Bill Clinton’s Stunning Truth Telling at Democratic Convention Unmasks ‘Republican Alternative Universe,’ Provides Overwhelming Case for Obama Re-Election

We all know that Bill Clinton had personal reasons to be upset about Obama’s defeat of his wife Hillary in 2008. That said, Bill’s own passion for America’s future has long out-weighed his personal concerns and he has been a stalwart supporter of Obama ever since his election.

Now, Bill adds passion and truth-telling of historical value in order to support an American revival and rejection of republican policies that only benefit the wealthy and which have caused so much harm over the last 12 years.

Clinton’s resolute ballad was not a speech of glittering generalities and platitudes. Clinton instead delivered with passion, verve, grace, and eloquence a number of stunning facts the likes of which should make even the fact-immune Paul Ryan stand up and pay attention.

Clinton began his speech by noting the stunning difference between jobs growth of Republican and Democratic administrations, showing that Democrats are twice as effective at jobs creation as Republicans over the last fifty years. Clinton continues by chiding Republicans for their obvious hatred of Democrats and stunning failure to work with Democrats over the past four years of devastating obstructionist policies.

Clinton noted “I’m working all the time with Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We focus on seizing opportunities and not fighting all the time… The politics of constant conflict… doesn’t work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation.”

Cooperation, not conflict and competition, was a running theme throughout Clinton’s speech.

“Los Angeles is getting Green… because Republicans and Democrats are working together.”

“Unfortunately the faction that now dominates the Republican party doesn’t see it that way. They think government is always the enemy they’re always right and that compromise is weakness… They beat a republican Congressman with almost a 100% voting record on every conservation score because he said he realized he didn’t have to hate the President to disagree with him. Boy that was a non-starter and they threw him out.”

“One of the main reasons we should re-elect Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.”

Clinton gracefully connected the concept of cooperation to the highest aspirations of democracy. He appealed for a democracy that was “an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest.”

Clinton continued to reveal the stunning lack of cooperation of republicans, noting that they’d turned democracy into a blood sport when they claimed their #1 goal, two years before the election, was to make certain Obama didn’t get re-elected.

Clinton then turned to celebrate the massive number of successes achieved by President Obama. He noted his skillful halting of a recession that could have been as bad as the Great Depression. He noted the numerous months of jobs growth. He showed how Obamacare was already helping, how it had extended the life of Medicare.

“When President Obama took office the economy was in free fall, it had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP, we were losing 750,000 jobs per month. Are we doing better than that. The answer is yes!”

Clinton relentlessly reapplied a job scoring set of facts that showed how damaging republican policies had been to US employment, showing that Republicans blocked a bill that would have resulted in a million extra jobs created just last year even as they opposed the rescue of the auto industry that saved 1.1 million jobs and created over 250,000 additional jobs since 2009.

But Clinton didn’t only criticize. From point to point he pivoted to supporting solutions. To providing a clear rationale and policy platform for continued recovery. He supported Obama’s student loan policies, he supported his recovery efforts, he supported Obama’s immigration reform policies, and he celebrated the principles of inclusion and equality in the American system.

Perhaps most eloquent was his defense of Obamacare:

“Let’s take a look at what’s actually happened so far. First, individuals and businesses have already gotten more than a billion dollars in refunds from insurance companies because of a little law that requires 80-85 percent of your premium to go to health care not profits or promotions. And the gains are even greater than that because a bunch of insurance companies have applied to lower their rates to comply with the requirement. Second, more than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents policies can cover them. Third, millions of seniors are receiving preventive care all the way from breast cancer screenings to tests for heart problems and scores of other things and young people are getting them too. Fourth, soon insurance companies, not the government, the insurance companies will have millions of new customers many of them middle class people with preexisting conditions who never could get insurance before.

“Finally for the last two years… after going up at 3 times the rate of inflation for a decade, for the last two years healthcare costs have been under 4% in both years for the first time in fifty years. So, let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for Health Care reform? You bet we are!!”

Clinton went on to gracefully deconstruct the Republican’s lies about cuts to Medicare by 716 billion dollars.

“That’s the same attack they leveled against Congress in 2010 and they got a lot of votes for it. But it’s not true. Here’s what really happened. You be the judge. There were no cuts to benefits at all. None. What the President did was, to save money by taking the recommendations of a commission of professionals. To cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that were not making people healthier and were not necessary to get the providers to provide the service. And instead of raiding Medicare, he used the savings to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program. And to add eight years to the Medicare trust fund so it is solvent until 2024.

“So President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare. They strengthened Medicare.”

Clinton continues by showing that Ryan’s plan keeps the same savings, but, more darkly, Romney’s does not. So, in the end, Romney makes Medicare insolvent, through his plan, by 2016.

Listening to Clinton’s speech it is impossible to continue to take seriously almost any of the Republican’s assertions during this election. They are revealed for what they are. Blatant falsehoods. But, more important, these falsehoods are destructive in so many ways it takes a 45 minute speech by Clinton to lightly, albeit gracefully, and with strength, touch on just how destructive.

Clinton showed pathos for all those who would lose their coverage. Who would lose their hopes for decent health care. Who would be unfairly taxed under republican policies. And his passion in this fight shows that he has transcended the role of political leader and taken a solid stand for economic justice in the United States.

The man who led the strongest economic expansion in United States history makes a very compelling case. If you haven’t yet seen his speech, I urge you to watch and to share with your friends. His speech is a matter of historic importance. For he clearly defines our paths — one that offers very real hope, and another that offers little more than decline.

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Chevy Volt Breaks Monthly Sales Records Again

America’s most customer-loved automobile broke a new monthly sales record this August. According to GM, sales figures for the Chevy Volt exceeded 2,800 vehicles for August. The Volt’s previous best sales month was March at 2,289 vehicles.

So far this year, the Volt has sold over 13,000 automobiles in the US and is on track to sell nearly 20,000 by the end of this year. Worldwide, the Volt has already sold over 25,000 vehicles in 2012.

In 2011, the Volt was the highest-rated vehicle for customer satisfaction. This despite a wide-ranging political attack by republicans and oil-special interest sources to discredit the vehicle.

The Volt’s revolutionary engine system allows the vehicle to travel for 40 miles in an all-electric mode before switching to gasoline assisted driving. Many Volt drivers report making it more than 1,500 miles between fill-ups in day-to-day driving.

If large portions of the US vehicle fleet were made up of cars like the Volt, it would drastically reduce oil imports. Just a 30% market penetration of plug-in electric hybrids could cut US oil consumption by as much as 2.5 million barrels per day. That’s more than twice the domestic oil produced via Eagle Ford and Bakken combined.

In addition, the Volt emits far less in the way of greenhouse gasses. According to the EPA, the Volt emits 84 grams of carbon per mile averaged over its lifetime. In comparison, a similar-sized combustion engine sedan emits four to five times as much carbon over its lifetime. Considering that personal vehicle transport accounts for 20% of CO2 emissions, a world-wide adoption of vehicles like the Volt could cut total emissions by as much as 15%.

This beneficial reduced fuel demand, however, is likely to eat into oil company profits. Which is probably one reason why the Volt has drawn flack from certain media and political circles. Increasingly, these sources have towed the oil industry line in messaging, both denying global warming and simultaneously attacking any replacements for fossil fuel energy. This destructive attempt at market domination would result in vast harm to technological progress as well as call into question the future health and even continuance of civil society should the worst impacts of climate change emerge.

So one should take any such dissuasion with a grain of salt. These aspersions hold no value and result only in harm to US interests and world climate security.

Romney Gunning to Kill US Wind, Solar Industries, Enforce Monopoly of Dirty, Dangerous, and Depleting Fuels

Today Mitt Romney held a speech on the border of Texas and New Mexico where he laid out his plans for the US’s energy future. And if two words come to mind from his proposals they are these: Robbery and Ruin.

Just yesterday, Romney received more than $10 million dollars in campaign contributions from the coal and oil industry. Money he is trying to hand back many times over in special perks, subsidies, and give-aways to his big polluting backers.

First, Romney proposes to take public lands from the people of the US and hand it over to states who would then be encouraged to give these land rights, free of charge, to oil, gas, and coal companies. He would take a resource in the public trust, one of America’s great treasures, and hand it over to what amounts to a group of corporate looters. The ghost of Teddy Roosevelt must be turning over in his grave as Romney offers up this sacrifice to his corporate masters. For it would result in public lands being transformed from something like this:

Into something like this:

 

Romney’s second big giveaway is to cut taxes for the highly profitable oil companies again. I say again because it was the same thing Bush did when he was elected back in 2000. And it is also ironic to see a massive influx of Bush energy advisers finding places of prominence on Romney’s energy team.

This year, oil companies already received more than 2.3 billion dollars in subsidies and tax assistance. This public support after having recorded over $137 billion dollars in profits. But Romney seems to think that greed is its own virtue and has decided to give another 2.4 billion away in additional tax breaks. This 5 billion dollars in tax-payer support each year would come on top of record profits from the highest oil prices ever and the great American land giveaway described above.

But Romney’s plan goes still further. Romney would cut regulations that keep coal companies from dumping massive volumes of mercury into the air and water. Coal companies have often complained that the public health protection measure is too expensive. But what Romney and his coal backers don’t reveal is that the added pollution kills more than 30,000 people each year. For Romney and big coal, profits are far more important than lives. So the protections for Americans must go.

In general, all these policies draw support from a vast and ongoing denial over the damage caused to the United States by an intensifying climate crisis. Just this year alone, over $100 billion in damages will likely be inflicted on the US economy by a number of climate-related disasters. Romney’s push to double down on big oil and big coal will only worsen the damage that is still to come.

Romney’s plan is first a dire insult to American interests in the form of a giveaway to a destructive industry. Romney’s plan is second a harm that results in added toxins spewed into the atmosphere and an ever-decreasing likelihood of dealing with the ongoing climate crisis.

But the crowning black jewel to the whole dark and devastating Romney energy policy is this: attack the wind and solar industry.

Romney plans to bring down all competitors to oil and coal through direct policy measures. He is gunning to devastate the wind and solar industry by removing the production tax credit even as he pushes to further subsidize the heavily polluting oil and coal industries. His plan would gut US innovation and progress in wind and solar energy. It would cede leadership in a 2 trillion dollar alternative energy market to China and Germany. And it would result in the loss of tens of thousands of US jobs. Worse, it would remove the prospect for creating hundreds of thousands more jobs in the future and shackle us to an energy source that is bound to abandon us during our hour of greatest need.

Republicans and Romney often deride industries that require subsidy support. However, the oil and coal industry still receive subsidies after more than 150 years of operations. The level of subsidies they receive is far higher than those of the burgeoning alternative energy industry. Typically, for a new industry to effectively get off the ground it needs a higher level of support than a traditional, established industry. And considering that the oil industry has become so profitable through its effective cornering, total dominance and monopolization of all transportation markets, giving it any subsidy at all simply amounts to paying tribute to a tyrant. It is unnecessary, wasteful, and encourages the worst behavior.

Yet this is exactly what Romney and Ryan are pushing to double down on. And they would lay the slain carcass of the alternative energy industry at the feet of their fossil fuel masters.

Given the intensifying climate crisis. Given the depleting and increasingly expensive fossil fuels. Given the need for America to create sustainable jobs in a sustainable industry. And given the fact that if we fail to lead in the alternative energy revolution, others will in our stead, it is absolutely necessary that the American public reject Romney. Reject Ryan. Reject robbing from the American people for the profit of special interests and reject policies that will ruin our future. And, last of all, reject the vicious and anti-American agenda of the oil and coal company barons who stand behind them.

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