Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Dear Fred:

I sincerely hope that you are among those lucky folks who can still feel good about themselves and their prospects. If you feel like you are losing ground, take heart. Most of the people who were formerly middle class have seen their purchasing power decline and their wages stagnate. Workers who still have jobs have seen their pay and hours cut. None of these people are bad people. I bet some of them are among your family and friends, neighbors and coworkers. They are all good people.

You can however, still feel very good about the person you are. I’ll bet you are the kind of good person who takes a casserole over to the neighbors when there is a new baby or a death in the family. I’ll bet that if a neighbor’s car needs pushing out of a snow bank, you are out there helping push. Most of us real Americans can see in our neighborhoods what needs to be done and are willing to help each other out.

So Fred, do you have an exaggerator in your family? A crazy uncle who tells tall tales or a brother-in-law that you all laugh with but have learned through hard experiences to not give any money to no matter how well the yarns are spun? The funny thing about this goofy relative, and we all have one, is that he really seems to sincerely believe his or her tall tales. It is so easy to get swept away into his tales of riches and easy money. Some of our goofy relatives, aka the black sheep of the family, have even spent time in jail. When it is a relative, we eventually catch onto the con. Why does it take us so much longer to catch on when the storyteller, the making stuff up BSer is a politician?

You do realize that some of the Republican candidates for President are just BSing you, don’t you? I hope you believe that truth matters.

There’s Herman Cain railing about the IRS and religion. None of his rant is true and does it really matter if HE believes it? The laws protect churches already. Herman may just be goofier than your con man relative. Think about it. Can you feel the deception? Do you know the truth?

Then there’s Newt Gingrich, railing about the unemployed taking a bath and getting a job. There are 5 applicants for every job. If you know anyone who has been looking for a while, you know how hard it is. And there’s Newt who took $1.6 million from Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae while ranting about their incompetence. I don’t know about your family, but mine would have a hard time producing a crazier more self-serving uncle than Newt. Can you feel the deception? Do you know the truth?

Then there’s Michele Bachmann. It would be hard to have a crazy aunt who makes up as much stuff as Bachmann does. Really Michele, do you think that people will fall for your tall tales and BS as if they were true? Really? Cervical cancer vaccines save lives – true. Tax payer dollars have not been used to pay for abortions since 1976 – true. Can’t she find something real and current to BS about? Can you feel the deception? Do you know the truth?

So Fred, while you are feeling your way through the political mine fields I hope that your BS detector is fully operational. I hope that you ‘get a whiff’ when politicians lie and try to con you the same way you do when the crazy relative tries it.

We would all like to believe people that try to give us answers that look like the silver bullet or answers that feel good, even for a minute. Our problems have been a long time in the making. We’ve been cutting taxes for the rich since Ronald Reagan was President and the middle class has been treading water the whole time. As a middle class person, that can’t feel too good, can it? Can you feel how you have been deceived by Republican economic policies? As this next election approaches, tune-up your BS detector. There’s a lot of BS being flung around. Do you know the truth?

Reader Comments Welcome.