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"If President Obama wins re-election, he’ll point to the last couple of weeks of January as a turning point." ~ Josh Kraushaar (National Journal)

"It was one of the best weeks of his presidency." ~ Chris Matthews

"It couldn’t have been worse in any conceivable way for Romney." ~ Howard Fineman

"Everything seems to be going Obama’s way."  ~ Lawrence O’Donnell.

"You gotta love Obama; he’s on a roll." ~ Howard Dean

"It was an emotional week.  It was an inspirational week." ~ Congressman John Larson (D-CT)

It was.

The Republican campaign sunk into a Stalingrad-like war of attrition.  

Stephen Colbert stepped up his guerrilla campaign.

Bill Gates called for higher taxes on the rich.

President Obama gave a stirring State of the Union address, only hours after ordering a daring commando raid and starting an anti-Bankster version of The Untouchables.  

We tearfully accepted Gabby Gifford’s resignation.

Overflow swing state crowds cheered the President as GOP turnout plummeted.

The Wicked Witch of South West melted.

Romney was exposed as a tax cheat and clubbed by his opponents with Occupy Wall Street’s populism.

The recovery moved towards escape velocity and optimism sprung anew.

All the while, Mitt Romney self-destructed.

Yes, this really did happen.

This is story of those seven days; complete with never before seen images.  

The following diary is rate "MA".  No one under the age of 17 is allowed to scroll further without the accompaniment of a parent.  Parental discretion is advised.

Stay tuned at the end for bonus sections and an exciting sneak peak of Obamacare.

No pooties or dogs were harmed in the making of this diary.

The week started on a hilarious note.

Baltimore’s Ray Finkle missed a can’t miss field goal blowing his team’s Super Bowl’s dreams.   It was the biggest choke job since Mama Cass eat a ham sandwich.

The fail parade continued when Romney was blown out by toxic, has-been, corrupt, disgusting, draft dodging, scum-bag, loser, lobbyist Newt Gingrich.  

Romney has been running non-stop for six years, he's poured a hundred million dollars into the race, he has the entire establishment apparatus behind him, and he still floundering to two broke guys, one who was kicked out of Congress by his own party and Senator Man-on-Dog, who lost his home state by 17 points.

What if they gave a primary and no one came?

Hahahahhahahahhahahhahahhahahhaahhahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhah.

We keep hearing how fired up their base is to vote President Obama out, how they’ll crawl across broken glass to get to the voting booth, and then they hold actual elections and turnout collapses below their disastrous 2008 numbers.

Let’s remember 2008 was a terrible year for the Republicans.  They hated their candidates and they were depressed and dispirited over losing the House and Senate and over how Iraq, Katrina, and Bush had killed their brand.

And yet this year’s numbers are worst than that!

Mitt the Ripper bludgeoning Newt Chucky and Calista with a fist full of dollars.
Stephen Colbert added to the week's highlights by hammering Romney as a predator who dismembers and loots perfectly healthy companies.  It was so devastating the pigs in the corporate-media squealed like stuck pigs and attacked Colbert  -- just like they did when Colbert skewered Bush at the 2006 Correspondence Dinner.  

Al Sharpton has this saying, “when you toss a rock into a pig pen, the one that squeals is the one who got hit.”

Colbert’s ads hit them and hit them hard.

Gingrich is out there race baiting and Jew baiting; Romney is out there red baiting and birther baiting, and yet the very serious people in the Village won’t say a word - not one word.

Oh, but say one word about vulture capitalism and the high and mighty lose their shit.

This is why Wall Street's pillaging is rarely explored in the mainstream.  The minute you begin to discuss it, the Villagers rush in with their torches and beat you down.

You have to go back 20 years, to the late 80s, to find any treatments on the subject (“Bonfire of the Vanities”, Barbarians at the Gates”, and the play “Other People’s Money”).

Colbert’s indictment of “Mitt the Ripper” as a serial killer echoes Gregory Pecks’ address at the end of “Other People’s Money”, which itself deserves a repeated look and updated adaptation.

This proud company, which has survived the death of its founder, numerous recessions, one major depression, two world wars, and a cold war, is in imminent danger of self-destructing -- on this day, in the town of its birth.

There is the instrument of our destruction. I want you to look at him in all of his glory, Mitt the Ripper -- the entrepreneur of post-industrial America, playing God with other people's money.

The Robber Barons of old at least left something tangible in their wake -- a coal mine, a railroad, banks.  This man leaves nothing.  He creates nothing.  He builds nothing.  He runs nothing.  And in his wake lies nothing but a blizzard of paper to cover the pain.

Oh, if he said, "I know how to run your business better than you," that would be something worth talking about.  But he's not saying that.  He's saying, "I'm going to kill you because at this particular moment in time, you're worth more dead than alive."

God save us if we vote to take his paltry few dollars and run.  God save this country if that is truly the wave of the future.  We will then have become a nation that makes nothing but hamburgers, creates nothing but lawyers, and sells nothing but tax shelters.  And if we are at that point in this country, where we kill something because at the moment it's worth more dead than alive -- well, take a look around.  Look at your neighbor.  Look at your neighbor.  You won't kill him, will you?  No.  It's called murder and it's illegal.

Well, this too is murder -- on a mass scale.  Only on Wall Street, they call it "maximizing share-holder value" and they call it "legal."  And they substitute dollar bills where a conscience should be.  A business is worth more than the price of its stock.  It's the place where we earn our living, where we meet our friends, dream our dreams.  It is, in every sense, the very fabric that binds our society together.

Thank you, Stephen.  Thank you for speaking for the 99%.  I can’t imagine it’s easy standing up, while elites are trying to shout you down.  

As the week continued, popcorn rained from the sky in celebration of GOP's plummeting and humiliating poll numbers.

Romney's favorables are underwater not only nationally, but in every single must win state.

ABC News says this is a leading election indicator.  When Democrats lead on taxes, they win in November.   And ya know, the wingers gave us this issue, gift wrapped, when they foolishly attempted to block the payroll tax cut.

I didn't think the Republicans could find a candidate worse than McCain and Palin, but no, I was wrong, they found a bunch of them this year.  


Why don’t they like you?  I don’t know, maybe it’s something you said.
► “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”

► “I like being able to fire people!”

► “Don't try and stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

► “The banks aren’t bad people, they’re just overwhelmed, right now."

► “Banks are scared to death, of course. They are feeling the same
thing you’re feeling.”

► “Corporations are people, my friend.”

► “I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed.”

► “There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”

► “If I were elected and were Congress to pass the Dream Act, would I veto it.”

► Romney's solution for illegal immigration: "self-deportation."

► “We went to the company and we said, 'Look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake! I can’t have illegals.' ”

► "I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much." (Nearly $400,000).

► “I’ll bet you 10,000 dollars.”

► Asked, “Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though?” Romney responded, “I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms.”

► When asked if he would support the $1500 payroll tax cut ~ “Look, I don't like temporary little Band-Aids.”

► Described his 3,000 square foot, beach front mansion, valued at 12 million dollars, as “very small”.

► Described his 5,400 square foot, summer home in New Hampshire, which also has a large boathouse and separate guest house, as a “little place”.

► “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person [Osama bin Laden].”

► “I don't want to buy into the Democratic pitch, that this is all about one person, Osama bin Laden.”  [I'm not kidding, he really said that]

► Explaining why none of his five sons enlisted to fight in the Iraq war he promotes: "one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president. I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country."

► "I was a severely conservative Republican governor."

► "The trees are the right height [in Michigan]."

► INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery.

INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying, like, OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try to turn the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote against him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?

ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.

► “If they feel the economy is going in the right direction, they ought to vote for Barack Obama.”

► Embracing Keynesian economics, he said, "if you just cut [the budget], if all you're thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you'll slow down the economy."

► “We will hear from the Democrat Party on the plight of the poor.”

► “It’s not good being poor.”

► “You can focus on the very poor -- that’s not my focus.”

► “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”


He is becoming a caricature of the worst kind of candidate that Republicans
can put up in this environment where President Obama is starting to get a
lot of traction with the middle class message. We`re beginning to nominate
a guy who is doing his very best to claw his way to the bottom and portray
himself as a guy who is completely out of touch. And he only compounds
that problem by going to Las Vegas for God sake and standing up with Donald
Trump.

Incompetent and tone deaf to no end, Romney reinforced his image as a sociopath who likes firing people by soliciting and receiving birther Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Trump – the quintessential Republican:  3 marriages, 4 bankruptcies, 5 Vietnam deferments.

[Romney] was wrong to be against the auto bailout.  I was for it and I thought it was fantastic.

Romney is the only guy who likes firing people more than Trump.

Jay Leno

GM’s CEO Daniel Akerson:  [If Romney’s 'let them go bankrupt" plan was adopted], “you could have written off this company, this industry, and this country.”

Nice job, Mitt.

Put some butter on Mitt – he’s toast.

Well, everything was going great, and then we received the sad news that Gabby Giffords would be leaving Congress.

In the back of your head, you can’t help thinking all violent and hateful rhetoric unleashed after the President’s election played a role in shootings.

There has to be a special connection between them.

A year ago – praying at Gabby’s bedside.


The most important thing to remember, that no matter what we argue about on this floor or in this country, there is nothing more important than family and friendship.  And that should be held on high, above all else.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

President Obama then delivered a rousing State of the Union address.
We’ve got a choice right now.  We can either settle for a country where a few people do really well while everyone else is struggling, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

Seniors in Colorado liking what they hear

Described by CNN as “an avowed enemy of Wall Street”, Schneiderman was tapped by President Obama to lead a special unit of prosecutors charged with investigating Wall Street banksters.


The First Lady's box during the State of the Union address

First row, from left to right:

Bryan Ritterby: Lab tech at a wind turbine manufacturer.

Admiral William McRaven: Commander US special forces.

Jackie Bray: A high speed packaging mechanic who was laid off when the economy crashed, she went back to school and was hired by a gas turbine factory to help operate their plant.

Captain Mark Kelly: Combat veteran, fighter pilot, astronaut, husband of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Dr. Jill Biden: Educator, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

Second row, from left to right:

Juan Jose Redín: A lawyer and U.S. citizen who was brought to the U.S. by his parents at age 10 without a visa.  Yet, he became an American and an attorney because California granted resident non-citizens in-state tuition

Debbie Bosanek: Warren Buffet’s secretary and the inspiration for the Buffet Rule.

Laurene Powell Jobs: Philanthropist, widow of Steve Jobs.

Alicia Boler-Davis: GM plant manager

Colonel Ginger Wallace: Air Force intelligence officer, who is now serving as an openly gay soldier.

Planting a big wet one on Hillary.

Jessica Buchanan is a grade school teacher who joined a Danish NGO clearing land mines in Africa.

Last October, Jessica and a co-worker were kidnapped by Somali pirates.  After spending 93 days in captivity, after various efforts to negotiate their release, and after she became perilously ill, President Obama ordered a rescue mission.

On a moonless night, commandos parachuted into Somalia and freed Jessica from her captors.  

The hostages and the rescue team were then evacuated by helicopters.

The raid occurred only 4 hours before the President was set to deliver the State of the Union.

Afterward, the President broke the good news to Jessica’s family in an amazing phone call.

John Buchanan recounts:

"We were in a hotel, myself and Jessica's sister. We had concluded a meeting. And so we just waited. A guy came on the phone and said 'Mr. Buchanan, the next voice you'll hear will be the President of the United States.' I said 'OK.' I'm thinking 'this could be some kind of cruel joke.'"
The President said, "John, this is Barack Obama. I've got some really good news for you. Your daughter Jessica has been rescued and evacuated by our SEAL team and she's on her way home."

The President went on to say how proud he is of this country’s youth and they selflessly volunteer to help others around the world.

Buchanan expressed his gratitude, saying: "We're just extremely grateful to God first, and to the U.S. government. They've been great throughout this whole thing - from the first day there were there, supporting us."

The next day the President took his State of the Union address on a road trip.

In Iowa
In Arizona

With the sun in their face
Vegas

The President finished the tour by flying to Ann Arbor, Michigan, were 3,000 people camped out overnight in the rain and January cold to get tickets.

I tell ya, I was stunned by the news reports.  He's not new to Ann Arbor -- he did their commencement address, a couple of years ago.  And frankly, he’s not the shinny new object anymore.  He’s been on our tee vees, and browsers, and smart phones for 4 years now.     He's old hat.

And yet 3,000 people camped out in cold rain.

Can you imagine that happening for anyone else?

Can you imagine 300 people or 30 people or even 3 persons camping out to see Romney or Santorum?

Returning home

And as all this went on, the economy gathered steam.


If you really want to see someone that knows what they' re doing and stood up to the Chinese, look at what President Obama has done. We have brought 24 cases and we have won every one.

This is the first president that has stood up on all of the enforcement issues that we have brought to him.

Manufacturing technology orders rose 81.6 percent in the Midwest region in 2011, posting it’s strongest year since the 90s.

And right on cue, GM posted record earnings.

BOOOM, Baby

With the President of the United Steel Workers
With the President of the UAW
Going green with Chevy Volt
Corvette Summer
When I heard the President got into a spat with the Wicked Witch of Arizona, I said to myself, "thank you, Jesus", and I'm not even religious.  
The Obama campaign is targeting Arizona for victory this year, and my instincts told me a public argument, with photos, would only energize Arizona's Latino community.  And sure enough, the Times reported Hispanic radio stations and blogs all over the state lit up like a Christmas tree.   "For that incident alone, 85 percent more Latin people will gravitate toward the president," said, Robert Meza, a Democratic state senator from Phoenix.

Then just when you thought the week couldn't get better, the 2nd richest man in the world joined Occupied Wall Street and called for higher taxes on the rich.


The United States has a huge budget deficit, so taxes are going to have to go up.  And I certainly agree that they should go up more on the rich than everyone else. That’s just justice.

And right now, I don’t feel like people like myself are paying as much as we should.

This is great news for McCain!  Quick, alert Halperin!  These data sets prove America is a center-right country!
The armed services is a voting bloc we lost in the late 60s.

It’s understandable; I’d be pissed if someone sent me to Vietnam.

But to paraphrase Dennis Green, the Republicans are who we thought they were.  

They ARE who we thought they were.

During the past ten years, everyone saw what we all knew – the Republicans and the neo-cons don’t care about the troops, they view them as cannon fodder.

The results were people like Jim Webb came home.  And Independents like Wes Clark became Democrats.

Hell, Jim Webb passed a new G.I. bill in 2008, but the Republicans, including McCain, voted against it.

It should also be noted, Michelle Obama's and Jill Biden's strong support of military families has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

In Afghanistan

With Admiral Willard, commander Pacific forces

With General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
With General Horst, superintendent of Arlington
With Admiral Mullen
With the superintendent of West Point


It also helps when the Commander in Chief and the troops share mutual respect.

As Admiral McRaven recently stated:

[President Obama] was really everything the American public would expect from their national leadership.

I would contend he was the smartest guy in the room. He had leadership skills we'd expect from a guy who had 35 years in the military.

President Kennedy attending the 1962 Army-Navy game with Red Fay and Cy Vance

Want to pull an economy out of a depression and depose a madman -- hire a Democrat.

Want a professional and effective military, subordinate to civilian leadership -– hire a Democrat.

Always bet on black
Greeting White House tourists


"[Obama] leaves you with an inexplicable feeling to want to make America the best place it can be."

With the daughter of one of his assistants.

During the 2009 healthcare debate, my friend Miss Blue asked, “Will my children have affordable health care, even if I don't?”

There are many similarities between Obamacare and Romneycare (aka Commonwealth Care), after all, a number of the same economists worked on both plans.  But there are also significant differences.  On one hand, Commonwealth Care provides tax payer funded abortions, Obamacare doesn’t.  On the other hand, Krugman says Obamacare contains numerous cost control measures not found in Commonwealth Care, adding “it would make a huge difference to the less fortunate among us, even as it would do more to control costs than anything we’ve done before.”

That’s the key: providing subsidies to make it affordable and bending the cost curve.

With that in mind, we can get a glimpse of how Obamacare will effect every day lives with this two minute video on Commonwealth Care’s current successes.

The flag rising above Midway on June 4, 1942.

We are at the midway point; it is half-time in America; we are at a crossroads.  

We can continue the path towards enlightenment or we can return to the dark ages where women have to wear chastity belts under President Santorum.

In President Santorum's America women would be forced into back-ally abortions, contraception and prenatal care would be banned, Planned Parenthood would be padlocked, women wouldn't be allowed to work or serve their country, gays in the military would be forced back into the closet, same-sex marriages would be voided, Terri Schiavo's husband would be imprisoned, collective bargaining would become illegal, evolution would be outlawed, schoolchildren would be indoctrinated in creationism, Medicare would be privatized, education would be defunded, Keystone tar would irreparably damage the planet, and trillions would be wasted on an unwinable war with Iran.

America is a better and freer nation than Rick Santorum thinks.

But in the end, it's all up to you.  As Howard Dean told us, only you have the power to win the future.


Originally posted to Al Rodgers on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM PST.

Also republished by DKOMA and I Vote for Democrats.

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