Tag Archives: Election

New Hampshire: Standing Up and Speaking Out for Hillary Clinton!

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On September 28, I spent the day covering the Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders Campaign Appearance at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. for my political/social issues blog “This Week With Mitch Grosky.” In addition to taking over 500 photos, I also conducted brief interviews with a number of the people there.  After being addressed by a number of college officials and state officials, Governor Maggie Hassan (now running for Senator) spoke to the crowd.

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Governor Maggie Hassan

She was followed by the entrance of Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

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Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders Enter Together to Loud Cheers and Enthusiastic Applause

Bernie Sanders spoke first, speaking of the importance of electing Hillary Clinton as President. He also spoke about some of the issues–education, climate change, minimum wage, and others–that they share in common.

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Senator Bernie Sanders

Then Hillary Clinton spoke about some of these same issues, as well as the importance of universal pre-Kindergarten (pre-school), spending most of her time addressing the theme of the day: “Debt Free College.”

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This is her education plan which would dramatically reduce college costs for most students. The plan calls for making public colleges and universities tuition-free for families who earn less than $125,000 per year, making community college free for all students, and helping students to significantly lower their current debt by refinancing at lower interest rates.

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After speeches by Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton, there was a panel discussion or Question and Answer session in which both featured speakers answered pre-selected questions from the audience about their plans for education reform. The enthusiastic full-capacity crowd of 1,200 seemed to really enjoy both the speeches and the bonus question and answer session.

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I was struck by a couple of things:

 First of all, it was easy to discern and appreciate the real excitement in the audience as people waited in line to enter with eager anticipation, and as they actually listened carefully to the speeches of the afternoon–especially those of Secretary Hillary Clinton, U.S.Senator Bernie Sanders, and Governor Maggie Hassan.

Secondly, I was impressed that the people there expressed nearly universal approval of and strong praise for Hillary Clinton.   Sometimes when people look on facebook or on the various news programs, they get the impression that everyone sees this election as a choice between the “lesser of two evils.”  That was certainly NOT the case here.  These are people who strongly believe in Hillary Clinton, who deeply admire who she is and all that she has accomplished in the past approximately 30 years.  These are people who enthusiastically support her and are totally committed to her.

In each brief interview that I conducted, I focused on two major questions.  First of all, I asked, “Are you here to support Hillary Clinton or to make up your mind?”  In nearly every single case–including those involving former Bernie Sanders supporters–I found that people had already made a firm commitment to support Hillary Clinton.

Secondly, once they acknowledged that they were already supporting Secretary Clinton, I asked them, “Could you give me a couple of reasons why you feel that she is the best candidate for President?”  People voiced strong opinions in support of the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State.  What follows are excerpts from some of the conversations which I had with well over a dozen supporters.

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Clai from West Berlin, New Hampshire

I see a woman who is brilliant, knows policy inside and out, and who cares for everyone around her. . . She came out at the beginning of her campaign talking about (reasonable gun limitations) when nobody else did, and she’s met with survivors (of gun violence) all over the country in small groups . . . it’s on her agenda.”  –Clai from West Berlin, New Hampshire

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Deb from North Hampton, New Hampshire

“I’m here as a volunteer, for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and we’re concerned about the gun violence that’s taking the lives of over 30,000 Americans per day, and Hillary has come out and said that she’s going to fight the NRA and fight for sensible gun laws, and Donald Trump has not said that, so I’m very much supporting Hillary for that reason. . . Here in New Hampshire, there are a lot of gun owners, and there’s no reason that the second amendment can’t go hand-in-hand with sensible gun laws.” –Deb from North Hampton, New Hampshire

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Veronica from Cambridge, Massachusetts

“Her message ‘Stronger Together’—I firmly and confidently believe in that.  She’s all for getting our country together—something I firmly believe and I think that’s what we need today, especially with all that’s going on.  The world is a scary place, and thinking about Trump ruling our nation scares me to death.  It took me a while to come to Hillary, but I strongly believe in her message, ‘Stronger Together.’”–Veronica from Cambridge, Massachusetts

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“I’ve been a supporter of hers for like 15 years . . . I lived in New York; I volunteered on her staff and so on . . .  I feel that she brings a view and she understands the problems that are going on in the community, and I think she will do so much better than Donald.  I mean Donald is very upsetting because he’s spouting bigotry . . . he’s spouting separation.  It’s just amazing the things that he’s said.  He makes me feel that he doesn’t feel sorry for the words he’s expressing. . . He’s saying things that some people feel, and they’ve been afraid to say—whether (those things) are right or wrong.  He’s given them carte blanche to say those things . . . and it’s very scary because you have a population that might THINK those things about their neighbor, but he’s expressed it so (it seems like it’s) OK to say those things.” –Denise from Roxbury, Massachusetts

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Allison, Executive Editor of “The New Hampshire,” the School Newspaper at UNH—from West Hartford, CT

“I am neutral right now.  What’s important to me is that the students are educated (about) the candidates and that we get as many students as we can out there to vote on Election Day. . . The biggest issue that I’m interested in is education. I’ve always been really interested in education, and I’m listening to what the candidates have to say about student debt . . . This is not something that is on the forefront of most people’s minds, so it is our responsibility to make sure that issue is covered, and that we’re voting in favor of what’s best for our generation —Allison, Executive Editor of “The New Hampshire,” the School Newspaper at UNH—from West Hartford, CT

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Natalie, originally from New Hampshire but now living in Florida

“I’m here in support of Hillary Clinton.  I think she’s fantastic.  I’ve been following her for years.  I think she’s absolutely brilliant.  For me, personally, it would be the ACA (Affordable Care Act or Obamacare), but it’s having a first woman President . . . it’s huge; I mean we have to break that barrier . .  . everything that the Democrats stand for, quite frankly, and what the Republicans are against.”  She indicated that she was “not at all” impressed by Donald Trump—“It’s very scary; we can’t have that; we just can’t have that . . . I think he’s dangerous; I think he would take us down financially.  I think he would promote hatred, and other countries would be coming against us, and we would bear that—that hate and that burden.  The Supreme Court is also at stake; we’re looking at 3-4 Supreme Court seats – the next 20 years . . . I have zero confidence in Donald Trump (in making those appointments), and I’m terrified quite frankly.  –Natalie, originally from New Hampshire but now living in Florida

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Keith from Kennebunk, Maine.

“I’m already in support of Hillary Clinton.  She’s good for jobs.  She’s good for the colleges.  She‘s good for the college students.  She’s good for a lot of issues that the American people are concerned about.  I’m not interested in Donald Trump’s candidacy; I think he’s a farce.  He talks a lot.  Big talk, but I don’t think he can put anything behind his words. . . I don’t believe him; he’s lying to the American people.”  –Keith from Kennebunk, Maine.

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Chad from Ipswich, Massachusetts

“Those are the two reasons (that I’m supporting Hillary Clinton)—daughter number one and daughter number two –those are the number one and two reasons that I’m supporting Hillary Clinton. (The fact that she’s a woman) is important to me because it’s kind of unprecedented.  We’ve seen our first African-American President, and that’s amazing, and it would be nice to see . . . a woman, and it’s not a party trick in my mind.  I think that she is the most qualified person for this job, and the fact that she’s a woman is really icing on the cake.  There are only a handful (of her positions) that I have any disagreement with her about.”  He indicated the following as important issues for him:  “The issue of racial equality; that tops for me right now.  The environment is tops for me right now.  Not as much for me the story of the economy.  I’ve lived in a lot of countries in the world, and I know what world economy is, and it takes a little bit of perspective to understand what economy is like in this country.  Granted I’m a somewhat privileged person, but even with that, it’s hard to compare poverty in Guatemala and Haiti to what everyday working class people are feeling in the United States.  But I will say that over the last 8 years, we’ve seen a whole lot of positive change that we never saw in the previous 8 years.”  He indicated that he “absolutely” liked that Hillary Clinton would continue the politics of Barack Obama. . . “I’m very much aligned with the ideology of Barack Obama, and Bernie—absolutely Bernie, as well.  Gun control, by the way, is also right up there on the list. . . I think we just need reasonable gun control. It’s obvious.  It’s sensible.  You go anyplace else in the world and people talk about the United States.  (They ask) Does everyone carry a gun? Do you have to fear for your life when you walk down the street?  The answer is no, but that fear is there for a reason, and you spend time in other developed world countries and they don’t have the same issues we have . . .”             —Chad from Ipswich, Massachusetts

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Sylvia from Salem, Massachusetts

“I’ve made up my mind (to support Hillary)–since 2008.  Experience, Brilliance, Commitment. -–Sylvia from Salem, Massachusetts

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–Ted from Durham, New Hampshire

“I’m supporting Hillary.  I’ve been a Democrat most of my life, so that’s part of it, but I also think that I’m not so much afraid of Donald as I am of the image that he portrays, and the ability for the rest of this country to look at that and have bad behavior because of it.  He noted that the image he projects to the rest of the world “is even scarier.  .  . the lack of respect for all human beings and the inclusiveness that he rejects . . .”  –Ted from Durham, New Hampshire

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Bill from Durham, New Hampshire

“I’m supporting Hillary Clinton.  She’s far more experienced and she knows what’s she’s doing whereas I don’t really like Donald Trump.  What about Donald Trump particularly bothers me?  Oh, let’s see:  the fact of his bigotry, the fact that he once went on record saying that he wouldn’t mind dating his own daughter, the fact that he went over to Scotland and kicked people off their land using . . . eminent domain. . . In addition to that, he led basically a lynch mob against the Central Park Four who were accused of assault.”  —Bill from Durham, New Hampshire.

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Jared from Exeter, New Hampshire

“I’m supporting Hillary Clinton.  I agree with most of her plans, and I think she’s a strong leader, who can cross beyond party borders.  I support most of her social plans, like I support  the LGBT community and the Black community especially.”  –Jared from Exeter, New Hampshire

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Menat from Exeter, New Hampshire

“I’m supporting Hillary Clinton.  I think Hillary has more of the majority of the people around our country’s  needs in mind—over Trump, and that’s the way I think our next President should be.  I think there’s a lot of unemployment currently . . . she has plans like implementing solar panels that will solve two problems in one—to make sure we have clean energy as well as employing more people. . . I think Donald Trump has this certain mindset that the top one percent of our country has, and that’s just not the majority of the thoughts and opinions of the people in our country, and I don’t think that the President should represent just the top one percent.”  Menat from Exeter, New Hampshire

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More Faces in the Crowd at the University of New Hampshire Event for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

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For over 300 MORE photographs of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Maggie Hassan, and Others at this event, please check me out on facebook at Hillary and Bernie Visit UNH!

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A Call for HONESTY in Presidential Politics on Facebook

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: Phony Memes, Photoshopped Photos, and False Tweets

A FACEBOOK POLITICAL POST THAT MAKES SENSE —

NO MATTER WHICH CANDIDATE YOU ARE SUPPORTING!

Did Hillary Clinton REALLY say, “The average Democrat voter is just plain stupid”? Did Bernie Sanders really say, “My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism”? Did Donald Trump once call Republicans “the dumbest group of voters in the country”? Did Ted Cruz really hug Fidel Castro? Is that photo of Marco Rubio shaking hands with President Obama while signing a trade deal real”? Did Hillary Clinton really shake hands with Bin Laden, like that picture I saw on the internet? Did Ted Cruz really say, “When gays stayed hidden we had no mass murders”? Did Obama really order that the words “Under God” be removed from the “Pledge of Allegiance”?

The answer to ALL of the above questions is NO — absolutely NOT!

All of the above quotations were placed on actual facebook memes which were shared thousands and thousands of times, and if you check each one out on a fact-checking site like Snopes.com or politifact.com, you will find that they are all FALSE, all FAKE.

Can I please ask for YOUR help? Can you help me to get rid of phony memes on facebook? I am getting so tired of seeing people post absolutely FALSE and PHONY political memes on facebook, as well as phony photoshopped photos of political candidates. No matter WHO you support, this is absolutely WRONG! Please, before you share some political poster–especially one with a candidate saying something that sounds absolutely outrageous, please CHECK IT OUT FIRST!!! You can simply google the quote by asking something like this: “Did (Candidate’s Name) actually say, “……..”? Usually, that search will show you a Snopes article (Snopes is a neutral and respected fact-checker) demonstrating to you that the quotation is FALSE (though on rare occasions, it may show that it is true).

This primaries and the national Presidential election in November is absolutely crucial toward our county’s future–and perhaps the world’s future, as well. Nearly ALL of us believe that–no matter what candidate we support. What I am asking is for us all to rely just as much as we can on FACTS in supporting our candidates. If you attack the positions of another candidate, please use carefully checked FACTS in doing so. Even if you feel you must attack the character of another candidate, please do so in a civil way, and use FACTS.

And just because you found it on someone’s Republican website, or Democratic website, or Tea Party website, DOESN’T mean it is TRUE. Try to check it out with the most reputable source that you can—not some left-leaning OR right-leaning website. Look for sources (like Politifact or Snopes or maybe CNN which are generally given credit for trying to maintain neutrality). I know some of you may disagree with those sources I mentioned, but just try to be sure it is generally respected as a neutral site for reporting FACTS. And if you find a friend or family member–or even a stranger–sharing something that seems outrageous, please check it out. If it proves to be false, don’t ignore it, please point out that it is false, and include the link that PROVES it is false.

Many of the memes, posters, and photos that are shown in the collage above were shared MILLIONS of times, and believed by the people who shared them AND who viewed them. We all have a responsibility to be sure to vote, and to make up our minds–to make our choice–based on FACTS. The choice for our country is far too important to believe falsehoods, half-truths, and outright lies.

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Won’t Get Fooled Again: Governor Romney’s Terrible Record in Massachusetts

A Video Spotlighting Governor Romney’s REAL Record in Massachusetts

Although I am a lifelong Massachusetts Democrat, I once made the mistake of voting for Mitt Romney (back “home” after saving the Olympics), and though I was hopeful, I almost immediately began to regret my vote–as did thousands of other Democrats who crossed party lines as well as independents and even some Republicans who realized how much he let our Commonwealth down.  The show is an indictment of Romney’s term in office, and is an excellent counterpoint to all the boasting that he has done about all that he supposedly did for our state.”  I feel strongly that studying Governor Romney’s record in Massachusetts is important if one is to understand what he might do if he were elected President.  It is important to note that earlier in his campaign, Mitt Romney asserted, “If people want to know what I stand for, they can look at my record as Governor.”  Consequently, I explore Governor Romney’s record in Massachusetts in the following four areas:  jobs and the economy, education, women’s issues, and leadership style.

The Show is entitled “Won’t Get Fooled Again:  Romney’s Record as Massachusetts Governor.” I am  a retired Massachusetts teacher and principal, a professional photographer, a husband and father, and a political blogger.  I have become very active in state and local politics since joining the Athol Democratic Committee this year. I  produced the eleven-minute slideshow which features a quite a number of my award-winning Massachusetts photographs in order to spotlight Mitt Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.

At this point, the video–which has been online for just over three weeks–has been viewed and “liked” by nearly 50,000  individuals on the internet–from 48 out of 50 states across our country, including an especially large number of viewers from such battleground or hotly contested states as Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, Arizona, Indiana, and North Carolina.  In addition, the video has drawn substantial and significant interest from over 17 foreign countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand, Peru, Sweden, Austria, Japan, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia.

The video has been featured on several major Political websites:  “Voice 4 America,” “The Boomers Voting Democratic,” and “I Will Vote for Obama in 2012,” and “Positively Barack.”   In addition, it has been viewed on the following websites:  “Formidable Republican Opposition,” “Colorado Democrats,” “Obama for America – Pennsylvania,” “The Huffington Post,”and “MittRomneyVideo.com.” The afore-mentioned sites have a viewership of well over 200,000.  In addition, it has been posted and re-posted innumerable times on “Twitter,”  “Zomobo,” “Twikle,” and–of course–“Facebook.” The video has been “shared” by viewers on their own websites over 2500 times, and it has generated over 400 comments–overwhelmingly positive–from interested individuals.

If you wish to view the video, you can go to the following link http://tinyurl.com/cmz2ywu or just Google “Grosky and Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

 

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Those Angry Bird Republicans!

Have you ever played Angry Birds?  You know,  that famous game that almost everyone seems to be playing on their iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, Kindle Fires, and Nooks. Well, I contend that the Republican Presidential Candidates are acting like those Angry Birds.  If you don’t know the game, here’s the backstory:  apparently some pigs have stolen the eggs of the birds, so now they are really angry.  To get them back  (Don’t laugh; this is true!) —they launch themselves via giant slingshot at the pigs in an attempt to destroy the pigs and get their eggs back.  See, (to follow the analogy) the Republicans see Barack Obama as having stolen something they once owned–the Presidency, and they furiously and persistently  aim to get it back.  What’s curious, however, is instead of launching themselves at the President (though they occasionally do that, as well) they seem to be attacking one another on a more regular basis.  Though instead of attacking President Obama, they’re attacking one another–fellow Republicans.  This of course, violates former President Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

What are the Republicans saying about each other?  Well, I scoured the Internet, and watched about 5-6 Republican debates over the last month or so (including the final two, yesterday and today)  Here are the results:

ATTACKS  ON  RICK  SANTORUM:

Rick Perry –Jan 2–In an interview with MSNBC, Perry said Santorum is a “serial pork-barrel earmarker” who has “proven he can’t win races.”

Mitt Romney—-Like Speaker Gingrich, Sen. Santorum has spent his career in government, in Washington,” Romney said during an event Saturday night in Atlantic, Iowa. “Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a very different background than I have.”

Michelle Bachman attacks Santorum—Jan. 1 ABC News

If you look at the spending issue, Sen. Santorum voted for the bridge to nowhere,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Santorum has stood for earmarks, stood for spending.”

Rick Perry attacks Santorum “Why was it important to vote for a Montana Sheep Institute?” Gov. Rick Perry said on “Fox News Sunday.

Jan2, 2012—Paul against Santorum–Before a rally at the Marriott hotel here, Paul charged that Santorum is “very liberal” because of his votes in Congress. “He spends too much money,” the Texas congressman said.

Jan 7—Paul attacks Santorum

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Paul, let’s stay on the issue of records. You’ve got a new ad up in South Carolina taking direct aim at Senator Santorum. You call him a corrupt — a corporate lobbyist, a Washington insider with a record of betrayal. You also call him corrupt in that ad.

Ron Paul–what really counts is his record. I mean, he’s a big government, big spending individual. Because, you know, he preached to the fact he wanted a balanced budget amendment but voted to raise the debt to five times. So he is a big government person.

Ron Paul—So you’re a big spender; that’s all there is to it. You’re a big-government conservative. And you don’t vote for, you know, right to work and these very important things. And that’s what weakens the economy. So to say you’re a conservative, I think, is a stretch. But you’ve convinced a lot of people of it, so somebody has to point out your record.

Ron Paul……back to Senator Santorum, you know, he ducks behind this — he’s for this balanced budget amendment, but voted five times to increase the national debt by trillions of dollars. This is what the whole Tea Party movement’s about…….When — I mean, government’s practically stopped over increasing the national debt. You did it five times. So what’s your excuse for that? That’s trillions of dollars. You kept this thing going.

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ATTACKS  ON  RON  PAUL

Dec. 28, 2011 –Assoc. Press—Attack by Romney and Perry against Paul

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on Wednesday assailed Republican presidential rival Ron Paul for saying the U.S. has no business bombing Iran to keep it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, drawing a sharp contrast with their rising rival as he returned to Iowa to campaign before the lead-off caucuses.

“One of the people running for president thinks it’s okay for Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, said in this eastern Iowa city in response to a question from the audience. “I don’t.”

It was the first time Romney has challenged Paul directly since the Texas congressman jumped in polls. Neither Romney nor Perry, the Texas governor, named Paul, but the target was clear.

“You don’t have to vote for a candidate who will allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Because America will be next,” Perry said in Urbandale, reiterating a line of argument from a day earlier.

“I’m here to say: You have a choice,” Perry added

Newt Gingrich, called Ron Paul’s views “totally outside the mainstream of every decent American” during an interview with CNN.

Gingrich said the primary is giving voters a “choice between a populist supply side approach … and a much more timid Washington-centered approach that will not create jobs.”

Bachmann, She accused Perry of spending “27 years as a political insider.” He was a Texas legislator and agriculture commissioner before becoming governor in 2001.

Bachmann said Paul would be “dangerous as president” because of his hands-off views on national security.

Rick Santorum told an Iowa crowd “he blamed Paul for automated “robocalls” that claimed he was pro-abortion and against the Second Amendment, The Huffington Post reported, both stances the social conservative says he is against.

Tuesday morning on “Fox and Friends,” Santorum said “Ron Paul is disgusting” for being behind the calls.

Newt Gingrich attacks Paul–Newt Gingrich, who Paul has been aggressive in labeling a serial hypocrite in previous ads,  told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he could not support Paul if he won the Republican nomination, adding his “views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American.”

Michelle Bachman attacks Paul—  “Ron Paul doesn’t believe the government should protect the inst Dec. 17—Wash. Post–Spencer, Iowa—

Rick PerryDuring a midday campaign stop at an Italian restaurant, Perry accused Newt Gingrich of being the “granddaddy of earmarks” while he was House speaker. He also called Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) a hypocrite for condemning political gamesmanship while seeking federal funds for pet projects such as bike racks and “decorative street lights” in his district.

“For some people, earmarks have become an art form,” Perry said. “What we need is someone who will walk into Washington, D.C., and say no to all this special-interest funding.”

Rick Santorum—Jan. 8–Well, let me first address Congressman Paul, because the — the serious issue with Congressman Paul here is you’re right. He’s never really passed anything of any — any import.

And one of the — one of the reasons people like Congressman Paul is his economic plan. He’s never been able to accomplish any of that. He has no track record of being able to work together. He’s been out there on the — on the margins and has really been unsuccessful in — in working together with anybody to do anything.

The problem is that what Congressman Paul can do as commander-in- chief is he can on day one do what he says he wants to do, which is pull all our troops back out of seas, overseas, put them here in America, leave us in a — in a — in a situation where the world is now going to be created — huge amounts of vacuums all over the place, and have folks like China and Iran and others. …….

The problem with Congressman Paul is, all the things that Republicans like about him he can’t accomplish and all the things they’re worried about, he’ll do day one. And — and that’s the problem.

Rick Perry—Jan. 7– I mean, here’s what frustrates me, is that you go get the earmarks and then you vote against the bill? Now, I don’t know what they call that in other places, but, Congressman Paul, in Texas, we call that hypocrisy.

Newt Gingrich—Well, Dr. Paul has a long history of saying things that are inaccurate and false.

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ATTACKS  ON  NEWT  GINGRICH:

By MACKENZIE WEINGER 1/4/12 —Politico—Ron Paul on Gingrich

“Ron Paul came out swinging Wednesday against Newt Gingrich for calling him a dangerous candidate, dubbing Gingrich a chickenhawk who avoided the Vietnam War.”

“I don’t want to fight a war that’s unconstitutional and I’m the dangerous person? You know, when Newt Gingrich was called to service in the 1960s during the Vietnam era, guess what he thought about danger? He chickened out on that, he got deferments and didn’t even go,” Paul said on CNN later in the morning.

“So right now he sends these young kids over there to endure the danger, and the kids coming back, the young people coming back and the ones in the military right now, they overwhelmingly support my campaign. We get twice as much support from active military personnel than all the other candidates put together. So, Newt Gingrich has no business talking about danger because he is putting other people in danger. Some people call that kind of a program a chickenhawk and I think he falls into that category,” Paul said.

Gingrich’s history gives rivals fodder By Philip Elliott, Associated Press  12-7-2011

“ Ron Paul rolled out a hard-hitting TV ad in Iowa that uses Gingrich’s own words to accuse him of “serial hypocrisy.”

“If you want to put people in jail, let’s look at the politicians who created the environment, the politicians who profited from the environment,” Gingrich is shown saying in the ad. It casts him as a Washington insider who espoused conservative principles as House speaker only to profit from special interests when he became a high-dollar consultant.”

Mitt Romney  attacking Gingrich —-“If the American people believe that what we need is someone who has spent the last 40 years or so in Washington, D.C., working as an insider, why, he’s the right guy.”

And Romney added: “America needs a leader, not someone who’s an insider.”

Wikipedia reported that on October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, “Newt Gingrich was attacked by all the other candidates, squaring off in particular with Mitt Romney. Romney mocked Gingrich’s plan to build a lunar colony to mine minerals from the moon, saying that the real difference between the two of them was their backgrounds, saying “I spent my life in the private sector. I know how the economy works.” Gingrich replied, “Let’s be candid. The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994“, which drew boos and laughter from the audience.”

Oct. 18, 2011—Debate–ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

Romney against Santorum and Gingrich–“Like Speaker Gingrich, Sen. Santorum has spent his career in government, in Washington,” Romney said during an event Saturday night in Atlantic, Iowa. “Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a very different background than I have.”

Dec. 17—Wash. Post–Spencer, Iowa–Perry attacks Gingrich and Paul —During a midday campaign stop at an Italian restaurant, Perry accused Newt Gingrich of being the “granddaddy of earmarks” while he was House speaker. He also called Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) a hypocrite for condemning political gamesmanship while seeking federal funds for pet projects such as bike racks and “decorative street lights” in his district.

“For some people, earmarks have become an art form,” Perry said. “What we need is someone who will walk into Washington, D.C., and say no to all this special-interest funding.”

Ron Paul’s December 28 Ad–Paul attacks Romney and Gingrich—Politicians who supported bailouts and mandates (shows pictures of Gingrich and Romney) “Serial hypocrites and flipfloppers can’t clean up the mess.”

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 ATTACKS  ON  RICK  PERRY:

Romney attacking Perry–On Perry’s jobs record: from The Telegraph—California Debate, Sept, 2011
“Texas is a great state. Texas has zero income tax. Texas has a right-to-work state, a Republican legislature, a Republican Supreme Court. Texas has a lot of oil and gas in the ground. Those are wonderful things, but Governor Perry doesn’t believe that he created those things. If he tried to say that, well, it would be like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.”  –Suggesting Perry was taken credit for events in Texas that he had nothing to do with creating.

Rick Santorum—about Romney, Cain, and Perry– Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript So you — you supported it. Governor Romney and Herman Cain all supported the — the TARP program, which started this ball……I mean, I — I mean, you guys complain about Governor Romney flip-flopping. I mean, look at what’s going on here. I mean, the — the bottom line is, you all supported it, you all started this ball rolling, where the government injected itself in trying to make — trying to fix the market with the government top-down trying to do it, and (ph) managed decline. And what happened was, people who did things that were wrong invested in things, took risks, were bailed out, and the folks who acted responsibly are now getting hurt because their houses have gone down in value. We need to let the market work, and that’s what hasn’t been happening so far.

Mitt Romney  attacking Perry: And the reason we’re so animated about stopping illegal immigration is there are 4.5 million people who want to come here who are in line legally, we want that to happen in an orderly and legal process. And in terms of how to secure the border, it’s really not that hard.. And, Governor Perry, you say you have got the experience. It’s a bit like saying that, you know, the college coach that has lost 40 games in a row has the experience to go to the NFL

John Huntman –This Week—August 22, 2011About Perry’s comments on evolution and global warming “The minute the Republican party becomes the… anti-science party, we have a huge problem.”  When you find yourself at an extreme end of the Republican party, you make yourself unelectable.

Mitt Romney attacks Perry–“Over the past decade, the number of illegal immigrants in Texas is estimated to have grown by 60 percent. Governor Perry should explain to the people of New Hampshire why he thinks their opposition to his liberal immigration policies means they ‘don’t have a heart,’ ” said Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams, alluding to comments Mr. Perry made last month in a defense of his decision to sign the in-state tuition bill into law.

Michelle Bachmann accused Perry of spending “27 years as a political insider.” He was a Texas legislator and agriculture commissioner before becoming governor in 2001.”

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ATTACK  ON  JON  HUNTSMAN:

Mitt Romney—Jan 8—I just think it’s most likely that the person who should represent our party running against President Obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in China.

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ATTACKS  ON  MITT   ROMNEY:

RICK PERRY, attacking Romney—Debate from The Telegraph—California Debate, Sept, 2011

On Mitt Romney’s jobs record:
“He did a great job of creating jobs in the private sector all around the world. But the fact is, when he moved that experience to government, he had one of the lowest job creation rates in the country. The fact is while he has a good private- sector record, his public-sector record did not match that. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in the last three months in Texas than he created in four years in Massachusetts.”

“Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt,” said Mr Perry, referring to the former liberal Democratic governor of Massachusetts who lost the 1988 presidential election.

Mr Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist, retorted citing the governor Mr Perry succeeded in Texas in 2000: “George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor.”

Gingrich: Romney is lying—CNN Politics—Jan. 3, 2012

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich took his condemnation of rival Mitt Romney to a new level Tuesday, saying the former Massachusetts governor was not being honest when claiming that he had no relation to a super PAC producing anti-Gingrich television ads.

Asked by CBS host Norah O’Donnell if he would call Mitt Romney a liar, Gingrich answered flatly “Yes.”

“This is a man whose staff created the PAC and his millionaire friends fund the PAC and it’s baloney,” Gingrich continued. “He’s not telling the American people the truth. Here’s a Massachusetts moderate who has tax-paid abortions in Romneycare and puts Planned Parenthood in Romneycare and raises hundreds of millions of dollars and appoints liberal judges and wants the rest of us to believe he’s somehow magically a conservative.”

Gingrich said Romney needed to be honest with voters about his record.

“I think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney and not consultant-guided version that goes with talking points. I don’t think he’s being candid and that will be a major issue,” Gingrich said.

Dec. 16–Mitt Romney was asked by Chris Wallace last night about his flip-flops on gun and gay rights issues. Romney explained his position, and then Rick Santorum came after him.

“[He] ordered people to issue gay marriage licenses. And went beyond that. He personally, as governor, issued gay marriage licenses. I don’t think that is an accurate representation of his position saying tolerance versus substantively changing the laws.”—-Towleroad
Wikipedia–October 18, 2011 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Mitt Romney squared off separately with Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Santorum attacked Romney over his health care reform initiative in Massachusetts, saying, “You just don’t have credibility… your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare.” Romney replied “the Massachusetts plan… was something crafted for a state… if I’m president of the United States, I will repeal [Obamacare] for the American people”.[22] Perry, whose performance was seen as an improvement over past debates, attacked Romney because he hired a lawn service using illegal immigrants; Perry said, “The idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is on its face the height of hypocrisy.” Romney replied that after they found out the company used illegal immigrants, they let them go, criticising Perry’s tuition credit for the children of illegal immigrants, adding that “If there’s someone who has a record as governor with regards to illegal immigration that doesn’t stand up to muster, it’s you, not me.”

Newt Gingrich  about Romneycare……… Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript..”But your plan essentially is one more big government, bureaucratic, high-cost system, which candidly could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicare program as lavish as yours, and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment. So there’s a lot as big government behind Romneycare. Not as much as Obamacare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.

Rick Santorum- Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript -I didn’t run as a liberal in 1994. I ran in 1994, the same year Mitt did in Massachusetts. He ran as a liberal, to the left of Kennedy, and lost. I ran as a conservative against James Carville and Paul Begala, and I won.

In 2002, he ran as a moderate. He ran as a moderate in — in Massachusetts. I ran for re-election having sponsored and passed welfare reform, having authored the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Rick Perry about Romney– Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript They’re looking for somebody that they trust, that knows has the executive governing experience. I’ve got it. You failed as the governor of Massachusetts.

June, 2011—Tim Pawlenty”—–President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare,” the former Minnesota governor said on “Fox News Sunday

Rick Perry—-If you want to know how someone’s going to act in the future, look how they act in the past. I mean, so, Mitt, while you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation.

October 19, 2011–In Tuesday night’s Las Vegas debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry answered a question about uninsured children in his state by attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romneyfor once having undocumented immigrants at work on his lawn.

“And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year,” Perry said, in a total non-sequiter.

Dec. 18–

Perry’s Attacks Vary Daily

Iowa Crowds Like Perry’s Message of Smaller Government, Lower Taxes

By Rebecca Kaplan—December 18, 2011 | 6:17 p.m.

Rick Perry—“I want to make a clear distinction between myself and Governor Romney,” Perry said, noting that the two were both serving as governors in the early 2000s. He had just wrapped up a description of how he cut the Texas budget by cutting spending before turning to the former governor of Massachusetts. “He took a different path. He scoured his tax code looking for those ways to increase corporate taxes rather than cutting the budget. He succeeded in finding the ways to raise taxes and he raised taxes by some 400 million dollars in Massachusetts,” Perry said. He said Romney, “put it on the backs of Massachusetts job creators.”

“Perry quoted from a Forbes article about Gingrich’s speakership that said both federal spending and debt increased during his tenure, and that one of the ways he balanced the budget was by employing “shameless accounting gimmicks” like borrowing from the Social Security trust fund.”

“Those of you who are wondering what happened to the Social Security trust fund? Here’s part of it right here,” Perry told the crowd.

Washington Times—Oct. 28—Perry attacking Romney–The idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is, on its face, the height of hypocrisy,” Mr. Perry said.

Mr. Perry labeled Mr. Romney a “finger-in-the-wind” politician, after he appeared to suggest he would not take a position on a controversial referendum in Ohio that would limit collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.

SuperPac Ad–Huntsman attacks Romney–“Two serious candidates remain,” the narrator says after images of the GOP’s onetime front-runners flit across the screen, ending in a dual shot of Romney and Huntsman. “One willing to say anything, be anything, one who can actually do the job.”

After touting Huntsman’s job creation record in Utah, the narrator of the Our Destiny PAC concludes: “One state can stop the chameleon.”

Paul’s December 28 Ad–Paul attacks Romney and Gingrich—Politicians who supported bailouts and mandates (shows pictures of Gingrich and Romney “Serial hypocrites and flipfloppers can’t clean up the mess.”

Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 —Newt Gingrich called Romney a “Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay.” He said the ex-governor has “given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure.”

Newt Gingrich called Mitt Romney a “liar” on CBS News Tuesday morning, a couple of days after he said he was “Romney-boated” by what he said are $3.5 million attack ads by political groups supporting the former Massachusetts governor.”He’s not telling the American people the truth. It’s just like his pretense that he’s a conservative,” Gingrich said. ” Here’s a Massachusetts moderate who has tax-paid abortions in ‘Romneycare,’ puts Planned Parenthood in ‘Romneycare,’ raises hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes on businesses, appoints liberal judges to appease Democrats, and wants the rest of us to believe somehow he’s magically a conservative.”

Oct. 8, 2011 Debate—CNN transcript.—Santorum –The final point I would make to Governor Romney, you just don’t have credibility, Mitt, when it comes to repealing Obamacare. You are — you are — your plan was the basis for Obamacare. Your consultants helped Obama craft Obamacare. And to say that you’re going to repeal it, you just — you have no track record on that that — that we can trust you that you’re going to do that. …..What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. Herman always says you’ve got to find the right problem. Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down, government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access. You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You’ve blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored in Obamacare, which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.

Jan. 8 Debate

Newt Gingrich–And I think that a bold Reagan conservative, with a very strong economic plan, is a lot more likely to succeed in that campaign than a relatively timid, Massachusetts moderate who even the Wall Street Journal said had an economic plan so timid it resembled Obama.  So I think you’ve got to look at — you know, Massachusetts was fourth from the bottom in job creation under Governor Romney. We created 11 million jobs while I was speaker, and I worked with Governor — with President Reagan in the entire recovery of the 1980s. So I just there’s a huge difference between a Reagan conservative and somebody who comes out of the Massachusetts culture with an essentially moderate record who I think will have a very hard time in a debate with President Obama.

Rick Santorum–Well, if his record was so great as governor of Massachusetts, why didn’t he run for re-election? I mean, if you didn’t want to even stand before the people of Massachusetts and run on your record, if it was that great, why didn’t — why did you bail out?……..I mean, the bottom — the bottom line is, you know, I go and fight the fight. If it was that important to the people of Massachusetts that you were going to go and fight for them, at least you can stand up and — and make the battle that you did a good job……..Governor Romney lost by almost 20 points. Why? Because at the end of that campaign, he wouldn’t stand for conservative principles. He ran from Ronald Reagan. And he said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights, on abortion, a whole host of other issues.We want someone, when the time gets tough — and it will in this election — we want someone who’s going to stand up and fight for the conservative principles, not bail out and not run, and not run to the left of Ted Kennedy.

Newt Gingrich—-…Can we drop a little bit of the pious baloney? The fact is, you ran in ’94 and lost. That’s why you weren’t serving in the Senate with Rick Santorum. The fact is, you had a very bad re- election rating, you dropped out of office, you had been out of state for something like 200 days preparing to run for president. You didn’t have this interlude of citizenship while you thought about what you do. You were running for president while you were governor. You were going all over the country. You were — you were out of state consistently.  You then promptly re-entered politics. You happened to lose to McCain as you had lost to Kennedy.  Now you’re back running. You have been running consistently for years and years and years. So this idea that suddenly citizenship showed up in your mind, just level with the American people. You’ve been running for — at least since the 1990’s.

Jon Huntsman attacking Romney–After Romney said, “I just think it’s most likely that the person who should represent our party running against President Obama is not someone who called him a remarkable leader and went to be his ambassador in China.” Huntsman fired back, “This nation is divided, David, because of attitudes like that. (APPLAUSE)   The American people are tired of the partisan division. They have had enough.”

Newt Gingrich attacking Romney– But if you look at “The New York Times” article, I think it was on Thursday, you would clearly have to say that Bain, at times, engaged in behavior where they looted a company, leaving behind 1,700 unemployed people. That’s “The New York Times.”

Moderator—Speaker, you — you — you decry the Washington establishment and you just talked about “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post.” You have agreed with the characterization that Governor Romney is a liar.   Look at him now. Do you stand by that claim?

NEWT GINGRICH—Well, sure. Governor, I wish you would calmly and directly state it is your former staff running the PAC. It is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC. And you know some of the ads are — aren’t true. Just say that. It’s straightforward.

Jan. 7 Debate

Rick Santorum attacking Romney Well, business experience doesn’t necessarily match up with being the commander-in-chief of this country.

Rick Santorum–I don’t think Governor Romney’s plan is particularly bold, it — or is particularly focused on where the problems are in this country

Jon Huntsman–he doesn’t quite understand this situation. What he is calling for would lead to a trade war. It makes for easy talk and a nice applause line but it’s far different from the reality in the U.S.-China relationship.

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Well, there it is!  An prodigious collection of quotations, perhaps a few of which may one day make it into Bartlett’s.  “No big deal!” you say.  “They’re all running for the Republican nomination, so they’ve GOT to attack each other!”  Not really.  In Republican primaries in the not-too-distant past, Republicans focused their attacks on the Democratic President or anticipated Democratic nominee!  This year (and it seems that they are continuing a recent trend), they are levying their attacks on their fellow Republicans.  Of course, when the primaries are over, and a Republican nominee is selected, I anticipate that the Republicans will rally behind that Republican nominee.  Yet, we have to ask the question:  Will that be too late?  Will these Republican Angry Birds have given the Democrats and President Obama too many lines, too many quotations, too many attacks that will be turned against the nominee of the Republican Party.  Time—as always–will tell!

Note:  YouTube Video paralleling this article can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/mrgrosky1

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First Week of 2012: The Republicans, Tim Tebow, and Kim Kardashian

Tim Tebow Before Being honored at halftime during the Dec. 23, 2007 Jaguars/Oakland game

Welcome back to This Week With Mitch Grosky.  This week I’ll focus on three stories:  News, Sports, and Entertainment.

We lead off this week with a quick look at the results of this week’s Iowa Caucases,   What did I think?  Well, Romney’s win wasn’t very surprising, but by only EIGHT votes………that’s incredible–the closest victory in any major Republican or Democratic Party contest–a great example for our kids on how every vote counts.

Rick Santorum, the former Senator from Pennsylvania came in second, right behind Romney, but many people consider his virtual tie with Romney a moral victory since he was in single digits just three weeks ago.  So, now it’s Santorum who has the “big mo”–momentum—on his side.  Most political pundits, however, think that he doesn’t have the organization or the money to take advantage of that momentum. Time will tell.

In third place, also with a very strong showing, was Texas Congressman Ron Paul.   His libertarian philosophy is striking more of a chord with people this time around.  Still, most of the experts think there’s no way he can win.  What really hurts him is those 8-10 outrageous and bigoted quotes from the Ron Paul newsletter and his outright refusal to consider taking military action if Iran gets a nuclear weapon.  That’s a position virtually no Republican—or Democrat agrees with.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich finished a distant third.   It’ll be interesting to watch him at this weekend’s debates up in New Hampshire.  It was really obvious that he was furious with Romney because of   Romney’s SUPER-PAC ads.  I’m actually surprised he’s not more ticked off at Ron Paul who called him a serial hypocrite in his ads.

Texas Governor Rick Perry almost dropped out this week after finishing way back in the Iowa Caucuses.  I personally think he should have stayed in Texas because I really don’t think that he can get people to forget some really bad debates, and especially that big Oops moment—when he couldn’t name the third agency of the three that he wants to eliminate.  That is just the kind of gaffe that will go down in history like Nixon sweating against Kennedy, like Romney’s father, George Romney, saying that he’d been brainwashed, or like Gerald Ford saying that there wasn’t any Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

Michelle Bachmann………well, she joins Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty as also-rans.  What about Jon Huntsman?  Well, since he chose not to compete in Iowa and only got 700 votes, we’ll have to wait and see if he can get any traction up in New Hampshire.  My guess, not so much!

Moving on to sports………. My New England Patriots have a bye this week, and I’ll have to keep an eye on this weekend’s games to find out if they’ll be playing Cincinnati or Pittsburg next week.  At least, I’m glad that Brady and his banged up team will get some rest this week.  Brady is having another fantastic year, but then again, so are Drew Brees and Aaron Rogers.  Matthew Stafford too!  Oh, speaking of quarterbacks, I have to get in a Tebow comment before it’s too late.  Look, the Broncos are going to lose to the Steelers this weekend……….after all the Broncos lost their last three games, and Tebow was 19 of 51 for a grand total—a grand total of 245 yards in those three games.  What about the Steelers?  Well, they’ve only been in 3 of the last 6 Super Bowls, and they won two out of those three.  They’re right up there with the Patriots since the new millennium started.  But what I really wanted to say about Tebow is this:  Give the kid a break, will you?  He is just a kid—just graduated—-and almost everyone says he’s a super kid–kind, decent, hard-working, talented–a great college quarterback if not yet a great or even good pro quarterback.  But he works incredibly hard, he’s a leader, and he’s doing his best.   Oh, and he’s religious, strongly religious………and that’s a good thing too.  He prays and gives credit to God.   He kneels down in prayer at the end of each game.  So what?  He’s not forcing you or anyone else to kneel down.  He’s not hurting anyone.  He’s sincere in his beliefs.  Since when is that a bad thing?   There are many people—Christians, Jews, Muslims—who admire him for that kind of dedication to his religions.  So, cut him the same slack as we do when we see countless sports interviews where the first words out of the mouth of the guy who’s getting interviewed is:  “I want to thank God …….or Jesus Christ…..or Allah for this victory.”   He’s a real good kid who may never be a very good pro quarterback unless he develops his arm and his accuracy, but he’s a kid that most parents would be proud to have in their family.

And finally, some entertainment news–admittedly a bit of fluff that maybe hasn’t yet reached your radar screens yet.   Kim Kardashian’s in the news again.  According to E-On-line, apparently there’s going to be a line of Kardashian Barbie Dolls—–based on Kim and her sisters Khloe and Kourtney. Just a guess, but it’ll probably hit the shelves by next Christmas. . . for no more than 72 days. It seems like a lot of people are pointing to the fact than even though Kim earned about 12 million bucks last year, she only paid one percent more in taxes than a secretary earning about 45 thousand dollars….. Only one percent more!  Does this seem fair to you?  Apparently not to some people in California who are trying to raise taxes on its wealthiest citizens.

Well, that’s all for today.  Join us again soon for more politics, sports, entertainment, and commentary.  This is Mitch Grosky for This Week with Mitch Grosky.  If you get a chance, please check out my photography website at www.mrgroskyphoto.com.  And if you like photography, please consider “LIKING” my facebook photography page at https://www.facebook.com/mitchell.r.grosky.photography.

To see the above blog entry in YouTube video form (or to see any of my other videos), please see my YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/mrgrosky1?blend=1&ob=video-mustangbase. Have a great week, and keep in touch!

NOTE:  Photo of Tim Tebow (above)  is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.   This image was originally posted to Flickr by minds-eye at http://flickr.com/photos/36703550@N00/2133330966. It was reviewed on 15 October 2008 by the FlickreviewR robot and confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

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President Obama’s December to Remember

 

President Barack Obama

 

 

Way back on July 3 of 2010, a reader of my Mitchell R. Grosky Photography Blog responded to my entry on “The Hope and Promise of Barack Obama” by writing, “How’s that hope and change working out for you?”  At the time, G.M.’s comment left me speechless.  Of course, I could have spoken out about the success of the Stimulus in helping to the stop the bleeding of the Bush recession and to begin to turn the tide on the economy.  I could also have pointed to the fulfillment of his pledge to end the War in Iraq.  Instead, I remained silent, knowing that I had certainly pushed the envelope by optimistically  placing our new President among his predecessors on Mt. Rushmore.

You can see the original blog entry at

http://mrgrosky.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/the-hope-and-promise-of-president-barak-obama

but my major point was this:

“In Barack Obama, I feel that we have a dynamic, compassionate individual whose wisdom, intelligence, and willingness to listen to others will be essential in confronting the enormous problems that confront America and the entire world. With the support, sacrifice, and work of the American people, it is my hope that President Obama will lead us into a brighter future, one in which people of all colors, races, religions, ethnic origins, and life choices, live in mutual respect. I look to a more peaceful world, one in which the greatness of America is manifest by the elimination of poverty and by the establishment of equal opportunity for all.”

Well, with the actions of President Obama and the Congress over the past two weeks, I now feel emboldened to respond not only to G. M. , but also to all of those others who may have asked that same question:  “So how’s all that hope and change workin’ out for you?”

To all of them I respond that President Obama–at the end of just the first two years of his Presidency–has accomplished an extraordinary amount!  Not only has he ended the  War in Iraq, not only has he passed a sweeping health care bill, not only has he taken steps which are leading to an improving economy, not only has he improved the outlook on America among nearly all of our allies, but he ends the year with these five amazing successes:

ONE:  He has fulfilled his commitment to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”–ending discrimination against gays and lesbians who fought for our country but were removed from the military.

TWO:  He has extended the tax cuts which will ensure nearly all working Americans a payroll tax cut of at least 1,000 dollars—even at the expense of continuing those tax cuts for the rich (which he had hoped to eliminate but was unable to do so because of the Republicans’ intransigence) .  This bill also extended unemployment insurance for millions of Americans still without jobs.

THREE:  He has passed his number one foreign policy initiative: the Arms Control Treaty with Russia–the new START treaty which will “scale back leftover cold war nuclear arsenals” and make for a safer world.

FOUR:  He has secured a deal for a bill which will provide 4 billion dollars for medical care of first responders who became ill after inhaling fumes and dust from Ground Zero on Sept. 11.

FIVE:  He and Congress have passed new sweeping changes in food safety, increasing inspections of food processing facilities and forcing recalcitrant companies to recall tainted food.

Each of these accomplishments is significant by itself.  Together they establish President Obama as a very successful President in just his first two years—especially when all of these successes have come despite the Republican party’s announced goal of ensuring from Day One that President Obama not be given any successes at all.  Having proven beyond a doubt that he will do all he can to fulfill his campaign promises, President Obama begins the second half of his first term with a new respect for his perseverance, his intellect, his compassion, and his commitment.

Sure—the Nobel Prize may have been premature, as was my semi-tongue-in-cheek anointing him as heir to Mt. Rushmore……but the accomplishments noted above prove that President Obama is well on his way to a Presidency of Extraordinary Success.

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The Scott Brown Thank You Tour

Scott Brown Comes to Dracut, Mass. to Thank His Supporters

 

In the spirit of good journalism and fairness, I traveled this afternoon to Dracut, Massachusetts where I attended the reception for Senator-elect Scott Brown.  I went with an open mind, determined to view this man who has shaken to its core the Democratic Party and (to a lesser extent) the Republican establishment as well.  Now, for those who are not regular readers of this blog,  in the spirit of full disclosure, I want to confess that I was an active supporter of Martha Coakley, and fully endorsed her candidacy on January 17 as my first blog post.   

However, those of you who know me and those of you who have read my blog, know how much I value fairness, decency, and rational discourse characterized by courtesy and respect.  In fact, I am hoping that my blog becomes known as one which actively and eagerly explores all points of view and solicits all ideas, so long as the writer expresses them courteously and attempts to back them up with facts and evidence.    

Finally, those who have read my most recent blog entry on the State of the Union Address, know that I firmly believe that we need to give our elected officials a fair chance and a reasonable amount of time to put their agendas to the test and to measure results.  In President Obama’s case, I stated strongly that 12 months was not nearly enough time to judge either Barack Obama or his Presidency.   

In the very same way, I believe that it is incumbent upon each and every one of us—Brown supporters, Coakley supporters, Kennedy supporters, and even those who did not vote–it is incumbent upon us ALL to support OUR United States Senator (Elect) Scott Brown.  He was, after all, fairly elected by a solid majority in an election that was watched and studied carefully across our Nation.
Consequently, it was in that spirit that I journeyed nearly ninety minutes in my 1993 Ford Focus (sorry, no Scott Brown styled pickup truck) to see Scott Brown thank his supporters and meet some of those other folks who had voted for one of the other two candidates.  I got to the restaurant about one hour early and was met by a line of people which was permitted to head into the restaurant beginning at about 2:40—nearly an hour before Senator-elect Brown was to arrive.  I was fortunate enough to get a position right in front of the podium—prime territory for some great photos, a short video, and a chance to personally meet (albeit very briefly) our newly elected Senator.    

The hall was filled with young, middle-aged, and older men and women, some of whom brought a child or two.  I’ve got to say that my experience in chatting with these Brown supporters for nearly an hour as we staked out our positions (literally and politically) in Lenzi’s Restaurant was a very positive and enjoyable one—even as I announced my Democratic pedigree and my support for both Coakley and President Obama.  This atmosphere, frankly, was in stark and pleasant contrast to my experience in encountering a group of enthusiastic but angry Brown supporters as I left the Coakley-Clinton rally at WPI in Worcester  just two weeks ago.    

This afternoon, I was surrounded by eager, thankful and excited Brown supporters.  They seemed to still be basking in the glow of their election success.  I say “their” success, because so many of them felt that they were a part of the success of the campaign and the victory of Scott Brown.  Seeing the way Brown’s victory has reverberated across the country and is already showing signs of making a difference in Washington politics-as-usual, they seemed newly enfranchised, filled with an idealism that I suspect many have not experienced in many a year.  I spoke to an elderly man from Dracut who had fought in the Korean War.   I spoke to a young Political Science and Communications graduate of Westfield State College who seemed eager to volunteer for a position on the Brown staff.  Then, there was a very pleasant woman standing just to my right in the only position that was better than mine—right in front of the podium.  She had a number of newspaper front pages—one laminated—that she was eager to have autographed.  She was from New Hampshire, and only became a supporter after her sister from Massachusetts called her excitedly about this new amazing candidate that she had begun following and supporting.  You can find her photo and many others of Senator-elect Brown and his supporter on my flickr photo website at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrgrosky.   

I spoke to a woman of 60 years who was eager (like most) to get a photo with Senator-elect Brown.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure she entirely approved of me or of my being there (especially right up front!) since I made it clear that I had not been in Brown’s corner, and that I was a strong supporter of President Obama.  Still, I think I gradually won her over a bit, when I insisted that I would try to write a fair and honest piece on this Brown event.   I spoke with a very kind young  Greek-American father and his sixth grade son.  We spoke of subjects ranging from his strong support of the Senator-elect,  to his son’s education,  to the campaign of Michael Dukakis, to the gorgeous Greek isles of Mykonos and Santorini. I spoke with two young men who had autographed a basketball to present to Mr. Brown in the hope that he might use it to challenge President Obama to a game on his “home court” in Washington.  Then there was the elderly lady whom I was informed was 90 years old and didn’t have a computer when I naively asked if she wanted me to email a picture of her posing with the President.   And the woman with the double-sided poster: on one side “Stand Strong” and on the other “Show the Love–Honk for Scott.”  She said that I could take her photo if I mentioned the “Rabid Republican” website   (O.K……a promise is a promise).   

There was a good feeling in that room–a real comradery among people who were happy for their successful candidate, now a soon-to-be-Senator, and a conviction that they really had made a difference–a difference that maybe–just maybe–might prove to be long-lasting.  Oh, sure, I guess some people didn’t quite know what to make of this retired educator who kept shooting photo after photo with his trusty Nikon—this former Coakley supporter who kept insisting that he was going to give the same chance to Scott Brown over the next two years as he hoped they would give to Barack Obama for another year or two.  But, in the long run, I think there grew a mutual respect,  As I listened to their fears of a scaled-back health care bill which they acknowledged might be acceptable initially (until the Congress added more to it year after year), they listened to me speak of goals that the President had recommended–tax breaks for small business and other job incentives upon which we could, perhaps, agree.   

And what about the object of all that affection, good will, and excitement?  Well, a smiling and exuberant Scott Brown entered soon after 3:30 to the enthusiastic applause and wild cheers of the faithful.   He spoke briefly–about three minutes.  After explaining that he wanted to stay long enough to have a chance to meet, shake hands with, or pose with everyone, he thanked the crowd:  “I want to personally try to thank each and every one of you because without all of you…I wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to Washington and bring good government, and fairness, and discussion, and just problem-solving back to the equation.”  He seemed to answer, then, a question from the crowd:  “How are my days…?  My days are pretty much the same,” he playfully quipped.  “I get up, I go for a ride, I ride my bike, play with the dogs a little bit, give the wife a kiss goodbye, and then I go to see about a thousand people!”   He concluded, “and it’s all wonderful, and I’m very, very humbled and honored to be here and to have an opportunity to really make a difference and bring common sense back to the equation in Washington. ”  You can see the video at my YouTube    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsU53wnr05o
  

Just a  short speech and a much, much longer meet-and-greet that followed……Through it all, he seemed young and energetic.  To tell you the truth, he connected so warmly and directly with the crowd that as I watched the young and the old press for photos, handshakes, and autographs, I couldn’t help think and believe that this  is what it must have been what it was like  when Jack Kennedy first was elected to the Senate, Bill Clinton to the Governorship, and even (much more recently) Barack Obama to the Presidency.      

Will he stay true to his words and make good on his promises?  The crowd–voicing their fatigue (in some cases) and their disgust (in other cases) with the Washington career politicians, particularly with Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi–see him as a different kind of politician–a man of the people–a Senator whose only loyalty is to the people of Massachusetts.    

As for me, putting personal political biases and votes aside, I have to say that I was impressed with the man I briefly saw today.  He was friendly,warm,  personable, down-to-earth.  He seemed sincere, and though he was saying many of the same things at each of these five thank-you stops he has made over three days, the words still resonated true, as though they really came from the heart.  I wonder, too, if he will turn out to have more substance–to be more than I thought he was when I voted for Martha Coakley… Is he really the independent voice he insisted that he was, or was that just an attempt to obscufate the fact that he was a Republican who had voted with the state Republican leadership 96 percent of the time?   I certainly was encouraged when–in his first trip to Washington–he seemed to tell both Republicans and Democrats that he did not owe his election to either party and that he would vote his conscience.  I also liked his respect for those with opposing views–President Obama, in particular, and also Mayor Menino.   

Now, it’s true that many would call me an idealist, a cockeyed optimist;  some (especially on the left) might call me dangerously naive.  Yet after two weeks of disappointment with my candidate losing, and many days of seeing the vitriol of so many on the right (and a few on the left, as well) I admit that I was ready to be convinced that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that this light is not a freight train coming towards us, bringing us a disaster of epic proportions.  Scott Brown did not disappoint; I fervently hope he will not disappoint in the half-term ahead of him.  In any case, he deserves a chance.

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