man’s vote can make a difference. Though here it would be more accurate to say one woman’s vote is the difference, as Raese’s wife is registered to vote in Florida so cannot help him out at home.

                    Sharron Angle, fighting to take Harry Reid’s Senate seat from Nevada, at one point spoke of restoring the old barter system to pay for health care. I suppose many chickens would prefer life in an MD’s office to the crowded conditions they are sometimes subject to, but if the Doc has a heavy patient load would that not eventually result in the same conditions for the poor fowl? How would the inundated medic dispose of the largesse? Surely Christine O’Donnell would not be advising him to choke his chicken.

                  Let the voters in the affected states figure out how laughable or how important these “quirks” are. However, these nominees of the Republicans or the Tea Party have one common thread, one serious shared element, one concern larger than their election day opponents. They are running against President Barack Obama.

                     My calendar says this is the year 2010; my memory tells me Obama was elected in 2008; and my Constitution informs me America holds Presidential elections only every four years. My high school math teacher, Mr. DiBello, would instruct all of us that while the secant of the cosine is tangent to the circumference of the hypoteneuse transecting the parallel, simple addition means the next Presidential contest is not until 2012.

                  Yet we hear “Repeal Obamacare”, or “Don’t vote for Obama’s Socialist Agenda” or “Manchin will be a rubber stamp for Obama”. In the latter case that means Joe Manchin, if elected,  may be able to continue as governor since his presence in Washington, D.C. will not be necessary. The taxpayer will save by not having to pay him a full salary for either job, nor any travel expenses. We’ll simply need to keep him supplied with rubber stamps.

                  Interestingly Cindy Frich, a Republican seeking a position in the WEST VIRGINIA State Senate is running a campaign promising to vote against all of Obama’s proposals, none of which are before the state legislature.

                 But let’s just put Obama in as a surrogate for all the Democrat candidates and ponder our electoral choice. I have written two posts expressing dissatisfaction with our President for a variety of reasons. However, upon closer examination of those issues and his broader slate of goals and accomplishments, he comes off as , if not smelling like a rose, not smelling as if he lives anywhere within 50 miles of a rendering plant.

              I refuse to address in depth any accusations that he pursues socialism as a panacea for our nation’s problems. Knowledge and understanding of the development and adoption of more federal powers by all presidents over the past 60 years will suffice to demonstrate that, at worst, he is on a par with his predecessors. Each of them passed laws or promulgated policies that drew complaints of overreach, unconstitutionality or a rush towards socialism.

               Before I continue I do want to unequivocably state how appalled I am at the campaign ads, particularly the negative ads (I think there were some positive ones). All parties are guilty and since I’ll be slamming those from the Republican or Tea Party side let me cite some common Democrat attack ads that are  misleading or utterly unfair in their characterizations.

                  There is the charge by Democrats in some campaigns that their opponent has proposed or is in favor of a 23% national sales tax. The ads imply that this is an additional tax on top of other taxes folks pay. It is not, as Politifact explains:http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/oct/21/does-national-sales-tax-amount-double-taxation/ It is a reprehensible scare tactic pure and simple.

                Other ads I have viewed, especially in a couple of the Pa. races for the House of Representatives mention earlier efforts and some continued sentiment for allowing people to invest privately rather than having their Social Security taxes placed in that fund, with, naturally, another Wall Street crash endangering these folks’ retirement. The ads use seemingly actual senior citizens to voice  their dismay. The elderly’s fears of loss of security of any nature are real, but these ads are exploitive. I receive Social Security and except for the most radical anti SS folks out there, the ones offering change to more private investments do not appear to have any desire to adversely affect current recipients. (But you young whippersnappers better watch out!)

              Now that I have given fair hearing to my esteemed colleagues across the aisle, I’m gonna have a blast emphasizing the Teapublicans’s misrepresentations and lies, all connected to Obama.

                   The recently passed health care law has been the biggest, most frequent target. The “death panel” farce seems to have receded but not charges of socialized medicine, bureaucratizing medical care, slashing Medicare benefits, onerous new taxes and being a budget buster. Let’s explore some of these accusations more deeply.

                     John Raese, in a recent debate with Joe Manchin claimed the first person a patient would have to see under the new law would be a bureaucrat. Extremely not so:http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/oct/19/john-raese/john-raese-says-health-care-law-forces-patients-go/

                Many current members of Congress have been attacked for “gutting Medicare”. Extremely not so:

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/28/crossroads-gps/crossroads-gps-ad-blasts-joe-sestak-vote-gut-medic/

             Just this week I received my annual booklet outlining Medicare coverage and any changes. Nothing in there indicates any alterations to my coverage or ability to see the doctors of my choice.

                Is the health care law adding to the deficit or is there an opportunity to actually trim the deficit as it becomes fully effective. No better expert on this than the Congressional Budget Office which is non-partisan. Read their view here:

\http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11379/AmendReconProp.pdf

              Those candidates attacking Democrats for passing the health care law on the basis of Medicare cuts or accusing Democrats of cutting Social Security act as if they are actually in favor of those programs. At the same time they claim the Democrat agenda is socialistic. For years many on the Right have railed against those two programs as being socialistic. Yet now they want you to believe electing them will preserve these programs. Can you trust them?

              Health care reform has gotten the most attention of Obama’s accomplishments. But has he done anything else? Quite a bit, in fact quite a hell of a lot. Politifact has been tracking the promises he made with their “Obamameter”. promises kept, promises broken, compromises, all are tallied.

            Here are the 122 promises kept:

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/rulings/promise-kept/

You will note that among these kept promises are needed additional funding for certain Veterans’ programs, beginning withdrawal from Iraq, extension of pell Grants for college students, and small business assistance with both tax credits and easier financing availability.

Here are the 22 brokenpromises:

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/rulings/promise-broken/

Here is access to the Politifact web site with the Obamameter and the Truth-O-Meter which looks at what politicians and pundits and advisers have said and tells you how true, if at all,  those statements are.http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/

This op-ed piece by GOP Chairman Michael Steele in U.S. News and World Report provides a succinct , if boiler plate, repeat of the standard Republican positions.

http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/10/25/steele-a-republican-congress-will-end- government-tyranny.html

Tim Kaine, his Democrat counterpart, makes this reply:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-kaine/post_1146_b_774624.html

Kaine offers his own defense of the maligned stimulus package and how it has created jobs, despite claims to the contrary. This interactive map from Slate.com is instructive. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers you can see job growth or loss in each county in the country month by month from January 2007 to August 2010. Check it out. It is valuable information. http://labs.slate.com/articles/slate-job-map-updated/ In summary, though, it pictures the lows of the jobs market and its gradual, still incomplete, recovery since the stimulus was passed.

Okay, I have outlined or provided evidence of a number of ways Obama’s administration has produced positive results in his less than two years on the job. And I have not hidden any failures.

It is clear that so much of the criticism targeting Obama is petty, misleading or based on outright lies.

When you reach your polling place next Tuesday, your perusal of the ballot will not yield the name Barack Obama. Yet, he is the candidate that will either get your vote or not. The stated Republican/ Tea Party agenda if they regain control of Congress will not take back the country. It will turn back the clock to a time where and when this nation and you as individuals cannot afford to be.

The rallying cry has been “no rubber stamp for Obama”. What those voices demand instead is a rubber stamp for McConnell and Boehner. Look at the impediment those two have been to any type of progress, opposing Obama only hoping to see him fail, not because they could offer better ideas.

Re-elect Obama now, in 2010, when it means so much to our nation.

As always vote early and vote often.

 

 
 

 

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