Category Archives: Politics and Policies

Torture: Voting Republican Style

Torture is defined as: The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something.

When Voting Becomes a Nightmare

Weigh in: Does forcing voters to stand in line for nine hours in the blazing heat in order to vote equal torture? Is it a form of both physical and mental abuse?
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is standing by his decision not to extend early voting hours, despite the fact that some voters said they waited as long as nine hours to cast a ballot.

“Well I’m very comfortable that the right thing happened,” he told WXMG Orlando while speaking with reporters on Thursday night. “We had 4.4 million people vote.”

The WXMG reporter tried to follow up again and ask whether hours should have been extended, but a member of Scott’s staff appeared to end the press conference. When Scott was asked again while walking with reporters, he repeated his answer.

How I See It
I live in the small Midwestern town of Fairfield, Iowa, where the ride to my voting location takes five minutes and I waited 10 minutes to vote. So, I consider the people who waited 9 hours or more to exercise their voting rights in the recent Presidential election, American heroes.

And, when I learned Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) still stands by his decision not to extend early voting hours in the recent election, like he did in 2008 when he was governor, I conclude this is a clear example of voter suppression. I am of the opinion, he was hoping the long lines and miserable conditions would deter voters. Do ya think!?

Imagine this – you work all day at one, two, or three job – you really cannot afford the time off to wait in line for nine hours to vote. You stand in long lines hour after hour in the heat as you become increasingly dehydrated, your legs and feet start killing you, your arthritis or other pain parts begin screaming, you are freaking out because your kids are home alone, or your dog hasn’t been let out for hours, you have an appointment you had to cancel that costs you dearly, you becoming increasingly pissed because you know you are being screwed by a group of power players who don’t want you to vote.

You know this is a calculated strategy to disempower you.  You know that they know who you are and predict you will vote for the opposition. They know all about you because of where you vote – your precinct identifies you as unlikely to be one of them – they figure you are not a rich white guy, they have you profiled as Black or Hispanic because you live in Miami-Dade, or they recognize that your precinct usually goes  Democratic. Come Election Day, it’s no better – it’s likely you will be required to wait in line for up to six hours.

They see you as the part of the problem – you are going to vote Democrat.


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I’m Proud Iowa Is Still a Blue State

Yes, I did!

Yes We Did!

“I am proud to support Barack Obama in his desire and mission to see America return to her greatness. I have carefully watched, like everyone else, the campaigns of both the democrats, as well as the republican candidate, and I could safely say that only one candidate is speaking to the beliefs I feel this country was founded on.

“I believe, like Barack Obama, that we can change our future, but not by repeating our history. …And, I will not be deterred in my support of Barack Obama because of ad campaigns that are meant to incite fear in us where our security is concerned, when the candidate running the ad voted to take us into war.”

Sheryl Crow

It’s true, I wear my politics on my sleeve – I cannot help saying what I’m for and being clear about what I’m against. I’m not a political blogger, I don’t have the credentials or the interest to be a full-time political commentator,  but today I’m relieved –  Last night I saw Barack Obama win his second term as President. I was proud of my state, Iowa, for giving him 54% of the vote.

I’m a Woman and Romney and the Republican Party are Frighteningly Reactionary

The Republican’s view of women is reactionary. Why would women want to return to the days when men controlled our bodies?  I don’t want the government in our bedrooms and in control of our bodies, and I certainly don’t want to see the reversal of Roe V. Wade.  And, why should employers and insurance companies deny women coverage for contraceptives? It’s incomprehensible that we could return to the days of back alley abortions. I want women to be free to choose – to have access to legal and safe abortions and good family planning options.

When Obama Came to Iowa

I’m a progressive, and like lots of progressives, would like to see a more progressive agenda put forward by the President. I don’t agree with his every move or decision, and have been bitterly disappointed by some of his choices. But, I think he is by far the best choice and the best shot we have. I see the alternative as going backwards, backwards in time, backwards in ideas, back to the days before laws were enacted to protect our civil rights.

Iowa has a history with the President and the First Lady. When Obama visited Fairfield for the Iowa caucuses in 2008 – we helped him on his journey to become President. Before that, we’d heard his speech at the Democratic Convention when he was the Senator from Illinois – a rising star who brought crowds to their feet and touched our hearts with his vision for a better America.

Obama has been able to touch a chord and connect with the problems and the dreams of everyday people, of Americans of all race and religion. Being Bi-racial gives him a unique perspective on race and an understanding of the commonalities that make us all part of the human family. He has a keen sense of fairness.

The opposition demonized the President and alienated the new majority

We have a new majority of the voting population that consists of Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, the Jewish Community, young adults, and college students  (we came together for a second time to create a powerful united force to elect Obama). What we have in common united us to vote for Obama – we want a level playing field, fairness, economic opportunities, affordable healthcare, and of course, civil rights for all.

The new majority recognizes a  need in today’s America for our President to be “uniter not a divider,” a phrase ironically coined by George Bush who never delivered that promise. We need to respect and honor our human family worldwide. The rhetoric of Obama’s opposition divides us, polarizes us, and reinforces our fears that we are, in actuality, enemies. The opposition tells us we must belong to their religion or we have fallen from grace, that we must share their moral imperatives and world views or we are on the wrong side, that we must embrace their political ideologies or we are not real Americans.

The Right Wing mythology of what it means to be an American

The Right Wing has created a mythology of what is means to be an American. This mythology supports a world view in which they occupy a moral high-ground and place of higher truth. This mythology consists of  a narrow world view, and those who buy into it default to self-righteous indignation when their fundamentalist thinking and fallacious interpretations of democracy are challenged.

When I first heard Obama speak, I felt he was speaking to a country’s better angels – angels of fairness, opportunities for all, compassion, respect, generosity and tolerance. And this week, Obama came to Des Moines to enlist our support, and once again, Iowa delivered.

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Mitt Romney Fantasizes About Health Care for All…Would That it Were So

She has dubbed herself “The Chemo Whore.”

 Trouble in Mitt Romney’s Socialist Health Insurance Paradise

“Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal the health care law entirely if he’s elected. In America, Romney has said, we don’t let people die in the street simply because they lack health insurance: Hospitals are there to care for the uninsured.”

Huffington Post

My thoughts on Mitt Romney’s remarks:

How can a Governor, or any public figure, be so out of touch with the lives of millions of Americans? The rising cost of health care is an avalanche threatening to destroy the entire infrastructure of our lives. Most of us are vulnerable.

Many of us who are not sick, live in fear we will become sick because we are uninsured or we understand having health care insurance DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE INSURED. We get that we still have to pick up the tab for a portion of the medical bills. We all know the insurance companies are infamous for trying to get themselves off the hook and trying to deny us the services our insurance should cover and that our doctors recommend.

I also wonder why so many Americans who are potentially a disease away from financial ruin, would support a candidate who is so out of touch with the financial realities of most Americans. Has Romney been living in his alternate reality for so very long, he no longer has a clue about real life in America? While his family doesn’t even need health insurance–they can pay out pocket for all health care costs– they have the best health care insurance in the world.

A few years ago, one of my friends had pancreatic cancer. She had $50,000 in savings and thought she had great health care insurance provided by her company with Blue Cross Blue Shield. After her surgery and an extended stay in the hospital, she went to the billing department to pay her bill. She was handed a bill for $600,000 dollars. At this point, the shock just about put her back in a hospital bed.

Now, she had to face the reality that she had survived a very dangerous surgery and a grueling recovery just to deal with the financial realities of the American Health Care System. She was now unemployed, and therefore, no longer had ANY health insurance. Of course, before Obama Care (horrors of horrors!), insurance companies had the right to deny you coverage if you’d been sick. They would only insure the healthy. That was their right. But Mitt Romney doesn’t like Obama Care, he likes health care insurance companies who are free to price gouge and play God with your life. So, Mitt would, in his very first minute as President, repeal the evil Obama Care and go back to the status quo that worships a “free market.” Unfortunately the market is not really FREE–it’s very expensive when it comes to purchasing health care and health insurance. Our market  is free, of course, to play Russian roulette with your life and your health.

So now, my friend is currently employed and has insurance. However, with the deductibles, the co-pays, and the limitations on what insurance will cover, the financial issues are horrific. Hospitals are trying to “get theirs,” while she is forced to face on-going health issues related to her illness.

Has Mitt Romney or any of his family ever been one day without health insurance or access to the best medical care in the world? I would love to see Mitt Romney waiting in line at the emergency room of his hospital without health insurance. Would he still have the nerve to say?

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack…No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital.”

Romney said in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch on Oct. 11.

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