Tag Archives: 47%

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

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“WHAT YOU DO TO THE LEAST OF THESE” OUR VETERANS,By Louise Annarino,September 19,2012

20 Sep

“WHAT YOU DO TO THE LEAST OF THESE” OUR VETERANS; By Louise Annarino,September19,2012

Today was a day of further frustration as Republicans blocked passage of a veterans jobs bill. Democrats needed 60 votes but got only 58,including votes of 5 Republicans who joined them in attempting to override a point of order raised by Sen. Sessions (R-Ala).  Senator/Chairperson of the Veterans Affairs committee Patty Murray (D-Wash,) hoped an amendment she introduced which included a provision by Sen.Burr (R-NC) as a compromise to satisfy Republican objections could have gotten to a vote. “At every turn, we have sought compromise. But instead of meeting us halfway, we have been met with resistance,” Murray said. “Instead of saying yes to the nearly one million unemployed veterans, it seems some on the other side have spent the last week and a half seeking out any way to say no.” She warned that such Republican obstruction threatens every effort to aid veterans.

The $1 billion Veterans Jobs Corp Act would have paid for itself over 10 years. It would have created job-training and assistance to obtain work in targeted fields including police work,firefighting,national park conservation, historic preservation projects etc. The same persons who had no problem sending our young men and women to war, with no money budgeted to pay for those wars, objected on a budget point of order to aide the veterans of those wars. The deficit they decry was partially created by borrowing money to pay for those wars in order to avoid raising taxes and upsetting Grover Norquist. The same persons who raised no objection when passing Medicare Part D without funding the expansion to cover prescriptions, and who refused to include language to require bulk rates by pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of this unpaid mandate, refused to even consider a bill to put our unemployed veterans to  work.

Sen Tom Coburn (R-Ok) opposed it because it duplicated other efforts; Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), because it did not include a provision to force Pakistan to free Dr. Shakil Afridi, the doctor who led the US to Osama bin Laden. While I appreciate Dr. Afridi’s help, I also appreciate the soldiers who were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to find Bin Laden and destroy Al Qaeda. Our soldiers should not be held hostage by Sen. Paul.The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

One appreciates even more Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s unwavering support for America’s veterans. Brown was an original cosponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a key provision of which is VRAP, which offers job retraining assistance to veterans; up to 99,000 veterans will receive retraining assistance through March 31,2014.

The veteran jobs bill was expected to create at least 20,000 jobs at a time when one in four veterans are unemployed. But, then, they are part of Mr. Romney’s 47%, so perhaps Republicans think they are merely unwilling to take care of themselves, and feel entitled to depend on their government, and the people, all of us, who sent them to war. Here’s a novel idea: THEY ARE ENTITLED.

The Center for American Progress has put together this list showing the unfortunate facts behind veterans’ homelessness:

50 percent: Rate at which veterans are more likely than other Americans to become homeless. The Obama administration has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.

About 75,000: Number of veterans who are homeless on any given night, according to estimates from the Veterans Administration.

About 20,000: Number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were homeless in the past five years according to the Veterans Administration.

5.5 percent: Percentage of homeless vets who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan in the overall homeless population, according to the Veterans Administration.

A Veteran Commits Suicide Every 80 Minutes, according to a Center for a New American Security Suicide report. And, according to armytimes.com. 1,868 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, in 2009 alone, made suicide attempts. Marine Corps veteran Jason Christiansen, 35, of St. Paul, Minn. watched his life unravel upon completing his service. He lost his job as an auto dealer in 2008, avoided debt collectors and fell into a serious depression, and considered suicide. Minnesota.publicradio.org reports. Should he be able to expect more from the nation he served at the risk of his life, over there and back here ?

Recent job initiatives by President Obama have helped veteran unemployment fall by six points over the past year. Between January 2010 and January 2011, veteran homelessness declined by 12 percentage points. Still, with wars winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan, those numbers could increase rapidly without government safeguards, according to the Center for American Progress.

Perhaps this explains why Republicans blocked this bill. They could not hand President Obama ANY success, even that of helping our veterans. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America reacted with strength,dignity, and disappointment. “Once again, this Congress let partisan bickering stand in the way of putting thousands of America’s heroes back to work,“ said Paul Rieckhoff, the organization’s founder. “Lowering veteran unemployment is something both parties should be able to agree on – even in an election year.” It’s the least our veterans should be able to expect from us.

ROMNEY SPEAKS HIS MASTERFUL TRUTH,By Louise Annarino,September,18,2012

18 Sep

ROMNEY SPEAKS HIS MASTERFUL TRUTH, By Louise Annarino, September 18,2012

 

One’s first thought when hearing of candidate Romney’s disparaging remarks about 47% of Americans, recently caught on tape, is “another politician caught in private conversation.” I’ll leave to others the discussion of the political fall-out, the ineptness of a candidate and his campaign staff, and how this impacts the Romney campaign overall. Something more profound than a single election struck me as I watched the tape and listened to Romney’s words.

 

This was a relaxed Romney, not the robot-Romney of the campaign trail mouthing meaningless, convoluted sentences meant to reveal nothing of his true intentions; nor the hesitant Romney reluctant to provide income tax returns, specify policy points, or detail cuts he would make to balance a budget and reduce the deficit. This was a self-assured man, comfortable in his own skin because he was saying exactly what he believes. This is what bothers me.

 

Racism is so ingrained in our thought processes that it flies right past us. A notion that the  47% to whom Romney referred to as his lost votes would not vote for him because he would cut taxes is silly. He is speaking to wealthy donors, the country-club set who do all they can to avoid paying taxes, people just like Romney. His comments had nothing to do with his tax policy. He felt comfortable and safe within this setting because it is his domain,too. These masters of American wealth live in the big house, surrounded by invisible people who take care of their every need. Romney was assuring them he understands the wealthy are superior to those who serve them.

 

Like the master of the big house during slavery, they talk in front of the “help” as if the help are not listening; or if they are listening, cannot understand what is being said; or  if they do understand, have no power to do anything about it. What did the person who cleaned the room and arranged the seating think of Romney’s comments? What about the chauffeurs who drove the guests to the event? What about the cook who prepared the food, or the bartender who served the drinks? What about the staff who cleaned up afterwards? What did these persons think when they heard Romney show such disdain for them, their parents, their sons and daughters, and their grandparents? After all, these are workers in the service industry, many of whom do not even earn minimum wage which would likely put them among the 47% Romney disparaged.

 

As abolitionists campaigned to abolish slavery, they made every effort to paint the real horrors of slavery in newspapers, by writing books, and by creating an extensive lecture circuit. The most effective speakers were those who had escaped slavery. The slaveholders countered the abolitionists by describing slavery much differently. They used the same altered reality within which they could justify their ownership of another human being, by which they could profit from the sale of their slaves, by which they could justify protecting their assets, by which they could justify destroying slave families to pass on all their wealth after death by splitting up slave families among the children of the deceased. The master of slaves protected his investment in his business, and sold off human beings without remorse to elevate his bottom line. How is this different form what men like Romney, the big donors in that room, are trying to do?

 

I am not comparing a political campaign to slavery. I am demonstrating the historical trend of the wealthy class in America to do whatever it takes to maintain its hold on wealth and power, even if that means creating an altered reality. I am not describing everyone who has made money; only those who sense their wealth is unmerited.

 

How did slave masters justify their actions? By describing slaves as not interested in nor able to care for themselves, lazy and shiftless, as happy to be cared for by their benevolent master, as willing to do whatever the master asked of them, as too stupid to be taught to read and write-educating them would be a waste, as naturally docile and subservient, as overly emotional; and they wanted  the master to take care of them.

 

We know none of this is true; but, we see Romney describing Obama supporters with a similar altering of reality. He has done so throughout the campaign. This latest video simply affirms what we have understood all along. He is not just out-of-touch; he lives in an altered reality. The altered reality used to hang on to his wealth is nothing new; it is Romney’s and many of his big-donor supporters’ reality.

 

 

Actually, as an Obama supporter I can attest that disdain for Obama supporters started when Obama first rose to prominence. Obama supporters are described as obsessed, think Obama can do-no-wrong, support him no matter what, are naive or too stupid to understand how America works, and too stupid to realize he is not even an American. They are overly emotional, don’t listen to reason (of their betters), cannot be taught, are lazy and shiftless,want the government to take care of them.

 

The interesting thing is that President Obama is cast as both master and slave; subject to the deceptive descriptions of his followers, and described as the master of the big house/government. This racist theme is clear and overt in Teapublican circles. To see the Republican candidate meeting with masters with the money and using the racist rhetoric of the past in the current political contest makes me cringe for the GOP.

 

We cannot blame the wealthy for this behavior. Those with unmerited wealth must alter their reality. How else can they justify American veterans living on the streets, American children living in homeless shelters, those Americans chronically ill unable to get health insurance, the elderly and retired barely able to make ends meet, the very existence of a class of Americans called the “working poor”. How else can they justify their secretaries paying a higher share of their income than they do? How else can they justify hiding wealth in off-shore tax-shelters to avoid paying taxes?

 

Human beings cannot mistreat those whom they love and respect, nor a country they love and respect. They justify their mistreatment by disdaining them.They create an altered reality to cover a resentment of sharing their wealth. They use their labor to make wealth for themselves and call unionists thugs, African-Americans gangsters, women-sluts, and the middle-class and working poor unwilling to care for themselves.

 

Candidate Romney is not inept; nor is he stupid. He knows those he disdains will not vote for him. But his altered reality tells him he is the master of the big house and he can say what he wants and do what he likes.He believes he rules the media and the polls. He really does expect that the rest of us will go along with him; not because we want to but because we must do so to survive. Let’s prove him wrong. The master may still feel he is in charge. He may try to suppress our vote. He may dissemble in public discourse while he shares truths in private. But we are not fooled. And, we are fired up and ready to go care for our country, our fellow Americans, and ourselves.