Where’s the Beef?

We keep hearing about Mitt Romney’s experience as a business man and that experience would make him the perfect president. On paper that could be true; a man that has amassed a fortune of over $250 million is quite impressive. The skills he had to make that happen are skills most of us do not have. He should be congratulated and be on an advisory panel because of his knowledge and success. Maybe he has ideas, policies that could help us all. His outstanding success doesnt, in my view, make him a presidential shoe in. In fact, I haven’t heard a single word about how his success would translate into fixing our economy, making it grow faster and putting more unemployed people back to work. I havent heard the ‘Mitt Plan’ maybe thats coming this week at the RNC Convention, maybe its not.  I just havent heard anything to make me believe he would be a good stewart of our economy and help the ones that need help. I think criticizing him for being rich and successful is a waste of time, saying he isn’t in touch is not a particularly good argument either. Even his being robotic and ill at ease with people isn’t really a good criticism.  What I want to know is can he do the job, can he put the 23 million people unemployed or under employed back to work. Can he change the fundamentals of the economy so it works for more people. And, can he be commander in chief.

My instincts say no to all of the above. I dont feel like Mitt is a genuine candidate who wants to help other people, I feel like Mitt is someone that wants to have another notch on his belt. Another accomplishment. What makes me think this? Well, first off, like I said, I have seen no plan from Romney as to how he would fix this economy, create more jobs. What I have heard is, yet again, lowering tax rates, reducing government. We tried the lowering tax rates for almost a decade with George W. and it did not do what was promised. There was no spurt in job growth, no game changing  positive event that happened from those tax cuts. The only thing that happened was more debt. So, hearing Mitt Romney talk about cutting taxes, lower than the Bush tax cuts, sounds preposterous. When he talks about cutting ‘government’ he is talking about cops, firefighters, teachers. America needs a better trajectory, something to strive for, something we can be proud of. I dont see Mitt Romney as the man to do that. I see Mitt as a pandering man who will say anything to anyone as long as he gets elected. To me, electing him would put us in more debt, and have devastating results.

Whats the alternative you ask? Thats also not a pretty picture. Barack Obama has not shown leadership, he has not made the economy thrive. Yes, he might have diverted another Great Depression, but in my mind we are living through a Great Depression now. I have not heard Obama say the words ‘unemployed’ or ‘longterm unemployed’ in months. Thats extremely disheartening since I fall into that group. If he is not talking about it, how in the world is he going to fix it. To me Obama has no justifiable plan either.  I am not pleased with his performance or his lack of vision for the next four years.

What it comes down to is, where’s the beef? Where are the plans? I am for Barack Obama simply because I think Mitt Romney would be a horrible president. His tax returns alone show you that he wont come forward with the tricks of the wealthy to avoid taxes, and what he would do to change that. His silence says, its ok, I want it this way. What I want to see from both candidates is how you are going to help the needy, how you are going to help the jobless who want to work, how you are going to shape the American future. I havent heard that from either candidate. But, Obama seems the lesser of two evils. I really long for a pro American president, but I haven’t seen one.

A Warning About Mitt Romney

When I write these posts I try to be as openminded as I can be, looking at views from all sides and regardless of party affiliation I will give my opinion, positive or negative. Thats the way I think, about everything too not just politics. I wrote a warning to Obama, most people didnt read it to the end to realize what my actual point was. Now my thoughts on Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP. Lets start with Mitt, how can you trust a man thats been on every side of every issue? How do you know what he actually believes? This flip flopping is more than just a political phrase, to me its a dilemma, what does the man actually think. What are his priorities, what would he do in office? Everything that comes out of his mouth sounds hollow, rehearsed or like someone else told him to say what he is saying. His bringing up Obama’s origin of birth place yesterday was embarrassing, does Romney have no pride? So, knowing very little about whats inside his head makes it difficult to evaluate him, and makes it just about impossible to support him. He panders to all audiences; there is no there there.

Lets go with what we do know. Tax returns, releasing one year and maybe another in October. Thats unacceptable for a multimillionaire with investments and tax havens all over the world. He gave John McCain 23 years when he was being vetted for VP in 2008; why arent we seeing those? The answer is obvious, he is hiding something. I doubt he did anything illegal but I am sure he took advantage of  everything he could. This could have been a tremendous advantage if he came clean, talked about the legal things he did, then put a stop to them. Our Country is going bankrupt all those tax advantages he, and many others, take advantage of should be closed and put toward the longterm debt. Romney says his investments are in a blind trust that he has no authority over; when Teddy Kennedy said that Romney mocked him.  Another thing we know about Romney is his whining and complaining about how Obama is going negative, spending lots of money on TV ads and how that is not the way you run a campaign. We all remember, or I am reminding you, the heavy spending on negative ads is what made Romney win the primaries. He used this tactic on Newt, Santorum, the buffoon from Texas. These 2 examples alone show that Romney is not an honest man, he is not transparent and that he is not trustworthy. How can you trust someone that wont come clean with you?

Romney is running on being the successful businessman that can fix our economy. He was a successful business man however, what he was successful in has nothing to do with fixing our economy. What he has proposed, cutting taxes, cutting entitlements, cutting government is very similar to George W. Bush, but much worse because he wants to lower the already lowered rates Bush enacted. We saw in the 2000s that lowering taxes and lessening regulation did not lead to robust economic growth, as promised. W. left office as one of the few presidents in history that created no new net jobs. Thats staggering. Why would anyone thinking person want to go back to the policies we know have failed and also lead us into a financial crisis akin to the Great Depression. Thats insanity.

I blasted Obama for not showing stronger leadership; Mitt Romney has shown no leadership to my knowledge. When Rush called a college student vile names Romney said ‘those arent the words I would have chosen’ No coming out like a true leader condemning such language. As for jobs, Mitt Romney should today, during his campaign, speak out to the GOP to pass any and all bills that would create jobs. He should be meeting with GOP leaders now trying to think of ways to put more people to work. He should publicly ask to meet with Obama to see if they could right now, today, start working on a solution to this epidemic of longterm unemployed people. That would show true leadership. But he has shown no leadership; not even on something as simple as Obama’s place of birth. Instead he uses that to pander.

I really cant think of anything positive to say about Mitt Romney as a person or as a candidate. The only thing he has going for him is Obama’s lack of success. Oh, and an audience of people with short attention spans that have forgotten most of whats in this posting. I am very disappointed in President Obama although I strongly support him. I hope over the next 4 years he becomes a better president and in the end is looked on by history as not only historic for his race, but historic for what he does to elevate this Country of ours. Sorry Mitt, I have nothing positive to say about you, your history, your campaign, your vision.

A Warning to President Obama

You are in serious trouble. You are very close to being beaten, losing the election and having a devastating legacy. From what I understand most of this is your own doing. I have been reading a book called The Amateur ; its written by an ex New York Times writer; it is slanted against Obama and some of the material in the book is questionable however the overall picture seems to be pretty accurate. The book describes Obama as an arrogant egocentric man who surrounds himself only with people who agree with him; he does not take advice from the few who have good advice to give. His White House is dominated by Valerie Jarrett who is more interested in keeping her ‘power’ than the good of the country. She is Obama’s senior advisor, no one sees the POTUS without her approval. Thats a very dangerous position to have, controlling what the leader of the free world sees and doesnt see. The book also goes into great lengths about Michelle Obama and how she is an extremely strong force in the White House; if you go around her, or if she doesnt like you you are out.  So, we have an arrogant president who doesn’t listen to advice and 2 strong women blocking everyone from him to hear new ideas or new ways of doing things.

As a citizen I am extremely disappointed in Obama as a POTUS; to me he completely lacks and has shown no leadership, he couldnt be more aloof and disinterested in other peoples problems. He is playing a political game with the GOP and we the American people are the losers of the game. The GOP has been acting completely disgracefully, their obstructionism and clear lack of interest in making things better (ie doing the jobs) is sickening. This post is not about them its about Obama. He could clearly try harder to get the GOP on board, even if he had to do it in a publicly humiliating way for the GOP. The Jobs Bill Obama sent to Congress in September 2011 was a posturing move, he clearly knew the bill would never pass. A year has gone by and Obama has offered nothing. No compromises. No taking smaller steps. Washington seems to have a total lack of leadership and it is because of Barack Obama. I personally have been unemployed for over 2 years so having a president that seems to be doing nothing to help the unemployed it infuriates me.

The book goes into many instances where he has alienated those who helped him get elected; most prominently Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy. I didnt notice it at first that Caroline wasnt campaigning for him but when I saw Oprah being interviewed and asked if she was going to endorse Obama she essentially said ‘no’ – she said she wasnt endorsing anyone this cycle. From what I understand these 2 woman have been ignored and ostracized from the White House and any kind of work they could do to help. The book goes into many details about this, which I cannot verify. But whats plain to see is that neither of them is endorsing or helping him in any way. The irony of this is that when Teddy and Caroline Kennedy publicly endorsed Obama it gave the Democrats a way to walk away from Hillary, since Teddy did it first. Without that he probably would not have beaten Hillary. The book also goes into details about how Obama has alienated the Wall Street and Hollywood monied set. You can see this as being accurate every month where Romney raises more money than Obama. Foreign policy is another issue that he is inconsistent on; why help Libya and not Syria? Pulling all the troops out of Iraq seemed like a good idea; now Iraq is one of Iran’s strongest allies. His treatment of Israel is another source of inconsistencies.

To me all of this comes down to Obama being an academic who seems above it all and is doing little to nothing to improve peoples lives by bringing back the economy. I havent heard from Obama what his vision is for the next 4 years; ideally I’d like to hear his vision for the next 50 years. The main positive of Obama is that Mitt Romney would be a thousand times worse than Obama. But, Barack, you need to do something bold right now. You need to lead on the ‘fiscal cliff’ you need to tell us your vision. Dont make us vote for you just because the other guy would be worse. You are in serious danger of being a one term president.

Is It Really a Vacation with Family Involved

As I have mentioned we are leaving on vacation tomorrow morning. The term vacation can be widely interpreted; what we are actually doing is going to my families beach house on Cape Cod for a while. I say for a while because our coming back will depend on the weather, our moods or whatever we want. The house is ours, I should say my mothers, so we can stay as long as we want; the rental car charges by the day so its all good. Its interesting that even after being dead for over a decade I still have trouble calling it my mothers house, so I tend to just call it a family house. Even though my brother has his own beach house very close by.  We will try to leave around 6 am to beat the traffic, its an ugly 5 hour drive. My nephew will be staying in our brownstone in NYC keeping an eye on it. Not that we need that, we live in a very safe neighborhood and have an alarm. Plus we dont keep much at home anyway, I dont think anyone wants our 6 year old 42″ Aquos!

There are so many memories in Cape Cod; my parents bought the place in the mid 80s when I was a still in college. Before that we would usually go to Nantucket every summer but when it was time for them to buy Nantucket is not an easy place to get to on the weekends. My father was from Ohio and never liked the beach, not sure how my mother convinced him to buy this house but he did. I have always loved the water and the ocean. The first summer they had the house it wasnt until Labor Day that my mother asked in a panicked tone, why I hadnt come much at all that summer, did I not like the house? Meantime I was just enjoying our regular house with my parents not being in it! I remember the many fights and squabbles we had; especially my father and me. I would always challenge my father on everything he said or did and he wasnt used to that. Being a successful Doctor he was used to everyone hanging on everything he said. My brother loved my fathers advice. Its not that I didnt take his advice but I had to make sure I let him know that I was hearing his advice and would make my own decisions. I remember my father telling me one time that my 2 month old nephew was acting more mature than I was, which was probably true at the time!

Now things have changed; both my brother and I are married, he has 2 kids I adore. That 2 month old nephew is now a 6’5 24 year old writer. My mother remarried after my fathers death. So going to the Cape for me now is about spending time with my mother, a change of scenery for Michael and me, spending time with my brother and his wife; and sometimes we are lucky enough to get to have my niece there. This year we are celebrating my mothers 75th birthday which I think for all of up brings up the issue of my father not being there to celebrate; or to have celebrated his 75th last year.

I dont love the beach, having a house very close to the beach makes it easier for me, I can leave every few hours and come back. Our beach is private so thats nice. We are not near where the sharks are. So, to some all of this up, its not really a vacation having all of your family members there; but its really nice to be able to spend time with them. Its not getting away from everything but it is nice being away for a while. To end this on a funny note, every time I have on one of those obnoxious big pony Polo shirts my mother always asks “are you sure you dont want to change before we go out?”

Bring Back the Twin Towers

There is a certain subway that I ride that gives me a clear view of the building going on at ground zero. Recently 1 WTC World Trade Center again became the tallest building in NYC. Riding by on the subway I can’t help but thinking I dont like what I see and that I want the towers back. To me the towers were two ugly buildings with no architectural value whatsoever. But they were ours, they belonged to New Yorkers and all Americans. At first it seemed exciting to have a whole new area that could be redone, rethought and incorporated with lots of other changes in Manhattan, like easier access to subways and an exciting new downtown Manhattan.

Now, almost 11 years later I have changed my mind; I like the idea of upgraded subways, easier access to things. But the new buildings going up look like an open wound. It seems so simple now, just put them back up. But no one was talking about that back then, I certainly wasn’t. But I dont know if Manhattan can be whole again without the Twin Towers. Just seeing pics of the towers brings back such fond memories of before we had to think about terrorism here in NYC.