Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


If you saw the debate last week and you were like me, you were disappointed in the President’s performance. We can probably go over again why Mr. Obama failed to call Mr. Romney out on his lies, but that subject has been rehashed over and over again.

I am sure that you have seen the polls. The bounce that Obama got from the convention is all but evaporated.

Even though the national polls show a tighter race now and even though Obama is leading in many key swing states (which is where you should be paying attention to, the magic number is 270 electoral votes), it is now within the margin of error.

First to my Republican friends (the very small minority) that are out there, you haven’t won anything yet.

Allow me to show this analogy.

That video clip is from the 1993 NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins had a chance to win the game, but the Cowboys blocked the field goal. With the ball spinning on the icy Texas Stadium turf, Cowboys players are screaming “PETER! PETER!” their codeword for don’t touch the ball on a blocked field goal.

In comes Leon Lett sliding into the ball. What happens if a defensive player touches a dead ball on a blocked field goal? It becomes a live ball and chaos ensures. The referees determined that the Dolphins recovered the ball close to the end zone and get a new set of downs.

Miami kicks a field goal to win 16-14. Miami goes to 9-2, while the Cowboys drop to 7-4.

That had to be one of the craziest moments in fantasy football….


From that point onward it looks like the Dolphins will make a run at their first Super Bowl appearance in 9 years and might claim their first Lombardi Trophy since the 1973 season.

For those that know their NFL History, the Bills would represent the AFC in Super Bowl XXVIII.

That was the last game the Dolphins would win for the rest of the season.

Miami would go on to lose their final 5 games including lose in overtime to the woeful Patriots (yes, the Patriots were once in the NFL’s dumpster, they had a coach named Rod Rust for a season) in the season finale that would knock them out of the playoffs. The NFL Network ranked the 1992 Miami Dolphins as the number one regular season collapse.

What happened to the Cowboys that season? That was their last loss of the season. Dallas ended up the NFC’s #1 seed and beat the Packers in the divisional round followed by dominating the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. They went on to win their second consecutive Super Bowl Title.

Much like the 1993 season around the Thanksgiving Holiday, this election is not over yet. I say again: THIS ELECTION IS NOT OVER YET.

In big bold faced type:


Democrats, the same analogy applies to you as well. The election is not over yet. Besides, it was expected that this election was going to tighten up some because we are getting closer to Election Day and every candidates move is going to be scrutinized.

Remember, the Republicans nominated Mitt Romney. With all their bluster about the Tea Party and how it has impacted US politics, Republicans ended up nominating someone who passed a health care bill similar to Obama’s in Massachusetts (it also included protections for women seeking an abortion, and you can see it in his Governor's portrait , acknowledged that climate change is a threat to our wellbeing, and signed the first Marriage Equality Bill in the US.

Does not exactly fit in with the Tea Party.

Here is a list of who Mitt Romney defeated in the long Republican Primaries:

Herman Cain: pizza guy, didn’t know anything about Libya, very “hands on” with the ladies

Jon Huntsman: the last sane Republican

Michele Bachmann: lunatic, sits on the House Intelligence Committee, supporter of “ex-gay” therapies

Newt Gingrich: only interested in promoting Newt Inc., retread from the 1990s, dog whistle racist

Ron Paul: gold, drugs, racist e-mails

Rick Perry: couldn’t count to three, homophobe

Rick Santorum: has a “Google” problem, dog whistle racist

It actually did not matter who the Republicans nominated for President in 2012 because as stated by Senator Mitch McConnell R-KY) in 2010, “Our top political priority over the next two years is to deny President Barack Obama a second term.”

Actually it goes back further than that. Republicans wanted to deny Obama a chance at a second term on 20 January 2009. Ask Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) about it, he was at that dinner in a DC restaurant while the various Inauguration Balls were going on.

Republicans, you are united in your hatred for this President and why is that? Wait, I probably know the answer, but I will save that for another time. The purpose of this is to remind Democrats what is on the line in this election.

This President has accomplished a lot in his almost four years in office.

For starters, President Obama nominated two new Supreme Court justices: Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan.

He passed one of the largest health care insurance reform bills that moves this country closer to some form of universal coverage. Presidents of both parties ranging from Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton pushed for some form of health care reform, but Obama got it done and at the expense of a lot of political capitol.

If you are under 26 (like my sister is), you are covered by your parents insurance. Being a woman (like my sister and my niece who turns one year old after the Election) is no longer a Pre-Existing Condition and their health needs are covered. The health care bill PROTECTS Medicare for future generations and combats the waste and fraud that plagues the system. Veterans are taken care of too under “ObamaCare.” If you have VA Care, you are covered.

The President saved the auto industry. If Mr. Romney had his way, he would have “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” Imagine what that would have done to our national psyche if we let Detroit go belly up.

He got a major infrastructure project bill through, “the Stimulus”. Even though Republicans hollered that it was wasteful spending, those same Republicans were accepting checks from the government.

President Obama made investments in Green Energy and set higher fuel standards for cars manufactured in this country. Continuing to support Big Oil and expanding drilling operations is a short term solution to a larger long term problem. For me it is both an environmental and foreign policy issue. Environmental because this is the only planet we have and foreign policy because we do not need to rely on foreign sources of energy when we have the most sun and wind potential in this country.

For college students, like me, he has reformed the financial aid system and protected Pell Grants when Republicans said that we should cut them. Oh, and I am a Veteran. I enjoyed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, not only did it cover my tuition but it also gave me a stipend for books and housing.

I strongly believe that a Woman should earn the same amount of money as I, a Man, do. Mainly because my mother was the chief bread winner (among other things) in my household during my junior and high school years and it was reinforced during my 6 years as a Sailor in the United States Navy. My sister, mother, and all of my aunts make some kind of income. One of the first pieces of legislation that he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which states that there is no statute of limitations on pay discrimination.

This President passed major financial reform. We have been engaged in an Economic experiment for most of my lifetime where the richest 1% of wage earners has seen their incomes explode to record levels, while those in the 99% have seen their incomes stagnate at best. While I agree with the idea that businesses have a natural life cycle of booms and busts, that cycle should NOT cause ramifications where the entire economy suffers with it. I can think of three times where the stock market crashed in my life time: the Market Crash of 1987 due to the Savings and Loan scandal, a combination of the Dot-Com Bubble of the early 2000s and the slight depression in the economy due to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, and the Housing Bubble Bursting leading to the global financial crisis of 2007-now.

Speaking of the stock market, here is a comparison between when it closed on 20 January 2009 and closed on 10 October 2012.

20 Jan 2009
10 Oct 2012
Dow Jones
S&P 500

Based on the recent jobs numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is at 7.8%. Gallup currently shows it at 7.5%. This President has ADDED jobs to the private sector as shown by the graph:

Contrary to popular Republican belief, Obama’s increase to the national debt is 36% compared the three Republican Presidents in my lifetime that exploded the debt (Bush, W. Bush, Reagan). Obama is the lowest government spender since President Eisenhower.

Again... MATH!

This President shattered the myth that Democrats are weak on national security and defense and will cut benefits to Veterans. Again, it is worth mentioning the Post-9/11 GI Bill which not only pays for classes but also provides a book stipend and housing allowing for Student Veterans. Those benefits can be transferred to a designated dependent. This President is ensuring that the VA is well funded to combat post-traumatic brain injuries and depression so that Veterans can return to society and to not repeat the mistakes of Walter Reed during the W. Bush Administration.

This President proposed a jobs bill to hire Veterans, the Veterans Jobs Act of 2012. It was halted by the Senate because Republicans did not want it to pass because again, their goal is to make this President a one-termer.

Foreign policy is a big deal to me because there are over 7 billion people on this planet and the US makes up about 4.4% of the Earth’s population. We have to somehow get along with the other 6.7 billion other people here, and as stated in my environmental piece from above, this is the only planet we got.

This President got a new START Treaty with Russia through and ensures that any lose nuclear materials are secured and disposed of safely. He has strengthened and stabilized alliances with our traditional allies and reached out to new ones. He has shown a steady hand when it comes to global affairs, compared to Mr. Romney who will say whatever despite not having all of his facts straight.

This President ensured that our drawdown from Iraq was timely and responsible and is ensuring that in Afghanistan.

He made the difficult decision to send Navy SEALs to capture and kill Osama bin Laden.

One more thing… this President has done more for the Civil Rights of my friends and especially my family members.

He signed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Act of 2010. I may be straight, but I am a Veteran and that bond is stronger than my sexual orientation. I played a small role in  getting it repealed because I indirectly served with gays and lesbians while I was in. The Navy is a small community and there aren't that many of us out there. I know an airdale that served on the Ike who lives in Austin and is looking forward to marrying her partner. The Naval Officer that married his husband when DADT officially expired in September 2011: he was a nuclear trained officer and served on the Stennis. I was an enlisted nuclear mechanic on the Vinson, but still... we ALL served.

To put it bluntly: we took the same oath of allegiance to the Constitution; we manned the watch when our country needed us to; we did our duty. That is all that fucking matters to me!

Sorry... I'm still a Sailor and cuss as such.

He got hospital visitation rights for domestic partners.

He will not prosecute DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) cases.

He hosted the first LGBT Pride event at the White House in 2009 and has every year since.

He listens to the needs of the Rainbow Community as he has appointed White House liaisons to address specific needs of this diverse community.

One big thing is this:

My aunt’s relationship with her partner is just as valid as anyone else’s. Even though she is gay, at the end of the day… SHE IS STILL MY AUNT! Fortunately, they live in a state where they are offered some protections and benefits. My aunt has some opinions on the subject of marriage and I am not forcing her to get married; I just want her and all the other LGBT Peeps to have that option on the table no matter where they live.

I also have a cousin that is gay. Guess what? Same principle: At the end of the day, HE IS STILL MY COUSIN! He is doing the school thing like I am and he has a job with a company that supports LGBT Rights. The far right got upset about their stance. That company's response: Kick Rocks! However, I am aware of that LGBT people do not have workplace protections in other companies and other places and that is something that needs to be improved upon.

This President has an impressive record to run on and did it with next to zero Republican support. Senate Republicans abused the filibuster repeatedly and then claimed that the President didn't get anything done.

More could have been accomplished with a cooperative opposition party that presented constructive ideas to the table. Remember the health care bill? It was originally championed by a Conservative Leaning Think Tank, the Heritage Foundation, as an alternative to "HillaryCare" in the 1990s. Governor Romney implemented it as part of Massachusetts Health Care Reform during his tenure as governor and then President Obama took to the national level in 2010.

So, Republicans don't like ideas they champion... oh wait, it was signed by a Democrat, that's why.

Instead we have an obstructive party that is only interested in destruction because again, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated, “Our top political priority over the next two years is to deny President Barack Obama a second term.”

Mr. Romney has a record, but he is unsure of it. Bain Capital left companies in worse shape than they were when he took them over. He outsourced more jobs overseas than creating jobs here in the US. While he made lots of money, his underlings were left with crumbs. Mr. Romney left Bain in 1999… despite there are records showing he was still in charge of the company until 2002. He lobbied for bailouts. For example, the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games received a bailout from the federal government. Mr. Romney claimed he was a resident of Massachusetts when he ran for governor in 2002, but in reality he lived in Utah. The Massachusetts Constitution has a residency requirement when you run for governor. When Romney left the governor’s mansion in 2007, Massachusetts was 47th in job creation. Despite the claims that he was a popular governor of the liberal state, Romney only ran one term.

During his summer overseas trip, he insulted London claiming they weren't ready for the Olympics. Based on what I saw during the opening ceremony, they were more than ready: they were fired up and ready to go.

Mr. Romney has only released two years of tax returns. His father, George Romney, released at least a decade of returns when he ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1968.  What are in Mitt Romney’s returns exactly? We know that he has holdings in the Cayman Islands. How much are they?

In fact that is the basis of Mitt Romney’s campaign: I will tell you what I will do once I am elected. That is not the basis of a strong campaign.

Mr. Romney does not act Presidential. Sure, he looked the part in the first debate, but he is not a President. He is only in it for himself and those pulling the purse strings on Romney’s campaign. A Romney Presidency would only benefit those at the top; not the country as a whole.

We know what President Obama has done and there is more to do. We need to improve our health care system. We need to reform our tax structure so that the middle class is not on the hook for the mistakes of Wall Street. We need to continue our responsible withdraw from Afghanistan and provide assistance to our Veterans as they make the transition back to civilian life. We need to expand and protect the rights of Women, LGBTs, and Voters.

For those Democrats that have bought into the gloom and doom, I have presented many reasons why you should not give up. Their side will be in force because they want to deny President Obama a second term.

We need to push Democratic turnout not just in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada, but also here in Texas. We have down ballots to worry about such as who will be the next US Senator and our Representatives in the US House. We also need to take back the the State Legislature because there are some fuckwits (again, the language, I apologize, but it's the best description of them) that will be in Austin starting January 2013.

How do I know this? I went to high school with one of them, and I use the term loosely. I barely remember much of him. If I was Birdville High, I would demand that he returns his diploma and ask for a refund.

If those reasons haven’t convinced you why it is important to stay calm and that this election is not over yet, maybe Mr. Samuel L. Jackson can convince you otherwise:

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