Saturday, October 6, 2012

Looks Like Some Iowa Right Wingers Have Been Reading Too Many @ChuckGrassley Tweets

The word “liar” was misspelled on the sign, officers said. 
The blue banner is 16 by 8 feet and hangs on the south side of the building at 2307 Hubbell Ave. The words were written with red spray paint, police said. 
The vandalism occurred sometime between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday, when it was discovered, police reports show. 
The same message was reportedly spray painted near the Iowa State Fairgrounds earlier in the week. The damage was estimated at $500.
Dear Senator Grassley,

Your bastardization of the English language on Twitter is having an effect on your constituents. Please cease and desist dumbing down your voters, if that's even possible at this point.

Thank you,
The Educated Public

(Cross-posted on ABLC)

Must Reads

Chris Klewe: Out Of Bounds Blog No. 14 – Problems

Sahil Kapur: Romney’s Health Plan Leaves 72 Million Uninsured: Study

Chrystia Freeland: SUPER-RICH IRONY

Huffington Post: Joseph Stiglitz: Jobs Numbers Conspiracy 'Literally Absurd'

Robert Mann: Free Speech? Not in Jindal’s Louisiana

The Rude Pundit: Random Observations on Last Night's Presidential Debate

Christopher Brauchli: Fraud Found!!

Robert Reich: The Politics of the Jobs Report

President Obama's Weekly Address - October 6, 2012

Congress Should Keep America Moving Forward

Friday, October 5, 2012

Unemployment Drops to 7.8%

This is the lowest unemployment percentage in the last 44 months.
"The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate declined because more people found work, a trend that could have an impact on undecided voters in the final month before the presidential election. 
The Labor Department said Friday that employers added 114,000 jobs in September. The economy also created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated. Wages rose in September and more people started looking for work."
We're not nearly out of the woods. It's been a long, hard slog - I'd argue that had it not been for Republican obstructionism for the last three and a half years, we might be under 7% - but this is good news nonetheless.

Purely on a political level, this is also good news for President Obama and his re-election bid, killing one of the GOP's favorite talking points about Obama promising unemployment numbers under 8%.

And now anyone who doesn't like the numbers purely for political purposes (I'm looking at you Jack Welch, you fucking asshole) is accusing the Bureau of Labor Statistics of cooking the books to help the President. Why is it that these fuckballs point to the numbers when they're in their favor and then dismiss them, or even worse, accuse the very same people of fraud?!

October surprise, motherfuckers!

Mitt Romney the Liar - Tax Cut Edition

 You're welcome.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Debate No. 1 - Romney Wins. But Did He Really?

Watching the debates last night, I pretty much think I had the same initial reaction as everyone else. Romney played the schoolyard bully, President Obama let him, and Jim Lehrer was wondering where his waiter was so he could order soup. I avoided CNN because of silly snap polls and those distracting live graphs showing immediate reaction of undecided voters, as if I care what people who are still undecided at this point actually think.

The MSNBC pundits were ranging from disappointing anger (Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews) to devil's advocates (Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes) to Romney pom-pom shaking (Steve "I gave you Sarah Palin" Schmidt) to rational thought (believe it or not, Al Shaprton). So I slept on it and tried to think logically before writing about it to avoid sounding like Chris Matthews blowing a gasket.

The perception was that Mitt Romney won the night because he dominated the discussion. I wouldn't so much call it dominating as much as hijacking, bullying his way through the evening and running roughshod over moderator Lehrer, who obviously should have been in bed by the time the debate began and most likely forgot to take his vitamin supplements. But perceptions are key and anyone watching last night who was still "undecided" (if your definition of undecided is low information moron) probably leaned Romney. I doubt that anyone voting for Obama had their mind changed last night.

Here's my take:

While most of us were waiting for Obama's knockout punch with the 47% line, or Bain Capital, or Romneycare, or Massachusetts job creation numbers while Romney was governor, the realization is that President Obama is NEVER that guy. While his stump speeches are fiery, he has always been reserved and muted in his debates which Bob Cesca rightly pointed out in one of his tweets last night, complete with a video link to the first debate of 2008 with John McCain. 

That being said, Obama's had better debate performances in the past, maybe in part due to the "no rules" format last night - or at least rules that didn't seem to apply to Romney, because the rules seemly never apply to rich people. I do agree that the President didn't seem prepared with counter arguments to Romney's Gatling gun barrage of bullshit. But don't expect to see stump Barack "Fired Up! Ready To Go !" Obama behind the debate podium, though I hope they recalibrate for the next debate. Romney's aggressiveness and playing fast and loose with his policy positions, along with the low expectations of his performance (zingers, anyone?) won him the night.

I believe there is a very concerted effort on the part of the Obama campaign to avoid at all costs, the appearance of President Obama being angry or worked up for fear of the "Angry Black Man" moniker. He's the Jackie Robinson of the Presidency and it seems they feel he has to go out of his way to look measured and calm, and never get riled up when challenged in these types of situations.

As far as the substance of the debate went, how do you debate a man who completely abandoned everything that got him the nomination in the first place? When Romney stumps for the last year on his 20% across the board tax cut then flat our states that he has no intention of lowering taxes for the rich, how do you counter? 

When faced with the fact that his tax policy of making the Bush tax cuts permanent, plus cutting taxes 20% across the board, plus eliminating the estate tax, plus eliminating the alternative minimum tax (something I personally get hit with and would like restructuring) without raising revenue, thereby causing a $5 trillion hole, Romney completely did a 180 and denied that he'd approve of any tax cut that would add to the debt; something he touted for 18 months shrugged off at the drop of a hat. How do you debate that?

But here's the thing, and something that I agreed with when it came to Al Sharpton's analysis: Romney being able to say whatever he wanted to, whenever he wanted to, is going to come back to haunt him with his base. You can't run as a right wing ideologue for a year and a half and then change stride without raising the hackles of the people who voted you as their nominee based on the red meat. Romney can't say he's not going to cut education funding when education cuts are part of Paul Ryan's plan that Romney said he'd sign into law without a double take from your voters. Romney can't say he will save Medicare while admitting his Medicare program is a voucher program, and then add that he'd repeal Obamacare which extends the life of Medicare until 2024.

Ultimately, the night belonged to Romney and President Obama has to come out stronger in the next debate. The polls will probably tighten which will make us all wring our hands and sit on the edges of our seats, but if Romney continues to deny his policy positions and make shit up on the fly, I think it'll become a real problem for him. 

(Cross-posted at ABLC)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Even a Broken Clock...

... is right once every Friedman Unit.

Tom Friedman... yes, Tom "Friedman Unit" Friedman has written a scathing opinion of Mitt Romney's "1989" foreign policy thinking, including this little gem:

"...President Obama is leading on national security, and it was apparent in his U.N. speech last week, which showed a president who understands that we really do live in a more complex world today... Mitt Romney, given his international business background, should understand this, but he acts instead as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes..."
Ouch. IHOP. Take this assessment for what you will, but this critique in combination with the asinine comments made by Romney surrogate John Sununu whining about President Obama not killing Osama Bin Laden fast enough only emphasizes how completely inept and clueless the Romney campaign really is. And wait until the first debate in a couple of days.

(Cross-posted on ABLC)