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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dear loyal readers:

The impending storm (Hurricane Sandy a.k.a. Frankenstorm) is on its way to my home town of Oxford, Connecticut.  I am prepared with bottled water, food, and our Briggs and Stratton utility is gassed and good to go.  If we lose power, not sure for how long so there may not be blog updates for a while.

I will use this chance to tell everyone to vote.  Yes, I would prefer you vote Republican, vote for Mitt Romney for president, and vote in as many Republicans to congress as possible.  But the important thing is Vote for Somebody!  1775 – 1781, young men of the time made the ultimate sacrifice so we would have the right to vote and American democracy, the ultimate government of the people, by the people, and for the people is perfunctory without the peopleWE are the people and Mr. Lincoln was referring to at Gettysburg at 1863.

I have been watching the World Series and I see the San Francisco Giants are up 3 – 0.  Amazing the team that swept and eliminated the Yankees (Detroit Tigers) has not scored a single run during the entire World Series.  Neither of these teams were wild cards but not the best record in the league either—in fact, this series is between the two weakest division champions.  The lesson in that is exactly what your little league coach or elementary school gym teacher told you many years ago: any team can win on any given day! 

I hope if you are living in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy that you have prepared to the best of your ability.  Look in on pets, elderly, and anyone you know in your neighborhood.  Last night I made phone calls to too elderly relatives of mine, one in Norwalk, Connecticut, and one in Queens, New York.  Let’s hope for a quick recovery if we get the worst of the storm!

This is it.  In less than two weeks (11-6-2012) we will know who will reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years.  Get out there and vote, you can determine America’s next destination.

I was not particularly impressed by either candidate’s performance in the foreign policy debate.  The focal point was Benghazi and whether or not President Obama knew about it and withheld telling the American people it was an act of terrorism.  The news since the debate that a drone was flying over Benghazi taking video of the insurgence that the president saw it in real time accounts for about three-quarters of closure.  Though I don’t believe Obama intentionally harbored terrorism, it is a likely scenario that because Bin Laden was killed on Obama’s watch and to disclose immediately would weaken his credibility running on his claim that Al Qaeda is no more, or at least no longer a threat.  I don’t think he anticipated five people would be killed, but he must be held accountable nonetheless.

One issue that came up in the debate was when President Obama discussed his proposal to take funds from the military and reinvest it into social programs.  He said he talked to the Generals and Admirals and they said they don’t need it.  This is a communications flaw in the character of Mitt Romney although I am still voting for him for president.  If the debate were a golf course, Mitt Romney does not select the right clubs at times.  He talks about how we have the smallest Navy since WWI in 1917.  This is like hacking away at a ball on the fairway with a pitching wedge when he should take one whack with a seven-iron and chip that ball up on the green.  Romney mentioned Obama not investing in more battleships and Obama shot that down by mentioning technology and that we don’t buy a lot of horses and buggies either.  Romney should have handled it this way:

Mr. President, are you not the Commander in Chief?  You should have said, Mr. General, Mr.
Admiral, I am your commander in chief and that is not your decision to make.  I say you do
need the money and you are going to get it.  You handle the men and women in uniform,
I’ll handle the military budget…

This is not about standing up to an enemy.  This is not about standing up to an ally in doubt or negotiating with an uncommitted nation to become our ally.  This is our own military—forces that are undoubtedly on our side.  If president [Obama] cannot stand up to our own, who can he stand up to?  Generals and admirals are human beings to who don’t always get it right.  That is why the president is Commander in Chief and does not base his decisions on opinion polls of generals and admirals.  Yes, by using high tech aircraft carriers instead of the early twentieth century battleships used in the days of the Lusitania, you do not need as many ships at one time, but you have to have spares in case [God forbid] any get shot down in a battle deemed a necessary evil that we [have] to fight.  If Mitt Romney handled it that way, he would have won the debate hands down or at least convinced a large group of people on that issue.  And if he still needed a closer, let’s not forget that the military is the one and only service the Federal Government is constitutionally obligated to provide.  To cut funds from this one required service and reinvest it into New Deal-esque social programs for which there is, never was, and never will be a constitutional mandate.  Even if the Republican congress lost on the floor and the president signed into law, the Supreme Court would have a case to determine the constitutionality of such legislation.  Did you all remember we have three (3) branches of government?

Well, whatever your politics, don’t be a spectator.  Vote for somebody.  I recommend a Republican vote, but I have more respect for someone that opposes me than someone that doesn’t give a feather or a fig.  Vote on November 6!

 

As we get to Round 4—the final debate between President Obama and Governor Romney fifteen days before Election Day, it is time now to decide.  Though I intend to vote for Mitt Romney, I wish he would disclose more details on his economic plan.  It’s been a long time since the first televised debate in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  With the advent of Saturday Night Live, the Internet, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, debates have mainstreamed into pop culture and either do not influence voters or influence them in the wrong way.  Couple that with early voting now permitted in thirty-one states, more than half the nation, including two key battleground states, Ohio and North Carolina, it makes for a bigger mess than any of us planned.

I admit Mitt Romney has not always told the truth, although I am convinced Obama’s stress tests on the truth can be far more damning in the long run.  But in fairness, our system sometimes gives a politician no choice but to vend snake –oil and hope there is an ingredient that actually works.  If we agree that Christian principles were the building blocks of most of our Founding Fathers’ decisions, the two fundamentals of Christianity are (1) nobody is born saved and (2) everybody sins and no matter how [we] try, everyman and everywoman is guaranteed to fall short of complete glorification of God.  Hence, the so called Jesus Network preaches keep your sins to a minimum, resist as much temptation as possible, and seek forgiveness when you fail.  Now let us look at the influence and effect that has on American politics.

Let us consider hypocrisy to be by definition a lie in action.  In 1776, Thomas Jefferson said All men are created equal, and yet, he owned slaves and did not free them upon his signing of The Declaration of Independence.  During the Jefferson-Hamilton debate of 1804, Jefferson explained he would go bankrupt trying to operate a family plantation on paid labor while everyone else has slaves with wages of $0.00.  Many political scholars today say he should have made that sacrifice, because many colonists made the ultimate sacrifice in The Revolutionary War making the formation of a free country possible in the first place.  Alas, there is nothing new under the sun; modern politicians including Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama fall into that same trap Thomas Jefferson fell into two-hundred forty-six years ago.

Another example I like to use is with respect to the Paparazzi and their handling of celebrity gaffes and faux pas.  You can think of the Paparazzi as the bad guy, but they are giving the people what they want.  If Americans are no longer interested in gossip and the private lives of celebrities, they will cease to serve a purpose and vanish from the face of the Earth.  But as long as the people fuel the Paparazzi’s fire, they are an eternal flame.  Americans, whether one considers him or herself a political aficionado or not, desire the snake-oil, even if it is just to criticize and be negative.  Why do politicians running for office run more negative ads, ads that bash their opponents and say nothing on behalf of themselves, than positive ads, ads of self-praise and/or listing accomplishments?  Answer: [we] pay more attention to negative ads than positive ads!  To quote an NFL coach on a beer commercial of the recent past, You play to win the game! 

It is interesting observation by pundits that both Romney and Obama repeat the same [lies] after fact-checkers prove they are not true.  Question: as a voter, would you be any more likely to vote for a candidate who said America is on the verge of national bankruptcy.  The current [president] made a noble effort based on a political philosophy close to his heart.  If we cannot fund a strong military, we need not worry about war, the enemy can just walk right in.  Unfortunately, I have no solution.  I cannot raise taxes because the unemployed cannot afford more taxes.  I cannot make any spending cuts because I cannot stand up to the opposition party who wants to continue tax and spend economics.  I cannot bring back manufacturing to America and create jobs for the unemployed because with those unions whom I cannot stand up to, it is not cost effective.  I offer no solution, but I look nice in a blue suit with a red tie in the backdrop of the Oval OfficeSo vote for me?  If a candidate actually said that, the American people would get an insatiable craving for snake-oil.  The Truth, in its purest form, is very gloom and doom right now.  The human psyche responds formidably to laughter, happiness, fun, and good news.  Maybe this is why the fact checkers cannot shut the snake-oil vendors that live in the minds of the politicians somewhere on the bridge between the emotional and intellectual factions of the intricate human mind.

The bridge between the sin of lying and the somber nature of the truth is faith.  As God’s children registered to vote, we need to pick a candidate, vote for that candidate, and go on faith he or she can make things better.  When you put both God and Godliness into the equation, voting Republican makes the most sense to me.  I actually believe Barrack Obama to be a Godly sole, but he is caught in that web of liberalism that is seldom on the side of morality and Godly principles.  Furthermore, for the same reason you cannot argue with success, you cannot argue with failure either.  You don’t need a truth meter to judge functional (i.e. working) with perfunctory.  In real time, Obama-nomics have proven to be perfunctory, and in many ways perfunctory is the best case scenario; socialism that succeeds would be a far greater tragedy.

For those of you disappointed in Mitt Romney’s failure to disclose details, I hear you.  But I see the logic in avoiding tax increases to the middle class in a down economy with 8% unemployment, that raising taxes on the wealthy is counterproductive to job creation but that eliminating loopholes and deductions will result in the wealthiest Americans paying more taxes than they do now, hence a revenue stream to help pay off the debt, and sensible spending cuts to both put toward the deficit and to allow third rail entitlements (i.e. Social Security and Medicare) to continue at least for those fifty-five and older for whom it is too late to start over, and to revive the opportunities that will subsequently revive The American Dream.  I intend to take a leap of faith that Romney-nomics will make us better off than we are now.  (By the way, I welcome a reply from Big Bird!)

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday, November 6.  Even if you disagree with me, vote for the candidate you believe in.  Blood was shed for the right to vote.  Together, we can take back America!

 

Of all debate formats, I believe the town hall debate to be one of the most critical destinations on along the journey to the presidency, or any elected office.  As Lincoln said at Gettysburg, we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It is here where everyday citizens get to inquire and get answers on how electing this man or woman will effect [me].  At this town hall debate on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, the gloves were off and candidates went after each other full tilt.

Although Romney did not disclose details of his five point plan as would have been necessary to give complete answers to many of the questions, he made points about what is not working; the expansion of the deficit from $10 Trillion to $16 Trillion and the increase in gasoline prices from $1.86 per gallon to over $4.00 per gallon.  Let us look at some bullet points.

The debate opened with a statement Romney made about allowing the auto makers (General Motors and Chrysler) to go bankrupt.  Romney replied by telling Obama effectively this is what you did.  Truth be told, George W. Bush was still president when the decision was made to bail out the auto makers.  Costly as it was, it was for the most part a necessary evil.  Accountability for the auto makers goes to the Bush administration and the only area where Obama is involved is the follow-up.  To give credit where credit is due, the situation got better, but let’s not forget Chrysler is now owned by Fiat, which is not an American company.  Technically, there are now two major auto makers in America and one division of an Italian company.

The most controversial moment in the debate was the Benghazi terrorist action where five people including Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed.  While Obama insisted he announced it in the Rose Garden right away, Romney pointed out it took fourteen days before Obama admitted it was an act of terrorism.  I think what’s done is done with respect to the announcement; the real issue is why were our soldiers denied proper security?  This should be addressed in the Foreign Policy Debate on Monday, October 22.

The issues of permits for drilling and mining of fossil fuels on federal land was discussed.  Romney mentioned the acquisition of coal, oil, and gas was down.  Obama mentioned many of these permits were 10, 20, even 30 years old and permits to drill and mine on federal lands are use it or lose it.  And that he renewed them to allow for energy relief.  Early in Barrack Obama’s presidency, I remember he talked about focusing on education, health care reform, and green energy.  He did not mention domestic sources of fossil fuels.  Natural gas production is up, coal and oil are down.  Mitt Romney shut down coal burning power plants in Massachusetts to cut down on air pollution.   As a science major at The University of Connecticut in the 1980s, I can tell you this—there is no such thing as clean coal.  Cleaner coal is coal with little to no sulphur, and sulphur dioxide is one of the most toxic chemicals we put into our air.  But coal is by definition, pure carbon, and when you burn pure carbon, in the best case scenario known as complete combustion, coal produces pure carbon dioxide.  Since complete combustion does not exist in the real world, carbon monoxide and other impurities also emit.  Petroleum fuels derived from crude oil are called hydrocarbons which in the ideal complete combustion scenario produce a mixture of carbon dioxide and water vapor.  With less carbon dioxide, petroleum and other hydrocarbon fuels will always be cleaner than coal.  One thing I give credit to Obama, if he had the leadership skills to take it to the finish line, is his green energy initiative.  Unfortunately, drilling and mining on American soil for fossil fuel resources in moderation is a necessary evil; we must ensure the cleanest, most high tech methods are being used.  If we are going to have clean, green energy in the future, we must keep the lights on and the Bunsen burners burning in the present.  We must also first balance the budget as we cannot fund such and initiative while trillions in debt and we cannot burrow from the Chinese to do this and risk Chinese control over American energy sources.

One of the biggest highlights of the debate with respect to who Romney labeled as the 47% was when Romney asked to see Obama’s pension fund.  Obama replied “show me yours!  Yours is bigger!”  I don’t think middle class American with struggling unemployed or on a minimum wage job with no pension plan, would be impressed by either man’s pension fund.  The focus must be on the candidate that can best help the situation; who is more on the side of the middle class, and whose plan is most-likely to work.

On the issue of binders for hiring women, Romney mentioned when he was governor of Massachusetts that the most qualified applicants for the positions opened happened to be men.  He had a committee put together a binder of qualified women and hired women.  This brings back an old 1970s issues of qualification vs. quotas.  The utilization of binders is one bridge but Obama and the Democrats over the most recent years have often not bothered with binders and have hired out of the blue just to say they are pro-women.  Look at Sotomeyer and Kagen, the last two appointees to the Supreme Court.

Finally, does Romney’s plan add up?  This is one bone of contention I have with Mitt Romney as he will not discuss pedagogy or methodology.  He talked about the federal deficit increasing from $10 Trillion to $16 Trillion under Obama and that Obama-nomics is a road to Greece, making reference to the nation of Greece going bankrupt.  Mitt Romney cleared up the misconception that he is strictly a rich man’s [president].  That he wants to help all Americans and ascribes that to his belief in God and that as a rich man, he has a responsibility to care for all people and help all people the best way he knows how; and politics is his chosen vehicle.  He mentioned he was a pastor in his church, and Romney is very religious, Godly, and connected to the Mormon church.  Tony Jones on a site called patheos.com points out that Moron churches do not have pastors, only bishops.  For the most part, Mitt was just trying to one of the oddities of the Mormon church versus other sects of Christianity, but he needs to be careful speaking in this area.  Obama replied by mentioning he believes the free enterprise system is the best economic system ever created.  The question is does he believe that?  He talks about giving everyone a fair shot.  But policies that give handouts are exactly what takes away fair shots; they make it impossible to overcome one’s class and many poor and lower middle class become content to stay poor or lower middle class by living off the handouts.  Agreed we cannot take away entitlements for those of age where it is too late to start over, but if America is going to rebuild, be prosperous, and have a balanced budget which is absolutely essential for such prosperity to exist, we must replace entitlements with opportunities for the young generation about to enter the workforce.  We must have an education system that not only teaches the skills, but promotes using the skills in self-employment; I believe small businesses and networks of small businesses is the future of American and the direction America is going—employment will be the fallback plan.  Though I admit I question the nuts and bolts of the Romney-nomic plan, I think he is our best hope and that is the way we should vote.

If I could have advised Mitt Romney in these debates, I would recommend he do two things: (1) give some details that prove it adds-up.  He claims if we give the middle class a tax break without raising the deficit or increasing taxes on the rich—because the rich will pay the same percentage but will not have the deductions and loopholes.  Now this is what the middle class has been asking for since the 1960s.  We just need proof that eliminating the deductions for the wealthiest Americans alone will actually stabilize or reduce the deficit and make America prosperous.  In the words of Jerry McGuire, show me the money!  (2) Don’t limit the debate to thesis vs. antithesis; I admit the Republican conservative economic thesis is not an easy sell to poor and lower middle class.  Start using terms like witching hour and Hobson’s choice.  After all, the American economy is truly at the witching hour and something has to be done in the next four years or the only alternative may be national bankruptcy.  The Catch-22 is that both tax increases and spending cuts will be necessary to achieve a balanced budget within a reasonable period of time, and you cannot raise taxes because the American taxpayer, especially the unemployed just doesn’t have it.  You can tax the rich extra to a degree but you must ensure they have the resources to create jobs.  The Hobson’s choice is spending cuts—they can be made right now.  Privatize what can be privatized, prioritize properly, i.e. Amtrak before Social Security, and the result will be a reduction in the deficit and more jobs created.  Get wages up; before you consider tax increases to carry the operation to the finish line, make sure you have reached a nirvana where higher wages and higher taxes is more net gain than current wages and current taxes.  For now our best option is take a leap of faith on Romney and the Republicans!

Last Thursday (10-11-2012) I watched the debate between the VP hopefuls, Paul Ryan for us Republicans and Vice President Joe Biden for the incumbent Democrats.  The first thing I noticed was the age difference—when Joe Biden got elected to Congress for the first time, Paul Ryan was two years old.  It was an interesting, yet classic battle between youth and experience.  Think of a rookie Tom Seaver in 1967 pitching to The Great Willie Mays when the Giants (New York refugees) came to town.  More recently, think about the young, ambitious, and athletic Raul Ibanez pinch hitting for the quintessential A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), a future hall of famer unless blackballed by steroid usage, hitting a walk-off home run in the Yankees quest to defeat the Baltimore Orioles and move on to the next round to get closer to the World Series, a task that was completed by last night’s (10-12-2012) victory in the Bronx.  Same concept with tongues used in lieu of bats and words become the hits and outs.

Overall, I was impressed by Paul Ryan and the way he conducted himself in a debate moderated by ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz, known to be tough and in control.  While some candidates often ramble and change the subject to avoid answering something controversial or unpopular, I thought he answered the questions as asked.  Joe Biden ultimately won the debate by a small margin of proverbial points.  Biden avoided doing what he is known for; he did not speak to freely and put his foot in his mouth.  What he did do is show his pearly whites and giggle a little while Ryan was talking and interject claiming Ryan did not speak the truth.  He may have misspoke on a few occasions on the specifics of the Romney economic plan, but liberal economics and conservative economics, or big government vs. limited government are for the most part pedagogy and there are no absolute truths.  We do know that Obama-brand big government liberal policies are failing before our eyes.  Alas, Joe won as the well-seasoned experienced debater.  Paul did do well for a first-timer.

As voters, we the bottom line is we need to elect the best president (the VEEP goes with the ticket), not necessarily the best debater.  We need to make the election on November 6 a true referendum on liberal vs. conservative policies and not be led astray by the one with the nice looking bobbles.  I know we need to cut spending, we are not in a position to justify higher taxes, and therefore I support the conservative agenda towards a limited government, replacing entitlements with opportunities, and reviving the American Dream.

Unlike most rules in the game of baseball: three strikes, you’re out, over the fence, home run, tag the base for an out only on a force play, otherwise must apply a tag on the runner, etc., the Infield Fly Rule is not nearly as straightforward.  It is Rule # 20.0 in the rule book and it has three component parts.  Many fans do not fully understand it until they see it for themselves in a controversial manner.  Last night’s NL Wild Card Playoff Game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field (game won by St. Louis 6 – 3) was the quintessential opportunity for all fans of all ages.

I knew an Infield Fly could be caught (handled) by an outfielder if in the umpire’s judgment; it was practical that an infielder could have also made the catch.  I once thought once the umpire invoked the infield fly rule, it could not be voided, even if the ball migrated into foul territory.  Two years ago, I saw a Mets-Brewers game on SNY-TV played in Milwaukee where the ball went into foul territory, was dropped by the Mets leftfielder who’s name escapes me, and it was ruled a typical foul ball so now I know a foul ball does void the infield fly rule.  But it was last night’s game in Atlanta where I saw with respect to the infield fly rule, No Way Jose—until I actually read 20.0 along with three former ball players now employed by MLB Network.

Ralph Kiner explained to me many moon’s ago back in his Mets play-by-play day in the era of Stawberry-Gooden-Carter-Hernandez era which includes the 1986 World Championship team.  The reason the Infield Fly rule exists is so that a fielder who is confronted with a fly ball or pop up that he can undoubtedly catch is not intentionally dropped or intentionally allowed to hit the ground so that the fielder can make a double play.  In other words, it is an integrity check for infielders, sometimes applied to outfielders.  The rule states runner on 1B or 1B and 2B with less than two out, such a fly ball or pop up is hit such that a double play is possible if the ball is not caught on the fly, the batter is automatically out and the runner or runners can run at their own risk.  Fair.  Even though the batter is out even if the ball is not caught, it is adventitious for the fielder to catch it on the fly anyway because if the ball has to be picked up from the ground, the runners have a greater chance to advance a base.  Last night’s eight inning infield/outfield fly was clearly in leftfield, and although depth is not the deciding factor, I clearly saw no chance of any double play taking place from that point in leftfield.  I always believed that if in the umpire’s judgment, a double play were impossible, the infield fly rule cannot and would not be called.  Until I actually read 20.0.

Part I: the criteria for outs and occupied bases mentioned above are met.  Part II: in the judgment of any umpire (post season games use six instead of the traditional four, the left field line umpire made the call); an infielder could practically make the catch.  If an outfielder makes the catch, it is still deemed an infield fly if and only if the possibility of an infielder making the catch in lieu of the outfielder were deemed possible.  The fact that the ball landed in leftfield caught by neither the third baseman nor the left fielder was not relevant because the ball caught by the third baseman was in the realm of possibilities in the judgment of this leftfield umpire.  There is nothing written in the rule that states the umpire’s judgment as to whether or not a double play is in the realm of possibilities if the fly ball hits the grass has anything to do with the call.  Hmmm, I thought that was why the infield fly rule existed in the first place.  Part III: the call must be made immediately by the respective umpire.  This was the seed of controversy.  The call was not made immediately in accord with conventional Miriam-Webster definition of the word immediately.  As the good folks at MLB network pointed out, making an infield fly rule call immediately entails as soon as the baseball has completed its upward flight, reaches its peak height before it begins its decent.  Why?  Because until that point it flight is reached, it is impossible to judge where actually the ball will land if allowed to hit ground by all fielders.  Until this judgment can be made there is no basis to make the call.  The leftfield umpire deemed catchable by the third baseman (an infielder) at that point.  The call is 100% compliant with rule 20.0 as stated.  The issue is regular season vs. post season, i.e., four umpires vs. six umpires.

In a regular season game, either the 2B or 3B umpire would be making the call.  Standing closer to their respective bases in the infield, quite a distance from that hot spot in leftfield, I am not so sure either of them would have seen the third baseman in control of the ball at any point to make an infield fly signal.  This translates to different results in a game with four umpires and a game with six.  I understand the two extra umpires in postseason games are to ensure settlement of controversial plays so postseason games move smoothly with a lot more at stake.  But this is a big radical difference.  I think the infield fly rule need to be re-written.

The change in the semantics of the infield fly rule I endorse would be to append the rule with Part IV which would go something like this: in the umpire’s judgment, there must be a practical possibility of the fielder making a double play if the fly ball were allowed to hit the ground.  This is not a radical rule change because this is why the rule exists in the first place.

After Andy Hawkins in 1991 pitched a no hitter for the Yankees at old Comiskey Park in Chicago vs. White Sox, but lost 2-0 with unearned runs scoring on a walk, error, and wild pitch, the standards were tightened for qualifying as a no hitter.  It may have gone unchecked if the game were pitched at Yankee Stadium, but the bone of contention was both runs were yielded in the third inning and with the White Sox in the lead after eight and a half innings, there was no bottom of the ninth.  It has happened before, no hitters blown in the ninth.  Ironically, if the Yankees held the lead and there were a bottom of the ninth, the odds of a no hitter would be less than in this losing effort.  So from that day forward, a pitcher who does not yield a base hit must pitch all nine innings and any extra innings (complete game) and must be the winning pitcher.  It is time now to invoke a similar standard for what constitutes an automatic out on an infield fly.

 

 

The first debate was held last Wednesday night (10-3-2012) in Denver, Colorado.  That is, if you call it a debate.  Consensus is Romney trampled Obama and won the debate.  Yeah, he won, but not sure if a debate is what he won.  He won an aggressive speaking contest, kind of like an eating contest without the food.  As a Republican, I am happy for Mr. Romney.  Regardless which candidate is actually the better debater, the election must be a referendum on liberal vs. conservative policy and as I have mentioned in several blog articles since The 7 Train was launched in November 2011, the conservative way is America’s only option right now to avoid national bankruptcy.  But I have also said on other blog articles that America is a republic, or representative democracy, and who we elect to represent us and our stands on the issues is more important than the issues themselves.  That if we are going to get conservative legislation passed through a deeply divided congress, to which I have made clear they can only break up the divide with the consent of their constituents who elected them, we need a leader.  We gave Obama four years and though I am not at all critical of the man’s character outside the scope of politics, has demonstrated weakness as a leader, even to his own liberal constituency.  Mitt Romney has won over a large chunk of undecided voters with his war of words victory Wednesday night, but did not convince me he can lead conservatism to victory as this is not the time for cowboy democracy.

Both sides of the aisle agree the Obama plan, if implemented, can be fueled only by raising taxes and in particular, raising taxes on the middle class as raising taxes only on the rich will not generate sufficient revenue and will be counterproductive to job creation—and the penultimate conundrum associated with economic recovery is how do you get tax money from the unemployed?  The Romney plan calls for tax breaks to the middle class and taxing the wealthy more not so much by raising their rates, but by eliminating deductions so they actually pay full fare.  Make sense to you?  But a plan that makes sense is not good enough if it can’t be implemented; we [fellow conservatives] need a leader to get it through both houses of congress.  Mitt’s technique for winning the debate exposes probable weakness in leadership, and that concerns me.  If Obama is re-elected, one of two things will happen; we will get full-blown Obamacare, higher taxes, minimal job creation, and further doubling of the deficit potentially putting America in an irrecoverable state, forcing this great nation to declare bankruptcy, or simply the conservative block in congress will make him a lame duck, and the White House will be reduced (metaphorically) to a hillbilly shack where there is nothing to do but sit on the front porch and watch the deterioration.  Alas, fellow Republicans, we have to take a chance on Mitt Romney.  But Mitt has to demonstrate in the next debate he is capable of winning, or at least making a good impression playing by the rules with respect to time limits, not interrupting the moderator, and the like.  With respect to a recent contributor’s article on snake-oil politics, let me make one thing perfectly clear, whether or not the substance in that medicine bottle actually works or not is irrelevant if the salesman can’t sell it.

My advice to Mr. Romney is to approach the next debate cool as a cucumber, as it typically Obama’s style, but to speak the conservative gospel rather than the liberal one.