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Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 10:22 PM PST

I'm in Trouble...SNAP woes

by jplanner

Tonight I went to the market to buy food, only to find out my SNAP card had 0.00 dollars on it. I had to put almost everything back, which was so embarrassing. The glares of the woman behind me bored a hole. Was I like that ever, when I had money? I hope not. (all that standing and walking hurt for nothing!).

Normally on this day each month, funds are added for SNAP to my EBT card.  The automated phone line I then called to find out what the problem was said they "closed my case", on January 8th (!!!)because, the voice intoned, I did not submit the required renewal documentation. The floor seemed to open under me. I had in fact submitted their re-application a month ago.

My newish poverty has taught me how some low income Americans live their entire lives. Getting by daily, weekly, monthly is a construction like a house of cards. Remove one linchpin and it can collapses. Small changes resulting in a deficit of even 1-2 hundred dollars per month (or less), can be make-or-break. SNAP is a linchpin for me, since I became disabled, too disabled to work at anything I can find. With rent 2/3rds of my disability check, life can't add up without SNAP. I can't see how I can do it. I also can't afford to move to a cheaper place-I'm priced out of the area. How would I pack anyway? How can you be homeless when it is impossible to physically for you to walk much, stand for more than a few minutes, or sit in a wheelchair? Homeless people have to stand in line for almost everything. I can no longer go to food pantries because of this same thing. I'll stop with the forward speculation now. It's so easy to catastrophize. Breathe.

I had received the SNAP re-application the 2nd week in December and mailed it out to them the day after-it was easy to fill out because there were no changes. They have it set up that way.

I want to scream, and also kick myself. Whenever I do any sort of document or official communication I always photo copy it, and remind other people also the wisdom of doing so. But I've been injured and ill, and lack the means as always to copy or scan anything at home. I need to go out to a copy center to make photo copies. Hurt knees means going down the stairs is an ordeal. And the form was so simple, it seemed like a formality (I'd not had to renew before). Stupid, stupid, stupid.

It infuriates me when Republicans, some Libertarians, and others vilify SNAP and those on it as a corrupt program full of cheaters. It is SO hard to get onto, in my experience. I have work experience gathering supporting documentation to meet requirements (in my case I was enrolling cancer patients onto clinical trials), so knew how to and did provide supportive documentation for each and every necessary point. I still was denied the first time and to this date no one can figure out why. I had applied through the generic state office-note I'm in MA so the people might be even more inclined to help theoretically than some places. It was a hungry 6 months after denial. I tried again because I wasn't eating well, this time going through my local office talking to an actual human being. I submitted the exact same data, identical application, and was approved. Because I was eligible and always had been.

Now the automated voice tells me that SNAP is no longer handled by local offices in my state. You no longer have your own assigned human being, ie case manager, who you deal with ongoingly. Instead, you call and after a lengthy phone tree, can be connected with a random "case manager", seemingly a different person each time. I find it difficult to believe that a random worker could be particularly motivated to help me or others they have no relationship with, if it appears I/we broke a rule. I have trouble believing it would be material to them when I claim to have sent in my application when I cannot prove it. I imagine they have a list of rules and are unlikely to be in the position to bend them. They may have less autonomy than people in local offices. I have in mind the first time the statewide office rejected my application which was identical to the one that was later approved. I will soon find out.

It just felt so damn cruel to hear the disembodied voice intoning that I had not been in touch with them to submit documents in 2 years so they closed my case. Period. I wanted to argue with that voice. Since they recently switched their system, did it/they think perhaps the mistake might be on Their end? I am only one person dealing with one application, while they have thousands. Isn't it more likely they lost my one of thousands than I lost my very important one of one? Why didn't they Warn me they were closing my case?!, This is what ran through my head, rational or not.

I strongly suspect the random person I might finally reach tomorrow will be saying the same thing. You didn't send it in. Period. I fear it will be like the first time I applied. I can't prove I sent their renewal documentation. My only logical supporting argument is that I'd have to be a crazy person to have not have sent it in, since my life setup hinges on receiving SNAP for food.

I'm sitting here at midnight wanting to "tell someone". It's excruciating to have to wait to move forward on this, for good or ill, until tomorrow morning. Now maybe I'll sleep some!

We will see. Let my intuition be wrong about how this will go tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Addendum: wow Rec list! Am honored and touched. I didn't sleep last night unfortunately, so will be now and back later.

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Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate it. Happy holidays to the rest of you. I know I'm taking a risk in posting a diary so short and seemingly for this purpose, as I realize we all can't do this. I wanted to convey my deep gratitude and care for this community, but can't diary at length (I'm not a good writer) in order to express my reflections on DK and what it means to me. I wish happiness and peace to you all-so many sincere, caring people who strive for a better world. Thank you for striving.

Poll below.

Poll

How will you spend Christmas day?

6%5 votes
31%26 votes
24%20 votes
24%20 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
8%7 votes
2%2 votes
1%1 votes

| 82 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

The fascinating Implicit Associations tests pick up knee-jerk, subconscious biases. Harvard has ongoing online research using these tests, which thousands of people have taken. Anyone can participate through an easy process. You can investigate your own biases as well as support their very important research into these issues. My own result for the racial bias (and age bias) tests I took a few months ago were surprising to me, even though I thought I knew where I stood in my biases.

Here is the link to the test:  https://implicit.harvard.edu/...

Focusing on the racial associations tests, according to the study so far, 70% of Americans (they don't divide the results by race) show a bias against Black people. The website does not trumpet this pivotal finding, but they do discuss/mention it. Perhaps this is because the study is still ongoing so they consider the results officially "preliminary". I know that researchers bend over backwards to not be or appear to be biased toward their own findings until they are as ironclad as possible. Yet again, thousands have taken this test and their technique of testing biases, their tool, has been show in the past to be effective.

The study findings explain the too-common white reaction to Obama and why many of the subtly and not so subtly racist-tinged insist they are not racist when we call out their irrational and outsized level of anger, antipathy, distrust, negativity, and judgement towards him. I think it explains some of the anger and outraged reactions they have to our calling-out and why they say those that accuse them of racism are making it up, or as they say "playing the race card". Many just aren't fully aware of their own racism. This doesn't let them off the hook for their racism-they need to root it out and work to vanquish it as many white people of good will and open mind strive to do. Of course, there are also the outwardly racist who know they are and think it is right, and probably many more who would vociferously defend themselves against charges of racism when they know they harbor those feelings. I suspect that certain politicians and right wing "journalists" and pundits fall into that latter category.

The results support our intuitive understanding in explaining much of the disparity in police reactions to Black people. especially during all-to-common episodes of violent over-reactions, which often require quick decisions around relative "danger". If the automatic snap judgement is that Black people are "bad" and "dangerous" or "criminal" (these kind of negative word associations are tested for against various races in the study) and that is the involuntarily judgement of many police officers, the implications are dire for Black people in interaction with Police. Even if a Black person is within eye shot of an officer, it would seem (if I interpret the study correctly-dicuss!) there is a more than even chance that the person would register as more 'suspicious' to him than a white person would. Thus, we get the walking while Black, driving while Black, breathing while Black that we all see.

There is of course also "being on trial while Black". The ramifications and usefulness of this study seem profound in when contemplating and addressing the inequality and lack of justice in the criminal "justice" system. It seems the majority of Americans from all walks of life have at least some implicit bias against Black people. My interpretation is that testing positive for implicit bias means one is not completely under control of one's prejudiced reactions even if one does work on trying to eliminate them as such professionals should. Even if legal professionals and judges were working to be equally fair to all, the study suggests the possibility that many may not have their knee-jerk biases fully under control. Moreover, with this study we can now show the likelyhood that many jurors start off with an implicit bias against Black defendants. It would be interesting if judges, prosecutors, and juries were tested for implicit bias. Even now, it would seem the study could be used to help Black defendants. Perhaps someone who is a lawyer could clarify how the results of this study,when the researchers deem in completed, should and could be used in the justice system to level the playing field for Black Americans. Surely this information needs to be used for this purpose if it is not.

It is a shame that the MSM or even, as far as I know, the left leaning media, hasn't reported on the study and its significant and currently very relevant findings and implications. It seems important for the public to be broadly aware of our ubiquitous bias against Black people-surely it will shape the important discussions on race we are having and influence people into examining their own racism and knee jerk biases. Our opinions and intuitions about this bias hold less weight with the unconvinced than the results of a study of thousands done at Harvard. So, I hope you will join me in spreading the word about the study.  All of us can use the, at least preliminary,results of this study as the perfect counter argument to people expressing racism who are insisting they are not and that we are "playing the race card". It seems to be unbiased evidence of what Black people viscerally know and experience and what intuitive and open non-Black people also perceive. And it is the counter argument to the noxious ideas the right wing and Fox push that there really is just something wrong with Black people that entirely explains their relative difficulties in getting ahead in education, careers and many areas as well as their higher incarceration rates and "criminality".

What is largely wrong, seemingly, is that 70% of Americans have a subconscious, instant, negative judgement of Black people.

Discuss

I believe that these new voter restrictions (voter ID laws and the cutting back of early voting hours) have broad public support in part because many people do not understand the nuances of the lives of lower income people and thus how and why these laws have a disproportionate impact on this one demographic over others. I feel that Democrats and other understanding people who care about equal access to voting have fallen down in their responsibility of getting this across to the public forcefully enough to overcome the Republican's efforts. My guess is that many Democrats think their reasoning is obvious-but in my experience with this issue it is not obvious to many people. In the relative vacuum of this lack of coordinated and assertive effort to educate the public, Republican  "reasonable-sounding" rationales for instituting these new restrictions have convinced many people that such laws are just and fair.

Although I believe that Republican politicians very largely are motivated by the desire to stop Democratic-leaning voters from voting, their rationale sounds reasonable to people ignorant of the differences in low-income people's lives. Many Americans do not realize that, with a low income, it is very often much harder to accomplish many daily tasks and logistics and why that is. They don't understand how and why accessing needed information or even voting can be much more challenging. This lack of understanding is the key reason many people cannot grasp why these laws are unjust and, I believe, one reason why Republicans are getting away with what they are doing so easily.

I feel strongly that we need to explain over and over, as often as possible and publicly, the reasons why these new laws disproportionately poor people, even if we give the benefit of the doubt and assume in the moment for sake of reaching more people that that is only a "side effect" of these laws. I include the President in the "we" as he can be very effective at explaining the rational behind issues to people (his explaining how things feel to the African American community around the killing of Trayvon Martin and the trial of his killer comes to mind), and of course the President has the ear of the media when he speaks.

The following is my experience based on working and living in a low income, mixed race (about 50% African American) city community:

1. Poor people are more likely to work two or more jobs (show statistic), or when they do work (percentage) they are more likely to work 2 or more jobs.

2. Those jobs are more likely to be of low prestige and with less flexibility than the sort of jobs higher income people have. If poor people miss/are late for work, they are more likely to get disciplined or even fired. They cannot take off work to vote or go to municipal offices

3. More poor people than higher income people lack transportation (ie a car) so getting to the polls in a timely/easy way AND getting to municipal offices to get ID can be more difficult. Many in cities rely on (somewhat unpredictable) public transportation/buses. This means it takes often much longer than drivers to get to places

4. Without a car, many more low income people, particularly in the city, do not have a driver's license than higher income people (show percentages). So, unlike most higher income people it is THEY that would have to figure out and go to get a special new voter ID

5. People argue that "everyone" should or must have an ID. YOu need one to buy a house, take out a loan, even go to the bank or get a job, they say. THat  norm is actually is for the middle and upper class lifestyle. IT is true for some poor people but MANY more of them do not regularly use ID because they--rent or live with friends/relatives and do not buy a house nor take out loans. Many more work at jobs that don't check ID. Importantly, MANY more do not even have BANK ACCOUNTS. I think the last especially is what Most people do not get.

6. More poor people than higher income people do not have a computer/easy internet access in order to get information, addresses, locations to both find where to vote and, more usually, to find out WHat documents they need to vote, Where to get them, How to get there, When the offices are open and What documents to Bring. This makes even FINDING information Much more burdensome. In a way, some low income people live in the 1980s.

7. Some low income people don't even have a cell phone to make calls. And the kind of labor they do tends to be the kind where they are NOT at a desk like many higher income people. They don't have easy access to a phone to make calls to find out where to go and what to do. And as we all know, calls to hotlines and municipal offices often require many minutes waiting on hold. Lower income workers, as above, often do not have the kind of jobs that have the flexibility to make such phone calls, unlike higher income workers.

8. Lower income workers struggle more with childcare and cannot afford to pay for it themselves very usually. Babysitters make the same or more income on average than low income workers, at least in my city. With the longer lines for voting (many hours often), people cannot take their children usually...they cannot endure it.

ALL these things contribute to lower income workers (a) having great difficulty getting the ID required (b) getting free on ONE PARTICULAR DAY-including someone to watch children (the one Tuesday that is election day) in order to vote.

Lower income people need--much more than middle class and wealthier people--multiple chances/days to try to be able to vote because of barriers in their lives that others do not have. Some of these-like work-are examples of a person being responsible (to counter an argument on the right), and all are legitimate. If some sort of ID is required it people need ample time before the requirements take effect, then need to be very clear, widely publicized, and easy to get. I think in fact the required ID should be anything that proves someone is who they say they are--student ID's, work ID's, bills in their name, or even a handwritten note that is notarized.

The required ID can't be something that is almost impossible for certain people to get. Just getting together the records/documents needed to even get your ID is burdensome for most people-as many of us have experienced if we've lost our driver's licenses. Imagine (and encourage others to imagine) you lack a car, internet access or easy daytime access to make lengthy phone calls; anyone can see it could be impossibly burdensome. Add to that, when you have a very low income, the priority is food and shelter(rent usually) for you/your family and oftentimes you are urgently to frantically spending your time/resources to meet those immediate and pressing needs. Those that do not struggle often have no idea of the draining toll. Those life-sustaining efforts often must take priority over the daunting and time-draining task of finding out what kind of ID you need to vote at some later date down the line-and where/when to get it, figuring out how you can logistically get there, getting and filling out forms, finding addresses to send them to, in order to get documents (if you can) needed to get another document, your ID.

The result of these laws is that states involved will be requiring these new hurdles from nearly exclusively people who have low incomes and are most pressed already. Most middle-income and better off people have driver's licenses. It feels cruel ("jump through these hoops or you can't vote") and is unjust.  Frankly, these laws are "unAmerican", although many do not like that term, it is one that many Americans, particularly Republicans, understand and it is apt I believe in this case. If you prefer, it could be said that these laws go against the core of what our country is said to be about.

I hope you will join me in the effort to explain the legitimate reasons why low income people, of all demographics, will be greatly and negatively effected by cutting back on early voting and by requiring specific/special ID. Please join me in loudly and persistently affirming how and exactly why these laws are unjust and impact certain groups disproportionately. Maybe with all our combined efforts the pubic will begin to question the impact of these laws.

Thanks for reading!

Discuss

I know this seems obvious. Many of us here are politically connected and may assume everyone is aware that we have a primary tomorrow and what the stakes are. But in my travels today in Boston, I had a variety of appointments and interactions with a large number of people and the majority are NOT AWARE that there is a primary tomorrow. I have felt that the media has not discussed it as much as necessary as well. I counted random interactions with approximately 15 people (neighbors, people on bus, taxi drivers, people in PT office etc varying walks of life) and not one was planning on voting tomorrow!

So I swallowed my fear that I am telling people what they already know and put it out on email and Facebook why to vote, and why it's important. I think in MA Democrats that are somewhat less political may not vote in primaries-especially for non-executive roles-because they think the candidates will vote in the legistlature largely the same, anyway. I've heard that as a rationalization not to show up.

This year, it matters more on the Democratic side. Lynch is a social conservative. His vote history and rating suggest that he is not always a reliable vote. He is largely antiChoice and in the next few years that may come to matter in the Senate. I think he is a good man, but I can't trust him to vote the way the average Democrat in MA would want him to vote. The other issue is that he may have trouble beating the Republican. We already will have difficulty because these low turnout special elections favor them as it is, and voters seem particularly tired and disinterested now. Lynch against the "generic Republican" might not stimulate much enthusiastic Dem turnout. I would hate to have another 'Scott Brown" type debacle. I saw that Coakley was going to loose 5 weeks before the election when they started talking about it being "hers for the taking" on the news. I dont' want a Republican slipping in because of voter turnout and Dems not being able to muster enthusiasm to even show up to vote

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I wanted to start this diary in advance to remind people (who are close enough to MA to watch) of the debate tonight (Wed 3/27 at 7pm) between Congressmen Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch. Maybe this can be a place where we can come to discuss the debate after and perhaps inspire other Kossacks to contribute to Markey's campaign in the ways that they can.

The debate takes place at and will be broadcast live on WCVB Channel 5 in Needham MA. If you can go, there will be a gathering outside the studio of Markey supporters organized by the campaign (they will have signs). This is an important moment in the campaign so people are needed to show Ed Markey that we are standing with him.  I wish I could go but since I can't, I'm hoping to inspire some (more) of you. You can sign up here (they will watch the debate togeather also, at a restaurant).:  

https://docs.google.com/...

If you would like to learn more about Congressman Markey, volunteer with or donate to the campaign you can do so here:
http://www.edmarkey.com/

The more I learn about Ed Markey the more I like him, and the more I am perplexed that I did not even know who he was until a few short months ago. Yes, I was born, raised, and lived in Eastern MA most of my life (hangs head in shame) and didn't really know who he was. I am concerned I am not alone in that.

This is Ed Markey:

-100% rating by Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
-100% rating by NAACP
-100% rating by NARAL-Ed has always been Pro-Choice
-F rating from the NRA (a badge of honor!)

Ed has been a progressive leader on energy and environmental policy; he voted No on the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. He is endorsed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, John Kerry, Sierra Club, Barney Frank, National Education Association, Progressive Massachusetts, NARAL, Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, MoveOn (and more).

He is my kind of Democrat. Steven Lynch is not. Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed called Lynch a "a pro-life, Iraq War-supporting, ObamaCare-fighting Congressman who once opposed an assault weapons ban and gay rights" and the member who is "routinely identified as the most socially conservative of the Massachusetts delegation (including former Republican Senator Scott Brown)" and says that "he could have trouble even winning in a statewide general election". Wikipedia concurs in this assessment, oracle that it is.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/...

Best of luck to both candidates tonight for a thoughtful, respectful and intelligent debate that shows the watching public why we need this Senate seat to go to a Democrat-and preferably one who reliably votes that way.

Discuss

This will be brief. I've been receiving incendiary negative attack literature from Brown campaign this fall. Just got the mail, and find another missive from Brown.

This one looks good visually..has two columns comparing the candidates and Yes or No in each column, with text underneath explaining the position. "Hmmm", some undecided/uniformed voter might think, "that seems reasonable".  Of course Warren's list is a bunch of hooey.

Example item on list: "Protecting Medicare"
Warren- "NO-"Warren supports over $700 billion in cuts for CURRENT SENIORS (caps mine) on Medicare..."
Brown-"YES- Scott believes that Medicare is a solemn promise to seniors and voted to reverse recent cuts to the program. He believes no current senior, nor anyone nearing retirement, should suffer cuts..."

As if Elizabeth does not!? He tells us she is slashing current seniors. Bald faced lie as we know that the cuts were payments to insurance companies not in services.

I resent having lies in my mailbox. I never hated Scott Brown until he started doing this. I wish there were some sort of response from the public that could make him pay for his lies. Loosing his Senate seat will be one, of course.

I can't recall ever seeing this level of bald face lying in races in my state. I think that Romney's unprecedented lying on the national level has trickled down and given a green light to down ballot candidates to lie just like him. Or, it could be only that Scott Brown's campaign is being run by the same people who run Romney's. What do you think? Is there more bald face lying everywhere this year or is it just Romney and Brown? Or has it always been this way in some places and I just don't know/realize it here in MA?

My concern is that the unprecedented level of mendacity of the Romney campaign for President might be bad for our country long term even if he looses, if he's set a new precedent of how much lying is allowed in a campaign. I hope that is not the case. I don't want this to be the norm.

Discuss

I've gotten close to a neighbor's children, because they see me garden and come over and want to talk to me while I work. We talk about growing things, plants and animals, and their sweet dog. With their parents I'm neighborly-but we are not friends, which is not unusual in this city neighborhood.

This is a very religious, church going (Catholic) family. They seem to be Republicans because last month their eight year old son commented on my Elizabeth Warren window sign and said that his parents "don't like her" nor do the like Obama either. Then both of them peppered me with questions about why I like Warren and Obama. The older one said they had been talking about in school as well and they had all voted for President there and Obama had won. I just gave my honest, personal views without putting their parent's views down. Circumstances like this can be hard for me because I dearly love all children and see them as their own people and the future of our country, as well as being "other people's" children and not my business at all. I worked hard to be very brief as well as being respectful of the parents -I escaped indoors as soon as I could.

This boy (the older child) is a beautiful human being...one of those with seemingly innate emotional intelligence and caring -I saw him stand up for a child that was being bullied even though he's not super outgoing himself. He is very tender with animals and has a lot of friends. He is just gifted that way-sunny, agreeable, and sensitive.

Last Sunday afternoon this child wandered over and asked me, kind of teasingly, if I wanted to know what he prayed for at church. So I nodded.

He then told me  "I prayed that Obama wins so he stays our President. I've liked him all along and I don't like the other guy". (!!) The he ran home.

I was speechless.

We are in Massachusetts so I am sure I'm not the only one who may have rubbed off on him, and he had that experience in school too. Yet, it Seems like, at eight, he made up his own mind from what he's hearing around him and the fact that he sees our President and trusts him. He is so young to even entertain an opinion that is different from his parents'.

I"ve always found him to be a very perceptive child.

Kinda have to tip toe around this one with my neighbors though.

Discuss

Please forgive me if this isn't well written and slow to get to the point (it gets better I think); I have an injured arm and it hurts to type (and, I see, edit) but I am extremely concerned about a missed opportunity in the debate to counter a false narrative Romney is now putting out there, and that is giving undecided voters a reason to vote for him. I have posted the ideas on this site amongst you well informed and motivated folks, but the response has not been strong so I am worried that OFA might also be missing this.

Romney's new narrative to make him seem like a plausable Chief Executive to the uninformed voter ("because he did it before successfully") is being pushed whenever he works into whatever he was saying comments/"data" that "show" he was a bipartisan, moderate, and very successful Governor of MA. He did that numerous times last night, peppering many of his answers with these kinds of comments as well as painting that picture more directly in some responses. As far as I experienced/recall, NONE of these instances and the (false) picture of Romney as Governor they come together to paint were ever countered by the President last night (examples below). I am sure there are others. Taken all together, it painted a story that some low information undecided people fell for, unfortunately. It must be countered.

We here all know that for most of the campaign Romney ran away from talking about his role in MA. Now he's etch-a-sketching and I think the lack of response to this part of his flip flop is allowing him to successfully redefine himself. It's best to counter lies and false narratives during a debate (so many, I know it's hard) but this one is VERY IMPORTANT to counter and it was not, as far as I noticed.

Please do not dismiss this diary as Obama-bashing or being unsatisfied overall. I thought our President was great last night and I was proud.  However, I want him to win so denial of what could have been done better and what may NEED to be done better -and may be rectifiable at least somewhat still on the campaign trail and in the next debate -will not serve him, or us. I do understand that picking up and countering ALL of the lies, or at least choosing correctly the best ones to use one's time on to counter, is daunting and unprecedented given the shear volume of the falsehoods coming from Romney at all times.

Our President is a good man, and motivated to lead us another four years NOT for personal glorification but because he loves our country, I believe, and thinks (correctly) that the alternative would erase the progress he has made. It is horrible to think that he could loose simply because in a debate, where it is by far the best to happen--and as we saw in the first debate--he misses calling out some untruths that then leave undecided voters thinking Romney is a reasonable option.

I saw a few panels and interviews with undecided voters after the debate last night. I've also been on social media and heard the same. After the debate there were undecideds who were convinced to or leaning toward voting for Romney and one MAIN reason they had was that "he did a good job in Massachusetts". Someone said he lead a Democratic state so obviously his claims that he'd be bipartisan and "make Washington work again" may well be true. He made MA really good in education...etc etc. Those voters were probably also pleased that Romney balanced all four budgets in MA as well.

They did not hear that "bipartisan" Romney governed to the right of where he ran. They have not heard that Romney has a history of running and then changing his views after taking office, betraying the voters trust. They did not hear that the only reason the budget in MA was balanced is because it is STATE LAW. They did not hear (and need a reminder) that in MA the Senate and House are so solidly Dem that any Governor MUST work with them or they will not get anything whatsoever done. They did not hear that Romney vetoed over EIGHT HUNDRED bills (when I recently heard the number myself I found it flabbergasting and telling but not a PEEP from Obama last night on this when Romney talked about be bipartisan...and I have not heard anything on the campaign trail either). THREE QUARTERS of those vetoes were overridden by the legislature. It paints quite a different picture of Romney's supposed bipartisanship when these facts are thrown back at him when he claims it. Hearing that Romney created jobs in MA last night was nauseating for this MA resident, especially not hearing from Obama that MA was 47th in the country under Romney for job creation. Hearing Romney claim our low unemployment while in office uncountered worries because at the time he was in office our unemployment rate was average for the country as a whole. And he inherited a highly rated education system...he did not put it there and statistics prove that. He managed not to tank it, that is all.

In the aftermath of the first debate Obama's polls took a devastating plunge that he never, as of yet, completely recovered from. We must go FORWARD, not back, but at the same time learn from why that was. Many, including myself, think it is because undecided and uninformed voters (we have to accept people where they are at and not judge them...we have to work with what is so) saw another "reasonable" choice for President and they could then vote Obama out (likely because of the economy). Many of us agree that Romney appeared "reasonable" only because he completely changed what he stood for and lied, but that was not called out. People assumed that if neither the President (nor the moderator) said something that countered a Romney lie, it must be acceptable as fact to them. Obama has tried to call out those falsehoods after the fact but it has been much less effective, I believe, than if he had not let Romney get away with them. He was in a very difficult position.

I talked to some MA supporters of the President who saw what I saw; last night Romney pushed on almost every response his narrative of successful bipartisan governance of MA. They too were worried about undecided voters falling for it. Maybe we in MA are hypersensitive (in the best way...not over reacting but picking up patterns that, as partisan supporters we otherwise might miss) to when Romney speaks about MA. Maybe undecided voters picked it up too because they don't have preconceived notions, as we do, of Romney being a flip flopping liar-they sadly are unaware of this history.

I live in MA so I am hypersensitive to the tall tales Romney now chooses to tell about MA. I felt entirely betrayed by Romney when my Governor spent much of his term (IIRC almost one full year of the four) out of state dissing and dismissing HIS state and the people he was ELECTED to represent in his lead up to running for President the first time around. Earlier in the race this time, he ran away from what he did in MA and seemed to regard the HONOR of being elected to serve as our Governor as not worth talking about. He disgusted me. He does not deserve to get away with his lies about his governance of my state and he CERTAINLY does not deserve to be President.

Now, What the heck to we do about this? This isn't a vendetta against Romney (lol) I really think he's clearing a path toward votes on the "he was a good Governor he did it before" angle, uncountered with the truth. I was appalled in oh so many ways when I heard from undecided voters that they were leaning or voting for Romney because he was a "successful bipartisan Governor". It is so wrong.

Discuss

Tonight I convinced 2 NH voters to vote for Obama!
I'd signed up on the website just tonight.
Made calls from home.
Had some time because my plans got cancelled.

Really only spent about 2 hrs total doing it...I could break it up to work for my night (I was cooking soup). They had me call NH probably because I live in MA..

I am really moved, really floored.  I heard "no one has ever explained it to me like that". The guy said "I can't believe I'm saying this but you convinced me". AMAZING!

Obama's script is very basic and it seems like the don't hate if you go off script...encourage you to tell personal stories. So unlike the calls I made for Kerry or even Obama last time where the script was so rigid...I felt like I could be myself without "doing it wrong". I know too much to stay on a rigid script.

I found that understanding that the people were making a valid choice given what they know really helped. IN NH at least, most undecided voters are socially moderate to liberal. Truth is, that should be enough for them to vote against Romney if that stuff matters enough. So many in NH are fiscally conservative as well so I have to work showing that Obama is actually a moderate there...the whole package really is palatable even for fiscal moderates to conservatives when they really get the alternative. It wouldn't be if they were so completely ideological on that point that they were Republicans but I am not CALLING Republicans!

One guy was completely in the middle but reasonably informed, the other was a woman who was leaning Romney.

I got to her on the women's rights stuff. She was the typical person who was just too busy (raising teenagers, working, caring for aged parents) to pay close attention to the election until she tuned in on debate night. She'd known Romney as "not a crazy person" when he governed in MA, directly to her south (she worked in MA, like many do in S. NH). I told her that it's normal she, being in NH not MA doesn't realize that Romney seemed more reasonable as Governor only because he had not been Allowed to be crazy here. He could not have accomplish anything in MA without the assent of strong Dem House and Senate...he was forced to be more moderate than he felt. ( He vetoed something like 800 bills and his veto was simply overridden most of the time. WHY THAT IS NOT OUT THERE is a mystery!). I also reminder her that Romney had run as a moderate but changed his positions after he was elected and many in MA felt betrayed. This is a prelude to what we are seeing now from Romney running for President, I believe.

I live in MA. I had frame for telling her what's really so.

I validated her feelings and also that OF COURSE she'd think Romney was a moderate based on the info she had.

I ended up almost crying on the phone with her, to be honest. It was quite a personal call and what she said and the higher purpose of what I was doing was really moving. I did spend more time then they probably want (about 10 min). It was worth the time.

This woman I spoke longest with is one of the people who if duped to vote for Romney would be voting, due to misinformation, severely against her best interest.  (including Obama's not countering and calling out Romney in the debate which made her believe that later calling Romney a liar was just political, understandably).

Her mom is a frail elder on Medicaid and she could not have her life and care for her...she did not know about the cuts to Medicaid that will be immediate and dangerous in a state like NH.

She promised me she would vote for Obama. SHe has daughters.

I am just so moved by how easy this was and floored I had not done it this time around before and upset that I did not because in one night I convinced two voters.

You can do this too. You really can help. If 100 of us had convinced just a few voters each...can happen in certainly...states can be won. We've seen it. Elections can be won or lost literally on what we do.

Please join me. It costs us nothing...not even time in how it is set up. You have a free moment...make one call. I never got this was so until tonight.

(read below about why I realize I did not do this before).

Poll

What have you done/will you do to support the President's re-election?

66%81 votes
10%13 votes
6%8 votes
7%9 votes
1%2 votes
1%2 votes
5%7 votes

| 122 votes | Vote | Results

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