Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Shocked and Awed” is probably the best way to describe the reaction of the Republican establishment to the overwhelmingly, stunning victory of Barack Obama in his bid to retain the Presidency of the United States.  As the GOP and the right-stream media scramble to figure out how they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in several US Senate races, along with the biggest American political prize, they remain stunned that the George W. Bush economic message, delivered by a wealthy businessman, failed to resonate with the American electorate.  Their failure to grasp control of the US Senate is certain to amend the GOP platform to preclude all future male candidates from ever mentioning the word “rape” on the campaign trail.
The demagoguery that was displayed throughout the 2010 mid-term elections that ignored a list of very impressive accomplishments during the first two years of the Obama administration, which diverted another great depression, failed to exact revenge against the President in 2012.  When the Tea Party and the extremists in the right-stream media hijacked cooler heads in the Republican Congress, things began to go south.  Common ground, cooperation and bi-partisanship became four-letter words in the GOP vocabulary.  The term “moderate” became synonymous with “terrorist collaborator.”  And Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, brazenly avowed that the number one priority of the Republican Party would be to deny Barack Obama a second term.
After a record number of Senate filibusters and, the epitome of government waste, 33 House votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the voting public was no longer buying  the Republican Party’s brand of tea.  Thus, on November 6, 2012, the Tea Party's platform and influence found its way to the bottom of Boston Harbor along with the presidential aspirations of Boston Harbor’s former governor.
The chameleon that was candidate Mitt Romney alternated his candidacy between his paid political campaign brain-trust and an extremist media whose hatred of President Obama has been on display since he dared to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2008.  There was no better evidence of this than the initial Romney response after Mother Jones released the, now infamous, 47% video.  The almost maniacal Obama haters such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity went on the air almost immediately and virtually demanded that Romney endorse every word spoken at that 47% fundraiser.  In addition to following Limbaugh’s severely flawed advice, Romney had his Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, echo that absurdly insensitive sentiment even after Ryan had been zealously campaigning to woo many of those 47% dependent on Medicare and Social Security.  Eluding those two, amid this tactic, is that they had classified Paul Ryan’s own mother, who campaigned with her son the candidate, as a freeloading taker.
In a matter of days, having realized that doubling down on their dismissal of 47% of America had been an unmitigated political disaster, Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan  experienced a compassionate, conservative, religious epiphany.  Suddenly, the public learned that they were really concerned about helping 100% of the American people.  This was a clear indication that the GOP, after suffering major defeats in several burgeoning demographics, has to begin to expand their brand beyond the thoughts harbored by Fox News personalities and conservative radio’s myopic national and world view. 
The naiveté of Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and many Romney supporters and the hired brain-trust who have hitched their thought processes, political predictions and predilections to the sole sources of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and much of the right-stream media have awakened to a national phenomenon that most reasonable persons and pundits have seen coming for the last generation.  George W. Bush gathered 40% of the Latino vote and Ronald Reagan received a higher percentage of black votes than any of the most recent GOP presidential candidates.  The GOP's attempts at outreach is failing. 
 Lost among the conservative praise of the hero Ronald Reagan, is the fact that he and George Herbert Walker Bush operated in a dying Cold War world - and that they both raised taxes.  Also lost in the racially coded meandering rhetoric of anti-Obama Romney surrogates such as John Sununu and the egomaniacal Donald Trump, who avers that the 2012 election was a sham and that there needs to be a revolution, is that we are in the midst of a revolution.  The revolution is being televised.  And it is being waged by the 99%.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


          GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney proudly proclaimed that he liked to fire people who did not deliver services.  That does not explain how so many people, who did deliver products and services for decades, were fired when their companies were placed under the umbrella of Bain Capital.  However, it does explain Gov. Romney’s unreasonable lack of transparency in his plans to repair the economic woes of the country.  After bludgeoning many successful American companies, including KB Toys, the second largest toy company in the nation, and raising the poverty and misery index of thousands of employees and their families with his slash and burn business model as CEO of Bain Capital, Romney believes that the American people are supposed to trust his judgment and capacity for business success based on the size of his bank account(s).  And that is why the GOP contenders for the 2012 presidency should never have shown such cowardice when they vehemently, and correctly, raised the issue of “vulture capitalism.”

Because of the excessive noise of the “right-stream” media and the overbearing influence of the GOP’s “Tea-nut Gallery,” many of the Republican presidential hopefuls folded their tents and failed to pursue what is, perhaps, one of the seminal issues that a Mitt Romney campaign for president should be compelled to answer.  Contrary to the private equity, and Bain Capital defenders, the importance of debating Gov. Romney’s tenure at Bain, and his lack of transparency in all things financial can be summed up in two words – Bernie Madoff.   The absurdity of the Romney pledge to roll back needed financial regulations can also be summed up in two words – housing crisis.  Therein lies the folly in believing a person’s wealth qualifies them for executive political office.

Though Mitt Romney and Bernie Madoff made their fortunes worlds apart from the letter of the law, a close examination of the factual aftermath might easily consider them to be kindred spirits.  When all was said and done, their “clientele” was left financially ravaged.  In Mr. Madoff’s case, many of his investors were well-heeled persons looking to subsidize a comfortable lifestyle.  In Mitt Romney’s case, small, medium and large sized successful businesses incurred unsustainable financial burdens under the auspices of Bain Capital.  Romney’s business practices then left thousands unemployed, bankrupted families, devastated entire communities and basically wire-transferred our physical and financial wealth to foreign banks and countries.  It was political malfeasance for the GOP candidates to drop this issue, under the guise of free-market capitalism, when it is this kind of market policy that contributes to the slow growth and stagnant unemployment numbers that they were making the centerpiece of their campaigns against President Obama.  It was not only short-sighted and ignorant, but it was patently dishonest to malign how other countries are surpassing the American economic and educational engine while many of those “free-market” politicos advance outsourcing, free trade, and foreign investment but eschew investment in our own American education, infrastructure and industrious spirit.

The GOP celebration of wealth without the scrutiny of how it was obtained results in making millionaires at the cost of millions of homes placed underwater and/or in foreclosure.  It results in banks taking on insecure properties and riddles the nation with debt. 
By allowing the Tea-nut Gallery and their right-stream media advocates to dictate the entire direction of the Republican Party, the GOP has abandoned any and all sense of compromise toward a better America.  They continue to advance the great lie, without specificity, that after losing 750,000 jobs per month at the close of George W. Bush’s second term, that President Obama has made things worse.  And, for the first time in recent memory, they have refused to support putting people to work to repair our crumbling infrastructure.     

There is a rank hypocrisy among conservative noisemakers in refusing to allow into question, the path to Mitt Romney’s fortune, his arrogant ability to toss around $10,000 bets, and his pathological need for financial secrecy when they were boisterously apoplectic about the tax returns of Timothy Giethner, Tom Daschle, and others at the beginning of the Obama administration.

This negligence toward the best interests of the United States is unprecedented.  And it is ironic that President Obama often thinks of, and quotes, Abraham Lincoln as he faces the kind of vitriol that the sixteenth president must have faced in his effort to keep the Union together.  Hopefully, brother will not begin to fire upon brother in a long and protracted Civil War.  However, as soon as Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, they certainly purchased enough weapons to do so.

September 13, 2012






          On any given weekday, self-professed conservative talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, will draw more listeners to their nationally syndicated radio broadcasts than viewers of the evening news television broadcasts of ABC, NBC and CBS combined.  As one listens to these right leaning hosts, their television counterparts and the paid conservative punditry rail against the “mainstream media” it completely escapes them that they are the mainstream media.  Most of these “conservative” radio talkers are syndicated, nationwide, on hundreds of stations owned by only a handful of major corporations.
          TV talk hosts such as Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Lou Dobbs and pundits such as Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Karl Rove and Dick Morris work for NEWS CORP. – a multi-national media conglomerate - which owns the Fox Television Network, Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.  It also owns the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and several other publications in the United States alone.  However, when you listen to the television and radio hosts and read the op-ed columnists, paid by NEWS CORP. and other media conglomerates malign the “mainstream media,” one would think they believe themselves to be maverick broadcasters airing their dissent over pirated airwaves spreading a message against a brutal dictator, when in fact, many of them have used their positions at NEWS CORP.,  Clear Channel Radio, etc. to become multi-millionaires under the guise of being obscure opinion mavens.
Several of these hosts like to invite ideologically opposing guests on their program to give the illusion of being “fair and balanced,” equal opportunity presenters of dissent.   But the guests are frequently interrupted, mid-sentence, as soon as the host realizes he or she doesn’t like the response.  NBC and MSNBC host Chris Matthews is often guilty of this, as conservatives are quick to point out, but fail to see this lack of journalistic professionalism in themselves.
It is now widely known that on the eve of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, the GOP leadership vowed to make their number one priority the denial of a second Obama term.  At that point Republicans, en masse, began to vote against, and filibuster their own sponsored and co-sponsored legislation designed to create jobs, spur growth, reduce the deficit, garner bi-partisan support, and had President Obama’s approval.  The GOP legislators who have engaged in this unpatriotic and destructive practice have yet to be questioned as to why they found this course of action to be in the best interest(s) of the nation.  In their very revealing book about the severity of the bipartisan gridlock, IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein point out, “If the politics of partisan confrontation… and hostage taking has been building since the late 1970s, it has become far more the norm than the exception since Barack Obama’s election.”
Although the GOP candidates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, have admitted that the president was left a horrible mess, their “mainstream media Duper-Pac” has spent the last three years castigating Obama for pointing out the economic calamity left at his doorstep.  However, they are quick to defend Mitt Romney for no longer being at Bain Capital when a plethora of heartache and destruction was leveled against American companies and American workers.  But those voices in the Duper-Pac  failed to admit that it was Romney’s tenure at Bain that forged the business model of excessive debt, bankruptcy, the stripping of assets and outsourcing that lined Romney’s pockets and it is that business model which continues to live on, blazing a trail of economic destruction against the American middle class long after Mitt Romney had left the building.
And way before Barack Obama even danced with his wife at the presidential inauguration, radio host Rush Limbaugh, the leader of the mainstream media’s conservative Duper-Pac, said he hoped Obama failed.  At which point Sen. Mitch McConnell and the congressional Republicans collectively abandoned their oaths  and began to take their marching orders from Mr. Limbaugh.  They have thumbed their noses and hoisted their finger at the American people and refused to support their own good ideas simply because they could not stomach Barack Obama’s signature on the legislation.  It is the height of audacity when these weak minded public servants, who bow to dishonest noisemakers on the public airwaves, accuse the president of lacking in leadership.  Rush says something one day and the GOP practically recites it verbatim on the daily cable and Sunday news shows.
In the interest of full disclosure, I listened to Rush Limbaugh in the very late ‘80s and early ‘90s when he first came east to New York.  He was humorous, witty, informative and pleasantly thought-provoking.  I liked him and I liked listening to him even when I didn’t agree with his point of view.  I find today’s Rush Limbaugh to be insultingly arrogant, mean spirited, unfriendly in voice and manner and lacking in humor.  In an attempt to decipher this troubling metamorphosis, my best explanation would be to paraphrase a quote of the brilliant and incomparable Richard Pryor while in character as the neighborhood wino  describing one of the other neighborhood denizens.  Them narcotics done made [Rush] null and void!”  Perhaps it is time to begin drug testing and searching the medicine cabinets of the congressional Republicans.  They appear to be sorely in need of rehab.
September 7, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012


One of the certainties of every presidential election season is the guaranty that competing television and radio hosts will vie for the major candidates to come on their programs.  Another certainty is that the more self-involved hosts will engage in a taunting level of braggadocio exclaiming that the candidate(s) won't come on their show because they know "I'll ask the tough questions."

I have my own tough question!  In this era wherein votes and polls are broken down into every imaginable category, "Why do almost all white candidates shun interviews with the black and Spanish-speaking media?"  We can turn on a variety of viewing and listening devices to digest a panel of, mostly white, pundits and politicians discussing the importance of the "minority vote" and what it will take for the candidate(s) to win them.  And at times, the candidates will be on a show discussing why their agenda should appeal to a particular minority voting bloc.

 Surely, the avid consumer of many of these programs may gain some insight into listening to these, mostly white folks, talk about how to win the black and Latino vote.  But as our nation revels in and glorifies our melting pot of ethnic foods, ethnic music, and ethnic styles, it has yet to occur to the politicians and the punditry that these "ethnics" just might want to ask the candidates their own questions.

It is past time that we, as a nation, begin to expect more from those who promise so much and, often, deliver so little.  It is time that we Americans expand our minds, our thoughts, and our concerns to those that make all of us America, the colorfully beautiful.  And, it is time for the French-speaking American, Monsieur Mitt Romney, and the African sired, American born, Barack Obama to have sit-downs with Señor y Señorita America and the news people who work at predominately black, Latino and other ethnic issues media.

Having the same recognizable Latinos and African Americans on a panel of pundits of a major network or cable news/talk show hosted by the same left leaning, right leaning, centrist standing Caucasian personalities is no longer acceptable.  And now that WHITES ONLY signs are a part of an American past viewed through a bygone prism of life, good and bad, it is time that our electoral candidates presented themselves to America through a prism other than "whites only" media.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


One of the more disturbing ironies surrounding the aggressively senseless killing of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin is how vocal a large portion of white conservative ideologues are about the senseless killing of blacks in America by other blacks. The very crowd who used their First Amendment right to jump to a conclusion before the OJ Simpson case, the Long Island Railroad murder trial of Colin Ferguson, and the Central Park rape case are upset because another group of Americans used their First Amendment right to jump to a conclusion in George Zimmerman's shooting of the unarmed Trayvon Martin.

Those in the former crowd have been asking why the protesting supporters of the Martin family do not protest the black on black violence resulting in death. Although, on the surface, that may seem like a legitimate talking point, it clearly points out an amazing lack of concern for a segment of the population whom they have deliberately chosen to isolate themselves from. They clearly do not listen to, consume or digest any black-issues media whatsoever. If they did, they would know that the issue of black on black murders and gang violence has been a constant topic of concern. They would know that community organizers, church leaders and local black politicians are repeatedly coming together to address those very issues. And they would know, if they bothered to cover it, that the glaring light of the major media have been totally negligent in helping these communities solve this plague that threatens their fellow citizens.

When a young white child shoots up a school we are inundated with news coverage of his life, family and surroundings. We are told of how teams of psychiatrists and counselors have been assigned to talk to the children to help them cope and assuage their fears. And, through the miracle of broadcasting, the rest of us become privy to that particular tragedy by a host of doctors, lawyers, families of victims and anyone else the media think will make good and informative television. However, when it comes to our dire need to have counselors and psychiatrists talk to black and Latino adolescents and preteens about the negative effect that joining a gang, selling drugs and quitting school will have on their lives and their families, it becomes hindered by budget constraints.

One of the more insulting ironies is how these same media cameras and TV personalities always seem to find their way to the meetings, organizations and congregations "in the hood" when they are following a white politician who is looking to get elected or re-elected. When it comes to people of color in America, black people's problems are black people's problems. But when it comes to white folk's problems, they are America's problems.

For those of you who have used the killing of an unarmed young black man, who merely left the store to spend the evening with his dad, to tell us about the high rate of blacks murdered by other blacks, we appreciate your newfound concern. But please do not direct your comments to those black folks who were angered and protested about the killing of Trayvon Martin. They already know.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Is anyone in the media ever going to ask him, "How?" Mitt Romney repeatedly states, without explanation, that he knows how the economy works. Yet he is never challenged.
There is a raging misconception among his supporters that Romney's success in the private sector makes him eminently qualified to boost a lackluster American economy, create millions of jobs and balance the budget once he becomes president. However, absent from this reasoning were the glaring differences between being an executive in the private sector versus one in the public sector.
Take Michael Bloomberg for example, whose private sector fortune makes Mitt Romney look like a minimum wage worker. After 8 years in office, he was unable to save the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. and the hundreds of jobs that went with it. In addition to having to close firehouses and downsizing the New York Police Department, New York City is still facing billion dollar deficits in the foreseeable future.
And therein lies the rub. As the CEO of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney was able to call all the shots. He could hire, fire, invest, divest, reopen and rebuild, or downsize and shutdown without opposition. At Bain Capital people had to answer to him. At the White House he has to answer to a legislature, federal courts and likely, a plethora of disapproving governors - not to mention an oppositon party that just might not see things his way. The Republican Romney continually campaigns on his ability to work with a Democrat majority when he was Governor of Massachusetts. But what happens when Massachusetts priorities conflict with those of Kansas , California, Mississippi or Ohio?
Throughout his Obama bashing campaign, Romney has failed to demonstrate a demeanor that can coalesce with almost certain obstruction from unlike-minded Democrats. His language suggests that he clearly believes being President of the United States is not unlike being CEO of Bain Capital. "I will fix... I will repeal... I will create..." and on and on. By the way, why would all those illegal immigrants "unable to find work" self-deport if Romney is going to create millions of jobs? At least Barack Obama was intelligent and humble enough, to say "Yes we can" - not "Yes I can!" What will Mitt Romney do when the we challenges his I? That is a situation he did not have to face while running Bain Capital.
What should really trouble American voters is his explanation for not running for a second term as Governor of Massachusetts. While his claim that he wanted to get out and get back into the private sector repeatedly goes unchallenged, he continues to have aspirations for and seeks the presidency. It seems clear that President of the United States is something that Mitt Romney simply wants to add to his resume. Were the best interests of his fellow Americans at issue, he would have remained in Massachusetts and made an effort for a second gubernatorial term. He didn't. He quit. He bailed on the people of Massachusetts who supported and voted for him. Outside of his family and his faith, what is there in his public history that indicates that when things don't go Mitt Romney's way that he won't bail again?