Friday, August 17, 2012
Hillary Clinton 2012 V.P. – Unlikely – Positive Replacement for both Biden and Obama – USA Today Poll: 2-1 Obama Voters Likely Not To Vote - Analysis
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton - image: thegloss.com
The calls for President Barack Obama to replace the, at times, embarrassing, Vice President, Joe Biden are coming from both the right(Meghan McCain on Clinton as V.P. Replacement), and the center(Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board), however there are two factors that would not allow this public cry for President Obama to switch V.P.’s. The first is that the President is sticking by Biden (Examiner.com) and the second, it is more likely that Hillary Clinton would not accept the position. Reason suggests as she is not attending the Democrat 2012 Convention in North Carolina and, would better serve the nation on the top of the ticket, there is zero chance of Hillary Clinton trading places with Joe Biden - she is Presidential material. Of course, the later is this opinion, and has been since the race for the Presidency in 2008 came down to three candidates: McCain, Obama and Clinton.
How much does Biden matter? It depends very little, considering that few people can even name a Vice –President, and the general political think is that those that vote generally vote for the top of the ticket, with the V.P. choice of either party being designed more or less to “attract the base” or core group of political ideologists from one side or the other that actually get out and vote. Therein lays the problem for the Democrats this year. A new USA Today poll, conducted by Suffolk University suggests that 90 million voters will stay home this year, with 2 in 1 of those backing President Obama’s reelection. What is, perhaps, most interesting about this particular poll is that of those polled, over half are registered to vote, and 80 percent of those have the government playing an “important role” in their lives (USA Today). Blame the negative ads, blame the fact that both candidates are not some votes cup of tea, or the fact that they are simply not interested enough to get out and vote, the fact remains that if the top of the ticket is unlikely to motivate two in one necessary voters that rely on the government, something in not currently working in the administrations drive to “spread the wealth” and maintain a edge in voters at the same time. Apathy is most likely fueled by the economy – one never takes into consideration that those who are working for a living and seeing their paycheck disappear at the grocery stores, are no different than those on the EBT card or whatever form of assistance, finding their “dollar’ also shrinking. Apathy, translates in to a political nightmare, and this poll, by a large margin, gives clues as to the real State of the Union which are far from encouraging to the man currently in the Oval office. Which brings up another reason why Clinton might not accept the position (other than she should be President), running on a ticket whose chances are appearing slim, (disregarding polls that assume it’s close), would be a colossal waste of time and treasure.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
2012 Reality Change - Arthur Davis - 2008 Obama Campaign Co-Chair – Joins Romney Team – Jewish Journal Editor – Paul Ryan Courageous - The Moderates
Arthur Davis, Conservative Democrat (Moderate) - image: CNN
From CNN Arthur Davis, the former Obama 2008 Campaign Co-Chair and the Democrat who seconded Obama’s nomination at the Democrat Convention in 2008, has left the Democrat Party and will now campaign for Mitt Romney. CNN (and oddly to date, only CNN) reports that the Democrat Party has swung too far to the left, and that, as a result, Southern Conservative Democrats are less welcome. Davis switched political parties in May of this year (CNN). In addition, Davis is one of a number of Conservative (or, in reality moderate) Democrats who have in recent months have noted they were either supporting or voting for a Republican. This is happening with some frequency in the Massachusetts Senate Race between Scott Brown and Progressive Democrat, Harvard Professor, Elizabeth Warren. Brown’s running ads across Massachusetts featuring high profile state Democrats who are supporting Brown’s reelection.(Scott Brown Campaign Site – Videos)
Although some in the media recently noted the choice by Romney of Paul Ryan as his running mate, has turned the campaign to one of ideological choices, those choices have already been made and Davis is a perfect example. The new sport of extreme mud-slinging on the part of the Obama campaign, and specifically those recently made by Joe Biden, the Vice President and Obama’s running mate, are making those who are in the middle, and more moderate (Conservative) Democrats more than a bit leery of the Obama Campaign. (A definition of a Conservative Democrat is one who is fiscally conservative, maybe pro-life, and is strong on labor and civil rights issues.) Again, from CNN, a report on Arthur Davis and his take on Joe Biden’s recent remarks using a “metaphor” of putting “ya’ll back in chains” (with heavy Southern accent for emphasis) in reference to Mitt Romney at a campaign event, as racial viciousness. The fact that Davis is not alone in understanding that the mantra from the left painting the GOP in general as a bunch of “angry old white men” is no more than hypocritical hyperbole. They apparently excludes the “angry old white man” who is in the number 2 position at the White House and was chosen to be in that position by Barack Obama. The statement was racist, remains racist, and Biden has a history of such remarks – see, again of all places, About.com who calls Biden’s remarks “political humor”, but includes these racist gems:
You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.... I'm not joking." --Joe Biden, in a private remark to an Indian-American man caught on C-SPAN, June, 2006
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." –Joe Biden, referring to Barack Obama at the beginning of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Jan. 31, 2007
Davis is right to take umbrage at Biden’s remarks as well as the left of center wing that runs his former political party. What is disturbing, in the extreme, is the fact that Biden’s remarks are regarded by the general media as either excusable and or a “joke”. Of course, most of the media, academia and labor bosses (There is a degree is labor relations at UMASS for wanna-be Union bosses) believe that this is just fine, ignoring Joe Biden, as well as that fact that they’ve got high profile Democrats, those who may be more moderate, jumping ship. If these high profile Democrats are jumping ship, what are the odds that there are millions of rank and file, who may be less than enthused about the march to the left, doing the same?
It is the ridiculous notion that political parties “own” specific ethnic, minority and or religious groups – such as all African-American, Women, Catholics and Jews belong to the Democrat Party, while the Republican Party has those angry old white men, NASCAR fans and right-wing Christian Evangelicals. The aforementioned sounds ridiculous, yet the mantra persist. No one political party owns a vote in this nation and Republican or Democrat, individuals make choices on the person when the policies of a particular elected official seem a bit extreme, or generally not working. In this case, whole “groups” switch their votes to a different party (“groups” for emphasis and media speak) however, the reality is that the individual is voting for the person/party on an individual basis, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation.
A prime example is the “Jewish Vote”, which has been much discussed in the past month given Mitt Romney’s 4th trip to Israel, as well as his choice of Paul Ryan as V.P.. The Daily Beast (owned by Newsweek), headlined: “Romney Lost the American Jewish Vote by Picking Paul Ryan”. However, that narrative might not fly. An article from David Suissa, the President of Tribe Media, which owns the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, suggested that Paul Ryan is courageous, and will stand up and speak the truth about issues that affect all American’s, regardless of party – an excerpt appears below (Read the entire article: here.)
“Have any of you all met Paul Ryan? I’m telling you this guy is amazing. He is honest; he is straightforward; he is sincere; and the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget.”
These words are not from a Tea Party accountant, but from Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chair of Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, praising Ryan and his budget plan during a lecture at the University of North Carolina last September.
…In any event, we can’t ignore other Jewish values, like living within our means and confronting difficult truths. You can disagree with Paul Ryan’s budget and ideology, but you can’t deny that this man has the courage to confront difficult truths.
That’s why I have some mud left for commentators who always grumble that politicians are serial panderers who tell us only what we want to hear, but then, when they finally meet a politician with the courage to tell us the truth, all they can say is: Dumb political move!
…Paul Ryan, the man Erskine Bowles calls honest, straightforward and sincere, is sticking his neck out and forcing America to confront its chronic illness.
(Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, 8-14-12)
Both David Suissa and Arthur Davis have individual points of view that reflect realistic values - they believe in the decency of treating those individual public servants who honestly want to put their neck on the line for the nation with respect, and letting those who are “protected” and go to new lows in order to further a political agenda or career, that they are not above board. It is one thing to politely agree to disagree, there should be heated debates, on issues alone, in order to reach the American people, rather than appeal to a “base” of a party that is extreme. To those in the middle or moderates in both major political parties, they know the difference between outrageous mudslinging and an opponent having had enough, fights back a bit. Compare and contrast policy, or ideas, or past political records – fine, but leave the slanderous, racial and ridiculous remarks out of the conversation as well as the news. If one disagrees or agrees with a political party, or individual candidate, then it belongs in an editorial, rather than: sports, lifestyle, main news, the weather, etc. The general public gets this, so do those in certain “groups”.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Biden’s “They’re going to put y’all back in chains” – “the conscience of our nation’s capital.” Obama Campaign – A New Norm of The Absurd – Opinion
Vice President Joe Biden Rails Racist Insanity Against the Inevitability of the Romney Ryan Machine at Danville, VA Progressive Democrat Campaign Event - image Gatewaypundit.com
The “story” broke yesterday from the Washington Free Beacon: , Vice-President, Joe Biden, speaking at campaign event in Danville, GA, blatantly distorting the GOP take on a budget proposal (which, to date, the Democrat controlled Senate and White House have not passed a sustainable budget in three years), stated: “They’ve said it. Every Republican’s voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the—he said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules–unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains. He’s said he’s going to do nothing about stopping the practice of outsourcing…” – Biden was introduced by the Center for American Progress Action Fund president Tom Perriello, who called Biden “the conscience of our nation’s capital.” (Washington Free Beacon)
The remark, which is, in context, ridiculous and racist, was said to be immediately defended by the Obama Campaign. However, even as the statement had yet to get the worldwide, and local U.S. attention it is getting today (CBS Local, Charlotte), Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager attempted to support, explain and distance the President from Biden:
Asked about the comments on MSNBC, President Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Mr.Obama 'probably agrees with Joe Biden's sentiments.(UK Daily Mail)
'I mean he's using a metaphor...He was making a point that if we repeal Wall Street reform which is what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to do, we're going to go back to the days where they're writing their own rules, and we saw what happened.
The fact that Biden is seen by the Progressive Democrats as the “the conscience of our nation’s capital”, coupled with the Obama’ Campaign’s statements that overall support the Vice President’s statement, is in itself proof of the new normal low that has defined Washington for the past three years. What is astounding is the feigned amazement and additional insults coming from the Obama Campaign as the competition, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, along with anyone in the nation with a scrap of decency left, called the remarks what they are, at face value - , “a campaign of division and anger and hate” –an apt description by Romney in response to the latest ridiculous and incendiary statements by Obama Campaign members and or their PAC’s. The reply by the Obama Campaign – “Governor Romney's comments tonight seemed unhinged, and particularly strange coming at a time when he's pouring tens of millions of dollars into negative ads that are demonstrably false”…(The Hill.com).
To which comments and advertising by the Romney Campaign is the Obama Campaign referring to?
This is the first week that Romney, in this phase of the campaign, has basically defended himself as well as his running mate – Congressman Paul Ryan, vocally. Calling out the President and his Campaign for Reelection over PAC ads that accused him of murder, and a variety of statements made by Campaign operatives, including Senator Harry Reid and, of course, the Vice President, Joe Biden, which were demonstrably false. The Romney campaign has, to date, been positive, using an uplifting message, and compare and contrast policy ads. Therefore, while the Obama Campaign, anemically attempting to rely on its economic record, is shocked that statements made that are hinging on slanderous, draw fire from the opposition – appears transparently desperate.
The older Biden has been gaffe-prone (charitably put) since the one-term Senator from Illinois chose the veterans Senator from Maryland as his running mate in 2008. One cannot even begin to characterize the latest statements made by Biden as being in the contest of the role of the V.P. as “attack dog” to the President, since it is considered by the base of the Party to be “the conscious of our nation’s capital”! It is hoped, by those who are in the middle – and not as blindly partisan as those on the far left and right of the political spectrum, that our nation’s capital has a better conscious than that displayed on behalf of the Presidents reelection efforts by the Vice President and Harry Reid, the man who literally controls the direction of the Legislation passed (or not as the case has been proven) in the United States.
There comes a time when those who are, on paper, Democrats, Republicans and Independents become so tired of the constant drumbeat of negativity, as it relates to the way Washington is run and the statements and ads made and run by Obama Campaign staffers, supporters and PAC’s – that a palpable shift begins to take place – similar to the elections of 2010, but somehow more urgent. This shift is to the middle – often referred to as “the far right”. It is understandable that both campaigns want the narrative that the race is “close” in the polls to continue for the moment. On the President’s side, it helps to frame an argument that he can win re-election. On the GOP side, a close elections fuels fundraising as those moderates in all parties cringe at the thought of current divisive, angry and hateful tone coming from the ”conscious of Washington” – specifically the Obama Campaign.
Although there are those on the right that would see Romney go on the attack (rather than answer the absurd with, frankly, a plain spoken common sense, rebuke), it is better that the Campaign continues its’ current messaging, and leaves the Obama Campaign to continue as “normal”. Romney has, to date, shown remarkable composure in the face of attacks from the Obama Campaign, and his literal “scolding” of the campaign, can hardly be characterized as “unhinged”, rather as Romney speaking for those who are sick of the negative, and false, jargon and the absurd. As the new normal continues to frame the Obama Campaigns messaging, it speaks to desperation, rather than confidence. What American’s need, as unemployment remains’ stagnant, food and fuel costs continue to rise, and the general feeling of “hopelessness” is evident in the faces of those who are lucky enough to be struggling under the burden of paying taxes to local, state and the federal government, (the shrinking number of employed Americans), is a President that leads with authority, is upbeat, yet tells the American’s people the truth about steps we can take to improve the economy, our health care delivery, save Medicare and Social Security for those over 55 while offering choices to those under 55 that would both protect those individuals and strengthen the economy - even if the result of that type of truth hurts the feelings of the current “conscious of Washington”. .
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Obama and Romney Campaigns on the Road – Romney and Ryan’s Crowd Size Matters – DNC/Obama Campaign in Damage Control
Paul Ryan at the Iowa State Fair Draws Thousands - Image Des Moines Register
President Obama at Iowa State Fair same source - Image Des Moines Register
Crowds at political events have become a focus over the past four years – the Crowds that came out for Barack Obama in 2008 at college campuses and packed stadiums were presented as proof of his popularity. When Sarah Palin was first announced as V.P., the crowds that appeared were overwhelming, boosting an anemic McCain campaign, and the focus on Palin, rather than McCain continued through November. The fact that McCain was an underwhelming candidate was never mentioned on either “side” of the aisle – rather his choice of Palin (portrayed as less than brilliant – politely put) and the McCain-Bush connection was repeated, ad nausem, by the media and the Obama Campaign. The result of a nation tired of wars, an unpopular (at that time) President who has maxed out his term, coupled with a Democrat candidate who had historically high funds in hand, through corporate, “Hollywood” and individual donations, were all indicators of an Obama win in 08. Pictures of crowds were consistently used by the Obama Campaign and the media to “prove” popularity. A picture, as it is noted, is worth a thousand words, and those who actually how up in blazing heat and freezing cold weather to just stand in a crowd of thousands – speaks perhaps more to the average voter.
Fast forward four years, and an incumbent who appears to be in a dead heat in the polls with a Republican Candidate who has little but business success to seriously criticize, coupled with an economy that is charitably noted as stagnant, and one finds “hope and change” has become “despair and disillusionment”. The polls, however, are consistently cited, as “proof” that President Obama is going to “win” in November, the Obama Campaign and the Democrat Super Pac’s have spent millions on negative advertising – attacking Mitt Romney, and now his V.P. choice, Paul Ryan – in the extreme, but there is never a mention of the President’s crowd size in swing states as the final months of the campaign approach and the general citizenship that votes is now starting to pay attention. The media has even touted the fact that Obama is a strong bet in on-line betting – “Paddy Power” has the President a favorite, yet warns that “a lot can happen between now and the election and we wouldn’t right off Romney’s chances just yet.”(Politico).
Anyone who’s ever placed on a favorite to win by a tight margin to win, at a low return, understands that there are huge amounts of money on that one team, horse or political candidate – it is one of three factors, large bets placed on behalf of the team by either the owners or the odds makers or the team or horse has such a clean bill of health (no injuries) and is playing against a much weaker field, that the horse, team or candidate is a good bet, even with a low return. In gambling such as this, which is illegal in most instances (including the off-shore online odds makers in this instance) one might want to hedge their bets by placing bets on both the “popular team” and the “underdog” – just in case that extra boost of cash that drove up the odds came from a politically active, well financed groups of individuals.
Summing it up, the reasoning used for the close race between President Obama and Mitt Romney are early polls and off-shore betting.
Suddenly crowd size doesn’t appear to matter – much on the surface. However, an email sent out by the DNC on behalf of the Obama Campaign suggests otherwise:
From the Washington Examiner: “New Obama panic: Romney crowd sizes”
I just got this disturbing report: Yesterday's Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people.
There's no spinning that number. It's a LOT of people, and the Republican base in energized.
And that's not all. Since the VP announcement, Romney's campaign has brought in over 70,000 donations from his Tea Party base.
We've got to step up our game and mobilize our supporters -- starting right now.
Donate $3 or right now to help us rally our base around President Obama's agenda >>
Listen to what one Republican supporter said about Paul Ryan: "I love him...He's going to excite the Tea Party and get them on board..."
We can't let the Republicans claim the momentum. Donate $3 or whatever you can:
DCCC Field Director
What about hecklers or protesters at these crowds? The Ryan Rally at the Iowa State Fair saw thousands of supporters line the grounds, with a heckler or two who had managed to get on stage, escorted off by Iowa (State or Local) Police (Des Moines Register).
At the same time a silent protestor in a crowd of 2,000 at an Obama rally in Boone IA, was more respectful of the President, whom he supports:
(CNN Article: “Protester shares stage with president”)
Monday's demonstration was "kind of tame" for Prabhu, who said he has protested much more vocally at political rallies in the past. But as a supporter of the president, he didn't want to cause too big of a scene.
"[The campaign] kind of told me to take it down," Prabhu said, referring to his sign. "And I did because I didn't want to cause a ruckus. At the end of the day, [Obama's] vulnerable in Iowa and you don't want to mess anything up."
Photographs from the Des Moines Register show the crowds that gathered to hear Romney’s VP Choice, Paul Ryan speak (Click here for Gallery), show a healthy crowd. Photographs from the same source at the same fair only focusing on the Obama Campaign, shows a different type of event, the President doing retail politics, and stopping at a fair booth with hundreds of supporters lined up to take photos.
Romney, alone in Florida, pulled in overflow crowds in near Jacksonville at Flagler College(Orlando Sentinel reporting on crowds attempting to enter the area where Romney would speak.
Romney is pulling crowds with and without his running mate Paul Ryan, in the ten thousands (article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Ryan’s stop with Romney in WI) This is Ryan’s Home State. The President at a fundraiser in his home town of Chicago, with a reasonable price tag of $51.00 according to one reporter: “At Obama fundraiser in Chicago. Admission only $51, but room is half full,” New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor wrote on Twitter.” That Politico article goes on to note that the Obama Campaign expected far fewer than 1000 people to show up, and the room was not as empty as the reporter – well reported.
What one finds is an energized base of Republican’s and Republican Leaning Independents thronging to see Mitt Romney with Paul Ryan running on a message of job creation, and economic prosperity. On the flip side, one finds anemic crowds at best, showing for Obama and Biden events, with a campaign running on “sharing the prosperity”, and negatives, proven mostly false, on the Romney-Ryan team. (Speaking to the Obama PAC Campaign ad with Joe Soptick as well as the media blitz and Obama Campaign focus on an old Ryan budget that was proposed several years ago, rather than the last several budget proposals sent to the Senate, and hastily sent back to the House – without a vote. Ryan is considered “controversial” in Washington - according ot the Washington Post. If Ryan is controversial in Washington, perhaps it is because he has told lawmakers they need to rein in spending and actually produce a budget – any budget – he’s presented several, year after year – his main focus on these budgets: saving Social Security and Medicare for Seniors age 55 plus, a key point that is left out of every ad, and every article.
Now that’s controversial.
That may be why a team offering solutions is drawing crowds hopeful that they will fix a problem (the economy) and the incumbent in this case, is not as big of a draw, either in fundraising or crowds, because he and his team are considered part of the problem. If one were betting and the odds favored the team that had a few injuries, would they not want to perhaps bet on the healthy team – just in case the polls were not as close and the underdog’s supporters would rather send their cash directly to the campaign.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Romney-Ryan on 60 Minutes – Media response: Crickets – Choice of Ryan Ignites Race – Thousands Show Up To Rally - Fund Raising Up in first 24 Hours
Ryan and Romney in Wisconsin - photo: Drudgereport.com
Four years ago when Sarah Palin gave her first CBS interview to Katie Couric, the media blitz was immediate and negative – thousands of articles appeared on Google outlining the highlights of once 7 hours interview edited to a short segment. Fast Forward four years to last night’s interview with CBS’s Bob Schieffer, which was announced by several news outlets in advance – with articles highlighting the choice of Ryan as “risky”.(Orlando Sentinel). The segment which aired at 7:00 pm (approximately after the U.S. Open), apparently did little to diminish Ryan or Romney. They faced off against Schieffer who was quickly “handled” by both Romney and Ryan when he trailed away from policy issues. Ryan’s, “that’s distracting from the issues” moved the topics forward. The interview, in its entirety is below.
CBS Interview with Romney and Ryan
The “risky” choice of Ryan, according to the media has framed the debate for the election as one that is ideological, however, one might also consider that the debate is now issues based – specifically the issue of the economy. Although the left, and the media are doing their darndest to tear about Ryan’s budget plan, there are zero links in articles to the actual plan on the Congressional Record's site, which is written in, shockingly, plain English. Normally, bills, budgets and resolutions are written in legislative jargon one must look at 60 days till Sunday to glean meaning (unless one is trained as a lawyer, or is a career politician – but not the average citizen). Therefore the claims of Ryan’s policy affecting Seniors, the Middle Class, and tax cuts for the “rich” – are not based on Ryan’s actual budget proposal. The key word there is – proposal. Ryan’s plan seeks to close loopholes on the highest income earners, it does not change Medicare one whit for those 55 or older, while suggesting an option of purchasing private pay plans for those under 55. The Ryan budget does, in fact, reduce taxes on the middle class. However, that’s a fairly mute point, considering Romney is at the top of the ticket and will be making the final decisions on budgets, of which he has his own. Romney made that clear in the 60 minute segment.
As to the choice as “risky” – that may be true if one were trying to attract the Progressive arm of the Democrat Party – otherwise, Ryan’s appeal was immediately evident as rally’s over the weekend saw crowds in the thousands waiting to hear the new V.P. nominee speak. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “VP candidate Ryan returns to Wisconsin to adoring crowd” – of 10,000 – in Waukesha. According to the U.S. Census that would be one in 7 of every single resident of the City of 70,000, 23.7% of which are under the age of 18. That’s quite a “homecoming” in a State that has been seen, until recently, as more of Democrat, rather than Republican in voter identity.
The Boston Globe reported on the rally crowds in North Carolina:
“A buoyant Mitt Romney and new running mate Paul Ryan propelled their bid for the White House through a series of boisterous events Sunday in the first day of extensive campaigning together since the former Massachusetts governor chose Ryan as his political partner.
His events having the energy of a rock concert, Romney fed on the fervor of the crowds, dispensing high fives, effusively praising his new pick, and at one point joined a chanting crowd: “Paul, Paul, Paul.”
Supporters stood in line for hours to get a glimpse of the new Republican ticket.”
(Of course, no article about Romney-Ryan would be complete without quotes from the White House.)
“Congressman Ryan is a right-wing ideologue, and that is reflected in the positions that he’s taken,” David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He is quite extreme — good, good person, you know, genial person — but his views are quite harsh.”
President Obama, who has sparred several times with Ryan over economic policies, made his first comments on Ryan’s selection during a fund-raiser in Chicago.
“I know him, I welcome him to the race,” Obama said. “He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision. But it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.”
Axelrod and the “new kid on the block” Progressive Democrat Senate Candidate in MA, Elizabeth Warren, were on the attack immediately, Warren quipped ”'Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are a demolition team that will wreck our economy', specifically highlighting the economy (Springfield, MA Republican), which drew an immediate response from commenters that was less than kind to Ms. Warren’s point of view. One commenter noted that
(Read balance of 60 plus comments at the Springfield Republican’s, Masslive site here
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are a demolition team that will wreck our economy and leave working people and small businesses to struggle in the mess.
It's already a mess... is she kidding with this statement... what planet are you on
The “risky” pick also had the effect of the campaign raising 3.5 Million (in 24 hours) after the Ryan announcement (thehill.com)
The Romney choice of Ryan is also shedding new interest on the V.P. debate that will take place between Vice President Biden and Paul Ryan, insuring a ratings boost for the network which will broadcast the October 11th Debate at Centre College in Danville, KY.
From this perspective Mitt Romney chose a Vice President he felt was first, capable of not only working within the administration, but that would be able to assume the Office of the Presidency. Romney took the risk of choosing Ryan as the State of Wisconsin is not as strategically important as, Florida (Rubio – electoral votes). Additionally, Romney who is focused on policy and economics, chose someone who is of a similar mindset - in doing so, he would have a Vice President that would work, rather than one which was used for the Senate tie-breaker as the occasion might present, or someone who was not involved in policy of any kind - in other words, a proverbial ribbon-cutter.
In addition, Ryan stands for his principals, and respectfully agrees to disagree, even with the President especially when it comes to numbers, budgets, and what might be in the aforementioned. Ryan comes armed with statistics and facts, not pulled out of left or right field, but from reliable and non-partisan sources – Ryan, as a choice, was not in the least risky, rather brilliant, and above all, one that would work for the American People, rather than one that is merely politically advantageous. Of course, one must expect that the Press and the Obama Campaign must stress the negatives in order to attempt to achieve parity, however, one can anticipate a compare and contrast, uplifting tone from the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Pushing Grandma Over the Cliff - Senior Citizens, age 55 and older and The Ryan Budget Plan – What’s In the Ryan Plan and Why!
Paul Ryan Budget Solutions: Image From the New York Daily News Article: "Youthful, ambitious, and controversial: What you need to know about Romney's running mate Paul Ryan"
Cons: Voters, particularly seniors in the key swing state of Florida, may find Ryan’s proposal to radically overhaul Medicare a bitter pill to swallow. Romney will be forced to either embrace his running mate’s sweeping plan or distance himself from some of its more controversial proposals - a tricky political move in either case.
A note on the above reference to Ryan's Budget plan from the Media - the author has obviously not read Ryan's plan, and is betting on the fact that Seniors in Florida (and nationwide) have not read it either.
Perhaps he United State Citizen’s who are nearing age 55 and over have seen the ad below. In this ad, it is suggested that the “Republican Budget Plan” (Which Paul Ryan wrote), would take away Medicare as it is known and replace it for all seniors with a “privatized” plan.
Ad which ran when Paul Ryan wrote the budget
However, those who would have retirees on Medicare and those approaching Medicare believe that Ryan is some sort of monster, along with the rest of the “Republicans” that would push “Granny” over the cliff, have something else in mind – protecting the President’s “Affordable Health Care Act”. What those that would turn an actual solution into a nightmare for seniors are more interested in maintaining public office than actually protecting the benefits that seniors and those now nearing retirement age receive. In addition, by "scaring the bejesus" out of seniors and those nearing retirement age, they insure votes for the Democrat Party (or more appropriately – the Progressive Democrat Party). What hit the fan in 2020 after Nancy Pelosi famously said, (paraphrasing) that since the Presidents Bill was being passed in haste, and those Congressmen and Senators were complaining that they did not have time to read the act and, were therefore, leery of signing it, “they should just sign it now, and then they would find out what was in it.”
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
Before the Bill was signed into law by President Obama, member of Congress and the senate, as well as private citizens began to read parts of the legislation that was pending signature - and the result was abject horror. This is why those town hall meetings held prior to the bill’s passage were so incendiary and Democrats either attended grudgingly or not at all. This is why after the Bill was signed into law in early 2010, the Tea Party grew substantially, and why in 2010, there were historical gains made for Republicans in the House. One should be aware that the Tea Party is not particularly partisan, the Tea Party is pro-individual rights, and anti-excessive taxation. Members are from all political parties, and if they tend to trend towards particular Republicans, they so do because of that individuals record on protecting individual liberty and their fiscal record.
In the coming months many will read about how Seniors will have no coverage under Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan, and most likely as he is now the Vice Presidential nominee on the GOP ticket with Governor Mitt Romney, the Democrats, out of political necessity, will make claims that are not close to the truth. This is because they want to hold onto an office, and an ideology, not because their policy or the Affordable Health Care Act, protects those at or nearing retirement age.
That’s a pretty wild statement itself. But one has to look at the Ryan Budget to understand, Congressman Paul Ryan, now V.P. nominee, cares more about those in or nearing retirement that the Democrats. In reading the budget summary below, what one finds is the following: The budget specifically states that those age 65 and older receiving Medicare will not lose any benefits, their program will stay the same, Also, those age 55 and older will receive those very same benefits. However, those under age 55 will be offered a choice, either they will be able to stay on the same program those now receiving benefits under Medicare have, or they can buy affordable alternative insurance. That’s it, no smokes, and no mirrors. The text as well as links to the budget that specifically address Medicare is show below – It is clear, it is understandable as written by Congressman Paul Ryan.
There is a rebuttal as well from the Democrat members to Paul Ryan’s budget (which Democrat Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, will not allow to pass). (This also answers the question of who is responsible for the gridlock in Congress, and why nothing is getting done. Republican’s offer reasonable solutions and Harry Reid doesn’t allow passage.) In that passage it specifically states: That the Ryan proposal undermines the President’s Health Care Act!
What’s in the President’s Health Care Act that should worry every citizens and especially seniors. A video of a Health Care conference appears below – in that Video, Congressman Ryan is politely explaining to President Obama why the Health Care Plan is dangerous for Seniors, and that he has solutions that would offer a fix, as Congressman Ryan believed that the President and House and Senate Democrats really wanted to help Seniors.
In that video, Paul Ryan suggests that the present system (Affordable Health Care Act) hurts all families, and that analysis that the Congressional Budget Office provided – showed that Medicare funds were being taken away and used to fund the Affordable Health Care Act – Ryan wanted to work with the President to fix the problem, and pointed out that they had two bills on the floor that were not allowed (by Harry Reid) to go to the Senate. One has to wonder why? The why is because, Seniors and women and name a “minority or group” “vote for Democrats” and the President, as head of the Democrat Party, need to keep it that way.
If they were to actually let the American voters find out “what’s in the bill”, that darn Paul Ryan and those “Republican’s” would look very attractive to voters, and well, the President and Harry Reid might lose their jobs.
It’s very simple: Paul Ryan wants to help the American People, it is an election year, and those up for election want to “scare the American people” – It does not matter if, when they run ads, or make speeches or remarks that they are stretching the truth (or outright lying) to the American people – they will say anything to get elected.
When one does read the Affordable Health Care act (sections shown below regarding Medicare, how it will become part of Medicaid, how they will remove funds from Medicare to pay for other parts of the programs), it becomes apparent that Congressman Ryan has a real plan to save Medicare and Social Security for those who are age 55 plus, and for those who are not? They will have an option – (an individual choice) of either keeping Medicare, or buying private health insurance.
Surely there is nothing wrong in that? Why would Democrats and the President up for Reelection call Paul Ryan’s very good and decent plan, something it is not? The only possible answer to that question is that they are attempting to maintain a group of voters in their pocket, while actually endangering the health and well being of that group. It should also be noted that Congressman Ryan has held these positions for some time, all this took place well before Mitt Romney was even assured he would be the GOP Presidential Nominee, nor was Paul Ryan, therefore, in consideration of any VP slot. Mitt Romney, a bit of a budget crunching, numbers man who ran Massachusetts based on fiscal restraint, while raising jobs, and trying to improve the costs and benefits of those in the states health care system, most likely chose Congressman Ryan to be his running mate because he is smart, does not duck the issues, but instead, takes on anyone, even the President of the United States, in order to try and protect his constituents.
The Paul Ryan Budget From www.paulryan.house.gov/legislation> (with a direct link to the Congressional Library)
With the creation of Medicare in 1965, the United States made a commitment to help fund the medical care of elderly Americans without exhausting their life savings or the assets and incomes of their working children and younger relatives. In urging the creation of Medicare, President Kennedy said that such a program was chiefly needed to protect, not the poor, but people who had worked for years and suddenly found all their savings gone because of a costly health problem.
But spending for Medicare has grown quickly in recent decades--in part because of rising enrollment and in part because of rising costs per enrollee--and has reached unsustainable rates. Between 1970 and 2011, gross federal spending for Medicare rose from 0.7 percent of GDP to 3.7 percent. Under the alternative fiscal scenario in CBO's The Long-Term Budget Outlook (June 2011), mandatory spending on Medicare is projected to reach 7 percent of GDP by 2035 and 14 percent of GDP by 2085. CBO's March baseline projects that Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be bankrupt by 2022.
Medicare's imbalance threatens beneficiaries' access to quality, affordable care. The program's fundamentally flawed structure is driving up health care costs, which are, in turn, threatening to bankrupt the system--and ultimately the Nation. Without reform, the program will end up causing exactly what it was created to avoid: millions of America's seniors without adequate health security and a younger working generation saddled with enormous debts to pay for spending levels that cannot be sustained.
Letting government break its promises to current seniors and to future generations is unacceptable. In addition, placing Medicare on a sustainable path is an indispensable part of restoring the Federal Government's fiscal balance. The reforms outlined in this budget protect and preserve Medicare for those in or near retirement, while saving and strengthening the program so future generations can count on it when they retire.
The Medicare program's spending appears in Function 570 of the budget resolution. The function reflects the Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance [HI] Program, Part B Supplementary Medical Insurance [SMI] Program, Part C Medicare Advantage Program, and Part D Prescription Drug Benefit, as well as premiums paid by qualified aged and disabled beneficiaries.
The various parts of the program are financed in different ways. Part A benefits are financed primarily by a payroll tax (currently 2.9 percent of taxable earnings), the revenues from which are credited to the HI Trust Fund. For Part B, premiums paid by beneficiaries cover about one-quarter of outlays, and the Treasury General Fund covers the rest. (Payments to private insurance plans under Part C are financed by a blend of funds from Parts A and B.) Enrollees' premiums under Part D are set to cover about one-quarter of the cost of the basic prescription drug benefit, although many low-income enrollees receive larger subsidies; general funds cover most of the remaining cost.
SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE-REPORTED RESOLUTION
The resolution calls for $510 billion in budget authority and $510 billion in outlays in fiscal year 2013. Discretionary spending is $6.7 billion in budget authority and $6.6 billion in outlays in fiscal year 2013. Mandatory spending in 2013 is $503 billion in budget authority and $503 billion in outlays. The 10-year totals for budget authority and outlays are $6.5 trillion and $6.5 trillion respectively.
ILLUSTRATIVE POLICY OPTIONS
The Medicare program attempts to do two things to make sure that all seniors have secure, affordable health coverage. First, the program pools risk among a specific population of Americans, ensuring that seniors enjoy secure access to coverage. The policies supported by this budget strengthen and enhance this aspect of Medicare so seniors will have more health-care choices within the same stabilized risk pool.
Second, Medicare subsidizes coverage for seniors to ensure that coverage is affordable. Affordability is a critical goal, but the subsidy structure of Medicare is fundamentally broken and drives costs in the wrong direction. The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy fuels health care inflation, threatens the solvency of the program, and creates inexcusable levels of waste in the system.
While the committees of jurisdiction will make the final determinations on specific Medicare reforms, the options described below offer one clear and reliable path toward solvency.
In the Medicare system, the Federal Government--not the patient--is the customer; and the government has been a clumsy, ineffective steward of value. Controlling costs in an open-ended fee-for-service system has proved impossible to do without limiting access or sacrificing quality. Over the program's entire history, in a vain attempt to get control of the waste in the system, Washington has made across-the-board payment reductions to providers without regard to quality or patient satisfaction. It has not worked. Costs have continued to grow, seniors continue to lose access to quality care, and the program remains on a path to bankruptcy. Absent reform, Medicare will be unable to meet the needs of current seniors and future generations.
Reform aimed at empowering individuals--with a strengthened safety net for the poor and the sick--will not only ensure the fiscal sustainability of this program, the Federal budget, and the U.S. economy, but also guarantee that Medicare can fulfill the promise of health security for America's seniors.
The Medicare reform envisioned in this budget resolution begins with a commitment to keep the promises made to those who now are in or near retirement. Consequently, for those 55 and older, the Medicare program and its benefits will remain as they are, without change.
For future retirees, the budget supports an approach known as `premium support.'
Starting in 2023, seniors (those who first become eligible by turning 65 on or after January 1, 2023) would be given a choice of private plans competing alongside the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program on a newly created Medicare Exchange. Medicare would provide a premium-support payment either to pay for or offset the premium of the plan chosen by the senior, depending on the plan's cost.
The Medicare recipient of the future would choose, from a list of guaranteed coverage options, a health plan that best suits his or her needs. This is not a voucher program; a Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, directly to the plan or the fee-for-service program to subsidize its cost. The program would operate in a manner similar to that of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. The Medicare premium-support payment would be adjusted so that the sick would receive higher payments if their conditions worsened; lower-income seniors would receive additional assistance to help cover out-of-pocket costs; and wealthier seniors would assume responsibility for a greater share of their premiums. Also starting in 2023, the age of eligibility for Medicare would begin to rise gradually to correspond with Social Security's retirement age.
This approach to strengthening the Medicare program--which is based on a long history of bipartisan reform plans--would ensure security and affordability for seniors now and into the future. It would set up a carefully monitored exchange for Medicare plans. Health plans that chose to participate in the Medicare Exchange would agree to offer insurance to all Medicare beneficiaries, to avoid cherry-picking and ensure that Medicare's sickest and highest-cost beneficiaries receive coverage.
While there would be no disruptions in the current Medicare fee-for-service program for those currently enrolled or becoming eligible in the next 10 years, all seniors would have the choice to opt-in to the new Medicare program once it began in 2023. This budget envisions giving seniors the freedom to choose a plan best suited for them, guaranteeing health security throughout their retirement years. It would also expand that freedom to non-retirees by giving certain employers the option to offer their employees a free choice option, smoothing the transition from their working years to when seniors become Medicare-eligible. This would enable workers to devote their employer's health coverage contribution to the purchase a health insurance plan that works best for them.
This reform also ensures affordability by fixing the currently broken subsidy system and letting market competition work as a real check on widespread waste and skyrocketing health care costs. Putting patients in charge of how their health care dollars are spent will force providers to compete against each other on price and quality.
The Democrat Rebuttal:
The Republican budget takes away important new Medicare benefits already being provided to seniors and disabled individuals through the Affordable Care Act.(From the Congressional Library)
From our current Health Care Law, the Act for “Affordable Health Care” (large PDF from www.gop.gov
(11) INTERACTION OF MEDICAID AND MEDICARE.—The Commission shall consult with MACPAC in carrying out its duties under this section, as appropriate. Responsibility for
analysis of and recommendations to change Medicare policy regarding Medicare beneficiaries, including Medicare beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, H. R. 3590—215 shall rest with the Commission. Responsibility for analysis of and recommendations to change Medicaid policy regarding Medicaid beneficiaries, including Medicaid beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, shall rest with MACPAC.
DETERMINATION OF PATIENT ASSESSMENT
INSTRUMENT.—The Secretary shall determine which patient assessment instrument (such as the Continuity Assessment Record and Evaluation (CARE) tool) shall be used under the pilot program to evaluate the applicable condition of an applicable beneficiary for purposes of determining the most H. R. 3590—283 clinically appropriate site for the provision of post-acute care to the applicable beneficiary.
(h) FUNDING.—For purposes of administering and carrying out the demonstration program, other than for payments for items H. R. 3590—290
and services furnished under this title and incentive payments under subsection (c), in addition to funds otherwise appropriated, there shall be transferred to the Secretary for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Program Management Account from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund under section 1817 and
the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund under section 1841 (in proportions determined appropriate by the Secretary) $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2015. Amounts transferred under this subsection for a fiscal year shall be available until expended. ‘