Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The Republican National Convention just ended in Tampa.  The Republican Party has spent three days telling us what they are against!  I wonder if they for anything? Having been raised in a Democratic leaning family, that attended church on a regular basis, we believe in the social contract, that says we should take care of the poor and the sick.

The philosophy of the Republican party of 2012, seems in stark contrast to the Republican party of 2000, when George W. Bush talked about being a compassionate conservative. At the time I thought that was an oxymoron. Is there really anything compassionate about conservatives? The answer is yes.  The Bush administration worked with faith based groups to attempt to take care of the poor and the struggling. They have a philosophy about social security:  they want to privatize it! Again I disagree with the plan. At least  they believed in something. As much as the second Bush Administration is criticized for everything and anything, I applaud them for the compassionate advocacy for the poor.
What does the Republican party of today stand for?  They talk about that they are the party of fiscal responsibility, but are they really?  When George W. Bush took office, the country was on track to have a surplus.  I do not really need to go over this territory again because it has been said over and over. The Tea Party came to power in 2010 with a hatred towards Government! They cheered as the country stood on the fiscal cliff as we discussed a routine increase in the debt ceiling. They unveiled a debt clock at their convention but, failed to talk about that half of the debt on the clock comes from a Republican President and a Republican Congress. Paul Ryan the newly minted Vice Presidential Candidate, in his acceptance speech had the nerve to criticize President Obama on the Simpson/Bowles fiscal plan but, what he did not have the courage to tell you was that he was a member of that fiscal commission, and when it came up in the house he voted against it. Is there anything really intellectual about being dishonest?  That is what Paul Ryan appeared to be in his speech.

Here is a short list of things that they oppose:
They oppose marriage equality, and want to continue to defend the enshrinement of discrimination in the constitution by defending the “Defense of Marriage act” even though courts all around the country continue to rule that it is unconstitutional. Let me ask you a simple question, does the married gay or lesbian couple next door really make your marriage of lesser value? If the value of your marriage is lessened by the gay couple next door, perhaps you need to look inward. How about that couple next door, gay or straight, are they good neighbors? Are they generous to the community? Do they keep their yard in good order? What matters is that they are good neighbors who give back to their community.

They also oppose, abortion, and there is nothing wrong with being pro-life versus pro choice. It is a very personal thing. It is the way they do it, that is dishonest. They rail against the government saying the government wants to run our lives but, if you look across the country they have spent the last two years passing abortion bills, so they do not want government to regulate our finances the environment. They want government to stick its nose into the most personal decision that a woman or a couple can make. It is being a hypocrite.  They are doing this very well. Since 1994 when Mitt Romney opposed Ted Kennedy for the Senate seat in Massachusetts, his position has evolved. At that time we was pro-choice, I guess if he really believed that I don’t understand how the evolved to being pro-life! Was he pandering to the electorate then or is he pandering to the conservative base of today’s Republican party? My mom and I were recently discussing this issue and my mom said, “you are pro-choice because I raised you that way, I am pro-choice because my mother raised me to be that way.” I thought,  WOW, here was a woman who was born in 1910, in a more conservative age but, had become pro-choice. I was fascinated by that whole thing. My mother stated that, “your grandmother remembers a time when abortion was the dirty little secret of the country. It still happened but, unprofessionally. Old ladies with knitting needles and coat hangers, back alley abortionists who did not care about the life of the woman after the procedure. The platform states that they oppose abortion in all cases with no exceptions! No rape exception, no incest exception, and no life of the mother exception! Paul Ryan recently stated, “it doesn’t matter the method of conception its still a life!” He is correct but, to force a woman to give birth to a rapist child seem criminal to me. I just don’t understand or accept that way of thinking or philosophy.

I close with this thought. My grandmother was probably one of the most influential people in my life. I recall a conversation from the 2004 Presidential election. In that conversation a woman who had been a life long Republican decided that she would, for the first time in her life, vote for Democrat! She just did not understand where the party was going. It no longer reflected her values of fiscal conservatism and still supporting the social safety net.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


In looking around the country, it seems that contraception has become an issue. Isn’t this an issue that we were discussing in the 1950’s and 1960’s? With our economy just beginning to recover, how are women’s issues all of a sudden front and center? Why do middle-aged people feel that they have the right to tell women what do with their bodies?  The Obama Administration probably overreached in the original HSS ruling that all religious affiliated organizations had to pay for contraception coverage; the intent was honorable.  When you think about religious affiliated organizations you think of hospitals and colleges.  My question is what about people who work for those organizations that don’t subscribe to that religion? Some of these people are professionals who were hired to do a job.  Don’t these people deserve access to contraception? All around the country we see extreme anti-abortion legislation being passed into law, we now see the same thing happening with contraception.  Contraception used to be a bipartisan issue. In the early 1990’s the New Hampshire Legislature passed similar legislation to the HSS ruling and back then everyone was in favor of this; it was considered good public policy.  Now the leadership of the House wants to introduce legislation that would change this law, that would allow any business or organization to NOT pay for anything they feel goes against their religious or moral convictions.  If we pass this law, will that mean that eventually employers will be able to say they are not going to cover heart disease related issues, because the employee was overweight or smoked? I was reading the Huffington Post recently and saw that the Utah House passed legislation that would only allow sex education with abstinence-only education. Contraception is not only about preventing unwanted pregnancy, but is also about preventing the passing of sexually transmitted diseases, some of which can kill you. If I was a parent I would want my child to have a well balanced sex education, not just a narrow religious-based perspective. Contraception is not just about birth control, it is sometimes prescribed for women’s health issues. Also insurance companies would rather pay for this because it’s cheaper than the alternative’s abortions and unwanted child births.
In closing, don’t we have other issues to be concerned about? Are social issues what the American public is worried about?  With millions of Americans struggling to find jobs, others worried about mortgage payments, it seems that contraception in 2012 should be a non issue.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Throughout all of the debate about budgeting, the debt ceiling, the Bush tax cuts, in the last two years, Republican leaders have stayed true to the message that we can’t raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires because they are the job creators.  So my question today is: how many jobs did Mitt Romney create?  The argument that is constantly used by the Republican party is “we can’t raise taxes on the job creators” According the NPR, in releasing details of his tax burden for the past two years, Mitt Romney offered a small window into a vast wealth. The tax records show that the former Massachusetts governor made $42.6 million over the past two years and because most of it came from capital gains, he paid $6.2 million in taxes. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge Mitt Romney his wealth, but it just seems something is just not right when the average American pays a higher tax rate than Mitt Romney.
That means that in 2010, his tax rate was 13.9 percent, and in 2011, it's expected to be 15.4 percent, lower than many Americans who pay taxes on wages. When I think of job creators, I think of people who actually make something or offer a service of some type. These are the type of people who deserve tax breaks, people who can come into a community and help create jobs for the community. Businesses of these types also give back to the communities they reside in, in many ways. It seems to me that Mitt Romney didn’t really create any jobs; he probably hired someone to provide maintenance on his homes. He probably hired individuals to cook, clean and do domestic chores around his homes, but are these really middle class jobs that you could support your family on?  Did these jobs come with healthcare benefits?
I work with a die-hard Republican; after the State of Union Address, he commented that he really liked the fact that President Obama was advocating for fairness in the tax code.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is the real meaning behind a slogan?

As most of you know, we have started what some people call the “silly season” in NH.  The First in the Nation Presidential Primary, will be held on January 10, 2012.  Now you can ride around and see political signs everywhere.

On a trip to Barrington, on Saturday, I started to really read some of the slogans on some of the signs.

Mitt Romney’s signs read, “Believe in America”. It makes me wonder, does Mitt Romney think President Obama does not believe in America? Does Mitt Romney believe in the version of America, that healthcare is only for those who can afford it? Does Mitt Romney believe that prosperity should trickle down from the top, with the wealthiest of Americans able to benefit from the current tax policy.

 In what does Mitt Romney really believe?

 I have seen signs, for Ron Paul, stating “Restore American Now”. The thought that ran through my mind, “does Ron Paul believe that President Obama has damaged America?”  Are we talking about restoring America to a time without social safety nets?  During that time, the elderly without resources, lived on the resources of their families.

It just make me wonder, “what do these signs really mean?”

Monday, August 8, 2011


It’s Friday morning and I am on the treadmill at the gym.  The value of getting to the gym early is that I get to control what’s on the television. I am watching United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (Republican) of Texas being interviewed and she is discussing that the nation’s biggest challenge is putting American back to work. I think that is a priority that every American can agree with.  Right now we have more Americans out work since the Great Depression. Every poll indicates that the American people want our political leaders to focus on job creation.  Some politicians talk about the national debt being a job killer; if more of our citizens were working and paying taxes, this would help to balance the budget. As the interview continues, Senator Hutchinson started to launch attacks on President Obama; they were subtle attacks that, unless you were really listening or a follower of politics, you probably didn’t get it.  My question is: did this accomplish anything?  Was it constructive to the political conversation of the country? Or was it just more red meat for the base of the Republican Party? This morning, after another trip to the gym, I got home, showered, dressed and sat down to eat my breakfast and watch the Sunday morning political shows. I watched “Close Up” a local production of Channel 9 out of Manchester. I was disturbed by the fact that my own United States Senator was discussing the debt ceiling vote in terms of political advantage! Does this woman understand that the full faith and credit of the United State is not a political issue?  It also concerns me that her whole priority seemed to be the business community, does this mean that Senator Ayotte’s only constituents that matter to her are the business community?  Now I realize that the business community will create jobs, but it has to be a balanced approach. What about the everyday citizens who can’t afford to hire someone to lobby on their behalf?  It didn’t seem that she had any concerns about the struggles of everyday ordinary citizens who happen to pay Senator Ayotte’s salary to represent their interests in the United States Senate. The whole priority seemed to be the business community who might also happen to be political contributors. So we move over to “Meet the Press.” After the United States bond rating was downgraded, Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio released a statement that blamed the President and Congressional Democrats. Again: was this helpful?  Did it make a positive contribution to the political conversation of our country? Did it move anything forward? Polls show that 82% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the current Congress. A strong majority of Americans want our political leaders to get to work and solve problems.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


We finally have a debt-ceiling bill that will be voted on in both houses of Congress today or tomorrow.  So what was really the cost? Did it damage our standing in the world? Did emerging democracies look at the greatest nation on earth and think “Wow if they can’t get it right, what hope do we have?”  What about the American people who in my estimation had its government held hostage by the Tea Party, during what some people called negotiations.  I felt it was a hostage situation to a political ideology.  I realize that we have to change the way we do business.  We need to look at the entitlement process. The majority party is asking that the books of our country be balanced on the backs of people who can least afford to contribute:  the poor, the elderly and the disabled.  Half of the federal debt was caused by three things: the Bush tax cuts which have been unpaid for, two unnecessary wars, and Medicare part D. The Medicare program is a great program, it gives seniors in our country access to life saving prescription drugs, at an affordable cost, but we need to figure out a way to pay for it.

I remember filing my income tax return last year. When I got to my accountant it turned out that I owed the Internal Revenue Service money. At first I was disturbed, but then I realized I was paying my fair share.  Most Americans have no objection to paying their fair share. The only people who really object to paying taxes are people of affluence.

So where does the political class fit into this whole scenario? The politicians in Washington talk about cuts and sacrifice, so what are they willing to sacrifice?  It seems nothing at this point.  So what I am proposing is that all members of Congress should enact a 25% pay cut on their individual salaries, and Congressional pensions should be eliminated. All former members should also have their pensions cut by the same 25%.  Now I realize that this is not a high dollar amount; the savings are minuscule, in real dollar amounts that we need to save in order to balance the federal budget. But I feel the members of Congress should give the American people a symbolic gesture of sacrifice. After all, they are asking of us to sacrifice; shouldn’t they?

Monday, July 25, 2011





1. Agreement: a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted
"After hours of negotiations a compromise was reached."
2. Something accepted rather than wanted: something that somebody accepts because what was wanted is unattainable
3. Potential danger or disgrace: exposure to danger or disgrace



past and past participle

present participle

3rd person present singular

1. Intransitive verb: agree by conceding; to settle a dispute by agreeing to accept less than what was originally wanted
2. Transitive verb: to lessen value of somebody or something; to undermine or devalue somebody or something by making concessions
"Don't compromise your integrity by telling half-truths."
3. Transitive verb: to expose somebody or something to danger or disgrace
"This scandal could compromise his chances for reelection."
"Drugs that can compromise the immune system"

[15th century. Via French compromis < Latin compromissum "mutual agreement" < past participle of compromittere "make mutual promises" < promittere (see promise) ]
com·pro·mis·er NOUN
Synonyms: cooperate, bargain, negotiate, meet halfway, find the middle ground, give in, concede

I thought I would research what this word really meant.  It means what I thought it meant. As President of the New Hampshire State Grange, I have learned that at times I have to compromise with Dept Heads, the Board of Directors, in order to achieve parts of my agenda and I have found that when I make a compromise, it is usually a better product in the long run.  Compromise is not a dirty word.  So why is it such a dirty word in Washington DC?  I have always had a strong interest in politics even as a kid, I can remember seeing Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil work together for the benefit of our country by each offering compromises.  So when are the leaders of today on both sides of the aisle going to start offering up compromises that are true and effective?  Not just for the politics of advantage?  The world is now watching us. They are seeing that one of the great democratic societies in history can’t make it work.  So what does this tell emerging democratic countries of the Middle East? Does it send a message to these people that democracy doesn’t really work?  I have concerns: are the leaders of our county going to let us default?  Are the poor and the elderly going to be compromised into non-existence? We need our leaders to work for all of the citizens of this country not just the ones that can afford to purchase their place in our country.