Another great discussion with one of my smart and liberal friends.
Running Time: 1:04:00
(Apologies for the sound quality, I pulled a rookie mistake. I’ve heard worse though. :)
I know a lot of people don’t obsess over politics like I do, so I thought I would try to boil things down to some basic points.
There is a clear choice in this election. If we just look at one thing about each candidate for president, the differences are obvious.
Both President Obama and Governor Romney graduated from Harvard University. What each did after leaving Harvard speaks volumes about their character.
Mitt Romney headed to Wall Street and procured funding for a business venture from some shady folks from Latin America. He built a business that specialized in raiding failing corporations, getting as much money as they can out of them and then liquidating the assets, firing the employees and moving on to the next victim. I found this breakdown of Bain’s business model that I think sums it up pretty good.
Bain Capital, under Romney’s leadership, had one goal: take the money and run. More specifically, their highly successful process goes like this:
- Take over a company
- Borrow millions against the assets
- Procure millions more in taxpayer funded grants and low-interest loans
- Put the millions in grants and loans in their pockets
- File for bankruptcy and hightail it out of town, asap
Kinda sleazy if you ask me…did you ask me?
Barack Obama could have headed to New York, Wall Street or anywhere he wanted to after serving as the president of the Harvard Law Review…kind of a nice resume piece, you know. But instead, he chose to go to Chicago and help people. Two years after leaving Harvard, he took a job with a church based organization called the Developing Communities Project, which was a group of Catholic charities formed to help people suffering through layoffs and plant closings in the Chicago area. The project went on to win many awards and help countless people in Chicago pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Barack Obama then went on to teach constitutional law and entered the state legislature where he began his career in politics, continuing his goal of helping people.
So yeah, there is a clear difference between President Obama and Governor Romney. I go with the guy who helps people, how about you?
I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’m glad I found it. Don’t mess with seniors, I’m telling you.
There is no doubt that in the last week or more, the election has been breaking for President Obama. I don’t normally play the polling game, but as I’ve been saying for over a year, polls are only accurate when you get close to the actual election. Well folks, we’re close.
The awesome Michigander, Nate Silver, has been following all the ups and downs during the election and has developed a model that is comprehensive and relies on getting larger samples, thus more accurate results. He does what any statistician would do, adds them up and averages them. I had to laugh when I saw a quote from a Republican scoffing at the idea that he “averages” the polls.
In Ohio, where the rubber meets the road in this election, President Obama has been steadily climbing in damn near every poll taken in the last week. From Nate Silver…(emphasis mine)
Mr. Obama made gains in the FiveThirtyEight forecast on Tuesday, with his chances of winning the Electoral College increasing to 77.4 percent.
A fair amount of this boils down to Ohio, where three polls released on Tuesday gave Mr. Obama leads by margins ranging from three to five percentage points. Two of the polls, from Grove Research and the Mellman Group, generally show strong results for Democrats, which give them less impact in the forecast after applying our adjustment for pollster “house effects”. Still, the three polls taken collectively were enough to widen Mr. Obama’s projected lead in Ohio to 2.4 percentage points from 2.1 on Monday. Given how central Ohio is to each candidate’s electoral strategy — and how little time remains in the race — this was enough to improve Mr. Obama’s Electoral College chances. (The forecast does not yet account for the poll by Quinnipiac University for The New York Times and CBS News, which had Mr. Obama five points ahead in Ohio but which was released after we had run the model for the night.)
Today, November 1, Nate Silver currently has President Obama…as of 1:47 pm EST…with a 79% chance of winning the presidency and an estimated 300 electoral votes. It has been climbing all week long as poll after poll shows the gap widening between the president and Mitt Romney. Anyone who is honest with themselves can see that the President is widening his lead in the all important swing states. Republicans are having a hard time this week.
I totally understand how the Republicans feel, we Democrats have been through the same denial in 2004 and even some of us in 2010. It sucks having to rationalize and fool yourself into believing that you have a chance when all the signs are pointing the other way. It’s when “denialists” pull out the “momentum” arguments and the “tectonic shift” memes and go searching for the one poll that goes against the grain, clinging to it as if it were their blankie. I’ve been there, it sucks.
It’s been very odd, but not surprising, to watch the media continue to say “the race is tightening”, as Chuck Todd did this morning, even though the polls say otherwise. I tweeted him, of course, to point out his inconsistency and clear bias. I have a feeling ole Chuck isn’t one of my biggest fans.
So I’m excited, but cautious, going into the final weekend before the election on Tuesday. I never get too confident considering the fact that 59 million people voted to re-elect (or elect for the first time) George W. Bush in 2004. There are still a lot of dumb people (misinformed) in this country who have been getting their daily brainwashing from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the rest of the gang. The amount of misinformation in the public sphere as a direct result of that well oiled, Republican propaganda machine is very scary.
Just imagine how far ahead President Obama would be if the Republicans dealt in truth instead of lies or if the mainstream media had done their jobs and actually sorted out the truth for the public. I know, it’s a fantasy.
In light of the “Jeep lie” that Governor Romney has been using to scare workers in Ohio, I thought I’d take a look at the many other ads Romney has run that were also blatant lies.
Turns out, it’s all of them.
It’s quite a collection that Romney has accumulated over his time in the national spotlight. The 2012 presidential election will provide a lot of material for those of us who study the media and criticize it.
When the ad wars began, it was clear that the truth wasn’t going to play a major role in Mitt Romney’s advertising campaign. In his very first ad, Mitt Romney channeled Andrew Breitbart and just plucked a sentence out of a speech by President Obama and told a massive lie with it. Let the games begin…
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has displayed a special level of shamelessness in its ads and attacks since its very first one, when it ran a clip of Barack Obama saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”—a clip from 2008 when Obama was quoting an aide to then GOP nominee Sen. John McCain.
Here is the dishonest ad that became a pillar of the Republican convention in Tampa, the one where they plucked “you didn’t build that” out of a longer statement having to do with infrastructure like roads and bridges, which all American businesses use.
The Romney campaign has released an astonishingly deceptive new ad, containing a blatant, flat-out lie. The new ad actually edits together snippets of words and sentences to make it sound as if President Obama said something he did not say, and then attacks him for saying it.
Here is another example of Romney trying to twist a positive into a negative when the Obama campaign went to court to restore early voting for all of the people of Ohio after the Republican legislature passed laws restricting early voting for all but military personnel. The Republicans didn’t like how the African American churches loaded up their parishioners on buses and headed to the polls on the final Sunday before the election. So what the hell, they passed a law stopping it…because they could.
Mitt Romney wrongly suggests the Obama campaign is trying to “undermine” the voting rights of military members through a lawsuit filed in Ohio. The suit seeks to block state legislation that limited early voting times for nonmilitary members; it doesn’t seek to impose restrictions on service members.
The welfare lie was one of the big whoppers that the Romney campaign told and it received a lot of push back from the media, but that didn’t stop the Romney campaign from continuing to run it. This lie is something that 15 or 20 years ago would have made the media camp out in front of his mansion until he retracted it. But today, eh, just another day, nothing to see here.
The ad’s narrator says: “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.”
That’s a wild fabrication. As my colleague Isaiah J. Poole and I have both detailed, Obama’s HHS department merely heeded the concerns from a bipartisan group of governors and established a waiver program so states could experiment with different ways to help welfare recipients transition to work.
Another of the big lies being sold to the American people is the $716 billion lie. Romney and Ryan have told it in many different ways, but basically are trying to scare seniors into thinking that “Obamacare” cut $716 billion in benefits, which is not true at all.
In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.
One big chunk of money will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll many beneficiaries at a higher average cost than traditional Medicare. Another will come from reducing the annual increases in federal reimbursements to health care providers — like hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies — to force the notoriously inefficient system to find ways to improve productivity. [...]
What the Republicans fail to say is that the budget resolutions crafted by Paul Ryan and approved by the Republican-controlled House retained virtually the same cut in Medicare.
Who can forget about the Solyndra lie where Romney tried to imply that the Obama administration steered contracts to friends and family.
“An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the Administration had steered money to friends and family and campaign contributors.”
Romney then repeated the claim later in the press conference.
Small problem: No inspector general ever “concluded” such a thing, at least not based on any written reports or public statements.
When you consider the above and the great work that Steve Benen has been doing at “Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity” at the Maddowblog, it all adds up to the most brazenly dishonest campaign that has ever been known. Historians will be busy for quite a while parsing the piles and piles of lies left behind by Romney and his cynical, manipulative, soulless campaign team.
I began this post yesterday and after just visiting the Maddowblog to see what Mr. Benen was writing today, I noticed he has a similar post up where he looks at just the ads Romney has run since the 3rd debate. I’m pasting a bit of it below, but go read the whole thing.
I went through the Romney campaign’s website and YouTube channel, and found that Team Romney has unveiled six English-language television ads since the third and final debate with President Obama last week, an average of nearly one per day.
I’m not cherry picking the offensive ads built around falsehoods; I’m merely listing all of the ads Romney has unveiled since the third debate.
This isn’t normal. It’s also not healthy for our democracy. Mitt Romney — who keeps telling reporters about how great his “momentum” is — has reached some kind of Peak Lying moment in which he spews falsehoods at an almost uncontrollable pace.
This segment below by Rachel Maddow, Steve Benen’s boss, gets to the heart of what has been going on in this election. Watch it, share it and let’s all hope that the 2012 election is an anomaly.
Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
If you are tired of watching pundits playing “both sides” and revealing their conservative biases, check out our little podcast where we say it like it is and delve into topics you won’t hear anywhere else. Listen, enjoy!
The President and Vice President aren’t just talking shit when they say that electing Mitt Romney will be a return to the Bush era. When you look at the people Romney has surrounded himself with, it is clear that the same bunch of boneheads who got us into this mess are the ones making up Mitt’s entourage.
1. Vin Weber. Who is Vin Weber? He’s a former Congressman from Minnesota. A former Health Care lobbyist. A former lobbyist for Freddie Mac. He is also the former regional director for George Bush.
2. N. Gregory Mankiw. A professor of Economics at Harvard University. From 2003-2005, Gregory was Chairman of the Council of Economic Adviser under George W. Bush
3. Kevin A. Hassett. Economic Adviser to George W. Bush. Policy Consultant to George H.H. Bush. Works as an Economist at the right wing American Enterprise Institute. A specialist in investing in the stock market.
4.R. Glenn Hubbard. Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Chairman of Economic Advisers under Bush/Cheney. Areas of expertise are health care and tax policy.
And it isn’t just the domestic policy people that make up Mitt’s “nightmare team”….a play on the “Dream Team” idea, get it? :) From Mugsy, writing for Crooks & Liars…
Back during the 2008 Presidential campaign, I couldn’t help but notice how frequently & easily the Republican candidates (including Mitt Romney) would rewrite the history of how we ended up going to war with Iraq in order to paint Bush as less culpable. One of the most disturbing arguments was that we were FORCED to invade Iraq after “Saddam refused to allow the weapons inspectors back in”, which I KNEW was a load of… eh, rubbish (this is a family site). So I dug through the BBC News archives and pieced together the following video. It’s five years old now, but today on the eve of the third and final Presidential Debate, this time on foreign policy, with a Republican candidate whom has (as Rachel Maddow reminded us Friday) SEVENTEEN of his TWENTY-FOUR Foreign Policy Advisors coming from the Bush Administration, I thought that maybe now was the perfect time to look back for a moment to remember history as it actually happened, and think long & hard about possibly returning these people to the White House just four short years later:
These are the same people that sold us two unfunded, unnecessary wars, trillions in tax cuts mostly to the wealthy with the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs, an expansion of Medicare that wasn’t paid for and deregulation of Wall Street and the housing markets that led to the worst recession/near depression since the Great Depression.
There is no doubt that if Mitt Romney is elected president, he will return us to the same dumbass policies that created the mess we’ve been trying to dig out of for the last four years.
We must not let that happen. Make sure you VOTE and drag every Democrat you know to the polls, make calls, give rides, volunteer….but please, let’s keep the former Bush employees as far away from the White House as possible.
Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Here is the latest Extremely Liberal podcast with my special guest, a colleague who teaches a class on politics and the media. He brings great insight and experience to our discussion. Check it out, I bet you will like it.
The pundits can talk all day long, but they can’t dry up the sweat that was pouring out of Romney’s head as he choked, babbled and shook that Etch-A-Sketch yet one more time.
H/T to Little Green Footballs
UPDATE: Not intended to be an accurate photo! As Romney said, “Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” LOL
Here is a screen grab I did of the actual debate, I wish I could find the couple of times that Mitt sucked the sweat off his upper lip. I’d like to make an animated GIF out of it. :)
It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul.
Look into Mitt Romney’s eyes and just imagine him with the launch codes!
I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for quite a while and finally got off my ass and made it happen. Although I enjoy writing and will continue to do so, I find that I can express myself much better with words in the air rather than trying to commit them to paper.
One reason it has taken me so long is I’ve been trying to think of a good person to do them with. Joe is a friend and colleague of mine and we’ve always been able to discuss politics with ease. He has agreed to help me with this little venture.
We’ve recorded 3 podcasts so far, but I am posting the latest first, because it is more timely. I will post the first two in good time, so you can hear our predictions about the first two debates (Presidential 1 & Vice Presidential) and how far off we were.
Without further ado, here is Episode 3 of “The Extremely Liberal Podcast”.
With the passing of Senator Arlen Specter, I was reminded of the “magic bullet theory” he devised while working for the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. I couldn’t help but see a parallel to Mitt Romney’s singular solution to all the country’s problems – more tax cuts for the 1%. He believes that cutting tax rates that benefit the wealthy disproportionately and rolling back regulations that President Obama put on Wall Street after the 2008 crash, will somehow fix everything.
Just forget about Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 that added $3 trillion dollars to the national debt and ignore the fact that in the years after those tax cuts, America lost 8 million jobs during the Bush recession, which was handed to our newly elected president. And of course, you should also forget that the Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, met on President Obama’s inauguration day to plot complete obstruction of the new president for political reasons.
Let’s call Romney’s one point plan what it is, TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. The belief that if we just coddle the rich, they will, in their benevolence, share the wealth with the rest of us by supposedly creating jobs. Just ignore that new Jaguar they are driving, or the 4th home in the Hamptons or the Rolex watch that is weighing down their Bermuda tanned arms. It will trickle. Really!
The concept of supply-side economics has been thoroughly tested and thrown on the trash pile. We only have to look at Mitt Romney’s personal history to see a perfect example of how giving even more to those who don’t need it, won’t do a damn thing for the rest of us. Where is Mitt Romney’s money at? IN THE FUCKING CAYMAN ISLANDS, BERMUDA AND IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS. Do you think that money will ever trickle down to you?
Mitt Romney is a walking example of how greed and selfishness only creates more greed and selfishness.
Businesses don’t create jobs unless there is a demand for their products or services. It would be fucking stupid to do it otherwise. It’s why they do market analysis and studies to determine whether there is demand. When there is demand, businesses expand and create jobs. No demand, no reason to expand. Any business person who says they will create jobs if we just give them more disposable income is applying Romney’s “greed is good” principle and probably has an eye on a new car or vacation home.
If the government were to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, railroads and other foundations of our country that we all rely on – real people will get those jobs like construction workers, teachers, contractors, firefighters, suppliers of the materials for the projects and many more businesses that support those industries. And when those people receive their paychecks, they will create demand for products and services and give a reason for the 1% to actually invest in new jobs. We don’t have to rely on their benevolence, they will do it because it makes business sense.
The most widely cited studies include those by the Congressional Budget Office, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, and economists James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote. These reports find a range of values for each program. In these studies, the “bang for the buck” value—what economists call the “multiplier,” or how many dollars of economic activity is fueled by one dollar spent—for overall social protection ranges from 0.8 to 2.31. Separately, Blinder and Zandi report a value of 1.61 for unemployment insurance and 1.74 for food stamps.
Research by Urban Institute economist Wayne Vroman estimates that one dollar spent on unemployment insurance fuels between 1.7 and 2.1 dollars of activity in the overall economy. According to these studies, the value for a dollar of spending on infrastructure ranges from 1 to 2.5, while the value for aid to state and local governments ranges from 0.7 to 1.8.
The analyses value middle-class tax cuts, such as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave tax credits of $400 ($800 for couples), as generating between 0.6 and 1.5 dollars of additional economic activity; the value of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch for high-income earners for an additional year ranges from 0.2 to 0.6 dollars of additional activity. And the analyses value the extension of the housing tax credit for first-time homebuyers, providing credits up to $8000, in the Recovery Act from 0.3 to 0.9.
As you can see, putting money in the hands of consumers who will spend that money does a lot more to spur economic activity. Handing money over to the rich and hoping they create jobs with it is just plain stupid.
President Obama has been working hard to pass legislation like the American Jobs Act that would create an estimated 1.9 million jobs, but the obstructionist Republican party isn’t interested in creating jobs while President Obama is in office. They should be shown the door on November 6 for letting petty politics keep America from recovering from the mess that the GOP congress and President Bush created in the first place.
There is an easy solution, vote Democratic across the board and send a message to the Republicans that American workers are more important than politics.
Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
This is brilliant, go read it now before the debate….or after, whatever. But read it!
Dear Andrew, Chris & Ed,
President Obama is not an Ultimate Fighter who will exact the revenge that you seek on Mitt Romney.
You are not the only people watching this debate and what the President says is not personal to just you, so prepare yourselves. The President represents all Americans and he isn’t going to just say what you want to hear.
This debate is not the actual election, don’t freak out if Mitt Romney has a good “performance” while telling his blatant lies. He’s been rehearsing for this moment for over 5 years, he ought to be good at it by now. And he can afford to hire (and fire) the best coaches.
As the Republican media spins like hell after the debate, please don’t curl up into the fetal position, stick your giant thumbs in your puckered little mouths and whine like someone took your “bankie” away. Put on your big boy pants and act like an adult. You can do it.
What the candidates say actually matters, not just how slickly and passionately they deliver it. Fuck style, give me some substance.
If you give a shit about the future of our country and want to see President Obama continue to move us forward, don’t let your personal expectations and desires interfere with your other higher brain functions, like reasoning and tact.
If you can’t handle any of the above, just SHUT. THE. HELL. UP. and let the rest of us do your jobs for you.