What happened to common sense?

Opinion: Ken Trainor

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.

-Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Here we are at last, fellow citizens, a week before Armageddon — or Deliverance, depending on your point of view. Next Tuesday, will our future be determined by LIVs (low information voters), NIVs (no information voters) and MIVs (misinformation voters)? Will our president-elect be someone who represents the many or the few?

Will Americans meekly hand over their country to the 1% or will we stand up for ourselves and save the middle class? The choice in our two middle-class communities is a no-brainer, but I'm not sure about nationwide.

Common sense seems in short supply this election season. How Americans decide their vote for president is a mystery. When the election involves an incumbent, the common-sense question should be, "Has he done a good job?" If so, he should be re-elected. But in 2004, we re-elected a perfectly awful president who went on to do an even worse job in his second term. So common sense isn't always part of the equation.

Has this incumbent earned a second term? That's an easy one. Barack Obama inherited an economy in freefall and turned it around, saving us from a second Great Depression. Things have been slowly but steadily improving since he took office, despite politically calculated and shameless obstruction from the very party that got us into the mess in the first place.

In spite of that, he defied the doubters and rescued the U.S. auto industry, saving thousands of jobs.

He ended the costly and misbegotten Iraq war, and is ending the war in Afghanistan as promised.

He brought Osama bin Laden to justice and has decimated Al Qaeda.

Health care reform will extend coverage to 30-40 million Americans who didn't have it before.

Wall Street reform will make it harder for the financial industry's reckless greed to produce another economic collapse like 2008.

The list is lengthy, but if you need more than that, frankly, your bar is set way too high. Few presidents have had more successful first terms.

Voting against a record like that, in fact, qualifies as a failure of common sense. I've never seen the bar set so unreasonably high for an incumbent and so absurdly low for a challenger. If the latter can walk and talk at the same time, even if what he says makes no sense, he's considered presidential. The incumbent, meanwhile, has to walk on water.

Common sense, not to mention fairness, dictates that you set the bar at the same height for both candidates — in which case, President Obama clears it by a mile while the challenger never gets off the ground.

Common sense also says you need basic criteria to assess a president's job performance. Has he moved the economy in a positive direction? Check. Is he a person of integrity who has avoided major scandals? Check. Has he kept the country safe from external and internal threats? Check. Has he done anything to significantly improve the lives of the American people? Check.

Then take a look at the challenger. Can he do a better job than the incumbent? Hard to believe when he refuses to provide any specifics on his plans. Does he have strong, clear, consistent positions and principles? He changes them, it seems, every day, depending on his audience. Is he honest? He insists he won't allow his campaign to be run by fact-checkers and won't release his tax returns. Does he have more charisma than the incumbent? Please.

Yet this race is tight, which can only be explained as a failure of common sense.

After the damage the Republican Party inflicted on this country from 2001-2009, and in spite of all the good President Obama has done in the last four years, you want to put the Republicans back in charge?

That's a failure of common sense.

After Republican policies created unprecedented economic inequality over the last three decades, undermining the stability of the middle class, you want to let them make it worse?

That's a failure of common sense.

The president tries to extend health care coverage to 30-40 million Americans and you react with eye-bulging, vein-popping outrage? What does that say about your basic values?

Why would any middle-class voter support someone who doesn't represent the middle class — the people who, as George Bailey puts it in It's a Wonderful Life, "do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this country"? Maybe you're suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome (identifying with your captors).

That's not only a failure of common sense, it's a failure of self-respect.

Before we vote, we should all take the Citizens Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. Ask yourself, "Will this vote harm my country?" Supporters of President Obama have his record to reassure us. Supporters of the challenger have a record to consult as well — the record of the Republican Party, a record of concentrating this country's wealth in the hands of the 1%, most of which, economists say, took place during the last 32 years, aided and abetted by Republican policies that dominated the political landscape.

I support Barack Obama because he represents what's right about this country. He's not only a good president. He's a good man, who has proven it's possible to hang onto your humanity in a system that is extremely effective at compromising it. His challenger, meanwhile, represents what is wrong with this country — the dishonesty, the blind ambition, the callous disregard for the common good, the unprincipled willingness to say anything to get elected.

Not to mention the lack of common sense. Mitt Romney is a veritable poster boy for the widening gulf between the rich and the rest.

Let's hope the American people come to their common senses before next Tuesday.

Contact:
Email: ktrainor@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

57 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 5:21 PM

@ MichaelO The number of positive articles versus the number of negative articles is a real number that you can add subtract multiply or divide - those are facts! Who is better informed is not a measurable quantity beyond opinion. The Pew study did number crunching and drew a conclusion. You obviously don't like that conclusion so you throw in some non quantifiable opinion based study that tries to prove your point. BTW Subjective is defined by Webster as "of or resulting from the feelings of a person thinking rather than the attributes of the object" Fox news gets demeaned here without supportive facts and I figured they deserved some positive support

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 4:54 PM

Ray, facts are not subjective. Period. Either you're informed or you're not informed. Tom presents a study and you go off to never land. Can't you just once stay on topic? Sheesh!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 4:53 PM

@ People first - lets see - The woman gets to choose - who gives the unborn a voice? The federal Government should keep it's nose out of reproductive matters. I know of two veterans in Bangahzi who would not agree except they are dead "thanks for watching our backs Mr President". Working families excluding the 31 million who are out of work. Senior Citizens get Medicare extended three additional years and then GONE! Protect the environment what has Pres. Obama done that has succeeded. President Obama is the man whose time has expired and his failures are evident to all who will open their eyes.

People First  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 4:38 PM

Please vote on Tuesday for the party that will protect a women's right to choose, support our veterans, stand for working families and senior citizens, and protect the environment. President Obama is the man for these times!

Charles from RF  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 3:28 PM

@Tom - my name is Charles. Also, this is what I believe to me a fundamental flaw with folks like you. If people do not agree with you, they are blind. However, if you disagree with others - it is becasue your choice is also right as the lessor of the two evils. Really, how do you work with people, how do you sleep at night always knowing that you are so vastly superior to everyone else? It must be hard.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 2:42 PM

@Tom in RF The Pew study compared positive Romney / Negative Obama stories at FOX and Positive Obama / Negative Romney stories at MSNBC. This study made no allowance for the subjective factor of who is better informed. If you think about it, being better informed might just mean who agrees with me the most? How do you assign a value to that decision - you can't so the conclusion is bogus. I heard a Democrat, recently, say something like 37 1/2% of a very large sector of our population agrees with me. If this is a multiple choice question I sure hope that "None of the Above" is one answer.

rj  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 11:41 AM

And to uphold studies by institutions as credible who point to some as "least informed" due to the fact that they do not march in lock step with global governance with this said UN influenced institution, as promoted by HuffPo, should show you what has happened to common sense.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 10:26 AM

And Ray, for the purposes of my argument, the Farleigh Dickinson University study that found that that viewers of Fox News are the least informed is much more relevant. You can read it here: http://publicmind.fdu.edu/

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 10:17 AM

Ray, on what do you base your claim that the MN courts changed the law. Certainly not the actual judicial opinions in that case where the panel found Coleman's claims meritless. Even the right wing's claim about felon's voting was proved to be demonstrably false.

rj  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 10:13 AM

Every conceivable social, racial, economic issue, every world ill has been auctioned off for a vote for a solution at the expense of freedom, most times where there is no solution. While our nation's sovereignty is being stripped away we're not supposed to notice-too busy fighting among ourselves. We'll never heal if we allow ourselves to be sliced & diced into opposing forces. We're more alike than unlike each other. Any pol who tells you otherwise is lying & is not upholding the Constitution.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 10:08 AM

Chuck, my support for the president is not blind. I recognize that he is not perfect. I also recognize that Mitt Romney is the most dishonest politician ever to run for president. This is a man who once said that he would be more liberal than Ted Kennedy. As the WaPo observed in its endorsement of Obama, Mitt Romney has contempt for the electorate. This is an election where I am mostly voting against someone, not for someone. Bottom line, Mitt Romney does not deserve to be president.

rj  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 10:01 AM

Do no harm? Every time a politician takes his scalpel & carves out a piece of the body politic & claims it as a new voting block it damages that body as a whole. It scars & pits us against one another because in doing so the pol has to point out how neglected this issue has been & how the other side doesn't care. We have now been reduced to a nation who should vote out of revenge because some of us don't want to pay for someone else's something-at the moment birth control. Are we this helpless?

2 Days Until The National Nightmare Is Over  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 9:10 AM

Tick Tock.....

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 8:22 AM

I did some surfing and found the data for my precinct in 2008. Total Votes cast 581 Obama got 469 or 80.72% I will report on Wednesday what he got this time. My bet is far fewer votes and a lower percentage. He will win our small precinct but without the overwhelming adoration and hope. The 104 that McCain got will not go down and I bet Romney picks up a few independents, and more conservative Democrats who supported Obama last time. I do notice that there are far fewer Obama signs in the yards

Charles from RF  

Posted: November 4th, 2012 7:24 AM

@rj - it does seem when the shoe is on the other foot, it is so hard for people to accept they are doing the SAME things they accuse others of. Tom on this thread accuses you of being "blind" but clearly he does indeed look the other way when it comes to his lack of support for President Bush - and his totally blind support our current President??

rj  

Posted: November 3rd, 2012 4:46 PM

Tom, if you can vote again for O which insures even more misery & chaos for this nation than we've already experienced, that would qualify you as the blind partisan - a vote based on that encouraged "revenge". I'm betting there will be more "love of country" votes. One way or the other, God help us all in the days ahead.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 3rd, 2012 4:10 PM

@Tom - as I remember SCOTUS ruled that you cannot change the rules to accomplish a desired outcome. The Minnesota SC didn't seem to be bothered by that or any other existing law that would interfere with their desired outcome. If we have a President Romney, how will you cope? I will bet that all of your high minded support for our president Obama will be thrown to the wind and you will fall back to the gutter level sniping that you heaped onto GWB. It will be OK though , you will have Ken Trainor to carry your water for you. We all know how low he can stoop!

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 3rd, 2012 2:50 PM

Once again rj, you are free to ruminate in your version of the world but courts (all the way to the MN S.Ct.) reviewed the election and found Coleman's arguments specious. Why did you find the S.Cts election of Bush legit but not this one? Oh yeah because you are a blind partisan. Boy will the next four years be tough for you.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 3rd, 2012 11:08 AM

@People First - Could you be referring to the Democrats? The party that gave us the great society - the enslavement of four generations of poor people who have given up their family structure, personal dignity and future to qualify for welfare and are only obligated to vote for the right guy. The party of George Wallace who blocked the schoolhouse doors. The party of Robert Byrd who wore his sheet with KKK pride. The party of Jessie Jackson who is a poster boy for race baiting. The party of Rahm who is the CEO of the murder capitol of our nation. The party of Shela Jackson Lee who still cannot figure out why NASA cannot send the Mars lander over to see if the flag is still where the astronauts left it. The party of Danny Davis - no comment needed!

rj  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 9:35 PM

Franken only won the MN senate seat because 312 convicted felons voted illegally. Efforts to get state and federal authorities to act on these fraudulent findings were stonewalled- interpreted by some here as legally litigated - the D way. Not only did MN get a buffoon as senator but he was propped up into office by corrupt election officials. ACORN couldn't have done a better job. Corruption, deceit and fraud - necessary ingredients for any D election swindle.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 9:27 PM

@ Tom from RF & People First - Pew research did an interesting study and found that FOX was less than half as biased as MSNBC. See here: http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/winning_media_campaign_2012

People First  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 5:34 PM

Please vote on Nov. 06 for the party that ended slavery.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 3:51 PM

Ray,in case Fox did not report on this, the legality of the Minnesota senate race was fully litigated and a court rejected Coleman's arguments entirely. Thus, as a matter of law, they were not fraudulent votes. Al Franken happens to be a Harvard educated comedian who is a hell of a sight smarter than Norm Coleman, so I would say that the citizens of Minnesota got the last laugh.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 3:30 PM

@Tom - the fraudulent voters in Minnesota 4 years ago put a senator in office illegally. There were three times the bad ballots than the winning count and so we got a comedian siting in the upper chamber. Who got the last laugh there?

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 3:15 PM

Ray, the incidence of voter fraud is miniscule and the voter suppression laws deter a lot more legitimate citizens from voting. As for undocumented aliens voting, that is a right wing fever dream. The incidence of it occurring is insignificant and most immigrants live in blue states anyway.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 3:00 PM

@Tom - Citizens have a fundamental right others have no right. That might require some proof. I saw an interview with the Ohio SS and he asked the same question.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 2:41 PM

Ray, why would the Republican secretary of state of OH buy voting machines that help Obama? Really, find new news sources. As for the voter suppression, if it is legal why was it enjoined in almost every state? You have a fundamental right to vote that cannot be impeded. You don't have the right to cash a check.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 2:33 PM

@Tom - the reports I have seen are about touch screen machines that register Romney votes for Obama and Obama votes for Obama. Could this be a sneaky way to get more votes for Romney - Nah! The voter suppression you talk about is photo ID and I fail to see how getting a check cashed requires more security than voting. With the illegal resident problems we have - all the security we can demand might not be enough. That isn't supression - it is just enforcing the law.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 2:17 PM

rj, when you are done wiping the spittle from your shirt, can you explain that post? The GOP controls voting in OH and have done everything that it can to prevent people from voting. Is this another one of those things that you heard on Rush's show that you are convinced is true simply because Rush told you. Dude, how many times are you going to be made a fool by the right wing echo chamber?

rj  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 2:02 PM

Tom - If so, but only by hook or by crook - any means necessary in your corrupt, leftist world- as noted by the voting machines in Ohio that only register Obama not Romney no matter how hard you try!! How low can you go? Do you really think these socialist policies will spare you and your family? Crazy world of denial you must live in - sounds like it's not easy being Tom from River Forest.

E from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 2:00 PM

To PF: Regarding Libya, enough with the ripping on Fox News. Please click on this link to see CBS News ( http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57544026/sources-key-task-force-not-convened-during-benghazi-consulate-attack/)is finally reporting on Libya. How the White House has handled this situation is a disgrace. Pres. Obama is in over his head and can not handle the position of President. We need new leadership.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 1:44 PM

and yet, rj, President Obama will be re elected in a couple of days. Crazy world, huh?

rj  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 1:39 PM

To the Democrats, Liberals & Progressives, the brainwashed automatons, marching in lockstep w/the socialists and statists- O's failed policies, economy, jobs & social welfare are the same as Detroit's since the 60's. Once one of the richest cities in the country. Result of 50 years of D rule & common thread of socialism. Four more years will turn the rest of this country into the third world hellhole of Detroit. "content of their character not color of their skin". You've failed miserably.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 1:31 PM

Racism - My view of Racism/Racist is anyone who uses skin color/race to accomplish an ideology. For those of you who, without proof, accuse me of being a hate filled racist are in fact using racism to accomplish your end and are therefore racists of the worst order.

Tom Broderick from oak park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 1:26 PM

Getting back to "First do no harm." In all likelihood, either Obama will be re-elected or Romney will be elected as our President. Whichever of the two wins the contest, harm will be done to most of us. That harm will come from those who have the money and the power to direct our political and social future. Call them the 1% or banksters or have-mores, whether they are human beings or corporate persons they pay the piper and we dance to their tune. We need to turn the political system around. The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few is destroying democracy. The struggle for a politics based on people over profits has been going on for a long time and will not really be changed by the election of either of the two front runners. I don't write this to discourage voting. I still reject the dictum "Don't vote, it only encourages them." Perhaps I'm suffering from the Stockholm syndrome that Ken Trainor refers to. I vote, even if harm is the result. Will voting for Obama or Romney cause more or less harm to life on the planet? A laundry list of concerns of mine that won't disappear regardless of the election: the influence of wealth and power in undermining our democracy; the concept that corporations have civil rights under our Constitution; the use of armed unmanned drones; bellicosity in the middle east especially, but not exclusively; poverty and economic insecurity; an education system that fails to nurture intelligence, creativity and compassion; healthcare being treated as a commodity; denial of the human impact on our planet's health. I could go on. The point is that we do have to consider doing no harm, or minimizing the harm we do. This election is only one part of that. If voting is about the only thing you do to make for a better world, think of becoming more consistently engaged. That said, do vote. There are those (mostly Republican Party operatives) who are working to make voting more difficult. I applaud Ken Trainor for his thoughts.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 1:11 PM

@MichaelO In all fairness you forgot to preface your remarks with "In my opinion" because there are many who do not see things the same way. You find it easy to dismiss opposing opinions by claiming insight that may or may not be true. Rewriting history was the subject of 1984 (the movie) and you seem to be on that path. If you profess fairness then try to be fair!

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 12:29 PM

Ray, I don't recall mentioning Bush in this thread. Frankly, I'd like to forget he ever existed. Why, you may ask? Because the man is responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents, and displacing millions more. All in our name. Name one thing that could possibly justify his presidency in light of that idiotic invasion? "Same as it ever was, look where my hand was" - The Talking Heads

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 11:31 AM

@ Michael and @ PF You are able to list all of the troubling events from 20 years back but leave out the way you eviscerated the Bush administration. There was no courtesy, there was no giving the benefit of the doubt, there was no honoring the office of the president. You still justify missteps by President (Note the courtesy) Obama by telling lies and half truths about W43. Hypocrisy is here for all to see. You defend the indefensible by obtuse distraction. Bush is retired, Obama is looking for four more years so we should look for actual accomplishments. There are very few things President Obama ( Courtesy again!) can point to that have actually succeeded. Trying the same thing again and again will never result in different results - Einstein and Insanity!

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 10:31 AM

PF I'm not sure we can call Ray a racist. His rants against the president aren't unlike, in tone and substance, the constant assault on Clinton with, Whitewater, the Vince Foster death, Travelgate, FileGate and on and on; or with Kerry and the Swift Boat attacks. Ray and his cronies have no compunction to smear and vilify any and all democrats. I myself don't get it. Why go through all the trouble to distort and, in many cases lie in defense of a political party. To what end?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 10:28 AM

The house in Hawaii is probably not true and I feel foolish for being duped. Now, People First are you willing to admit your blind eye attitude for the libya mess?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 10:13 AM

Could People First be our resident expert on all things Obama?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 9:59 AM

@ Sol Solyndra was a payback to a big contributer. Global warming is trumped up, make Al Gore rich, fraud and you buy into the fuzzy data. The academics who support your chicken little beliefs, make their living from government grants aimed at proving a false premise. There is NO consensus! Academics who know how to do the math do not agree with you nor do they confirm their liberal compatriots. You and I have dumped billions of dollars into failing companies and union benefits - bad news. Sandy was a storm that developed in the worst possible configuration for the geography of the east coast. Not global warming! I have not heard anyone but Al Gore make that point and every one first snickered,then pointed out that he stands to make another fortune from hand wringers who will believe anything that blames man for natural events. Remember 'x' is the unknown quantity and a spurt is a drip under pressure.

People First  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 9:49 AM

Facts, Ray? When does accuracy ever enter into the equation in your right wing extremist world? You posted a bogus report about the Obama's buying a $40million home in Hawaii and sourced with your usual "word is.." nonsense. There is an ongoing investigation regarding Benghazi but your bloodthirst won't allow any time to gather info and review evidence. You want a public lynching of a man you despise simply because he doesn't look like you. Admit it, Ray. Hatred and prejudice consumes you.

Sol from RF  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 8:44 AM

Yes, Virginia, I see you do have a copy of the RNC talking points. You are unable to substantiate the accusations you make against the President. With regard to Solyndra, the company may have failed, but at least the Obama administration has make numerous attempts to slow down Global Warming, which experts believe to be responsible for the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy. Or was the just Obama's fault?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 7:25 AM

@PF The political issue happened when President Obama chose to hide the facts from the American people and send his people out to tell lies. When the President tells three conflicting stories in a week two of them must be lies. The coverup is the issue and the families have been vocal about the dishonesty and the callous way the White House has honored their children. This is a bad group of people and we must not allow them the four more years they seek. Fast and furious was an incompetently executed and stupid plan that cost 2 border agents and 200 Mexicans their lives. Success in hiding what happened cannot bring those folks back. Eventually the 'executive privilege' will be found to be inappropriate since it was invoked to cover a crime. Bengahzi was an example of failed foreign policy caused by an unwillingness to admit failure in regime change in Libya and the admission that the war on terror is not over no matter what Obama believes. If President Obama is as squeaky clean as you seem to believe why hasn't he given us the facts - or answered any questions - or provided video proof or documents to prove his case. He cannot because they don't exist - he is up to his eyebrows in deceit and cover up to save his presidency. You defend the president by questioning my questions. If you truly believed the tripe you are spewing join me to find the facts - you cannot because down deep you know what is true.

People First  

Posted: November 2nd, 2012 12:52 AM

A lot on your plate, Ray. I expect you're still focusing on the Fast & Furious scandal even though the inquiry turned out to be just a grandstanding stunt by that pillar of integrity, Republican congressman Daryl Issa. Regarding Benghazi, you've already indicated that you refuse to honor the victims' families wishes and will try to politicize the tragedy. Always the high road with you,Ray. And there's a uncomfortable sense that you only care because you are able assign blame to President Obama.

Ray Simpson from Oak ParkOak Park  

Posted: November 1st, 2012 10:50 PM

@ People First BREAKING NEWS!!! ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC CNN have now discovered that the Benghazi story is now important. President Obama has stonewalled FOX for seven weeks and now they are ignoring the traditional national media. The BHO cheerleading squad has decided that they have been had! Here we are just days from an election and it looks like Libya has blown up in President Obamas face. A few of us here have been telling you that this is a BIG story and one that our president doesn't want told. Lets see where this scandal leads us.

People First  

Posted: November 1st, 2012 9:54 PM

That's some mighty fine parroting, Virginia. The folks at Fox News will be over soon to hang a "Mission Accomplished" banner above your front door.

Virginia F Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: November 1st, 2012 5:05 PM

Wow, Ken get back on your meds! By the goals Obama set for himself, he has been a utter failure. The Muslim world hates us as much as ever and now attacks us with impunity. The government lied and continued to lie about Benghazi, a word that would have the suffix "gate" on it if a Republican were president. There have been 50 lawsuits filed protesting the HHS mandate violating the 1st Amendment. Fast and Furious, Solyandra, Keystone Pipeline, why would anyone vote for Obama?

joe from oak park  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 9:43 AM

Speaking of shortening the gap between the rich and the middle class, maybe Oak Park could lower the parking permit rates for lowly schlubs like me who live in an apartment and don't have a lovely driveway or garage to park my car in for free. As much as I love giving almost a $1000 a month to the Village for something that's free for 99% of the rest of the country, I'd rather spend it on something else a little more tangible...

Ghost of Zuppke from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 9:41 AM

Newsflash for Mr Broderick...by every measure, & every subsequent recount & sample, GW Bush won Florida by 300 - 800 votes. Close yes, but a clear win whether the SC stopped the recount or not. It's been 12 years...if you've been losing sleep for that long over this you need help. It has obviously skewed your logic. You also keep up this nonsensical narrative about R's wanted to supress votes. It is now, & has always been complete bunk. Dems are the pros at vote fraud. See 1960, MN Senate, etc.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 9:11 AM

I just went through Election Judge training and I am impressed with how many checks and balances there are to reporting the actual vote totals. Tinkering would be so hard to accomplish if the judges are actually R's and D's. The early vote totals do not come to the poling place so you cannot know what the final count is till election headquarters merge the data

Tom Broderick from oak park  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 8:46 AM

Ken Trainor wants to put the result of the upcoming presidential election on voters. While I agree with his concept of "first do no harm," I think voters are only a part of the issue. Joseph Stalin once said something like "It's not the votes that count, it's who counts the votes." As this election approached, we've seen primarily Republican partisans work to restrict voting rights. Why? They claim this is to counter voter fraud. There is scant evidence that voter fraud by voters is an issue in the U.S. There have been allegations that the electronic voting machines have shown evidence of incorrect recording of votes, particularly when compared to exit polling results. The U.S. Supreme Court stopped the recount of votes in Florida after the 2000 Presidential election. This denial of the democratic process allowed George Bush to assume the mantle of U.S. President. As Ken Trainor points out, this allowed a great transfer of wealth up the economic chain. Not a trickle, as much as a torrent. And of course the U.S. Supreme Court gave us Citizens United, which, among other things equates money with free speech. This allows those with bigger stockpiles of cash to have louder voices and greater access to candidates at all levels of government. I'm sure there are things more anti-democratic than this, but the common sense that Ken Trainor refers to has to be in shock by such a ruling. A Ryan/Romney victory will allow the extreme right wing of the economic and political class in this country to appoint more judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and to Federal Courts around our country. Harm indeed. While Obama has done good things during his Presidency, he has also shown his allegiance to neo-liberalism, especially when it comes to the Free Trade Agreements he has pursued and is pursuing. The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement is being worked out in near-secrecy. This bodes ill for people who work for a living in this country and may lead to more job sacrifices in the U.S. Also harm.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 7:33 AM

Word is that President Obama has purchased a 40 million dollar home in Hawaii. Where did that money come from? Doesn't that put him in the 1%? Shouldn't he have redistributed that pile of money to the downtrodden as a wonderful example of his common roots? "What is right about this country" - The Chicago way, unprecedented wasteful spending - disregard for the constitutional rights of all of us - disrespecting the United States on foreign soil - Lying about the death of 4 U.S. citizens in Libyia - Funneling government money to campaign contributers. On and On - this mans incompetence and dishonesty is there for all to see - if they bothered to open their eyes. We have chewed this subject endlessly before and Ken has no desire to see the facts. Sadly, he has a platform to spew his partisan hatred and blind devotion.

Realitysux  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 1:56 AM

GM still went BANKRUPT AFTER the bailout so how did Obama save the auto industry. Obama did NOT inherit the economic meltdown but contributed to it since he was a member of the senate MAJORITY for 2 years. He did NOT end the Iraq war but followed the withdrawl outline agreed to by Bush and the Iraqi gov't. He passed healthcare reform which does NOT reduce costs and results in almost $2 trillion in new spending over the next 10 yrs. Romney released taxes for the years required by law.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2012 12:18 AM

When you parrot DNC talking points you should be charging the "My administration,administration" for advertising space. Before we buy your myopic opinion tripe President Obama needs to explain Benghazi. He also needs to explain breaking federal bankruptcy law in putting the auto workers union ahead of the bond holders. He also needs to explain why GREEN ENERGY companies who were major campaign contributers got guaranteed loans. He also needs to explain why Valerie Jarret gets secret service protection. He also needs to explain the extravagant vacations his family takes at our expense. Do I expect any of these questions to be answered? Surely not from the President nor from his personal lackey Ken Trainor.

Ken's Doctor  

Posted: October 30th, 2012 11:52 PM

Readers, please excuse Ken's column this week. I switched up his meds and he's not thinking clearly right now.

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