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.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE





Thursday night was the first and only Vice-Presidential debate of the 2012 Election.

Here is my take on it:


SMOKIN’ JOE

Vice-President Biden was on fire. He called out Representative Paul Ryan on the lies that the Romney-Ryan campaign have been built on.

Representative Ryan claimed that the stimulus was bad for the country, but wait a second, he not only asked for stimulus money, but he wrote a letter asking for that money for his district.

Vice-President Biden said that Ryan asked for stimulus money twice… actually it was more like four times.

Biden again countered the non-sense from Ryan that this President is weak on National Security. Again, bin Laden is dead.

Ryan tried to say that Romney and he care about the American people, but again, those are crocodile tears. Romney’s 47% comment and NY Times op-ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” are not going away. Neither is Ryan’s 30% comment.

Biden was not afraid to counter Ryan’s bullshit. The best weapon to counter them: facts.


FOREIGN POLICY

The subject of foreign policy came up given the events that took place in Libya last month, our continued efforts in Afghanistan, the imposing of sanctions in Iran, and the emerging civil war in Syria.

House Republicans supported cutting our US Embassy budget over the last two fiscal years which total to over $500 million. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned them that such drastic cuts would be “detrimental to America’s security efforts.” They ignored her.

The US House recently held hearings on what happened in Benghazi, Libya led by Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA). They probably didn’t mention that Issa and other House Republicansvoted to cut the State Department’s budget for security. The Ryan budget would slash funding to the State Department by 20% or $400 million by 2014.

Representative Ryan could not answer any questions about whether we should continue with the plan to withdraw from Afghanistan or the sanctions in Iran are working. Ryan continued with the same rhetoric of waging war with Iran, intervening in Syria, and staying in Afghanistan indefinitely.

Those plans not only cost lives but they also cost money. Lots and lots of money… Money that could be spent on creating jobs, building roads and schools, and investing in other tangible usage items in this country.

The first chapters of Rachel Maddow’s Drift describes a neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan where there are McMansions being built while the roads are littered with potholes and ditches. Children are digging through the garbage and open sewers looking for items to sell. I ask you: who is paying for this first class neighborhood to sprout up in a third world country? Not Afghanistan…

Speaking of money, Ryan’s budget proposes making cuts to several essential governmental programs but what about defense spending?

Under a (hypothetical) Romney presidency, we would see defense spending skyrocket beyond levels last seen in the early 1950s, during which we were involved in the Korean War.


And here is something to consider about spending money, who said this:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”

It wasn’t some radical hippie leftist sitting around in a drum circle or some college professor at one of the elitist universities on the coasts.







Highlights of his résumé: West Point Graduate, Supreme Allied Commander of European Forces in World War II, Retired General, and President of the United States.





And a Republican, but a Republican in the 1950s would at least be a moderate/conservative leaning Democrat today as the political parties are completely different entities than they were 60 years ago… 50… 40… 30… I’d even say 20 years ago.

Eisenhower understood that with the World Wars that happened in the 20th century, the United States mobilized the necessary resources to build a capable war fighting machine. He also saw the United States for the most part escaped the destruction that ravaged the European continent and nearly wiped Japan off the map and this country had the opportunity to build an economy based on tangible usage that would be long lasting.

Yes, building ships and bombs produced jobs, but they didn’t create tangible things that people need in order for an economy to grow. What good is a ship when trucks drive on a poorly maintained road that causes them to wear out faster and unable to get their goods to market? Sure we can build bombs that can penetrate the toughest buildings, but what does that do to educate our children? Speaking of those bombs, we can equip them with GPS capability to be accurate within inches of the target, but wouldn’t it be better to use technology to find better ways to increase food production so that no one goes hungry or a fuel that eliminates our need for petroleum?

The only people that would benefit from increased military action in the Middle East would be those in the Military and National Security Industrial Complexes. It would not benefit the country as a whole.

And yes, I realize that I benefited from the Military Industrial Complex as my salary from 2002-08 was from the Navy and my education is being paid for due to my service in the Navy. However, I understand that to pay for these things they cost money. It costs money to pay the checks and benefits for service members. It costs money to keep our ships maintained (I was on the carrier Carl Vinson when she underwent her midlife refueling. Total cost: $3.1 billion).

Interesting enough, I am writing this on the 237th Birthday of the United States Navy. It was on this day in 1775, that the Continental Congress established the Navy. In this resolution, the Congress called for the building of ships in the defense of this new nation, but they also understood this as well:

“That a Committee of three be appointed to prepare an estimate of the expence, and lay the same before the Congress, and to contract with proper persons to fit out the vessel.”

Again, the Romney-Ryan budget would call for gutting taxes but raising the defense budget to new heights. What sense does that make?

Another thing: Who would you rather have as Commander-In-Chief should a God forbid A VERY Worst Case Scenario happen? Who passed that test?


JUST THE FACTS MA’AM AND MALARKEY

Joe Biden: Facts matter.

A while back, someone in my mom’s family uttered that President Obama is the food stamp president.

I tried to confront them on their lies that it was actually under President George W. Bush’s administration that more people applied for food stamps. They got upset because I called them out on it.

The best way to combat these people who peddle these lies is to confront them on it directly and ask them to back it up. They get upset because they have no facts to back up their claims and you have challenged them on those claims. That is exactly what Biden did, and it is what Obama must do during Tuesday night’s debate against Romney.

Malarkey is not what I would have used to describe what Romney and Ryan are presenting to the American people.


ABORTION


Ryan’s answer made no sense. Also it included one of the most RIDICULOUS statements I have ever heard. Please, stop repeating the stuff you read in Chain E-mails. It’s embarrassing.

Also, Rep. Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Rep. Todd “legitimate rape” Akin (R-MO) to redefine rape in first days of the 112th Congress.

Biden gets it. You do not impose your religious beliefs on other people.

Don’t believe in abortion: don’t get one.

Simple as that.

This speaks more about the influence the Religious Right has on the current incarnation of the Republican Party. There isn’t a well organized group of Orthodox Jews advocating for the banning of eating foods made from pigs. Why? They choose to belong to that religion and follow its rules and not force their beliefs on other people who don’t subscribe to that religious doctrine.


POLLS SHOW THAT BIDEN WON THE DEBATE…. EXCEPT OVER AT FOX

CBS’s instant poll showed that 50% believed that Biden won the debate. CNN showed 48-44 in favor of Ryan, but then released a statement saying they oversampled Republican voters. NBC had a focus group of Virginia voters and more than two-thirds said that Biden won.

Meanwhile in the bizarro world of Fox News, they say that Ryan won and now claim that Biden was drunk during the debate. Conservatives were howling about the alleged bias and actually how great Rep. Ryan did and how disrespectful Vice-President Biden was.

Again, consider the source who is saying these things: It’s Fox News.



WE DIDN'T TALK ABOUT THE MODERATOR AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

ABC’s Martha Raddatz did a good job as moderator. She kept the candidates on topic and challenged them to clarify on their statements.

It was a vast improvement over Jim Lehrer.


OVERALL

I agree with the analysis of Nate Silver that Biden got a hold. Funny that he used a baseball terminology to describe the debate because Silver got his start in analyzing baseball statistics. Biden did his job in reviving the depressed Democratic Base.

My scores was Biden a B+ based on that he brought facts to the debate and knew how to use them. Was he a bit theatric with his gestures? Of course, but politics is a bit of performance art.

Ryan got a D- and a VERY generous one at that. He is out of his league. Representative Ryan, go back to being a back bencher.

When it comes to the polls, it might have blocked the Romney surge but we might have to wait a while to see if that is true when polls conducted include this recent debate. The common idea is that a vice-presidential choice doesn't necessarily win an election for you, but it can lose you the election (Sarah Palin in 2008).

Now it is up to President Obama to present his argument (and do a better job at it) on why we need to re-elect him to a second term.

Obama needs to tear down the façade that Romney built in the first debate of that he is more Presidential. Remember, this is a guy who wrote off 47% of the population by calling them victims and built most of his wealth by outsourcing jobs overseas while laying off American workers.

Obama’s record speaks for himself and he needs to remind people of that. He has an excellent opportunity to do that in the second Presidential Debate that is being held in a town hall event at Hofstra University in New York.

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