Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Election of 2012

MSNBC Calls the Election

   I haven't been online for awhile due to several factors. Illness, an embarrassing rash, and technical factors such as the power supply unit in my computer failing, which was difficult to replace. All of us here at Joyce's Take, me and my invisible cat, Herkimer, have very little technical proficiency in solving either hardware or software problems with computers, myself less than Herkimer. Thanks to my good friend Mike P, who does not suffer from such deficiencies, we're back on line now
   That said, let's get to work.

   I've heard that President Obama was reelected November 6th... which is good news, not for me, but for the country. He won by an Electoral Vote landslide, 332 to Mitt (Mitt) Romney's 206, 270 being the magic number needed to win the election. The President won the popular vote as well, the numbers according to NBC News being 62,157,012 to 58,805,092, a difference of 3,351,920 votes. It took Florida four days to declare Obama the winner in that state. I think they're still counting provisional votes in Arizona, but that state was given to Romney. (Votes are still being counted and these numbers will undoubtedly change)
   All I have to say about the Obama win is this... SUCK ON IT MITCH MCCONNELL!
   And SUCK ON IT Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, and anyone else who voted for Citizens United! All you've managed to do is waste more money than is imaginable. Letting lose the flood gates of cash in elections apparently does not mean Republicans will automatically win.
   Still, Citizens United has to be put down.
   The Democrats have retained power in the Senate, thanks in large part to the Republican mind set of candidates like Todd Akin in Missouri, and at least seven others, making statements about "legitimate rape." Mathematically the odds were in favor of the Republicans winning as they had only 10 seats up for reelection vs 21 for the Democrats, but there you go. On the whole the Democrats gained 2 seats more than they had before the election.
   Elizabeth Warren, the lady who President Obama put in charge of conceptualizing and establishing the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, beat Scott Brown in her Senate bid in Massachusetts. She'll be one person I won't be afraid of being corrupted by the political process inherent in Washington... or lobbyists.  
   Sherrod Brown retained his seat in Ohio despite being outspent by outside interests 4 to 1. Banking interests really, really wanted him gone due to his stance on breaking up those that are considered too big to fail.
   Claire Mccaskill in Missouri, whose seat was seriously threatened, won her bid for reelection because she was running against... Todd Akin.
   The Republicans retained the House of Representatives, which was expected, and sucks. This means Obama will still face the same kind of obstructionism and fiscal blackmail he's experienced during the last two years. The Democrats gained seats, but Republicans were able to retain a majority due to their advantage in the congressional redistricting process following the 2010 United States Census.
   One piece of welcome news. Former Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, will return to the House after easily beating his Tea Party opponent, Todd Long.
   You remember Rep. Grayson. He's the one who called out the Republican health care plan as, if you get sick and don't have insurance, hurry up and die.
   Grayson noted on election night to HuffPost that his turnaround is the biggest on record in the history of the House. No other candidate had lost by 18 points in one year, only to turn around and win the next cycle by 25 -- a 43-point swing.
   Republicans and the right wing media are whining like little babies. Those at Fox so-called News were truly shocked at the outcome, expecting a landslide in the other direction, for Romney, based on... well as the lovely Rachel Maddow said on The Colbert Report, "based on, who knows?" Considering most polls suggested that Obama would surely win, and that mathematically Romney was way outdistanced, his chances of gaining 270 electoral votes much more difficult than Obama, one can only surmise that the good folks at Fox were so deep within their own bubble of unreality to take notice of what was actually happening in the real world. Like a drunk who wakes up the next morning to find out he still has the same problems he had before he got drunk, reality has a habit of hitting you smack in the face with a two by four.
   Republicans in 20 states have started petitions, with thousands of signatures, to succeed from the United States.
   Our good friend, the lovely actress and radio host, Janine Turner, has said Obama's win equates into the end of America. Fox so-called News hosts are blaming voters, i.e., Americans, for making the wrong decision, and that this was an entitlement election, voters basically voting for Obama because they want free stuff from the federal government. They never for a moment consider that their own world view may be wrong, that the garbage they have been spewing for the last four years, that Obama hates America, is a socialist, and all that, wasn't being bought by the majority of Americans. If the majority of Americans voted for Obama, according to them, they were were f--ked up, to put it quite bluntly.
   Hannity: "Americans, you get the government you deserve. And it pains me to say this, but America now deserves Barack Obama."
   I agree with him. America does deserve Obama, rather than Romney at least. And you know what? I'd be saying the exact same thing if Mittens had won.
   Considering the only high point in the entire Romney campaign was the first Presidential debate, Romney's disdain for taking any kind of solid position on any subject, and his disdain for 47 percent of Americans themselves, 48 percent of the popular vote went for Romney. How can this be?
   I have a lovely friend who I care for very much and who I've known since she was a small child. Indeed, although we're not related by blood, she's like a niece to me. She's the granddaughter of my mother's best friend. I'd give my life for her if I had to. We've met her before, dear readers. Her name is Shannon:
   She is a bright, beautiful, mother of two, and is now going back to school. Her family comes from the south, and she has conservative views. She knows I'm a liberal, and she tolerates me. And I don't usually discuss politics or religion with her. But with the advent of social networks like Facebook... everyone's views pop up now and then (with some more than others). This is what she wrote on Facebbook after the election:

"I'd like to express how proud I am of so many who thought the choice to get an abortion was more important than our tanking economy, near record unemployment, our oh so lovely deficit, obamacare (which I have a different 4 letter word for the last but I'll keep this PG); not to mention my kids or grandkids more than likely won't have social security. Great job America- you've really got your priorities straight. Delete me if you'd like- but what I've said hasn't been NEARLY as hateful and disrespectful as so many of you have put up. I still support Romney and his VALUES- may not have agreed with him 100% but he gave me hope. And that's what we all need these days. So many of you claim to have values of your own, yet you put horrible crap on here about Romney- give the guy a break! He did his best and had the support of so many and bowed out like the man he is when he knew it was over. So get off his case, leave he and his family alone and have some respect for the man. P.S., stocks are already down this morning. Here we go- Everyone ready for those 4 more years you wanted?"

   I commented with one word: "Yes."
   There is no evidence whatsoever that voters voted for one particular issue, such as abortion. Besides that particular issue is usually stressed by the Republican Party rather than the Democratic.
   All official indications point to an improving economy, not one that is "tanking." And by golly, what party and President brought us to the brink of a depression? In case you've forgotten it was GEORGE W BUSH and the REPUBLICANS. Let me repeat that. it was GEORGE W BUSH and the REPUBLICANS (Oh he's playing the "Blame Bush Game." If Bush was responsible you're damn right I will).
   Unemployment has been much higher in the history of this country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected data on this since 1948 (which excludes of course The Great Depression).
   The highest rate for a single month is shared by November and December of 1982 with an unemployment rate of 10.8%
   The year with the highest average unemployment rate was 1982 with an average unemployment rate of 9.71%
   Who was president during 1982? Ronald Reagan.
   The deficit? Again, who took a budget surplus and turned into the huge deficit we face now by starting two unnecessary, unpaid for wars, and tax cuts for the wealthy? GEORGE W BUSH and the REPUBLICANS.
   Obamacare? We've discussed this issue many times. When I ask my right wing friends why they want to get rid of Obamacare and ask for specifics... I get crickets... nothing. I guess they want for-profit health insurance companys to be in charge again.
   Social Security will remain solvent for the foreseeable future. If it needs to be restructured, there's many ways to do it, and we have plenty of time.
   What would have Romney and Ryan done with Social Security? Privatize it. In other words... give it to Wall Street. "Oh not for current recipients," they claimed. No, just for Shannon's children and grandchildren.
   The entire first term of the Obama Administration has been devoted to cleaning up the mess the Republicans had left him and he has, for the most part, been successful. Mitt Romney admittedly would have returned to the exact same policies that got us in this mess to begin with.
   Shannon speaks of Romney's values. I don't know what those are. The man changed positions more than he changed his shirt. The blogger Steve Benen documented Romney's false statements during 2012 and came up with a total of 917 as Election Day arrived.
   I don't believe Shannon values lying.
   All politicians lie, but the disparity between the Obama campaign and that of Romney's is like a snow cone compared to Mt. Everest.
   If Shannon ever reads this she'll probably still not believe her positions may be flawed. People's views toward politics and religion are entrenched. Me? I believe in the Scientific Method. If I'm wrong (and I often am), present the evidence, and if it proves me wrong, then I have to admit it and change my position. I have to go where the evidence takes me, not where I'd like it to go.
   I have no idea where Shannon gets her information from, or what news outlet she utilizes, although I suspect it's Fox so-called News, and people like Rush Limbaugh, to the exclusion of everything else. This, if true, is unfortunate, as we have learned that those who rely only on Fox so-called News for information that helps shape their world view are less informed than those who don't watch or listen to any news outlet at all! And I suspect that those who do rely on Fox are actually wishing to have their own conservative view point reinforced rather than actually wishing to learn about what is happening in the reality based world itself.
   And for those who hide from the reality based world itself, we know what happens eventually... when that world races back, as it inevitably will (because it's reality), it will hit you in the face with a freaking two by four.
   And that my friends is not a pleasant experience.

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