WE DON’T DO THINGS BY HALF, By Louise Annarino, July 6, 2012

6 Jul

WE DON’T DO THINGS BY HALF, BY Louise Annarino, July 6, 2012

It is 7:35 AM. It is 75.3 degrees; humidiity 87%; heat index 80.2 degrees. We expect records to be broken a second day in a row, with high temperature of 100…or more. Who knows anymore? Yesterday, Columbus broke the record high temperature set in 1911. We are now accustomed to reading 100 degrees on our car and home thermometers, no matter what the official figures are. We trust it will be too hot to care if the weatherperson hits the mark or not. It will be hot. Too hot. That is all we know.

Yesterday, I spent almost 2 hours at the Columbus Zoo with my teenage nephew. The temperature was 100 degrees; heat index 110. We don’t do things by half. The heat has made our judgment faulty. We had left a WATER exhibit at COSI to see how the animals were faring at the zoo. We forgot we are human animals. We thought ,for once, the polar bears might be in the water instead of sleeping on the rocky outcropping in their display area. Only one was on display, sleeping on the rocks with water to swim in mere inches away. The water was too hot. We are saving polar bears from global warming’s melting polar ice by placing them near water too hot to swim in at the zoo. Nice save.

We walked slowly, from mister to mister, viewing animals much smarter than ourselves, curled motionless in shady nap spots while we walked the sun alive on the pavement beneath our feet. The heat has made us stupid. The misters lost moisture before the beads of water could touch our faces. It was too hot for water to last.  Consider that it is too hot for water to last, too hot for H2O to stay beaded together until our bodies can use it for sustenance or comfort. The WATER exhibit at COSI explains water’s use and effect, and the threat of its loss . We saw COSI’s message played in real time at the zoo. It is an uncomfortable reality that water is being superheated beyond our ability to access it for human use. The polar bears already know this.

We don’t do things by half. Would that we could. Then,we could survive. But, we are made stupid by the heat. Our judgment is faulty. We don’t do things by half, even when our survival depends upon it. There are some whose anger with our president’s willingness to do things by half ,which he can do no other way, clouds their judgment of his abilities, his motives and his wisdom. Their over-heated rhetoric only makes a successful economic recovery less assured. His first half may have pleased no one on the far right, nor on the far left. But, it is those of us in the middle half who understand his many accomplishments, with half a Congress in support, half in opposition:

– Cut payroll taxes for all Americans,putting $40 per paycheck back in the pocket of the typical Ohioan.

– In Ohio, the manufacturing sector aded more than 33,500 jobs in last 2 years, while President Obama works to end tax cuts for companies shipping jobs overseas and lower tax rates for companies which manufacture goods in America.

– Created over4.1 million privates sector jobs, 123,000 in Ohio over the last 2 years.

– Rescued the U.S. auto industry, protecting 848,000 Ohio jobs and over 1 million jobs nationwide. US auto industry is once again #1 in the world.

– Created or extended 18 tax cuts for small businesses – the drivers of economic growth.

– Strengthened medicare, saving 185,000 Ohioans an average $512 on prescription drugs.

– Expanded access to preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs to 2.1 million Ohioans, including 559,000 children and 797,000 women under age 65.

– Stopped insurance industry practice of denying coverage for pre-existing conditions for  643,000 Ohio children.

– Expanded health care coverage to 82,000 young adults by allowing them to stay on parents’ health care plans until age 26.

– Required Insurance companies who failed to spend at least 80%-85% of premiums collected on health care to return an average of $127 to 3.4 million Americans who paid for their own insurance. Over $1 billion dollars will be paid back nationwide.

– Reduced our dependence on foreign oil to lowest level in 16 years. Domestic oil production is at an 8 year high, natural gas at an all-time high, and renewable energy from wind and solar has more than doubled.

– Helped Ohio produce 9 times more electricity from wind in 2011 than in 2010.

– Signed VOW to Hire Heroes Act, providing tax breaks to businesses hiring returning veterans.

– Brought Iraq war to honorable end, and is working towards same goal in Afghanistan.

– Brought 2/3 of Al Qaeda’s leadership, and Osama Bin Laden to justice.

– Ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

– Doubled funding for Pell Grants. Signed into law a tax credit up to $10,000 over 4 years to help middle class families afford tuition.

– Supported 12,500 teachers and school staff jobs in Ohio 2009-2010, reducing burden on local school districts.

The list of accomplishments made by doing things by half – with the support of half the Senate, half the House goes on and on. We are out of the hole and moving forward after years of digging the hole deeper under Republican leadership. We Americans don’t like doing things by half. But, when we must do so, it is good to have a president who knows how to do so effectively. Hopefully,  more progressive Democratic candidates will be elected to the US House and Senate more fully supporting President Obama during his second term. Don’t like doing things by half? Then, vote for Sherrod Brown for US Senate. Vote for the Democratic candidate in your congressional race. Vote for Barack Obama. Don’t let the heat of Republican attacks distort your ability to think straight and move the country forward.

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