September 25, 2012

Forty lives, $562,474

Tuesday is the day my local paper, the Syracuse Post-Standard, publishes bizX, the weekly business section.

In addition to special features, tips from stock experts, budgeting advice and the like, we get the judgment and bankruptcy listings.

This week, 33 people were listed with new judgments totaling $478,716 to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers.

This week, five people were listed having satisfied judgments totaling $57,261 to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers.

This week, two people were listed in the bankruptcy section with a hospital, doctor, or other medical provider as the major unsecured creditor, totaling $26,497.

September 21, 2012

A Wicked Twist of Fate

Back in the spring of 2009 My Sweet Baboo Patrick and I went on a vacation to North Carolina.  We stayed away from the beaches; instead we flew into Charlotte, picked up our rental car, and headed to Asheville.  We spent a wonderful week wandering around, visiting Biltmore, and enjoying the gorgeous mountains.  (See three old posts on our trip, here, here and here.) We also managed to find some wineries to visit, something that we always seem to do no matter where we go on vacation. 

One of more memorable visits to any winery, anywhere, was to Rockhouse Vineyards, outside Tryon, NC. The day we found this winery, it was overcast, with some lingering drizzle; for us the decision to forgo a trek in the mountains and instead track down wineries was an easy one, and Rockhouse was a great find.  Set back from the road, with a long winding driveway leading up to the tasting room, there were trees just starting to flower, and some fascinating old ruins -- the chimneys were the best, listing a bit drunkenly, inviting us to stop and take pictures on the way up the drive. Aren't they beautiful?

The small tasting room had a bar, clad in copper -- it was absolutely gorgeous! There was also a huge fireplace opposite the bar, and although it wasn’t lit, I could easily imagine parking myself in front of it with a nice glass of Meritage.
It was not just the ambiance of the tasting room that made the visit so memorable; it was Jean-Jacques, who manned the tasting room that day.  He was a transplanted Frenchman who landed in North Carolina after falling in love with a girl in Florida, if I remember correctly.  It turns out the girl was originally from Marietta, not that far from us.  We discovered this during an all-over-the-map conversation with him; since we were the only people at the winery, we had his undivided attention, and we had a blast.  Turns out he had a pretty good memory of the Syracuse and Central New York area, having been here visiting his in-laws over the years, so we talked not only about the wines and North Carolina, but about Central New York as seen through a visitor’s eyes, something I always find refreshing.
We tasted every wine available, and particularly enjoyed the French Door, a port-style wine that cried out for chocolate, cheese, and raspberries.  Our purchases (of course we purchased!) ended up bubble-wrapped then rolled carefully in sweatshirts for the trip back home in our checked luggage. Fortunately, everything made it back safely, and we’ve enjoyed our Rockhouse wines several times over the years.

So why write about Rockhouse now, three and a half years later?  I just read an email from them saying they were closing the winery for good early next month.  Not because of the economy, but because of a wicked twist of fate.  Lee Griffin, the owner and wine-maker, has battled cancer and has had his sense of taste compromised by his radiation treatment – and as the email puts it, “As a winemaker, nothing could be more frustrating.” I can’t even imagine.
I'm glad I was able to find my old pictures, and also very glad I found a bottle of French Door on the rack today. Tonight, we’ll raise a glass to Lee, his wife Marsha, and to Jean-Jacques, wherever he is – best wishes, and thanks for the wonderful memories.

September 19, 2012

Poll Watch: NY’s 24th District (part 2)

Siena College Research warned me. 

“Voters in the 24th congressional district should brace themselves for an eight week barrage of television and radio commercials – positive and negative – paid for by the candidates, the parties, and independent expenditure groups.” 
After seeing at least five, possibly six ads during the last half-hour of the local news tonight, I can assure you the barrage has begun.  And here’s why.
Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle are in a dead heat to represent the district in the House. That’s right: a dead heat for two candidates who fought long, hard and ugly in 2010, only to have Buerkle declared the winner by fewer than 700 votes.  Both candidates are carrying baggage from that fight, from Maffei’s one term before being unseated, and from Buerkle’s first term – and that baggage shows in the poll results.
Consider these numbers:

Favorability: Maffei leads this one, with a 49% favorable/37% unfavorable, compared to Buerkle’s 44/44.  Maffei had a higher don’t know/no opinion number, 14% to 11%.
Reach: Both candidates have reached out – a lot. 63% of those polled had seen a Maffei ad, been contacted by the Maffei campaign, or both. On the other side, it was 65% who had seen a Buerkle ad, been contacted by her campaign, or both.  This number is sure to increase.  

Issues:  On health care (44% to 41%), education (46% to 38%), jobs (43% to 40%), taxes (45% to 40%) the Afghan war (38% to 36%), and representing the needs of our community in Washington (44% to 42%), Maffei leads. On only one issue – the federal deficit – does Buerkle lead, 43% to 41%. Education and taxes are the only issues where the gap is not covered by the survey's 3.9% margin of error.
Strength of support: Democrats more strongly support Maffei (73%) than Republicans do Buerkle (66%), but Independents lean much more heavily toward Buerkle, by a 45% -36% margin. And only 13% of folks polled said they ‘may very well’ change their minds (9%), or there’s a ‘good chance’ (4%) that they’re going to change their minds.

So all these ads we’re seeing – twice as many this week as last week, by my estimate – are all looking to sway a very small percentage of the district’s population.  I almost wish those folks would all go to the Carrier Dome, watch the ads and listen to the propaganda together, then talk amongst themselves. Once they made up their minds, they could wave a white flag, and security could escort them out and let them go home.
Meanwhile, back in The Valley, I could enjoy television the way it was intended, with commercials for miracle kitchen supplies, car dealerships, personal injury law firms,  fast food restaurants, and prescription drug companies.

September 18, 2012

Tuesday's Number: Fifteen lives, $121,900

Yep, that's not a mistake, the headline says Tuesday's Number, not Monday's number.

Today, my hometown paper the Syracuse Post-Standard kicked off a whole new business section, the CNY Business Exchange, or bizX.  The new section includes many new features, along with the judgments, judgment satisfactions, and bankruptcies that were always included in Monday's paper. 

This week, thirteen people were listed with new judgments to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers totaling $108, 832. 

This week, one person was listed as having satisfied a judgment to a hospital, doctor, or other medical provider totaling $7,522.

This week, one person was listed in the bankruptcies section with a hospital, doctor, or other medical provider as the major unsecured creditor, totaling $5,546.

September 16, 2012

Poll Watch: NY's 24th District (part one)


Earlier this month, Siena College surveyed 625 likely voters in New York's 24th congressional district, where I currently live. The 24th is currently represented by Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who's running against Democrat Dan Maffei, the man she beat in 2010 by the slightest of margins.  I'll focus on the Buerkle/Maffei race later in the week; first we'll look at the larger picture the survey presents.

Our district has a slight Republican majority, but that doesn’t amount to much oomph for the Republican candidates.  At the top of the ticket, Obama (57% favorable/41% unfavorable) and Vice President Joe Biden (53/42) are rated higher than Romney (39/56) and Congressman Paul Ryan (36/48); and we’d vote to re-elect Obama/Biden by a 19% margin.  

No one holds a candle to Governor Andrew Cuomo in this category; he scored a 75% favorable/19% unfavorable rating.  Even Republicans like Cuomo, with only 18% having an unfavorable opinion, against 66% favorable. It's constantly speculated that Cuomo, a Democrat, may throw his hat into the ring in 2016, although he's not commenting on that.

So what's on our mind in the 24th? On the issues, Democrats and Republicans do what you’d expect, but the Independents are more interesting:
  • We sort of like the Affordable Care Act, with 52% favoring quickly and fully implementing it, compared with 42% in favor of repeal; Independents are split 47/47.
  • We don’t like the Bush tax cuts for incomes over $250K (61% say eliminate them); Independents agree by a large margin; 56% favor eliminating, vs. 41%  keep.
  • On the question of whether we're on the right track or the wrong track, wrong track wins by a very slight margin, 48% to 46%. But 50% of independents thing we're going off the rails.
We also learn that Republicans are not very fond of their front-runner. While a large majority of Democrats say President Obama's position is closer to theirs on four key issues, Businessman Romney doesn't get 50% of the Republicans on any of them.  And on each issue included in the survey – safeguarding Medicare for current and future seniors (20%); ensuring the long-term solvency of Social Security (20%);  implementing comprehensive immigration policy (23%); and addressing women’s reproductive health (21%), at least one in five Republicans bails on Romney, saying neither candidate represents their views. Across the board, more Independents align with Obama (45%, 41%, 34%, and 52%, respectively) than with Romney.

Last, when asked whether we’d like to see the Republicans maintain control of the House of Representatives, or the Democrats take over, 51% of us (including 48% of Independents) would prefer the Dems take over.

September 11, 2012

Sidebar: The local real estate market


Earlier this week, I posted on the benefits that could come from having a Parade of Homes in the city of Syracuse.   The Parade is an annual event held here and in many other areas across the country, where local home builders, interior designers, and landscapers get together to showcase their talents in new housing developments.  My thinking was that the city proper – in our case the employment and cultural center of Onondaga County – would realize benefits across a broad spectrum of measures if that kind of development were to occur within its boundaries.
I wondered, after doing that post, how Onondaga County and the surrounding areas are doing in terms of the real estate market generally.  If someone were to ask me how I thought the market was doing, I’d point to the fact that we still see houses being sold in the wealthier suburbs for half a million dollars and up; I’d point to the number of houses that sell for right around their asking price, according to the weekly real estate section, and I’d probably say we’re not doing as bad as many areas of the country. 

To put my thinking to the test, I did some research and found statistics at  cnyREALTOR.com, the official site of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors and the Central New York Information Service.  The site provides a wealth of information on the local real estate market, including a chart which shows that for sales of existing homes across the 19 county towns and the City of Syracuse:
  • Sales are up overall, compared to 2011;
  • The average sales price across all jurisdictions is up;
  • In 14 of the 20 jurisdictions, the number of homes sold is up; of the remaining six, one is even, and three are only off by one sale;
  • Only two towns are down in both number of sales and average sales price;
  • And in the city of Syracuse, sales are up by 70 homes and the average priceis up $4,100.
Through July, other metrics are also on the rise, including pending sales, closed sales, and affordability.  These figures bump up against a current total of  81 foreclosure properties in Onondaga County, of which 46 are within the city limits. 

Overall, based on these numbers, our local market seems to be in fairly good shape; how are things in your neighborhood?

September 10, 2012

Thirty two lives, $974,056

Monday is the day my local newspaper, the Syracuse Post-Standard, publishes a financial section. Each week, along with tips from stock experts, budgeting advice, and the like, we get the judgment and bankruptcy listings.

This week, twenty seven people were listed with new judgments totaling $660,673 to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers.

This week, three people were listed as having satisfied judgments totaling $65,358 to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers.

This week, two people were listed in the bankruptcy section with a hospital, doctor, or other medical provider as the major unsecured creditor, totaling $248,025.

September 9, 2012

Imagine a Parade of Homes in the City of Syracuse


HBRCNY photo
Every September, the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Central New York (HBRCNY) sponsors the Parade of Homes. The event showcases the talents of many local home builders, decorators and interior designers, and landscapers.  There’s also a strong charitable focus; in addition to the sneak peak charity event held just before the Parade’s opening day, the greeters in each home are typically volunteers for local organizations. 
This year’s Parade of eight homes is in a waterfront development in one of the northern suburbs; previous Parades have been scattered across Onondaga County, and frequently the Parade homes are sold before the event begins. Prices are usually at the higher end of the market, given that the homes are showplaces. For example, a Parade home is the House of the Week today and has already been sold for over $400,000.  At just over 3,900 square feet, it features a rec room with three flat screen TVs (32-inch, 60-inch, and 80-inch), and a swimming pool, along with many other upscale amenities.

I frequently wonder what would happen if the local home builders took a chance on the city, and did some extreme homebuilding (or even extreme remodeling) in Syracuse, instead of continuing to build upscale homes in the outer reaches of the county.  Can you even imagine the impact this could have?
  • new residents, or returning residents, and the energy they'd bring
  • families with children, injecting new blood and interest in the city schools
  • a strengthening of the city tax base
  • reduced stress and traffic during daily drive times, since folks would already be in the city, where most county residents work 
  • the potential for small businesses to spring up in the newly energized neighborhoods
  • reduced impact and stress on the environment, as we'd be developing areas that already had the necessary infrastructure
I appreciate that not everyone wants to live in the city; many folks prefer suburban living because of what if offers, but there are also many who prefer it to what they think city living is like.

After living in the city for more than 30 years, I can assure you that most areas in Syracuse don’t really resemble the stereotype of crime infested drug havens full of welfare people who do nothing but hang out on the street all day.  Rather, there are many areas that are ethnically, economically, and culturally mixed, areas that have both owner-occupied and rental units, areas  that have a strong sense of community centered around libraries, churches, parks, and locally-owned businesses, rather than everything centering around the off-ramp and the strip malls.
Imagine how our city would change if the folks who were able and willing to purchase $400,000 houses with swimming pools and home theaters chose to bring their families, their spending power, their commitment, into a city neighborhood en masse, or into multiple neighborhoods, expanding the opportunities the city offers to all residents?

Picture what could happen if we had a Parade of Homes on the city’s North Side, or Eastwood, or in the NoSen section of The Valley (north of Seneca Turnpike), or out on the Near West Side, where there’s already focused effort to transform the neighborhood?  Picture a concerted effort to transform Midland Ave, or Onondaga Street, or Court Street, or East Fayette Street, to remodel some of the beautiful old homes, restoring them to their past glory?  What if we could create new city neighborhood like Meadowbrook or Sedgwick Farms?
This type of effort focused on immediate home ownership for those who can afford it, coupled with the city’s work getting rid of abandoned properties, the Syracuse Housing Authority’s projects to bring ‘rent to own’ units throughout the city, and those of organizations like Home Headquarters, could transform our city neighborhoods, just as the creation of residential units in the center city is transforming that area.

The local builders are clearly talented; the designers they work with are clearly creative; and there’s clearly a need for residential development within the economic and cultural center of Onondaga County.  
Just imagine the possibilities...

September 8, 2012

Enough Already with the Nazi References

Here are two recent examples of politicians making Nazi references for no reason, one from each party.

The first was John Burton, the chair of the California delegation to the Democratic National Convention, discussing what he believed to be lies told by Republicans.

Here's his apology:
If Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, or the Republicans are insulted by my describing their campaign tactic as the big lie -- I most humbly apologize to them or anyone who might have been offended by that comment. 
And here's why he had to apologize:
They lie and they don't care if people think they lie. As long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know. That was Goebbels, a big lie, they said they don't care about facts. They're going to lie so, I mean, that's not pejorative to them. They probably wear it as a compliment. 
Well, that was a helpful contribution to our political discourse, don't you think?  I mean, I get that people think the R's lied at their convention and on the campaign trail - I feel that way myself sometimes. But Goebbels? Really?

The second was Maryland Republican Roscoe Bartlett, discussing student loans. Yes, student loans, and the fact that in his reading of the Constitution there's no reference to student loans. Clearly, that's a Holocaustic topic if there ever was one, right?

First, his apology:
While explaining my position on an important Constitutional issue I regrettably used an extreme example as a comparison that was ill-advised and inappropriate. I should never use something as horrific as the Holocaust to make a political point, and I deeply apologize to anyone I may have offended.
And here's why he needed to apologize:
Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans; it certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.
 
What happened after their statements was equally interesting. The Romney Jewish  Coalition (who knew?) managed to tie President Obama to the remarks, saying that Obama had "promised to lift up American politics" but his supporters were "bringing it down to the gutter."  Even better, though, was the response from the California Republicans, saying Burton's remarks were
exactly the kind of desperate, deranged rhetoric the Democrats are going to employ to distract voters from their failed record over the past four years.
Hmm. The Desperate Deranged Democratic Demagoguery & Distraction Division has a nice ring to it, I guess.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Rebuild the Dream, an organization representing the 99% (who's acted with assistance from MoveOn.org) immediately called for Barnett's resignation. They have not yet called for Burton's resignation.

Listen: President Obama had nothing to do with this.  Democrats are not going to employ this kind of rhetoric, only foolish people are. And organizations calling for a Republican to resign, but ignoring a Dem who made just as stupid a remark, lose credibility pretty quickly.

Enough already.

September 7, 2012

The Poetry of Sarah Palin

Alaska and I

Yeah, I did say
in Alaska you can see Russia
from our land base
and I was making the point that
we are strategically
located on the globe
and

when it comes to transportation corridors
and resources
that are shared and fought over,
Alaska and I

as the governor
had known what
I was doing
in dealing with some international
issues that had to do with
our resources

that could help
secure the nation

September 6, 2012

Don't Fall For It: Welfare Reform (revisited)

I originally talked about welfare reform a couple of years back, during the heat of the Obama-Romney campaign. I thought of this post again when I read Steve Kimatian's column this past Sunday in the Post-Standard. 

Kimatian, in his wandering trip down a memory lane littered with broken dreams, forgotten strengths, and lost ambition, chose to repeated the oft-maintained Republican contention that President Obama gutted the welfare reform initiatives that have been in place since the (Bill) Clinton era:
After President Clinton established workfare and President Bush continued the practice, President Obama abolished the need for recipients to work for any benefits, all toward the Democrat philosophy of requiring no sacrifice. Yet many of those in the program felt this was misguided, as they enjoyed the opportunity to work and the meaning it gave to their lives.
He got that wrong, folks, just as he got wrong the real meaning of Robert Frost's classic, "The Road Not Taken." As the poem notes, the roads are basically equal. The decision to take on over the other was not about actually taking the road less travelled, it was about saying you took it.  That was the point of my post from September 2012; it's what actually happened, not what people say happened. 
  

The Republicans are saying that President Obama is gutting welfare, eliminating the work requirement, simply handing over checks to beneficiaries. Almost makes me want to quit my day job and go on welfare.

The claim, made in an actual Romney ad (not a Super PAC ad) is ridiculous. Rick Santorum has made the same claim. The Republicans so fiercely believe this that they embedded it in their 2012 Platform - not once, but twice:
We salute Republican Members of the House of Representatives for enshrining in the Rules of the House the requirement that every bill must cite the provision of the Constitution which permits its introduction. Their adherence to the Constitution stands in stark contrast to the antipathy toward the Constitution demonstrated by the current Administration and its Senate allies by...gutting welfare reform by unilaterally removing its statutory work requirement
And again:
The Republican-led welfare reforms enacted in 1996 marked a revolution in government's approach to poverty. They changed the standard for policy success from the amount of income transferred to the poor to the number of poor who moved from welfare to economic independence.  We took the belief of most Americans - that welfare should be hand up not a hand out - and made it law. Work requirements, though modest, were at the heart of this success. That is why so many are now outraged by the current Administration's recent decision to permit waivers for work requirements for welfare benefits, in other words, to administratively repeal the most successful anti-poverty policy in memory. 
So what really happened back in July? An Information Memorandum was issued by HHS, with the purpose of 


encouraging states to consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment. Therefore, HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.
States led the way on welfare reform in the 1990s — testing new approaches and learning what worked and what did not. The Secretary is interested in using her authority to approve waiver demonstrations to challenge states to engage in a new round of innovation that seeks to find more effective mechanisms for helping families succeed in employment.
As described below, however, HHS will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.
Moreover, HHS is committed to ensuring that any demonstration projects approved under this authority will be focused on improving employment outcomes and contributing to the evidence base for effective programs.
And there's more.  The Informational Memorandum was accompanied by a letter which reiterated that this was all about improving employment, not gutting the work requirement.  Here are just a few examples:

On February 28, 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum that directed federal agencies “to work closely with state, local, and tribal governments to identify administrative, regulatory, and legislative barriers in Federally funded programs that currently prevent states, localities, and tribes, from efficiently using tax dollars to achieve the best results for their constituents.”

The Administration for Children and Families took this charge seriously and held a series of consultation meetings with states, tribes, and territories on a variety of topics including TANF. During those consultations, many jurisdictions expressed a strong interest in greater flexibility in TANF and indicated that greater flexibility could be used by states to improve program effectiveness. We also heard concerns that some TANF rules stifle innovation and focus attention on paperwork rather than helping parents find jobs. States offered a range of suggestions for ways in which expanded flexibility could lead to more effective employment outcomes for families. Two states – Utah and Nevada – submitted written comments that specifically identified waivers as one mechanism for testing new approaches to promoting employment and self-sufficiency, and a number of others states – including California, Connecticut, and Minnesota - have asked about the potential for waivers.
States have shown their ability to innovate in ways that help parents find jobs. In 2009 and 2010, 42 states used the TANF Emergency Fund authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create 260,000 subsidized jobs for jobless parents and disadvantaged youth. Over a short period of time, states exhibited enormous creativity as they developed new subsidized employment initiatives that responded to an urgent need for jobs in communities across the country.
It is critical that we work together to develop effective employment strategies that prepare workers for the jobs of the 21st century. We stand ready to work with states interested in developing innovative demonstration projects that test new approaches to helping parents succeed in the labor market. 
Clearly, the Republicans know that what they're saying is simply not true. And just as clearly, we deserve better. 

Politicians need to stop dumbing us down, stop treating us like we're idiots who will fall for whatever nonsense-filled commercial they put on television. 

We're not.  

September 3, 2012

Eighteen lives, $342,452


Monday is the day my local newspaper, the Syracuse Post-Standard, publishes a financial section. Each week, along with tips from stock experts, budgeting advice, and the like, we get the judgment and bankruptcy listings.

This week, fifteen people were listed with new judgments totaling $263,464 to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers.
This week, two people were listed having satisfied judgments totaling $37,368 to hospitals, doctors, or other medical providers.

This week, one person was listed in the bankruptcy section with a hospital, doctor, or other medical provider as the major unsecured creditor, totaling $41,620.

 

September 2, 2012

The Update Desk: 9/2/2012

The other day I posted on a few of my pet peeves when it comes to politicians.

Another of my other favorites is the way some of them manage to make sure the world knows that it revolves around them.  You know what I mean:  the banners at public events large and small proclaiming the politician's undying support of and contributions to the event, as if we didn't know that it's our own tax dollars that the politician is taking credit for spending.

And of course there's the obligatory photo op, whether holding a baby, or a shovel at a ground-breaking for some business, or a sausage sandwich at the New York State Fair. Our capacity for seeing pics of politicians seems only exceeded by their appetite for being in the public eye.

Here's a great example of one of our local pols with his appetite on full display, at the Fair on opening day, which is traditionally Governor's Day. 

That tall guy in the blue blazer in the middle of the picture? That's  Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York.  That short guy to the Gov's right is State Senator John DeFrancisco, who represents part of the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County in Albany.

It's really an unremarkable picture, fairly standard stuff. But again, it's Governor's Day at the Fair...


photo from Sen. DeFrancisco's web site

 ...so it makes perfect sense for the headline on the Senator's website to read "Senator DeFrancisco Kicks Off the Start of the 2012 Great New York State Fair" doesn't it? 

September 1, 2012

Point/Counterpoint: Voter ID Laws

Dateline, the cloud.  A Facebook conversation about Voter ID laws:
If you are poor and apply for welfare you have to have ID, so why can't you afford to get ID to vote?? If you are too poor or lazy to get ID to vote then maybe you shouldn't vote... just saying
 
The big question is, why is this just an issue this election, why was it not an issue back in the day of Nixon, Reagan, Carter, Clinton, Bush I, Bush II? Did voter fraud just fall off the turnip truck when Obama got elected? Or is it really, like the politician from Pennsylvania said, we pass Voter ID and we get Romney elected? 
 
it sounds like Obama can't get re-elected unless he has all these people that can't prove who they are to vote for him.
 Ha ha - sure sounds like Romney can't get elected without these new laws keeping people from voting...
 
Bottom line should be that if you want to vote and be counted get off your lazy ass and get an ID, no reason to not be able to, none what so ever!!!!
 
Boy, I'm sure glad that the Republican National Convention is over and we're not going to be divisive anymore.