Mr. Romney’s experience at Bain is at the heart of his case for the presidency. He has repeatedly promoted his years working in the “real economy,” arguing that his success turning around troubled companies and helping to start new ones, producing jobs in the process, has prepared him to revive the country’s economy. He has fended off attacks about job losses at companies Bain owned, saying, “Sometimes investments don’t work and you’re not successful.” But an examination of what happened when companies Bain controlled wound up in bankruptcy highlights just how different Bain and other private equity firms are from typical denizens of the real economy, from mom-and-pop stores to bootstrapping entrepreneurial ventures. Bain structured deals so that it was difficult for the firm and its executives to ever really lose, even if practically everyone else involved with the company that Bain owned did, including its employees, creditors and even, at times, investors in Bain’s funds.”
“The central themes of the Romney plan are a rehash of Republican education ideas from the past thirty years, namely, subsidizing parents who want to send their child to a private or religious school, encouraging the private sector to operate schools, putting commercial banks in charge of the federal student loan program, holding teachers and schools accountable for students’ test scores, and lowering entrance requirements for new teachers. These policies reflect the experience of his advisers, who include half a dozen senior officials from the Bush administration and several prominent conservative academics, among them former Secretary of Education Rod Paige and former Deputy Secretary of Education Bill Hansen, and school choice advocates John Chubb and Paul Peterson. …Romney offers full-throated support for using taxpayer money to pay for private-school vouchers, privately-managed charters, for-profit online schools, and almost every other alternative to public schools.”
”Romney will encourage private sector involvement in higher education, by having commercial banks again serve as the intermediary for federal student loans, an approach Obama had eliminated 2010 as too costly. (Until 2010, banks received guaranteed subsidies from the federal government to make student loans, while the government assumed nearly all the risk. When the program was overhauled by the Obama Administration, billions of dollars in bank profits were redirected to support Pell Grants for needy students.) To cut costs, Romney encourages the proliferation of for-profit online universities.”
“…It is past time to abolish the program, root and branch. …… the case against ObamaCare extends far beyond questions about its constitutionality. President Obama‘s program is an unfolding disaster for the American economy, a budget-busting entitlement, and a dramatic new federal intrusion into our lives.It is precisely for those reasons that I’ve opposed a one-size-fits-all health care plan for the entire nation. What we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every American. Each state should be allowed to pursue its own solution in this regard, instead of being dictated to by Washington.”
“The nation’s health care tab is on track to hit $4.6 trillion in 2020, accounting for about $1 of every $5 in the economy, government number crunchers estimate in a report …
How much is that? Including government and private money, health care spending in 2020 will average $13,710 for every man, woman and child, says Medicare’s Office of the Actuary.
Compare it to this year, when U.S. health care spending is projected to top $2.7 trillion, about $8,650 per capita, or roughly $1 of $6 in the economy. Most of those dollars go to provide care for the sickest people.
Along with rising costs, the report found that the share of the health care tab paid by the government keeps growing, approaching half the total. …
…the United States continues to spend far more on health care than other economically developed countries. The study by the Commonwealth Fund found that U.S. health care spending per person in 2008 was more than double the median – or midpoint_ for other leading economies. “
If you followed Romney’s business practices to maximize profit to his private investors, expect that the same way he putting maximizing profit of his investors over retaining or creating jobs, he would as president let insurance companies once again drop patients that were costing too much and also allow insurance companies to pick and choose who they decide to insure in the first place. There is nothing inherently ethical about creating profit but there is about caring or not caring for and helping America’s sick. That is why keeping health care protection as a public good is necessary. The Romney Business Takeover Model to maximize profit for the few regardless of the cost and pain to the many needs to be rejected.
America can not afford to elect Romney and adopt the Romney Business Model of maximizing profits for the wealthy few. They are pushing what is essentially a hostile takeover of public education and health care and other services now provided by our Federal Government and want to privatize as much as possible for private gain. Creating wealth for a few at the expense of the many is a recipe for disaster for our country.
John McCain continues to get the soft touch by the media. As Frank Rich points out his Sunday New York Times piece entitled “The Republican Resurrection”
… As if to emulate Dick Cheney, who arrived in Baghdad a day behind him, he (McCain) embraced the vice president’s habit of manufacturing false links in the war on terror: Mr. McCain told reporters that Iran is training Al Qaeda operatives and sending them into Iraq.
His Sancho Panza, Joe Lieberman, whispered in his ear that a correction was in order. But this wasn’t a one-time slip, like Gerald Ford’s debate gaffe about Poland in 1976. Mr. McCain has said this repeatedly. Troubling as it is that he conflates Shiite Iran with Sunni terrorists, it’s even more bizarre that he doesn’t acknowledge the identity of Iran’s actual ally in Iraq — the American-sponsored Shiite government led by Nuri al-Maliki. Only two weeks before the Iraqi prime minister welcomed Mr. McCain to Baghdad, he played host to a bubbly state visit by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Whatever Mrs. Clinton’s or Mr. Obama’s inconsistencies about how to wind down the war, they are both models of coherence next to Mr. McCain. He keeps saying the surge is a “success,” but he can’t explain why that success keeps us trapped in Iraq indefinitely. He never says precisely what constitutes that “victory” he keeps seeing around the corner. His repeated declaration that he will only bring home the troops “with honor” is a Vietnam acid flashback recycled as a non sequitur. Our troops have already piled up more than enough honor in their five years of service under horrific circumstances. Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda proliferates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a survey by Foreign Policy magazine of 3,400 active and retired American officers finds that 88 percent believe that the Iraq war has “stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin.”
So what’s the deal with the rest of the media? Not much was said critically of McCain. McCain doesn’t deserve special treatment – either he knows what he’s talking about or he doesn’t. And it appears he doesn’t. McCain is a recipe for disaster. We can’t afford a Bush clone in the White House after 8 years of Bush/Cheney.
Obama gained 2 more national delegates over Clinton as a result of the Wyoming caucuses. A total of 12 delegates were at stake.
Several places report the results as votes. The Green Papers reports that Obama received 5378 votes (61.43%) to Clinton’s 1313 (37.84%) to 64 (.73%) for others. If these are actual votes and not delegates as other states have reported at the precinct caucus level this would only represent a turnout of 13% of the 2006 registered Democratic voters.
Wyoming is not a state Democrats are likely to win. A look at the last 2 Presidential elections in Wyoming show that by more than 2 to 1, the state voted Republican.
2000 Bush 147,947 Gore 64,481 other 5298
2004 Bush 167,629 Kerry 70,778 other 4543
In 1992 Bill Clinton received 68,160 votes to 131,724 votes cast for the Republican and independent candidates. In 1996 Bill Clinton got 77,934 votes to 163,637 for his opponents.
In 2004 only 60,385 Wyoming voters were registered as Democrats, 162,952 were registered as Republicans and 32,885 were independent or other. In 2006 67,246 voters were registered as Democrats and 152,952 were Republicans. Wyoming does allow same day registration for voters. Current registration figures were not available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Caucuses are a reflection of enthusiasm for a candidate by hard core supporters more than any reflection of actual general election voter support. If you can not physically be present at the caucus site at the appointed time you have no vote in the process. Many potential voters wind up being excluded, weather for example was a factor in Wyoming.
If you are an active duty military person, or have to work, or are sick or are out of state, you have no vote in the caucus process. Primary voting with absentee ballots are the most democratic and inclusive. That is why the majority of states have primaries rather than caucuses. More people participate.
Senator Hillary Clinton decisively won Ohio’s primary 55% to 43% and has been declared the winner in Texas but by a smaller margin of 51% to 47% with 90% of the vote counted. As the Washington Post reports on Clinton’s comeback:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) roared back into contention for the Democratic presidential primary race Tuesday night after claiming primary victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. These win ensure that her challenge to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) will continue through Pennsylvania’s primary on April 22.
Clinton’s popular vote margin in Ohio was larger than expected, while she appeared to eke out a very narrow win in Texas. Earlier in the night, Obama won an easy victory in Vermont while Clinton cruised to a triumph in Rhode Island.
As the New York Times notes, voters are not yet ready to write Senator Clinton off:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday night not only shook off the vapors of impending defeat, but also showed that — in spite of his delegate lead — Senator Barack Obama was still losing to her in the big states.
Those two states were the battlegrounds where Mr. Obama was going to bury the last opponent to his history-making nomination, finally delivering on his message of hope while dashing the hopes of a Clinton presidential dynasty.
Yet then the excited, divided American electorate weighed in once more, throwing Mrs. Clinton the sort of political lifeline that New Hampshire did in early January after her third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
Barrack Obama still leads in delegate counts – some 1466 to 1376 by one estimate Votes in Mississippi and Wyoming are coming up in the next week which favor Obama. Even with the large number of delegates at stake in Pennyslvania, and Clinton being currently favored there, Clinton is in a difficult position trying to overtake Obama.
The battle now is going to shift to the undemocratic process of superdelegates committing and the question of what to do about Michigan and Florida whose delegates are not currently being counted because they broke party rules and moved their primaries to January.
The irony here is that Clinton won both of these states when the candidates agreed not to campaign there. With all their names on the ballot in Florida, Clinton won Florida. In Michigan Clinton’s name was on the ballot but Obama’s was not. People had to vote uncommitted if they didn’t want Clinton and wanted Obama. Clinton still won. Both Michigan and Florida are states the Democrats want and need to win in November.
While Clinton has not won as many states as Obama has, the delegate and vote count is close. Unlike the electoral college which is winner take all, the Democratic primaries and caucuses assign delegates to the Democratic National Convention based on the proportion of the vote each candidate won.
As the New York Times notes:
The nomination is not determined by the number of states won, but Mr. Obama’s inability to win major battleground states beyond Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and his home state, Illinois, is a concern of some Democrats — especially since Ohio and Florida have become must-wins in presidential elections.
Quoting Clinton according to the NY Times:
“If we want a Democratic president, we need a Democratic nominee who can win the battleground states, just like Ohio,” she said. “We’ve won Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arkansas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee”
There is plenty for Democrats to think about. The hope is that a resolution can be reached and a nominee selected without splitting and losing the combined passions of the Clinton and Obama camps. The last thing the Democrats need is to enter the fall campaign split and angry at each other rather than united in working to defeat the Republicans and John McCain.
One thing for sure – the Democrats need to come up with a better plan and timing and spacing of primaries for the next party contested Presidential election. Reform of the process should include making the elections fairer by going to an all primary system where voters can see how their votes count and maximum voter participation is ensured – something the caucus system doesn’t do.
Senator Clinton was not able to turn around Wisconsin and stop voters going to Obama. It seems that mistakes made by the Clinton campaign are getting harder to turn around as Obama’s organizing effort is paying off. He has now won contests in 9 states in a row.
As reported by the NY Times, “With 83 percent of the electoral precincts in Wisconsin reporting, Mr. Obama had 58 percent of the vote to Mrs. Clinton’s 41 percent.”
Obama is using skills drawn from community organizing to win. He has invested in working the grassroots which can be effective particularly in caucus states.
When Clinton came to Seattle to speak, her campaign had a few people in the back trying half heartedly to get people to sign up. They did not work the crowd which waited for over an hour for Hillary to come to speak.
Obama’s people worked the crowd and someone told me that they got an email from the campaign the next day. Now that’s turn around and obviously builds the mailing and contributor base aggressively.
A number of years ago when Senator Bill Bradley came to the Pike Place Market to speak I noticed the same half hearted effort by his supporters to get people signed up. It was a tell tale sign that he did not know how to build a campaign at the grassroots level and his campaign did not build momentum.
The word is that the Clinton campaign took too much for granted and besides ignoring grassroots efforts to build a campaign in caucus and other states, they thought it would all be over on Feb 5, 2008 and did not put into place aggressive campaigns for states after Feb 5, 2008.
It’s kind of funny, people are criticizing Hillary for her attempts to confront Obama head on. Actually she is still throwing him softballs. McCain and the Republicans are not going to be so nice and it remains to be seen if Senator Obama, if he emerges victorious from Ohio and Texas, will be up for hardball with McCain.
It would be a tactical mistake for either him or Clinton to not be emotionally prepared for a vigorous onslaught from the Republicans. The Republicans are not going to quietly leave the stage. Republican have a knack even when they disagree of eventually seeing the value of closing ranks and working as one voice.
The Republicans in Congress, when they were in power did that. And even in the minority now, they have closed ranks, particularly in the US Senate, to limit the legislation Democrats have been able to pass so far.
You can expect McCain to accuse the Democrats of abandoning our soldiers and American honor with the Democrat’s plans to pull out of Iraq if they take over the Presidency.
We need to remember that the real battle is not between Hillary and Barack, but between McCain and the Democratic nominee. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination is going to have to bring the Democratic Party together and remind them that the difference between Hillary and Barack is minuscule compared to that with McCain.
Supporters of both candidates are passionate and will be tempted to be bitter if their candidate loses. The first task of the eventual nominee will be to bring Democrats together reminding them of their common goals.
Democrats are making history in their choosing a nominee, but the real prize is the Presidency, not the Democratic nomination. There’s still a long ways to go before we can change America for the better.
Obama gained 67.5% of the delegate vote in the Washington State caucuses on Saturday to Clinton’s 31.2% and 1.2% uncommitted. Individual delegate counts by county can be seen on the Washington State Democratic website. The caucus system will ultimately select 78 delegates to the national convention with an additional 19 Super Delegates of party officials and elected Democrats.
Obama also won 67.5% of the delegates in Nebraska’s caucuses to Clinton’s 32.2%. Nebraska will select 24 pledged delegates from the caucus system plus 7 Super Delegates will also go to the National Convention.
Obama won the Louisiana Presidential Primary with 57% of the vote to Clinton’s 36%. Louisiana has 56 pledged delegates and 10 Super Delegates.
Obama received 90% of the vote in the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands have 3 pledged delegates and 6 Super Delegates.
It had the feel and passion of a real campaign. And the crowd sensed it and picked up on it. More than 5000 people packed into the Pier 30 warehouse and adjoining room. Many were not able to get in the main room. Cars were bumper to bumper along the waterfront and and parked everywhere. And people streamed along the sidewalk. Many parked over a mile away.
The event was in an out of the way place with no bus connection but people still found their way. I asked a number of people around me if they were just curious or undecided or committed and most were strong Clinton backers and said they were definitely attending the caucuses on Saturday at 1 PM.
Hillary flew in from Virginia and roused the crowd which had patiently waited about an hour for her arrival. Former Governor Gary Locke and King County Executive Ron Sims and Congressman Jay inslee gave brief comments but the main event was Hillary and she did not disappoint.
Clinton started about by noting that Congressman Norm Dicks is now supporting her, joining Inslee, Sims, Locke, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, Lt Governor Brad Owen and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.
Clinton said this election is about the future of our country – we can either have more of the same with John McCain or we can go in a new direction with the Democrats. It is not an ordinary time. She said we can become an innovation nation pushing for clean energy and combating global warming like Washington State is taking the lead on.
“We need a President ready on Day One, a President with ideas and know how … a commander in chief and a hands on manager” because there is “so much damage to repair” from the Bush Presidency.
She made a strong plug for a new energy future based on green jobs because we need “to transform how we use energy” describing it as “one of the most important challenges facing us.” She asked people to join with her in pushing for clean energy “to transform America and the world so that the future is there for our children and grandchildren and the next generation.”
Clinton said as President she would make sure the American government is on the side of all Americans, not just the wealthy; calling it “unfair that a $50 million/yr investment banker” pays a lower percentage of their income in taxes “than a $50,000/ year teacher.”
“It’s not right to give tax aid” to companies “moving jobs out of America”. Stressing the need to create new jobs and be responsible, Clinton said Bush squandered it all on war in Iraq. “George Bush left us so deep in debt, we borrow money from China, to pay for oil we buy from Saudi Arabia.” The crowd roared.
“Our greatest hope is clean renewable energy” stressed Clinton. She detailed her proposals for green jobs, praising the work of Senator Cantwell and Congressman Jay Inslee pushing for more renewable energy and touting the potential for green jobs and exportable technology.
Included was a proposal to create a Strategic Energy Fund out of money received by ending the excess profits given to oil companies like Exxon Mobil that received special tax breaks that have contributed to their record profits at the expense of American consumers.
Saying she would work for a new agreement on greenhouse gases within a year of her becoming President, she emphasized it would include China and India. But she noted “We can’t do it until the two oilmen leave the White House.” Again the crowd cheered.
On other issues she said she would “end the Bush War on Science.” She will ask Congress to send her the stem cell research bill and she would sign it.
She detailed her proposal on universal health care and called it the “public passion of her life”.
Everyone would be covered. It would include prevention and ending the stigma of mental illness. She said she would “open up the Congressional Health Care System to the public” and make it available to every American.
Clinton said we needed to stop home foreclosures by setting up a moratorium on them , freezing interest rates to stop excessive rate jumps and allowing homeowners the ability to renegotiate their mortgages.
On education she will work for universal preschool kindergarten, ending the unfunded mandate of Bush’s leave no child behind and making college affordable again. She talked about ending the private loan business for colleges and putting the public back in charge by offering government loans at low rates and giving graduates options to have their loans forgiven for doing public service, like teaching, calling it an investment in our country.
On Bush’s cronyism in appointing his friends and business associates to positions of public trust, Clinton roused the crowd by saying “We need to clean house from top to bottom” and “appoint qualified people to government” in order “to restore leadership and moral authority.”
She said it was time to bring the troops home, noting her inquires to date have found no credible plan by the Bush Administration as to how to do that. Starting to bring the troops home will “tell Iraq that Bush’s blank check is no longer valid” and that the Iraqis “have to start making their own decisions” for their people.
Saying Bush “has emboldened our enemies and endangered our allies” Clinton stressed that “the era of cowboy diplomacy is over.” and it is time to lead with our values again. Force should be “a last resort, not a first resort.”
Clinton ended her impassioned speech by urging the audience to help elect a President who is a fighter and who champions the American people and finds common ground and acts on it. She said America needs to be infused with a common purpose – to make America better for our kids and the middle class. “We need a President who gets it”, who will roll up the sleeves and make it happen said Clinton.
Several hundred people milled around the front of the room for the next half hour, holding their cameras and cell phones above their heads, snapping pictures, pressing to shake her hand, say a word or get a poster signed. Campaign workers collected contact information as people exited.
For more on the Clinton campaign in Washington go to HillaryClinton.com.
Click here for information on where your Democratic caucus is on Saturday, Feb 9, 2008.
Seattle Times “In Seattle, Clinton vows “new direction” for U.S.”
Seattle PI “Join Me to Change the World – Clinton Touts Experience to 5000 on Waterfront
The phone rang. It was one of those automated calls – from the John McCain campaign saying he’s going to come visit the State of Washington tomorrow. It was a “chance for Republicans to meet McCain before the Saturday caucuses.”
I hope he’s making calls to others like me, because I’m a Democrat and he’s wasting his time and money on me if he thinks I’m going to vote for him. But I’m a blogger and I might go to see him after I’ve seen Hillary tonight at Pier 30, 2431 E Marginal Way S on the Seattle Waterfront -South of Pioneer Square at 8:00 PM and Barack tomorrow at 11:00 AM at the Seattle Key Arena, 305 Harrison St.
I wonder if George is coming with John to the “Meet and Greet” as the McCain website calls the event. By the way McCain will be at the Westin Hotel, 1900 5th Ave in Seattle at 6 P.M. Friday Feb 8, 2007 in case anyone wants to see the Republican that Democrats are going to trounce in November.
CNN reports that three separate Republican sources say that Mitt Romney will announce this afternoon that he is suspending his campaign for President. Despite protests from some conservatives that McCain is no conservative, he has just received a giant boost in his bid to be the Republican nominee for President.
What some of these conservatives don’t seem to realize is that the county and many voters have moved beyond the divisive and self righteous conservatism of Bush and Rove that emphasized issues like abortion, religion and morality while taking us to war in Iraq, putting the economy in a tailspin and producing a divided America that isn’t solving its problems.
Unfortunately McCain sees us in Iraq for the next 100 years and now says that he wants to make the Bush temporary “tax cuts” permanent so that the more wealthy in our country can continue to not pay their fair share. Obviously many Republicans see McCain as conservative enough and have more faith in him than people like Huckabee or Romney.
Poor Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson and others on the ultra right fringe are losing some of their clout and some of their credibility as they are crying over losing their so called influence over Republican voters. To me it seems fairly ludricious, since McCain’s positions on most issues are very conservative.
Saturday Feb. 9, 2008 at 1 P.M. is caucus day in Washington state. Hillary Clinton is coming to Washington State tomorrow, Thursday Feb 7, 2008. Barack and Michele Obama are coming Friday Feb. 8, 2008 . And Bill Clinton is going to Maine which has a caucus on Sunday.
Neil Modie at the Seattle PI has a good roundup of the frantic scheduling that is going on now that the Presidential race is focusing on Washington State which has the largest block of delegates of the states that vote or caucus on Saturday.
Washington State has 97 Democratic delegates to be selected. Nebraska with 31 Democratic delegates also caucuses on Saturday. Louisiana with 67 Democratic delegates and the Virgin Islands with 9 Democratic delegates will have presidential primaries.
Hillary Clinton will have a free event open to the public at Pier 60 on the Seattle Waterfront starting at 8 P.M. to 10 P.M. The address is 2431 E Marginal Way S.
Modie’s article says her tentative plans include being in Tacoma on Friday morning and also Spokane.
Barack Obama has scheduled a free rally for Friday at 11:00 AM at Seattle’s Key Arena.
His wife, Michelle Obama, will be speaking at a free event in Spokane at 4 P.M. at the FOX Theater, 1001 Sprague St. Doors open at 3 P.M.
Republicans will select half of their delegates on Saturday at caucuses and half based on the results of the Presidential Primary scheduled for Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008. The Democrats will use the precinct caucuses on Saturday to select delegates and ignore the Primary results.
To find where your caucus meets on Saturday go to:
- Tax Sanity Pushes for a Tax Expenditure Budget for Increased Accountability and Transparency
- Let’s fix our unfair tax system in Washington State
- Republicans in Congress Wage War on Poor by Opposing Raising the Minimum Wage
- Tell Your Legislators and Governor Inslee You Support Closing Tax Loopholes!
- Vote “Maintain” on Five Eyman “Tax Advisory Votes”
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