The lights are going out in America
In his best community organizing mode, the post partisan healer, President Barack Obama (D) delivered a highly partisan speech in Parma, Ohio, advocating class warfare while knocking the Republicans in general and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) in particular as obstructing his savior policies.
Partisan - like he explained his high minded hopes when he ran for president.
We also hoped for a chance to get beyond some of the old political divides -- between Democrats and Republicans, red states and blue states -- that had prevented us from making progress. Because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans -- (applause) -- and we believed then and we believe now that no single party has a monopoly on wisdom.
That lovey dovey feeling didn't last long. Two sentences later he (again) blamed Bush for our present economic predicament.
I ran for President because for much of the last decade, a very specific governing philosophy had reigned about how America should work: Cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires. Cut regulations for special interests. Cut trade deals even if they didn't benefit our workers. Cut back on investments in our people and in our future -- in education and clean energy, in research and technology. The idea was that if we just had blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everyone else to fend for themselves that America would grow and America would prosper.
But he, Barack Obama, would change everything with tax cuts for the middle class (applause! applause!) while socking it to those who have the nerve to earn over $250,000. ("Spread the wealth around" as if its 2008 and he's running for president instead of being an ineffective one.)
He also waxed nostalgic about his good old--well young--days
You see, Michelle and I are where we are today because even though our families didn't have much, they worked tirelessly -- without complaint -- so that we might have a better life. My grandfather marched off to Europe in World War II, while my grandmother worked in factories on the home front. I had a single mom who put herself through school, and would wake before dawn to make sure I got a decent education. Michelle can still remember her father heading out to his job as a city worker long after multiple sclerosis had made it impossible for him to walk without crutches. He always got to work; he just had to get up a little earlier.
Yes, our families believed in the American values of self-reliance and individual responsibility, and they instilled those values in their children. But they also believed in a country that rewards responsibility; a country that rewards hard work; a country built on the promise of opportunity and upward mobility.
They believed in an America that gave my grandfather the chance to go to college because of the GI Bill; an America that gave my grandparents the chance to buy a home because of the Federal Housing Authority; an America that gave their children and grandchildren the chance to fulfill our dreams thanks to college loans and college scholarships.
It was an America where you didn't buy things you couldn't afford; where we didn't just think about today -- we thought about tomorrow. An America that took pride in the goods that we made, not just the things we consumed. An America where a rising tide really did lift all boats, from the company CEO to the guy on the assembly line.
That's the America I believe in. (Applause.)
Understandably he didn't mention the painful topic that his father abandoned him and his mother--the cause of his family's tough times. Fathers abandoning children and their mothers is the most common reason for childhood poverty.
Understandably he also didn't mention that while his mother may have "awakened before dawn to make sure I got a decent education" (what does that mean?) a few times she often took off "after putting herself through school". (And where were her parents?) Oh right, her parents, especially his white grandmother who he so publicly dissed as she lay dying, raised him while his mother also essentially, abandoned him every now and then, went to work and helped him get a scholarship to private school.
Who paid for his college education, law school, scholarships and some mysterious undocumented years were not referred to. Self reliance, it is.
Meanwhile, while Obama was touting his policies that will bring jobs, jobs and more jobs, especially green ones, over the border in Virginia, the lights were going out. Literally. Because of green jobs.
Peter Whoriskey of the Washington Post reports on the closure of the last GE factory in the country manufacturing incandescent bulbs throwing 200 middle aged, middle class people out of work. Their chances of finding new jobs are dim.
What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.
The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences.
Ah yes, that law of unintended consequences. Or what happens when the brightest minds don't think things through, don't think of all the possibilities.
But...but...who will be making those mercury filled, twisty bulbs that are supposedly so energy efficient even though their light is harsh and they're filled with a dangerous substance? Not Americans. Mainly the Chinese. Lower wages, lower safety standards, less onerous uhm, environmental restrictions.
So you tell 'em Barack! Go give those rabble rousing speeches. Go spend more money putting the nation deeper into debt. Pass more laws--if you can.
Meanwhile, factories are closing. And insurance premiums are rising--even though insurance companies' profits are only about 3%.
Just as long as you're non partisan.