wake up call time for congressman ryan costello 

I shared a link from the Daily Local about Congressman Ryan Costello and a “pop-up” town hall meeting. I said I thought Costello was a nice guy.

Basically I have taken a lot of crap for that ever since. 

Congressman Costello, I do think you are a nice guy, but these folks are right: nice isn’t going to get you re-elected next time.  We are. Or we aren’t. How it happens is up to you.

Your constituency feels abandoned by you. You can’t just dance to the tune of party bosses and donors and PACs with deep pockets. Not trying to be offensive, it’s how the game goes.  

See below, Congressman Costello. Do the right thing. And by right thing I do not mean robo-calls that lead to on the phone town hall meetings. They aren’t town hall meetings they are conference calls where you don’t have to look your constituents in the eye. 

Do the right thing.  I might think you are a nice guy, but it’s not my job to take crap because of what you aren’t doing- I sure as hell do not work for any politicians.

But I am a blogger and I do feel it is my responsibility to pass along these comments, even highlight them. 

Good hardworking Americans from coast to coast feel completely disenfranchised by the current state of affairs in Washington DC.  Truly we are terrified at what the land of the free is becoming. It’s like a cancer is spreading across this country. The only question is what will YOU do to stop it? 

Thanks










post mortem

So now we know the election results.  It is four more years.

On a more local/regional level Jim Gerlach made it back.  Dan Truitt made it back. It looks like Andy Dinniman made it back.  Tom Smith thankfully won’t be going anywhere.

Republicans in Chester County and across this country are bitterly disappointed this morning.  But as Republicans we only have ourselves to blame.  Too much tea ruins any good party. Period.

That is why.  Political extremism is a turn off.  And in some cases they can’t even vet their candidates.  Look at neighboring Delaware?  Do any of you even realize what happened with a tea party backed candidate there?

In Delaware, tea party and Christine O’Donnell approved Eric Bodenweiser was running for State Senate.  Part of his platform was family values.  One problem? He apparently molested someone once upon a time and they came forward.

What? I can’t make this stuff up:

WOBC: Ex-Del. Candidate Makes Bail on Child Sex Charges

DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC)- A former state Senate candidate charged with repeatedly molesting a young boy more than two decades ago is out on bail, one day after his arrest.

Fifty-three-year-old Eric Bodenweiser was released Tuesday from Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown after posting $250,000 secured bail….After winning the GOP primary, the tea party-backed Bodenweiser suspended his campaign for the 19th District Senate seat Oct. 12….Bodenweiser was a tea party-backed candidate whose supporters included former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. He upset incumbent Sen. Joe Booth in the Republican primary.

Christine O’Donnell of course in her typical delusion called this action politically “motivated and tacky” :

delawareonline: O’Donnell calls Bodenweiser charges “tacky,” politically motivated

Christine O’Donnell told a Sussex County talk radio station Tuesday that the child rape charges filed this week against former state Senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser were an “October surprise” and a “tacky” political move.

Speaking on WGMD 92.7 the 2010 tea party Senate candidate used the term “political weapon” when referring to allegations that Bodenweiser repeatedly raped and sexually abused a 10-year-old neighbor over the course of three years in the late 1980s.

Hear the audio here

But who is Christine O’Donnell other than another tea party candidate who should never have gotten as far as she did but it must have been witchcraft, right?

On come on.  Remember? (See ABC News report from 2010 and listen to her in her own words here)

On Friday, Maher released on his new HBO show, “Real Time,” an unaired clip of O’Donnell admitting to a brief dalliance with witchcraft.

“I dabbled into witchcraft — I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do,” she said.

“One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that,” she said. “We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”

And then there was Tom Smith who ran for Senate against Bob Casey (I think Bob Casey is a boob, but it feels good to refer to Smith in the past tense if you have a brain).

Tom Smith in August compared pregnancy from rape as being similar to having a baby out-of-wedlock.  He was trying to distance himself from the legitimate rape comment out of Todd Akin, who was thankfully defeated in Missouri last night. (Listen to the video here of Tom in his own words.)

Tom Smith said in this exchange with a reporter shortly after the Akin story broke:

Smith said Monday at the Pennsylvania Press Club that although he condemns Akin’s comment, he agrees with Akin that abortion should be banned without any exceptions, including for rape and incest victims. Pressed by a reporter on how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter becoming pregnant as a result of rape, Smith said he had already “lived something similar to that” in his family.

“She chose life, and I commend her for that,” he said. “She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to … she chose the way I thought. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.”

When a reporter asked Smith to clarify what kind of situation was similar to becoming pregnant from rape, the candidate responded, “Having a baby out of wedlock.”

If Tom Smith was my father, I would have never spoken to him again after those comments I found them so vile and ignorant.  I was embarassed for his daughter.

Why am I pulling up all this Republican unpleasantness?  To prove a point.  The point is simple: big government and political extremism is ruining this country. One party rule doesn’t help either.

Yes I understand the irony that I actually like State Rep. Dan Truitt and he calls himself a tea partier.  He’s a pro-life Catholic and I am a pro-choice Catholic. But the thing about Truitt I actually like is he keeps it local and he does work for his district and he leaves a lot of the Harrisburg pork-perks in Harrisburg.

I will also admit I am new to the area and not a seasoned local, but as is the case with many things political I tend to look at the candidate themself. Truitt and I do not see eye to eye on everything, but I believe him to be genuine and hard-working.  (I read an interesting older blog post on him here.)

Interestingly enough, I actually did meet Bret Binder yesterday.  I had a fairly long conversation with him.  We did disagree over the fully local comment he made while politicking at the East Goshen Farmers Market (which is run by a non-profit the Friends of East Goshen).  We also disagreed over the West Chester Area School District, but I am not going to say the time I spent with him was unpleasant.  He was bright and pleasant and articulate.  He honestly seems to have a lot of involvement with some non-profits and seems devoted to making a difference in Chester County.  So he won’t be doing it from the State House this time around, but my gut says he may be someone to watch.

Now back to a more national stage and discussion.  I heard it bandied about last night that some in the Republican Party wondered if they had not found a candidate that was conservative enough to run for president.  Are you people crazy?  Do you not even see the people of your own party?  Do you think, do you really think most Republicans have an easy time identifying with the candidates you choose?

Moderation.  The Republican Party needs to embrace it’s middle ground again. Those are the candidates which are successful.

Take Jim Gerlach as an example.  I actually know him and his wife, and I got to know them yes through activism and political involvement in my former home community of Lower Merion Township.  I can tell you for a fact that when Jim had Lower Merion as part of his district, he had a LOT of crossover votes.  There were a lot of Democrats who voted for him because he was a moderate.  He also has incredibly good constituent services who don’t see political parties when constituents call: they see people it is their pleasure to help.  And no, I did not like some of what I heard Jim saying this time around, so I hope he goes back to being the moderate I really feel him to be.

A quick segue into something I learned about the part of Chester County East Goshen is in yesterday at the poll.  Apparently every time there is a census performed the congressional district gets a do over? WHY? I know it to be true because when I first moved here my congressman was Pat Meehan.  Then when I saw Jim Gerlach at East Goshen Day I found out he was my congressman. I learned yesterday that this back and forth is almost like some weird tradition.   I will freely admit I don’t understand the whims of redistricting except it is politically motivated.

Now back to the rest of the politics of politics.

The Republican party needs to have a come to Jesus talk with itself.  Because the Republican party that got Reagan and even both Georges elected no longer exists. No party is perfect, but the Republicans keep losing because they do not have enough candidates that the average person can identify with. Period. And when you have candidates who are very wealthy men speaking to seniors who depend on things like Medicare and Social Security and they say they will blow it all to smithereens but these now terrified senior citizen will be o.k. what do you think will happen?

When you have a freak about gay marriage, which let’s get real at the end of the day will it hurt you personally as a heterosexual what do you think will happen? (the answer is no it won’t hurt you.)

And the tired tried but true of being dumb enough to keep a woman’s right to choose in campaigns. You know what?  Keep that on the platform, keep on losing elections.  It is pretty much that simple.  You have these zealots who are caveman-like in their views on women.  Maybe some women won’t tell you it is offensive when candidates are off hand about women who are violated or have babies out of wedlock, but I bet if you ask those same women questions about that in the privacy of their own home, you will get a different answer.  At the end of the day, it is a sensitive, complex topic that is more personal choice than anything so it doesn’t belong on pulpits, in political platforms, or in mock election discussions for elementary and middle schoolers.

We are a fractured nation.  We are in a recession not seen since the Great Depression, so can we maybe admit we might kinda sorta be in one? Politically we are all at loggerheads with one and other.  And at the end of the day I said it before in this post and I will say it again, big government AND political extremism are ruining this country.

Politically, there is enough room for all of us.  But the hateful rhetoric from BOTH sides needs to stop.  One good thing about it being November 7th is for the first time in months it is 8 a.m. and I have not had a political robo or live solicitation call.

Four, almost five years ago I met Michelle Obama in a small group setting of about fifty people (and a couple hundred media).  I really liked her.  I  do believe the President has the courage of his convictions, but meaning no disrespect I have felt like he has been led around by the party machine to which he belongs as opposed to leading.   This country needs to be led, and not by the behind the scenes machinations of political parties and puppet masters.

As for Romney, truthfully I think if he had chosen a different, more moderate vice presidential candidate there may have been a different outcome.  But I think like McCain he made a huge mistake and pandered to a group of people who do not represent the perspectives of the average Republican, or individual.

The Republican party needs to get back to basics. Less tea.

From local politics to Harrisburg to Washington DC we need a balance in politics.  We need things like meaningful healthcare reform, which means reforming the insurance companies not just layers and layers of rules and regulations that totally confuses us every time we want to go to the doctor.

We also need certain social issues taken out of the everyday vernacular of American politics and OFF political platforms. Roe v. Wade needs to stop being some weird warped political drinking game.  After all, what happend to those who wish to undo it? THEY LOSE.

And most importantly, those of us who are in the middle who are average people just trying to live good lives and make our own way need to be heard.  We aren’t the movers and shakers writing big campaign checks, we are just the people elected officials are supposed to serve. And who aren’t supposed to feel victimized by government.

Well the die has been cast on election 2012.

Thank you for stopping by my blog today.  I realize that I am probably not the kind of Republican some will understand.  But the thing is this, I actually do try to think about this stuff and make my own informed decisions.  Politically speaking we can’t unring the bell, we can only move forward.

Have a good day all, and enjoy the lack of robo calls.

sense and sensabilities?

So I wrote a post yesterday on how I feel about some of the politics in this country. Wow, the brew ha ha which has ensued one would have thought I was chicken little and the sky was falling in.

It actually made me ask a question:

So if you don’t like tea partiers and question them and other political extremists, does that make you a bad Republican? Or a bad Democrat for that matter? If we can’t question politics are we truly free?

Well?

Why can’t I question what makes me uncomfortable along with what I do not understand?  Why does that suddenly make me a political undesirable? As a woman am I supposed to walk ten steps behing, be barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen and MUTE?

Let’s review something – I blog for me first and foremost.  I share my opinions because it is what I feel like writing about in that moment.  It is not always going to be  placid and necessarily comfortable for all.  It’s not always going to be a pretty photo, or a fantastic recipe to share. Sometimes it will be topics like politics, from a local stage to a national level. It depends where the inspiration comes from at that moment.

I feel that the basic framework on which this country was founded is exactly why we should question things now.  I feel that in an odd way certain groups in this country are trying to suppress some of the very freedoms and philosophies on which this nation was founded and grew.

That, dear readers, doesn’t make me a bad female Republican. It means I think about things.

I was a volunteer, a media relations volunteer at RNC2000.  Twelve years ago I felt strongly enough about being a part of that to seek out friends in Washington who could help me get a better volunteer position.  Truthfully, I was one of the few volunteering in my capacity that did not come out of politically connected PR and advertising shops.

I approached it all with an open mind and as a result, met some truly remarkable people.  And I lent a Congressman at the time  named Chip Pickering cab fare when he got off a train without his wallet and no one else believed he was who he was.  (And yes he paid me back and my reward were invitations to some pretty awesome A list parties.)  But what I noticed was at that time the Republican party worked really hard to extremists on the fringe so everyone felt honestly welcome within the party.  Not so any longer.  The extremists are being embraced at the expense of ordinary Americans in the middle. That is an act of desperation that I feel quite strongly will bite them in the rear.

Both political parties are guilty of the dumbing down of America and that bothers me. Washington is full of politicians spending our tax dollars to prove each side right and wrong.  These politicians aren’t worried so much about the constituencies they represent, but seem to be constantly running for re-election.  I think that is crap.

Truthfully, I have been reading up on things in Washington, and I think Democrats and their assorted pals are nervous about the upcoming election.  I believe people should start paying attention to who is leaving what and taking what new job.  Because face it, with a new administration a lot of people could find themselves on the outside looking in.

One example I see recently and locally to an extent is the latest headmaster appointed at The Haverford School.  John A. Nagl.  His experience and current responsibilities are truly remarkable.  But a change of course to headmaster of the Haverford School?  To me that might be commentary on the current political climate and fear of things to come. (of course what a lot of people are also asking is why Haverford is choosing yet another ex military to run a non-military school?)

Ok, so back to the topic at hand: questioning politics.

If we can’t question and discuss politics, let alone express our feelings as to what is bothering us, we are no longer truly free.

You can’t just drink the kool-aid in either political party and it would behoove more people to look at who they are voting for a little more closely. It would also behoove more to be of an independent mind.

And if you want to discuss with me what I am thinking about, that is fine, but don’t just tell me I am across the board wrong.  I know I am not.  Maybe I make some of you uncomfortable with my pondering, and I am sorry.  But you have to think.  You can’t just act like a Stepford wife or Moonie and pull the lever for any candidate.  You need to ponder. You have to ponder. You have as a resident of the United States of America an obligation to carefully ponder as far as I am concerned.

Here are a couple of notes I received from people I know with regard to my blog post yesterday:

 I LONG for moderate Republicans to take back their party from the crazies. Leave women’s bodies alone and focus on the types of spending reform for which the party is supposed to stand.

What makes me crazy is how many have signed a PLEDGE that makes them beholden to a LOBBYIST. They sold out their ability to compromise and act in the best interest of our country because Grover Norquist made them do it. To me, that is treason. When a leader like Mitch McConnell says that Congress’ goal for two years should be to unseat the President in the next election, ergo not pass any legislation that would seem like a “win” for the D side, regardless of how much it would benefit people and businesses that are hurting, where are we?

Stop worrying about who people are schtupping. Stop worrying about women who take a pill so that they have two children instead of 20, and pass the existing legislation that lowers corporate tax rates, invests in retraining for people in hard-hit areas that have been laid off. Stop blindly protecting the defense budget and question why we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars building up bases in the Caribbean to combat drugs.

Someone…please…take back the reins. When Reagan’s key tax policy advisor has said that the GOP has gone off the rails and is hurting the country, there’s a problem. I think we need a more-than-two-party system. But, at the very least, we need TWO functional parties that welcome debate and dissent, can compromise, and don’t accuse anyone who disagrees with them as being “un-American.”

Another one (ironically from a friend in DC who reads Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Karen Heller):

And please be sure to read the sentence where Smith says to put yourself in the father’s position. Yeah, the father’s position is MUCH more difficult to be in than the poor girl who got raped and pregnant.

Karen Heller: Another GOP moment: Smith comparing daughter’s unintended pregnancy to rape  August 29, 2012|By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist

“Maybe Tom Smith just wanted us to remember his name.  Or realize he’s the Pennsylvania Republican running for the U.S. Senate.

Or perhaps he’s jealous of headline-hogging Todd Akin, that Missouri master of creative obstetrics, and wanted his own moment in the sun and on this paper’s front page.

In any event, Smith finally made news Monday by comparing unintended pregnancy to rape.

Specifically, his daughter’s unintended pregnancy to rape, after a Harrisburg press luncheon in front of a group of reporters….

Smith answered, “I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But fortunately for me, I didn’t have to. . . . She chose the way I thought. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t rape.”

Scolforo: “Similar how?”

Smith: “Having a baby out of wedlock.

Scolforo: “That is similar to rape?”

Smith: “No, no, no. Well, put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, I mean it is similar.” “

The last comment is from someone who was a life long Republican until not so long ago:

I have been enjoying newsroom all along – despite the nasty reviews from the “pros.”
I also found Sunday night’s show to be spot on.
So who owns the term rino these days? I sure as heck can’t say. That we are even asking that question is just plain sad.
For me, long ago my personal experiences informed my decision to leave a party that so deliberately and decidedly was extremely comfortable with treating women as second class citizens. But the fact that the Republican party is now, in 2012, hell-bent on controlling women’s bodies in ways I really never dreamed could happen in my lifetime makes it impossible for me to contemplate ever returning. And please, how is it that creationism is even a topic we have to contemplate – let alone discuss in the public discourse?
But these are only the most obvious of issues. what is deeply, deeply disturbing to me is the lack of caring and compassion for those in need. Not every person is a lazy worthless free loader living off/on the public dole, and the insanity – to say nothing of the fundamental selfishness – which seems to be at the center of policies that so callously and inappropriately ignore those less fortunate, I just can not understand or grasp such perspectives.
So there – I joined you on the soap box…..thanks for listening.
Remember what Thomas Jefferson said – “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

six minutes of television worth watching before the election

Last night I did not watch the Republican National Convention, or listen to Ann Romney’s speech. (See and interview with her here.) To get personal, I am sorry she had breast cancer, but you know what? I am a survivor too.  She also spoke about having multiple sclerosis, and again, I am sorry, but I know a very brave woman who struggles with this every day who I think is amazing.  And she doesn’t tell people about her disease, nor do I tell people what I had so other women will identify with me.  It is simply now part of who I am, and to an extent how I view the world.

What did I watch? The season finale of HBO’s The Newsroom which I had missed on Sunday night.

But what I do not get about my own political party, the Republican party, is they put the candidate’s wife, Ann Romney, out there to speak to the women of this country, yet behind the scenes there is embracing of political zealots who I feel have very little respect for women, their bodies, their opinions, their wants, their needs.

Look at Rep. Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” comments. According to him,and his vast medical knowledge,women’s bodies shut down upon violation making pregnanacy, etc impossible. And look in our own political trashcan in Pennsylvania to Tom Smith, who is running for senate.  He drew a parallel in an interview with the AP between babies born out-of-wedlock and rape. HUH????

Neither of these men should be running for those reasons alone, yet they are.  And they aren’t alone.  How am I as a Republican woman supposed to vote a Republican ticket when just underneath the surface exists a current that is terrifying to me?   Don’t misunderstand me, I am not feeling it for Obama for a second term, but I am having a personal political crisis wondering how the hell I am going to vote?

I have said before that I feel the politics of extremism is ruining this country. It is the undeniable truth.  Which is why when I heard what a fictional newsman (who sadly does better reporting the news that major networks in this country do in reality) talk about Republicans and the Tea Party as a fictional Republican, it was very interesting.

Writers do not just draw from imagination, they draw from real life,  out there are a lot of  people who are torn and apathetic at the same time just like me.  I don’t think this all came out of Aaron Sorkin’s vivid imagination alone.  (Read an interesting article on the series in the Atlantic HERE)

I volunteered for the RNC2000 when it was in Philadelphia.  I have to tell you, I believed a lot more than I do now.  But at that convention, the Republican Party on a national level had some balls and the political  zealots and extremists stayed firmly where they belong on the fringe.

I almost wonder what kind of target I will become now as a blogger for saying I am a Republican but political extremism isn’t the way to go?

Anyway, watch the clip I posted.  I don’t care who did it, or what their political persuasion may or may not be, as Americans it is a perspective we should at least hear out.

Here is what Buffalonews.com had to say:

Brilliant ‘Newsroom’ finale has impeccable timing By Jeff Simon

Enough of all the supremely supercilious Sorkin-bashing. No more. Sunday’s season finale of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” managed to be the most timely – and one of the best – season finales of a television show I’ve ever seen (and, in my case, that “ever” covers a lot of chronological distance).

On this very evening, the Republicans are gathered in Tampa to see how much commandeering of the American journalistic agenda a storm called Isaac will allow. Two days earlier, “The Newsroom’s” finale led off with fictional journalistic crusader Will McEvoy leading off his news broadcast with a very real issue hotly debated (“defended” is the most apt word) just a few weeks ago: efforts to deny voting rights to those who have no photographic identification…..Put it together with “The Newsroom’s” usual blowtorching of the Tea Party on the (also) plausible grounds that it represents extremism, not Republicanism, and you’ve got the most extraordinary timeliness ever recorded for a TV show in a presidential election year. And all this, mind you, from an HBO fantasy that, thus far, has had to restrict itself to actual events from 2010, when some of the writing was being done….

In the terrific season finale of “The Newsroom” – complete with historically appropriate sideswipes at “Sex and the City” – Sorkin revealed what his theme music all along should have been: bad, scratchy old recordings of Broadway cast albums from “Camelot” and “Man of La Mancha.”

Now THAT would have been the proper introductory tone – smartass, ironic, dweeby, willing to get bruised while pushing boundaries rather than defending a bunch of Holy Prophets who were never anything of a sort.

 

Like it or not, Aaron Sorkin and HBO via fictional characters have given a voice to people questioning the tides of American politics.  Even registered Republicans.

We, as Americans, have been suffering through an economy not seen since the Great Depression if we are all honest with ourselves.  We don’t (thankfully) have a World War looming on the horizon to snap us out of it, but you know what?  We all need something to believe in.

We need as Americans, to have not only something and someones we can believe in, but practical solutions and not pie in the sky ideals.

We do not need to set women back a century or better, and we need to stop a lot of rhetoric which if continued will merely induce more hatred between races.  We need people who actually want to get together from both parties and govern for the good of the people and this country.

Right now it is bull twaddle as usual in Washington, DC.  And in the actual district you see people running around hedging their bets in case the seat of power changes, which in effect means nothing is getting done and we are still paying for it as taxpayers.

You know, I had a ticket for Paul Ryan’s visit to West Chester but I did not go.  I did not go because I did not feel like dealing with the extremeists from either side who were there, including that old fool Frank Lautenberg.  I enjoy politics, I enjoy hearing what candidates have to say, and sometimes even their wives, which is how I got to meet Michele Obama last election in a small setting. I like to hear what candidates have to say, but I can’t hear any of them this election season because they are getting drowned out by the politics of extremism on both sides.

I am getting off the soap box now.

political apathy.

There are some mornings you just think you should go back to be and start the day over.  This morning is one of those mornings. No Mitt Romney, today is not a good day for America.

Mitt Romney just picked his running mate.  Actually social media leaked it out a few hours ago, while mainstream media is hawking it as breaking news.

It’s not breaking news, it’s bad news.  Mitt Romney has chosen his running mate and he might as well have chosen Sarah Palin. He has chosen Congressman Paul Ryan. 

It is official, the politics of extremism will be running the elections in the U.S. this November.  Sign me one frustrated Republican.  Romney, like Obama, panders to small factions, pockets of extremism.  Like Obama, he does not speak to the average, nor majority of Americans.

The majority of Americans are in the middle, they try to belong to a political party and are trying to desperately believe in  anything and anyone, yet both political parties worship at the extreme sides of their respective parties, leaving little in reality for the Average American to grasp or hold onto.  Let alone believe in. Is the United States becoming a rudderless political ship steered by warring extremist political factions?

This choice by Romney makes me like a woman without a country. There is NO place in this election for voters in the middle of either party.  And Paul Ryan certainly won’t respect my right to choose as a woman.  And I am not saying what my choices are incidentally, only a Romney-Ryan ticket might as well have me proverbially speaking being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. And silent.

Obama has done nothing for me, and truthfully what has Obama done for the majority of Americans?  The answer is nothing. He has been four long years of BTLA – big talk little action.  He’s good at talking, but while he is fiscally fine, can you say that for the majority of people in this country?  What is so fabulous about what he has done with healthcare? Has he reformed the actual healthcare companies? Look at bibles of wasted money like the largely uninterpreted Dodd-Frank Act?  Has there been sensible Wall Street  reform with rules people can actually follow?  Or has it merely given the Securities and Exchange Commission a bigger bully stick that comes complete with selective enforcement versus creating a better system through rule making that can actually work and not just grow their workforce?

Our country is an economic cesspool and the problems that existed four years ago, still exist today, only worse.  We might as well be in a depression.

Romney unfortunately is in that class of super rich who are out of touch with reality.  And his running mate is too extreme.  Ryan’s policies are too extreme and would punish everyone in this country except the infamous top 2%.

So where does that leave the rest of us?  We are not better off.   If anything, the Average American is more pissed off.

Romney’s Palin for Decision 2012 (Paul Ryan) may just hand the election back to Obama.  So I guess we had all better hope Obama can actually do something to benefit all not just select factions the next four years, hadn’t we?

I am so tired of the politics of extremism in this country, that I truly might not vote this November.  I have never said that, never done that.  I was going to volunteer at my new poll.  Why bother?

Sign me disgusted by American politics, and if Romney had chosen more wisely and chosen someone like Tim Pawlenty this might be a very different blog post.

But what do I know from American politics?  I am not of a religion that believes in magic underwear, after all.

The Wall Street Journal has some Ryan sound bytes:

WSJ: Paul Ryan Excerpts: ‘We Can Turn This Thing Around’

August 11, 2012, 8:42 AM

“I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns.”

Dude, you don’t represent me or my part of the country and the USA is pretty darn large.  Wisconsin is not representative of who I am as a Pennsylvanian.

REUTERS: Romney campaign confirms Paul Ryan as running mate

By Steve Holland

NORFOLK, Virginia |         Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:08am EDT

NORFOLK, Virginia (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, the Romney campaign confirmed on Saturday.

“Mitt’s choice for VP is Paul Ryan. Spread the word about America’s comeback team,” a Romney campaign mobile phone application said, confirming widespread reports he had selected the 42-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee…..

Conservative leaders, increasingly anxious over the state of Romney’s campaign, had urged him to pass over reliable – but not particularly inspiring – figures such as Ohio Senator Rob Portman and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, and instead go for Ryan.

The Wisconsin congressman is a favorite of the conservative Tea Party, an anti-tax, limited-government movement that helped Republicans take over the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.

But Ryan’s selection immediately draws attention to a budget plan he proposed as House budget chairman that would include controversial cuts in government health programs for the elderly and poor…..

By choosing Ryan, Romney effectively adopts the Ryan budget, which includes proposed cuts to Medicare, the healthcare program for the elderly, long considered to be politically taboo.

Ryan would set up a voucher-like system for the program to help beneficiaries buy private health insurance or give them access to the traditional fee-for-service plan.

Another controversial portion of Ryan’s budget is a plan to reduce the cost of Medicaid, the federally backed healthcare plan for the poor, by turning it into a block grant program for states.

Several Democrats have said that among the potential running mates for Romney, Ryan was the one they would most like to face because of his budget proposals.

And d’oh Romney just did his speech and goofed – he just asked people to welcome the next “President” of the United States and then had to correct himself.   Well every campaign needs a Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle. Ironically, Obama did the same thing when introducing Biden.

Also check out The New Yorker on this.

August  9, 2012
Posted by

As you may have noticed, I’ve largely avoided speculating about Mitt Romney’s  choice of a running mate. That’s partly because I don’t have any inside  information and partly because of something I learned back in 1988, when I was a  young whippersnapper covering the Presidential election for the Sunday  Times of London. At the Republican convention, in New Orleans,  Vice-President George H. W. Bush stunned almost everybody by picking Dan Quayle,  a young senator from Indiana, as his running mate.

After a string of gaffes on Quayle’s part, following questions being raised  about his résumé and lack of experience, the Bush campaign sent in the heavies  to shore him up: James Baker and Roger Ailes….Quayle was irrelevant….In 2008, Sarah Palin reprised the role of clueless running mate, providing the  press corps with even more entertainment than Quayle had done twenty years  earlier. But Palin, like Quayle, didn’t have much, if any, impact on the result.  By the middle of August, before John McCain announced his choice of Veep  candidate, Barack Obama was already holding a steady lead in the polls, which he never relinquished….

Now there’s another veepstakes, with speculation that an announcement of the  candidate’s name could come as early as today. Rather than trying to make  predictions, it may be more productive to assess what Romney’s choice might  mean…..But my hopes would be tempered by the memory of Quayle, Palin, and all the other  Veep candidates who garnered acres of newsprint and didn’t count for much on  Election Day. In fact, here’s a challenge: Can anybody think of a running mate  who made a substantial difference?

I am not a Tea Partier and I am not a Democrat.  There is no place for me in this election as a voter.  It also makes me wonder where there is a place for average Americans in American politics at all.  Paul Ryan is not a choice. He’s more political extremism.

The politics of extremism will ruin this country if we are not careful.

as the west vincent turns: this little piggy and other tales of the politically ridiculous

Is throwing a private party using any public monies whatsoever feeding from the public trough?  (Of course any municipality is free to throw a party, but do they use taxpayer funding of any level to throw private parties? If so, is this a wider conversation which needs to occur?)

Or, is it just in West Vincent that this is different?  (I am asking because I do not know.)

Is it just to be chalked up as no worries, it’s only money?

I figure I would throw this out there and ask.  West Vincent is a Township that has a Republican majority so pardon me if I don’t quite grasp how it is fiscally responsible to use any taxpayer funds in this sort of economy to throw a private party.  Times are tight, times are different.  Is what happened 30 years ago, ok now?

I understand that the funds were spent so they could honor Zoe Perkins, a former supervisor and member of the township’s planning commission.  However, that being stated and given the continued issues over there in this little slice of Chester County, wasn’t that just a bad idea? As in dumb de dumb dumb dumb?

I mean is it not true that Farmer in The Dell, Supervisor Ken Killer uses some township owned land as part of the land he farms on? (And what is “Project Moo” I unearthed about this?)  And Chester County’s Queen of Eminent Domain, former Executive Director of French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust, Clare QuinnWho is receiving taxpayer funded health benefits?

So they wanted to throw this Zoe a party to honor her?  It should have been an open reception of some sort if they were using any township monies.  Why?  Because don’t those monies stem from residents/taxpayers?

And OH.MY.GOD the utter neurosis of these West Vincent officials when it comes to whomever “Chickenman” is?  Why does it matter?  If Chickenman sends out missives based upon publlicly available information, well couldn’t anyone do this?  Given the fact they are seemingly so obsessed with Chickenman, I have to ask if a right to know request was submitted on West Vincent that asked for costs involved in any and all surveillance of private citizens at any time or occasion, what would be the end result?

It just seems to me that isn’t it reasonable to assume that if they are so obsessed still with a Chicken who has been around a few years that they might be spending taxpayer money in all sorts of ways that no one knows about?  Mind you I am just asking a fair question, as it just seems like every time West Vincent is in the news or gets an unpleasant light shined on them, they resort to the furtive and paranoid Chickenman references, and pardon me but is Chickenman the only one who notices things sometimes aren’t quite what they seem? Gosh it was like this in Delaware County a few years ago with a secret blogger named Delco Tom Paine, and I thought it was ridiculous then in that situation.

Why is it they think the public and the local reporters who cover them are stupid?  If they are adding 2 + 2 = 5, duh-oh aren’t people going to ask where the extra 1 came from?

West Vincent, it is not so much you threw someone a party or how much money you spent, it is that you seem to be unable to resist the urge to feed from the public trough, only the public wasn’t invited, were they? If they had a public ceremony open to whomever wanted to come, let’s get real?  How many people would have come? Probably no more than who went to the private affair.  BUT it would have been a public thing.

And I am sorry but yes, saying good bye to a public official might be a genteel thing to do, but if all you were serving was a sip or two of soda, it could have been paid for differently.   And lordy, doesn’t everyone have enough extra glasses and plates and table linens that they did not need to be rented?

You can’t keep wearing the “I’m With Stupid” shirts, West Vincent.  You can’t keep using a lone chicken as your scape goat.  Times have changed, even in West Vincent, and people want accountability from their officials.  And above all else, you can’t say you are a Republican majority run municipality if you are using taxpayer funds on anything other than their immediate benefit.

And people of West Vincent, if you are going to keep voting these people back into office year after year, you do in fact, deserve each other.  Sorry for the tough love, but it’s time to man and woman up: you want change, vote for it this coming November and every season after that until you feel you have a better degree of municipal representation.  These politicians and municipal folks work for the taxpayers and residents, not the other way around.

Posted: 07/22/12 12:09 am

WEST VINCENT — Using a combination of donations and township funds in May, township supervisors hosted a private appreciation party for a former supervisor.

The party was held to thank Zoe Perkins, a former supervisor and member of the township’s planning commission. It was attended by invitation only and held in the township building, which is adjacent to West Vincent Township Park.

 According to Supervisor Jim Wendlegass, the party was kept small primarily due to cost restrictions and occupancy limitations of the building’s room.

 Supervisor Clare Quinn, who worked with Perkins, said township funds are occasionally used to pay for refreshments, and this is not considered an extraordinary expense or activity.

The township party was first publicized in a recent posting on a website about West Vincent affairs written by “Chickenman.” The website, chickenman.medianewsonline.com, states that the focus of the articles posted there is an effort to fight “corruption in West Vincent.”

  The exact identity or identities of “chickenman” are subject to speculation. “Chickenman” and the newsletter comments have been the topic of public comment at township meetings….“(Perkins) served for 18 years, and gave all her money back to the township that she served,” said Quinn. “Every now and then we think it’s OK for the citizens of the township to thank somebody with a little bit of soda.”…It’s not like we rented a country club and had an exorbitant affair,” said Wendlegass, who estimated the total cost paid for by taxpayer money, including the sundial, was about $600. “We are very sensitive to the taxpayers and we try and do things as cheaply as we can.”