President Obama has failed
I believe it is our duty as citizens of our republic to be well informed in order to cast our vote appropriately, and not to instead rely on cliches, stereotypes or over-generalizations.
I find these in the two afore mentioned rants, but no facts to back up their positions.
I respect the office of the president of the United States and the individual who holds it; however that does not make him or his policies immune from appropriate criticism. He has failed to fulfill many of the critical promises he made to the United States citizens prior to his election in 2008.
For me, it is really that simple. It is nothing personal toward President (Barack) Obama, just his actions and results.
I am concerned about the future of this country, our massive debt, the looming fiscal crisis (sequestration and related defense cuts), and what we will leave for our children and grandchildren.
I believe we are on the wrong track and need to make a change in direction.
As with every president, or any other employee, our assessment as to whether he deserves more time in his job must be based on his recent job performance, and the related results. Based on that, I can make no other decision than to cast my vote for President Obama's opponent in this election.
Older employees 'going first'
It is the policy of many corporations, large and small, to offer older employees "buy-out" packages (e.g., Space Center employees) when the companies are downsizing or when contracts end.
It is also a practice to lay off older employees first, as they normally are the higher paid.
These employees are able to "sign up" for unemployment compensation when they leave the company, but many of them have no intention of going back to work because they now collect Social Security benefits they have paid into all those years and collect retirement benefits.
They go through the motions of "job hunting" in order to collect the unemployment benefits, and when the benefits end they no longer are considered as "looking for work" because they no longer sign up for benefits.
It would be interesting to know how many of these people are counted in the "looking for work" number touted by the candidates.
Paying men and women the same
Do you believe that men and women should be paid the same for doing the same job? Mitt Romney does not.
When asked, he doesn't say "yes" or "no." He uses that politician's trick of changing the subject.
Or he points out the many women he appointed to positions in Massachusetts. Maybe he got them cheaper.
Wake up, women! We fought hard for the vote so we wouldn't have to be second-class citizens. But we still are if we don't get equal pay.
Time to 'take back representation by and for the people'
At the birth of this country, wise men knew that having all the people participate in the balloting, tallying and verifying the vote in democratic election process would be impossible.
To simplify the process, while retaining the elements of democracy, the Electoral College was created to allow citizens within each state to elect the president by sending a proportional number of state representatives to represent the people. Representation by a few is an oligarchy.
Over time, the process has been drastically altered to represent only the Democratic or Republican parties.
In some states, the representatives are proportioned according to the popular vote. In other states, it is a winner takes all situation.
In all cases, there is no allowance for candidates from other parties.
Today, many democratic European countries have a proportioned democratic government, which forces parties to achieve consensus and/or create alliances.
In this country, both parties have been hijacked from the people by political national committees, PACs, and special interest groups, which may or may not represent the will of the majority of the people.
There is a chance the popular vote and the electoral vote may have different outcomes.
Perhaps, it is time to take back representation by and for the people.
If we can vote for the "American Idol" or some dancer on "Dancing With The Stars," then certainly we have the capability to vote democratically.
If we vote in such a manner, we could break the hold on Congress by the PACs and special interest groups.
Think about it. Why is one party spending nearly a billion dollars to get a guy re-elected to a job that only pay $450,000, plus some perks?
And why is one party constantly having dinners at $500/plate at the homes of millionaires while railing against the taxes the Internal Revenue Service sets on millionaire's income?
How many average Americans can afford to take the family to that dinner?
We've are being hijacked!
'If it were up to the Republicans...'
After observing the lengthy political campaign for president and control of Congress, I am concerned about the future of this country.
If it were only up to the Republicans (a Republican president, 2/3 majority in the Senate and a wide majority in the House), they would eliminate two government-run programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, that run against the Grand Old Party mantra that government is incapable of doing it.
With Medicare, according to (Paul) Ryan's plan, you get vouchers to buy private insurance, and later pay the difference.
With Social Security, you need to save for retirement, not depend on government-run programs. Let's privatize it and let people worry about it. It will be good for the banking business, as well.
Also, let's do away with Medicaid (unless the states that have surplus of money want to continue), eliminate minimum wage (the free market should determine the minimum wage, not Congress; it's bad for business, too), dissolve Environmental Protection Agency (bad for business); eliminate OSHA (bad for business, too much government); do away with food stamps (they should find jobs); minimize most government inspection services and federal regulations (bad for business).
Women don't need contraception in any form; abortion should be banned; up the retirement age; remove restrictions on businesses to allow them to do whatever they want (oh, that's good for business); remove restrictions from Wall Street (good for business and millionaires); raise taxes on middle class by eliminating common deductions such as mortgage interest, but lower taxes for millionaires -- after all they create jobs for others so must be rewarded for their hard work (I erroneously thought that with lower taxes the millionaires will buy more real estate, more yachts and will stash more money in off-shore accounts as Romney); eliminate government-supported college loans (bad for banking business); and cut government jobs (they should look for real jobs).
However, increase the budget for the military (that's always been good for business). All that would be welcome by two pillars of GOP: big business and the rich.
The millionaires deserve more tax cuts; after all they are the main donors to all Republican campaigns.
Rip off in the swimming pool industry
My swimming pool pump failed several months ago. I was prepared to replace the existing 1.5 horsepower pump, as I do every three years, for about $300.
I was told, however, that a new Florida building code, which became effective in March, would preclude that.
The provisions apply to existing, as well as new, pools.
One may only use a greater horsepower pump ($500 installed) or a multi-speed pump ($1,500 installed). Numerous broad claims about energy efficiency were made.
I chose the $500 option since my case is simple. I do not have a spa or pool cleaner.
The new pump (3/4 HP) is a beautiful sand color.
However, rather than being on from noon to 5 p.m., the recommendation for the same cleaning is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Three months of FPL bills are now in: August - 98 kWh, September - 46 kWh and October - 34 kWh, or over three months in saving 110 kWh, which, at 10.5 cents per kWh, is $11.55. Impressive savings! Not!
The lobbyists sold the legislature a "bill-of-goods."
With 1.1 million pools in Florida, over a three year period there is a billion dollars in extra pool pump business. No wonder the lobbyists get the big bucks. We lose. For the environment? Hardly!
This ought to be repealed by the 2013 Legislature.
America is the greatest country in the world
I'm grateful every day to be free in this great nation.
Thank you to all Americans who have worked hard and fought to keep us free and safe.
Also, thanks to all politicians who dedicate their service to building a better nation for all.
Because of two wars, terrorist attacks, bankers, big corporations, mortgage companies and lenders without regulation, along with the greed in our nation, this is what caused us to go deep in debt.
We are still not as bad off as the "crash" of the 1920s. They had 25 percent unemployment, no food stamps, no unemployment insurance.
There was no Medicare. Schools didn't have free lunches. I know, because I went to school for years without a lunch.
Our population, from 150 million in 1900 to more than 300 million, has need for larger government, although our government is smaller now than in the last 50 years.
We need revenues to pay our bills.
Because of the tax cuts and the trillion dollars (President) Bush had to work with when he came into office, which he gave back to the people; also two wars, 911 and security in the airports, borders and coast, we need more revenue.
People, please come together and work it out.. We're all Americans and want the same thing for our country. Keep religion out of politics.
Help educate a child, reach out to someone less fortunate.
We are not all born equal in society. We're not asking for much, just a helping hand now and then.
We should all be thankful for what we do have.
Think about living in a third world country and you will give thanks every day for being an American.