Disenfranchised voters

On election day it is only fair that the meaning of a disenfranchised voter is written somewhere.  We have heard a lot about these voters recently but what are they really? 

Disenfranchised voter-a person who has been too lazy to register before the deadline, fails to get out to the polls on election day when they are registered, comes up with a lame excuse for not doing so and spends the next 4 years complaining about the outcome. 

This election voters have registered in record numbers.  Today we will see if they turn out to push the button for their candidate.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 1:53 am  Comments (1)  
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Last Day to Register!

October 6,2008-PA

Today is the last day to register to vote in PA for this election.  Unlike Ohio,  where you can show up unannounced and look like a citizen of Ohio, in PA we have laws about citizenship and residency.  So register today and be counted! 

www.johnmccain.com– print the form, take it to your post office and postmark it today!

Pointing Fingers-An Old Game Repackaged

Why did this bailout bill fail?  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Senator Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Chris Dodd’s complete lack of leadership.  The Democrats control both houses of Congress yet they can not muster enough votes to pass what they see as an extremely important piece of legislation.  Senator McCain brought in over 60 Republicans on this issue when he was in Congress over the weekend.  Senator Obama called in his support but made little effort to support this legislation, instead relying on his Monday morning quarterbacking skills to praise or denounce the bailout vote, whichever was needed politically.  Chris Dodd, Speaker Pelosi and Barney Fife, I mean Frank, could not even get their members to agree on this bill, choosing instead to blame others for its failure.
  2. Politics. I don’t mean Presidential here either.  The Democrats wanted to be able to blame the Republicans for passing this bill.  13 of 19 Democrats who are in tight races across the country voted against this bill AFTER they saw the Republicans voting against it.  If it passed with Republicans putting it over the top, the Democrats would run stories and ads about how they didn’t really want the bill.
  3. Wall Street.  When the bill’s passage seemed certain stocks looked good.  However oil prices shot through the roof on speculation that consumers would have a lifeline to borrow from this winter to pay for oil.  As the bill failed stocks fell.  And now faced with the possibility that consumers could not afford to pay for oil this winter, oil prices fell to under $100 a barrel.  Wall street traders and speculators were once again left to find their own solutions and face the fact that they may lose money this year.
  4. The American People.  Finally enough of us woke up and said ENOUGH!, let Wall Street fail, we’ll cut back, we don’t need all this credit.  Unfortunately, there is little we can do to prevent eventual passage and we will have to swallow a $700 billion dollar pill in order to save a couple bucks, and I do mead about $2, in our 401K accounts.
  5. World Markets.  They need this just as much as our market.  They hold many of these bad debts and don’t want to lose money on them either.  Yes, Asian and European markets will get some of this $700 billion.  But as they begged for us to pass a bailout to save their economies, the people of these countries continued to rally against America and it’s trade policies.  Perhaps some of our Representatives finally realized that not all of $700 billion will go to Americans.
  6. Stupid Partisan Speeches.  Only one party to blame here and it is the Democrats.  When Speaker Pelosi stood up and said that Bush and his “right wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation” was to blame for this bailout, she effectively killed the legislation and allowed Republicans to not only make a stand but also push for more insurance on deposits and other provisions they wanted in the bill.
  7. Lastly, the Media.  America is at the beginning of a recession.  However so far it is the mildest recession in our nation’s history.  Today my newspaper reported a jobless rate of 6.1%.  When I moved back here 10 years ago the jobless rate was hovering between 8-10%.  Wages have gone up steadily until recently and it was only after the minimum wage bill passed in PA (now 7.25/hr)  and the Congress that unemployment stated to rise because small employers could not afford the increase.  By the way out of their laundry list of promises they made when they were regaining control of Congress, the minimum wage adjustment is the only one that has passed.  All of the others (think Iraq) have failed or not even been discussed out of committee.  Yet the media continues to prey on the fears of all of us and attaches stories about the Great Depression to discussions on the bailout.  Perhaps they played their monster in the closet card one too many times this week. 

In the end the result of the bill was the same- Republicans are to blame for the economy, according to Democrats.  If it passed it would have been a Republican President and Congressional Republicans who forced it on every one of us.  The news article in my issue of the Time Leader would have read ” Rather than repudiating their President for this mess, Republicans chose to support their President’s failed economic policies.”.  When it failed it was the Republicans who killed it because they did not support their President.  As the Times Leader paraphrased Barney Fife, oops again, Frank today  “Rather than a repudiation of Democrats…Republican’s refusal of the bailout was a rejection of their President.”  

I still hold to the fact that all Americans are to blame for this situation and not any one party.  Certainly rules were relaxed and it started when Clinton was in office and continued through Bush, but Americans did not have to accept money we could not pay back.  Case in point.  When I bought my house I was approved for a mortgage up to $150,000.  After laughing my ass off because I knew that the mortgage company had been drinking while doing these numbers, I chose to go with a mortgage I knew I could afford.  There are many others who took the full amount, thinking they could or would be able to afford it and are facing foreclosure because of that decision.  That’s not the fault of your leaders.

Organiztion Needs…Call 1-800-BARACK-O

As Rudy said last night–A community organizer….WHAT? 

Sen Obama and his supporters praise his time as a community organizer in Chicago.  They say that his experience in this position gave him the necessary skills to handle the duties of President of the United States.  Well, lately they have said that they way he has run his campaign is proof of his ability to be President but I’ll just let that go and let it sink in for anyone reading this.  But what is a community organizer?  What do they do?  I searched Yahoo answers but as usual I found nothing more than people expressing their beliefs.  So I did a job search and here is what a community organizer does. 

Portland, Oregon is looking for a community organizer after receiving grant money from the city to fund the position.  The position’s function is listed as organizing, part time @ 10-15 hours per week.  Their ideal candidate will have experience in community organizing, coordinating volunteers, a commitment to stability, familiarity with building codes and zoning regulations,  experience being self motivated and a flexible schedule. 

Still,  how does one get experience in community organizing?  According to the listing, a community organizer can coordinate volunteers into organized campaigns to educate the public , and lets not forget empower the public, and work with local officials to change whatever your campaign is focused on, i.e. zoning laws.  As a community organizer YOU don;t change the laws, YOU just organize the campaign to get people to listen.  Also if you are looking for this job you can look for the keywords as follows:  grassroots organizing,policy change,building codes, zoning laws, or sustainable building.  And just in case you want to be President someday her is the website.  http://www.wiserearth.org/job/view/a21caf72e3e540128d5093d097e0bb7f

But let’s give Senator Obama the benefit of doubt.  Perhaps he was a full time community organizer, what are his responsibilities then? 

LA has an opening for a Hospitality Industry Community Organizer, full time.  There is no education requirement, is categorized under Activism and Organizing,  with salary of $40-$46,000.  Your responsibilities in this position require you to develop strategy, reach out to the community and develop leaders in this organization.  It also requires you to be a public speaker and work with others to advocate policy changes.  The full -time requirement does tie up your weekends and isn’t 9-5.  They do prefer previous campaign experience but it is not necessary.  Also you must engage the community to talk about working conditions in this position.  Again just in case you want to apply:  http://www.idealist.org/if/i/en/av/Job/306821-281

Okay one more, this time in Chicago and dealing with the issue I think is one of the most important, education.  Again, to be a lead organizer for the AFT Great Lakes Region, there is no education requirement.  It is full time and the person must be focused on education, human and civil rights,  job training and issues in the workplace.  As the lead organizer in Chicago you would motivate people (they call them activists but in light of the RNC protests we’ll let that go),   build relationships and organize plans that support the overall campaign you are organizing as the head of this organization.  Here are other qualifications direct from the website:

• Experience running an organizing campaign in a tough employer environment
• Demonstrated commitment to empower workers through the labor movement
• Proven ability to direct work and lead by example
• Good written and verbal communication skills
• Self starter with the ability to work under supervision
• Knowledge of Chicago labor and politics (preferred)
• Willingness to work nights and weekends as required
• Computer literacy
• Valid driver’s license/ car

Once again, here is where to go if you ever thought about being President one day:http://www.idealist.org/if/i/en/av/Job/306016-138

I could go on but anyone doing a search  will find a good explanation of what a community organizer does.  Sen Obama fits the description of all of these positions.  He speaks fluently and hopefully can write, although just as he and his supporters have said about Sarah Palin’s speech, I doubt he writes his own speeches.  He has proven he can organize a large group of people to listen to him.  He even works well with interest groups that promote their own agenda.  But, as shown in these descriptions, he has never done anything more than PROMOTE change.  As a community organizer that was “above his pay grade” as he likes to say.  Do we really want a President whose main source of experience required him to speak and write effectively and motivate supporters of special interest groups and know the inside workings of Chicago politics?

Race Card

In the wake of Clinton’s win in PA,  pundits have restarted the race issue.  In analyzing why Obama has not won in blue collar cities across America,  ABC ran a report arguing that Obama’s race may be a factor in his electability.  Of course this report and others I have seen  focus solely on whites voting for Obama.  After 15 months of campaigning I see a different reason why Obama can’t close the deal as they say. 

While some polls do suggest that race is a factor, the percentages are very small.  For those voters who feel that race is not a factor the percentages are much higher,  hovering around 77%.  The way these polls are presented also is a huge factor.  Generally these polls are presented as white voters only,  which may or may not be how the poll was taken.  In any case other data suggests that blacks vote overwhelmingly for Obama, 92% in PA for instance.  Yet this “race” data is seen as okay for some reason yet it is no less racist.  No matter what polls and data suggest though after 15 months on the campaign trail race is not the issue for the majority of Americans,  it is policy. 

Even the most out of touch voter has seen an ad on TV or read at least one article in a paper.  In some way that piece of media swayed their decision and not one TV ad that I have seen or heard has come out to say don’t vote for Obama because he is black.  The informed electorate, those voters who read newspapers, watch some TV and utilize the Internet,  have made up their minds based on a policy issue that is important to them after so many months of coverage on the campaign trail.  Obama can’t close the deal because of this flow of information. 

When voters look at his stance on Iraq, which has been widely circulated, they may agree with him that the war was a bad idea but know the reality of the situation is that no one will be able to cut and run.  In addition, when both he a Clinton were asked about Iran getting and using nuclear weapons,  Clinton acted tough on defense while Obama kept saying that talking would end every crisis in the world while calling Clinton’s stance saber rattling (words used against Bush by Clinton and Obama to attack his foreign policy).   American voters do want more money in their  pockets but understand that growing the size of government through more welfare and other assistance programs will only lead to higher taxes for all Americans, especially blue collar, middle class workers.  Open immigration policies will also hurt working Americans and voters know this when they still have to press 1 for English. 

Finally voters realize that experience really does matter.  In PA, Sen Obama ran his campaign not on what he has done on the US Senate but what he did as a state Senator and in his previous career as a civil rights lawyer.  Voters understand that passing policy in Illinois is not like passing policy that will affect the 50 states that make up the United States of America.  Obama can’t make a case for experience because he has none on the national or world stage. 

I have heard the comparisons to JFK in reference to Obama’s lack of experience, speaking quality and other traits.  I will admit that I was not alive for JFK and only know the historical record of JFK as President and citizen.  These references are flawed at their core because of JFK’s service to America before he was President.  Serving as Secretary to his Ambassador father, commanding a PT boat in WW2, and as a Congressman for much longer than Obama,  JFK had more experience and policy making ability than Obama has now as he runs for the same office. 

The reason Obama can’t close the deal has very little to do with race.  Yes, a small percentage of whites will vote along racial lines, just as a small percentage of women will vote only on gender lines.  The reason Obama has failed to win support among blue collar workers,  the average Joe,  are his policies.  While he repeats the chorus of “change we can believe in”, Americans are starting to look at his idea of change and finding it hard to swallow.  Obama himself still, after 15 months, does not get into policy debates unless he is forced to engage an opponent. However,  with just a little digging any  voter can find out that he has proposed higher taxes, believes in free and open borders and is soft on defense.   So while the media outlets continue to play the race card, Americans are moving on to the issues that matter and deciding for themselves who will be the best candidate to serve as President of the United States, no matter what color,age or gender they happen to be on election day.   


Buying Votes

It was reported today that Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama are “buying” super-delegates or whatever euphemism Hilary prefers today.  Between the two candidates, somewhere in the neighborhood of $900,000 has been spent on theses special voters.  While all perfectly legal, isn’t this a dramatic shift in tone from 2000 when GWB “stole” the election from Al Gore?

After the 2000 election there were articles, pundits and politicians calling for the electoral process to change.  “The Voters” were not being heard, “The Voters” didn’t matter if delegates could decide an election and the popular vote was what truly mattered to”The Voters”.  Fast forward 8 years and the two Democratic Presidential candidates are buying their way to the nomination.  What happened to “the Voters”?  They got in the way and didn’t make the right choice apparently. 

Sen Obama has outspent Clinton in this practice almost 3to 1.  His almost $700,000 has apparently persuaded a few super-delegates to swing away from Hilary and pledge to his side.  They say its not the money but a true belief in change.  The flaw in this argument is that Obama has run his campaign for “The Voters”, he is simply the vessel of change, the embodiment of what “The Voters” want in this election.  His use of “we” and never “I” in his speeches are a testament to this idea.  Every dime either candidate spends, and especially Obama, on super-delegates is money spent for a vote, pure and simple.  It is also a sign that neither candidate truly believes their own various slogans about change in Washington.  “The Voters” will simply not matter if super-delegates decide the nominee. 

Especially hard hit will be “the Voters” in the 18-25 crowd in this instance.  While I still believe they will lose interest by November, what if word gets out that Obama is wooing delegates with money?  What will the youth of America, his core supporters,  think?  They are his mice to his pied piper.  “Believe that we can change America together”,  Obama plays from his stump and the youth line up to follow.  The spell may be broken when Obama is seen to be buying votes,  a practice only the most entrenched (i.e. Republicans)in Washington do! Again “The Voters” in this demographic will feel they don’t matter and sleep in on election day if super-delegates can decide their future.  Then again if their candidate is the beneficiary of hypocritical practices, they may feel the establishment got theirs!

After 2008 there will be no articles, politicians or pundits who call for a change in the electorate.  The Democratic candidates are the ones benefiting this time around and that is precisely why the tone is different.  If the party of GWB was engaging in the same practices at this level,  the party of Gore would be crying foul and bringing up hanging chads, illegal voting practices and stolen elections.  “What about the popular vote?” they would cry. ” You can’t nominate based on super-delegates!” they would yell to the country. 

 We are a long way from November, but if “The Voters” decide to elect Hilary or Obama all of this talk about super-delegates and money will be nothing more than they way the electorate works.  “The Voters” will have made the right choice in the eyes of the Democrats and the electoral college will be praised again for its simplicity and the founding fathers will again be praised for their forethought. 

McCain is too liberal?

I don’t understand the comment ” If Obama is running against McCain, I’m voting for Obama!”.  I like to look at the issues, especially when voting for a President or Congressman.  I can’t stand feel good rhetoric or visions of bridges that lead to the 21st century and beyond.  Anyone voting against McCain based on his “liberal” views needs to seriously look at Sen Obama’s views on the issues. 

On poverty, Obama is willing to establish 20 “Promise Neighborhoods” that will offer all kinds of social welfare services in areas that have a  high concentration of poor and neglected families.  He will sign a Fatherhood act that will basically establish Fatherhood as a right, not a privilege, as long as you pay for that right.  He will increase the minimum wage every year, destroying an untold amount of small businesses.  In raising the minimum wage every year, he will also destroy the idea that education is the road to success.  The minimum wage was established as an incentive to move beyond your current status, not maintain it.  It will also allow employers to forego merit raises knowing that their employees will receive a raise every year anyway. 

On Diplomacy, Sen Obama will be out of Iraq in 16 months, believing we can not win despite significant progress in that country. He will maintain a presence somewhere in the region, however, and be ready to make strategic strikes in the Middle East if necessary.  (Presumably with the military he just told they were not good enough in Iraq) He would offer Iran the chance to be involved in world affairs through the WTO and give them economic investments.  The same Iran currently waving signs that state”Death to America” while they burn our flag. The same Iran that has a leader who believes the Holocaust was not necessarily a bad thing. He will also go to the table with other leaders in the world with no preconditions,  a tactic that puts America in a weaker position to negotiate in its best interest.

On the economy, more tax breaks will be offered than ever before but not for anyone who seeks to better themselves by making more money.  Tax breaks for the wealthy, defined as those making from $50,000-$75,000 or more, would be ended and only those people who make less or have more kids would be eligible for any tax relief.  Sen Obama has also developed a multitude of programs that give money to anyone who wants it.  College would be partially funded by the government,  educational debts would be forgiven if you pledge yourself to national service in some form and any time you want a new job your health-care benefits and retraining will be protected and paid for by the government. 

On Immigration, Sen Obama will support sweeping amnesty to promote “family” over “country”.  Sen Obama seeks to fix the illegal immigration problem simply by offering more help to Mexico economically and increasing the number of border agents but not closing the borders.  And while closing the borders entirely is not possible or will not solve the problem or preserve America as the melting pot it once was, supporting legal immigration with more simply more bureaucracy is not the solution.  This is an issue that must preserve America and its values, not impose the values of other cultures on America. Admittedly, both parties need to do a better job of protecting American values on this issue. 

Can someone please explain why Obama over McCain?  Sen Clinton is even less liberal than Sen Obama!  If the worst offense made by McCain is Mccain-Feingold, or McCain-Kennedy or even McCain-Lieberman,  which seem to be the big 3 issues, why not get past these instead of voting for a complete polar opposite?  I understand conservative values and the need to those values in the voting booth, but Obama over McCain?  Hopefully, this is all just talk.