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Mandel v Brown, some ads and issues

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Mrs. Columbus Elections 2012 Examiner

If you are satisfied with Barack Obama and Harry Reid, vote for Sherrod Brown. If not, vote for Josh Mandel. This, admittedly facetious sounding litmus test really is the bottom line. It is that simple because Brown supports the Obama 95 percent of time and supports Reid even more.

95 percent of the time?! What happened to the other five percent? Two examples: 1) Brown opposed Obama’s willingness to let the Bush tax cuts continue; and 2) Compared to Obama, Brown has been very supportive of Israel.

In fact, Israel may be the only issue about which Brown and Mandel have very little difference. Mandel favors a more aggressive approach to Iran and to supporting almost anything Israel might think necessary to defend itself including a pre-emptive strike. Brown might be more willing to let sanctions work, but probably not like Obama, who seems more like Neville “peace in our time” Chamberlain.*

This presidential election is primarily a referendum on Obama and his version of an economic recovery. Brown is one of Obama’s staunchest supporters, despite their only agreeing with each other 19 out of 20 times. And that means to some extent Brown is running on Obama’s record. But Brown has not actually said whether he agrees with Obama’s 2008 pledge to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

Brown apparently doesn’t see any problem with making more people dependent on government under the guise of helping them and with a consequence of encourage mediocrity. Mandel realizes that kind of mediocrity will give mediocrity as bad name.

It will be interesting to see if Brown keeps on carping about Mandel missing meetings, now that we all know Obama hasn’t met with his jobs council since January and regularly skips intelligence briefings, although he claims to read the reports. Also on the news wires was that Obama was in Las Vegas fund raising when our embassies were attacked. Vegas is one of the places Brown’s ads accuse Mandel of going for fundraising instead of to meetings. Hmmm. Maybe Obama learned something from Mandel.

Ads by Brown or his supports have him proudly touting his support for H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). In the ads, Brown claims it will save Medicare $750 Billion in 10 years. However, Brown’s ads don’t say where that savings comes from. One place that so-called savings would likely come from is payments to “providers” for Medicare treatments. It apparently hasn’t occurred to the Obamacare folks that you don’t get something for nothing. Cutting “provider” fees will only result in a lower quality and a lower quantity of medical care.

For instance, two weeks ago this Examiner recently was supposed to see a doctor but instead was seen by CNP (certified nurse practitioner, or nurse clinician). The CNP’s conclusions and suggested therapies seem to be the correct ones. But is this a harbinger of what seeing a doctor will be like under Obamacare?

Mandel simply wants to scrap Obamacare except possibly for a few components such as the pre-existing conditions clause and the strict privacy regulations. This position is very similar to Romney’s.

Ads by Mandel or his supporters claim Brown cast the deciding vote on Obamacare. The U.S. Senate vote was 60-40. 60 is the number needed to break a filibuster. The Republicans only needed one of seven undecided Democrats to not vote yes. Brown was one of seven who hadn’t yet committed so could have prevented its passage. So, in theory the ad is not wrong, though "a" deciding vote might have been more accurate.

Ads by Mandel or his supporters claim Obamacare means the federal government is taking over healthcare. In theory, that’s not yet true. In practice there’s every indication it will feel that way, especially to those on Medicare or any other form of government assistance.

Brown is super pro-union. Mandel is not. Brown makes no apparent distinction between labor unions, organized labor, and working Americans. Mandel seems to understand there are significant differences.

If you are part of organized labor and are reasonably happy with your union and the people running it, you should probably vote for Brown. He is one of the best friends unions and organized labor has in the entire U.S. Government. If you are a member of organized labor but not happy with the way things are going in your unions and the benefits you receive for the dues you pay, or if you are a non-union working American, you are probably better off voting for Mandel.

The last point for this column is the Brown ad this Examiner saw multiple times on Channel 4 in Columbus (dinner time news shows). Brown claimed Obama through the bailout saved 850,000 auto jobs in Ohio. Really? There are only abut 11.6 million people in the whole state. If Brown is correct and the auto industry is reasonably broadly defined to include parts manufacturers (supply chain) and auto service, such as gas stations, service stations, TBA vendors (tires, batteries, & accessories), then 1 in every 13.6 Ohioans counting infants, babies, children, disabled, nursing home residents, retirees, unemployed, stay at home moms, etc. works in the auto industry. That is preposterous on the face of it! But to prove it, Bucky, the cartoon character shown, did some research so basic even the Brown staffer who came up with the 850,000 number could have done it.

* Quote marks refer to the last paragraph for which Chamberlain is always remembered. The next day, Germany took over the Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia. Eleven months later, the Nazis invaded Poland, thus starting the European part of World War II (Japan had already invaded Manchuria). This and the subsequent events were supposed to have taught free people about appeasement. There are numerous sources for those wanting more detail.


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