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“Brownie” is criticizing Obama for responding too quickly!

And it gets better!

“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown says. “Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”

Seriously, you can’t write better satire!


As the candidate most likely to bring about the Zombie Apocalypse.

My KHSU talk show debuts tomorrow night.  I have Milt Boyd of the Democrats and Park Bostron Parke Bostrom (I hope I’m spelling those names right) of the Republicans to talk statewide ballot propositions.  7:00 to 8:00.  We have 11 propositions, some of them kind of complicated, but I will make room for calls.

From Sohum Awareness:

CAL TRANS has announced that Hwy. 101 between Dean Creek and Sylvandale will be closed tomorrow, Thursday Oct. 25th. A “preventative blasting operation will occur” between 11:00 am to 12 noon for a period of 20 minutes. At that time there will be no traffic allowed INCLUDING EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION. CHP says they will be on both sides of the “blast” stopping traffic. Please plan accordingly & pass on the info.

I was trying to keep track of both the debate and the Giants game, while helping my cranky daughter through her homework and then playing a game of Stratego with my son.  Unfortunately I missed all the good parts in both.

Fortunately, I got to see the highlights for both on the elliptical machine television at the gym.

I’ve seen all the instapolls giving the win to Obama, but I find myself in an odd position.  It seemed like Romney was channeling George McGovern tonight, and I actually related to his foreign policy more than Obama’s.  It’s not the first time.  Obama was more hawkish than McCain four years ago on the same issue – Pakistani national sovereignty vs. our “security interests.”

Granted, the right wing has always been enamored with Pakistan as President Bush, Jr. sold them F-16s which would only be used against their neighbor – the only democracy in the region.   But it does raise a question about Obama, who has clearly revived the old doctrine of gun boat liberalism – kind of an heir to Gen. McNamara’s quasi-liberal justifications for involvement in Vietnam.

As to who came out more “Presidential,” I’m not really qualified to say.  I’ll leave that to the seventeen or so people who haven’t yet made up their minds, and God knows what’s going to settle it for them.

Everybody’s talking about the horses and bayonets line, but for me the takeaway line of the night was Obama’s “You want to return to the foreign policy of the 1980s, the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policy of the 1920s.”

But here’s a clip with the big line.

The most left wing major party nominee in US history is dead.  I’ll have more to add about him.  His landslide loss was the first Presidential election I paid any attention to at seven years old.  I remember walking into the living room and my parents, with my aunt and uncle, sat glum – staring at the screen.  I asked them what they were watching.  My mother responded, “A monster movie.”

Odd thing was, a poll taken a couple of years later revealed that based upon reporting of how they had voted, it was split half and half.  So many people didn’t want to admit to having voted for the other guy.

Meanwhile, I was ready to vote for McGovern in 1984, but he dropped out before the California primary.

He was indisputably a great man, even if he was the worst campaigner in Presidential race history.  He would have lost anyway, but it should have been a little closer.

During my years in Congress and for the four decades since, I’ve been labeled a ‘bleeding-heart liberal.’ It was not meant as a compliment, but I gladly accept it. My heart does sometimes bleed for those who are hurting in my own country and abroad. A bleeding-heart liberal, by definition, is someone who shows enormous sympathy towards others, especially the least fortunate. Well, we ought to be stirred, even to tears, by society’s ills. And sympathy is the first step toward action. Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction “Love the neighbor as thyself.”

—George S. McGovern, What It Means to Be a Democrat (2011).

More tomorrow.

To discuss the election – Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

Says it all.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, I – I certainly do. I certainly do. I – I think it’s interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed.

MR. ROMNEY: Is that what you’re saying?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.

MR. ROMNEY: I – I – I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Get the transcript.

MS. CROWLEY: It – he did in fact, sir.

So let me – let me call it an act of terrorism – (inaudible) –

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? (Laughter, applause.)

It’s even more profound visually. Look at Romney’s expression as he thought he was going in for the kill. Obama just drew him in.

We as lawyers love moments like this when our opponents hand it to us on a silver platter. It doesn’t happen often. And to deliver it with such arrogance!

My take.

Proposition 30 Yes/Proposition 38 No

Proposition 30 is necessary because thanks to a previous generation of voters we are stuck with a crazy requirement of 2/3 of the legislature to pass any kind of tax increase.  With the Republicans all nailed down tight by the lunatic fringe in a ridiculous pledge imposed by Grover Norquist to not raise taxes ever, increasing taxes even in the fiscal emergency of the past few years outside of the initiative system is impossible.  Governor Brown is staking his (third or fourth) political career on the passage of this initiative, and if it doesn’t pass our kids will endure another wave of cuts to education, ultimately sending them the message that education really isn’t a priority.

Proposition 30 is a merger of two previously competing initiatives designed to offset some of the revenue losses due to the past few years of economic contraction in order to fund education with temporary increases in personal income and sales taxes.  It is being heavily pushed by Governor Brown in order to save the educational system from mandatory budget decreases estimated at $450.00 per student per year.

Proposition 30 would raise the taxes on everyone earning over $250,000 per year, at various rates which increase as the income increases.  These increases would sunset after seven years. The sales tax would be increased by one quarter of one percent and would last four years.  The intention is to raise about 6 billion dollars per year in order to offset anticipated cuts.  The spending would be allocated 89 percent for K-12 and 11 percent for public colleges.

Since 2008 public education funding has been cut by over 20 billion dollars, bringing California to 47th out of the 50 states in terms of per capita spending on education.  It continues a trend now over three decades of cut-backs which have led to dramatically increased classroom sizes, elimination of art and music programs, decreases in school hours, teacher lay-offs, etc.  The anticipated shortfalls for this year may lead to severe reductions of school nurses and counselors, elimination of free school transportation, charging for after school programs, reduced funding for educational materials, and aggravation of all the problems listed above.

The state college system has helped to define the choice.  The CSU Board of Trustees voted in favor of a 5 percent tuition hike effective in the spring if voters don’t pass Proposition 30.  If the measure is passed, the current 9 percent tuition hike would be rescinded, and students would be reimbursed.  The UC Regents are considering similar measures.

Proposition 38 is a competing measure which will raise taxes on everyone earning just over $7000 per year on a sliding scale.  The taxes would sunset after 12 years.  During first four years, 38 allocates 60% of revenues to K–12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K–12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs.  38 is obviously much more regressive than 30.  It does guarantee that the money be spent on K-12 education, which is attractive on the face of it, but again really takes from the legislature the flexibility it needs to allocate resources according to the needs of the moment.   It’s basically a measure being pushed by billionairess Molly Munger who has her own agenda which is out of touch with the people and organizations who have been working to mitigate these issues against Republican obstructionism and heavy corporate lobby.

Assuming both measures pass, the one with the most votes will prevail over the other.  It is essential to vote yes on 30 and no on 38.  Do not vote for 38 as a “back up.”

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Obama bombed really badly last night, not just in that he looked like he didn’t want to be there, but it reinforces the whole disillusionment around him.  It turns out he really doesn’t want to fight.  There’s no conviction.  Doug Henwood said it this morning, “Romney believes in money.  Obama believes in nothing.”

I’m sure Obama will be out of “prevent defense” mode and perform better the next time around.  But what was particularly distressing was that Obama obviously knew it wasn’t going well, but couldn’t adapt and improvise.  Wouldn’t attack Romney’s flagrant lying.  Couldn’t even communicate his talking points well – just rambled on and on about, I’m not even sure what.

A game changer?

Oh, and I hope this is that last time they use Jim Lehrer.  He was an empty seat last night, not just for his failure to control the debate, but because his questions were vague, boring, and irrelevant.


October 2012