This past week a YouTube video of a crying four-year-old little girl named Abigailwent viral. In the video Abby’s mom asks her why she’s so sad. Abigail replies through a steady stream of tears and mucus that she’s “tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney.” Well, little sister, I feel your pain. Now, mind you, I’m not tired of Romney and Ryan, but good Lord … and believe me when I tell you … I’m pig sick of Bronco Bamma.
Yep, I’m beyond ready for this ignoble thing called the Obama presidency to be officially finito. These past four years have been brutally lugubrious for this God- and country-loving rebel.
To what shall I compare the failed policies, ridiculous debt, over-the-top obfuscation and overall diminishment of the White House by this pusillanimous food stamp president?
Let’s see. Think, Doug. Think. Oh, I know! For me, Obama’s term in office has had all the appeal of watching Honey Boo Boo’s mom trying to get into a cat suit while eating a double meat burrito with extra guac and motor oil. How’s that?
The Million Muppet March rally today in Washington seeking to have taxpayers continue to subsidize television programing for children fell significantly short.
The homemade sign for Mitt Romney in the yard of a well-manicured but modest home in Leadville, Colo., forlornly signals the fracture of another onetime supporter of Barack Obama.
If Romney wins the presidency on Tuesday, the national media, the Washington establishment and the bulk of academia will have missed something huge that happened in “flyover” America under their watch.
It is a story that few have told.
It reminds one of the famous quip by New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael following Richard Nixon’s landslide 1972 victory: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon.”
Two years after suffering a historic shellacking in the 2010 midterm election, Democrats astonishingly have ignored Main Street Americans’ unhappiness.
That 2010 ejection from the U.S. House, and from state legislatures and governors’ offices across the country, didn’t happen inside the Washington Beltway world.
It didn’t reflect the Democrats’ or the media’s conventional wisdom or voter-turnout models. So it just wasn’t part of their reality.
In Democrats’ minds, it was never a question of “How did we lose Main Street?” Instead, it was the fault of the “tea party” or of crazy right-wing Republicans.
Yet in interview after interview — in Colorado, along Nebraska’s plains, in small Iowa towns or Wisconsin shops, outside closed Ohio steel plants and elsewhere — many Democrats have told me they are furious with the president. Not in a frothing-at-the-mouth or racist way, as many elites suggest. They just have legitimate concerns affecting their lives.
Four years after endorsing Obama, News finds the hopes of those days went unfulfilled
America’s heart, soul, brains and muscle — the middle- and working-class people who make this nation great — have been beset for too long by sapping economic decline.
So, too, New York breadwinners and families.
Paychecks are shrunken after more than a decade in which the workplace has asked more of wage earners and rewarded them less. The decline has knocked someone at the midpoint of the salary scale back to where he or she would have been in 1996.
Then, the subway fare, still paid by token, was $1.50, gasoline was $1.23 a gallon and the median rent for a stabilized apartment was $600 a month. Today, the base MetroCard subway fare is $2.25, gasoline is in the $3.90 range and the median stabilized rent is $1,050, with all the increases outpacing wage growth.
A crisis of long duration, the gap between purchasing power and the necessities of life widened after the 2008 meltdown revealed that the U.S. economy was built on toothpicks — and they snapped.
Nine million jobs evaporated. The typical American family saw $50,000 vanish from its net worth, and its median household income dropped by more than $87 a week. New Yorkers got off with a $54 weekly hit.
Our leaders owed us better than lower standards of living, and we must have better if the U.S. is to remain a beacon of prosperity where mothers and fathers can be confident of providing for their children and seeing them climb higher on the ladder.
Revival of the U.S. as a land of opportunity and upward mobility is the central challenge facing the next President. The question for Americans: Who is more likely to accomplish the mission — Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
Four years ago, the Daily News endorsed Obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small practical experience he would bring to the world’s toughest job. We valued Obama’s pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship.
The hopes of those days went unfulfilled.
When John Silber died, age eighty-six, at the end of September, he was at work on an essay for The New Criterion. I was very much looking forward to the piece. It was to be a review of Martin Duberman’s new biography of the left-wing historian Howard Zinn (1922–2010), the author of the anti-American bestseller A People’s History of the United States. John had often crossed swords with Zinn at Boston University, where Zinn was a professor and where John reigned as President from 1971 to 1996 and then as Chancellor until 2003. Duberman’s biography is certain to be an exercise in hagiography, probably of the fawning variety, and John’s anatomy of the book and its subject promised to be a piquant addition to his library of salubrious polemic.
I deeply regret that John did not complete the review, but I was not surprised. I had spoken to him just a couple of weeks before his death. He was as cogent and cheerful as ever but was clearly fighting a formidable battery of ailments. I was abroad when the news came that he had died. I returned a few days later to find a brief letter from him informing me that his illness was terminal and thanking me for our friendship. It was written two days before his death.
If we lay aside our customary editorial voice in these notes, it is because John was such a close personal friend. I had first met John some time in the late 1980s, but it was not until after I published my book Tenured Radicals in 1990 that we became friends and ideological allies. A look at my files shows that I have well over one hundred letters from John—only occasionally in the last couple of years did he resort to email—and there are nearly as many from me to him. I mention this because it highlights one of John’s signal characteristics: his intellectual and personal responsiveness. Some of his letters are brief notes bringing an article or author or event to my attention. Many are responses, often quite detailed, to something I’d written. There was, I am grateful to report, a certain quantum of praise. There was also, I am even more grateful to report, plenty of criticism. John was one of the contributors to our series on “The Betrayal of Liberalism” in the late 1990s. His essay was about what he regarded as the “core of liberalism”—more about the term “liberalism” in a moment—and he began by making the point that true liberalism cherishes candid criticism because such corrections are aids to enlightenment. “Socrates,” John wrote, “taught us to prize those persons of knowledge, candor, and good will who challenge our views, and to be especially grateful when we are shown to be mistaken. For then we exchange a false opinion for a truer one.”
This is a point that will be familiar not only to readers of Plato but also to readers of John Stuart Mill. John understood Mill’s limitations. We were at one in our admiration for James Fitzjames Stephen’s Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, a devastating attack on what we might call Mill’s libertarianism. (“Complete moral tolerance,” Stephen wrote in that book, “is possible only when men have become completely indifferent to each other—that is to say, when society is at an end.”) When I published my book Experiments Against Reality in 2000, John wrote me not one but two long letters. One dilated on things he liked about the book. The other was full of pointed criticisms of my treatment of Mill. He wrote two letters, he explained, because he did not want his criticisms to obscure his praise. (He didn’t have to add that he also wanted to be sure that his commendation did not obscure his criticisms.)
It must have taken hours for John to compose those two letters. Yet that was the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I was hardly the only recipient of such generous intellectual attention. Some years ago, I had occasion to see some of the assessments he wrote for BU faculty who were up for promotion or tenure. They were extraordinary for their penetration, detail, and breadth. John did not weigh in on faculty in the sciences, but in history, philosophy, literature, and kindred subjects in the humanities, he ranged in a masterly fashion.
Reviewing the last few months of this tumultuous presidential campaign, I see the debates as having a wondrous salience. The first was the most momentous since Nixon vs. Kennedy, though that 1960 confrontation was mostly a matter of cosmetics. Listening to it on radio, many in the audience came away thinking that the participant with the five-o’clock shadow had won. That would have been Richard Nixon.
In debate this time around, Mitt Romney hammered Barack Obama mercilessly. Under the ongoing assault Obama’s knees buckled and he repeatedly looked glassy-eyed. If the contest were a prizefight, the referee should have stepped in. Actually, I felt sorry for Obama. My tax-bracket notwithstanding, I did not want to see Mitt hit him again, but he did: the economy! the national debt! joblessness! However, the debate was not a prizefight. It was the first of three presidential debates, and though restrained in the next two contests Romney accomplished just what he wanted. The debates left him looking reasonable, informed, competent, and presidential.
Teen mother Jamie McKay has revealed she recently had an abortion to avoid becoming a mother for a second time.
Jamie, 18, shared an ultrasound of the baby on Thursday via Twitter with the distressing message ‘rest in peace little angel. September 17, 2012.’
The teenager initially led her followers to believe she had miscarried.
But a short time later she set the record straight revealing the loss of her baby was due to an abortion, not miscarriage.
‘Thank you all for the love and support but I want you to know I did not miscarry. I chose abortion.
‘I chose it out of fear. I feel like I made a mistake and I can’t take it back,’ she wrote.
As a veteran of numerous national, state and local campaigns, I can tell you that each race and each campaign has its own life cycle. The 2012 presidential contest is no exception. As polls tighten, and especially since Mitt Romney’s decisive performance in the first debate, Team Obama and the president himself are showing signs of what I term a campaign’s “death rattle.”
GOP contender Rick Santorum withdrew from this year’s Republican primary within three days of my declaration that his campaign was in the final stages of “death rattle.” The phenomenon has three distinct stages.
In Stage One Death Rattle, the candidate veers sharply off-message, seemingly desperate to change the subject. Santorum, for instance, unsuccessfully tried to capitalize on Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s ill-advised “Etch-a-Sketch” comment. Santorum began showing up at rallies with a pink Etch-a-Sketch to accentuate the point and worked lame references to it into his stump speech. It became gimmicky and unbecoming a presidential candidate. Obama’s Stage One came shortly after the first debate with Romney, with childish comments about Big Bird and other Muppets running for the border, gimmicky terms like “Romnesia” and other memes unbecoming his office. These sorts of antics rarely work.
In Stage Two Death Rattle, where I see the Obama campaign today, the campaign staff becomes increasingly frustrated, and the candidate finds it difficult not to lash out through actions or words. One symptom is public profanity. Santorum’s Stage Two moment came in an argument with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny over something Santorum had said in a speech. The former Pennsylvania senator was confrontational and suggested that Zeleny’s request for clarification and anything he might write about the issue were “bullshit.” Likewise, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama referred to Romney as a “bullshitter.” By most accounts, Obama harbors a deeply personal animosity toward Romney but had successfully managed it in their encounters and with the press. That changed with the Rolling Stone interview.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is investigating after some Pueblo voters say voting machines switched their pick from Mitt Romney to Barack Obama.
The Pueblo County Republican Party said they’ve heard of more than a dozen reports of the problem.
One voter, who didn’t want to use her name, told KRDO Newschannel 13 that when she hit the touchscreen for Romney, a check mark appeared next to Obama’s name. She said she asked for help to fix the problem, but still feels unsure about her vote.
“I wonder where my vote really counted,” she said.
Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz said he’s aware of “fewer than ten instances “of the issue, but he said it’s happened to both Republicans and Democrats in their attempt to vote for president. He said he blames human error.
“Just like when you’re texting on your cell phone or using any other touchscreen technology, there’s a chance that you might think your finger is touching one area and it’s actually touching another,” said Ortiz. “It might be dragging your knuckle, we’ve seen that error also.”
He said the DRE (direct-recording electronic) machines have been used since 2006, and this type of error has happened before.
Gilbert points out that voters have several chances to change their ballot before casting it, and said everyone who’s experienced a problem has gotten help and voted how they intended to.
Still, some are worried that there are voters who didn’t notice the machine error, and this problem could persist on election day.
“How many more times has this occurred? None of us know,” said Chuck Schneider, a poll watcher who said he learned of the problem from a Democratic election judge. “This could have a significant effect on the election in this county.”
Friday afternoon at an early polling place located at 6719 W. Montgomery Road in Houston, NAACP members were seen advocating for President Barack Obama according to volunteer poll watchers on location at the time.
According to Eve Rockford, a poll watcher trained by voter integrity group True the Vote, three NAACP members showed up to the 139 precinct location with 50 cases of bottled water and began handing bottles out to people standing in line. While wearing NAACP labeled clothing, members were “stirring the crowd” and talking to voters about flying to Ohio to promote President Barack Obama.
After watching what was occurring, Rockford approached Polling Supervisor Rose Cochran about what she was seeing.
“I went to the polling supervisor and let her know that it was not appropriate that they were in the building handing out water. She ignored me. I repeated my statement. She told me that she would handle it. She did nothing. I then went to the assistant supervisor and he stood up, walked over to another table and then sat down. I then walked into the waiting room and they were reloading another dolly with more cases of water,” Rockford said in a True the Vote incident report.