I do think that our economy and the national debt is probably our biggest problem that must be dealt with, and neither party has done a good job of it.
An aside- How I'd fix the economy... but no one asked me.
Most economists think that more stimulus would help create jobs at this point but Democrats are not liberal enough to propose new stimulus spending at this point. (Or maybe they're just not courageous enough!) Austerity hasn't worked out so well for Europe, and I don't think we should be raising taxes on anyone or cutting the budget in the short-term. The decline in government jobs over the last few years is very real, and absent that job numbers and consumer confidence would have risen, and unemployment numbers would be down. We should be building more bridges, not laying off teachers, and sending more NASA trips to Mars, at least in the short term.
On the other hand, speakers at both conventions talked about how their plans kept Medicare solvent a little longer, but entitlement spending (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and pensions) make up the biggest chunk of our long-term national budget problem but Republicans are not fiscally conservative enough to touch Social Security (or maybe they're just not courageous enough!) instead focusing on the 1/4 of the budget that's discretionary spending that doesn't involve the military. Long term we have to reform both social security and medicare/medicaid, as proposed by the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Let's face reality, that SS isn't a separate annuity but a tax on wage earners (and a somewhat regressive one at that). If we hope to keep it around, those that are socially secure already don't need to receive it, and we should gradually adjust the retirement age and eligibility to reflect increased life expectancy since SS was enacted. While we're at it, Medicare needs reforms that will likely make medicine more efficient, but will very likely hurt doctors and nurses in the pocketbook. (They shouldn't look to lawyers hurt in the pocketbook over medical malpractice tort-reform for sympathy, though.)
So... my prescription- stimulus spending now, but make the tough painful changes to entitlements that are necessary in the long term. Makes sense to me, but neither party has the cojones to do it.
Back to politics
But what about social issues? As a secret spanko, I can certainly identify with gays an lesbians... Like them, I get sexual gratification from acts that are a big turn off to the majority of the population. If Romney were elected, the slow march toward allowing gay marriage would come to a screeching halt, right? The president has little power over state legislatures or supreme courts. That's where this battle will be fought.
This post is going downhill in a hurry from this point on...
Evidence of this came recently when an NFL player voiced his opinion in support of gay rights. In response, a state legislator from that state wrote the owner of the NFL team and asked him to basically tell his players to keep their mouth shut. In response to THAT, a punter on a different NFL team sent nasty letter to the state legislator in which he actually used the phrase "lustful cockmonster" -the full text of the letter as well as a more detailed description is here (and no comment on how "happy" the punter looks).
This finally brings me to last night. I intended to actually post something, but got distracted watching 9/11 documentaries. I noticed a breaking news story about the Egypt embassy protests, and read a CNN.com article (since edited) that had a "response" from the American Embassy there. The Egyptians were protesting because of a "movie" depicting Mohammed as doing bad things. The American embassy's "response" was a statement about how it condemns abusing the freedom of speech like in the movie. Here's a good breakdown of the chronology of the events. Reading that pissed me off. What I didn't know was that the "response" of the American embassy was written prior to the attacks. Romney condemned the statement, and in turn has been roundly criticized today for having done so before all the facts were out. I'll give him a pass on that, as I had the same reaction. (Even though I don't have a staff to keep me abreast of world events.)
I googled the name of the guy that produced the movie, and after some searching, found the movie on youtube. Last night it had just over 2,000 views. Just checked and it's at about 750,000. The acting, makeup, and special effects are comically bad. (I'm kinda scared to link to it out of fear that my blog will be attacked, but it's been linked to by umpteen bajillion real news stories today, so I'm safe, right?) But it got me thinking about how Muslims get really angry over an image of Mohammed, and how different this is compared to Christians. There weren't violent uprisings when Southpark depicted Jesus and the Christmas poop years ago. Heck Christians find images of Jesus everywhere. There are intentional depictions of him, but his image is even seen unintentionally. Especially on tortillas. Yes, the image of Jesus has been found on tortillas. Alot. Over and over.
And it made me wonder whether in an Arab country someone ever thought maybe they saw an image of Mohammed on a piece of pita bread. My 1st though was that if they did, they'd probably not mention it out of fear of being stoned or beheaded or something. But then I realized -duh- they wouldn't know what he looked like!
Hope at least a few of you made it this far. I promise to return, and return to spanking content on the blog soon. Just had some pent up words I had to get out, I guess!