Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in July, 2012

If anyone is still trying to find an issue that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will state consistently, wrap your mind around this.  During his just concluded trip to Isreal Mitt actually praised government-run, socialized medicine.

During a trip to Israel, Mitt Romney hailed the nation’s health care system for holding down costs and broadening coverage more effectively than the U.S.

The irony: Israel contains costs by adopting a very centralized, government-run health care system — anathema to Romney’s Republican Party.

“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? Eight percent. You spend eight percent of GDP on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation,” he said Monday at a breakfast fundraiser, according to the New York Times. “We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.”

This statement is correct but when did GOP voters want to hear the truth?  High health care costs are driving up the budget deficit, pressuring businesses to leave or drop coverage, and threatening our social safety net.  All reasons President Obama proposed the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare. 

The proven way to reduce costs is a more centered approach like every other industrialised nation has except the United States.  Since that wouldn’t pass Romney/Obamacare is what emerged.  Evidently, Mitt won’t take credit for this plan in Massachussetts, says it is too much when in America , and says it isn’t enough when overseas. 

Talk about saying what he thinks people want to hear.  This is embarassing.

 

Like many Americans I am enjoying watching the Olympics even if our athletes are covered in Chinese duds.  My viewing pleasure is somewhat diminished by some of the media shenanigans and commercials associated with the games.

First, KSDK Channel 5 is the local station carrying the games and some not so clear thinking marketing whiz has convinced the station to offer an Apple I-pad every day for the seventeen days of these Olympics.  Great idea if you want to be called the Ralph Lauren of St. Louis media.  Yes, Ralph Lauren had the USA Olympians clad in Chinese cloth and KSDK is offering Chinese made prizes. Nice choice for a town that has lost more than it’s share of manufacturing jobs to unfair trade practices such as currency manipulation – a Chinese speciality

Second, the commercials by Jo Ann Emerson touting her opposition to Obamacare are under my skin.  Emerson represents southeast Missouri and the 8th Congressional district, the 14th poorest district in the nation!

Despite being very conservative, Missouri’s 8th district is the 14th poorest in the nation. Its poverty rate is 18.2 percent, and the median household income is $27,865.

I can’t help but wonder how many constituents of the 8th district would benefit from health insurance that is not dependent on an employer?  How many constituents would benefit from free or low-cost health insurance so every time  a slip, trip, or other accident happens it won’t take what little savings they have?  How many constituents have lost their jobs when a local employer had to close due to high health care costs, which are twice as much as the rest of the world?

It seems that President Obama is doing her a favor by trying to improve the lives of her constituents.  Many of which are suffering at the hands of Emerson’s lack of action in addressing heatlh care costs and her support for Free Trade.

Sorry Jo Ann, to those given great power comes great responsibility.  It’s time to be responsible.

 

On occasion I venture over to right-wing “news” sites such as the Drudge Report or watch Fox News just to see what spin they are putting on the events of the day.  After a non-stop parade of questioning the President’s birthplace, taking comments out of context such as the “I built it” ad campaign, or apologizing for Mitt’s latest gaffe it is a relief to move back to reality.

One issue that seems to really get under the skin of the righties is the Chevrolet Volt.  To listen to them you would think that every Volt driven has gone up in flames, grown devils horns, and been the primary cause of the budget deficit. 

Let’s deal with fires first.  Here’s Bob Lutz the “father” of the Volt and his hard hitting answer to the righties.

1) Not one Chevrolet Volt has ever caught fire in normal use or in accidents. Not a single one.

2) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even after the highly artificial crash test (placing the car on its back, even though it did not roll over in the test) nevertheless awarded the Volt NHTSA’s highest crash-safety rating: 5 stars. Volt is supremely safe.

The rest of the article puts to rest the remaining shreds of the righties fabricated case against the Volt.  Motor Trend backs up his argument with last months long term test verdict.

Still, the real headline here is that nothing ever went wrong the car. Zip. Zero. It was breathtakingly reliable, given that the Volt is (and try arguing this with me) the biggest quantum jump in automotive technology in decades. Spooky-advanced-tech cars like this, I’ve noticed, are actually frequently more robust than conventional cars because their engineers are playing it very, very safe, knowing that everybody’s watching with magnifying glasses.

I suspect the real reason that oil influenced right-wingers hate the Volt has to do with it’s saving  Volt owners 13.2 million dollars and  3.5 million gallons of gas as reported by Torque News

It does seem odd that the righties have such venom and irrationality toward an American company and job creator like the Volt while never mentioning the heavy subsidies given to the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf.  On the chance they might be interested in the fact that according to Digital Trends, extreme heat like what we are experiencing this summer is causing the Leaf to lose up to 30% of it’s battery power.

One Leaf owner said that when they bought their car a year ago it returned 90 miles on one charge, enough to get them to work and back. Now the Leaf will only go 44 miles on a single charge.

In addition, owners have seen two or three of the 12 lights on the Leafs’ battery capacity gauges stay off, even with a full charge. That indicates that the battery is no longer holding the extra charge.

Come on Drudge, Rush, Sean , and Fox just once how about supporting an American company that actually builds things and creates American jobs.  Lots of Franklin County residents are benefiting from those loans to GM and more will as GM Wentzville Assembly puts on a third shift in the near future.

Andy Borowitz tells the story of a massive pro-Romney rally in Beijing…

BEIJING (The Borowitz Report) – After a brutal week in which he was booed by the NAACP and grilled by the media, Republican presidential choice Mitt Romney got some support from an unlikely place today: Beijing.

Manufacturing workers from across China flooded downtown Beijing to show their gratitude for Mr. Romney’s robust record of job creation in China while at the helm of the private equity firm Bain Capital.

While Mr. Romney’s feats of outsourcing have taken a political toll at home, they have made him a national hero in China, according to workers like Qiu Huang, who attended the rally.

“I owe my job to Mitt Romney, and so do many of my friends and family members,” he said.  “His record as a job creator, in China at least, is second to none.”

Mr. Qiu said that if Mr. Romney ran for President of China, “he’d win in a landslide – he wouldn’t even need those billionaire brothers to buy ads for him.”

But the Chinese worker was surprised to learn that Mr. Romney had spent the better part of the week denying that he still worked at Bain during the company’s frenzy of outsourcing jobs to China.

“Why would you deny doing a great thing like that?” he asked. “That would be like denying you gave people healthcare.”

Here is a pdf file of the presentation I gave at last Monday night’s meeting,

Franklin County Democrats Central Committee Meeting July 23, 2012

20120723BallotPresentation final

 

Looks like the tide is turning on Mitt Romney’s deceptive “I Built It” ad campaign which is focused on a deliberate distortion of the President’s words outlined in the Self-Made Man post below. 

Mr. Romney has aggressively pushed this distortiton but as with most things, the truth comes through over time.  The truth really came  out during several Romney campaign events supposedly featuring small business owners that built their businesses all by themselves, without any help, particularly from the government.   

Evidently, it is a lot harder to find businesses that haven’t received any help from the government then it is to find business owners willing to say it, including Franklin County’s own J & W Cycles.

 

  • J & W Cycles of Missouri was awarded $25,808 in contracts from the DOD and Department of Interior.

This study from the Progress Report has a lengthy list of business owners with a powerful case of selective amnesia, which is evidently necessary to ignore Mitt’s numerous contradictory statements and numerous positions on any one issue.

The Obama truth team has released an analysis of which candidate is actually promoting policies that are beneficial to small business in the form of a side-by-side comparison may bring some light to this debate.

Missouri family farmer Rolf Christen is featured in this video describing how the Missouri Farm Bureau has been going all out to silence small farmers in order to support CAFO’s and Big Agriculture corporations.

The Nation tells Christen’s story which is all too familiar for many Missouri farmers.

But Rolf Christen, a cattle farmer in Missouri who was at one time an enthusiastic member of his local farm bureau’s board, tells a different story.

Christen realized that the bureau’s “family farmer” talk was cheap when he sought its help battling an industrial scale hog operation with 80,000 animals just up the road from his farm in northern Missouri beginning in 1993. The waste from the facility created a sickening, eye-watering stench that seeped across the land and into the homes of Christen and his neighbors, starting what would be an epic battle against Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that continues to this day.

At that time, Christen had become the leader of local resistance to the CAFO, then owned by Premium Standard Farms. He organized town meetings and lobbied elected officials to fight Premium Standard. But he hadn’t counted on also fighting his local Farm Bureau, which he had joined as a young farmer in 1983, even getting involved with state legislative issues. When it came to this fight, the Farm Bureau sided with Premium Standard and cut Christen and his small farmer friends loose.

“All of a sudden laws were changed in the state in order to make it easier for [Premium Standard], and that’s where the Farm Bureau and I quickly parted ways,” said Christen. Then, and to this day, Christen says, the “Farm Bureau has always supported the industry…and not the small farmers.”

 

 

Last Thursday, President Obama discussed the role of society in helping each other succeed in business.

Here’s the original quote: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

Pretty radical stuff.  Not!

Unless you have an opponent like Mitt Ronmey that is accustomed to shaping his own words to fit the purpose/audience and doesn’t mind basing an entire ad campaign on modifying a statement to say something far from it’s  original intent.  Look at how the Job Cremator changed and used the President’s statement in his latest ad:

Here’s the altered quote used in the Romney ad: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be ’cause I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

My dad owned and operated his own business for twenty years and invested a lot of time, energy, and effort to “build” and maintain it.  Dad is also a Republican, though more Eisenhower than neo-con.  There’s no doubt today’s Republican party is not my parents GOP.  We recently discussed the concept that a single person can “build” a business with no assistance from anyone or anything and even my Republican dad can’t support that concept.   

I wonder if Romney is running his campaign by himself?  How about the roads his bus travels on?  The internet that houses his website and carries his e-mail?  His advisors, staff, volunteers, and even potential voters that may of gone to public school, served in the military, or attended college thanks to loans or grants from taxpayers?    How about the accountant that figured out how to invest millions in firms that pioneered the outsourcing of American jobs?  How about his wife and her charming ways to relay his position that ‘We’ve given all YOU PEOPLE need to know?” 

Doesn’t sound like Mitt built all that by himself unless it is and always will be all about Mitt.

The Borowitz Report has published this story about Mitt Romney’s selection for his running mate.   I think you will recognize him.

The Romney campaign issued scant information about the source of his running mate’s wealth, saying only that he had made his money “in real estate” and would not be releasing his tax returns.

Mitt “Job Cremator” Romney thinks he has found a way to distract voters from his record of outsourcing American jobs, hiding his tax returns, and habitual flip-flops. How? With a new attack ad accusing the President of investing in a failed solar energy company (Solyndra) and allowing stimulus funds to purchase foreign goods.  Let’s see if this man that wants to be President has really done his homework or is just shooting from the hip while salting up his shoe leather.

During his time as Governor of Massachussetts which ranked 47th tn job creation under his leadership, Mitt Romney did the unthinkable – invested state funds in a private enterprise.  That enterprise was Konarka, a solar energy company that declared  bankruptcy the day after Romney critisized the Department of Energy loans to Solyndra.

The Boston Globe reports

In January 2003, shortly after taking office in Massachusetts, Romney held another press conference — at Konarka, where he announced a plan to loan $24 million from the state’s renewable energy trust fund to startups with the potential to create jobs.

“The trust fund has been growing for years,” Romney said at the time, “and I believe now is the time to refocus its assets in such a manner that it can become a major economic springboard for the Commonwealth by focusing on job creation in the renewable energy sector.”

Unfortunately, Mitt seems to have forgotten that day as his old habit of saying whatever is needed to advance his own interests led to flossing with his shoestrings.

The Obama campaign quickly pounced on the news of Konarka’s bankruptcy.

“Every day we see a new example of Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said Saturday. “Just one day after he pulled a political stunt outside Solyndra, we learned even more about his record of picking winners and losers in Massachusetts when one of the companies he gave a loan to went bankrupt.”

On the day of Romney’s visit to Solyndra, Smith defended the president, saying “both Republican and Democratic administrations advanced Solyndra’s application, and the company was widely praised as successful and innovative both before and after receiving the Department of Energy loan guarantee.”

She could have been describing Konarka. With a Nobel Prize-winning co-founder and promising business plan, Konarka raised more than $170 million in private capital investments and $20 million in government grants, according to its website.

As for stimulus funds being spent outside the United States, Mitt knows full well that his corporate friends and many congressional Republicans opposed the “Buy American” provisions of the stimulus that the President asked for.

The good news is that Congress is taking action, attaching legislation by Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN) mandating that stimulus money spent on iron and steel be spent in the United States. The bad news is that Bloomberg News now notes that a corporate lobbying campaign is ramping up to strip those provisions out:

Mr. Romney, would you like fries with your filet of sole?

 

 

 

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