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The Sunday Political Brunch – August 19, 2012

Analysis of the week in politics from ABC Political Reporter Mark Curtis.


Newark, New Jersey – There is nothing like the optimism of a sunrise signifying a new day and new opportunities (today’s photo is from the Newark airport, looking toward New York City). I’ve been on the road all week, but keeping an eye on the latest developments in the world of politics.

Take Your Mom to Work Day! – Republican vice-presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), took his mom Betty to a Medicare reform campaign rally in Florida on Saturday. It’s hard for people to accuse you of “stealing Medicare from Grandma” when your own 78-year-old mom is sitting right next to you. It was a good photo-op and full of symbolism. Those on the left who called it political stagecraft and a campaign prop may remember that vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) also campaigned with his mom Jean in 2008.

Roll the Dice – On KGO Radio in San Francisco this week, on both “The Ronn Owens Show” and “The Brian Copeland Show,” I predicted that 2012 would be a one-state race and that this time it would be Nevada deciding the presidency. Once a Republican stalwart, the demographics of Nevada have changed dramatically over the past decade. An influx of displaced union workers from the Rust Belt looking for new opportunities, and a boom in the Hispanic population have combined to make this a toss-up state. It went for Senator Obama in 2008, but certainly could swing back to Mitt Romney in 2012. It only has six Electoral College votes, but that’s enough to decide a tight race. Having a West Coast state crown the whole shebang could mean on all-nighter on November 6.

Jersey Boy – As I head to the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, I’ll be looking forward to the keynote speech from Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). I was thinking of the colorful, combative Governor while visiting his state today. Whether you agree with him or not, he remains one of the most quotable, most candid and, yes, most volatile voices on the political landscape. Translation: news people like him because he makes headlines!

Slow News Day – While at the airport I listened to the most vapid report on CNN on Janna Ryan’s “ties to the Democratic Party.” The wife of Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is also the first cousin of Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) and the niece of former U.S. Sen. David Boren, (D-OK). Sure it’s an interesting nugget, (which has been out there for a week), but the reporter’s salacious delivery made it sound like having ties to the Democratic Party was akin to being part of the Weather Underground or Al-Qaeda. It was just weird! So her cousin’s a Democrat? Somehow I don’t think that will sink her husband’s campaign.

Hillary Watch – There was a story from former New York Times reporter Ed Klein this week suggesting that Hillary Clinton could still do a last-minute switch with Joe Biden, and become the vice-presidential candidate with President Obama. Had Mitt Romney picked a woman or a Hispanic to be his running mate, I think the Hillary-Biden swap could still in play. But with Paul Ryan on the GOP ticket, I think Mrs. Clinton remains as Secretary of State. By the way, if President Obama wins reelection, I predict Secretary Clinton will announce her resignation as of January. She will start her 2016 nomination campaign as the new year gets under way. One thing I will agree on with Ed Klein is that the Clintons (Bill in particular) want very badly to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday!

Let’s hear your thoughts and opinions. Click the comment button on www.MarkCurtisMedia.com. We’ll be greeting you this time next week, from Tampa, Florida, and the Republican National Convention.

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Leave RI August 21, 2012 at 04:33 AM
have to agree about the NJ gov
Jack Baillargeron August 21, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Kinda agree on the roll the dice, but to early to tell for me yet. Definatly agree on Jersey Boy, he does speak his mind and thats refreshing. Slow News Day to me is typical of the things people are sick to death of in this gotcha media, and that oneis about as inocuous as you can get. Hillary, sorry the Clintons are not that stupid, they are power players and king makers maybe but I just can't see her tying herself to Obama after what happened to her and her Husband, still a lot of animousity there I suspect. Not to mention her age is catching up with her I am sure.
Joe Sousa. August 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Rep. Paul Ryan needs to continue to have seniors come to all the stops and show the public how bad the Democrats lie when it comes to Medicare. The Mediscare tactic may have worked before. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abraham Lincoln,
Naome Lixes August 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Better "hand select" your sample then - the vouchers aren't polling well. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-21/americans-disapprove-of-ryan-s-medicare-plan-poll-says We reading the same press release, Joe? Maybe you're comes from some source I can't access... Must be the egg salad left inside the tinfoil hat.
Naome Lixes August 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I do hope someone besides a Clinton is on the 2016 ticket - dynasties and US politics are not a winning combination. Perhaps we can keep Ron Paul on life support long enough for another run at the job.
Jack Baillargeron August 21, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Part 1 Joe estimated number baby boomers 72 million, started retiring on January 1, 2011 age 65 at 10,000 per day for the next 19 years. Their Medicare not affected at all by Ryan Plan. People do not get that we have to revamp it. Younger generation will have nothing. (55 and younger) according to the Ryan plan. So he has a new plan that will not have the problems that plague the current one and will solve the 55 and under problem well solving the un-sustainability of the current plan because moving those 55 and under out of the current system. Not a single politician doesn’t know it has to be changed on both sides. Only one with a real plan is Ryan. The next big bear to be tackled is SS also. These 2 programs alone are a huge part of the deficit and have been kicked down the road long enough in my opinion. Few facts from the Pew Research Center. As the year 2011 began on Jan. 1, the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation celebrated their 65th birthday. In fact, on that day, today, and for every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65. The aging of this huge cohort of Americans (26% of the total U.S. population are Baby Boomers) will dramatically change the composition of the country. Currently, just 13% of Americans are ages 65 and older. By 2030, when all members of the Baby Boom generation have reached that age, fully 18% of the nation will be at least that age, according to Pew Research Center population projections.
Jack Baillargeron August 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Part 2 Other facts to realize we cannot continue the Status quo or we will see bankruptcy that makes the current times look like a gold rush. By 2010, it’s estimated that US corporations will experience a 10 million shortage in talent (76.4 million boomers replaced by 66.4 million replacement workers) Boomer Finances Average annual household earnings of boomers = $53,000 Average boomer predicted to retire with $500,000-$1,000,000 in assets Mature consumers possess $7 trillion in wealth – 70% of the total wealth in the United States 66% of all US stockholders and 60% of annuity owners are boomers 66% of boomers are not confident in selecting a mutual fund Retirement savings for boomers dropped from 58% in 2001 to 41% in 2002 23% of retirees see finances as their biggest challenge By 2040, Social Security benefits will need to be reduced by 37% if no changes are made to the system 76.4 million baby boomers Leading-edge boomers turn 62 in 2008 Another baby boomer turns 60 every eight seconds In 2000, 35 million Americans were 65+ By 2030, 70 million Americans will be 65+, and will comprise 20-25% of the US population http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=baby%20boomers%20retiring%20statistics&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CEsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whatsnextinyourlife.com%2F_pdf%2FWhatsNextInYourLife_BoomerFastFacts.pdf&ei=_RQ0UPbkLeba6wHDr4CACw&usg=AFQjCNFs9kuabJNWld86WGjgeInb-xuiFg
BristolRI02809 August 22, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Joe Sousa-Can you please help us here and translate the above post from Jack? You seem to be about the only person that's on the same infantile itelligence level that might be able to translate: 1. What does "to early to tell" mean? Does Jack realize there is a difference between to, too, and two? 2. "Definatly"?-That's not a word. 3. "Thats"-Does Jack know where the apostrophe key is on his computer? 4. "inocuous"-Nice try at a big word, but it's spelled "iNNocuous". 5. "animousity"-No comment, as a second grader can spell that word correctly. Please Joe-help us. We need a translator!
Joe Sousa. August 22, 2012 at 01:05 AM
BristolRI02809 it may be hard to read with the tea bag on your head . Try again
Jack August 22, 2012 at 01:23 AM
For all you politicos out there Hillary has already stated that she would not stay on as Sec. of State after the election.......how can so many of you claim to know so much and fail to read the obvious ?
Robert E August 22, 2012 at 04:56 AM
It's time to put the poor and the elderly in their place. get rid of medicare and privatize social security by tying the future care of elders to the stock market. We need to get rid of universal health care - which was Romney's design to begin with - and let those who can't afford health care suffer; after all they are the least productive members of society. It's time for a return to a plutocracy like the US had in the late 1920's. Let the wealthy who own corporations run the federal government like a business. And let's put an end to all this global warming talk while we are at it. And let's let the the church revise the constitution - a pluto-theocracy - as i'm sure our founding fathers would have wanted. = We've seen the great success of the conservative movement in Bush years. The 3 trillion dollar wars, and the federal deficit and the economy. We need more of that. And we need the men in the churches and wealthy business people to give it to us.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Wow Robert E you finally get it, you really get it. That is the whole conspiracy theory in just one post. Darn I am so glad you are convinced finally. Though none of that is even close to facts, but it is what every pundit is saying to get Obama elected again lol. Wont work but hey keep it out there, s about all Obama has to run on lol. (sarcasm)
Joe Sousa. August 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Robert E Sing along It's the end of the world as we know it It's the end of the world as we know it It's the end of the world as we know it Romney's fine !!!! Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no fear cavalier. Renegade steer clear! A tournament, tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Naome Lixes August 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Social security is self funded (user pays). The reason it's running short is that it was raided to pay for the DoD. http://www.ontheissues.org/2012/Ron_Paul_Social_Security.htm Are you advocating continuation of YOUR benefits from a bankrupt system? That shifts the burden of payment to younger people who will not collect. That's inter-generational theft. It would not be necessary if Congress raised appropriations for the last three wars, instead of raiding social programs. Time to claw back some of the shifted funds from the weapons makers to pay those of us that paid in, but won't see a dime in benefits.
Naome Lixes August 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM
That's an interesting set of facts. Your point being?
Naome Lixes August 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM
REM stream of consciousness? A renaissance man among us. We're being forced into a false dichotomy, as no one is talking about the ultimate discretionary spending pool - the DoD. How can you account for fraud and waste, thousands of miles from home - where people are shooting at you? Black ops means the pile of money is counted out back, in the dark. Some of it still has the SSI wrapper on it...
Joe Richer August 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Indeed, but SSI was also raided to fund welfare of every kind, bunny inspectors, a federal education department that does...well...nothing tangible...and myriad other things. Naome - pssst...money is fungible...pass it on...it seems not too many people know that.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Continued Making a new system that will be sustainable for those under 55 must be done. No plan is perfect. However you cannot have a law until you debate and work out what you do and do not like about it. So instead of talking points to deride it, how about telling Harry Reid to debate it in Congress instead of his usual DOA like the 16 budgets he has been sent that also have never come to the floor. Not to mention the even the DEMS voting down the Obama budget that was sent to the floor. Now there’s a novel idea right. Is the Ryan plan the perfect solution? Doubtful as I would agree, since there is always room for improvement before it is law. But again you cannot do that if you just DOA it before you even debate it. With a 9% approval rate of the whole Congress, it obviously is not the military that is the problem.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Naome did you not read the first line. Other facts to realize we cannot continue the Status quo or we will see bankruptcy that makes the current times look like a gold rush. You can keep saying how SS got raided, by all administrations, starting with LBJ, not the DOD. Well it is nice to do the military blame game; they do not determine funding or have any funding power. Only the House does period. So at least put the blame where it belongs along with both party’s. Also constantly stating the talking point of it was raided that everyone knows, is not a solution, its like talking about your car losing a wheel because of a pot hole in your driveway and whining about it for years, but never fixing the pot hole. If you cannot see the real problem with those numbers for the future, then you are burying your head in the sand. It is the biggest problem that will make Medicare and SS bankrupt if it is not changed. There is only one plan out there for the last 3 years. Ryans! The other side will not even allow it to come to the floor for debate no0t even talk about the plan they do not have. Is that right? The obvious reasoning for 55 and younger being taken out of the old system is to make sure the old system is sustainable due to the numbers in that post.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
You assumption that the younger will not have anything is in direct conflict with your self funded. Of course they have to pay. SS should have been increased over time to match wage increases half a century ago. You have to start somewhere, unless you know how you fund something that takes in less that it puts out. Both programs have become un-sustainable becasue of that very problem along with fraud, waste and abuse. There is no magic pill, only tough solution to revamp the system for modern times.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Oh yea I am not advocating my benefits, I am ineligable for SS and Medicare.
Realistic voter August 22, 2012 at 11:18 PM
And all this time everyone said you played the flute!!!! Didn't know you could sing too!
Joe Sousa. August 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected Wednesday that the deficit for 2012 will run $1.1 trillion, the fourth year in a row the shortfall will exceed $1 trillion. National debt closing in on $16 trillion .

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