Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Pam Stack is one of the "smart and sassy" hosts of the web-based interview show  Authors on the Air.  Check it out! And thanks, Pam for the guest blog.

Time for me to ‘fess up.  Come clean. Do confession.  I am one of Paul’s 30% or Mitt’s 47%.  Yes, it’s true.  I am one of those lapsed Americans who went to the guv-mint for, er….  a hand-out.  Here’s my story.  I’ve been working all of my life, since I was 15 in fact.  Parents raised me right. Got good grades throughout school.  But last year, I went with my hat in my hand and asked, nay, BEGGED, my guv-mint for a handout and was granted it.  That started my shame spiral toward the hell known as UNEMPLOYMENT.  I jumped through the required hoops and did the requisite dance and I was the recipient of $84.00 a week of entitlement money for a hellishly long 6 months.

I’m trying to look at this in a fair and conscientious way. After all, I’m not the only one on the dole here. I’ve researched this and found that I am in fine company with these other slackers.  I’ve identified some of them lest you think it’s just me who was a money-grabbing low life.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Our infirm elderly.  Imagine working all your life, paying your fair share of taxes, buying American cars and other products produced in the good old USA, purchasing a home and sharing in the excitement of a mortgage-burning party with family and friends, only to find yourself so sick after retirement, that you must be confined to one of our nations finer establishments known as a NURSING HOME.  You old folks gave up your homes, your cars and all your worldly possessions and hand over your Social Security checks just to go on Medicaid so you can live with ‘round the clock nursing care?  How dare you ask the government for help.  You’ve been misled down that entitlement path.  If this is what the rest of us have to look forward to, well, this country is in sad shape.  And this is the result of our American Dream?
  • Of course I cannot forget to mention those other slackers – our wounded warriors.  How dare these brave men and women go and fight in the Middle East or somewhere around the world in a war that WE started, only to come home with Traumatic Brain Injury, missing limbs and the horrors of killing so etched in their brains that normal functioning seems a lost cause.  And you dare ask your government to help you out with medical and psychological assistance, housing, a job or food?  Pull yourself up by those military bootstraps and kick it in gear, soldier.
  • What about those who were born with physical, mental and emotional challenges?  You expect the hard-working tax-paying citizens of this country to give you a hand up?  Why?  You’re not society’s responsibility.  Your family should take care of you.  
  • And of course – the bane of all that is good and right with this country. WOMEN.  And WOMEN WITH CHILDREN.  You ho’s and welfare moms. Shame on you.  Doesn’t matter that you have been the backbone of the working middle class and get paid less for the same job as your male counterparts do.  Doesn’t matter that you birthed them babies and their daddy ran off with another woman and he refuses to accept even the slightest financial responsibility (after all, he as a new family now).  Doesn’t matter that half of all women and their children who are homeless are such because of domestic violence.  Women, you can’t take care of yourselves enough to figure out that your produce “chemicals”, kind of like the South’s version of “the vapors” to ward off pregnancy.  Like Eve tempted Adam with her apple, society has gone to hell in a handbasket because you can’t pull yourself by your bra straps and be a contributing member of this American society.

So, you see, I’m in fine company with my hand-out.  I paid my taxes on that $84.00 a week that I received for six months.   So Mitt and Paul must have seen into my dark heart and realized that, yes, I no longer an interested in the “American Dream”.  Thank the lord for our Republic's public servants.  Yeh.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Romney vs. The Narrative

Latest Newspaper Column:

Today, I’m going to do something that may shock you. I’m going to express some sympathy for Mitt Romney. But only a little.
Right now, Willard Mitt Romney is in the fight of his political life. He’s behind Barack Obama by an average of four points in national polls, according to the poll-aggregating website Real Clear Politics.
But, as we all know, elections are won, not in the popular vote, but in the Electoral College, where the same site shows the president leading by enough in enough swing states to snag 265 of the 270 Electoral votes it takes to get him a second term, and he’s got small leads in most if not all of the states listed as toss-ups.
He picks just one of those off, and it’s over. He picks off Florida, it’s over by 9 p.m. Eastern on election night. I’m not going to take a victory lap here, but you’ve got to admit, things look grim for Lord Romney.
But Romney’s fighting a foe more dangerous to his campaign than sliding poll numbers, more powerful than Barack Obama. He’s fighting The Narrative.
I’ve talked in this column before about The Narrative: that shared consensus of opinion that, at some point, begins to grow like a crystal among our lazy press and sensational media. Once it’s fully grown, every story, every quote, every fact reported is viewed through the prism of The Narrative.
While the right may claim that narratives are always a product of the “liberal media bias” of which they’re always whining about being the victims, they’ve benefited from them as often as not. Just ask Al Gore, who never actually said he “invented the Internet,” yet The Narrative — in this case, that Gore was a “serial exaggerator” — decreed that every pundit repeat the misquote as if it was Gospel. Time magazine reporter Margaret Carlson explains why: It was “greatly entertaining to us.”
So what is The Narrative that Romney’s fighting? Surprisingly, at least to me, it’s not that he’s a flip-flopping, pandering, spineless weasel who’ll say anything to get elected. I mean, all that’s true, but that’s not what the media have seized on. No, The Narrative in this case is: Romney’s running an inept, internally fractured campaign and is, therefore, a bumbling loser.
One characteristic of The Narrative is that things that might have gone unnoticed or unremarked become signs and portents of it.
For example, in 2008, The Narrative was that Barack Obama was an “elitist,” a “celebrity,” that he was out of touch with regular folks. This became so entrenched that Chris Matthews (a slave to The Narrative if ever there was one) was aghast that Obama ordered orange juice instead of coffee at a diner, as if orange juice was some kind of exotic, hard-to-find liqueur.
In Romney’s case, there have been some very real missteps and misfires in his campaign. Take, for example, Romney dissing the British at the Olympics. Or his spokesperson responding to the now-infamous “Romney killed my wife” ad by extolling the virtues of Romneycare, which the campaign would really rather pretend never happened (see “flip-flopping, pandering spineless weasel,” above).
But now, thanks to The Narrative, things that might be ignored are being brought to the forefront, such as a video of a recent joint appearance in Ohio with Romney and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. When Ryan’s introduced, the crowd begins chanting his name. Romney then tries to lead them — awkwardly, of course — in chanting “Rom-ney, Ry-an, Rom-ney, Ry-an.”
This video might have just been another one of thousands lost in the background noise of YouTube, unremarked by anyone but a few left-leaning blogs. But thanks to The Narrative, the video was featured on conservative talk show host Joe Scarborough’s nationally seen “Morning Joe,” followed by Scarborough putting his hands over his face and moaning “Sweet Jesus” in despair.
The Narrative is hard to fight. Once it really gets going, trying to change it is like trying to turn an aircraft carrier plowing ahead at flank speed by standing in a rowboat and hitting it with a broom as it passes.
I don’t think it’s going to be possible for Romney, because in this case, The Narrative, unlike some, has a solid basis in truth. Not all of the things reported as Romney gaffes or missteps as a result of The Narrative are actually going to be either of those, but enough are.
This may not be, as some have claimed, the most inept campaign ever, but it’s certainly inept enough.