Friday, October 19, 2012

Voting right?

My buddy Alex posted this on one of his pages the other day:

I'm voting for the incumbent, but just so we're clear: the Obama administration has increased drone attacks, has advanced a horrendous foreign policy, which violates HUMAN rights, has deported the greatest number of immigrants in history, and has extended the Patriot Act, which gives the government powers to violate American citizens' human rights in this country. 

So, when you go to the polls and you vote for "your man" (in my case Obama), please understand that. All of this brouhaha about women's rights/gay rights means nothing when it's superseded by an administration that has advanced violations of HUMAN rights. Human rights come first and foremost. Whether you are a person of color, gay/transgender, a woman, or an immigrant, the HUMAN rights violations umbrella will swallow you up first. 

Once again, for the 10th presidential election cycle in my life, I am faced with the usual "lesser of two evils" choice. And that is, once again, beyond infuriating. Make sure you understand that the person for whom you're pulling the lever next month is still a cockroach.

While I don't agree with Alex on all points, his comments are valid and we need more like them. His points on drone strikes and the Patriot Act are spot on. I am ashamed to admit that I have all but given up on these big ticket items. You vote for the leftie guy and he acts like a rightie.


Life is only so long. I can only worry so much.

But I want to point out a little thing, something specific thing that may well be effected by my vote. Last Saturday, Teresa Dixon Murray ran a Q & A about the CARD act. Therein she said:

Credit card companies are plenty ticked off that new rules that kicked in back in 2010 limit late payment fees to $25 in most cases. Before the change, the average late fee was $39. How would you like it if a certain part of your income went down by 36 percent? 

Clearly, some credit card companies were out of control up to that point: They would charge late fees if your payment wasn't received by 7 a.m. Or they would charge inactivity fees for not using your credit card. Or they could increase your interest rate just because they were in the mood. 

I am not one for predictions, but how likely is it that a Romney administration will plant the seeds to chip away at those regulations? Will we even hear about a quiet amendment that will raise the late payment limit, or a tiny loophole in some giant piece of unrelated legislation that will loosen up rules on raising interest rates?

Dunno, but that's one of the reasons why Obama still has my support. And if it isn't these credit card rules, what other consumer protections will a Romney administration try to erode? How hard will it be to push a few wishy-washy Dems in the Senate to go along?

It won't be be big obvious things. It will be little things. Thousands upon thousands of them. That's how the rich guys do it, folks: inflict death by a thousand cuts.

I can't stop Obama's goddamn drones, but at least I can do my best to keep him in office in order to protect us against swarming stateside sharks--and yes, dear reader, my confidence in that last assertion is only about 75 percent, give or take.

* * *


Jon Moore said...

Referencing and paraphrasing Alex' original, gay rights are to human rights as credit card charges are to the economy. Best to look at the big picture Erin. If we have an economy so weak that luxury spending is no longer in my personal budget, why the hell do I care about the late fees on my credit card?
Alas, I too will be voting for Obama, albeit indirectly. Gary Johnson 2012.

Anonymous said...

Jill Stein 2012. Green Party gets 5% of the popular vote they qualify for federal election funds in 2016. Lots of Cons voting for Johnson down here in the Confederacy too. But they're telling the pollsters they're voting Republican. Alabama may get up to 65% for Romney. If you look at the internals on the Gallup Poll that's where the National Avg is getting skewed.


Bill said...

Vote for Obama because he'll keep credit card fees low? Wow! CC companies lend you money with no collateral. They give you 20 or 30 days to pay and the cost is nothing. Don't pay on time and you pay a fee. Want a better deal? Go talk to uncle Fred. A pair of scissors will cure a credit card problem. Can't afford it? Don't buy it. Go with basic cable and a 200 minute phone plan. And then there's that Obama phone.

Anonymous said...

If you don't know Romney's position on the credit card companies, why not check his website, if you haven't? Here is what I do know, Obamacare is going to stifle the economy and here is why. Employers are having to decide to either layoff people, reduce their hours so they are part time and don't have to offer them benefits, close their doors, and pay the tax for not offering healthcare. They also have a burden of determining the annual income of their employees/families to determine how they must comply with the legislation which means an increase in administrative burden.

Now if your company does not offer health insurance to you, you will have to purchase it through an exchange. This will mean having to pay more than if you we're covered under a group plan. Resulting in a lower income for the middle class, which means an impact on disposable income to spend in the economy.

Now I ask you, what would be a more important issue? The credit card you referred to that may or may not happen or Obamacare which will definitely happen?

Michael Lawless said...

Diabetes has gotten me very accustomed to chosing the lesser of two evils...but it's usually between a gooey Krispy Kreme and a healthy bran muffin.

Joe said...

Vote for a righty and he turns left. I feel your pain. I agree with Alex, this is many elections in a row where the choice is deciding the lessor of two evils.

I will not plead a case against Obama and I have very little to plead for Romney, it is a waste of letters and words. If you are undecided at this point, you probably are not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

"Now I ask you, what would be a more important issue? The credit card you referred to that may or may not happen or Obamacare which will definitely happen?"-Unnamed Commenter, above.

Or, as has been the case for years, employers will just move to countries where there are no labor protections and conduct business with slave labor. Which will definitely happen. Now I must go and weep over "Increased Administrative Costs." Someone call the WAAAAAMbullance.

Randy Johnson

Mike Williams said...

Mine is a protest vote for Jill Stein, hoping there is still enough votes for Obama to get Virginia. This drone thing really bothers me and Obama needs to change the policy now, despite Petraeus pushing to increase drone attacks.

Anonymous said...

I admire your conviction Mr Williams. I will be voting Stein too but I live in Tennessee which Romney will carry easily. If I lived in Virginia or Ohio I'd be scared to risk it. And when I reflect on the past 4 years I think BHO planned to play brinkmanship with the left all along. I think he estimated they'd have no where else to go when crunch time came around. IMHO he's a Neo-liberal lap dog of Wall Street but he will spare Roe v Wade and he won't move to privatize Social Security and Medicare so there ya go.

Bill said...

Changing the drone program at this point is not optimal.

Anonymous said...

I went back to Ohio
All the drones were gone
No Republicans anywhere
And celebration filled the air
From Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls

( apologies to Chrissie.)

Fuck the gravy sucking military industrial general dynamic fascist pigs who run up to the moral high ground every opportunity they get until they have more bombs to drop on brown and red and yellow people then it's ok.



Bill said...

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48%
Don't trust your neighbor.

Erin O'Brien said...

If you don't know Romney's position on the credit card companies, why not check his website, if you haven't?

I think that's you Neil.

No I haven't checked it. I am pretty sure Romney isn't going to stand up and announce he's going to repeal the popular CARD act. I do believe he'll try to erode this sort of stuff bit by bit in quiet ways.

As for the Affordable Care Act, although this post has nothing to do with it, I do not think the CARD act is more important than the ACA.

As for the impact of ACA, go see how they're doing in MASS, where Romney enacted it in 2006. There is good and bad in that article, and there is this:

Today, 90 percent of Massachusetts doctors believe quality of care has improved since the reform, which two-thirds of state residents say they support.

Bill, try these numbers.

Erin O'Brien said...

And Jon: So let me get this straight, you think that peeps only use their credit card when times are good and they can afford cupcakes, dildos and diamonds. And when times are tough, they put the balance-free cards away and don't care about late fees? Is that your point?

Good christ.

Joe, Righties turning left? Huh? Where? Was it during my lifetime?

And today's style prize goes to RJ for "Benghazi dick sucking assholes."

Thank you all for your continued support.

Anonymous said...

It's taken me the better part of four years worth of inelegant anatomical editorializing to win a prize. I am fulfilled.

"I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."-Ecclesiastes 9:11


Jon Moore said...

My point dear Erin, as you are well aware, is that while the economy is so far in the tank, with no sign of recovery in sight despite claims to the contrary, to vote for the incumbent because you believe the other guy might try and undo some credit card regulation seems just a bit frivolous. Cupcakes, dildos and diamonds indeed.

Erin O'Brien said...

... while the economy is so far in the tank, with no sign of recovery in sight despite claims to the contrary ...


Bill said...

Yeah. Don't believe your unemployed neighbor. Don't believe the record setting foodstamp number. Don't believe the stats that record numbers of people have dropped out of the work force. Don't believe the fact that taxpayers will never get the auto bailout money back. Don't believe the fact that the average family is making $5k less than they were 4 years ago. Don't believe the fact that Obamacare is creating a serious Dr. shortage. Don't believe that we have a $16trillion, and growing, debt. Misery loves company. The good news? Anti depressant meds sales are skyrocketing and we can get free rubbers.

Erin O'Brien said...

I am a freelance writer who specializes in feature and essay. By the spring of 2010, virtually every one of my bylines had dried up along with the paychecks. So I started working for a content farm writing 400 word articles for $15, sometimes less.

For this beauty, I was paid the royal sum of $7.50.

Now I'm writing one good-paying feature after another, much of which centers on a local northeast Ohio economy that I see sparking with new life along with plenty of venture capitalists. (Do check the byline, folks.)

Believe? I don't have to look any further than the Offices of Erin O'Brien to believe.

Jon Moore said...

Maybe Erin, some people are just figgerin' out that you're a good writer and the economy really does suck.

Bill said...

Excellent article, Erin. I have no idea why you were in a slump. Maybe that's normal for a writer? You're a kick ass writer. Here's a quote from your article: ("Right now, Ohio is one of those states that's looked at as being very innovative," says NASVF Senior Vice President Richard Miller of why the state was selected.) Could this have anything to do with your outstanding Governer?

Erin O'Brien said...

Innovation needs money. Ohio voters like innovation and they put their money where their mouths are. Kasich had nothing to do with that or a host of programs like it in this state.

All the venture capitalists I talked to for that article and other will tell you one thing is for sure: they go were they can partner their private funds with public funds.

Erin O'Brien said...


The Salt Lake City Tribune has endorsed Obama:

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.


Bill said...

There are vc's, for sure, who'll take free govt money. Solyndra is one example.

Bill said...

The Salt Lake City Tribune also endorsed him in 2008 so... Hmmm. I guess they don't want to admit their mistake?

Anonymous said...

One Shining Moment.

R.I.P. George McGovern.