October 27, 2008 – Toritto in the Washington Post


What I did for Barack Obama in 2008.   I had such hopes.

This nation is on the verge of something historic – the possible election of a black man as President of the United States. It is fair to say the entire world is watching. It is also fair to say the vast majority is rooting for a Republican defeat. If you don’t believe me you clearly don’t read anything.

How did we get to this place and time? How did a freshman Senator inspire millions of voters to finance his unlikely campaign? Why is he leading in the polls? How did this happen?

Well, I’ll tell you how it happened for me.

I was one of those who had doubts about the Iraq war. I did not believe that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. Not that Saddam was a good guy ( he wasn’t) however there are lots of bad guys in the world who are not an imminent threat to us whom we don’t attack. We were already flying over his country everyday. There was a tight embargo. Unless he had nuclear weapons how big a threat could he be?

The Administration then lied to us about Saddam and his weaponry.. Further, it sent out a duped Colin Powell to convince us. Bush knew we would believe Colin. So the United States of America, beacon of liberty, attacked a third world country, destroyed its hapless military, made rubble of its infrastructure and occupied it.

Later the lies came out. There were no dangerous weapons. Just fudged intelligence.

The Dems swept into control of Congress in 2006. Bush’s veto could override a 51-49 majority in the Senate so the war went on. Notwithstanding every indication that the majority of Americans didn’t want this war to continue, it went on anyway with no end date. I watched the war go on. I watched as we tortured prisoners, suspended Habeas Corpus and shredded the Constitution. I watched as Bush politicized the Justice Department and placed incompetent political hacks in high office. Then the economy collapsed.
So here we are. Tens of millions of us have made this journey starting at different places for different reasons; a journey which began with a distaste and disgust with Bush to a point where we may take our country back. Tens of millions have worked hard, made whatever donations we could afford and are already voting in many states.

The whole world is rooting for us to succeed. The whole world needs an America they can look up to again.



On the Progressive Income Tax:

“we grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community.

The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly with the size of the estate.”

Theodore Roosevelt, “new Nationalism” speech – 1910

Can you imagine if Barack Obama had uttered these words?

How about a NY Post Headline: “Obama will seize swollen fortunes!” – all in large print of course.



Laugh it up GOP.

You’re gonna lose…..:-)


We have been hearing since Reagan that “Government is the problem”; that government should get “out of the way”; that the private sector can always do it better and cheaper.

If one has this philosophy then it is natural to undermine government; to get it “out of the way”. Conservatives since Reagan have systematically undermined the efficacy of the government by gutting any agency which it views as “standing in the way”.

You appoint “your guys” no matter how incompetent; you oust the professionals; you gut their budgets. You oppose anything which might “impede” the private sector corporations – consumer protections; food inspections; road and bridge inspection; financial regulations.

You politicize the Justice Department, so that it finds nothing, even torture, objectionable. Anti-trust enforcement becomes non-existent.

You never lift a voice or use the bully pulpit against corporations shipping jobs wholesale overseas. Our retailers buy their inventory from China and you ship them our money, never insisting that China adjust its foreign exchange rate. Then you borrow the money back from China to plug our budget deficit, caused by corporate tax cuts and cuts for the top 1% of Americans. You ship the borrowed money to our oil suppliers and oppose any effort to reduce dependency by seeking alternative renewable sources of fuel. After all, you’re an oil man.

You start an unnecessary war costing hundreds of billions of dollars much of it going to favored construction companies doing work shoddy enough to electrocute ten soldiers in their showers. Hired thugs masquerading as “security details” rake in more of the money, answering to no one. You “rebuild” Iraq (which we never had to destroy anyway) while the Iraqis have almost $80 billion in the bank.

You shred the Constitution, abridge habeas corpus. You get elected by selling your “values” while robbing the country blind. You never talk about economics. You always scare the voters with the next bogeyman around the corner. When the media disagrees with you, you attack it as “unfair” with “liberal bias”. You start your own propaganda media outlets that parrot the party line.

You take the country into a permanent state of war with a volunteer army – a state so permanent no one even notices it anymore as they go to the mall. You ask nothing from them but their acquiescence. “Just go shopping folks!”

You want to spend a trillion dollars to rescue the financial sector, run up a half a trillion dollar budget deficit and still spew nonsense about “small government, deregulation and lower taxes”.

We are witnessing the impoverishment of America. ….and this Grand Old Party (remember it?) wants four more years.

The Impoverishment of America


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to October 27, 2008 – Toritto in the Washington Post

  1. beetleypete says:

    Did anything actually change? From across the Atlantic, it all seems very much the same.
    We have just had Obama here, making veiled threats about the country leaving the EU. He doesn’t want us to, and we will undoubtedly be punished in the (unlikely) event that we do.
    Can you imagine Cameron going on TV in the USA and telling Americans how to vote?
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • toritto says:

      Hi Pete – as I said – “I had such high hopes.” I don’t anymore.

      “If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal!” – Emma G.


  2. I loved what you wrote back then, and love it just as much now. – Tim

    Liked by 1 person

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