Tag Archives: 2012 campaign

OUR VOTES COUNTED, BUT WE DIDN’T?By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012

9 Nov

OUR VOTES COUNTED, BUT WE DIDN’T?,By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012


If we are to believe the media-take on the re-election of President Barack Obama, we managed to have our votes counted; but, we still don’t count. Despite the fact that Barack Obama won by a greater margin than George W. Bush without the need for court intervention to seal the deal, corporate media refuses to acknowledge president Obama’s mandate. Instead it sees his presidency as one calling for accession to the demands of those whose candidate lost the election and the majority of the electorate’s support for Republican policies.


The list denying a mandate includes: CBS Evening News’ Bob Schiefer. Washington Post’s Dan Balz. Politico’s Glenn Thrush,Jim VandeHei,and Mike Allen. CNN’s David Gergen, and Gloria Berger. FOX News’ Charles Krauthammer.Time Magazine’s Joe Klein.


Even NPR’s Cokie Roberts failed to credit the value of those who voted for the President and handed him a mandate when she described his challenge to govern in this way: “It is a divide where he’s lost whites, he’s lost Southerners, he’s lost people of a certain income and age, and he’s really got to do something fast to deal with that.”


Oh, I see now whose vote REALLY counts: whites (but not those whites who voted for Obama), Southerners (but not those Southerners who voted for Obama), people of a certain income and age( but not those wealthy, older persons who voted for Obama). Interestingly, the need to address the concerns of African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, young people, women and LGBT community seems to be of no concern to Ms. Roberts. Apparently, she thinks she knows who should be driving the bus, and who should ride in the back.


It is not because she sees division as a concern which disturbs me; we are all concerned about the divisions within our country. But, because she weighs the interests of those who do not support Obama as a greater issue for his attention than the mandate the majority of voters handed him on November 6 to enact the change we need to secure America’s future for all its citizens. It is the diminished value corporate media places on an Obama victory for those who do not look like them, earn what they earn, live like they live. By diminishing his win, they diminish his right to govern and they diminish the value of our vote. That diminishes all Americans.


IT’S NOT ABOUT IRRESPONSIBLE OHIO VOTERS,By Louise Annarino, November 4, 2012

4 Nov

IT’S NOT ABOUT IRRESPONSIBLE OHIO VOTERS,By Louise Annarino, November 4, 2012

Now the counting of provisional ballots in Ohio shifts to the Republican theme that 47% of us refuse to accept responsibility for ourselves. On Friday Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted added reasons to reject a provisional ballot with incorrect or missing information as to the type of Identification used by voters casting a provisional ballot, SHIFTING RESPONSIBILITY for checking the appropriate boxes on the provisional ballot affirmation form from poll workers to voters.

Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the provisional ballot affirmation form  (above) is the same that’s been used in this year’s spring primary and a special election in August. This is NOT the point. What matters is that it is contrary to Ohio law and violates court decree.

Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.181(B)(6) provides that, once a voter casting a provisional ballot proffers identification,  “the appropriate local election official shall record the type of identification provided, the social security number information, the fact that the affirmation was executed, or the fact that the individual declined to execute such an affirmation and include that information with the transmission of the ballot . ..”

This is an overt effort by Ohio Republicans to avoid a previously entered court decree as described by plaintiffs in Case: 2:06-cv-00896-ALM-TPK Doc #: 346 Filed: 11/01/12 Page: 1 of 11 PAGEID #: 12588. In the earlier decision and consent decree filed before US District Court Judge Algernon Marbley, it was agreed by all parties, including Republican SOS Husted, that he direct Ohio’s 88 county election boards to count certain provisional ballots WHERE POLL WORKERS MADE MISTAKES such as: 1. Allowing or directing voter to cast ballot in the wrong precinct, but correct poll location. 2. Allowing voter to cast ballot without completing or signing the ballot. 3. Failing to complete the application for the voter,as required by Ohio law.

As a former poll workerI can attest that it is not uncommon to overlook a missing piece of information when polls are busy; but,it is the poll worker’s duty to assure each voter’s ballot will be counted by correctly completing information requested on the ballot envelope. Poll workers,not voters, are trained to understand the language on the provisional ballot envelopes and trained to assure the form is complete. Voters do not second-guess poll workers;but, simply follow the directions to the best of their ability. They rely on the competence of poll workers. Plaintiffs’ counsel Subodh Chandra explains, “Judge Marbley’s decision ensures that legitimate voters do not  lose their right to vote when government workers make mistakes.”

SOS Husted is attempting to make sure such ballots are not counted,despite his prior consent to Judege Marbley’s decree by throwing sand in our face and making the issue VOTER IRRESPONSIBILITY, rather than poll worker error. Disrespect for the constitutional rights of voters to cast a ballot which will be counted is just the latest effort to undermine the Ohio election by confusing Ohio voters, and stealing their votes.

Our solution is simple: GET OUT THE VOTE. A huge turnout is the only way to assure a clean decision on election night, rather than an election dragged through the courts ad infinitum. BUT BE WARNED: Even if we elect President Obama on election night by overpowering Republican vote theft with an exceptionally high turnout, Republicans will use continued court involvement as a sign that President Obama is NOT REALLY the winner. Al Gore backed away from such an argument to  preserve our union and uphold the election process. I doubt Ohio Republicans will behave with such respect. They have not for the past four years;so don’t expect a sudden change of heart.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Ohio-provisional-ballot-voting-order-criticized-4005729.php#ixzz2BGkeXgHQ

THE DUMB BLONDE VS. THE ELITE,By Louise Annarino,October 27,2012

27 Oct

THE DUMB BLONDE VS. THE ELITE, By Louise Annarino, October 27,2012

This morning I watched a political add running in Arizona against an “activist” judge whom the ad also described as “violating the constitution because he made law”. The self-described middle-class housewife in a McMansion kitchen went on to say “the elite think we can’t understand, but we do.” I wanted to  shout out,“NO, YOU DON’T !” Her smug look, smiling that she had proved she was not just a “dumb blonde”, made me sad for her. Somewhere along the way, she had come to accept but resent the sexism directed toward her by those she trusted to love and support her. They used their own sexism to make her vulnerable to their manipulations, and to use her to attack candidates who know the law, are well educated and professionally competent; but, make her feel stupid. The ad makers play on the anger which has built up over time, the resentment toward real oppressors which they re-direct toward their opponents. I felt sorry for the woman in the ad and all those she represents. I felt sorry for all of us.

The first quarter I taught Business Law at Ohio University I learned a disturbing fact while grading my students first mid-term exam. They could not write a sentence. The essays were impossible to grade since sentence fragments could not sufficiently show my students had grasped the concepts I had been discussing with them for over a month. Mine was an upper-level course open to juniors,seniors and graduate students. How could they have gotten so far without being able to write, I wondered.

After returning their tests to moans and gasps of disappointment I wrote a simple sentence on the board and asked someone to come up to the front and diagram it. Blank stares and no volunteers was the response. My pleas for someone, anyone to speak up about why this was such a problem provided the answer: no one knew what I meant by “diagram a sentence”. It took a  moment for that information to sink in. Surely, I had heard incorrectly. But, no, they did not know what nouns,verbs, adverbs did within a sentence. A few students identified the adjective, and understood its function. They explained they had not had to write because all of their exams were multiple choice tests.

I found an empty class on the evenings my law class was not scheduled and invited students to attend my English class. They would need it because my exams would require them to write, and passing the test meant it was in their interest to attend the extra classes. I did not do this out of altruism, but out of desperation. I wanted to make it easier to grade those tests with certainty that the grade reflected a student’s full grasp of the subject matter. I wanted to shorten the time I spent grading! We helped one another in our common cause.

The other disturbing discovery that first quarter was that while in high school my students had not taken an American History course (no longer required), nor a Principles of Democracy course (not offered, or not required). It is extremely difficult to teach law to those with neither of those courses under their belts. What examples can one use to explain court decisions? Why do courts make the decisions they do? What guides the court?

Since every night of the week was now filled with Business Law and English, and since my “day” job was Associate Director of OU Legal Affairs ( I taught on overload contract because I love teaching AND had to pay back my school loans), I could not add more classes. Thus, I expanded my curriculum to include American and World History and P.O.D. Also, since racial and sexual discrimination is another topic they would need to understand but had never been taught, I used one week of class to run them through workshops I had designed. This complex amalgam of coursework became my template for all of my future classes: School Law,Law and Medicine,Social Welfare Law,Vocational Education Law, and my on-going Business Law courses. Each piece helped my students understand law with such depth that I am convinced they would not be easily duped by the ad I saw this morning.

What worries me is that too many Americans are being duped. They have no idea how a bill becomes a law, the role of committees, the power of committee chairs, Roberts Rules of Order and Congressional rules of House and Senate, difference between states powers and federal powers, how courts function, the role of the judge, grand-jury  and jury. I could go on and on. Such ignorance of basic governance by executive,legislative and judicial branches applies to members of both parties. The base of each party expects more than can or should be delivered by a governance system which relies on compromise and consensus to accomplish anything. We can see where this has gotten us.

Term limits have only made incompetence in governance worse. In term-limited positions the newly-elected representatives don’t stay in position long enough to learn the ropes and develop nuanced strategies within the rules, develop trust and create alliances with colleagues across the aisle, and grasp the long-view of what is good for the country they serve. They are focused on short-term celebrity and fund-raising for the next campaign.

Shortening the Congressional work week and schedule, to free up time for such fundraising and celebrity-building appearances has contributed to the problem. During 2012 the House was in session only 122 days (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/ds/h1122.html);the Senate, 123 days (http://thomas.loc.gov/home/ds/s1122.html). This is not to say members are not on the people’s business 24/7 because they are. However, it does mean they are not focusing on building a collegial enterprise for the good of the country. The Teapublicans found it quite easy to block any effort at consensus and cooperation between conservatives and progressive, between Democrats and Republicans. And the newly-elected Teapublicans  arrived with little appreciation or understanding for the historical and social context of cooperation which Congress had learned over time was necessary for good government. They came with the intent of stopping cooperation, blocking the first African-American president’s determination to build a “more perfect union” where Blue and Red states worked together for a common good. They are playing the role of the marginalized  and demeaned “dumb blonde” taking on the marginalized and demeaned “elite”.  And the Republican Party fell right in-step with them. Some decided it was time to retire.

I need another classroom!

RACIAL SHAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME,By Louise Annarino,October 26,2012

26 Oct

RACIAL SHAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME,By Louise Annarino,October 26,2012

“Ms. Annarino, are you white?” asked the toddler leaning against my back as I sat on the ground, her hands over my eyes so I could not see her. “Yes, I am,” I answered. What prompted such a question I pondered. I was new to her neighborhood, a neighborhood which housed a single white family composed of a mother and her three children, among the families of two-hundred plus African-American children who spent most of their day on the playground I supervised. The only other white adult I saw all that summer was the mailman. This little girl only knew I looked different. When she heard talk about “the white girl down at the playground,” she looked for the one girl who looked different. She made no judgments about me. My color was simply an identifier.

This was not the case within my white community. Race and color were not simply used as an identifier; but also used as instruments of power and self-aggrandizement. Noticing and or pointing out skin color and race was done  in a derisive manner, accompanied by stereotypes, meant to make the speaker feel superior. It was ugly. It made me cringe. It made me feel ashamed to be part of this tribe.

Children’s tribal instincts were strong back then. There was only 1/2 hour of the nightly news each evening to connect us to the larger world outside our neighborhoods. There was no internet, no cable news, no electronic social media like Facebook. My connection to larger world weakened my tribal ties. My mother was from New York City, not small-town, Ohio. We spent summers there with cousins who lived in the projects among people of every religious faith, every race and ethnicity, and every color. It was magnificent! When I saw racism I was perplexed. How could anyone believe these stereotypes?  I still ask the same question 60 years later. Racist beliefs make even less sense today, when we have access to more information and greater racial interaction.

We now are interconnected with the entire world, and yet, we cling to tribalism. The racism Obama volunteers experienced while canvassing in 2008 has intensified. It has become an accepted political strategy of the Republican party. There was a time in this country when racists would be shamed by the larger white community in the north. Visiting the south thirty years ago, I was surprised by the lack of shame, and the unwillingness to challenge racism  by those who knew better. Now, white Americans both north and south are shameless. Racism may be in its final throes but it is still too easily spread.

I have written often on this blog about the racism displayed during this campaign. It is now so overt I don’t even feel the need to repeat what you are seeing and hearing as examples. But, tonight I felt compelled to remind us all that it is not President Barack Obama who has created racial division in this country; but those who say he has done so. The very act of  calling Barack Obama racist is racism itself. The next time you hear someone like Palin use words “shuckin’ and jivin'”, John Sununu suggest Colin Powell supports the president because both are black and  he “wish(es) (Obama)knew how to be an American”, Newt Gingrich/Sean Hannity/and other Republicans say Obama is the “most racially divisive political figure”, and Trump says Obama is “lazy,slick and un-American”  remind yourself how RACIST this is…and how useless.It does nothing to help America select the best leader for this country. It is used to distract us from the discussion.

Racism is a grand distraction from a failed campaign. It has been used to some effect for many years. It is not a fluke, but a planned strategy. I won’t hold my breath while waiting for Mr. Romney, nor Congressman Ryan to find the moral courage to stop their campaign from using this tired old strategy and speak out against it. If they think it can improve their chances at the polls, they will continue to use it, and their supporters will continue to give racist tactics tacit approval. It is shameful.



MIRROR,MIRROR ON THE WALL,By Louise Annarino,October 26, 2012

26 Oct

MIRROR,MIRROR ON THE WALL, By Louise Annarino,October 26,2012


“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of us all?”  Have you ever forced yourself to stare into your eyes while looking in a mirror? Common knowledge tells us that our eyes are the mirror of our souls. Most of us look in a mirror only to make sure every hair is in place, nothing is stuck in our teeth, or our tie is centered properly. We seldom really look at our selves. Too often we squirm away from what we see of ourselves. Soul searching is uncomfortable.


People are not fixed in space and time, but move within a forever-changing creative energy. This is what makes getting to know another person so interesting. We are in the final days of getting to know candidates for public office. The image we each create for ourselves, which makes it sometimes difficult to look at ourselves in the mirror, is similar to what the campaign staff attempts to do for each candidate. And, too often, those candidates find it difficult to look at themselves in the mirror. It is the rare person, and the rare candidate, who consistently stays true to the soul he or she sees when they force themselves to look in the mirror. Some candidates seem incapable of soul-searching.


A spate of political ads are out now which feature an individual or family telling us what a great guy Mitt Romney is, describing a specific kindness he has shown, or assistance he has provided. These ads should be comforting and assuring. They are meant to counter the ads by former workers who lost jobs when Mr. Romney through Bain Capital shut down a factory, shipping workers’ jobs overseas. But, is an act of kindness to one person enough to counter the cold calculation which led to huge losses suffered by thousands of workers? Is kindness to individuals enough to counter the threatened loss of social security, medicare, Obamacare, equal pay for women, women’s control over their own health care decisions, PELL grants, veteran’s disability benefits, the post office, Amtrak etc. which the Romney-Ryan budget promises to cut,affecting all of our countrymen?


I am glad to hear of Romney’s acts of kindness. He can look in the mirror and see his goodness as he contemplates these kind acts. But what does he see in the mirror when he contemplates cutting off such kindnesses to the other 98% of us through his budget?


Whom do we know who can look in the mirror with a steadfast gaze? Whom do we know who can look in the mirror with a forward-looking vision of what is possible when we empower the 98% to share in the wealth of America; rather than await and give thanks for the largesse doled out one-man-a-time by the 1%? Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

OBAMA BRAVERY VS. ROMNEY BRAVADO,By Louise Annarino, October 21, 2012

21 Oct

OBAMA BRAVERY VS. ROMNEY BRAVADO , By Louise Annarino, October 21, 2012


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines bravery as courage:

: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty


The Merriam-webster Dictionary defines bravado as:

1.a : blustering swaggering conduct,

b : a pretense of bravery

2.  : the quality or state of being foolhardy

We need a president who is brave; not one who displays mere bravado.

Bravery is:

  • making hard choices every day to do the right thing, knowing every move you make will be blocked; and you, demonized.
  • bringing Bin Laden to justice, despite the risks of the unknown.
  • encouraging emerging democracies to pursue self-rule, and allowing them to do so without self-interest trumping fairness and respect; knowing that people who feel strong need not prove they are not weak.
  • speaking softly while “carrying a big stick” or a small drone.
  • disrupting terrorists hives, even when you know a few bees will always escape, and doing it day-after-day; while helping build new and peaceful structures for those desirous of peaceful conflict resolution.
  • following a foreign policy which understands that conflict can be used to create better understanding only if a “win-win” methodology is in place.
  • accepting responsibility as leader for known and unknown, authorized and unauthorized acts of subordinates.
  • refusal to kneel to those who are your equals, or think themselves your betters; and willingness to kneel with those who are oppressed.
  • sharing your affection, your anger, your shortcomings, your strengths, your thoughts, your feelings, your achievements and your failures transparently.
  • not allowing anyone else to define who you are.
  • pledging to do whatever it takes, regardless of personal and political loss to create a more perfect union,keep America safe and at peace, save America’s middle class, and reinvigorate its economy.

Bravado is:

  • making the easy choice, or no choice, or letting others choose for you; seeking  approval rather than a consistent and strong character.
  • kicking the can down the Palestinian-Israeli road because you believe Mid-East peace is a hopeless quest.
  • encouraging any foreign leader or government which allow corporations and business enterprises abroad to underpay workers, to avoid fair work-place practices and safety standards, and to degrade the environment,despite the negative impact of off-shoring American jobs and  hurting America’s balance of trade.
  • increasing military spending for out-dated arms and munitions to private contractors while cutting spending on military personnel, veterans health care and benefits, and blocking a veterans jobs bill.
  • Threatening to invade countries with whom you disagree, widening the gap to peace and increasing the likelihood of war your own children will not fight.
  • pledging a “winner takes all” foreign policy.
  • disavowing responsibility for your current and former positions, policies, legislation, and decisions; instead blaming others whom you deem as irresponsible victims (at least 47% of our population) for the shortcomings of your own budget proposals.
  • acting as though no one is your equal, and you are more entitled than others to preference, wealth accumulation, and inside deals.
  • refusing to disclose, share, inform or reveal your shortcomings, your thoughts, your feelings, your failures, your tax returns, your financial interests, your off-shore accounts.
  • allowing Teapublicans, right-wing Republicans, moderate Republicans, FOX News, Roger Ailes, Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Focus on the Family, Jerome Corsi and his current audience to define you. The only person whom  you do not allow to define you is YOU.
  • pledging to Grover Norquist you will never raise taxes, knowing you can kick that can down the road to the states (ala Bush); while refusing to provide details as you plan to raise fees, cut deductions,close loopholes etc. once the election is over and the cameras are dimmed.

When I pulled up my kiddie-rocker to sit with my Dad and watch the Saturday Night Fights, sponsored by  “a little dab will do ya” Brylcream, we would each pick a boxer to cheer for. Television was in black and white back then, limiting one’s choice to the guy in the black trunks or the guy in the white trunks. We had a grand old time. There was always next week to pick the winner. This election is just as clearly defined as the guys in Black and white, but our choice is NOW. It is a clear choice between a brave man of courage, or a dissembling man of bravado.

I choose bravery. I choose Barack Obama.


21 Oct


Honestly, if one more person is interviewed on camera to explain why she is still undecided about this election, I’ll….use your imagination!  The media needs to stop giving special attention to undecided voters; and instead, pay more attention to the candidates. Civic duty should be encouraged. Instead, we reward those who lack it while they act as if their decisions are more thoughtful than those who have been engaged all along. Hogwash!

Barack Obama has been president nearly 4 years and was running for the office a year before that. Mitt Romney ran for president 4 years ago and is now running a SECOND time. He appeared in numerous televised debates for the Republican Party nomination during the primary season. These two are not strangers in our news cycles.

Where have undecided persons been all this time? To think that the least attentive, least informed, and one could argue, least interested among us could decide an election is pathetic. Newscasters and pollsters, must stop coddling them and empowering their lack of civi engagement. What they think and the positions they take are not based on an accumulation of facts over time, but on last minute celebrity!

Playing to undecided voters allows newspersons to create drama and avoid hard realities. Playing to undecided voters allows candidates to wiggle out of earlier positions and pretend they don’t recall shameful past incidents. Playing to undecided voters rewrites what each candidate has, or has failed to, accomplish.

I’ll be watching the next debate. But, afterwards, I shall not be watching the focus group of undecided voters to see who they decide to vote off the island.

Meanwhile, if you are someone who still has questions because you work 2 jobs, have kids to deliver to school/work/activities and have been just too busy to keep up, you are faced with the fact that for months Romney has refused to provide details of how he would implement his policies (which change repeatedly), cannot do the math on any of his broad proposals, and thinks if he repeats a right-wing talking-point often enough it becomes truth. His secrecy regarding his off-shore holdings and tax filings is another issue. To counter the repeated challenge to his lack of details, secrecy and bad math he has charged President Obama with those same sins. Since  undecided voters have not been paying attention, and since newspersons like a hard fight to the finish, these charges are treated as an equivalent sin for Obama. There is no equivalency.

Obama says he would take us forward, building on what he has done and is currently attempting to do, and what he plans to do in the future. Please refer to my earlier blog WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE? HERE ARE 194 ACCOMPLISHMENTS! WITH CITATIONS! From PCTC Blog https://worthingtonforobama2012.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/713/ where you can see what Forward looks like. The list provided at the link was put together months ago. SInce then, the list has grown.

While Romney plays politics with foreign affairs, Obama governs the nation, acts as a well-respected leader of the free world, improves US trade balance, challenges China at World Trade Organization (WTO), stops a terrorist attack on the NY Federal Reserve Bank, hunts down those responsible for the death of our ambassador and diplomatic staff in Ben Ghazi, Libya, continues to  bring down unemployment and increase jobs, winds down the Afghanistan War, organizes cuts to the military budget (arms purchases, operational expenses etc.) while increasing the VA budget 40% and protecting VA from ANY cuts, and continues to  reduce the deficit ( $1.7 trillion in  2011) as illustrated below:


$ 2.2 TRILLION          +         $ 1.7 TRILLION         =                  $3.8 TRILLION

Proposed Policies        Savings Enacted  2011                  (figures rounded up)

 Not Included is Additional $1.5 Trillion War Savings 

[ Sources: Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, Table S-3, and CBPP Calculations,Center on  Budget and Policy Priorities…cbpp.org]

President Obama has put us on a safe footing. It is not where he wanted us to be on the path to full recovery, nor so far along as we could have been had Republicans in Congress spent as much energy trying to help the country as they did trying to destroy Obama.

If you are still undecided, or know someone who is, or know someone who would welcome a refresher course please forward this information to them before the next debate. Maybe we can remember what we know, even if Mr. Romney cannot.