Thursday, September 06, 2012

Debra Debra Debra - Come back to Earth!

I cringe to think what Debra Saunders, the so-called "token" Republican of the San Francisco Chronicle will do to Clinton's speech and then to Obama's, considering the mash up she made of Michelle's.  In a weirdly constructed column, Saunders entitled:  First lady: You, too, can be Mitt Romney, today, she takes the Obamas to task for having received student loans, as described in Michelle Obama's stirring speech at the Democratic Convention on Tuesday.

This is the weird part. I had to read these three short paragraphs several times and I must say I am stumped . Maybe you can hep me understand what this all means if anything, to Ms. Saunders:
     "As I listened the first lady talk about what her family did to make sure she got a first-class education and how she and her husband struggled to pay off their hefty student loans, I couldn't help but think that Barack and Michelle Obama would not be the fine people they are today if they hadn't had to stretch themselves to get ahead.

     "So why do they seem to think the government should hand out more taxpayer-backed grants and loans to today's college and graduate students? If someone else had handed their college and law-school educations to the Obamas, they'd be Mitt Romney.

    "Yet they bash Romney for not having to work as hard as they had to in order to get where they are today."

Ok, let's parse those sentences. First she says Michelle and Barack are fine people because of the struggles they had to get ahead.  So far so good.  Then she asks why they think government should help other people get ahead.  Huh?   What does this mean?  Others should not get what they got?  Which is really not "getting" anything, but the opportunity to got to college and then work hard to pay back the loans that paid for their education.  Is this what she's saying.

And then, say what? These hard working people who want others to have the same opportunities they did bash Willard Mitt Romney because he had to "work as hard as they had to in order to be where they are today?"

Did the editor leave out a crucial sentence?  Is Debra really saying that Romney a) had to work hard and b) is now where the Obamas are today? 

I don't get it.  Romney came from wealth.  When he went to college he lived in a basement and ate spaghetti with the lovely Ann through choice, not circumstances.  And poor Ann just never could never understood why he did that.  Something about the Mormon missionary experience he had to get out of his system I guess.  Did he take out student loans? Maybe, I don't think so.  (and so what?) Is he now where the Obamas are today?  Not by a long shot. He's on Jupiter and they are simply living on Planet Earth. And this is meant by way of analogy, not to slam Mr. Romney for being out of touch with the home planet (even though he is.) 

(For those who don't like to interrupt their reading to click through to arcane internet sites, and to paraphrase Bill Clinton, here's the score: Romney $250 million; Obamas not quite $6 million. No, it's not chump change, but Barack Obama didn't have a rich daddy who gave him his first stock options or who bought him a home when he got tired of the "dump" he lived in in college.)

I guess Saunders is drinking whatever they've been pouring over in Romney world. Because she finishes up her column with the wholly unsubstantiated statement that "More student aid leads to higher tuition; higher tuition leads to record college debt." 

Not that I don't think some unscrupulous college chancellors in both public and private schools wouldn't jump at any excuse to bloat their own salaries as we have seen all too often in our own UC system, but come on.  If that's the case, don't punish the students, change the system.   Does Saunders really believe people shouldn't get student loans?  Does she really believe Mitt had to work as hard as the Obamas ever in his life?

Earth to Debra, come on back down here and let's get you some help.  Seriously, making her write this column every single day of the Convention might just be too much to ask of a nice San Francisco Republican.


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Poor Little Desperate Debra Saunders

Really Reaching Saunders:

Poor Debra Saunders, she's getting a little desperate this week.  It must be tough being a Republican in a Democratic Town, but she gets a column in the San Francisco Chronicle at least twice a week, and more this week.  (One of these days they'll get around to firing her and hiring me, or at least inviting me to post my blogs as a counter point, but I'm not holding my breath.)  First there was her column taking the Democrats to task for saying that the Republican's (Mitt's) economic plan was to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while taxing the middle class more to pay for it.  Well, says Debra there's no evidence for that. The Dems just use the analysis provided by the Tax Policy Center.  

Well, Debra, where's your evidence that it's not true?  She doesn't cite a single reference for her supposition. What the Tax Policy Center did was analyze what they know of Mitt's plan pointing out they have to take what he says and make assumptions based on that because "Governor Romney has not offered a fully-specified plan. He has been explicit about the tax cuts he has in mind, including a one-fifth reduction in marginal tax rates from today’s level, which would drop the top rate from 35 percent to 28 percent and a cut in capital gains and dividend taxes for families with incomes below $200,000. He and his team have also said that reform should be revenue-neutral and not increase taxes on capital gains and dividends. But they have not provided any detail about what tax preferences they would cut to make up lost revenue."

Such a revenue neutral plan would logically "reduce taxes for high-income households, requiring higher taxes on middle- or low-income households. I doubt that’s his intent, but it is an implication of what we can tell about his plan so far." Understanding TPC’s Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan by Donald Marron.

Even Debra was forced to admit that Romney was vague about his policies, and that the Tax Policy Center's assumptions were logical given the information provided.  But, she continues, Romney would never raise taxes on the middle class.  Don't hold your breath.

Pro-life Saunders:

In today's column, she asks "where are the pro life Democrats."  Newsflash for Debra, we are all pro-life. We are also mostly pro-choice.  As in women should be able to make their own choices about their own bodies. It's not one or the other.  The anti-choice crowd calls themselves pro-life, but they are for the most part, anti-life, after that life is a born human being anyway.

Easy to love the fetus. No muss, no fuss.  No cost except for pre-natal care, which the I'm not sure how the Republicans feel about paying for for poor women, but I can guess.  Obamacare, as we are all now calling it, is a truly pro-life program.  Just ask that mom of the little girl with the heart condition who won't be kicked off her insurance plan by the time she's five - unless Romney is elected.  

Two Faced Republicans

I guess flip flopping and contradictions are natural to Republicans. Romney was for Obamacare, when it was called Romneycare, and he instituted it in Massachusetts, before he was against it, and Paul Ryan, who is ready to disembowel Obamacare if he and Romney are elected, in 2010 requested a grant that would be funded from that program for his own State.  What's that old song from the cold war era - the era the Republicans want to take us back to?  Oh yeah, "Two Faces Have I" 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Invisible Antics at the Democratic National Convention

Watching the Republican Convention last week, when Clint Eastwood chatted with an empty chair supposedly occupied by an invisible Obama (by the way, little did he know that Obama really was in that chair, wearing his Superhero cloak of invisibility and taking it all very well!), I got to thinking how the Democrats can use the same trick in Charlotte. It was a show stopper you have to admit.

Here are a few ideas for how using a chair as a prop can boost ratings and poll numbers for Obama:

  • 1.       Stephen Colbert interviews invisible Romney, asking him to explain his varying positions on women’s right to choose, health care, social security and other social issues from when he was Governor. Of course, you’d need two chairs for that, one on each side of the stage, and you’d probably need an invisible traffic cop to keep the two invisible Romneys from attacking each other.

  • 2.       Obama interviews a copy of the Romney health care plan propped up in a chair, while an invisible page turner points to the pertinent topics where the two plans are identical.

  • 3.       A whole line up of Massachusetts women, senior citizens, moms with babies and workers stand up very visibly on stage and thank Romney for his health care plan and give brief anecdotes on how it helped them in their times of need. Not nearly so witty as the empty chair routine maybe, but I hear Convention crowds go wild for real people.

  • 4.       Invisible Paul Ryan dodges and weaves an invisible Todd Akin as he tells people his own plan for limiting abortion and protecting Medicare.  Real senior citizens can pelt him with mock vouchers from the wings.

Romney was so proud of his own Romney Care in Massachusetts, he featured it in his official portrait.

Not exactly as they say on Wait,Wait Don’t Tell Me, if any of these things happen at the Democratic Convention, we’ll be in for a rip roaring good show.