Bellbottom Blog

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Archive for the tag “politics”

Election Aftermath

Just a short post to wrap up the political series of posts that I have done.

I am very happy that the election went almost exactly like I predicted.

To recap:

I said the President would be reelected by around 3 million votes.  He has exceeded that.

I said the Electoral College number  would be over 320 votes.  It was.

I said the Senate would have 55 Democrats when it was all said and done.  They got 53 Democrats and 2 Independents who will caucus with the Dems so 55 was right as well.

I had also said on Twitter that I hoped the results would be known by ten so I could watch Fox News and laugh and laugh.  Well, I missed that by an hour or so, but I did manage to laugh and laugh.

Especially when Karl Rove tried to reel back the calling of Ohio by the Fox News election experts.  Lord,was he a riot!

He was all Wait! Wait!

It reminded me of the scene in Trading Places where Don Ameche’s character tries to get the Stock Exchange started back up after Ackroyd and Murphy bankrupt him.  “Turn those machines on!,” he screams.

Poor Karl was doing the same thing with the same sorry results. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

So now we move on.  I will still write about current events.  I enjoyed doing these.  But real life is tapping me on the shoulder and I will have a post up over the next day or two concerning that.

Thanks for putting up with these.

Peace.

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Prediction Time

This will be short and sweet.

I predict the President will be re-elected.

In the Electoral College, he needs 270 to win. I predict he will get around 320.

In the popular vote, despite all the voter suppression, he will win by about 3 million.  Not as much as the last time when he won by 8.5 million, but a comfortable margin nonetheless.

In the Senate, I think the Democrats will wind up with 55 seats.  And I imagine the House will stay about the same.

By the way, I also predict that whatever the winning margin is the right wing will say it is not a mandate.  You can ignore that.  Winning this election, with all the money and lies that were thrown in his way, will be one hell of a mandate.

Anyway, I thought to write a few political posts without making a prediction would be weak.  So here it is.

If you haven’t voted, please do.  No matter who you are voting for.  I never vote a straight ticket and I don’t expect anyone else to either.

Peace.

Liberal And Proud Of It

I have been wrestling with whether or not to write another political post.

The main concern I had was, could I write one without swearing a blue streak?

The closer we get to Election Day, the worse it gets for me. I have been sweating out election results since 1974.

That was my senior year of high school. I graduated in June and volunteered to work at the local Democratic Headquarters.

(Ah, youth, how I miss it.)

I was working for a savings and loan as a teller during the day and after work off to the Headquarters I would go. During that summer, President Nixon resigned just one step ahead of the posse.  His level of dishonesty and treachery has rarely been seen before or since.  His people, most of whom just happened to be on the government payroll, racked up some serious prison time before all the dust settled.

On Election Day 1974, Democrats in my Republican county swept almost all the offices with the exception of the sheriff’s race. I was a runner at headquarters that fine day, taking results from the phone bank down two flights of steps to the County Chairman’s offices. It was exhilarating, tiring, and unforgettable.

That election season sealed it for me.  I have been a Democrat ever since.

It hasn’t been easy.

Going through the dark times of the Reagan-Bush years.

Finally watching Bill Clinton break the GOP hold on the White House.

Then 2000.   ( I still can’t talk about it.)

Eight more years of GOP occupation of the Oval Office.

Than, in 2008, after far too long, I had the opportunity to vote for Barack Obama.

The guy I voted for won by 8.5 million votes over his opponent.

As they say on Duck Dynasty, I was, “Happy, Happy, Happy.”

The Republicans were not “Happy,Happy,Happy.”

From the start, they have done all they can to obstruct, delay, and lie .

The only thing they wanted was for this President to lose his re-election bid.

They thought the Tea Party would help them in this quest. And in 2010, Tea Party types won a lot of seats in Congress.  Republicans started feeling good about 2012.  So good, in fact, 30 or 40 of them decided to run in the Republican primaries.  Then came the GOP debates.  I called it Clown Car 2012 on Twitter. After every debate, there was a new front runner until the one with the most money won out.  He was a slippery sort.  Widely despised in his own party for his inability to tell a straight story.

Meanwhile the Tea Party types are running for re-election or have decided to run for higher office trying to take the jump from the House to the Senate.

What they are finding out is running for office doesn’t get easier the more you do it. Now you have a record of sorts to defend. More attention is paid to your every word.

But with all the issues that are being argued, my concern rests with the effect of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.  That decision allowed billionaires the opportunity to donate huge amounts of money to any candidate.

One in particular donated $10 Million to Newt Gingrich  in the primaries. When Newt went belly up, the money man went with Mitt Romney.  The amount of money he has spent is approaching $80 million with a few days to go.

I have said the Romney campaign doesn’t care much for the truth.

Let’s just take one of the Governor lies apart, shall we?

Mr. Romney says he worked with a Democratic statehouse to get things done in Massachusetts.  If you look at the record. Mr. Romney issued around 900 vetoes in 4 years.  Over 800 of those were overturned.  Hardly the cooperative spirit he would want you to believe.

You have to wonder what kind of people would lie with the unrelenting audacity that Mr. Romney and his followers .  They are sure that if they muddy the water right up to the end, the money they have accumulated will put them over the top.

If that were to happen, and I don’t think it will, it would be a sad day for our republic.

I remember what things were like when the President took over.  Since he came into office, the Dow and the Nasdaq are up by 100% ( I got that info from Fox so you know it is true).

We are out of Iraq.  Hopefully, we are getting out of Afghanistan.  Bin Laden, the person behind the 9/11 attacks, is dead.

The auto industry is back from near extinction.

My 20 year old son, who is working full-time to pay his way through college, is covered by our health insurance thanks to Obamacare.

You may be wondering about the title of this post. I took a quiz the other day. It determines where you fall on the conservative-liberal scale.  I wound up in the 14% bracket “very liberal”.  I was called a socialist by someone who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word.

I believe in unions.  I don’t think corporations will treat their employees fairly without someone watching them.

I think healthcare should be available for all.  The answer Republicans have for that is emergency rooms will take anyone.  We all know how important regular doctor visits can be.  Early detection can prevent an illness from getting to the point that emergency room help becomes necessary.

As we have seen with Hurricane Sandy, a national response should be run by the federal government if the problem gets too overwhelming for the local area.  I can’t imagine how the subways are going to be brought back to full working order without federal help. The Republican Governor of New Jersey has made no secret of his willingness to ask Washington for help with his state and their problems.  It was the National Weather Service that tracked this storm.  In fact, the Service has done a great job of tracking dangerous weather over the years.  You want to trust a private firm with that?

I think a country that takes care of the less fortunate is the type of country we should be.

Not everyone can be the CEO of a big company.

There is honor in working as a janitor, assembly-line worker, security guard, checkout clerk and they should have an opportunity to make a living wage.

What fuels the economy is when the middle-class has disposable income.

The rich should pay their fair share in taxes.

I believe there should be limits on campaign contributions.  I don’t believe money and free speech are the same thing.  Everyone has the right to vote but not everyone can be rich, so the vote is the equalizer.  It is what keeps me and the guy down the street on an equal footing when it comes to elections.

Anyway, if you haven’t voted yet, make sure you do.

Tell them a liberal sent you.

Peace.

 

 

Debate Fallout

I was going to let this one lay, but Amy from Lucy’s Football asked me to write something.

We here at the Bellbottom Blog always accept and encourage requests so let’s try this.

I didn’t watch the actual debate which puts me in the same boat as Jim Lehrer who was allegedly the moderator.

Mr. Lehrer has a well earned reputation as a solid newsman.  Problem is age seems to have caught up with him.  From the highlights I saw, he wasn’t able to keep the debaters in line with the rules they agreed to.  This is not a small detail.  Weeks of negotiations go into the format for debates.  Both sides agree to who will moderate, the height of podiums, sitting or standing, background colors, you name it.

I followed the whole thing on Twitter.  I much prefer this format.  Most of the people I follow are of the same general political persuasion that I am.  A few right wingers are in there, but as long as they behave themselves it is fine with me.

The debate was going along with out much drama until Mr. Romney used the timeworn rightwing promise to defund PBS.  The moderator just happens to work there, but as we all know Mitt has no problem firing people.  The Twitterites went absolutely nuts when they realized Big Bird and Sesame Street were on the chopping block. Parody accounts sprang up. FiredBigBird was the first one. The hashtag #OccupySesameStreet appeared.

But as the debate moved on, the mood turned somber.

Here is the dilemma the left has with politics.  They get genuinely upset when their guy isn’t going well.  They can’t hide their disappointment.

The right will follow their guy off of a cliff no questions asked.

So as the night wore on, people got more and more upset.

Look, in the runup to the event all the pundits said the challenger usually wins the first debate.

That is what happened here apparently   It does not mean the election is over.  Far from it.  The polls will be out tomorrow or sometime over the weekend and we will see how things might have changed.  My prediction is they won’t change much.  Most folks have already made their minds up.

The deal with Mitt that had so many of his own party hate him for years is the fact that he will say anything that he thinks his current audience wants to hear. No matter what he has said in the past.  During the Republican debates, his fellow competitors complained about this tendency loud and long.

When the President tried to point that out during the debate, Mitt would just deny he had ever said anything different.

The Monty Python television show had a sketch about arguments.

The man walks into a series of rooms looking for someone to have an argument with.

One of the rooms had a man who reminds me of Mitt.

The whole discussion falls into a battle of “No, you didn’t”. “Yes, you did.”  Until the man gets fed up and leaves.

It is a funny sketch but to have a debate with a man like that in real life you run the risk of letting your anger and frustration show. Then you get accused of not being presidential.

I think the president took the proper path.  Just get through it and move on with the campaign.

So, to my friends on the left, calm down.  Just because the pundits are pulling their hair out doesn’t mean you have to. The President is the same guy he was before and the Governor is the same guy he was. That should be enough.to get four more years.

To my friends on the right, enjoy the moment. You know your guy is capable of self-destructing any minute now.

No matter how you feel though, you need to make sure you are registered to vote.  And if you are going to be working on Election Day, get an absentee ballot.  It is easy to do.  You don’t need special I.D.  You can vote from home.

I know it looked like a clown car most of this year especially with the 23 Republican Debates, but you have to vote.

Peace.

P.S. While I was writing this someone retweeted a Dennis Miller quote into my timeline.  He hasn’t been funny in 25 years. I don’t unfollow too many people but this will get you dropped faster than a lame, obscure reference in a Dennis Miller appearance on O’Reilly.

 

 

RNC Recap

The balloons have dropped and Clint Eastwood has been led away to a quiet room.

Let’s recap the convention.

DAY ONE:

It rained so they cancelled DAY ONE.

You might say to yourself, “Isn’t the event held inside?”

Yes, it is!

“Then why cancel?”

I think they realized there wasn’t enough material for a four day extravaganza, so they used the excuse of a hurricane coming within a couple of hundred miles to cancel the first day. Jam everything into three days.  or as some might call it, stuff 4 pounds of crap in a three pound sack.

DAY TWO

Now we get to the good stuff.  There will be speeches and music.

About that music.  The band is being led by G.E. Smith a former SNL band member.  This must be part of the job creation effort that the Romney-Ryan ticket is crowing about. Only 11,999,999 to go before they reach their goal of  12 million.

It’s a great gig for G.E. Smith though.  Republicans are notoriously unable to keep time to music so he fits like a glove.

There were 51 different speakers on DAY TWO.  51. Now we here at the Bellbottom Blog, as you well know, do a minimum of research for these type of posts, so there is no way we listened to all 51 speeches.

We guess that most of them had some small difference of opinion with how the current president does his job.

Later that night, Ann Romney came out to give a speech.

She was supposed to humanize her husband, whatever that means.

Her story of their life together was mildly interesting.  Left out of the narrative was all of the different times family money helped them out during their younger days as a married couple. Lots of money.  Not a twenty here or there. LOTS OF MONEY

I am glad they had it.  I wish they would stop saying they understand the struggles of average families. Most average families don’t have a jar full of rainy-day stocks to sell when things get tight.

Then, Chris Christie took the stage.  The Governor of New Jersey.

His speech was so rousing, MTV cancelled the Jersey Shore program the next day. (true fact) (not saying one had to do with the other, but?)

He was giving the keynote speech.  His job was to talk about Mitt Romney.  Seventeen minutes into it, he did mention the nominee. Eventually, either he ran out of speech or just got hungry.  That ended DAY TWO.

DAY THREE

Seventeen speakers were on tap for this day.

I believe the roll call of states also went on.

Tim Pawlenty turned his spot into a Night at the Improv moment proving once again that Republicans have no discernible sense of humor.

For example,” The President has created a lot of jobs……for golf caddies.”

See, the Timster is saying that the President plays a lot of golf. Instead of working. See?

Sen. John McCain bitched in his charming way about everything that has gone on since he got trounced by 8.5 million votes four years ago.

He wants to start wars every damn place.  And now!  Cranky and bitter.

Mike Huckabee landed a prime time spot.  He doesn’t care for the President either it seems.  I think that is an underlying theme here.

I thought Condi Rice, the former Bush Secretary of State, was going to get the prize for speech of the night.  She left out a couple of things. 9/11 happened on her watch.  Iraq didn’t have WMD’s like she promised. But it was a busy eight years, who can remember every little thing.

No, the speech of the night was from Paul Ryan.

Paul is a special kind of politician.  Even though he knows that any story he tells will be fact checked, that doesn’t matter to him.  He tells it anyway and if you don’t like it, too bad.

The Janesville, Wi. G.M. plant story is one that I am familiar with.

Because, in the mid-eighties, my hometown of Fort Wayne was reeling from losing an International Harvester plant.  General Electric was shipping jobs to Mexico. The area needed a big employer to come in and right the ship.

Along comes General Motors.

They needed a new truck plant.

So a spot is found for them outside of the city.  A new and improved interstate highway interchange is built for them.  Utilities are extended to the land where the plant will go.  Tax deferments are granted to make the move more palatable.

Did I mention this was done with Government money?  Yep, taxpayers money was used for every inch of this transaction.

Who lost when this happened?  Janesville. They started losing business in 1986 until G.M. closed up operations in Dec. 2008 when except for a skeleton crew the last 1200 workers were laid off.

Even someone writing for Fox News called Mr. Ryan a liar.

But that wasn’t the best part.  This is when he moved into another dimension as a phony.  He started talking about his mom. At just the right moment during an applause line, he wiped a pretend tear from each eye and then proceeded without a crack in his voice.  Everybody knows when you do the fake tear thing, a slight break  in your voice sells it.  Watch old Bill Clinton tapes, Paul.

Let’s just move on from this unpleasantness and proceed to …….

DAY FOUR

Twelve speakers on tap for this big finish.

You will notice, despite all the chatter to the contrary, Donald Trump doesn’t make an appearance at the convention.

Fortunately for the Twitterverse, Clint Eastwood showed up with an empty chair.  He started talking to the chair and Twitter went BATSHIT CRAZY!  What is he doing?  Who let him up there?  It was one of the funniest stretches of time I have experienced on Twitter since I started on it.

Parody accounts sprang up immediately.

This was supposed to be the big lead- in for Mitt Romney.  It looked like the old reporter sketch Bill Hader does on SNL.

When Mitt came out, he looked to me like he had been crying.  I have seen that look on the faces of disappointed  kids.  When the big day doesn’t go as you planned.  But Mitt plowed through his speech.

It was a recap of almost everyone else’s speeches.  Sprinkled with just enough lies to keep the base happy.

Well, the show ended with a lot of people on the stage.  G.E. Smith playing Living In America, the old James Brown song.

If there was dancing, the networks were kind enough to spare us the sight.

The polls will tell us if the convention moved the needle.

Next week, the Democrats have their turn.

Then we are just a few debates and a couple of months away from Election Day.

Make sure if you are going to vote that you have registered.  If you have moved you have got to update your information.  If you are reading this from overseas…..thanks for reading this far.

Peace.

 

 

 

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