Vol. 7    No. 2
January 26, 2012

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

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The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
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(608) 241-2000
Advertising: Claire G. Mendoza


Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                  The election has begun
One of the joys — and privileges — that I have as the publisher & editor of The Capital City Hues is that
I get embargoed copies of President Barack Obama’s speeches before he actually gives them. I
attribute this to the wonders of the Internet and mass e-mails and to President Obama’s commitment to
grassroots people. The previous president did not send news items to small publications such as ours
and there is no guarantee that the next president — I hope in 2016 — will send them to us too. So I
enjoy the privilege while I can.

Last Tuesday, about 15 minutes before it happened, I received President Obama’s State of the Union
speech. This allowed me to do two things, complete what I was working on and focus on what the
President was saying while I was reading his speech.

I must admit that even after seven years of hearing President Obama speak, I can still get awed with
what he has to say. He ranks right up there as one of the most gifted orators that the presidency has
ever seen. In a little bit over an hour — it actually takes less time to read because I don’t have to wait
for the applause to subside — President Obama laid out his agenda for this election season and in the
process, tried to frame how the next 10-11 months will be viewed by the electorate as the business of
Congress grinds down to a near halt as our elected representatives begin campaigning and don’t want
to give their opponents any fresh ammunition to hurl at them in the thick of the electoral battle.

One of the biggest issues this fall is going to be the economy and how well it is doing. Obama’s
opponents will look at the glass half empty, Obama will look at it half full.

“In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly 4 million jobs,” Obama emphasized. “And we lost
another 4 million before our policies were in full effect. Those are the facts.  But so are these:  In the
last 22 months, businesses have created more than 3 million jobs. Last year, they created the most
jobs since 2005.  American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the
late 1990s.”

Obama’s opponents will bring up the fact that unemployment is still over eight percent, depending on
how much of a recovery we experience between now and November.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out what he wanted to accomplish, what bills
he would like to see on his desk for him to sign. These bills range from income tax cuts to renewable
energy to job training. They are all wonderful things that the majority of Americans would agree with.
But those bills will never reach Obama’s desk until after the election if he is re-elected and Congress
is more in the mood to deal with his agenda.

Interestingly, Obama brought up the whole issue of class warfare. For the past year, whenever the
subject has been brought up about increasing the tax rates of the wealthiest Americans to levels that
existed before the Bush tax cuts, Republicans have cried class warfare. Obama had this to say.

“Now, you can call this class warfare all you want,” Obama emphasized. “But asking a billionaire to
pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes?  Most Americans would call that common sense.  We
don’t begrudge financial success in this country.  We admire it.  When Americans talk about folks like
me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich.  It’s because they understand that
when I get a tax break I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody
else has to make up the difference -- like a senior on a fixed income, or a student trying to get through
school, or a family trying to make ends meet.  That’s not right.  Americans know that’s not right.  They
know that this generation’s success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to
each other, and to the future of their country, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel
that same sense of shared responsibility.”

That is a pretty masterful job on Obama’s part of framing the whole tax debate in terms of shared
responsibility and linking it to the prosperity of America’s past. His opponents will have to really
finesse the issue to make Obama appear to be un-American.

The battle has been engaged and it will prove to be a very nasty electoral season with over $1 billion
being spent on the presidential election alone on negative advertising. It is times like these that I wish
The Capital City Hues were a television station. We’d be in the money.