School of Evolutionary Astrology Message Board

Discussion => Evolutionary Astrology Q&A => Topic started by: Rad on Jul 18, 2012, 08:34 AM



Title: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Jul 18, 2012, 08:34 AM
Hi All,

I thought it can be interesting to examine the birth charts of both President Obama and Mitt Romney and the synastry of transits on election day in each in order to see if we can discover who might has the best chance to win.

From an EA point of view the transits on election day relative to the underlying EA signatures in both of their charts is fascinating. Simple example: Obama has the transiting Lunar Nodes squaring his natal Nodes, and Romney has the transiting Chiron conjunct his Mars which square his natal Lunar Nodes. And that happens to be Obama's natal Chiron as well. There are many, many intriguing symbols from an EA point of  view to see and consider.

So for those who feel like it feel free to comment and make your own observations about all of this.

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: ari moshe on Jul 20, 2012, 01:01 AM
The obama correlations are nothing other than profound. It seems to be just the beginning of a profound culmination of his soul work in this life. The nn just moving into the 9th house, conj the MC and squaring his lunar nodes - as well as Chiron, simultaneous to his Chiron return. All this with Saturn moving over his Neptune, the ruler of Chiron, with the nn moving towards that as well.

His own Chiron conj his sn correlates in part with a purpose that was cut off short - 1st house. This Chiron is trining and ruled by Neptune in Scorpio in the 9th which squares Mercury in leo in the 6th and Jupiter in Aquarius in the 12th. Neptune is ruled by Pluto on the NN which opposes that Chiron. And noting that the Moon in Gemini in the 4th squares the node, integrated through the sn which is ruled by Uranus on the nn.
The evolutionary necessity this points to is for this soul to be completely honest about his own nature - to speak the truth and to tangibly make manifest a transcendent vision for his country even in confrontation to various "others" that wish to oppose and block his purpose.

The social dynamics, Saturn, nn on MC, that will bring all this up has to do with his country - the USA. Scorpio on the MC, Pluto in the 7th opposing Chiron in the 1st conj sn with Uranus in the 7th - special interest groups (influenced, or dominated by evil - scorpio) creating divisions within the country that has becomes a defacto source of trauma/persecution for all kinds of groups of people. The correlations and current reality of that is self evident.

As various groups of people continue to act upon what is inherently right, and fight for political fariness, or their own form of politics - he will literally have a choice, Pluto, regarding who to listen to, 7th house. One option is to doubt himself (Virgo) and sublimate his power to other politicians on the basis of thinking that he needs to continue playing this political game of integrating all kinds of political interests and groups of people in order to achieve his purpose, or to draw upon his own inner knowing of his own soul purpose and step up to do the work he is here to do regardless of the political opposition. With the latter, the sincerity within this soul will create an instant attraction from all kinds of people that will show up to support him. He will then play a pivotal role in supporting, empowering and doing whatever he can for the NEEDS of the people - as indicated from the people themself.

I feel it's inevitable that as this happens the actual government structure of the country will become incredibly polarized. And I really wonder what all this will look like - I feel he will win the elections, however I also see there becoming 2 distinct groups - one rooted in maintaining separation and control, the other rooted in creating unity and equality. This may translate for him as transcending the role of "president" as needed and if needed (Saturn in 12th, new phase with Jupiter - new vision for how to create government). I can really see a total transformation within this soul.

As transiting Saturn will move over his Neptune this whole next year, the nn will be also approaching that Neptune. Given the dynamic of his own chiron return and how it links to a special purpose that he is to complete in this life - and the nature of Pisces: spiritual disillusionment and surrender to universal truth, he will be given the special powers and divine guidance to do what he is here to do.

Something else that is meaningful to point out - is this soul is literally at the culmination point of this life's work. In November of last year his secondary progressed lunar phase entered full (Sun in early Libra, Moon in early Aries - mirroring his own strong 1st house 7th house chart dynamic, with the progressed Moon in his second emphasizing a period of deepening self trust). in March of 2015 his lunar phase will enter the disseminating phase - symbolizing an even greater and more intensified social influence at that point. He's just getting started.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: ari moshe on Jul 20, 2012, 02:31 AM
Regarding mr duplicity - it's nice to notice that mercury itself will be stationing retrograde RIGHT ON HIS SN in Sag in the 7th. That attractive sn is squared by the innocent looking Pisces Mars Mercury in his 10th. Mercury ruling the nn and Lucifer in Leo in the 4th forming a first quarter square to that node. All those correlations, in the context of his own 4th house Pluto opposing Venus on the MC is a soul that has built an entire identity rooted in saying whatever needs to be said, lying however is necessary in order to further his own social ambitions this feeding his own egocentric need to establish an inner identity of absolute power. Also Venus in aquarius opposing pluto - creating trauma for groups of people all over the country based on the intensity of those desires...

So the Mercury rx is just a nice thing to notice, but the fun stuff correlates with Chiron moving over his Mars and squaring his nodes. His Mars is ruled by Neptune at 9 degrees Libra in his 5th house which is receiving a progressive square and opposition from the Pluto Uranus transits at this time. Evolutionary necessity will literally block this soul from actualizing any false power.

However based on the desires that seem to emanate from this soul, he will likely utilize these energies to form his own "army of peace" (I call it that since we are focusing on Chiron moving over his Mars in Pisces squaring his nodes - he will naturally portray an image of victimization which will then have allure to many of the masses. It will seem like he is fighting for some sort of transcendent higher cause - Pisces illusion).

In the end he will either lead his own political movement (10th house) or spiritual forces will just totally block him. But again, since the desires within this soul are STRONG he has the potential to use force in order to actualize his desires - for that is the nature of desire.

I can see that there may also be a considerable amount of manipulation of the rules that he will attempt around election - either to cheat in some way, or after the fact of not be elected to claim an argument that something corrupt happened on obama's side.

Jupiter is also moving retrograde in Gemini in his first house - moving to square his own Mercury in Pisces. This is another indication of lies coming to the surface and the likelihood that he will have to work overdrive to be even more convincing and cunning with his use of words.

The fact that transiting Neptune is now in his 10th and that Neptune is ruled by his own Neptune receiving the uranus Pluto square I spoke of - just really points out a fateful dissolving of his own ambition. And to me this means that for him to advance further he would need to draw upon immense desire to do so.

Looking at this in comparison to Obama's chart - Obama has Neptune transiting his first house wedged in between his sn and Chiron. Special purpose that needs to be resolved - linked to Neptune and the connection with his own Neptune ruling that Chiron - I feel God is truly on his side.

Transiting Saturn is in Romney's 6th house and will have just entered into a first quarter square with his own Saturn in Leo in the 3rd. His natal saturn is a balsamic conjunction with Pluto in the 4th - this soul has had many prior lives of social power and authority wheirin he has used words in order to gain the necessary credentials and social esteem in order to actualize the power his soul desired. This square at this time symbolizes a need to, in a sense, find new ways of gaining credibility - the 6th house dynamic will create a crisis within this soul that will require him to generate a great degree of focus to re-organize his approach. That Saturn is of course approaching a square to his Pluto Venus MC/IC - he probably aint getting very far one way or another.

In addition to all of this the nn will have just entered the 6th house and will be right on his Moon Jupiter and squaring his Pallas Athene in the 10th. In prior lives this soul has in some way participated in the torture and the humiliation/alientation of various people of certain cultural/spiritual beliefs - he has justified his actions on the basis of christian ideologies of sin and atonement. I am wondering btw if this man participated in the crusades as a pivitol spokesperson and influence.

The nn transiting over these planets can symbolize 2 dynamics. The more obvious of the two will be various lies coming to the surface - the nn bringing an evolutionary focus on what needs to be purged and released, scorpio, at this time. The sn moving through his 12th house, ruled by Venus in Aquarius on the MC can symbolize a dissolving of his social role and the loss of political support. Noting that the planetary rulers of the nodes are naturally in a gibbous phase opposition, the stress for this soul will be to maintain the support of the political groups and the various sectors of society that he needs in order to maintain power all the while receiving increasing criticism, distrust and opposition from various groups within the country.

The other dynamic this can bring up is this soul developing some sort of intensely detailed and inspiring vision that he then uses to lead various groups of people in order to form a very specifically goal focused political group. This too would be indicated by the transiting nn on his Jupiter Moon and the said phasal relationship between the natal rulers of the transiting nodes.

In so many ways this time period for Romney, what happens, depends on the intensity and focus of desire within this soul to not give up. Given the evolutionary shift happening on this planet over this next decade, there will be various spokespeople for darker forces that will necessarily manifest a strong presence in this world in order to facilitate in the polarization and gradual purging of that which is not in alignment with the evolutionary direction of the world.

Either that or he will simply be blocked by spiritual forces in whatever ways are necessary.

Lastly, I checked out his secondary progressed lunar phase and guess what - this September he enters the balsamic phase! This of course has dual symbology. On the one hand his own world is simply being dissolved by forces greater than himself - the reality of God, Creator. No matter what he does there is a natural process of culmination happening for this soul. However the other symbology of this phase is where his own identity can become a symbol for something "god like" for many other souls. I can see the movement towards this phase as in some way portending a potential rise to some sort of collective martyr figure in some way. In about a year his progressed Moon will move into his 12th house along with his progressed Sun. Aries is on the 12th house cusp which brings us back to that Mars in 10th in Pisces as discussed above.

Rad, will you let me know if any thing I've written is inaccurate/needs further refinement? Thank you for inviting this inquiry, I appreciate this opportunity very much.



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Jul 20, 2012, 07:44 AM
Hi Ari,

Thanks for beginning this discussion about the next election for president in the USA. I find all of your observations and correlations to both the charts of Obama and Romney very well considered. I have attached the natal chart for the USA with a synastry of the election day around it. One of the symbols within it that is interesting to consider, among many others, is that the transiting Lunar Nodes, having entered the 12th and 6th Houses of the USA natal chart, are forming a trine to it's natal 9th House Pluto. That Pluto correlates directly with the natal Saturn of Obama's. The transiting Pluto is forming by one degree a trine to Obama's 7th House Pluto.  The transiting Mars is in opposition to the natal Mars of the USA, and thus this transiting Mars will be creating a T-square to the USA's natal Neptune in Virgo. That Neptune is also the natal Neptune of Obama's Mars.

It's also interesting to note and observe that the transiting S.Node of Mars will be conjunct Romney's Jupiter/Moon conjunction, that the transiting S.Node of Venus will have just past over it, and that the transiting S.Node of Mercury is also conjunct his natal Chiron in his 6th.

I am hoping that others, as well as yourself, will wish to contribute to this thread. Whatever happens in the USA of course affects the entire world. Thus, to me at this point in time, this election is not only critical to what happens in the USA but the entire world at large. One man, Obama, is talking about economic fairness for all, for example, where the other, Mr.Duplicity, is talking about making the rich people even richer while all others are more or less meant to serve this 'ruling class': a plutocracy and oligarchy that controls the entire country. Equality of course is a Libra, Venus, and 7th House archetype as well as an archetype of extreme's. The transiting Venus in in Libra, the ruler of the transiting S.Node,  is balsamic to the USA natal Neptune on election day which is also Mr Duplicities natal Neptune. The transiting Mars in in the USA 7th House.

So the question becomes what philosophical, the USA's natal Pluto in the 9th, vision will prevail for that country and how will that then affect the rest of the world ?

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Kristin on Jul 20, 2012, 09:44 AM
Hi Rad,

Wonderful thought to add this thread as we are all going through this together and it will allow us all to witness the EA unfolding before our very eyes, more prepared for this experience. Thank for adding the US chart overlapping election day, that was very helpful..and thanks Ari for getting this thread going..very insightful additions..

I will like to add more as time allows but wanted to point how that Obama's, Progressed Moon will be at 16 Aries on election day, in his 2nd, this trines his Leo Sun. Also His Progressed Moon will make an exact trine to the transiting Moon, the Moon not only the ruler of his own Venus in Cancer, but the ruler of the US' Venus, Mercury and Sun. Tr Saturn will also be trining the US Venus and Mercury which is Obama's Venus.
 
Obama's Progressed Mars is in Libra in the 9th and will be sextiling his North node and Uranus in the 7th, Uranus is the ruler of his entire chart as well as his Jupiter in Aquarius. The ruler of his progressed Mars in Libra is Venus and his natal Venus as I mentioned is receiving that Saturn trine which is the ruler of his own Saturn in Capricorn. I do think it will be a battle until the end, for Romney also has a progressed Aries Moon but in his case it will oppose his Neptune., the ruler of his Mars sq the nodes, so hoping for our country's and the world's sake that his campaign will sink.

The strong emphasis of Venus, Obama sharing the same natal Venus as the US, reflects their mutual values, love for this homeland, rooted in the original way this country was designed and meant to be, fairness for all..liberty for all. I feel the people will feel, Cancer, the truth of his desire to make things far for all.

Peace,
Kristin


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: jasonholley on Jul 21, 2012, 06:52 AM
Hi all,

Thanks Rad for this thread, I'm looking forward to learning and participating in this discussion.

I wanted to offer for the group’s consideration that Obama's progressed Jupiter, retrograde since birth, has just recently stationed direct.  This is a big deal when an outer planet changes motion by progression in any chart, but it is downright amazing when we consider that the degree where Obama’s Jupiter has been stationing: 27 Capricorn, the exact degree of the USA natal Pluto.

To me this Soul has come into this lifetime with an intention to rework and reconsider, fully individuate its own philosophy and system of meaning (Jupiter rx in Aquarius), and now has reached a turning point in that process, having consolidated (Capricorn) a vision that it can now move forward on.  The timing of the stationing is very remarkable, since in many ways it correlates to the “stall” experience that Obama has faced a great deal of his first term and to the many ways he disappointed those who wished he would take a stronger stand on many issues.  The stationing period started in April 2010 and completed in November 2011.  It is interesting to consider now that since about the end of the station, as his progressed Jupiter began to move direct again, Obama has been viewed by many as beginning to get much stronger on his own agenda and vision for the country.  This is especially striking because it is exactly the opposite of what many expected Obama would do, which would be to move even more to the middle in anticipation of the election – but seen in the context of this Jupiter, it makes great sense that having completed this reworking process he has become ready to move forward.  And it would seem to be another indicator of the momentum towards his continuing in the presidency through the upcoming election. 

The fact of his progressed Jupiter having stationed on the USA natal Pluto shows that Obama is engaging a core evolutionary process of the United States around its deep preoccupation with its own philosophy and sense of mission in the world (Pluto in 9th).  The country feels a “special destiny” and a sense of divine mission (Pluto 9th, NN in Leo, and NN ruler Sun conjunct Jupiter), but this can manifest unconsciously as ideological extremes, polarizations, and partisanship, or consciously through equality and balance (the two sides of Jupiter ruling 7th house of USA).  So through his own clarification of his personal philosophy, Obama can help the country itself to realign with the higher octave of its own vision and philosophy.  And this is actually part of Obama’s life purpose in this lifetime – to help restore and shine a light on the USA’s true destiny in the world (Obama Sun conjunct USA NN). 

To me all of this underscores Rad’s statement that the vision and core philosophy of the country hang in the balance with this election.  Jupiter is very stimulated in the USA chart right now.  The USA’s natal Jupiter at 5 Cancer has received multiple oppositions from Pluto over the past two years, and is still in the midst of multiple squares by Uranus through mid-2013.  The USA Jupiter will also receive multiple trines from Saturn and Chiron over the next year, one of them on Election Day.  And on Inauguration Day next year, transiting Jupiter will be crossing the USA Ascendant at 6 Gemini – “Jupiter rising” in the US chart, and in the progressed chart, the Progressed Moon will be square the Progressed Jupiter within a degree that day.  All of this creates fertile ground for developments in the country’s philosophy and perspective.   

Jupiter has already figured prominently in Obama’s relationship to the USA relative to his Presidency, so all of this activity would seem very supportive of his continuation in office.  Obama’s first inauguration took place at his Jupiter return, and his natal Jupiter degree – 0 Aquarius – correlates exactly to the Sun’s position every year on January 20th, which is always the date of Inauguration Day.  Jupiter rules the 9th house in Obama's progressed chart and the 11th in his natal, so he is bringing a visionary quality that is also about breaking free of conditioned views, shaking all of this off, and with his progressed Jupiter now moving direct, he is feeling a deeper empowerment and clarity from within to bring his ideas and vision forward.   Given the conjunction of his progressed Jupiter station to the USA Pluto, these shifts he is experiencing can have a definite impact on the very Soul of the nation, much as they did the last time this Soul served as a President.

God bless,
Jason


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Jul 21, 2012, 07:13 AM
Hi Jason,

Thanks for posting this wonderful information and EA analysis for Obama and the election, and for the historical background to provide even deeper context for the importance of this election in the USA: what it really means relative to what the Civil War meant for the USA itself. 

That information about his progressed Jupiter is incredible.

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: ari moshe on Jul 28, 2012, 08:34 PM
Hi all, as always I am learning that any effort is valuable - and so I wish to share some perspective and observations here.

With the inspiration of Jason's post of Obama's progressed Jupiter, I was inspired to check out the progressions of the US chart.

Mercury went retrograde in 1995 near 6 pisces and goes direct at 20 aquarius in april of 2017. This is all happening in the 10th house of the US chart. It's stationing direct occurs just a couple degrees from the US natal Moon. The Moon is ruled by Uranus which is the ruler of the sn. In total this is about rethinking the original premise upon which the nation was born.

The original intentions of the country - rooted in a vision that had the intention to promote freedom, in particular freedom of thought and speech as a core premise of the original constitution - Uranus ruler of sn in 9th in Gemini in the 1st.

However the core karma of the country as I can see it is rooted in the creation of trauma for various groups and nations on this very land and all around the world – this is based on the psychology of entitlement based on self convincing ideals that place sthe nation in a place of specialness. Mars in a disseminating square with Neptune in the 5th – both ruled by Mercury retrograde in the 3rd. Both Mars and Neptune are sessquiquadrate the sn in Aquarius. Overdoing it. And the fact of them both being ruled by Mercury in the 3rd in Cancer which brings us back to the Moon in the 10th implies how there is clearly the need to RE-THINK on a national level the identity and purpose.

Specific to the day of election Mars will be at 22 sag opposing natal mars and joining in the seququadrates/semi squares to the nodes. Pallas Athene will also be moving retrograde towards a tighter alignment as well in Pisces in the 11th house.

All of these 20-22 degree signatures in the mutable signs also aligns with Obama's Mars in Virgo. In Obama's chart this is a new phase Mars with Pluto and is falling in his 8th house - his own soul intention is to defeat/break through self doubt. This mars in his chart is ruled by Mercury in the 6th in Leo which opposes his 12th house Jupiter Saturn. So there is a strong intention to create something that will improve the country - the need being to create something new with consideration for the pre-existing structures that exist (Saturn in Cap) given that those structures too need to evolve into new visions - Saturn Jupiter new phase, Jupiter in Aquarius. This stress dynamic in Obama's chart reflects lucidly the core ea signatures of the US chart. His Saturn Jupiter in Cap/Aquaiurs aligns with the US Pluto/sn. And his own Mercury opposing that on the US nn. The resolution of course is the need to throw off, let go of whatever inner dynamics within this soul that prevents in that purpose to be actualized. Given his own ea signatures, this is to release from his soul the ways in which he has become overly concerned with incorporating and including all kinds of points of views - to the point that his own purpose has been thwarted. His 1st house Chiron sn falls in the US 10th house - incomplete mission that relates to the structure of this very nation. And his Moon which squares his nodes right on the US AC and Uranus - implying trauma from the nation (Uranus ruling MC, sn) based on various ideologies and social judgement that has lead him to lie about his own identity - all that ultimately linking with his desire to create balance and inclusion between all kinds of groups - his own sn ruler conj nn in the 7th house.

(on that note - Romney's own nodes and squares with Luficer in Leo and Mars Mercury in Pisces falls RIGHT on Obama's skipped step Moon and his own nodal axis). Romney's own Moon Jupiter on Obama's mc and in his 9th house opposing Obama's gemini moon and squaring obama's nodes. Basically Romney's karmic stuff strongly inolves Obama's MC/IC axis and his own core ea signatures. This opens some doors to consider who this soul has been in the past relative to Obama. But that's a different post...)

The karmic resonance with obama with the US is super clear. It's also meaningful to note that the US Mercury is going to station direct right on Obama's AC. Yes that will be beyond his term, but whether or not he is officially serving a term may not be relevant.

Beyond all this we have Uranus forming a crescent phase sextile with the sn and squaring the natal Jupiter. Its in the natal 11th house and squaring transiting Pluto in the natal 8th house. That Pluto is slowly approaching a pluto return and soon to move over all the Capricorn sn planets. I feel what is beginning now is a destruction of the forms that have simply become way to crystalized - this will serve the purpose of initiating a new vision that will support gaia and all kinds of people. All this will unfold throughout the rest of this decade and into the next - and the fact of Mercury stationing direct in 5 years adds to all of this.

At the time of the elections Saturn will be approaching the first of 3 squares with the nodes over the next 9 months emphasizing the need to focus on creating new social programs that actually work - and of course this is all squaring obama's Mercury which is right on the US north node as explained above.

But it's not just about creating something new, the total paradigm is about to transform. It seems that as per Aquarius big change is due. It has to happen that the people, Aquarius, choose to rebel, liberate, decondition from the conditions of the past and to bring forth what is more evolutionary. Given the immense synnastry Obama has with the US chart and his own karmic purpose - he will then need to align with the people, his own sn purpose and the US 10th house, or not. This I feel will lead to a completely new goverment structure that will continue to unfold over many years. It's clearly a new paradigm and it will focus heavily on domestic issues, healing the land, the indigenous roots of this place, forming a more healing relationship to the earth, the food from the earth, how we transport and share our resources - third house nn ruled by Sun in Cancer in the 2nd. Jupiter conjunct the Sun and gibbous inconjunct with the 9th house - forming a vision that is focused on healing domestic issues, and a return to more matriarchal ways. The evolutionary emphasis on Cancer in the US chart with so many planetary nn's in the second, including the nn of Vesta right on jupiter shows me a destiny linked to healing and simplifying - honoring the sacred in life. Since the Moon rules that, and is in the 10th which links back to Uranus this will become a symbol - a way of thinking and a model for the world.

In the more immediate sense, the issues at hand right now are clearly about the economy, unemployment, impeding food crisis in the mainstream (people aren't speaking about that too much yet) and of course health care to support the masses. The immanent need for change in these areas will likely lead to a complete polarization within the country - those who are focused on the needs of certain groups, and those who are focused on the whole. Aquarius in the 10th. Also we have Neptune and Chiron in the 10th house of the US chart. So this is also bringing big healing to the nation's karma.

It is the growing reality of this polarization between groups that will ultimately lead to a breaking point - and I feel the time of the elections is likely a good time for that given the Cardinal square with Uranus and Pluto and Saturn now squaring the nodes approaching a conjunction with the transiting nn which is ruled by Pluto - something is coming to a head really soon.

Also, given the strong Mars Mars opposition involving natal Neptune - all ruled by Jupiter and mercury which in transit will oppose each other in the signs of Sag and Gemini - lots of crazy media distortion to be expected - meaningful to note that mercury is just stationing retrograde. Interesting to see how that will pan out... especially given it's synastry with Romney (squaring his mars, mercury and on his sn) and with Obama in 10th house and trining his Mercury.

Lastly, I just noticed that transiting Lucifer will be right on transiting Mars at 22 degrees Sag. Wow those degrees are really lighting up. This will be in Obama's 10th further activating those mutable degrees in sesquiquad to the US nodes.

Thank you as always for this opportunity for practice and learning Rad. With love,
Ari Moshe


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Jul 30, 2012, 07:11 AM
Hi Ari,

Just wish to thank you for contributing to this thread in the way that you have.

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: mess301 on Jul 30, 2012, 11:25 PM
This may not be the right place for this, but i think that many will find it deeply meaningful, especially given the possible/probably connection between Abraham Lincoln and Obama, as well as the  recent  geneological study dating Obama back to one of the first slaves which occurred through his Mother's side. You can find this story in the news today.

I think Sara Robinson's writing is of remarkable depth and historical significance and hits the nail on the head almost always.

http://www.alternet.org/story/156071/conservative_southern_values_revived%3A_how_a_brutal_strain_of_american_aristocrats_have_come_to_rule_america

Although not new to the board or JWG's work or astrology, I am newly registered.

So, hello.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Eric on Aug 22, 2012, 12:24 PM
Hi All,

After George Bush 1 was elected the first time I was feeling quite disillusioned with my country of birth, the US. The second time he was handed the presidency, this feeling significantly deepened. My thoughts would often turn to becoming an expat.

As the very real threat looms that Romney will become our next President, I have found myself thinking along those lines again. The thought of this completely bankrupt paradigm gaining even more momentum can only signify one thing which is more direct individual and collective catastrophe. This would have to be the collective subconscious intent of such a path. Simply put, it is a path of annihilation precipitated by the sheer mass of collective Karma. This is one of the ways the Goddess Kali shows up and when she is invoked one must hold tight and remember Her dual role as Goddess of birth. This is one of the ways life works. Kali is the game changer who exemplifies one of the starkest ways paradigms change.

 Another is more gradual in that the true believers of the existing paradigm simply fade out by death one at a time and the paradigm is eventually altered through attrition.

So, last night, I had a dream which turned my expat thoughts on their head. I actually love this country and the promise it may yet hold (in part) in envisioning our way out of the Armageddon scenario for which we have set our sails. And, of course there is the corollary in which that promise dwindles precipitously every time another vote is cast by the regular viewers of Fox News.

What if by the hand of Grace, Obama wins again. The existent polarities in our current paradigm are not going to magically resolve. In fact it is more likely that the pole shift will become even more extreme.

I am quite certain that there are significant numbers of Fox viewers who thought about becoming expats when Obama was elected. If he were to win again surely this sentiment would blossom. 

To honor the seeds of discontent which might produce that blossom, I offer my dream:

Instead of people like myself choosing to opt out and head for other shores, what if we decide to stay. We stay here and instead of envisioning ourselves in greener pastures, we double down on our vision while stealth fully stepping aside to create an enormous vacuum. “Oh my God! have you heard about Panama?”  Equador?  Spain?   The beaches, the food, the dollar.  No Obama to ruin your civil liberties!!! “America is going to hell in a handbasket fast, the markets are going to crash!, the time is NOW to leave all those crazy God damned  liberals in their crumbling mess and head for the hills!”
We could be double travel agents for exodus and attrition! I for one would be willing to shave, cut my hair, don a suit, and register as a republican all in the name of legitimacy. A few cleverly linked web sites, a bit of media attention. Hell, I bet we could get Fox News on board in no time touting a mad race to exotic locales. A paradigm shift through attrition vs. catastrophe. I think this is an export all here could get behind and it’s the diabolical best I have to offer up.
Any takers?

Blessings,
Eric


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Aug 29, 2012, 10:12 AM
All,

Here is a short clip from the Republican Convention that gives a perfect insight into the nature of the American citizens who define themselves as Republicans. This happened when a women from Porto Rico was introduced to the convention itself. This correlates to ugly form of nationalism reflected in the Pluto in Capricorn transit, and the underlying racism as well.  And with Neptune in Pisces and squaring the transiting Nodes we now have a party in the USA that is defined by total delusions and illusions that are considered 'reality' that these people 'believe' in. In essence these people live in a  universe of total fiction where they consider the fiction reality itself. And two people who now head that party, Romney and Ryan, whose entire presentation is one of lies: conscious, purposeful, lies and deceptions with literally millions of Americans who believe in those lies. Never before in American history has this ever happened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vr5kMguEqi8

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Wendy on Aug 29, 2012, 08:39 PM
Hi All,

Long time since I have posted, but I'm back for now.  

Wow, I loved reading Jason's post about Obama progressed Jupiter!  Throughout his term I have felt a trust in him, maybe because he's a fellow Pluto in Virgo and Leo Sun, but I think it is his soul vibration/mission that I feel connected to.

The night of the election, I watched on television, and witnessed huge orbs of luminouscent light touch down on the people.  I feel this was energy bodies that were celebrating with us, ETs and Spirit beings, and vibrational expressions of the healing that was occurring in peoples energy fields.  So much was being healed from years of and years of pain around racism and more.

During the summer and into the election and I was charged with energy to write about the Uranus Pluto generation and wrote the following about Obama and what I witnessed on election night.  The paragraphs were taken out of different chapters in the article, so they don't necessarily follow each other.

Currently, the global collective is experiencing the pressure and karmic influence of the war in Iraq, the immaturity and irresponsibility of the US Government, global economic instability, and earth changes on the rise.  It feels like we are in a pressure cooker and we are, especially if we have not grounded within our energy bodies and aligned in our highest evolution.  Numerous planets are influencing the changes we are experiencing now, namely; Pluto, Uranus and Saturn, and Neptune and Chiron.  The Scorpio new moon of October 28, 2008 occurred just prior to the US Presidential Elections while an exact Uranus-Saturn opposition occurred on November 4th, election day, which led us full gear into a new world.  These planetary alignments and Obama’s victory shook up the status quo.

The cosmos and our souls, together, are leading the way, forging global humanitarian healing dreams to manifest throughout the world, which was quite evident the eve Barack Obama became the leader of the free world.  While viewing the celebration and crying, I witnessed orbs of rainbow light lift up and down touching the crowds of people in Grant Park, Chicago.  The true healing that occurred from Obama being elected was tremendous (Chiron), harkening back to the 1960's when Chiron was in Pisces and Uranus Pluto in Virgo (deep traumatic wounds).

Neptune and Chiron have been shedding vast amounts of light onto the planet, especially since Barack Obama’s inauguration, and the line up of the Sun, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius.  They are flooding the planet with higher and higher frequencies transmuting the old paradigms the planets Uranus, Saturn and Pluto are bringing to the surface.      

With Barack Obama courageously coming forward as the United States President, the country is guided now by a man imbued with the energy of earth.  Born in 1961, Obama’s chart reveals a grand trine in earth.  His Mars is in Virgo; Ceres, Vesta and his Moon are in Taurus and his Saturn is in Capricorn conjunct Jupiter at 0 degrees Aquarius.  Guided by his inherent relationship to the principles of the feminine and of the earth element, we couldn’t have asked for a better man to guide the country now as Pluto enters the sign of Capricorn.  Interestingly enough, many feminists truly wanted Hilary in the White House, yet fundamentally, Obama carriers more feminine in his being than Hilary.  The sacred feminine archetype is intrinsic within his masculinity due to his Mars in Virgo, offering a humble new role model for men to aspire too while also offering his diverse background to the collective, which touches so many across all racial and ethnic lines, furthering the transformation of our deep seated issues of ignorance, separation, and fear.


All of this said, leads up to a concern I have about Obama's safety as the nodes now move into Scorpio/Taurus to eventually square his nodes and Sun.  Does anyone else feel that?

It is the growing reality of this polarization between groups that will ultimately lead to a breaking point - and I feel the time of the elections is likely a good time for that given the Cardinal square with Uranus and Pluto and Saturn now squaring the nodes approaching a conjunction with the transiting nn which is ruled by Pluto - something is coming to a head really soon.

The other thing I have been feeling for several years now, is that something big is going to have to occur to get the collective attention, in a huge way to shift consciousness, one way or the other, towards conscious evolution or further disempowerment.  The feeling I have had is that the government is going to reveal their knowledge of other life forms, ETs, as means to create mass fear and gain support to create more military weapons--more money.  I guess this piece I bring up is for a different post, and I wonder if it will come out this year or next.  I'm not sure what that would look like astrologically either.  

All the best,
Wendy


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Wendy on Aug 29, 2012, 08:41 PM
(on that note - Romney's own nodes and squares with Luficer in Leo and Mars Mercury in Pisces falls RIGHT on Obama's skipped step Moon and his own nodal axis). Romney's own Moon Jupiter on Obama's mc and in his 9th house opposing Obama's gemini moon and squaring obama's nodes. Basically Romney's karmic stuff strongly inolves Obama's MC/IC axis and his own core ea signatures. This opens some doors to consider who this soul has been in the past relative to Obama. But that's a different post...)

Wasn't this karmic relationship already discussed in another thread or post?  I thought I read something Rad posted about it in Romney thread.  I believe this is it.

http://schoolofevolutionaryastrology.com/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=9735;topic=608.15;num_replies=137;sesc=b7fb4e93fdc49c12c2d7cd335089db88 (http://schoolofevolutionaryastrology.com/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=9735;topic=608.15;num_replies=137;sesc=b7fb4e93fdc49c12c2d7cd335089db88)


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Wendy on Sep 06, 2012, 05:16 PM
Hi All,

I have been watching the Democratic National Convention and I feel very inspired!  

There is heart and unity coming from the presenters, as they speak passionately, and positive energy is rising from the people in the audience.  The presenters are speaking directly to what many of us are feeling and I thrilled to hear them.

I have posted the chart for Obama's Nomination, though I don't understand the time that was used?  I got the chart data from other astrologer's and haven't heard back about their time choice.

(http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv196/Astroearth/bnjpg.gif)


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Sep 07, 2012, 07:56 AM
Hi Wendy,

Nice to see you back here on the mb, and for your contribution to this thread. I would suggest that the time used for the chart above is not correct as this would correlate with very late hours. If you can find the accurate time please re-post the chart.

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: cat777 on Oct 04, 2012, 11:19 AM
Interesting bit about lying and the first debate:

"If Barack Obama or Mitt Romney weren’t telling the truth at any point
 in last night’s debate, it appears they believed their own lies.
 The group that got buzz on Wednesday by paying a security firm to use
 new truth detecting technology to give both candidates a lie-detector
 test during the debate said the preliminary results do not indicate
 any major lies from Obama or Romney."
 

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/04/lie-detector-test-of-presidential-debate-proves-inconclusive/#ixzz28LWRRBar


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 04, 2012, 11:26 AM
At Last Night’s Debate: Romney Told 27 Myths In 38 Minutes

By Igor Volsky on Oct 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

Pundits from both sides of the aisle have lauded Mitt Romney’s strong debate performance, praising his preparedness and ability to challenge President Obama’s policies and accomplishments. But Romney only accomplished this goal by repeatedly misleading viewers. He spoke for 38 minutes of the 90 minute debate and told at least 27 myths:

1) “Get us energy independent, North American energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs”. Romney’s plan for “energy independence” actually relies heavily on a study that assumes the U.S. continues with fuel efficiency standards set by the Obama administration. For instance, he uses Citigroup research based off the assumption that “‘the United States will continue with strict fuel economy standards that will lower its oil demand.” Since he promises to undo the Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standards, he would cut oil consumption savings of 2 million barrels per day by 2025.

2) “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.” A Tax Policy Center analysis of Romney’s proposal for a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions, would reduce federal revenue $480 billion in 2015. This amount to $5 trillion over the decade.

3) “My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people.” If Romney hopes to provide tax relief to the middle class, then his $5 trillion tax cut would add to the deficit. There are not enough deductions in the tax corde that primarily benefit rich people to make his math work.

4) “My — my number-one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that: no tax cut that adds to the deficit.” As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney’s plan can’t both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. “He’s promised all these things and he can’t do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he’d have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year,” the Center found.

5) “I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.” The studies Romney cites actually further prove that Romney would, in fact, have to raise taxes on the middle class if he were to keep his promise not to lose revenue with his tax rate reduction.

6) “I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by $3,000 to $4,000 on middle-income families.” Romney is pointing to this study from the American Enterprise Institute. It actually found that rather than raise taxes to pay down the debt, the Obama administration’s policies — those contained directly in his budget — would reduce the share of taxes that go toward servicing the debt by $1,289.89 per taxpayer in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

7) “And the reason is because small business pays that individual rate; 54 percent of America’s workers work in businesses that are taxed not at the corporate tax rate, but at the individual tax rate….97 percent of the businesses are not — not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they’re taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half — half of all the people who work in small business.” Far less than half of the people affected by the expiration of the upper income tax cuts get any of their income at all from a small businesses. And those people could very well be receiving speaking fees or book royalties, which qualify as “small business income” but don’t have a direct impact on job creation. It’s actually hard to find a small business who think that they will be hurt if the marginal tax rate on income earned above $250,000 per year is increased.

Cool “Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half.” Oil production from federal lands is higher, not lower: Production from federal lands is up slightly in 2011 when compared to 2007. And the oil and gas industry is sitting on 7,000 approved permits to drill, that it hasn’t begun exploring or developing.

9) “The president’s put it in place as much public debt — almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined.” This is not even close to being true. When Obama took office, the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Now the national debt is over $16 trillion. That $5.374 trillion increase is nowhere near as much debt as all the other presidents combined.

10) “That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to kill jobs in this environment.” That study, produced by a right-wing advocacy organization, doesn’t analyze what Obama has actually proposed.

11) “What we do have right now is a setting where I’d like to bring money from overseas back to this country.” Romney’s plan to shift the country to a territorial tax system would allow corporations to do business and make profits overseas without ever being taxed on it in the United States. This encourages American companies to invest abroad and could cost the country up to 800,000 jobs.

12) “I would like to take the Medicaid dollars that go to states and say to a state, you’re going to get what you got last year, plus inflation, plus 1 percent, and then you’re going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best.” Sending federal Medicaid funding to the states in the form of a block grant woud significantly reduce federal spending for Medicaid because the grant would not keep up with projected health care costs. A CBO estimate of a very similar proposal from Paul Ryan found that federal spending would be “35 percent lower in 2022 and 49 percent lower in 2030 than current projected federal spending” and as a result “states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding.” “To maintain current service levels in the Medicaid program, states would probably need to consider additional changes, such as reducing their spending on other programs or raising additional revenues,” the CBO found.

13) “I want to take that $716 billion you’ve cut and put it back into Medicare…. But the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of Obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake. There’s that number again. Romney is claiming that Obamacare siphons off $716 billion from Medicare, to the detriment of beneficiaries. In actuality, that money is saved primarily through reducing over-payments to insurance companies under Medicare Advantage, not payments to beneficiaries. Paul Ryan’s budget plan keeps those same cuts, but directs them toward tax cuts for the rich and deficit reduction.

14) “What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare.” Here is how Romney’s Medicare plan will affect current seniors: 1) by repealing Obamacare, the 16 million seniors receiving preventive benefits without deductibles or co-pays and are saving $3.9 billion on prescription drugs will see a cost increase, 2) “premium support” will increase premiums for existing beneficiaries as private insurers lure healthier seniors out of the traditional Medicare program, 3) Romney/Ryan would also lower Medicaid spending significantly beginning next year, shifting federal spending to states and beneficiaries, and increasing costs for the 9 million Medicare recipients who are dependent on Medicaid.

15) “Number two is for people coming along that are young, what I do to make sure that we can keep Medicare in place for them is to allow them either to choose the current Medicare program or a private plan. Their choice. They get to choose — and they’ll have at least two plans that will be entirely at no cost to them.” The Medicare program changes for everyone, even people who choose to remain in the traditional fee-for-service. Rather than relying on a guaranteed benefit, all beneficiaries will receive a premium support credit of $7,500 on average in 2023 to purchase coverage in traditional Medicare or private insurance. But that amount will only grow at a rate of GDP plus 1.5 percentage points and will not keep up with health care costs. So while the federal government will spend less on the program, seniors will pay more in premiums.

16) “And, by the way the idea came not even from Paul Ryan or — or Senator Wyden, who’s the co-author of the bill with — with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill — Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.” Romney has rejected the Ryan/Wyden approach — which does not cap the growth of the “premium support” subsidy. Bill Clinton and his commission also voted down these changes to the Medicare program.

17) “Well, I would repeal and replace it. We’re not going to get rid of all regulation. You have to have regulation. And there are some parts of Dodd-Frank that make all the sense in the world.” Romney has previously called for full repeal of Dodd-Frank, a law whose specific purpose is to regulate banks. MF Global’s use of customer funds to pay for its own trading losses is just one bit of proof that the financial industry isn’t responsible enough to protect consumers without regulation.

18) “But I wouldn’t designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check. That’s one of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank… We need to get rid of that provision because it’s killing regional and small banks. They’re getting hurt.” The law merely says that the biggest, systemically risky banks need to abide by more stringent regulations. If those banks fail, they will be unwound by a new process in the Dodd-Frank law that protects taxpayers from having to pony up for a bailout.

19) “And, unfortunately, when — when — when you look at Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has said it will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance. So it’s adding to cost.” Obamacare will actually provide millions of families with tax credits to make health care more affordable.

20) “t puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. I don’t like that idea.” The Board, or IPAB is tasked with making binding recommendations to Congress for lowering health care spending, should Medicare costs exceed a target growth rate. Congress can accept the savings proposal or implement its own ideas through a super majority. The panel’s plan will modify payments to providers but it cannot “include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums…increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and co- payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria” (Section 3403 of the ACA). Relying on health care experts rather than politicians to control health care costs has previously attracted bipartisan support and even Ryan himself proposed two IPAB-like structures in a 2009 health plan.

21) “Right now, the CBO says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as Obamacare goes into effect next year. And likewise, a study by McKinsey and Company of American businesses said 30 percent of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage.” The Affordable Care Act would actually expand health care coverage to 30 million Americans, despite Romney fear mongering. According to CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, 3 million or less people would leave employer-sponsored health insurance coverage as a result of the law.

22) “I like the way we did it [health care] in Massachusetts…What were some differences? We didn’t raise taxes.” Romney raised fees, but he can claim that he didn’t increase taxes because the federal government funded almost half of his reforms.

23) “It’s why Republicans said, do not do this, and the Republicans had — had the plan. They put a plan out. They put out a plan, a bipartisan plan. It was swept aside.” The Affordable Care Act incorporates many Republican ideas including the individual mandate, state-based health care exchanges, high-risk insurance pools, and modified provisions that allow insurers to sell policies in multiple states. Republicans never offered a united bipartisan alternative.

24) “Preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.” Only people who are continuously insured would not be discriminated against because they suffer from pre-existing conditions. This protection would not be extended to people who are currently uninsured.

25) “In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives.” The $90 billion was given out over several years and included loans, loan guarantees and grants through the American Recovery Act. $23 billion of the $90 billion “went toward “clean coal,” energy-efficiency upgrades, updating the electricity grid and environmental clean-up, largely for old nuclear weapons sites.”

26) “I think about half of [the green firms Obama invested in], of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.” As of late last year, only “three out of the 26 recipients of 1705 loan guarantees have filed for bankruptcy, with losses estimated at just over $600 million.”

27) “If the president’s reelected you’ll see dramatic cuts to our military.” Romney is referring to the sequester, which his running mate Paul Ryan supported. Obama opposes the military cuts and has asked Congress to formulate a balanced approach that would avoid the trigger.
   


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 05, 2012, 07:42 AM
Obama Targets Romney’s Debate Lies with Ad Focusing on Trust

By: Sarah JonesOctober 4th, 2012

Last night, I told nervous Obama supporters that Obama would hit Romney with fact-checking today and it would be brutal. And here we go. Obama is hitting Romney on the trail, fact-checkers are having a field day with Romney, and now the ads have started.

Here is your first TV ad from the Obama campaign, called “Trust”. If you can’t trust Romney in the debate, how can you trust him in the White House?

Reporter:
“I’m not in favor of a 5 trillion tax cut. That’s not my plan. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center concluded that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would cost 4.8 trillion dollars over ten years.”

Voice-over:
“Why won’t Romney level with us about his tax plan which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? Because according to experts he’d have to raise taxes on the middle class or increase the deficit to pay for it. If we can’t trust him here how could we ever trust him here?”

Here’s a small roundup of the response to Romney’s fairy tale presentation of his positions last night:

    CNN’s David Gergen: “Romney was just sort of flat out lying.”

    Bloomberg News: “Romney’s tax plan can’t add up.”

    CNBC Fact Check: “Romney again tonight did not say specifically how he would pay for his proposed across the board tax cut.”

    Los Angeles Times: “Fact check: Romney repeats erroneous claims on healthcare”:

    Fact Check‏@factcheckdotorg Romney says he will pay for $5T tax cut without raising deficit or raising taxes on middle class. Experts say that’s not possible….

    Rachel Weiner ‏@rachelweinerwp Fact Checker: Romney says “six other studies” have found his plan can be revenue neutral, but he’s wrong about that. wapo.st/UGjQeh

    PolitiFact ‏@politifact Obamacare is a government takeover of health care? That was the 2010 Lie of the Year. ow.ly/ecO9V #debate

    Chicago Sun-Times: “If, however, you score Wednesday’s debate on substance — accurate facts and honest arithmetic — Obama more than held his own.”

    Michael Crowley ‏@CrowleyTIME Romney closes with pretty dishonest warning about defense cuts

Liberals can’t stand seeing the President bullied and not fighting back. It brings up painful memories of lost elections stemming from unchecked Republican lies about patriotism and purple band-aids. But Obama is not John Kerry. Obama is not Jimmy Carter. Obama is not a wimp.

If anyone in this election is a wimp, it is Mitt Romney — as even Newsweek pointed out months ago. Romney is so desperate to be liked that he will tell the voters anything, do anything, to get their approval in this moment. But he will change it all tomorrow or the next hour to get someone else’s approval. He is fickle, two-faced and back-stabbing. He stands for nothing except the sleaze of an unethical used car salesman. This is what Americans think wins a debate? Bullying and lies?

Perhaps Americans are that silly. I don’t happen to think they are. But at any rate, Obama is not trying to win a debate. He’s trying to win an election. There is a big difference. Ask Sarah Palin about that. She is foolish enough to be gloating today over Romney’s performance, because Palin loves it when anyone takes a cheap shot at the President since she never managed to land a punch.

The country needs to lift itself up from the Right, not stoop down to their level. We are not electing bully-in-chief. We already had one of those and it didn’t work out so well. Fact lovers worry that the average voter didn’t hear the truth last night, and I agree. They didn’t.

But there isn’t anything Obama could have done about that without coming down to Romney’s level. Romney stood on that stage and reinvented his entire tax plan, disowning everything he’s been saying for the past year. Have you ever fought a serial liar in public? Engaging with them on their every lie is a mistake, because a misinformed public who do not understand the issues will falsely equate your growing hysteria with the lies of the serial liar. The mud spreads.

Obama did what he had to do. He was put in a bad position – how to catch a slippery liar who keeps changing their position? Punch air? He rose above it, spoke to the people directly, and he let the fact-checkers do their job. Today, he’s taking his case to the people in swing states. This man is not a wimp. But if his opponents want to make that same mistake again, fighting their fictional Obama, that will no doubt be just fine with the Obama camp.

In case anyone forgot, in 2008 Obama had the exact same strategy. He does not play the aggressive, angry man. He makes his rational, calm case to the public. He waits until the public has made up their mind about who is being dishonest or unfair, and when even the Independents are screaming “Why doesn’t he hit back!?”, Obama finally delivers the smooth, never-nasty knock out.

There is nothing more damaging for a candidate than having their own words used against them. It proves that they are not trustworthy and no matter what the pundits say, trust and likeability matter at the polls. George W Bush came across as a decent guy; Mitt Romney does not. Romney is a serial liar, who seems to garner smug pleasure from getting away with it at the moment. Mitt Romney is only fooling himself and what is left of his base. Sure, he took some “Undecideds” last night, but how are those folks feeling this morning after Romney has been roundly taken to the woodshed for his lies?

Trust. You can’t buy it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eV5m1NxffEs


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 07, 2012, 07:33 AM

Post-Debate Romney is Still a Pig in a Poke

By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonOctober 7th, 2012

By the time the last words were spoken in 2012′s first presidential debate, millions of Americans were no doubt left wondering who Mitt Romney is, and what he stands for. Romney had not managed to make that clear at any previous point in his political career. Mitt Romney, possibly alone among America’s major public figures, has managed to hold just about every position hat can be imagined, left to right.

There are those who think Barack Obama is actually more of an old-fashioned moderate Republican than a moderate Democrat, and many on the left see Barack Obama as being too far toward the center for their liking. But placing Obama on the left-right spectrum is more a matter of perspective, of one’s own point of view, whereas Romney actually shifts positions.

Since the debate, Romney has continued to talk a new language. You would think he had completely disavowed all his former positions. But he has not. He is talking one way, but his actions, or rather, inaction, proves he hasn’t actually changed his mind. Romney wants voters to think he thinks one way while he actually thinks another. He talks about the middle class. He talks about the  100 percent.

But his policies continue to be all about the 1 percent.

What do conservatives think of all this? Aren’t they a little befuddled too? Perhaps the rank and file, unless somebody is carefully explaining it all to them. But Paul Waldman, who is a contributing editor at The American Prospect, seems to point to the lack of outrage on the right when he says,

    You won’t hear Republicans saying this newly moderate Romney represents a betrayal. First off, they’re smart enough to realize that Romney hasn’t actually changed any of his plans; all he’s changed is how he talks about them. And second, conservatives have always been good at coming together when power is on the line. The right has just as many factions and just as much infighting as the left, but when Election Day approaches, they become deadly serious about the task at hand. There will be plenty of time for an ideological struggle over the GOP’s identity once the ballots are counted.

I think too that Romney’s incessant attacks against Obama and his flirtation with the most extreme elements within the Republican Party, will obscure a sense of his own “otherness” and  cover up his sudden appeal to moderation. The Republican Party has always been about hatred of Obama, after all, and less about policies. The Republicans, as just one example, have always crowed about spending and deficits but it is inevitably Republican administrations that rack up the debt.

You would think even Republican voters would recognize this but they seem to go right along with the propaganda, and I suspect they will go right along with the propaganda again. I can’t think of another political movement in all of American history that has been so resilient in the face of facts. Bill Maher can demolish their claims Obama destroyed America but that sort of thing goes right over their head. It’s just buzzing in their ears even if they bother to listen.

You might say that Mitt Romney has the best possible audience for his Etch A Sketch politics that could be imagined. A man who will say anything to get elected meets an audience that will believe anything to get rid of Obama.

Romney shows very little substance. You can’t be overflowing with substance and be as nimble ideologically as Mitt Romney has been. The ultimate political chameleon, Romney is good at saying what needs to be said, but not so good at making decisions. We saw what happens to a man like him when the pressure is on. He completely crumbled  in his first foreign policy forays, not only his reaction to the consulate attack in Libya but in his earlier visit to Europe.

Europeans expected some gravitas; Romney gave them a big, dopey, frat-boy bully. Which is all Romney really is, as he displayed again at the debate. He didn’t actually debate at all. He bullied. And Lehrer, with his “so what?” attitude, let him. Again, Obama displayed the gravitas we all look for. Obama even continued to say what he had said all along. And he did it without telling a lie a minute.

We didn’t see any substance at the debate and there is a very simple reason for this. There is no substance to Mitt Romney. Robert Draper, at the New York Time magazine, talks about Romney’s recent attempts to explain his policies in more detail after months of excuse-making and obfuscation. These, he says, look more as if “they were hatched from a few late-night strategy sessions after a string of bad news days rather than from the candidate’s core philosophy.” Draper makes the observation that Romney’s “campaign tactics reveal only what he would do in order to win, not what he’ll do once he has won.”

I have asked who the real Mitt Romney is politically. I am increasingly certain there is no answer to that question. What Mitt Romney is about, and what Mitt Romney will always be about, is Mitt Romney. His first and last question each day will be, did I do right by Mitt Romney? Asked who the real Mitt Romney is, I would be inclined to answer now that there is no real Mitt Romney beyond the Mitt Romney who will say anything to anybody to get elected.

If Mitt Romney comes across as a man who has no ideas – and he had no ideas when acting as an informal adviser to John McCain in 2008 – in all likelihood we can trust appearances. In his entire political career Romney has not displayed any core philosophy unless his core philosophy is to lie and lie often. They like to say all politicians lie, but no politician in American history has lied with the vigor and enthusiasm of Mitt Romney.

Pragmatic? That might be a word for it, though we like a little principle, a little substance, with our pragmatism. That is a combination displayed to good advantage by our current president, Barack Obama. We like a president who thinks before he speaks, a trick Romney, who is used to bullying and firing people, has never had to learn. Privilege, after all, has its privileges.

And it’s a lie to say we know any more about Mitt Romney than we did going into the debate. If we made a post-debate Mitt Romney action figure, it would look like the pre-debate Mitt Romney action figure. All the post-debate Romney does is say both “yes” and “no” at the same time to the benefit of none – save Mitt Romney.

Republicans are willing to overlook all this in the cause of getting Obama out of office. But I strongly suspect, should Romney win, Democrats will have to jostle to get into line when the complains start rolling in. Because when Republicans vote for Mitt Romney, they are buying a pig in a poke. They think they’re getting an anti-Obama, but what they need to remember is the fact that when they vote for Romney, they are voting for the man who invented the Obamacare they hate so much.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 07, 2012, 08:08 AM
For those in America please read and absorb this healine....and what it actually means in terms of what is going on in your country  .. the nature of your corporate media.

Unlike the Corporate Media, Citizens Aren’t Buying Romney’s Debate Lies

By: Sarah Jones
October 6th, 2012

A new tool was applied to social media following the presidential debate, and it showed that public sentiment was Obama won on substance, whereas Romney appeared to win by lying. The ability of social media to spread the word about fact-checks has changed the game.

NBC used a tool called ForSight, used to gauge public opinion in new media, to conclude that by Friday there was a sustained social media backlash against the punditry calling the Denver presidential debate for Romney. The new meme was that if Romney “won”, he did so by lying, whereas Obama had won on substance.

    The immediate consensus that Mitt Romney won Wednesday’s presidential debate has eroded significantly as fact-checkers have weighed in and supporters of President Barack Obama have fought back, according to NBCPolitics’ computer-assisted analysis of more than 1.3 million post-debate comments on social media.

    The analysis suggests that as debate over a news event continues unmediated over time, the impact of the conventional wisdom of journalists and partisan commentators can be mitigated…

    By Friday morning, the counterargument that Obama had actually won on substance had taken root, with online sentiment now favoring the president.

I am not presenting these revelations to argue that Obama won the debate. It was established by the media that Romney won the debate, even if this study — based upon the post mortem fact-checking that damaged Romney’s “win” — says otherwise. Romney has also gotten a small bounce in post debate polls so far among undecideds.

However, to the point of the social media backlash, the debate bounce is not a shift in the electorate precisely for the reasons people were citing on social media; the public does not find Romney trustworthy or presidential. According to numbers from a Reuters/Ipsos survey released Saturday, the bounce is not a shift in the electorate, but a short term bounce. “We haven’t seen additional gains from Romney. This suggests to me that this is more of a bounce than a permanent shift,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark concluded.

Furthermore, Obama gained ground post debate on matters of character and who understands the electorate more, even among voters who thought Romney “won” the debate. Obama is still more liked than Romney (53-29), and he still has a slim overall lead over Romney. Voters feel Obama has right values needed for a President by 43 to 37. Ironically given the narrative that came out of Denver’s debate, Obama still leads 42-38 on who is “tough” enough to be President.

So, Romney “won” the debate but did nothing he needed to do in order to present himself as more presidential. Worse, our media gave a debate to the person who by all fact-checkers’ accounts, lied his way through the entire debate to such an astonishing degree that there were times we did not know who was standing on that stage. This was not the Mitt Romney who has been campaigning for the past six years. Mitt Romney “won” by disavowing himself of Mitt Romney. How is that a real “win”? Perhaps he won the debate only to lose himself.

Not bothered in the least by Romney stabbing Republican ideology in the back in order to present himself as Obama lite during Denver’s debate, the Romney camp were out with champagne and snarls the day after the debate — high on their first “win” in a long and rather embarrassing campaign season for them. Republicans took to the airwaves to gloat like frat boys, demonstrating the very reason why they should not be in charge of anything. Ambition happily sacrificed principles in the Romney camp.

If this is “winning”, then we need to redefine the purpose of these debates. Ostensibly, they exist to inform the people. How exactly did Mitt Romney inform the people of his policy positions so that they were better equipped to vote their conscience? He misled them, if anything, and he seemed to only confirm voters’ already dim opinions of his character. The media dropped the ball on this one, including the allegedly liberal media.

Things are so bad in our corporate media that we were told a liar won a debate for the Presidency because the other guy didn’t hit him back hard enough. These folks are paid for their ability to see past the trees, even if they are the right height, and focus on more than political theater.

The debate is supposed to be about who is best suited to be President, not about who won the WWE show, unless the media is conceding that our presidential debates are nothing but entertainment not subject to rules. The Denver debate and the post debate coverage was an unmitigated fail.

Just like the trolled Town Halls of 2010, the media got punked by manic hysteria and distortions meant to distract from the very issues at hand. The media did nothing to clear the air. But citizens took to social media to point through the crazed haze, revealing the little man behind the curtain of lies.

Romney won the debate, but failed to achieve what should have been his biggest goals; to change public perception of him and to come off as presidential.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 07, 2012, 09:48 AM
Highly Debatable: The Big Liar’s Biggest Lies

October 5th, 2012 12:34 am Joe Conaso

“It’s not easy to debate a liar,” complained an email from one observer of the first presidential debate  – and there was no question about which candidate he meant. Prevarication, falsification, fabrication are all familiar tactics that have been employed by Mitt Romney without much consequence to him ever since he entered public life, thanks to the inviolable taboo in the mainstream media against calling out a liar (unless, of course, he lies about sex).

Yes, President Obama ought to have been better prepared for Romney’s barrage of blather and bull. The Republican’s own chief advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, had glibly described the “Etch-a-Sketch” strategy they would deploy in the general election, to make swing voters forget the “severe conservative” of the primaries. Romney executed that pivot on Wednesday night, but he could do so only by spouting literally dozens of provably fraudulent assertions — which various diligent fact-checkers proceeded to debunk.

Knowing that he is vulnerable on taxation and the budget for many reasons, including his own peculiar and secretive tax history, Romney made several contradictory claims regarding his economic plan. He has no plan to lavish $5 trillion in tax breaks on the wealthy. He won’t cut taxes for the rich at all. He vowed to provide tax relief to the middle class and won’t increase their tax burden. He swore that his tax cuts would not increase the deficit.

Finally, he said that with all of that, he would grow the economy enough to shrink and eventually eliminate the deficit — without raising taxes on anyone. And he claimed that there are several studies proving he can fulfill all of these conflicting promises — even though he refuses to provide any specific tax proposals beyond a broad tax cut.

There is no study proving that Romney can do what he promised – and among his lies is his description of editorials in Tthe Wall Street Journal as “studies” of his plan. The most complete and unrefuted study of his claims remains the Tax Policy Center’s bipartisan report on the Romney plan, which shows that there is simply no way to pay for his $5 trillion, across-the-board tax cut without raising taxes on the middle class. None of the alternative studies he has cited proves otherwise – and some of them actually amass additional evidence that he is wrong.

Undoubtedly he knows all that. He knows that eliminating the estate tax, a mainstay of his plan, will benefit the rich enormously and almost nobody else.

He also knows that when he claims economic growth alone will erase the deficit, without raising taxes, he is inventing impossible numbers. As The National Memo’s Howard Hill demonstrated yesterday, the assumptions behind his claims are ridiculous. For the numbers to work, he would have to create not 12 million jobs, as he promised to do by 2016, but 162 million — more than the total current U.S. workforce. Or else the jobs created would have to pay more than $443,000 per year on average — which is even less likely than Rafalca winning the dressage medal at the next Summer Olympics.

At the same time, Romney accused the president of increasing the federal debt by an amount that is “almost as much…as all prior presidents combined.” This charge, which he leveled before, is patently false and by now Romney must  know it. The prior debt, mostly run up by George W. Bush and his Republican congressional cronies, stood above $10 trillion when Obama took office. The debt is now just over $16 trillion, mostly due to costs incurred by Bush and by Obama’s successful effort to prevent a Depression.

Having essentially disavowed the health care reforms that were his sole significant achievement in his single term in elected office, the former Massachusetts Governor suddenly claimed ownership of Romneycare. Presumably, this will make him more appealing to swing voters, too. But he still wants to do away with Obamacare, except for the parts that are popular.

For this maneuver, he must misrepresent his own proposed federal health care overhaul. He says there will be no change to Medicare for current beneficiaries, but repealing the Affordable Care Act will deprive them of free preventive care, increase their costs for prescription drugs, and do irreparable harm to Medicaid, which provides assisted care for nine million destitute Medicare patients.

But Romney has been lying about the Affordable Care Act for years, according to his own former advisor Jonathan Gruber, the chief intellectual architect of Romneycare. Nearly a year ago, Gruber complained  that Romney’s attempt to draw a sharp distinction between the Massachusetts legislation and Obamacare was phony. He told Capital New York in November 2011 that “they’re the same fucking bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying.”

Lying again? Indeed, the falsehoods flowed on every conceivable subject. Concerning energy, Romney claimed that “about half” of the renewable energy firms that received federal assistance under Obama administration programs went bankrupt — a claim that cannot be justified by any measure. Of the 28 firms that got federal loans or loan guarantees, three went under, representing under 11 percent — and less than 5 percent of the funds committed. (This assertion was so blatantly untrue that the Romney campaign withdrew it the next day.)

The examples cited above hardly exhaust the deep well of dishonesty in the Republican campaign. What Romney has done presents a fundamental challenge to the American political media. Will news outlets hold him accountable for baldly misleading voters? Are they capable of confronting his continuous mendacity with basic facts? Some have made a beginning, while others have scarcely tried. If that isn’t their responsibility, then they no longer have any purpose at all.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 08, 2012, 07:36 AM

Obama Calls Romney Out for Playing a Politician with Character Instead of Being One

By: Sarah JonesOctober 7th, 2012see more posts by Sarah Jones

Obama for America’s new ad calls Romney out for his spectacular debate “performance”. When the cameras rolled Mitt Romney’s performance began, but the problem is that’s all it was.

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-i9nj_0of4o

The Obama campaign described the ad, “Whether he was talking about taxes, healthcare, or almost anything else, Mitt Romney didn’t tell the truth in the first presidential debate. He denied the very existence of his $5 trillion tax plan weighted toward the wealthy and made dishonest statements about his plan for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Maybe that’s because his real plans would mean devastating consequences for the middle-class, like raising taxes on them in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. With so much at stake, America needs a president with character, not a politician who just plays one.”

Obama is a thoughtful man, a person of substance and character. He didn’t treat the debate like a boxing match, and pundits say he lost because of it. I’m not so sure that’s true. I suppose it’s how we define win. Is winning a debate beating up your opponent with lies, or is winning a debate taking your case to the people?

Mitt Romney has been branded fairly with the stamp of dishonesty by virtue of the first debate alone. And he was clearly playing a character, as he abandoned almost his entire platform from the past year in the debate. What did we learn about Mitt Romney in the debate? Only that once again, he wasn’t being straight with us.



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 08, 2012, 07:46 AM

After Dissing Spain, AP Says Romney Might Need Lesson in Diplomacy 101

By: Sarah JonesOctober 7th, 2012

The Denver fallout continues for Mitt Romney. Sunday, the AP said that Mitt Romney might need a crash course in diplomacy 101 if he gets elected.

During the first presidential debate, Romney attempted to conflate Spain with Obama in order to smear the President with failure no matter how unrelated. The irony of this is that not only did he irritate Spain (a Romney specialty, it seems), but also he got it wrong.

In fact, Spain’s problems come precisely from the kind of “leadership” we would expect under Romney; the kind of leadership America had under Bush that led to the great recession.

Spain is none-too-pleased. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria called out Romney’s “ignorance” of reality (are we cringing yet?), “What I see is ignorance of what is reality, but especially of the potential of the Spanish economy.”

Additional Spanish leaders piled on, managing to demonstrate more diplomacy than Mitt Romney has shown in this entire campaign:

    Maria Dolores Cospedal, leader of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party, noted that “Spain is not on fire from all sides like some on the outside have suggested.” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo called it “very unfortunate that other countries should be put up as examples” when the facts are skewed.

“Skewed facts” and Romney seem to go together these days. The AP wrote, “If Mitt Romney becomes president, he might need a crash course in Diplomacy 101.”

During the Denver debate, Romney argued that government spending was the root of Spain’s problems, and fear-mongered that because of this faulty premise, America would face the same path under Obama (again ignoring that Republicans drove Clinton’s surplus into a record deficit and told us deficits don’t matter as they did it). Romney said, “I don’t want to go down the path of Spain. I want to go down the path of growth that puts Americans to work.”

Spain’s level of government spending is low compared to the rest of Europe. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Spain ran budget surpluses in the years from 2005-2007. Its debt to GDP ratio fell from 50.3 percent in 2000 to 26.5 percent of GDP in 2007. There is no remotely plausibly story of government profligacy here.”

What did cause the problems? The same thing that happened here in America – the greed of the private sector bankers fueling a housing bubble, and now those same bankers refuse to loan money thereby killing the credit that spurs the economy.

Center for Economic and Policy Research reported on the ideologically driven misunderstanding of the crisis in Spain being used by the American Right wing to justify cutting social spending when it is actually not related to social spending (emphasis mine):

    In short, people who describe the euro zone crisis as a story of excessive government deficits are pushing an ideological agenda that has nothing to do with reality. The story of the current deficits of the non-Greece countries is the story of the collapse of housing bubbles that threw the euro zone economies into a severe downturn. The European Central Bank (ECB) has magnified the problem by maintaining relatively tight monetary policy in order to maintain very low inflation and also explicitly asserting that it would not act as a lender of last resort to the heavily indebted countries.

    Blaming government profligacy may be useful to those who want to see cuts in social spending, but it is not a story that is based in reality. It conceals the incompetence/greed of the private sector bankers who fueled the bubble. It also ignores the recklessness of the ECB of clinging to its inflation obsession even in the midst of a crisis that threatens the survival of the euro and could cause millions of additional workers to lose their job.

If Romney wants to put Americans to work then why is Romney advocating for the same policies that threaten to put millions of additional workers out of a job in Spain?

Romney’s showing at the debate “put Europe on edge”. Embarrassingly for the U.S., the Romney international affairs circus is just getting warmed up. Monday, Romney makes a foreign policy speech, in which no doubt he will attempt to paint himself as Reagan and tell Obama to tear down some wall. I have ten thousand on Romney managing to insult an ally or give yet another nation an excuse to refuse to cooperate with the US as he did with Russia.

So far, Romney has managed to insult, offend and/or deeply concern Australia, Russia, Palestine, Britain, and Spain. All of Europe is on “edge” with Romney, including the center-right and conservative governments. Romney was accused of putting our national security at risk during his summer of foreign affairs woes. The British suggested that Romney take diplomacy lessons from Michelle Obama during his gaffe ridden visit, and now the AP is suggesting that he might need lessons in diplomacy. The AP.

When the AP is calling out a Republican neo-con corporatist, things might be worse than they appear. I don’t recall the main stream press warning us about Bush’s lack of diplomacy, and we all know how he governed. I daresay it’s not just Europe that’s on edge over the possibility of a Romney presidency.

***************

 Sunday, Oct 7, 2012 1:30 PM UTC

Spain quip adds to Romney’s foreign policy trouble

By Bradley Klapper, Associated Press 

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Mitt Romney becomes president, he might need a crash course in Diplomacy 101.

He irritated Britons and Palestinians during a summer tour abroad and has declared Russia to be America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. Just last week, the Republican candidate, who plans a foreign policy speech Monday, raised eyebrows in Spain by holding it up as a prime example of government spending run amok.

That left Spaniards confused, and threatened to reinforce Romney’s perceived handicap in international affairs, precisely at a time when lingering questions over the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has President Barack Obama on the defensive.

“I don’t want to go down the path of Spain,” Romney said Wednesday night during the first presidential debate. He argued that government spending under Obama has reached 42 percent of the U.S. economy, a figure comparable with America’s NATO ally. “I want to go down the path of growth that puts Americans to work.”

The remark was Romney’s latest to cause international offense during a campaign that much of the world is closely monitoring.

The sensitivity reflects a wide understanding that Romney could prevail over President Barack Obama and take over as leader of the world’s top military, economic and diplomatic power. If Romney becomes commander in chief, he could face a testy beginning with Europe’s economic laggards such as Greece, Italy and Spain, whom he has beaten up regularly throughout the campaign.

No one contests that Spain’s situation is dire, its economy in deep recession and unemployment hovering around 25 percent. But Spain’s level of government spending is actually low by European standards, and significantly less than Germany and Scandinavian countries with far healthier economic prospects. Spain’s woes were chiefly caused by the collapse of a property bubble that had fueled more than a decade of booming economic growth.

Spanish reaction to Romney was swift.

“What I see is ignorance of what is reality, but especially of the potential of the Spanish economy,” said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

Maria Dolores Cospedal, leader of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party, noted that “Spain is not on fire from all sides like some on the outside have suggested.” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo called it “very unfortunate that other countries should be put up as examples” when the facts are skewed.

The criticism comes at an inopportune time for Romney. Obama has consistently outscored his challenger in polls asking about national security leadership, but the administration is struggling to deal with last month’s attack on the consulate. Four Americans died, including the first ambassador killed in the line of duty in more than three decades.

Romney will have a chance to fully articulate his vision of America’s role in world affairs when gives his address Monday at the Virginia Military Institute. But the furor in Spain, however minor, instead serves as a reminder of Romney’s record of diplomatic stumbles, such as calling Russia — not Iran or China, for example — America’s primary global adversary in March.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has since pointed to Romney’s comment as justification for Russia’s opposition to America’s missile defense plans in Europe, saying the statement has “strengthened Russia’s positions in talks on this important and sensitive subject.”

Then on a July trip to Europe and Israel meant to burnish Romney’s foreign policy credentials, the candidate criticized Britain over its preparations for the London Olympic Games. The comment baffled America’s closest ally, drawing withering retorts from the British press, the Conservative prime minister and London’s right-wing mayor. He also cited a private meeting with Britain’s spy service MI6, in a significant breach of protocol.

In Israel, he followed up by declaring Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish state, which U.S. administrations have refused to accept for decades given Palestinian claims to the ancient city.

At a gathering of mostly American Jewish donors, Romney implied that Israel was more advanced than the Palestinians because of cultural superiority. The comment drew a charge of racism from the Palestinians’ chief peace negotiator, with whom the U.S. has been working to reach a two-state peace deal with Israel and counter the threat posed by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rejects Israel’s existence.

The comments in some ways reflect the demands of a presidential campaign and the thousands of speeches, fundraisers and public appearances each candidate must make.

Obama, too, has made mistakes. He was forced to apologize to Poland’s president in June after using the expression “Polish death camp” in reference to an extermination center operated by Nazi Germany on Polish soil during World War II.

Romney’s Spain quip might play well with Americans closely split on the election, who’ve heard from both candidates about the perils of economic contagion from Europe’s debt crisis. It also was meant as a reminder of the $16 trillion U.S. debt that Obama presides over.

But even if it barely registered in a debate that most observers credited Romney with winning, the comparison may do damage. By singling out Spain, Romney ruffled feathers in a country he will probably need to call on for assistance if he becomes president. Spain has almost 1,500 troops in Afghanistan. It contributed fighter jets, refueling planes and naval vessels to the U.S.-led NATO mission that ousted Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi from power.

“When you have a party or politician that has not been in power nationally for a while, there is a learning curve,” said Frances G. Burwell, director of transatlantic relations at the Atlantic Council. “Europe has changed rapidly in terms of its governance rapidly. It’s a very diverse place. But I’m sure a Romney administration would quickly get up to speed on this.”

Burwell didn’t see Romney’s slighting of Spain or other European countries significantly straining ties or complicating tough questions on the horizon for any U.S. president, such as troop deployments in Afghanistan. But she said his critique of Spain’s government spending level was somewhat strange considering the Madrid government is assertively cutting expenditures to avoid a European bailout and the high levels of American debt.

Added Heather Conley, European director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “Europeans ask the U.S., ‘What about you?’ This isn’t helpful to either side of the transatlantic relationship.”

*************

Romney's strong debate showing puts Europe on edge

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the first presidential debate with President Barack Obama (not pictured) in Denver October 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

By Luke Baker

BRUSSELS | Thu Oct 4, 2012 11:08am EDT

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama's lackluster performance in the first U.S. election debate provoked uneasiness in European capitals on Thursday, where hopes are mostly, if unofficially, pinned on his securing a second term.

While a lot can change before the November 6 vote, and Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will go head to head twice more before then, polling conducted immediately after the debate showed Romney came out overwhelmingly on top.

A flash poll by CNN showed 67 percent of viewers thought Romney had 'won', with just 25 percent for Obama. Intrade, an online prediction market, cut Obama's re-election prospects from 74 percent to 66 percent.

In Europe, where leaders and finance officials have worked closely with the Obama administration over the past 2-1/2 years trying to resolve the euro area debt crisis, there was particular consternation at Romney's singling out of deficit-ridden Spain as a poorly administered economy.

"Romney is making analogies that aren't based on reality," Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters after a meeting of his centre-right party.

Leading Spanish daily El Pais highlighted the fact that Spain was the only European country mentioned, and contrasted Romney's negative depiction of it with Obama's praise for Spain's renewable energy policies during the 2008 campaign.

"Spain has never been mentioned in a presidential debate as a symbol of failure," the left-leaning newspaper lamented. "What happened last night makes history. And not in a good way."

Political commentators in France and Germany registered surprise at Obama's underwhelming performance, saying the election could be much tighter as a result.

"Obama showed a lack of desire to be president, which could put him on shaky ground as a presidential candidate," said liberal German news magazine Der Spiegel.

"It's now clear that to get back into the White House the U.S. president needs running shoes, not flip-flops."

France's Le Monde appeared equally surprised by Obama's sub-par performance. "Where did the favorite go?" it asked on its front page, with a headline below saying: "Obama fails his first televised debate against an incisive Romney."

LEANING OBAMA'S WAY

In private, many EU diplomats have no qualms about saying they want Obama re-elected; it is no secret that many European countries, whether led by centre-left or centre-right governments, are more broadly aligned with the Democrats when it comes to social and tax policy, the environment and a range of foreign-affairs issues.

That is something Obama has sought to exploit in the past. In the run-up to a G8 meeting at Camp David in May, White House officials firmly pressed their European counterparts to rally behind Obama's policy initiatives, according to those involved.

"It was like all of the G8 apart from Russia and Japan were expected to be part of the Obama re-election campaign," the chief of staff of one European leader told Reuters at the time.

Washington has also applied quiet pressure on Europe in recent months about the need to avoid a major blow-up in the debt crisis ahead of the election, in part so as not to rattle the U.S. economy, several EU officials have told Reuters.

Europe's leaders have good reason to go along; they want to keep a politically risky crisis under wraps, too, and they want to expand the close working relationship they have developed with Obama's administration over the past four years.

"The Europeans have a general uneasiness about a Romney presidency," said Jan Techau, the director of Carnegie Europe.

"It's not because they don't like him, but there are a lot of neoconservative policy advisers who would come back into office under a Romney presidency, and that is a prospect that a lot of European leaders are not comfortable with.

"There's a general tendency to stick to what you know and what you have been working with," he told Reuters.

"DEAL WITH IT"

Romney has also not done much to endear himself to the Old World. During a visit to Britain ahead of the Olympics in July he cast doubt on how well prepared London was to host the games, and in Israel days later he appeared to criticise Palestinian culture, leading to widespread condemnation.

One of Romney's advisers on a "Europe working group" is Nile Gardiner, a Briton who was an aide to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and now works for the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Times last month, Gardiner was decidedly downbeat on Europe, saying the continent was in terminal decline and European integration was misguided.

"The European Project is falling apart, drowning in a sea of debt, and driven by bureaucrats in Brussels who lack any semblance of democratic accountability," he wrote.

Those sorts of opinions among the circle around Romney have raised hackles in Europe and fuelled hopes that his challenge for the White House will fail.

Obama still holds an advantage in opinion polls, including a daily Reuters/IPSOS tracking poll that gives him a 47 percent to 41 percent lead over Romney, a margin that has held fairly steady since mid-September.

With just 33 days before the election, Romney still has a hill to climb to unseat Obama, but two more strong performances in the debates could tip undecided voters his way.

In Europe, leaders are watching closely and will be ready to suppress their Romney reservations if need be.

"Even though we have a natural predilection for Democratic presidents, we'll embrace the next U.S. president whoever he is," said one diplomat in Brussels. "We just have to deal with it."

(Additional reporting by Michelle Martin in Berlin, Fiona Ortiz in Madrid and Alexandria Sage in Paris; Writing by Luke Baker; Editing by Will Waterman)


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 08, 2012, 10:17 AM

Republicans Sell America’s Sovereignty and Give in to a Foreign Corporation’s Demands

By: RmuseOctober 8th, 2012         

As a sovereign nation, America’s government has supremacy of authority to rule as dictated by the U.S. Constitution and is completely independent from outside forces. The Founding Fathers never intended for foreigners to influence the government or impose their will on Americans or politicians, but for the past two years, Republicans have acquiesced to a foreign corporation’s demand they be given the authority to raise gas prices, endanger the water supply, and impede farmers right to produce crops to feed the nation. Now, Willard Romney has joined the fray and Americans should begin asking why Romney promises to allow a Canadian corporation to control land in America, and why they are funding his run for the White House.

It is obvious to many Americans that Romney and Republicans hate this government and its people, and in their drive to weaken America, they are promoting a Canadian corporation to assist in their efforts. It was revealed recently that a Canadian corporation contributed $1 million to put Willard Romney in the White House, and he supports another Canadian corporation’s expedition to takeover Americans’ lands and raise gas prices. At one point in America’s history, it was illegal for foreigners to impact elections and influence the government, but that was before Republicans abandoned their duty to serve the Constitution and the American people.

The two Canadian corporations attempting to influence the government of the United States are TransCanada and investment management giant, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. Maybe Romney believes that as president, ceding control of Americans’ private property to a Canadian oil corporation is acceptable because they have oil, and it is possible he accepted a million dollars from a Canadian investment firm because of his affinity for vulture capitalism, but whatever his logic, Romney and Republicans are traitors for giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the people.

The investment and insurance giant, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., contributed $1 million to a Romney super-PAC in spite of the law that says that any foreign national is prohibited from “directly or indirectly” contributing money to influence US elections. The Canadian investment firm donated to Romney because “a victory by Gov. Romney in November would be beneficial and level the playing field against corporations in more favorable tax jurisdictions.” Apparently, if the investment firm can buy Romney’s assistance to change tax laws for a Canadian corporation, then an illegal million dollar donation is a small price to pay. Romney is notorious for using other people’s money to increase his wealth, so accepting an illegal campaign contribution fits his penchant for corruption, however, it is Romney and Republican’s aid to TransCanada Corporation that is impacting America’s farmers, the water supply, and the price of gasoline.

TransCanada Corporation is the owner-operator of the Keystone XL pipeline that Romney promises to approve on his first day in office to supply oil to China. In a campaign speech in Michigan, Romney told supporters “I’ll get us that oil from Canada we deserve,” but he knows the oil is slated for export on the foreign market and that Americans will never see one drop; except when the pipeline ruptures. Romney, Paul Ryan, and Republicans lied to the American people that expediting construction of the pipeline from Canada to Texas will create jobs and provide a glut of gasoline for Americans, but TransCanada debunked job creation claims and guaranteed the pipeline will increase the price of gas at the pump by at least 15 cents per gallon if not more. The environmental impact will be substantially more costly though, but decimating America’s natural resources has never been a concern for conservatives. For the record, the tar sand belongs to Canada and Speaker of the House John Boehner, and subsequently they have already contracted to export the refined gas to China. However, before the northern route has even been decided, TransCanada has taken over farmers’ land throughout Texas and prompted local officials to protestors even on their own  land. Republicans trumpet personal freedom and decry intervention in private citizens’ lives, but where oil, wealth, and power are involved, freedom rests in the hands of a Canadian corporation.

On Thursday, actress Daryl Hannah was arrested for protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas, but real victim was a 78 year-old grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, who was arrested with Hannah. A spokesman for the Canadian corporation said, “It is unfortunate Ms. Hannah and other out-of-state activists have chosen to break the law by illegally trespassing on private property,” but the Texas grandmother was not an out-of-state activist; she owned the private property TransCanada claimed she was trespassing on. Fairchild is not alone in protecting her private property. Across Texas, and states where the pipeline is planned or already under construction, farmers are protesting KeystoneXL cutting through their land, and their common complaint is, “they’re siting it across me,” and not “across my land,” because farmers “identify with their land like they identify with their own bodies.”

It is common knowledge Romney is not concerned about the American people, and that his first allegiance is to corporations and Wall Street, but he is giving clear indications he will allow foreigners to dictate their policies that will affect this government and its people. His company, Bain Capital, invested in Chinese companies, Iran, and a firm that acknowledged its strategy was profiting from US companies outsourcing jobs, and it begs the question; does Romney intend to serve the American people or foreign corporations, or in the case of Israel, a foreign government?

The Romney campaign asserts President Obama is foreign to America, but they are projecting Romney and his devotion to serving foreigners. That his campaign accepted a million dollars from a Canadian investment firm, or that he promotes a Canadian company that is taking over Americans’ land proves he is not devoted to America, but to whichever foreign entity supports his campaign. Romney pledged to give TransCanada free rein to build the Keystone pipeline, and it has already resulted in the arrest of a Texas grandmother and Native Americans for standing on their own land, and construction of the Northern portion of the pipeline assures that more American farmers will lose their property rights to a foreign corporation to enrich the oil industry that contributes heavily to Romney’s campaign.

The American people should be mortified that when it comes to protecting Americans’ freedom as private property owners, Romney’s promise to approve the Keystone XL pipeline informs his intent of defending foreign entities; not Americans. In fact, if Romney believes a Canadian investment firm and tar sand corporation will increase his wealth and power, he will defer to them regardless if they arrest Americans on their own private property or raise the price of gas, and it defines him as the only foreigner running for president.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 09, 2012, 07:44 AM
Originally published Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 12:04 AM   

Diminished GOP brand heightens Romney's challenge

Even with his strong debate performance, Mitt Romney needs every possible advantage to overtake President Barack Obama in the next four weeks. Not helping him much is the Republican Party he leads.

By CHARLES BABINGTON
Associated Press

SALISBURY, N.C. —

Even with his strong debate performance, Mitt Romney needs every possible advantage to overtake President Barack Obama in the next four weeks. Not helping him much is the Republican Party he leads.

Thanks in part to congressional Republicans' no-compromise stands on key issues, and an unpopular past president in George W. Bush, the GOP's image is at one of its lowest points in modern times. Romney is now distancing himself a bit from some party policies, most notably by emphasizing that he doesn't want to cut taxes for high earners.

That's probably a smart move, say Republican activists in regions where it's getting harder to sell the party's brand.

When talking with unaffiliated voters, "it's more important to sell Romney" than Republican policies, said Jordan McSwain, 19, who makes about 800 phone calls a week for GOP candidates from the central North Carolina town of Salisbury. A lot of undecided voters tell him "the Republicans have stopped all work in Washington," McSwain said, although he reminds them that Democrats controlled Congress for Obama's first two years.

Ten months ago, Americans were fuming over a near crisis in the economy triggered by Congress' partisan showdown over raising the debt ceiling and keeping the government operating. A Pew Research poll found that considerably more adults thought the Republican Party was "more extreme in its positions" than the Democratic Party. They saw the GOP as less ethical and less willing to work with the other party. And more Americans blamed Republican leaders for Congress' paltry list of accomplishments.

Recent polls spell out the Republican Party's challenge. A CBS-New York Times poll last month found that 49 percent of adults had a favorable view of the Democratic Party, and 36 percent unfavorable. The GOP was upside down on the question, with 43 percent viewing it favorably, and 55 percent unfavorably.

This is partly because more Americans see themselves as Democrats. The latest AP-GfK poll found that 31 percent of adults considered themselves Democrats, 22 percent Republicans and 29 percent independents. When unaffiliated voters were pressed to say which way they lean, the results were 50 percent Democrat and 37 percent Republican.

The Democratic Party's favorable ratings are nothing to brag about. But party identification is less important to Obama, who has a four-year record for voters to judge. Romney, being less well known, must rely at least in part on the "Republican brand."

"The Republican brand name is in terrible shape, and people are not naturally sympathetic to the Republicans in Congress," Fox News commentator Brit Hume said in June.

Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, speaking in February of the rambunctious GOP primary, said, "This process has certainly hurt all the Republican candidates, and diminished the brand, unfortunately."

Romney's hopes may rest, at least somewhat, on distancing himself from the brand's less popular parts, while sacrificing as little fundraising and enthusiasm from the base as possible. The less popular parts, in some voters' eyes, include the uncompromising stand that many tea party-leaning Republicans have taken in Congress, especially on tax and spending issues.

In recent days, Romney has said he does not want to reduce the overall tax burden for high-income families, even though he still calls for a 20 percent cut in all federal income tax rates. He says changes in tax deductions would keep Americans' overall tax burden about the same. But he has not detailed how he can accomplish both goals.

Polls show significant support for Obama's call to increase taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year.

Romney's new emphasis on a no-net-decrease tax policy puts him at odds with many congressional Republicans, who say tax cuts for high earners will spur job growth.

The move delights GOP commentators such as David Brooks. During the presidential primaries, "the GOP did its best to appear unattractive," Brooks wrote last week in The New York Times. In Wednesday's debate with Obama, he wrote: "Romney did something no other mainstream Republican has had the guts to do. Either out of conviction or political desperation, he broke with tea party orthodoxy and began to redefine the Republican identity."

With the Nov. 6 election nearing, it's unclear what effect Romney's efforts will have.

Brian Nick, a Republican consultant based in Charlotte, said neither party "has a good brand right now," because Washington's constant partisan quarreling has given politics in general a bad name. He said, however, that Democrats have sometimes benefitted in competitive states by painting all Republicans as being more interested in party purity than in solving problems.

"Democrats do use the tea party label to attack Republicans and try to tie them to a strict orthodoxy," Nick said.

Further hurting the Republican brand is the status of each party's most recent former president. Only one-fourth of Americans had a favorable view of Bush when his presidency ended, according to Gallup. His standing has improved somewhat since then, but he lags far behind former President Bill Clinton. A recent Bloomberg News poll found that nearly 2 in 3 Americans favorably view the former Democratic president.

Ron Thomas, 26, is an independent voter with a fairly dim view of the national Republican Party.

"Who will help the working man more? It's definitely Barack," said Thomas, who works for a rental car company in Charlotte.

Thomas, who endured a chilly drizzle this week to discuss politics, has few problems with Republicans at the state level. In fact, he supports Republican Pat McCrory in the governor's race, saying the former Charlotte mayor is good on urban issues.

But Thomas said Romney turned him off with his claim that the 47 percent of Americans who don't owe federal income taxes will not take responsibility for their lives.

"I'm part of that 47 percent," Thomas said. "I have a college degree, and I work two jobs," he said, but it's still a struggle.

**************

Originally published Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Big gaps in Romney plan on pre-existing conditions

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he has a plan to help people with pre-existing medical conditions get health insurance. But there's a huge catch: You basically have to be covered in the first place.

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he has a plan to help people with pre-existing medical conditions get health insurance. But there's a huge catch: You basically have to be covered in the first place.

If you had a significant break in health insurance coverage an insurer still could delve into your medical history, looking for anything - from a bad back to high blood pressure - that could foreshadow future claims. They'd be able to turn you down.

That's a contrast to President Barack Obama's health care law, which guarantees that people in poor health can get comprehensive coverage at the same rates everybody else pays, and provides government subsidies to help low- to middle-income households pay premiums.

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, an insurer "may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion," the law says.

Romney mentioned his pre-existing conditions plan during last week's presidential debate. "I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions," he said.

His campaign has not spelled out details other than it would help people who have maintained continuous coverage. That involves making incremental changes to insurance laws and regulations, and may or may not whittle down the number of uninsured.

"It will solve some of the problems," said health economist Gail Wilensky, a longtime adviser to Republicans. "It won't solve the problem of people having gone for a long time without health insurance."

Since losing health insurance is often connected to major life upheavals like job loss or divorce, many people aren't able to keep up continuous coverage. More than 70 percent of the uninsured have been without coverage for a year or longer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Obama's answer - it's the law of the land unless repealed - is more like hitting the reset button. About 30 million uninsured people would gain coverage as the U.S. moves closer to other economically advanced countries that provide health care for all citizens.

The differences between the Obama and Romney approaches reflect a fundamental disagreement about the role of government in dealing with the nation's health care woes: high costs, uneven quality, widespread waste and nearly 49 million uninsured.

Republicans are looking for private-sector solutions that government can encourage. Under Obama, government has taken the wheel, framing a grand bargain in which insurance companies will have to accept all applicants in exchange for a requirement that virtually all Americans carry coverage.

About 13 percent of people age 64 and younger who apply for an individual policy are turned away for medical reasons, according to insurance industry statistics. In 2008, that was more than 220,000 individuals. The denial rate rises to nearly 25 percent for people age 50 to 64.

While Republicans are united in their desire to repeal Obama's law, there is no consensus within the party on how or whether to replace it.

Romney has been stressing his pre-existing conditions plan as he works to soften his public image in the homestretch of a campaign that appears to have tightened since last week's debate with Obama. Yet his campaign has only provided a bare-bones set of talking points.

Romney himself addressed the issue in a recent column for The New England Journal of Medicine. "Regulation must prevent insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage."

Most people already enjoy such protection under a 1996 law signed by President Bill Clinton. It works fairly seamlessly for people who switch from one job-based plan to another.

It's harder for people switching from job-based coverage to an individual plan. They first have to exhaust a coverage option known as COBRA, which allows people with job-based insurance to keep their health plan for up to 18 months after leaving the company, provided they pay the full premium. Many can't afford that.

And there's no federal protection against being turned down for people trying to switch from one individual plan to another.

Romney could address those two gaps, making it easier for people to switch from job-based to individual coverage and among individual plans. His campaign has not specified how.

In his journal article, Romney also proposed to allow people purchasing coverage individually to deduct the cost from their income taxes, and he expressed support for purchasing pools and for allowing insurers to sell across state lines. His campaign says states will have the flexibility and resources to design programs for residents who cannot afford coverage on their own.

Individual insurance market expert Karen Pollitz, who served in the Obama administration as a consumer regulator, says the components of Romney's plan are unlikely to provide as comprehensive a guarantee as the president's Affordable Care Act.

"The ACA just says insurance companies can't discriminate against you, period," said Pollitz, now with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "If you've been uninsured, you can come into this market on Jan. 1, 2014, no questions asked."

*************
---
Fact check: Romney's one-sided story on defense and trade

Mitt Romney blamed President Obama solely Monday for potential defense cuts that Republicans in Congress agreed to, and left the misimpression that Obama has ignored free-trade initiatives.

A closer look at some of the Republican presidential nominee's statements in his foreign-policy speech:

MITT ROMNEY: "I will roll back President Obama's deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military."

THE FACTS: "Arbitrary" defense cuts do not belong to Obama alone but also to congressional Republicans, including Romney's vice-presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan. The first round of cuts in projected defense spending comes from a bipartisan deal in August 2011 between Congress and the White House. Unless a new budget deal is reached in time, additional spending cuts will begin in January across government, and the cost to the Pentagon would be $500 billion over a decade. The Pentagon's budget, including war costs, is $670 billion this year, or about 18 percent of total federal spending. Even setting aside the costs of the wars, military spending has more than doubled since 2001.

ROMNEY: "The president has not signed one new free-trade agreement in the past four years."

THE FACTS: Obama hasn't opened new trade negotiations, but after taking office, he revived a free-trade deal with Colombia that had been negotiated by his Republican predecessor but left to languish and sought similar progress with South Korean and Panamanian free-trade pacts.

ROMNEY: "I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel."

THE FACTS: Romney apparently has moved toward the balance enshrined in U.S. policy from one administration to another on the question of Israelis and Palestinians and away from his provocative remarks to a May fundraiser when he said "the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace," "the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish," Palestinians are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel" and it would be "the worst idea in the world" to put pressure on the Israelis to give up something in hopes Palestinians would respond accordingly.

ROMNEY: "As the dust settles, as the murdered (in the Libya consulate attack) are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown so much worse, and what this calls on America to do."

THE FACTS: It's unclear whether terrorism has gotten worse. There has been no incident even remotely comparable in scope or symbolic meaning to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Assailants stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, and there has been an uptick in attacks on American troops by supposedly friendly Afghan forces. But many counterterrorist experts say al-Qaida has been weakened and the threats of global terrorism better countered over the past decade.

ROMNEY: "When we look at the Middle East today — with Iran closer than ever to nuclear-weapons capability, with the conflict in Syria threatening to destabilize the region, with violent extremists on the march and with an American ambassador and three others dead likely at the hands of al-Qaida affiliates — it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office."

THE FACTS: Obama entered office in 2009 with the United States still engaged in a conflict in Iraq. U.S. troops are no longer there. Israel and Hamas had just finished a three-week war. That was two years after another war between Israel and an Iranian-backed force, in that case, Hezbollah in Lebanon. There has been no significant Israeli military conflict since Obama has come into office. However, Syria's conflict has become the region's deadliest since the Iraq war. The United States has stayed out of that conflict under Obama.

The Associated Press

******************

Pro-Romney energy company accused of extorting contributions from workers

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, October 8, 2012 17:27 EDT

The Ohio Democratic Party on Monday formally requested that the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio launch an investigation of Murray Energy, which has been accused of forcing its employees to make political contributions to Republican candidates.

“I write to formally request a criminal investigation concerning a recent report suggesting the Murray Energy Corporation, its subsidiaries, and management (“Murray Energy”) may have engaged in a pattern of illegal activity, extorting millions in financial contributions from employees and vendors for Republican candidates running for public office,” Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern wrote to U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach.

Two Murray Energy managerial sources told The New Republic that the company pressures employees into giving money to the Murray Energy political action committee (PAC) and to Republican candidates. In addition, internal documents revealed that the company tracks which employees are and are not making contributions. Employees of the company allegedly fear that if they do not make the political contributions and attend fundraisers, they will face repercussions including demotions and being refused bonuses.

Murray Energy has given more than $1.4 million to Ohio state and federal candidates for public office, with the majority of that money going to Republicans.

The energy company has also been accused of forcing employees to attend an August rally with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Coal miners said they feared being fired if they did not attend the event. Images from that event have been used in Romney campaign ad, sparking a Federal Elections Commission complaint by the liberal group OhioProgress.

Murray Energy denies any wrongdoing. In a statement, the company said the allegations “are simply an attempt to silence Murray Energy and its owners from supporting their coal mining employees and families by speaking out against President Barack Obama’s well known and documented War on Coal.”

“It is unfortunate that there are political entities in America, such as The New Republic and the Ohio Democratic Party, that will go to no limits to destroy innocent people to get their candidates elected,” Murray Energy added.

************

Paul Ryan ends interview after being pressed on guns and taxes

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, October 8, 2012 19:22 EDT

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Monday ended an interview with ABC12 in Michigan after being questioned about how he would prevent gun violence in the United States.

During the interview, Ryan denied the U.S. had a “gun problem.” He said the country only had a “crime problem.”

“If you take a look at the gun laws we have, I don’t even think President Obama is proposing more gun laws,” Ryan told the interviewer. “We have good strong gun laws. We have to make sure we enforce our laws. We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws, but the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity to the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character, that is civil society. That is what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure they can realize the value in one another.”

“And you can do all that by cutting taxes?” the interviewer asked.

At that point, Ryan ended the interview, saying the reporter had asked a “strange” question and put words in his mouth.

“The reporter knew he was already well over the allotted time for the interview when he decided to ask a weird question relating gun violence to tax cuts,” spokesman Brendan Buck told BuzzFeed. “Ryan responded as anyone would in such a strange situation. When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you’re going to see a local reporter embarrass himself.”

The National Rifle Association has endorsed the Romney-Ryan ticket last week, even though Romney has previously described assault rifles as “instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”

**************
   

Really ? My God ....

Romney refuses to face kids on Nickelodeon after vow to defund Big Bird

By David Edwards
Monday, October 8, 2012 16:14 EDT

After recently promising to end funding for beloved Sesame Street character Big Bird, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is now refusing to take questions from children on a Nickelodeon special, Kids Pick the President: The Candidates.

Although both then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on the special in 2008, only Obama has agreed to participate this year, the network said on Monday.

“By answering kids’ questions directly, candidates show respect for kids,” host Linda Ellerbee said. “We are disappointed that Mitt Romney wouldn’t take the time to answer the questions, but are thrilled that President Obama participated in the special.”

Deputy National Press Secretary Adam Fetcher told TMZ that Romney had decided to “play hookey” because he couldn’t even handle questions from America’s youth.

“Kids demand details, and I’m sure they want some answers on why Romney could increase their class sizes, eliminate their teacher’s jobs, raise taxes on their families and slash funding for Big Bird,” Fetcher quipped. “‘The dog ate my homework’ just doesn’t cut it when you’re running for President.”

During a presidential debate last week Romney had told moderator Jim Lehrer, “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for.”

Obama, who recorded his Nickelodeon appearance on Monday, took questions from kids about gun control, the economy, immigration, marriage equality, bullying, obesity and his most embarrassing moment.

“I’m running into doors and desks all the time,” the president said.

Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President: The Candidates airs at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Oct. 15. Kids will have a chance to vote online between Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.
   


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 10, 2012, 08:28 AM
Mitt Romney Calls the EPA 'Out of Control' For Wanting to Make Sure Our Drinking Water is Safe

By Heather

During the Mike Huckabee Republican Presidential Debate forum held on Fox this Saturday night, Mitt Romney was asked by moderator Scott Pruit whether heaven forbid his head of the EPA might not be that different from President Obama's choice to lead that agency.

Romney responded by throwing a whole lot of red meat to the GOP base with whether the federal government and the EPA ought to be allowed to regulate fracking on a national level and said it should be left to the states, because heaven forbid Romney might want to concern himself over whether fracking is polluting the drinking water around the country, as Pro Publica has documented here -- Fracking or on whether states are complying with the Clean Water Act with their fracking operations.

As Think Progress has also noted -- Bringing Fracking to the Surface: More Scrutiny Needed on Natural Gas Development -- there are a whole lot more concerns that need to be examined before we just allow these drilling operations to go on without more scrutiny.

I would assume Romney is more concerned about which of those companies are contributing to his political campaign.

Rough transcript below the fold from this Saturday's "forum."

    PRUITT: Well Governor, you've traveled Oklahoma, you know that Oklahoma is a leader, in energy from oil and gas to coal to wind. So when energy CEO's tell me that your EPA, or your EPA administrator may not be much different than the president's now, what do you say to that?

    ROMNEY: Well, they don't know what I would do if I were the president of the United States. You know, one of my good friends is Mike Leavitt who was the EPA administrator under George W. Bush and I've asked some of the oil and gas company executives, what was it like under Mike Leavitt and they said it was a whole lot better than it is today.

    I think the EPA has gotten completely out of control for a very simple reason. It is a tool in the hands of the president to crush the private enterprise system, to crush our ability to have energy, whether it's oil, gas, coal, nuclear... there's a real effort on the part of some in the president's party that don't like the American enterprise system and are trying to find a way to do everything they can to impede the growth of our economy and our energy independence.

    And I look at the effort on the EPA for instance to step in the way of fracking and eliminate the potential in some states to have our access to natural gas and to oil and say look, this is all an effort to just say let's go solar and wind and let's raise the cost of energy dramatically.

    That's in my view, it's just entirely opposite of the view that we need to have a federal government that sees its job as helping the private sector grow and thrive and add jobs.

    PRUITT: Well Governor, you've traveled Oklahoma, you know that Oklahoma is a leader, in energy from oil and gas to coal to wind. So when energy CEO's tell me that your EPA, or your EPA administrator may not be much different than the president's now, what do you say to that?

    ROMNEY: Well, they don't know what I would do if I were the president of the United States. You know, one of my good friends is Mike Leavitt who was the EPA administrator under George W. Bush and I've asked some of the oil and gas company executives, what was it like under Mike Leavitt and they said it was a whole lot better than it is today.

    I think the EPA has gotten completely out of control for a very simple reason. It is a tool in the hands of the president to crush the private enterprise system, to crush our ability to have energy, whether it's oil, gas, coal, nuclear... there's a real effort on the part of some in the president's party that don't like the American enterprise system and are trying to find a way to do everything they can to impede the growth of our economy and our energy independence.

    And I look at the effort on the EPA for instance to step in the way of fracking and eliminate the potential in some states to have our access to natural gas and to oil and say look, this is all an effort to just say let's go solar and wind and let's raise the cost of energy dramatically.

    That's in my view, it's just entirely opposite of the view that we need to have a federal government that sees its job as helping the private sector grow and thrive and add jobs.

    PRUITT: Well Governor, you mentioned hydraulic fracturing and you know that that's revolutionary now with the natural gas industry as far as extracting natural gas. The states have promise in that area right now on the regulation standpoint. The current EPA administrator is marching toward having the federal government oversee the hydraulic fracturing. Would you put a stop to that?

    ROMNEY: Absolutely. You hit the nail on the head. They, I think the EPA and those extreme voices in the environmental community and in the President's own party are just frustrated beyond belief that the states have the regulatory authority over fracking. And right now I guess it's something close to seventy percent of the oil wells in this country that have been tracked, so states have been managing this and managed it well.

    But the EPA wants to be able to get in and grab more power and basically try and move the whole economy away from oil, gas, coal, nuclear and push it into the renewables.

    Look, we all like the renewables. But renewables alone are not going to power this economy. And yeah, I would, among other things, I would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.

    Look, that was not a pollutant within the meeting of the legislation that authorized the EPA. It is of all the agencies in Washington, it is the one most being used by this President to try and hold down and crush and insert the federal government into the life of the private sector.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 10, 2012, 09:22 AM
The Nature of the American corporate media:


October 10, 2012 08:00 AM

Has The Beltway Created A Twitter Media Playhouse?

By John Amato

Dana Milbank said something very telling, for a change, to Howard Kurtz:

    MILBANK: Exactly, that's when it should be done. The other thing that I think was going on here -- I was out there in Denver as you were. You know what was up on every reporters' screen that I looked at was Twitter.

    Basically the reporters were having a conversation with themselves rather than watching the debate, and this idea gelled early on that Mitt Romney was having a big night, Obama was having a lousy night, which was generally true, but it accentuated it, and basically there was a groupthink going on there that was -- that was that this is a really big bad thing for Obama, and I think that we probably did our readers and viewers a disservice.

    KURTZ: A groupthink, Amy Holmes?

    HOLMES: It wouldn't be surprising and it wouldn't be the first time. I'm fascinated that reporters were looking more at Twitter than at the debate proceedings and what was happening on stage.

    You know, clearly, the viewers, readers deserve a lot more than that, than what is it, 140 characters per tweet. And they expect the reporters to be watching and reporting what they are seeing, not having this internal conversation that then turns --

(The segment was about the B.S. video that Hannity said would destroy the world, but the video was a dud.)

I was on Twitter for awhile, and I had to shut it down because tweets were flying across the screen so fast that I couldn't keep up. I bet the media sets up lists and just follows their buddies. But it's a big problem.
Journalists should get off Twitter and watch the debate, without being influenced by their pals, and then report on what they actually saw instead of what the emerging narrative is. I imagine none of them wanted to dispute the narrative their colleagues were pumping out and risk being ostracized for having an independent thought. But Americans and their bosses are paying them to cover events and not to tweet it.

In the first segment, Kurtz wondered why the media didn't report on all the whoppers Mitt told. It was a valid point. But maybe their Twitter obsession is trumping the truth and facts. Straight-out lying is the conservative tactic these days.

    KURTZ: Terry Smith, let's stipulate that Obama lost this debate. He was flat, meandering. Romney was focused and energetic. The media have made it sound like the biggest fiasco in the history of debating. Is that a bit over the top?

    TERENCE SMITH: Yes, of course, it's over the top. It's not a disaster. It was -- it was a flat night, not a good night obviously for the president. But I have to say, news organizations, and particularly my good friend Chris Matthews know this, go into a meltdown when they're confronted with a surprise. It was a surprise. Remember going in, everybody anticipated that Obama would be quite in charge and Romney would be struggling.

    So it was, of course, mainly stylistic, the failing, not substantive, because going home after watching it, I listened to it, C-Span radio ran it again, and Obama wasn't that bad.

    --

    KURTZ: But do you agree with my point that if you hear the media echo chamber saying over and over and over again, that this was a calamity for the president, that that can influence how people the event?

    DRUCKER: Well, how the media covers things always influences how people remember the event. I mean, if you look at the presidential race, it has been very influenced by how the media has portrayed various events.

    KURTZ: OK. Terry talked about listening to it on the radio. I was in Denver. I saw a different debate than most Americans because I didn't see -- and we can put some of this up here. I didn't see the split screens. I didn't see the reaction shots when the president was looking down often and Romney looked more energetic. We see that here.

    And that, I think, especially what the media is focused on, the body language of the debate changed the way you looked at. I was more focused on what they were saying. So, it didn't seem to me that Obama had done so badly.
    --
    KURTZ: Terry, I understand the focus on the theater of it. It is a theatrical performance. And I understand the focus on Big Bird and things like that. But here you have Mitt Romney who on the one hand seemed to be backing way from part of what he's been saying all year, he's not going to raise what high income people pay, but almost -- I mean, almost every independent study shows that he cannot pay for this through closing deductions and loopholes, and he hasn't said which deductions and loopholes he would close.

    Why has there not been more media focus on this very central question?
    --

    KURTZ: But why has the headline, why the front page story, why the top of the newscast not dealt with -- you know, not just Romney's tax cut and the questions about it, but Romney saying he likes part of Obamacare, he would still cover pre-existing conditions. Well, not so much if you look at the details. He said he likes part of the Dodd/Frank banking law, even though he's calling for its abolition.

    It seems to me when it comes to the substance, the press has somewhat fallen down on the job here. Tell me I'm wrong.

    SMITH: No, I tend to agree with you. I saw stories the next day that said that this is the moderate Mitt, that he moved to the center, that this was really a significant thing, and it was so reported.

    So I think it was covered. I think you're talking mainly about emphasis, and was there enough emphasis on really disputable figures on both sides, I must say. They both fudged.
    --

    KURTZ: Wait a minute. What if candidates get up there and they lie and they distort and they exaggerate?

    DRUCKER: If it's a lie as simple as the sky is brown and we all know it's blue, that's one thing. But there have been competing studies, Republicans trotting out conservative-based studies, Democrats trotting out liberal-based studies about what these tax plans would do. And so, what you'd you get, as in most campaigns, is in a sense a muddle over values and how to attack a problem that ultimately is up to the voters.

    And it's really unclear whether either of these candidates is telling the truth or in a sense arguing for something that can't be done until they may have a change to do it or not.

Drucker is playing a Villager apologist in much of this, but Howard's questions are valid. Why aren't candidates called out for lying? A liar is a liar. Romney smiled and lied.

    KURTZ: But here's a fact that's not unclear. Romney says that when -- Romney essentially has a secret plan. He says when he unveils which deductions and loopholes he's going to close, although he's taken things like the home mortgage deductions off the table, then you will see that his tax plan won't increase the deficit. That in and of itself is a pretty central fact in this debate, but not if you look at the media coverage.

    MASON: No, that's true. And I think the fact that we have fact checkers playing such an important role in campaign coverage now gives campaign reporters a pass on not covering those substantive issues. Reporters aren't good at math. That's not news.

    KURTZ: Then they need remedial math.

David Atkins:

    What if President Obama had spent an entire year campaigning on a $5 trillion stimulus program comprised entirely of government spending? What if that spending were on programs as unpopular, say, as tax cuts for the rich?

    And what if, when confronted about the notion that this plan might add to the federal deficit, the President answered that it was revenue neutral, because he promised to cut $5 trillion in other spending to make up for it, even though said spending doesn't exist? What if the President refused to state any of the specifics of the spending that would be cut, even when asked about it directly on a friendly network like MSNBC?

    And what would the reaction be if, during the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney called out the President on this spending plan, only to hear back that the President had never suggested any sort of plan like that in the first place? What if the moderator had then refused to interrupt and correct the record, allowing a "he-said-she-said" vacuous argument to take place for 20 minutes?

    What would the reaction of the press establishment be? What sort of bias would the media be said to have? Would the President have been awarded a debate victory on the basis of that response?

    We have a very, very broken media and political system in this country.

Exactly. If Obama had said that the stimulus created 20 million jobs I think there would be a media meltdown, but when Mitt says his health-care plan will cover pre-existing conditions -- it's crickets.

    MASON: That is definitely true. But they can cover the broader issues. They want to cover other things.

    KURTZ: They want to cover the theater of it and the polls and the momentum and the image-making.

    MASON: That's what gets the hits on the Web site, not a substantive story about tax rates.

Did you know the Beltway press would rather cover Broadway?

    KURTZ: Is it simply that -- I've seen 20 times the level of coverage about what Romney said about Big Bird and cutting off the subsidy to PBS, than anything else. Is it the other stuff, the stuff we're talking about here, is it just considered too boring to get hits on the Web site, or ratings for a television show?


    MASON: It is. Would that journalism were still the church of truth? It's not. It's a profit-driven industry and the profit gets smaller and smaller. We're talking about Big Bird.

Profits trump news.

    KURTZ: This was the most -- talking about social media here for a moment -- this was the most tweeted political event ever, 10.3 million Twitter messages, more than for the whole Democratic convention in just those 90 minutes. How does that change the way the people experience the debate if they're online and sharing and debating with their friends?

    MASON: It does. I notice people paying much more attention to Twitter than what was being said on TV, and following the debate through Twitter rather than experiencing it as a television event.

I know journalists covering the debates are more focused on who's retweeting them than the substance of the news.

Julie Mason adds some truth telling to the discussion on RS:

    MASON: It is. Would that journalism were still the church of truth? It's not. It's a profit-driven industry and the profit gets smaller and smaller. We're talking about Big Bird.

The media is a profit-driven industry. John Harris admitted that the Political uses screaming headlines to generate web links. They have nothing to do with the news.

    MASON: It does. I notice people paying much more attention to Twitter than what was being said on TV, and following the debate through Twitter rather than experiencing it as a television event.

I agree that many of the online community loves them some Twitter, but of the 70 million that watched the debate I doubt 7% were on Twitter.

Anyway, here's a message to all the media: Twitter is fun, but not when you're supposed to be working. You already focus on horse-race politics instead of the facts, and Twitter just makes that even more pronounced.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 10, 2012, 10:49 AM

Bill Clinton Hammers Romney and Warns Voters Not to Be Fooled By His Lies

By: Jason Easley October 10th, 2012


Bill Clinton is hammering Mitt Romney for saying anything in an attempt to get elected president. The former president is also warning voters not to fooled by Romney’s lies.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N7EyYhbLn98

Here’s the transcript:

    I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did. I mean I thought – wow. Here’s old moderate Mitt. Where have you been, boy, I missed you all these last few years. But I was paying attention in the last two years, and it was like one of these Bain Capital deals, you know where he’s the closer. So he shows up, doesn’t really know much about the deals and says, tell me what I’m supposed to say to close.

    The problem with this deal is the deal was made by severe conservative Mitt. That was how he described himself for two whole years, until three or four days before the debate, they all got together and said, hey, Mitt – this ship is sinking faster than the Titanic, but people are still frustrated about the economy they wanted fixed yesterday. So just show up with a sunny face and say I didn’t say all that stuff I said the last two years. I don’t have that tax plan I had for the last two years. You going to believe me or your lying eyes here? Come on! What are you doing?

    And if I’d been the president I might have said, well I hate to get in the way of this. I miss you.

Bill Clinton has the Romney strategy perfectly diagnosed. Romney is going to spend the next month being all things to all people. He is going to say anything. Yesterday, moderate Mitt became pro-choice. Later his campaign walked back his remarks on abortion a couple of hours after he made them.

Some may think that Bill Clinton is a hypocrite for calling out Romney’s lies, when he lied during the Lewinsky scandal. The difference between Clinton and Romney is that Clinton didn’t lie to try to get himself elected president, and more importantly in the eyes of many, Bill Clinton lied about a personal issue.

Bill Clinton didn’t run for president either time on a platform of contradictory lies. This is an intentional strategy on the part of the Romney campaign to muddy the perception of their candidate. I suspect that the Obama campaign will be prepared for the two Romneys, and I would be looking for President Obama to draw the distinction between moderate Mitt and severe conservative Mitt.

The gentle lighthearted tone Bill Clinton demonstrated is probably the best course in dealing with a perpetual avoider of the truth like Romney.

Obama’s likability and personal approval ratings went up after the first debate. People like Obama, and if he can untangle Romney’s web of lies without seeming heavy handed or getting caught up in trying to debunk a rapid fire quagmire of falsehoods, he could have a great deal of success at the next debate.

The trump card for Obama is that people like and trust him more than Romney. If the president uses this to his advantage, he will have a very good night.

Bill Clinton is right. Romney is lying to get elected, but this is nothing new. He did it when he ran for Senate. He employed this tactic again when he ran for governor, and he has used it in both of his presidential campaigns. Bill Clinton showed Obama how to address Romney’s serial lies, without getting tangled up in them.

The Obama campaign now realizes that this election is all about Mitt Romney, and their effectiveness in dealing with Romney’s compulsive lying may determine the outcome of this contest.

The old slugger Bill Clinton knocked one over the fence. Now let’s see what Joe Biden and Barack Obama can do with the game on the line.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 11, 2012, 07:22 AM

Obama’s First Term Approval Ratings Now Equal Clinton and Reagan

By: Jason EasleyOctober 10th, 2012

President Obama’s latest increase in his approval rating has put him on at the same level as Bill Clinton and Ronald Ronald Reagan during their first terms.

The right loves to compare President Obama to Jimmy Carter but a comparison of presidential approval ratings using Gallup’s data reveals that Obama has much more in common with Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan than he does with recent one term only presidents.

Obama’s overall first term approval rating average is 49%. Bill Clinton’s first term approval rating average was 49.6%, and Ronald Reagan’s was 50.3%. In contrast, George H.W. Bush’s first term approval rating average was 60.9%, and Jimmy Carter’s was 45.5%.

President Obama’s current Gallup weekly approval rating is 52%. At the same point in their first terms, Bill Clinton’s approval rating was 58%, and Ronald Reagan’s was 54%. At roughly the same date in his presidency, Jimmy Carter’s approval rating was 37%. (After losing the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, Carter would sink to 31%.) George H.W. Bush’s approval rating was 34% in mid-October 1992.

Even though Republicans will never admit it, Obama’s approval ratings curve has much more in common with Ronald Reagan than it does with Jimmy Carter. What these numbers tell us is that presidents who either inherit recessions or have one occur during their first terms have lower approval ratings during their first years in office. Once the economy starts to recover, the incumbent president’s approval ratings go up.

As the economy has shown real signs of improvement, Obama has seen his approval rating increase by 6 points in less than two months. Mitt Romney is attempting to argue that President Obama is an economic failure despite the fact that economic data, and the president’s approval ratings suggest the opposite.

Both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan saw their approval ratings take off after they won a second term. While it is impossible to know for sure, the current trajectory of the economy combined with President Obama’s personal popularity suggests Obama is on a similar track if he wins reelection.

The Republican argument that Obama is an unpopular colossal failure simply doesn’t match up with reality. The Obama that Mitt Romney is running against is a failed left wing socialist that voters are rejecting on a daily basis.

The Gallup data illustrates the reality that Obama is much closer to Bill Clinton in terms of being a personally popular centrist Democrat.

Much like Reagan and Clinton, Obama has personal likability and an appeal to the political middle.

Barack Obama looks more like a potential two term success story than a one term failure.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 11, 2012, 07:30 AM
FDR: WARNING ABOUT TODAY'S REPUBLICANS

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SUZGkNAUSvY


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 12, 2012, 05:34 AM
 SPIEGEL ONLINE
10/12/2012 11:51 AM

Who's Laughing Now?: Biden Bares Teeth in Debate

A Commentary by Gregor Peter Schmitz

US Vice President Joe Biden likes being the butt of jokes -- even ones made by friends within his own party. But during the television debate with his Republican challenger Paul Ryan on Thursday night, Biden put up exactly the kind of spirited fight that the Obama campaign needs.

If there were no Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., we journalists would just have to make one up. The American vice president's verbal slipups simply can't be beat. For example, he once praised Barack Obama, his future boss, as "the first mainstream African-American (presidential candidate) who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Speaking before a largely African-American crowd in August, Biden warned that Republicans are "going to put y'all back in chains." And, more recently, while heaping praise on Obama's performance as president so far, Biden said that the middle class has been "buried" under the president's leadership.

In fact, some Obama aides have so little trust in Biden that he hasn't been allowed to conduct any major interviews with journalists in months. Meanwhile, Republicans joke that they would like to see more Biden appearances because he can help the campaign of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan like no other.

Still, following Thursday night's TV debate in Kentucky between the current vice president and the man who wants his job, only one man should be laughing: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

Single-Handedly Reviving the Obama Campaign

With his debate performance, Biden has almost single-handedly revived the Obama campaign, which was in danger of being put on life support after the president's disastrous debate performance in Denver. Granted, at times, Biden seemed so aggressive and wound-up that a Twitter site devoted to his ostentatious guffawing was promptly set up during the debate and quickly attracted almost 8,000 followers. The verdict on the social networks was unanimous: Biden had probably drunk a few too many Red Bulls before the debate.

Still, the high-octane vice president easily accomplished his most important goal: He showed that he is absolutely dead-set on keeping his job, whereas Obama only rarely gave off that impression during his own debate.

Biden was already on the attack with the first question. Moderator Martha Raddatz, a senior correspondent for ABC News, asked Biden about the tragic death of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans during a Sept. 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which has led to questions about whether the facility was sufficiently protected. When Raddatz asked whether this was "a massive intelligence failure," Biden's response left no doubt that he was determined to talk tough. "I can make absolutely two commitments to you and all the American people tonight," Biden said. "One, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. And, secondly, we will get to the bottom of it ... because whatever mistakes were made will not be made again."

Moments later, he reprimanded Ryan for his creative arguments about how America should confront Iran and its nuclear program. "Facts matter," he said. "Facts matter."

Most importantly, Biden showed that he didn't have any qualms about reminding people about Romney's secretly recorded statements on the "47 percent" of Americans who supposedly see themselves as "victims," don't take personal responsibility for their lives and are dependent on state assistance.

"These people are my mom and dad -- the people I grew up with, my neighbors," Biden said. "They pay more effective tax than Governor Romney … They are elderly people who in fact are living off Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are, quote, 'not paying any tax.' I've had it up to here with this notion (about) 47 percent -- it's about time they take some responsibility here."

The Opposite of the 'Listless President'

In short, Biden was the exact opposite of the "listless president" that Barack Obama showed the world last Thursday. "Biden was direct, folksy and a little rude -- but it worked," said Larry Sabato, an election expert at the University of Virginia. "He made more and better comebacks in five minutes than Obama made in 90 last week."

But is that really important? Shouldn't this be about substance and not just catchphrases? TV debates are the game shows of American presidential elections. More than 50 million people tuned in for this debate alone. They're like some kind of TV campfire hour that attracts the very Americans who will ultimately determine this election.

And we're not talking about political junkies who have been following Twitter feeds for the past 18 months. Many US voters have only just tuned in to the election. And while they can't be described as uneducated, they often aren't well informed -- and they make decisions based on gut feelings rather than on policy proposals. What matters most to them is decisiveness. What they want in a candidate who can't wait to get to work in the Oval Office.

During the first television debate between the candidates, Romney illustrated precisely this desire. But Obama looked uncomfortable debating on stage -- as if he dreaded the idea of another four years in the White House.

His odd appearance may have done more to frighten off voters at the base of the Democratic Party than undecided centrist voters. But it is precisely the left-leaning party base that Obama needs to attract to the ballot box in order to defeat Romney.

Despite all the spin (or perhaps because of it), Biden succeeded in energizing precisely this group of voters. In that sense, he gave Obama a boost. Obama's next opportunity to take on Mitt Romney will come during the town-hall-style debate on Tuesday. If it is Biden's laughter that America is talking about between now and then, then perhaps Obama's own debate debacle will be forgotten by then.

Ultimately, Biden proved to be Obama's best man. And that's no joke.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 12, 2012, 07:00 AM

GOP Congressman: Romney Tax Plan Follows The Bush ‘Recipe’

By Travis Waldron posted from ThinkProgress Economy on Oct 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

The tax plan proposed by Mitt Romney, which he says will avoid adding to the debt and won’t cut taxes for the rich, will work exactly the way the 2003 high-income Bush tax cuts worked, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said during an appearance on CNN on Thursday. Romney has faced criticism over how his tax plan will provide a 20 percent, across-the-board tax cut without adding to the debt or raising taxes on the middle class. The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan analyst, recently found that Romney’s plan as outlined is mathematically impossible.

But Hensarling has confidence that it will work, because the Republican Party has tried this before. In fact, Hensarling said, Romney’s tax plan will work just because it followed the “recipe” outlined by earlier GOP-led tax cuts, including the 2003 Bush tax cuts:

    HENSARLING: This is the tax plan: fairer, flatter, simpler, more competitive tax code. We broaden the base by getting rid of a lot of these special interest deductions, exclusions — by one estimate, one-third of the tax code is what is known as tax expenditures.

    HOST: Why couldn’t Paul Ryan explain that 11 days ago?

    HENSARLING: My guess is he could have had he had time. But we did this in ’03, it was done in the Reagan administration, it was done under President Kennedy under JFK, and guess what: when you follow this recipe, you get more jobs, more economic growth, and more tax revenue.

Since their passage, the Bush tax cuts have been a major driver of the nation’s increased debt and deficits. Without the Bush tax cuts, in fact, the nation’s debt would be at sustainable levels.

Even worse, the Bush tax cuts, which the Romney plan maintains before cutting taxes even deeper, were heavily skewed toward the rich and failed to lead to the economic and job growth Republicans promised. The decade following was one of the worst on record for economic, job, and income growth.

Hensarling is correct: the Romney tax plan certainly follows the Bush recipe. That recipe, though, is one that leads to fewer jobs, slower economic growth, and even bigger debts and deficits.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 12, 2012, 08:24 AM

Paul Ryan Outed the GOP Ticket’s Extremism on Abortion in VP Debate

By: Sarah JonesOctober 12th, 2012

Congressman Paul Ryan outed the Romney/Ryan position on abortion last night during the vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. American women found out that Paul Ryan wants to ban abortion, and doesn’t really think that exceptions should be made since “life begins at conception.” This means that all life is precious (except for live children, the elderly, our troops, and people on death row).

RYAN (emphasis mine): Now, you want to ask about why I’m pro-life. It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor of course. But it’s also because of reason and science… All I’m saying is that if you believe life begins at conception that therefore doesn’t change the definition of life. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.”

Ryan gave an uncomfortable nod to the far right, saying that he and Romney don’t believe “unelected judges” should be able to make those decisions. He also suggested that elected officials should be the ones in charge of Row V Wade, raising the alarm bell that a Romney/Ryan administration intends to implement a form of the Personhood Amendment, which did not make exceptions for rape and incest when Ryan introduced his version.

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GDiZpZlqkGw

Ryan’s belief that life begins at conception means the Romney/Ryan administration would oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother, but that’s not the whole story, because Ryan has a history of working to restrict access even in the case of rape and incest.

In 2011, Ryan co-sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a Personhood Bill that defined life as beginning at conception. This is important because it uses the same words the public heard from Paul Ryan last night — “life begins at conception”. What does that mean policy wise? The Personhood Amendment does not make exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother and it can render some birth control illegal:

    If the bills become law and zygotes are afforded the protection of legal personhood, abortion would be legally equivalent to murder, as would almost anything that interfered with the zygote’s development. That could include the morning-after pill, which primarily works by preventing fertilization but which anti-abortion activists insist prevents fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. (Many scientists disagree.) Intrauterine devices (IUDs), which can prevent implantation, would also be affected by the laws.

Birth control is, of course, the best method of stopping actual abortions from taking place. Romney has said he wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, which not only offers many health related services beyond abortions, but also provides birth control to low-income women. Abortions don’t decrease when they are illegal, but women do die from illegal abortions.

The Republican Party platform also includes a constitutional amendment to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Many “pro-life” women, including Republicans, don’t think that abortion should be denied to a rape survivor. These are decisions that are best left to women and their families and doctors.

Paul Ryan worked with Republican Todd Akin to sponsor legislation that would have redefined rape as “forcible rape” and limited abortion coverage for rape victims. According to the Washington Post, “[a] Republican bill seeking to permanently cut off federal funding for abortions has angered women’s groups that say it alters the definition of rape, permitting coverage for the procedure only in cases in which the rape is considered ‘forcible.’ The most well-known provision that would become permanent under the bill is the Hyde Amendment, which prevents some federally funded health-care programs from covering abortions.” [HR 3 Co-Sponsored 1/20/11, Vote #292, 5/4/11; Washington Post, 2/1/11]

In an August 23 interview with WJHL-TV’s Josh Smith, Paul Ryan called rape a method of conception:

    SMITH: Abortion, now. Something we’re talking about. And I think our viewers would love to know exactly where you stand, specifically when—you’re pro-life and Catholic…

    RYAN: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

    SMITH: …but specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped.

    RYAN: I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that—the position that—the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life. [Ryan Interview, WJHL (Tri-Cities, TN/VA), 8/23/12]

Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women, issued a statement on Paul Ryan’s desire to make abortion illegal, “A proud supporter of the ‘Let Women Die Act’, Ryan believes hospitals should be able to refuse abortion care to a woman even in cases of rape and incest, or when her life is in danger.” She continued, “And Paul Ryan has a track record of supporting measures that strip women of preventive health services, especially contraception coverage in the name of ‘religious liberty’. He firmly believes ‘our founding principles’ include allowing employers to deny women their basic health care needs.”

Contrary to Paul Ryan’s claims about President Obama’s birth control policies, the President expanded women’s access to contraception while protecting religious liberty by exempting churches and religiously-affiliated organizations from paying for contraceptive coverage. That is religious liberty for all, rather than imposing the religious beliefs of a few. Vice President Joe Biden explained that he believes in the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, but, “I refuse to impose it” on others.

Mitt Romney has been dancing around the abortion issue telling the public one thing and conservatives another hours later, but Paul Ryan made it clear Thursday night that this ticket seeks to outlaw abortion.

Paul Ryan might be proud of his pro-death for women policies, but American women might not agree that he should be making their medical decisions. It will be interesting to see the polls on women voters post the VP debate


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 12, 2012, 09:32 AM

Paul Ryan Visibly Gulped While Being Pressed for Answers During Debate

By: Sarah Jones October 12th, 2012

Thursday’s debate involved Congressman Paul Ryan recycling previously debunked talking points yet refusing to be specific, while Vice President Biden was referred to as a “human PolitiFact”.

Ryan was said to have ‘Visibly Gulped’ while being ‘Hard put to answer’ last night. The gulping was so evident that Obama for America released a new web video that that pokes fun at Congressman Ryan’s endless thirst and the public’s thirst for answers they never got from Ryan.

Watch “The Romney-Ryan Strategy: Thirsting for an Answer” here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RbpYHrfoqlA

Chicago explained, “Last night, Paul Ryan doubled down on widely and repeatedly debunked attacks. He hid the truth of his and Mitt Romney’s plans that would devastate the middle class. He offered only a troubling silence when pressed on a woman’s right to choose. And, as the Vice President noted, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan seem to believe that almost half of the American people are moochers, or see themselves as victims. Voters are tired of cheap lines to mask dangerous policies.”

The reviews were unanimous in seeing a lack of substance from Ryan. A roundup:

George Stephanopoulos: “Over the course of the debate, more of the issues fell in Biden’s corner, he was able to take control of more of the debate.”

Chuck Todd: “If you were scoring as a debate coach, you’d say, ‘boy, the guy who controlled that debate was Joe Biden.”

Mark Shields: “I just thought he really kind of hung Ryan out to dry on the no details of the tax plan. I mean, that really was exposed.”

Mike Allen: “This also is a reminder that the promise of the Paul Ryan pick was supposed to be that they were going to tell the American people hard truths, this was a sign that they were getting us ready for an adult conversation. Well, we haven’t had one hard truth said to us since and I don’t remember Paul Ryan giving us a hard truth tonight.”

Governor Martin O’Malley: “People said ‘oh he laughed too much’, but it is laughable that we would be 28 days out from this election and they still haven’t told us how they’re going to do this wonderful plan that all the details are behind door number three. That stuff is laughable. You can’t cut by 20% taxes for millionaires and billionaires, corporations by 30% and not have to pay for it somehow.”

Jim Vandehei: “There was an enormous gap, it seemed, in substance and specificity, the gap between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan when it came to everything from what’s happening in Afghanistan to the Middle East to the defense budget to taxes. On every single one of those, it’s like Biden came ready to brawl, he came ready to brawl with lots of nitty gritty details.”

John Harris: “It seems to me…the consensus back here in our newsroom is that [Ryan] did at best a passable performance…He really didn’t do anything positive to help his own reputation or help the case of his ticket.”

Lois Romano: “You know, I think [Ryan] had a missed opportunity on his own budget. You know, it’s his own budget, his own numbers. I feel like Biden got the best of him on it.”

Sam Youngman: “I tend to agree with Jonathan, I saw a very long pause from Congressman Ryan when the discussion turned to abortion. I don’t think he was probably prepared to discuss that.”

Wolf Blitzer: “Congressman Ryan’s low point happened near the end of the debate around 10:20 eastern when he was asked about abortion.”

Jonathan Chait: “I predicted that Paul Ryan would wipe the floor with Joe Biden. That did not so much happen. Ryan did not perform quite as well as I expected – he seemed greener, younger, and he visibly gulped when challenged. But Biden delivered a revelatory performance that proved me utterly wrong.”

Buzzfeed: “After effectively vanishing from the national stage, Ryan re-emerged Thursday not as the intellectual leader of the right, but as passable debater with a slightly crooked necktie.”

Reuters: “While Ryan tried to depict the Obama administration as projecting weakness, Biden hit back hard with repeated questions on details of Romney’s foreign policy plan, which Ryan was hard put to answer.”

Fox focus group participant: “I found that the Vice President’s position on foreign policy was stronger than Paul Ryan’s. I really thought he scored some pretty good points there.”

National Review’s Robert Costa: “It wasn’t a knockout performance [for Ryan].”

Ryan left the impression that he was a young, green, inexperienced kid talking about things he didn’t really understand. This was probably due to the emphasis on foreign policy, which is a Biden speciality whereas Ryan once claimed he had foreign policy experience because he voted to send us to war. Ryan was unveiled in last night’s debate as less of a policy wonk and more of a talking point with cluelessly extreme ideas about abortion.

Congressman Paul Ryan revealed himself to be what he is – a member of the House, rather than a national figure. He looked like a paper tiger Congressman rather than a future Vice President, and there aren’t enough talking points or smirks to repackage the ideologically naive true believer into a serious politician.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 13, 2012, 07:57 AM
The ‘Moderate Mitt’ Myth

Published: October 12, 2012
NYT   

The way a presidential candidate campaigns for office matters to the country. A campaign should demonstrate seriousness of purpose and a set of core beliefs, and it should signal to voters whether a candidate shows trustworthiness and judgment. Those things don’t seem to matter to Mitt Romney.

From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power. In front of massed crowds or on television, he can sound sunny and inclusive, radiating a feel-good centrism. His “severely conservative” policies and disdain for much of the country are reserved for partisans, donors and the harsh ideologues who clutter his party’s base. This polarity is often described as “flip-flopping,” but the word is too mild to describe opposing positions that are simultaneously held.

The best way to judge candidates is not by the popular way they describe their plans near the end of a campaign; it is by the most divisive presentations of themselves earlier on. A candidate’s political calculations when fewer people are watching is likely to say far more about character than poll-tested pleasantries in the spotlight.

That’s what is disingenuous about the “Moderate Mitt” in recent speeches and the first presidential debate. He hasn’t abandoned or flip-flopped from the severe positions that won him the Republican nomination; they remain at the core of his campaign, on his Web site and in his position papers, and they occasionally slip out in unguarded moments. All he’s doing is slapping whitewash on his platform. The immoderation of his policies, used to win favor with a hard-right party, cannot be disguised.

This week, for example, in the swing state of Iowa, Mr. Romney tried to cover up his strident anti-abortion agenda. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” he told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board. But that carefully worded statement was designed to mislead, because the threat to women’s rights doesn’t necessarily come from legislation. He would cut financing for Planned Parenthood, and he has said he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and would appoint justices who would do so.

And, though he has conveniently forgotten, he does support anti-abortion legislation — what he called in a 2011 essay the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to ban abortion when a fetus can feel pain. In 2007, he said he’d sign a bill prohibiting all abortions. He has also tried to paper over his positions on his $5 trillion tax cut, pretending it would be cost-free, and he now says he wants to cover pre-existing health conditions, though his plan does so only for those who have insurance coverage.

At last week’s debate, Mr. Romney presented himself as a bipartisan leader able to work with Democrats. But that’s not how Massachusetts Democrats remember his tenure as governor, as Michael Wines of The Times reported last week. He ignored or insulted Democrats and failed to achieve most of his big-ticket proposals, like reform of the Civil Service and pension systems. His decision to support a universal health care system in 2006, long advocated by Democrats, was seen at the time as a purely political calculation, at least until Republicans rejected the idea in 2009 when President Obama proposed it.

There isn’t really a Moderate Mitt; what is on display now is better described as Convenient Mitt. Anyone willing to advocate extremism to raise money and win primaries is likely to do the same to stay in office.

************

October 5, 2012

Romney Claims of Bipartisanship as Governor Face Challenge

By MICHAEL WINES
NYT

BOSTON — He came into office with a mandate to shake things up, an agenda laden with civics-book reforms and a raging fiscal crisis that threatened to torpedo both. He sparred with a hostile legislature and suffered a humiliating setback in the midterm elections. As four years drew to a close, his legacy was blotted by anemic job growth, sagging political popularity and — except for a landmark health care overhaul bill — a record of accomplishment that disappointed many.

That could be the Barack Obama that Mitt Romney depicted in Wednesday’s presidential debate as an ineffective and overly partisan leader. But it could also be Mitt Romney, who boasted of a stellar record as Massachusetts governor, running a state dominated by the political opposition.

Mr. Romney did score some successes beyond his health care legislation, notably joining a Democratic legislature to cut a deficit-ridden budget by $1.6 billion and revamping a troubled school building fund. Some outside experts and former aides say his administration excelled at the sorts of nuts-and-bolts efficiencies that make bureaucracies run better, like streamlining permit approvals and modernizing jobs programs.

As a Republican governor whose legislature was 87 percent Democratic, Mr. Romney said in Wednesday’s debate, “I figured out from Day 1 I had to get along, and I had to work across the aisle to get anything done.” The result, he said, was that “we drove our schools to be No. 1 in the nation. We cut taxes 19 times.”

But on closer examination, the record as governor he alluded to looks considerably less burnished than Mr. Romney suggested. Bipartisanship was in short supply; Statehouse Democrats complained he variously ignored, insulted or opposed them, with intermittent charm offensives. He vetoed scores of legislative initiatives and excised budget line items a remarkable 844 times, according to the nonpartisan research group Factcheck.org. Lawmakers reciprocated by quickly overriding the vast bulk of them.

The big-ticket items that Mr. Romney proposed when he entered office in January 2003 went largely unrealized, and some that were achieved turned out to have a comparatively minor impact. A wholesale restructuring of state government was dead on arrival in the legislature; an ambitious overhaul of the state university system was stillborn; a consolidation of transportation fiefs never took place.

Mr. Romney lobbied successfully to block changes in the state’s much-admired charter school program, but his own education reforms went mostly unrealized. His promise to lure new business and create jobs in a state that had been staggered by the collapse of the 2000 dot-com boom never quite bore fruit; unemployment dropped less than a percentage point during his four years, but for most of that time, much of the decline was attributed to the fact that any new jobs were being absorbed by a shrinking work force.

Mr. Romney won lawmakers’ consent to streamline a tangled health and human services bureaucracy, but the savings amounted to but $7 million a year. He entered office considering an eight-state compact to battle climate change, but left office outside the consortium, saying it cost too much.

“He put on the table in his inaugural address, and then in his budget, a series of proposed reforms like civil service reform, pension reform — going right to the heart of the lion’s den,” Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said in an interview. But excepting health care, “he never followed up. There was a handful of successes, but there was never a full-blown or focused program in the sense of saying, ‘Here’s our vision.’ ”

Mr. Romney’s former aides vigorously disagree.

  “That’s an overwrought type of critique,” said Timothy Murphy, the health and human services secretary under Mr. Romney. “If you take a look at the things the governor set out to do, we accomplished a lot. The budgets were more than balanced — we generated surpluses.”

And, he said, “We did pass the most consequential piece of health care legislation in this state in 25 years.”

Mr. Romney was pushing on an open door on the 2006 initiative — Democrats had long dreamed of providing health coverage to almost every resident.

Jane Edmonds, who headed the state’s Labor and Workforce Development agency, recounted a meeting at the start of Mr. Romney’s term in which he handed out a list of campaign promises to his staff and ordered them carried out within four years.

“My opinion is that he delivered on almost all those promises,” she said. “We had 8 or 10 of them and we carried them all out.”

Some of Mr. Romney’s harshest critics concede his competence and his grasp of Massachusetts’ problems and needs. Many of the initiatives he took into office were arguably nonpartisan; he brought to the job the same gimlet-eyed scrutiny of costs and revenues that he employed as an investment manager to spot potentially profitable companies.

But in contrast to his statements in the debate, many say, Mr. Romney neither mastered the art of reaching across the aisle nor achieved unusual success as governor. To the contrary, they say, his relations with Democrats could be acrimonious, and his ability to get big things done could be just as shackled as is President Obama’s ability to push his agenda through a hostile House of Representatives.

Mr. Romney could be appealing and persuasive, they say. But he also could display a certain political tone-deafness and a failure to nurture the constituencies he needed to make his initiatives succeed.

Mr. Romney promoted his record on Wednesday as a bipartisan leader by noting that he met regularly with the Democratic leadership of the Massachusetts legislature. But that apparently was not enough to keep afloat a relationship that had been rancorous from the beginning.

 In the opening months of his tenure, Mr. Romney vetoed a House plan to create new committees and raise legislative pay, and the legislators rejected his flagship proposal, a nearly 600-page plan to overhaul the state bureaucracy. “They had a deteriorating relationship during the first two years,” said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor and expert on state politics at Tufts University.

Mr. Romney proved to have a taste for vetoes, killing legislative initiatives in his first two years at more than twice the rate of his more popular Republican predecessor, William F. Weld, The Boston Globe reported in 2004.

Some seemed almost designed to rankle legislators: one rejected an increase in disability payments to a police officer who had slipped on an ice patch. Others reflect his ramrod-straight views on ethics and government waste — knocking down a special pension deal for a state legislator; rejecting a subsidy to Medicaid payments so nursing homes could provide kosher meals to Jewish residents.

“He seemed to take great delight in vetoing bills,” recalled his director of legislative affairs, John O’Keefe. "Some of the bills we would chuckle when we wrote the veto message.”

By 2004, the second year of his term, Mr. Romney was provoked enough to mount an unprecedented campaign to unseat Democratic legislators, spending $3 million in Republican Party money and hiring a nationally known political strategist, Michael Murphy, to plan the battle.

The effort failed spectacularly. Republicans lost seats, leaving them with their smallest legislative delegation since 1867. Democratic lawmakers were reported to have been deeply angered by the campaign’s tactics.

On close scrutiny, some of the bipartisan successes that Mr. Romney claimed in the Wednesday debate turn out to by peppered with asterisks.

On education, Mr. Romney was correct in stating that Massachusetts students were ranked first in the nation during his tenure. Students in grades four and eight took top honors in reading and mathematics on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

However, educators largely credit an overarching reform of state schools 10 years earlier under Governor Weld. The reforms doubled state spending on schools and brought standards and accountability to administrators and students.

“Governor Romney does not get to take the credit for achieving that No. 1 ranking,” said Mike Gilbert, field director for the nonprofit Massachusetts Association of School Committees, “but it did happen while he was in office.”

Mr. Romney’s claim that he was responsible for 19 separate tax cuts is also technically accurate, but not the full story. In 2005, for example, Mr. Romney’s administration wrote legislation refunding $250 million in capital gains taxes — but the bill came only in response to a court ruling that the taxes had been illegally withheld in 2002.

Many of the other tax cuts were first proposed by the legislature, not Mr. Romney, and others were routine extensions of existing tax reductions or were one-day sales tax holidays.

Michael Barbaro contributed reporting.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 13, 2012, 08:17 AM
Joe Biden Keeps the Momentum Going by Slamming Romney/Ryan Social Policy

By: Sarah JonesOctober 12th, 2012

In La Crosse, Wisconsin today, Vice President Biden took Congressman Paul Ryan to the woodshed for his anti-women policies. Not only is the Supreme Court at issue in the next election and reproductive rights at risk, but also the Violence Against Women’s Act. Republicans want to allow employers to make healthcare decisions for women and Congressman Ryan even voted against the Lily Ledbetter Act. Biden said, “These guys have a social policy out of the 50′s!”

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=O5dvqGtktYI

Transcript:

BIDEN: If anyone had a doubt about what’s at stake in this election, when it comes to women’s rights, and the Supreme Court, I am sure they were settled last night. Congressman Ryan made it very clear that he and Governor Romney are prepared to impose their private views on everyone else. It was made clear last night that they do not believe in protecting a woman’s access to health care. It was made very clear that they do not believe a woman has a right to control her own body—that’s between she and her doctor. And now they say they are willing to make an exception in the case of rape and incest.

Ladies and gentlemen, Congressman Ryan was a leader in the House and even blocked those exceptions…Ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine the next president is likely to have almost surely have one and probably two Supreme Court appointees. Roe v. Wade is hanging. Do you think they’re possibly going to appoint two justices to the court who aren’t going to join Scalia and others to overrule Roe v. Wade? Ladies and gentlemen, the single most consequential decision a President makes other than going to war is the appointment to the Supreme Court, because those appointments live on long after any President is gone.

Ladies and gentlemen, Congressman Ryan, he voted against the Lily Ledbetter Act. All it did was—it sounds ridiculous—but all it did was give a woman a cause of action when she found out she was cheated in her employment, that the statute of limitations didn’t kick in and prevent her from bringing an action when she was cheated. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re all pushing hard for a Fair Pay Act. I happen to think my daughter should get paid exactly what any man is being paid for the job she is doing. We have proposed equal pay legislation. They are against it. They want to turn back to the insurance companies, the decision on whether a woman continues having to pay 50% more for the same health care, where once again pregnancy will be able to be a pre-existing condition.

Ladies and gentlemen, they are holding hostage one of the proudest accomplishments of my career, the Violence Against Women Act. They’re still debating whether or not we need the Violence Against Women Act after 20 years. Folks, if I leave you with no other message today, I want you to remember this one – Barack Obama and Joe Biden are absolutely, positively, firmly committed to ensuring that our daughters and my granddaughters at the exact same rights and opportunities to control their lives as my sons and my grandsons -exact same rights. Make no mistake about that. These guys have a social policy out of the 50′s.

End transcript.

It’s amazing that we are here, fighting issues that were settled years ago. It’s beyond incredible that Republicans have obstructed the much needed Violence Against Women’s Act, as well as voting no as Congressman Ryan did, on the Lily Ledbetter Act. It’s impossible to see the rationale behind these votes and obstruction, especially when women’s lives are at risk.

Joe Biden has long been a champion of equal rights for women, including his work on the first Violence Against Women Act. When Biden says he stands by you, he was already there years ago taking a stand for women. It’s not political rhetoric in a campaign season – it’s the truth. No politician is perfect and certainly Joe has his flaws, but he is one of the more authentic politicians in DC.

Republicans like to pretend that there is no war on women, but there is a very real legislative war against women, aimed at restricting and removing freedoms and protections we took for granted in the past.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 13, 2012, 09:38 AM

The Republican Vision for Government is Corporate Owned and Operated

By: Rmuse October 13th, 2012

Government is one of mankind’s oldest institutions that, in the modern era, affects every human activity in important ways.  America’s government is the means by which state policy is enforced according to laws voted on by the populace within the confines of the U.S. Constitution, and one of its primary functions is protecting the people. During the early 1980′s, Republicans made a conscious decision to oppose the current form of government in their drive to transform America’s constitutional republic into a plutocracy, and they have worked diligently to deliver control of the country’s policies to corporations and financial institutions.

A means of giving corporations and financial institutions power to govern is ceding control of the nation’s resources, and eliminating regulatory agencies tasked with enforcing policies that protect the people and guarantee the nation survives according to the Constitution. After thirty years, Republicans are blatantly campaigning for voters’ permission to give the wealth of the nation directly to the rich, and allow banks and corporations to dictate policies advanced by groups such as the Koch brothers, Heritage Foundation, and Willard Romney.

Romney travels the country promising that if he is elected president, he will give job creators more tax dollars and “get government out of the way” to allow corporations and financial institutions the freedom to conduct business without regulation or oversight. It is a libertarian dream and, coupled with his party’s aspiration to charge for the privilege of living in this country, effectively changes America into a nation of peasants subsisting to enrich wealthy industrialists and bankers. The past few years provided a glimpse of the America Romney yearns for that means more wealth for the rich, and more bodies from the lack of regulations.

Republicans hate regulations because they hold big business accountable for their actions and protect the people from malfeasance in the pursuit of profits. In their drive to kill regulations, Republicans slashed funding for regulatory agencies  and took the savings to fund tax breaks and subsidies for corporations and the wealthy; in the process Americans are left at the mercy of big business. A deadly meningitis outbreak that shows no signs of abating is a direct result of no oversight and a company flouting state laws, and it is a precautionary tale that plays out often when businesses police themselves which is Romney and his libertarian cohort’s preferred business model.

The notion that businesses police themselves is in itself a dangerous proposition, and Americans saw it play out when BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil platform blew up killing twelve men while spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico; the well is still leaking oil. Several investigations blamed BP and its partners, Halliburton and Transocean, for making cost-cutting measures, and warned that without effective government oversight, the offshore oil and gas industry will not reduce the risk of accidents, nor prepare to respond in emergencies because their motivation is maximizing profits, not protecting workers or the environment. The final report also concluded that government oversight must be accompanied by sweeping reforms that accomplish no less than a fundamental transformation of the industry’s safety culture, but Republicans objected strenuously to reforms and slashed funding for regulators.

A similar tragedy occurred in West Virginia in 2010 when an explosion in the Upper Big Branch mine claimed the lives of 29 miners as a result of flagrant safety violations according to an independent investigation that found Massey Energy was directly responsible for the blast. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued 369 citations, assessed $10.8 million in penalties, and is still investigating criminal liability as one former superintendent plead guilty and confessed to conspiring to impede the MSHA’s enforcement efforts. Republicans objected to safety reforms and slashed funding for regulators.

Over a month ago, the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi Libya came under attack from terrorists that claimed the lives of four American diplomats, and just a year earlier, Republicans led by vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan defunded security for consulates. The cuts prompted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to warn that the Republican cuts would be “detrimental to America’s national security,” but Republicans rejected her assertion.  The Obama administration requested $2.15 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program for fiscal 2013, but Republicans in the House proposed spending $1.934 billion as they fought valiantly to maintain Bush-era tax cuts for the rich. Republicans are wont to claim America is broke and cannot possibly afford one penny to protect Americans at home or abroad, but they always find money to provide more tax cuts for the rich and their corporations.

Over the past year and eight months, Republicans proposed cuts to FEMA, the CDC, Weather Service, OSHA, FDA, USDA, and myriad regulatory agencies that exist to protect the American people, and throughout it all they fought for deeper tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Willard Romney proposes cuts to regulatory agencies as the means of “getting government out of the way” of big business, while proposing $5 trillion in tax cuts and reducing corporate taxes. All the while he touts education, law enforcement, and Medicare cuts to pay for the wealthy’s entitlements,  and is peddling coupons for Medicare, education, and Veterans Health Administration in the latest privatization scam to enrich corporations.

The government Romney and Republicans propose is not business friendly, it is business-owned and operated, and the people are expendable assets. The American people depend on regulatory agencies to ensure the food supply, medicine, air travel, and workplace are safe, and their tax dollars support disaster relief, early warning systems, education, law enforcement and fire protection that Republicans pant to eliminate to fund more tax breaks. The GOP is well aware their plans for corporate- government are not a popular proposition among most Americans, and it is why Romney and Republicans support voter suppression tactics and ALEC’s voter ID laws to eliminate opposition to their corporatist agenda.

Ronald Reagan first proposed the idea that government is bad, and now thirty years later, the Republican presidential candidate and his running mate are openly campaigning to transform government to benefit corporations with full support of the Republican establishment. Their goal is American people at the mercy of unregulated manufacturing, banking, pharmaceutical, and food industry, and their remedy for disastrous outcomes is tort reform to limit damage claims against big business.  It has taken Republicans three decades, but they are one election away from transforming American government into a deregulated corporate plutocracy to ensure a few hundred families prosper beyond their wildest dreams. However, for the great majority of Americans, what awaits them is environmental, natural, and man-made disasters and knowledge that their only recourse is a coupon redeemable at the local company store.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 15, 2012, 08:20 AM
October 14, 2012

Death By Ideology

By PAUL KRUGMAN
NYT

Mitt Romney doesn’t see dead people. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to see them; if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the ugly reality of what will happen if he and Paul Ryan get their way on health care.

Last week, speaking to The Columbus Dispatch, Mr. Romney declared that nobody in America dies because he or she is uninsured: “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” This followed on an earlier remark by Mr. Romney — echoing an infamous statement by none other than George W. Bush — in which he insisted that emergency rooms provide essential health care to the uninsured.

These are remarkable statements. They clearly demonstrate that Mr. Romney has no idea what life (and death) are like for those less fortunate than himself.

Even the idea that everyone gets urgent care when needed from emergency rooms is false. Yes, hospitals are required by law to treat people in dire need, whether or not they can pay. But that care isn’t free — on the contrary, if you go to an emergency room you will be billed, and the size of that bill can be shockingly high. Some people can’t or won’t pay, but fear of huge bills can deter the uninsured from visiting the emergency room even when they should. And sometimes they die as a result.

More important, going to the emergency room when you’re very sick is no substitute for regular care, especially if you have chronic health problems. When such problems are left untreated — as they often are among uninsured Americans — a trip to the emergency room can all too easily come too late to save a life.

So the reality, to which Mr. Romney is somehow blind, is that many people in America really do die every year because they don’t have health insurance.

How many deaths are we talking about? That’s not an easy question to answer, and conservatives love to cite the handful of studies that fail to find clear evidence that insurance saves lives. The overwhelming evidence, however, is that insurance is indeed a lifesaver, and lack of insurance a killer. For example, states that expand their Medicaid coverage, and hence provide health insurance to more people, consistently show a significant drop in mortality compared with neighboring states that don’t expand coverage.

And surely the fact that the United States is the only major advanced nation without some form of universal health care is at least part of the reason life expectancy is much lower in America than in Canada or Western Europe.

So there’s no real question that lack of insurance is responsible for thousands, and probably tens of thousands, of excess deaths of Americans each year. But that’s not a fact Mr. Romney wants to admit, because he and his running mate want to repeal Obamacare and slash funding for Medicaid — actions that would take insurance away from some 45 million nonelderly Americans, causing thousands of people to suffer premature death. And their longer-term plans to convert Medicare into Vouchercare would deprive many seniors of adequate coverage, too, leading to still more unnecessary mortality.

Oh, about the voucher thing: In his debate with Vice President Biden, Mr. Ryan was actually the first one to mention vouchers, attempting to rule the term out of bounds. Indeed, it’s apparently the party line on the right that anyone using the word “voucher” to describe a health policy in which you’re given a fixed sum to apply to health insurance is a liar, not to mention a big meanie.

Among the lying liars, then, is the guy who, in 2009, described the Ryan plan as a matter of “converting Medicare into a defined contribution sort of voucher system.” Oh, wait — that was Paul Ryan himself.

And what if the vouchers — for that’s what they are — turned out not to be large enough to pay for adequate insurance? Then those who couldn’t afford to top up the vouchers sufficiently — a group that would include many, and probably most, older Americans — would be left with inadequate insurance, insurance that exposed them to severe financial hardship if they got sick, sometimes left them unable to afford crucial care, and yes, sometimes led to their early death.

So let’s be brutally honest here. The Romney-Ryan position on health care is that many millions of Americans must be denied health insurance, and millions more deprived of the security Medicare now provides, in order to save money. At the same time, of course, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are proposing trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy. So a literal description of their plan is that they want to expose many Americans to financial insecurity, and let some of them die, so that a handful of already wealthy people can have a higher after-tax income.

It’s not a pretty picture — and you can see why Mr. Romney chooses not to see it.



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 15, 2012, 09:55 AM

Is Mitt Romney Mentally Ill?

By: Rmuse October 15th, 2012

During an important election to decide the fate and direction of a country, a voter is likely to consider a candidate’s consistency of actions, values, methods, principles, and expectations, as well as outcomes from previous experience in political office before supporting a candidate. Many voters contemplate a candidate’s honesty and truthfulness, or accuracy of actions, before deciding to cast their vote, and few would choose a candidate renowned for lies and hypocrisy because it defines the candidate as morally deficient with anti-social tendencies. Americans are witnessing a morally deficient candidate for the presidency, and if it is not obvious by now that Willard Mitt Romney is a pathological liar, a hypocrite, and deceitful in words and deeds, it is about time his possible mental illness, Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASP), is exposed to the American people.

An individual suffering from ASP is calculating, manipulative, frequently charming and alluring, and fits the clinical portrait matching depictions of con artists and predators found in literature, and is masterful at using machinations of a criminal who fails to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors. Some criteria psychologists use to diagnose ASP are deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, conning others for personal profit, and lacking remorse or rationalizing having caused harm. Besides persistent lying, Romney demonstrates an innate inability to care about harming others borne out of narcissism, elevated self-worth, and a sense of extreme entitlement and cannot tolerate authority figures. If these criteria seem suspiciously similar to convicted felons and life-criminals, it is because over one-third of the prison population suffers from different degrees of ASP and,  like Romney, they have a childhood history of the disorder.

Over the course of the campaign, stories of Willard’s childhood bullying and disregard for people other than himself abound, and besides chasing and holding down a gay classmate and cutting his hair, there are other instances of his disregard for others. Romney’s impersonating a police officer is not just a prank, and victims of Romney’s faux law enforcement attention may have a different opinion of his behavior that contradicts the portrait of the squeaky-clean Mormon boy. Indeed, Romney carried his disregard for young Americans into college when he protested in favor of sending young men to fight and die in Viet Nam while his “religious” deferments allowed him to luxuriate in a French castle while he proselytized French people into his cult.

Willard carried his disregard for other people with him to Bain Capital where he repeatedly lied and  conned unwitting companies and shareholders into believing that, under Bain management, their firms would flourish only to end up in bankruptcy as Romney and his partners pillaged their assets, shuttered businesses, and raided employee’s pensions all for personal profit. Romney’s narcissism drives him to claim he saved the Salt Lake City Olympics, but he is remiss to give credit to the American taxpayer who funded his efforts to the tune of $1.5 billion, and then destroyed records to conceal malfeasance and cronyism related to his Mormon business associates. He continued covering tracks at the end of his failed term as Massachusetts governor when he charged taxpayers for wiping computers to conceal internal correspondence, and his bankruptcy gang repeated the cover-up practice by destroying books and records in the eToys bankruptcy between 1999 and 2001. Old habits die hard, but especially when they are borne of a cognitive disorder like ASP.

Romney’s narcissism informs his fallacious contention that he “retroactively retired” from Bain Capital in February 1999 despite SEC and FEC filings clearly showing he was CEO until 2002, and his blatant disregard for the law allowed him to assume that because he is Willard Romney, federal and state law enforcement officials dared not challenge his contention that he lied on disclosures. Recently, Romney displayed his belief the law did not apply to all Americans equally when a mine owner who forced workers to lose pay to stand with Romney at a rally contacted Willard for help after a complaint filed with the FEC and Ohio Democrats alleged “extortion, money laundering, racketeering,” to which  Romney responded “We get a lot of charges, this will go away.” It was a telling statement that reeks of an organized crime boss used to influencing investigations to avoid prosecution, and not something an upright businessman, or candidate for president, would cavalierly utter.

Throughout the campaign for the presidency, Romney has distinguished himself as a master of mendacity, and boasts that his wealth qualifies him to “run” America as a company Bain Capital is preparing to pillage for Romney’s personal profit. His persistent lying conceals his well-laid plans to eliminate funding for myriad programs that help the least fortunate Americans to fund tax cuts for himself, and informs a man devoid of compassion for others borne out of an extreme sense of entitlement and elevated self-worth.

Romney may not express his dysfunction the same as a convict who shows disregard for others physically, but his willingness to destroy jobs while at Bain Capital, or as president by eliminating entire agencies to fund his tax cuts, is only a matter of degree. As a psychologist pointed out, sociopaths like Romney do not think or act like normal people, and his aggression is acted out on entire groups such as the 47% he considers parasites, or gays, women, and minorities. Romney has demonstrated he will do anything to succeed and everything in “the service of his own wishes” and not what is good for the American people or this country. Willard’s biggest advantage to date is that it is incomprehensible that a presidential candidate would resort to lying, obfuscation, and blatant racism in his bid for the White House, and to a degree this falls on a negligent press that is as aware of Romney’s anti-social behavior, record of entitlement and flouting the law as anyone, and yet they have turned a blind eye to his malfeasance.

Perhaps Romney’s greatest crime is purporting to be a Christian to appeal to the religious right. The crazy Mormon foundations and beliefs notwithstanding, would a Christian lie as a matter of course, promote pre-emptive war, cut funding for children, seniors, and Veterans in the pursuit of greater tax cuts for himself? Willard Romney has given every indication under the Sun that he harbors sociopathic tendencies on a variety of levels, and as such, is not qualified or trustworthy to run for the presidency much less win the election. Any reasonable human being is revolted by a pathological liar, narcissist, and entitled charlatan, so it is curious why any American other than Mrs. Willard thinks he is qualified to be president. It is true that a president has to be something more than normal to handle the Herculean job of leading America, but the idea of more than normal does not mean abnormal, and certainly not a self-entitled narcissist displaying all the traits of a dysfunctional antisocial sociopath with personality disorders reminiscent of a third of the prison population.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 15, 2012, 12:01 PM
This is what happens in any country that has an out of control Capitalism .....

October 15, 2012 10:00 AM

The Oligarchs Are Nervous

By karoli

Despite the millions upon millions the oligarchs are pouring into their candidate, they're not running away with the election. Courts are pushing back on their voter suppression initiatives, and they're not getting a margin that guarantees their guy the win.

In the battle for control of our country, they're willing to use every weapon at their disposal. Today's weapon of choice is the employee intimidation spray gun.

Over at Koch Industries, an nice little voter pamphlet went out to 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees. Mike Lux found himself in possession of a copy and let us all in on the secret.

    The packet arrived in the mailboxes of all 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees earlier this month. The cover letter, by Koch Industries President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Robertson, read:

        While we are typically told before each Presidential election that it is important and historic, I believe the upcoming election will determine what kind of America future generations will inherit.

        If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.

    Enclosed with the letter was a flyer listing Koch-endorsed candidates, beginning with Romney. Robertson’s letter explained: “At the request of many employees, we have also provided a list of candidates in your state that have been supported by Koch companies or by KOCHPAC, our employee political action committee.”

    The packet also included an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney editorial by David Koch. The letter went on to say, “We believe any decision about which candidates to support is—as always—yours and yours alone, based on the factors that are most important to you. Second, we do not support candidates based on their political affiliation.”

    In the flyer sent to Oregon employees, all 14 Koch-backed state candidates were Republicans.

This isn't new. They did it in 2010, and they did it with their little Prosperity 101 seminar employees had to take last year.

But it isn't only the Koch boys. As Heather posted on Sunday, ASG Software Solutions also sent a threatening letter to its employees saying that their jobs were in jeopardy if they didn't make darn sure Mitt Romney was elected. And Westgate Resorts CEO took similar action.

Here's what you need to know. This is a coordinated effort to force support for Mitt Romney. It's just as obvious as the coal CEO docking his employees and making them contribute to Romney's campaign. There isn't a major corporate presence in this country that Romney hasn't touched or crossed in his Bain Capital dealings, and while he might not be one of the oligarchs, he is most certainly the oligarchs' ideal choice to guard the henhouse and provide the digits on command for signatures on their key legislation.

It doesn't stop with coordinated employee intimidation either. Brad Friedman has another report out that ought to raise the hackles on everyone's neck. It seems that Bain Capital owns a hefty share of a voting machine company. Via The Free Press:

    The majority of the directors of Hart come from the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. has been heavily invested in Hart Intercivic since July 2011, just in time for the current presidential election cycle. But who is H.I.G Capital?

    Out of 49 partners and directors, 48 are men, and 47 are white. Eleven of these men, including H.I.G. Founder Tony Tamer, were formerly employed at Bain and Company, and two of those men, John P. Bolduc and Douglas Berman are Romney bundlers along with former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.

    Additionally, four of these men were formerly employed at Booz Allen Hamilton. Bush family friendly Carlyle group is an owner of Booz Allen which also made voting machines for the United States military. Booz Allen was also the key subcontractor for the controversial PioneerGroundbreaker program, an NSA data mining operation that gathered information on American citizens until it was shut down and replaced with even more invasive successor programs like MATRIX and Total Information Awareness.

Awesome. And Brad has more.

    Lee Fang at The Nation recently confirmed the FreePress reporting in a story of his own on the "crony capitalism" of Tagg Romney, whose father's money and high-profile connections present a number of troubling corporate conflicts of interest should Mitt Romney become President. Also this week, in a video that has gone a bit viral, The David Pakman Show expressed understandable concerns about Romney's close business partners having this type of corporate control over a large e-voting company whose, extremely vulnerable and insecure [PDF] --- and often 100% unverifiable --- voting and tabulation systems are now used, according to VerifiedVoting.org's database, in all or parts of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. [Pakman's video is embedded below.]

Rule of the oligarchs: If at first you're not succeeding, buy the system and break it.

But I don't write all of this to discourage anyone. Indeed, just the opposite. The only way to overcome their influence is to overwhelm it, and the only way to overwhelm it is by showing up to vote in unprecedented numbers. Because if they succeed, then it really won't matter what happens next. This country will look like Wisconsin after Scott Walker was elected, or Texas, or Rick Scott's Florida. That's what these guys want.

They're restless, and they're hungry, and they can be defeated.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Steve on Oct 15, 2012, 05:05 PM
TPM Editor’s Blog
Scared? Get Scared
Josh Marshall October 15, 2012, 11:51 AM

It’s looking like a Romney victory — inter alia — would mean Medicare abolished and replaced with a voucher program this Spring.

From Jon Chait …

Quote
   Let’s first imagine that, on January 20, Romney takes the oath of office. Of the many secret post-victory plans floating around in the inner circles of the campaigns, the least secret is Romney’s intention to implement Paul Ryan’s budget. The Ryan budget has come to be almost synonymous with the Republican Party agenda, and Romney has embraced it with only slight variations. It would repeal Obamacare, cut income-tax rates, turn Medicare for people under 55 years old into subsidized private insurance, increase defense spending, and cut domestic spending, with especially large cuts for Medicaid, food stamps, and other programs targeted to the very poor.

    Few voters understand just how rapidly Romney could achieve this, rewriting the American social compact in one swift stroke. Ryan’s plan has never attracted Democratic support, but it is not designed for bipartisanship. Ryan deliberately built it to circumvent a Senate filibuster, stocking the plan with budget legislation that is allowed, under Senate “budget reconciliation” procedures, to pass with a simple majority. Republicans have been planning the mechanics of the vote for many months, and Republican insiders expect Romney to use reconciliation to pass the bill. Republicans would still need to control 50 votes in the Senate (Ryan, as vice-president, would cast the tiebreaking vote), but if Romney wins the presidency, he’ll likely precipitate a partywide tail wind that would extend to the GOP’s Senate slate.

Nonpartisan report: Ryan Medicare plan hurts Florida seniors the most

By Stephen C. Webster

Monday, October 15, 2012 15:14 EDT

The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation said Monday that a year-long study has found that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to turn Medicare into a privatized “premium support” coupon program will result in higher costs for six out of every 10 beneficiaries just to maintain their current levels of service.

Kaiser’s study (PDF) found that his plan to partially privatize Medicare would result in wild variations in policy costs across the country, with some states set to be hit much worse than others, confirming in greater detail earlier studies that found Ryan’s plan would result in significantly higher costs for most seniors.

In particular, Kaiser notes that the crucial swing state of Florida — where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney currently enjoys a slight lead in the polls over President Barack Obama — would see the worst fallout, with about 77 percent of Medicare beneficiaries expected to pay $200 or more per month under the Republican’s coupon program.

It would be especially expensive in areas with the highest concentration of Medicare enrollees, like Miami-Dade County, where nearly all seniors face paying nearly $500 more per month, or Palm Beach County, where 99 percent of plans would go up by more than $370 a month. Kaiser added that Los Angeles County and Orange County in California also face some of the worst price hikes under the Ryan coupon plan, where 99 percent of seniors face paying an additional $$216-$260 more per month.

Overall, seniors would face increased costs of about $720 per year on average across the country under Ryan’s proposed plan, Kaiser added.

“That means that under Romney’s plan, millions of people—especially those with complicated health needs who see a lot of different doctors—would have to give up their doctors or pay extra to maintain access to their choices,” a prepared statement from the Obama campaign claimed. “Even worse, this study is just examining the impact of their plan in a single year. It ignores the role of adverse selection against traditional Medicare—which would drive costs higher and force more people to give up their choice of doctor. It also doesn’t factor in the impact of the cap Romney would place on the growth rate of the vouchers, which results in seniors paying thousands of dollars more every year regardless of which plan they choose.”

Both Romney and Ryan have campaigned on the claim that 7.4 million seniors will lose their access to Medicare due to cuts in Obama’s health reforms, but many fact checkers have refuted that representation of the law. The Affordable Care Act does not cut Medicare benefits, but instead aims to find billions in savings in the Medicare Advantage program, which officials say is unnecessarily costly. The 7.4 million figure cited by both conservative candidates is actually the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how many more people would be covered under traditional Medicare plans that cost beneficiaries less. Additionally, Ryan’s budget includes the same provision, and most Republicans in Congress have voted for it twice.

Reacting to Kaiser’s study, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul told Talking Points Memo that Kaiser’s study does not reflect “the Romney-Ryan plan,” which is supposedly different from the Ryan plan, although neither candidate has specified where they differ on substance. “Our plan would always provide future beneficiaries guaranteed coverage options with no increase in out-of-pocket costs from today’s Medicare,” Saul insisted, offering no further details.

Romney said in August that he would implement a program that’s “the same if not identical” to what Ryan proposed.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 16, 2012, 07:06 AM

Just more evidence of the corruption caused by corporations in the USA ...

The Obama Campaign Calls Out Gallup’s Deeply Flawed Battleground Women Poll

By: Jason Easley October 15th, 2012

After Gallup released a poll showing Obama and Romney tied at 48% with battleground state women, the Obama campaign exposed a flaw in Gallup’s likely voter methodology.

The Obama campaign pointed out that Gallup’s likely voter survey was way off in 2010, “Only 2 years ago the distortions in Gallup’s likely voter screen were exposed, leaving Gallup’s survey 9 points off the mark just days before the election. Gallup’s likely voter model predicted a 15 point advantage for Republicans, 55-40, on October 31, 2010. The final result was a 6 point margin, 51-45. That year, Gallup’s registered voter survey was much closer to reality at 48-44.”

The Obama camp called the Gallup likely voter women battleground poll an outlier and said that in 14 polls in 8 battleground states since October 4, President Obama has led with women in every poll. In ten of the polls Obama held a double digit lead, and his average margin in all 14 polls is 10.2%.

Swing state polling chart:

The Obama campaign suggested that Gallup’s other polling was more accurate, but that there is a problem with the questions that Gallup uses to screen likely voters, “We believe the problem with Gallup’s outlying data is rooted in their 7 question likely voter screen, which distorts the composition of likely voters, leading to erratic and inaccurate results…Several of the likely voter questions create a bias against groups inclined to support Obama. For example, Gallup asks voters both whether they have voted in their precinct before and where people in their neighborhood go to vote. This creates a bias against registered voters who more likely to move from time to time, such as young voters, renters, minorities and urban dwellers, all of whom tend to lean toward the President.”

In general, the venerable polling firm has largely been out of step with the polling consensus in 2012. Unlike when the Romney campaign whines about polls, the Obama camp actually provided a methodological reason for their skepticism.

Since the election has tightened up, the Obama campaign is more sensitive to the perceptions caused by polling, but it is important to note that not all polls are the same. Too often, the media gives every poll equal weight when it shouldn’t. Some polls really are better and more accurate than others. Anyone who reads polling should do so not by focusing on one poll, but by looking at the overall picture presented by 5 or 10 polls.

Gallup’s recent track record over the last couple of years suggests that they are oversampling Republicans. Gallup has a ton of credibility because they are the founding father of political polling, but even legends make mistakes, and something smells fishy in Gallup’s latest women likely voter survey.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 16, 2012, 07:09 AM

Romney’s Tax Plan Turns the Laws of Mathematics on their Head

By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonOctober 16th, 2012         
   
A New York Times editorial proclaims “Mr. Romney needs a working calculator.” Amen. As this editorial says, “To the annoyance of the Romney campaign, members of Washington’s reality-based community have a habit of popping up to point out the many deceptions in the campaign’s blue-sky promises of low taxes and instant growth.”

It is fitting that the New York Times refers to a ”reality-based community” because it was in the New York Times that this now famous phrase first appeared, back in 2004, quoting, fittingly enough, a Republican. It was an aide to President George W. Bush who first put a Republican president outside of reality and bragged about the expediency of making his own. And this is a community from which Mitt Romney has also willingly excluded himself.

“Blue-sky promises” hits the nail on the head. We are going to fix this and fix that, Romney says, but he won’t - and can’t - say how. It’s like magic (after all, Ann says, just electing him will fix everything – who needs math?) and we’re just supposed to trust him. I wouldn’t trust Romney if he told me the sky was blue.

Watch whichmitt.com and tell me you can trust this man. My hunch is that Rmuse was right to question Mitt’s mental health the other day.

As the Times go on to tell us: “The latest is the Joint Committee on Taxation, an obscure but well-respected Congressional panel — currently evenly divided between the parties — that helps lawmakers calculate the effect of their tax plans.”

And what is the word, you ask?  It’s another blow to wishful thinking:

    The answer came last week: ending all those deductions would only produce enough revenue to lower tax rates by 4 percent. Mitt Romney says he can lower tax rates by 20 percent and pay for it by ending deductions. The joint committee’s math makes it clear that that is impossible.

That won’t stop Mr. Romney from insisting that it is possible when he debates President Obama, of course, though he won’t have Lehrer in his corner this time.

We have already seen how Paul Ryan handled these questions when Mike Wallace put him on the spot on Fox News of all places.

Yet it was Romney who told Obama he was not entitled to his own reality. That was a brilliant stroke, taking the initiative.  You have to admire anyone willing to lie so boldly and so confidently. But with Mike Wallace, and with developments like the Times editorial, the tide me be beginning to turn on Romney’s fantasy economics. President Obama has the chance to put this lie away at the upcoming debate.

You don’t have to go far, though, to see how widespread this denial-of-reality goes, and why even a splash of cold ocean won’t shake the devotion of the faithful.

Glenn Beck may be less visible these days but he’s no less over-the-top. When you get a mythologizer like David Barton together with the suggestible and highly-strung Beck, anything can happen. Like proclaiming that Mitt Romney is the next Abraham Lincoln.

The Great Enslaver is like the Great Emancipator?

Glenn, you’re known for saying some crazy things, but are you sure you want to go there?

Take a look courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LxO3b_ywVis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Aw04ytGdr9E

David Barton says it was  Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of prayer and fasting on March 30, 1863 that gave the Union the win. Apparently, “God” decided that rather than giving the Union the win right then and there as a reward, he’d make them fight for another bloody two years and let tens of thousands of young men die horribly along with the suffering of an often innocent civilian population in the war zones.

Right. And Thomas Jefferson could not have freed his slaves. Look, the war was won because of a number of factors, not least Lincoln’s tenacity and 23,000 dead and wounded and missing at Gettysburg who exhibited a tenacity of their own in the cause of the Union. If Barton’s god won the Civil War, he had a sick way of doing it.

These two topics may seem unrelated but they’re tightly entwined. The fundamentalist Republican base wants a certain America. To have that certain America, they need a certain past. Romney wants to have a certain America too – namely an America with him at the head. To have that, certain things have to be true even when they cannot possibly be. Like this recent Romney ad attacking Obama. As lies go, this is nothing less than breathtaking:

“The facts are clear. Obama’s four deficits are the four largest in U.S. history. He’s adding almost as much debt as all 43 previous presidents combined.”

Not only did 9/11 now happen on Obama’s watch, but George W. Bush’s debt now magicaly becomes Obama’s debt. Do the math. Romney sure didn’t.

The Republican War on Science has tossed aside all appeal to facts, to reality, to cause and effect, and to the historical record.

Really, with all due respect to the New York Times, it is not a working calculator Romney needs at all. What Romney needs, what the Republican Party as a whole needs, is a willingness to use a calculator. It’s almost as though such things have come to be seen as the workings of Satan, and we can only wonder how long it will be before we are being told that microphones and cameras steal the soul.

Anything that casts doubt on the Republican Party’s fantasy America must be the work of demons.

The Times sums up the situation nicely: “It is increasingly clear that the Romney tax ‘plan’ is not really a plan at all but is instead simply a rhapsody based on old Republican themes that something can be had for nothing.

Including a new history and indeed, new mathematical laws, and new laws of physics, more amenable to their fantasies.

We have many mathematical laws but the most important law in all of history might be Romney’s Law, which supersedes everything you thought you knew: that numbers are and do what you insist they are and do.

Let the voter beware.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 16, 2012, 07:11 AM

Bill Clinton Explains What’s Missing in Mitt Romney’s Tax Math

By: Sarah JonesOctober 16th, 2012

President Clinton explains Mitt Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut and how middle class families with children will get an average tax increase of $2,000 to pay for $250,000 in tax cuts for multi-millionaires.

President Clinton tells the American people, “In the first debate, Governor Romney said that he wasn’t really going to cut taxes on upper income people—he only wanted to cut taxes for middle class people. That’s not true.”

Chicago is coming on strong, saying, “As Americans learned in the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney will say anything to close the deal, even if it’s not true, just like he did in the corporate boardroom. So in advance of tonight’s debate, President Clinton is taking a couple of minutes to explain how Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut – which Romney claimed didn’t exist in the last debate — gives multimillionaires like him a new $250,000 tax cut, even with closing upper-end loopholes and deductions. He also details how it is mathematically impossible to pay for the $5 trillion tax cut without cutting deductions for the middle class, like the home mortgage, charitable, and state and local taxes deductions. In this new video, President Clinton notes that Romney is now cynically hiding the existence of the tax cut because he knows the only way to pay for it is to raise taxes on the middle class. While Romney continues to deceive Americans about his tax plan, President Clinton reminds them to rely on “arithmetic over illusion.” In other words, facts matter.”

Mitt Romney better be on his A-game tonight. Big Dog and the guy who got Osama are after his tax lies.

Click to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mB7I0vpwT7M


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 16, 2012, 07:14 AM

Main Street: President Obama’s Plan to Build the Economy from the Middle Out

By: Sarah Jones October 15th, 2012

Obama for America’s newest ad “Main Street” is set to hit Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and Virginia. The ad features Americans from across the country talking about how Obama’s policies are moving us forward. With consumer confidence at a 5 year high, the President knows there’s more work to be done, but his plans to build the economy from the middle out are working.

This is more than just rhetoric, and I can prove it.

    Female narrator: We’ve gone from pulling into our parking lot, which was so depressing – there would be 2 or three cars in this parking lot to our parking lot being full.

    Second female narrator: We have a whole second shift that we brought in, new employees, and we have a future at our plant now.

    Male narrator: When you look at the president’s plan I don’t think there can be any question that we’re on the right course for today’s economy.

    Second male narrator: President Obama does get what people need and that’s jobs and the opportunity to help themselves.

    Third Male narrator: Stick with this guy. He will move us forward.

Chicago explains, “When the President took office, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. But the President’s policies brought us back from the brink and we’re now moving forward again – businesses have added 5.2 million private sector jobs over the past two and a half years, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since January 2009, and consumer confidence is at a five-year high.” They continue, “The President understands there’s more work to do to get Americans back to work and restore economic security for the middle-class, but as the hard-working Americans in OFA’s new ad highlight, the President’s plans are building an economy meant to last – from the middle out, not the top down.”

Let’s take a look at what Obama inherited and what he built.

PRESIDENT OBAMA ENTERED OFFICE FACING AN ECONOMIC CRISIS AND AN AUTO INDUSTRY ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE

IN THE SIX MONTHS BEFORE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE, THE COUNTRY LOST THREE AND A HALF MILLION JOBS—800,000 DURING THE MONTH HE WAS SWORN IN

In The Six Months Before President Obama’s First Full Month In Office, The Economy Lost Nearly 3.5 Million Jobs. According to Bureau Of Labor Statistics data, job losses in the six months before President Obama’s first full month in office, the economy lost 3,477,000 nonfarm jobs: August 2008 (-247,000), September 2008 (-432,000), October 2008 (-489,000), November 2008 (-803,000), December 2008 (-661,000), January 2009 (-818,000). [Current Employment Statistics, Bureau Of Labor Statistics, accessed 8/22/12]

The Month President Obama Took Office, The Economy Lost 818,000 Nonfarm Jobs. According to Bureau Of Labor Statistics data, the economy lost 818,000 nonfarm jobs in January 2009. [Current Employment Statistics, Bureau Of Labor Statistics, accessed 8/23/12]

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke In March 2009: “The World Is Suffering Through The Worst Financial Crisis Since The 1930s.” “Mr. BEN BERNANKE (Federal Reserve Chairman): The world is suffering through the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.” [Remarks By Ben Bernanke On A Council On Foreign Relations Meeting, 3/10/09]

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA CAME INTO OFFICE, THE AUTO INDUSTRY WAS ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION – WITH OVER A MILLION JOBS HANGING IN THE BALANCE

Princeton Economist Alan Blinder And Moody’s Economist Mark Zandi: In Late 2008, The Auto Industry Was “Near Collapse” And Its Demise “Threatened To Exacerbate The Recession.” “The near collapse of the domestic auto industry in late 2008 also threatened to exacerbate the recession. GM and Chrysler eventually went through bankruptcies, but TARP funds were used to make the process relatively orderly. GM is already on its way to being a publicly traded company again. Without financial help from the federal government, all three domestic vehicle pro­ducers and many of their suppliers might have had to liquidate many operations, with devastating effects on the broader economy, and especially on the Midwest. [Princeton University, 7/28/10]

2009: The Motor And Equipment Manufacturers Association Warned About “An Impending Implosion Of The [Auto] Supply Base.” “Throughout the year, MEMA, OESA and other industry analysts warned about an impending implosion of the supply base. The risk was real.” [Testimony of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association Before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, 11/30/09]

Center For Automotive Research: If GM And Chrysler Had Failed, The United States Would Have Lost Over A Million Jobs. “Across the globe, federal, state and provincial governments stepped in to provide aid to the Detroit-based automakers with operations in their countries. These loans and other financial assistance provided to General Motors and Chrysler by the U.S. and foreign governments averted certain economic catastrophe had the companies been allowed to fail… The May results estimated that the outcomes of the orderly bankruptcy proceedings would save 1.28 million jobs in 2009, while the current review estimates slightly lower job savings of 1.14 million jobs. For 2010, original estimates (of orderly bankruptcies vs. unsuccessful proceedings) were that 267,300 jobs would be saved, while the current review estimates that 314,400 jobs were preserved.” [Center For Automotive Research, 11/17/2010]

PRESIDENT OBAMA BET ON THE AMERICAN WORKER, AND HIS AUTO RESCUE SAVED OVER A MILLION JOBS

President Obama: “Don’t Bet Against The American Worker.” In a speech to Chrysler plant workers in Kokomo, Indiana, President Obama said, “We’re coming back. We’re on the move. All three American companies are profitable, and they are growing. Some of you read last week, G.M.’s stock offering exceeded expectations as investors expressed their confidence in a future that seemed so dim just 18 months ago. And as a result, the Treasury was able to sell half of its G.M. stock. So here’s the lesson: Don’t bet against America. Don’t bet against the American auto industry. Don’t bet against American ingenuity. Don’t bet against the American worker.” [Remarks by the President to Chrysler Plant Workers in Kokomo, Indiana, 11/23/10]

Center For Automotive Research: The Auto Industry Rescue Saved Over 1.1 Million Jobs In 2009. According to a report on the difference between orderly bankruptcy proceedings assisted by government-provided debtor-in-possession financing versus an uncontrolled bankruptcy for American automakers, the Center for Automotive Research estimates that emergency loans to American automakers saved 1.14 million jobs in 2009. [Center for Automotive Research Report, 11/7/10]

SINCE THE RESCUE, THE AUTO INDUSTRY HAS ADDED NEARLY 250,000 JOBS, SALES ARE SURGING, AND AMERICAN AUTOMAKERS ARE ALL PROFITABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS

Since Chrysler And GM Retooled In June 2009, The American Auto Industry Has Added Nearly 250,000 Jobs. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics survey data, motor vehicle and parts manufacturing and motor vehicle and parts retail trade sectors employed 2,252,100 Americans in June 2009. In September 2012, these sectors employed 2,498,400 Americans – an increase of 246,300 jobs. [Bureau Of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics Survey Database, Accessed 10/5/12]

CNN Money Headline: “Best Car Sales Since Early ’08.” [CNN Money, 10/2/12]

“U.S. Car Buyers Flooded Showrooms In September, Sending Auto Sales To Their Highest Level In More Than Four Years.” “U.S. car buyers flooded showrooms in September, sending auto sales to their highest level in more than four years. Overall sales were were up 13% from a year ago, according to sales tracker Autodata, which put the pace of sales at an annual rate of just under 15 million vehicles. That easily topped most forecasts and was even better than the spike in sales caused by the government’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program three years ago. The last time sales reached this level was February 2008, before gas prices surged and the financial meltdown caused a deep, sustained drop in auto sales. “[CNN Money, 10/2/12]

Last Year Marked The First Time In Seven Years That All The Big Three Automakers Were Profitable, With General Motors Posting Its Largest Annual Profit In History. “General Motors reported a record annual profit Thursday, just two years after the nation’s largest automaker emerged from bankruptcy with the help of a federal bailout. With rivals Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) and Chrysler Group having already reported profits for last year, 2011 marked the first time since 2004 that all three major U.S. automakers were profitable at the same time.” [CNN Money, 2/16/12]

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS A PLAN TO PUT MORE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AND LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR LONG TERM ECONOMIC GROWTH

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS A PLAN TO KEEP MIDDLE CLASS TAXES LOW FOR 98 PERCENT OF AMERICAN FAMILIES AND 97 PERCENT OF SMALL BUSINESSES

President Obama Proposed Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts For The 98 Percent Of Families Making Less Than $250,000. “Under the President’s proposal, the 98 percent of American families with incomes of less than $250,000 per year would continue to benefit in full from the income tax cuts expiring at the end of 2012…The President’s proposal and legislation introduced by Congressional Democrats would provide certainty for the 114 million middle class families whose taxes will go up on January 1 if Congress does not act.” [White House National Economic Council, July 2012]

The President’s Proposal To Extend The Middle Class Tax Cuts Would Continue All Tax Cuts On Business Income For 97 Percent Of Small Business Owners. “Even using an overly broad definition of small business owner, the President’s proposal to extend the middle class tax cuts would continue all tax cuts on business income for 97 percent of ‘small business owners.’” [White House National Economic Council, July 2012]

PRESIDENT OBAMA SET A THE GOAL OF CREATING ONE MILLION NEW MANUFACTURING JOBS BY 2016, WITH PLANS TO CUT TAXES FOR COMPANIES BRINGING JOBS BACK TO THE U.S. AND DOUBLING OUR EXPORTS BY 2015

President Obama Set A Goal Of Creating One Million New Manufacturing Jobs Over The Next Four Years. “President Barack Obama will set a goal of creating 1 million new manufacturing jobs over the next four years and doubling exports during the next two years, according to excerpts of his speech to the Democratic National Convention released Thursday.” [CNN, 9/6/12]

President Obama’s Tax Reform Framework Removes Tax Deductions For Moving Production Overseas And Provides New Incentives For Bringing Production Back To The United States. “Remove tax deductions for moving productions overseas and provide new incentives for bringing production back to the United States. The tax code currently allows companies moving operations overseas to deduct their moving expenses—and reduce their taxes in the United States as a result. The President is proposing that companies will no longer be allowed to claim tax deductions for moving their operations abroad. At the same time, to help bring jobs home, the President is proposing to give a 20 percent income tax credit for the expenses of moving operations back into the United States.” [The President's Framework For Tax Reform, February 2012]

President Obama Created The National Export Initiative To Create Jobs By Putting America On The Path To Doubling Exports By 2015. “[In] order to enhance and coordinate Federal efforts to facilitate the creation of jobs in the United States through the promotion of exports… The NEI will help meet my Administration’s goal of doubling exports over the next 5 years by working to remove trade barriers abroad, by helping firms — especially small businesses — overcome the hurdles to entering new export markets, by assisting with financing, and in general by pursuing a Government-wide approach to export advocacy abroad, among other steps.” [Executive Order - National Export Initiative, 3/11/10]

PRESIDENT OBAMA PROPOSED RECRUITING AND PREPARING 100,000 MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS OVER THE NEXT DECADE AND CUTTING IN HALF THE GROWTH OF COLLEGE TUITION OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS

President Obama Has Set A Goal Of Preparing More Than 100,000 New Math And Science Teachers Over The Next 10 Years. “Obama has set a goal of preparing more than 100,000 math and science teachers and training a million additional math, technology, engineering and science graduates over the next decade.” [Seattle Times, 02/07/12]

President Obama: “Help Us Work With Colleges And Universities To Cut In Half The Growth Of Tuition Costs Over The Next Ten Years.” “Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. We can meet that goal together.” [President Obama's Remarks At The Democratic National Convention, 09/07/12]

The Administration’s Budget Offers $1 Billion In “Race To The Top”-Style Grants To States That Slow Their Tuition Growth And Sustain Their Higher-Education Budgets. “The election-year budget, which comes at a time of shrinking revenue and rising deficits, would also double the number of work-study jobs and reward colleges and states that slow their tuition growth and sustain their higher-education budgets. As the president promised in his State of the Union address and a speech at the University of Michigan late last month, the administration would offer $1-billion in “Race to the Top”-style grants to states and expand the Perkins Loan program from $1-billion to $8.5-billion, allocating additional aid to institutions that offer relatively low net tuition, graduate relatively high proportions of Pell recipients, and prepare graduates to obtain employment and repay their loans.” [Chronicle of Higher Education, 02/13/12]

PRESIDENT OBAMA WOULD INVEST IN TRAINING WORKERS FOR GOOD-PAYING JOBS, AND IN REBUILDING OUR NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The President Proposed Training Two Million Workers For Good-Paying Jobs Through New Partnerships Between Community Colleges And Businesses. “The bulk of the job-training money would come in an $8-billion ‘Community College to Career Fund,’ which would provide money to community colleges and states to form partnerships with businesses to train an estimated two million workers in high-growth and in-demand areas.” [Chronicle of Higher Education, 02/13/12]

President Obama Proposed To Create Jobs By Using Half Of The Savings From Ending Foreign Wars To Rebuild America. To help ensure we have the infrastructure so that companies can ship their goods more efficiently throughout the country and the world, the President is calling for new efforts to revitalize American infrastructure. The President’s plan will protect taxpayer dollars by fixing existing roads and by directing funding to the best projects instead of earmarks, and will continue investments in high-speed rail. To pay for these investments, the President is proposing to use approximately half of the savings that we will achieve from winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the 6 year period of the infrastructure plan with the other half going towards paying down the debt. The President also announced that within the coming weeks, he will sign an Executive Order clearing the red tape that can slow down new infrastructure projects, accelerating those projects that have already been funded.” ["An America Built To Last," White House, February 2012]

UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA’S LEADERSHIP, BUSINESSES HAVE ADDED 5.2 MILLION JOBS IN THE LAST 31 MONTHS

The U.S. Economy Has Added 5.2 Million Private Sector Jobs In The Last 31 Months. In February 2010, the U.S. economy employed 106,773,000 people in the private sector. In September 2012, the U.S. economy employed 111,952,000 people in the private sector, gaining 5,179,000 jobs over the 31 month period, including the CES preliminary benchmark revision to March 2012 data. [Current Employment Statistics, Bureau Of Labor Statistics, accessed 10/5/12; CES Preliminary Benchmark Announcement, Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 9/27/12]

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE

The Unemployment Rate Is Lower Than At Any Time Since January 2009. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 10/5/12]

UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA, MANUFACTURERS HAVE ADDED JOBS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE LATE 1990s

New York Times: “[Until 2010] There Had Not Been A Single Year When Manufacturing Employment Rose Since 1997.” “When the Labor Department reports December employment numbers on Friday, it is expected that manufacturing companies will have added jobs in two consecutive years. Until last year, there had not been a single year when manufacturing employment rose since 1997.” [New York Times, 1/5/12]

UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HAS REACHED A FIVE-YEAR HIGH

In October 2012, Consumer Confidence Rose To The Highest Level Since September 2007. “Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly jumped in October to the highest level since before the recession began five years ago, raising the odds that retailers will see sales improve. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary October 14, 2012 consumer sentiment index increased to 83.1, the highest level since September 2007, from 78.3 the prior month. The gauge was projected to fall to 78, according to the median forecast of 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.” [Bloomberg News, 10/12/12]

We are not where we need to be yet, but we’re getting there, with no help from Congressional Republicans who have obstructed jobs bills and attempts to reward companies for keeping jobs here. Republicans have berated the stimulus while at the same time quietly begging for it for their districts. Republicans vowed on day one of Obama’s presidency to make him a one term president. They cared more about their political power than our country or your jobs.

We are going forward with pragmatic, bipartisan ideas even if one side refuses to own their ideas right now. Mitt Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. He ships jobs overseas because labor is 85% cheaper there, which means more money in his pocket and less in yours. Bainport is Romney’s idea of harvesting America for profit. Romney bets on himself, but we need a President who bets on America.


Title: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 17, 2012, 07:03 AM
US Elections: Pick Your Poison - VIDEO Interview with Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges: The system has not been able to respond in a rational way, the way the Roosevelt administration responded rationally through the New Deal. And because of that, we're in deep, deep trouble. So I think all of our hope now has to be invested in acts of civil disobedience
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omiKV_6WnFg



How Do You Take Your Poison?
          
Sep 24, 2012

By Chris Hedges

We will all swallow our cup of corporate poison. We can take it from nurse Romney, who will tell us not to whine and play the victim, or we can take it from nurse Obama, who will assure us that this hurts him even more than it hurts us, but one way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered. Corporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history’s most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth’s ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it.

If you insist on participating in the cash-drenched charade of a two-party democratic election at least be clear about what you are doing. You are, by playing your assigned role as the Democratic or Republican voter in this political theater, giving legitimacy to a corporate agenda that means your own impoverishment and disempowerment. All the things that stand between us and utter destitution—Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants, Head Start, Social Security, public education, federal grants-in-aid to America’s states and cities, the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program (WIC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and home-delivered meals for seniors—are about to be shredded by the corporate state. Our corporate oligarchs are harvesting the nation, grabbing as much as they can, as fast as they can, in the inevitable descent.
Read more: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_do_you_take_your_poison_20120924/


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 17, 2012, 07:05 AM
October 17, 2012

Mr. Obama Comes Back

NYT Editorial

There is a price to pay when a president appears disengaged, and President Obama obviously learned how much his diffidence cost him in the first debate this month. On Tuesday night, in the second debate, he regained full command of his vision and his legacy, leaving Mitt Romney sputtering with half-answers, deceptions and one memorable error.

Instead of windy and lethargic answers, the president was crisp in reciting his accomplishments and persuasive in explaining how he has restarted economic growth. Instead of letting Mr. Romney get away with a parade of falsehoods and unworkable promises, he regularly and forcefully called his opponent wrong. Having left many supporters wondering after the first debate whether he really wanted another four years, he finally seemed like a man who was ready to fight for another term.

What he did not do was describe how a second term would be more successful than his first has been, and, in particular, show how he would cut through the thicket of Republican opposition if re-elected. He missed opportunities to call for a more forceful opposition to assault weapons in another term, and to put forward a clear immigration policy.

But the contrast with the weak and failed ideas that Mr. Romney proposed could not have been clearer. The president noted that he had signed legislation that increased pay equity for women; Mr. Romney not only refused to say whether he would have done so, but condescendingly said he had hired many women when he was the governor of Massachusetts and had given them flexible schedules.

Mr. Obama pointed out that Mr. Romney’s tax numbers did not add up, and called the plan a “sketchy deal”; Mr. Romney responded in a huff. “Of course they add up,” he said. “I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget.” Apparently he thinks it should be self-evident that a private equity mogul knows how to cut taxes drastically and still balance the budget, but it is not evident to any of the independent experts who have looked at his plan, as Mr. Obama icily pointed out.

The president reminded listeners that Mr. Romney’s immigration adviser was the author of Arizona’s radical, unconstitutional immigration law. And Mr. Romney himself repeated his cruel prescription to have undocumented immigrants “self-deport” by making it impossible for them to find work and aggressively demanding their identification papers. Mr. Obama offered the better, broader view on fixing immigration, though his own administration has also deported tens of thousands of noncriminals through a crackdown similar to Arizona’s law.

The president even got off a few good lines, pointing out that his pension was considerably smaller than Mr. Romney’s, and that his opponent was far more extreme than President George W. Bush in proposing to turn Medicare into a voucher system and to eliminate financing for Planned Parenthood. He finally took the opportunity to bring up Mr. Romney’s dismissal of 47 percent of the country as people who consider themselves victims and do not take personal responsibility for their lives.

But the most devastating moment for Mr. Romney was self-inflicted. Continuing his irresponsible campaign to politicize the death of the American ambassador to Libya, he said it took two weeks for the president to acknowledge that it was the result of an act of terror. As the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, quickly pointed out, the president referred to it as an act of terror the next day, in the Rose Garden. “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” asked Mr. Obama, having fully regained his stride and confidence.

Voters who watched the first debate might have been left with an impression that Mr. Romney was the candidate of ideas and that Mr. Obama’s reserves of energy and seriousness had been tapped out. On Tuesday night, those roles were reversed.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 17, 2012, 07:08 AM
October 17, 2012

For the President, Punch, Punch, Another Punch

By PETER BAKER
NYT

He waited all of 45 seconds to make clear he came not just ready for a fight but ready to pick one.

President Obama, who concluded that he was “too polite” in his first debate with Mitt Romney, made sure no one would say that after their second. He interrupted, he scolded, he filibustered, he shook his head.

He tried to talk right over Mr. Romney, who tried to talk over him back. The president who waited patiently for his turn last time around forced his way into Mr. Romney’s time this time. At one point, he squared off with Mr. Romney face to face, almost chest to chest, in the middle of the stage, as if they were roosters in a ring.

“What Governor Romney said just isn’t true.”

“Not true, Governor Romney, not true.”

“What you’re saying is just not true.”

For a president teetering on the edge of a single term, making a more forceful case at Hofstra University on Long Island on Tuesday night could hardly have been more imperative. Thirteen days after he took presidential decorum to a Xanax extreme, he tucked away a dinner of steak and potatoes and then went out on stage with plenty of red meat for anxious supporters.

Whether it will decisively reroute the course of the campaign remains to be seen, but the president emerged from the encounter having settled nerves within his panicky party and claiming a new chance to frame the race with just three weeks left.

Heading into the evening, the Obama camp said that he needed at least a draw to mute the commotion over the first debate and drain some of the potential drama from the final meeting next Monday. But the risk, of course, was that an acerbic confrontation could turn off the very swing voters he covets.

The strategy for Tuesday night was clear: undercut Mr. Romney’s character and credibility by portraying him as lying about his true positions on issues like taxes and abortion. Time and again, Mr. Obama questioned whether the man on stage with him was the same “severely conservative” candidate who tacked right in the Republican primaries.

He painted Mr. Romney as a tool of big oil who is soft on China, hard on immigrants, politically crass on Libya and two-faced on guns and energy. He deployed many of the attack lines that went unused in Denver, going after Mr. Romney’s business record, his personal income taxes and, in the debate’s final minutes, his comments about the 47 percent of Americans he once deemed too dependent on government.

“Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan,” Mr. Obama charged. “He has a one-point plan,” which is to help the rich, he said.

He mocked Mr. Romney by noting that he once closed a coal plant as the governor of Massachusetts. “Now suddenly you’re a big champion of coal,” he said.

As for trade, he said, “Governor, you’re the last person who’s going to get tough on China.”

And he pressed Mr. Romney for not disclosing how he would pay for his tax and deficit reduction goals. “We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood,” he said.

Mr. Romney held his own and gave as good as he got, presenting Mr. Obama as a failed president who has piled on trillions of dollars of debt, left millions of Americans without work, bungled security for American personnel in Libya, done nothing to reform entitlement programs and deserted a middle class “crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again.”

But it was Mr. Obama who was the central story line of the night, his performance coming across as a striking contrast to that of his first face-off with Mr. Romney. For days leading up to Tuesday night’s encounter, Mr. Obama huddled in a Virginia resort with advisers to practice a more aggressive approach without appearing somehow inauthentic or crossing over a line of presidential dignity. It was a line he would stride up to repeatedly over the course of more than 90 minutes, and some will argue that he slipped over it at times.

Along the way, he ducked some questions. He never directly answered a voter who asked whether it was the government’s responsibility to try to lower gasoline prices, instead giving his stump speech on energy. Nor did he respond directly to another voter who asked who denied extra security to diplomats in Libya and why, although he did say, “I am ultimately responsible for what’s taking place there.”

Nor did he offer an extensive articulation of what his forward-looking agenda would be for a second term beyond, essentially, arguing that electing his opponent would be moving back to failed policies of the past.

His aggressive approach came as no surprise to Mr. Romney’s camp. It was clear from the start when Mr. Obama made sure to use the first question — from a college student worried about finding a job — to jab Mr. Romney for opposing the way the president went about the auto industry bailout of 2009.

With each question that followed came another attack. When it was not his turn, Mr. Obama sat on a stool and looked at Mr. Romney as he talked, rather than staring down and taking notes as he did in Denver. There was little smirking, though he did project at times an air of tolerant dismissal.

Evidently intent on redeeming himself by getting in all the points he failed to get in last time, Mr. Obama pushed right past time limits and at one point even refused to yield when the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, tried to rein him in.

“I want to make sure our timekeepers are working,” he complained when she tried to stop him on another occasion — never mind that at that point CNN’s time clock showed that he had spoken 19 minutes and 50 seconds, compared with 17 minutes and 17 seconds for Mr. Romney.

By the end, he had dominated the clock, consuming 44 minutes and four seconds to 40 minutes and 50 seconds for Mr. Romney.

If that sort of score keeping gave it the feel of an athletic competition, Mr. Obama might not object. Aides and friends have long said he is a clutch player on the basketball court, the kind who turns in listless performances during practice but raises his level when the game is on the line.

The game was on the line Tuesday night, and he scored some points. But the final buzzer is still 20 days away.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 17, 2012, 07:09 AM
October 15, 2012

Mr. Romney Needs a Working Calculator

NYT Editorial

To the annoyance of the Romney campaign, members of Washington’s reality-based community have a habit of popping up to point out the many deceptions in the campaign’s blue-sky promises of low taxes and instant growth. The latest is the Joint Committee on Taxation, an obscure but well-respected Congressional panel — currently evenly divided between the parties — that helps lawmakers calculate the effect of their tax plans.

Last month, the committee asked its staff what would happen if Congress repealed the biggest tax deductions and loopholes and used the new revenue to lower tax rates. The staff started adding it up: end all itemized deductions, tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income, and tax the interest on state and local bonds, along with several other revenue-raisers.

The answer came last week: ending all those deductions would only produce enough revenue to lower tax rates by 4 percent.

Mitt Romney says he can lower tax rates by 20 percent and pay for it by ending deductions. The joint committee’s math makes it clear that that is impossible.

The analysis doesn’t include every possible tax expenditure, leaving out, for example, the tax break employers get for providing health insurance. But because Mr. Romney refuses to raise capital gains taxes and wants to end the estate tax, it is hard to see how he could do much better than 4 percent.

This is why Mr. Romney has refused to say which deductions he would eliminate, just as Representative Paul Ryan refused when asked a direct question in last week’s debate. Specify a deduction, and some pest with a calculator will point out that it doesn’t add up.

Even Fox News isn’t buying it. Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said on Fox News Sunday that Mr. Romney would work out those details later with Congress. As the program’s moderator, Chris Wallace, pointed out, that’s like offering voters the candy of a 20 percent tax cut without mentioning the spinach they will have to eat.

The Romney campaign claims it has six studies proving it can be done, but, on examination, none of the studies actually make that point, or counterbalance the nonpartisan analyses that use real math. Two of the studies, for example, were done by the same Republican economist, Martin Feldstein, an adviser to the Romney campaign, who said it would require ending all deductions for everyone making $100,000 or more. But Mr. Romney has explicitly said he would not do that.

It is increasingly clear that the Romney tax “plan” is not really a plan at all but is instead simply a rhapsody based on old Republican themes that something can be had for nothing. For middle-class taxpayers without the benefit of expensive accountants, the bill always comes due a few years later.


Title: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 17, 2012, 07:13 AM
The 2012 US Presidential “Non-election”: Which Brand of “Fascism” this Time?
No matter who “wins”, humanity loses.
By Larry Chin
Global Research, October 14, 2012


Every four years, the deck chairs of the political Titanic that is the American empire get rearranged in the choreographed spectacle of another presidential “election”. The 2012 charade is particularly disgusting; the lies more blatant and shrill, as the world continues to burn.

It is critical to focus on the cold, ugly reality facing the world with either prospective White House occupant.

On one side, the Obama administration, and the traditional brand of neoliberal imperialism and international consensus, and false domestic populism. On the other side with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, militant right-wing extremism, an apocalyptic war agenda and the politics of sadism at home.
Read the rest:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-2012-us-presidential-non-election-which-brand-of-fascism-this-time/5308307


Title: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 17, 2012, 07:18 AM
Obama versus Romney: Bipartisan Consensus on Foreign Policy and Global Warfare

By Jack A. Smith
Global Research, October 05, 2012

Despite the sharp charges and counter-charges about foreign/military and national security policy there are no important differences on such matters between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney. The back and forth between the candidates on international issues is largely about appearance not substance.

The Washington Post noted Sept. 26 that the two candidates “made clear this week that they share an overriding belief — American political and economic values should triumph in the world.” Add to that uplifting phrase the implicit words “by any means necessary,” and you have the essence of Washington’s international endeavors.

There are significant differences within the GOP’s right wing factions — from neoconservatives and ultra nationalists to libertarians and traditional foreign policy pragmatic realists — that make it extremely difficult for the Republicans to articulate a comprehensive foreign/military policy. This is why Romney confines himself to criticizing Obama’s international record without elaborating on his own perspective, except to imply he would do everything better than the incumbent.

Only nuances divide the two ruling parties on the principal strategic international objectives that determine the development of policy. Washington’s main goals include:

• Retaining worldwide “leadership,” a euphemism for geopolitical hegemony.

• Maintaining the unparalleled military power required to crush any other country, using all means from drones to nuclear weapons. This is made clear in the incumbent administration’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), and the January 2012 strategic defense guidance titled, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.”

• Containing the rise of China’s power and influence, not only globally but within its own East Asian regional sphere of influence, where the U.S. still intends to reign supreme. Obama’s “pivot” to Asia is part of Washington’s encirclement of China militarily and politically through its alliances with key Asian-Pacific allies. In four years, according to the IMF, China’s economy will overtake that of the U.S. — and Washington intends to have its fleets, air bases, troops and treaties in place for the celebration.

• Exercising decisive authority over the entire resource-rich Middle East and adjacent North Africa. Only The Iranian and Syrian governments remain to be toppled. (Shia Iraq, too, if it gets too close to Iran.)

• Provoking regime change in Iran through crippling sanctions intended to wreck the country’s economy and, with Israel, threats of war. There is no proof Iran is constructing a nuclear weapon.

• Seeking regime change in Syria, Shia Iran’s (and Russia’s) principal Arab ally. Obama is giving political and material support to fractious rebel forces in the civil war who are also supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. The U.S. interest is in controlling the replacement regime.

• Weakening and isolating Russia as it develops closer economic and political ties to China, and particularly when it expresses opposition to certain of Washington’s less savory schemes, such as continuing to expand NATO, seeking to crush Iran and Syria, and erecting anti-missile systems in Europe. In 20 years, NATO has been extended from Europe to Central Asia, adjacent to China and former Soviet republics.

• Continuing the over 50-year Cold War economic embargo, sanctions and various acts of subversion against Cuba in hopes of destroying socialism in that Caribbean Island nation.

• Recovering at least enough hegemony throughout Latin America — nearly all of which the U.S. dominated until perhaps 15 years ago — to undermine or remove left wing governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

• Significantly increasing U.S. military engagement in Africa.

Both the right/far right Republican Party and the center right Democratic Party agree on these goals, although their language to describe them is always decorated with inspiring rhetoric about the triumph of American political and economic values; about spreading democracy and good feeling; about protecting the American people from terrorism and danger.

Today’s foreign/military policy goals are contemporary adaptations of a consistent, bipartisan international perspective that began to take shape at the end of World War II in 1945. Since the implosion of the Soviet Union ended the 45-year Cold War two decades ago — leaving the U.S. and its imperialist ambitions as the single world superpower — Washington protects its role as “unipolar” hegemon like a hungry dog with a meaty bone.

The people of the United States have no influence over the fundamentals of Washington’s foreign/military objectives. Many Americans seem to have no idea about Washington’s actual goals. As far as a large number of voters are concerned the big foreign/military policy/national security issues in the election boil down to Iran’s dangerous nuclear weapon; the need to stand up for Israel; stopping China from “stealing” American jobs; and preventing a terrorist attack on America.

One reason is the ignorance of a large portion of voters about past and present history and foreign affairs. Another is that many people still entertain the deeply flawed myths about “American exceptionalism” and the “American Century.” Lastly, there’s round-the-clock government and mass media misinformation.

After decades of living within an aggressive superpower it is no oddity that even ostensibly informed delegates to the recent Republican and Democratic political conventions engaged in passionate mass chanting of the hyper-nationalist “USA!, USA!, USA!,” when they were whipped up by party leaders evoking the glories of killing Osama bin-Laden, patriotism, war and the superiority of our way of life.

Since Romney has no foreign policy record, and he’ll probably do everything Obama would do only worse (and he probably won’t even win the election) we will concentrate mainly on Obama’s foreign/military policy and the pivot to China.

One of President Obama’s most important military decisions this year was a new strategic guidance for the Pentagon published Jan. 5 in a 16-page document titled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.”

The new doctrine is the response by the White House and Congress to the stagnant economy and new military considerations. It reduces the number of military personnel and expects to lower Pentagon costs over 10 years by $487 billion, as called for by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This amounts to a cut of almost $50 billion a year in an overall annual Pentagon budget of about $700 billion, and most of the savings will be in getting rid of obsolete equipment and in payrolls. This may all be reversed by Congress.

Introducing “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership” to the media, Obama declared:

“As we look beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the end of long-term nation-building with large military footprints — we’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces. We’ll continue to get rid of outdated Cold War-era systems so that we can invest in the capabilities that we need for the future, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, counterterrorism, countering weapons of mass destruction and the ability to operate in environments where adversaries try to deny us access. So, yes, our military will be leaner, but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.”

Following the president, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared:

“As we shift the size and composition of our ground, air and naval forces, we must be capable of successfully confronting and defeating any aggressor and respond to the changing nature of warfare. Our strategy review concluded that the United States must have the capability to fight several conflicts at the same time. We are not confronting, obviously, the threats of the past; we are confronting the threats of the 21st century. And that demands greater flexibility to shift and deploy forces to be able to fight and defeat any enemy anywhere. How we defeat the enemy may very well vary across conflicts. But make no mistake, we will have the capability to confront and defeat more than one adversary at a time.”

The Congressional Research Service summarized five key points from the defense guidance, which it said was “written as a blueprint for the joint force of 2020.” They are:

1. A shift in overall focus from winning today’s wars to preparing for future challenges.

2. A shift in geographical priorities toward the Asia and the Pacific region while retaining emphasis on the Middle East.

3. A shift in the balance of missions toward more emphasis on projecting power in areas in which U.S. access and freedom to operate are challenged by asymmetric means (“anti-access”) and less emphasis on stabilization operations, while retaining a full-spectrum force.

4. A corresponding shift in force structure, including reductions in Army and Marine Corps end strength, toward a smaller, more agile force including the ability to mobilize quickly. [The Army plans to cut about 50,000 from a force of 570,000. In 2001 there were 482,000.]

5. A corresponding shift toward advanced capabilities including Special Operations Forces, new technologies such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and unmanned systems, and cyberspace capabilities.

Here are the new military priorities, according to Obama’s war doctrine (notice the omission of counter-insurgency, a previous favorite):

• Engage in counter-terrorism and irregular warfare.

• Deter and defeat aggression.

• Project power despite anti-access/area denial challenges.

• Counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

• Operate effectively in cyberspace and space.

• Maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent.

• Defend the homeland and provide support to civil authorities.

• Provide a stabilizing presence.

• Conduct stability and counterinsurgency operations.

• Conduct humanitarian, disaster relief, and other operations.

In an article critical of the military and titled “A Leaner, More Efficient Empire,” progressive authors Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis wrote:

“In an age when U.S. power can be projected through private mercenary armies and unmanned Predator drones, the U.S. military need no longer rely on massive, conventional ground forces to pursue its imperial agenda, a fact President Barack Obama is now acknowledging. But make no mistake: while the tactics may be changing, the U.S. taxpayer — and poor foreigners abroad — will still be saddled with overblown military budgets and militaristic policies.

” ‘Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow,’ the president told reporters, ‘but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow.’ In fact, he added with a touch of pride, it ‘will still be larger than it was toward the end of the Bush administration,’ totaling more than $700 billion a year and accounting for about half of the average American’s income tax. So much for the Pentagon’s budget being slashed.”

The Obama Administration’s so-called pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, actually East and South Asia (including India) and the Indian Ocean area, was unveiled last fall — first in an article in Foreign Policy magazine by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton titled “America’s Pacific Century,” then with attendant fanfare by President Obama on his trip to Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia.

The “pivot” involves attempting to establish a U.S.-initiated free trade zone in the region, while also strengthening Washington’s ties with a number of existing allied countries, such as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and India, among others. A few of these allies have sharp disagreements with China about claims to small islands in the South China Sea, a major waterway for trade and commerce. The U.S., while saying it is neutral, is siding with its allies on this extremely sensitive issue.

Over the months it has become clear that the principal element of the “pivot” is military, and the allies are meant to give the U.S. support and backing for whatever transpires.

The U.S. for decades has encircled China with military might — spy planes and satellites, Navy warships cruising with thousands of personnel nearby and in the South China Sea, 40,000 U.S. troops in Japan, 28,000 in South Korea, 500 in the Philippines, many thousands in Afghanistan, plus a number of Pacific island airbases.

Now it turns out that the Navy is moving a majority of its cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carrier battle groups from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In addition old military bases in the region are being refurbished and new bases are under construction. Australia has granted Obama’s request to allow a Marine base to be established in Darwin to accommodate a force of 2,500 troops. Meanwhile Singapore has been prevailed upon to allow the berthing of four U.S. Navy ships at the entrance to the Malacca Straits, through which enter almost all sea traffic between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, a key trade route.

An article in the Sept./Oct. 2012 Foreign Affairs by Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell, titled “The Sum of Beijing’s Fears,” paints a clear picture of American power on the coast of China:

“U.S. military forces are globally deployed and technologically advanced, with massive concentrations of firepower all around the Chinese rim. The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is the largest of the United States’ six regional combatant commands in terms of its geographic scope and non-wartime manpower. PACOM’s assets include about 325,000 military and civilian personnel, along with some 180 ships and 1,900 aircraft. To the west, PACOM gives way to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for an area stretching from Central Asia to Egypt. Before Sept. 11, 2001, CENTCOM had no forces stationed directly on China’s borders except for its training and supply missions in Pakistan. But with the beginning of the “war on terror,” CENTCOM placed tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan and gained extended access to an air base in Kyrgyzstan.

“The operational capabilities of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific are magnified by bilateral defense treaties with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Korea and cooperative arrangements with other partners. And to top it off, the United States possesses some 5,200 nuclear warheads deployed in an invulnerable sea, land, and air triad. Taken together, this U.S. defense posture creates what Qian Wenrong of the Xinhua News Agency’s Research Center for International Issue Studies has called a “strategic ring of encirclement.”

An article in Foreign Policy last January by Clyde Prestowitz asked: “Why is the ‘pivot’ a mistake? Because it presumes a threat where none exists but where the presumption could become a self-fulfilling prophecy and where others could deal with any threats should they arise in the future. Because it entails further expenditures far beyond what is necessary for effective defense of the United States and its interests. And because it reduces U.S. productive power, competitiveness, and long-term U.S. living standards by providing a kind of subsidy for the offshoring of U.S.-based production capacity.”

This development cannot be separated from the increasing economic growth and potential of China in relation to the obvious beginning of America’s decline. Washington may remain the world hegemon for a couple of more decades — and Beijing is not taking one step in that direction and may never do so. (Beijing seems to prefer a multipolar world leadership of several nations and regional blocs, as do a number of economically rising countries.)

“Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership,” as noted above, specified that the thrust of the Pentagon’s attention has now shifted to Asia. The most recent Quadrennial Defense Review already has informally identified China as a possible nation-state aggressor against which America must defend itself. The U.S. claims it is not attempting to contain China, but why the military buildup? It cannot be aimed at any other country in the region but China. Why also in his convention acceptance speech did Obama brag that “We’ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers.”

The U.S. evidently is developing war games against China. On Aug. 2 John Glaser wrote in Antiwar.com: “The Pentagon is drawing up new plans to prepare for an air and sea war in Asia, presumably against China, in the Obama administration’s most belligerent manifestation yet of the so-called pivot to Asia-Pacific…. New war strategies called ‘Air-Sea Battle’ reveal Washington’s broader goals in the region,” including a possible war.”

The Aug. 1 Washington Post reported that in the games “Stealthy American bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems located deep inside the country. The initial ‘blinding campaign’ would be followed by a larger air and naval assault.”

Both candidates have opportunistically interjected China-bashing into their campaigns, second only to Iran-bashing. Obama has several times told working class audiences that China is stealing their jobs. Romney fumes about China’s alleged currency “cheating.” Republican former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sharply criticized both candidates Oct. 3 for “appealing to American suspicions of China in their campaigns.”

Kissinger, whose recent book “On China” we recommend, also wrote a piece in the March-April Foreign Affairs titled “The Future of U.S.-Chinese Relations — Conflict Is a Choice, Not a Necessity” that injects an element of understanding into the matter.

“The American debate, on both sides of the political divide, often describes China as a ‘rising power’ that will need to ‘mature’ and learn how to exercise responsibility on the world stage. China, however, sees itself not as a rising power but as a returning one, predominant in its region for two millennia and temporarily displaced by colonial exploiters taking advantage of Chinese domestic strife and decay. It views the prospect of a strong China exercising influence in economic, cultural, political, and military affairs not as an unnatural challenge to world order but rather as a return to normality. Americans need not agree with every aspect of the Chinese analysis to understand that lecturing a country with a history of millennia about its need to ‘grow up’ and behave ‘responsibly’ can be needlessly grating.”

Clearly, the Obama Administration is opposed to modern China even becoming “predominant in its region” once again, much less in the world. At this stage Washington is predominant in East Asia, and between its military power and subordinate regional allies it is not prepared to move over even within China’s own sphere. No one can predict how this will play out in 20 or 30 years, of course.




Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Wendy on Oct 17, 2012, 08:16 AM
Hi Rad and All,

While watching the US Presidential debate last night, I noticed and wondered about several things.  Obama carrying the Pluto in Virgo archetype, seemed to easily absorb the projections made, and or lies, though he stand up for and defend his beliefs and the truth.

Romney comes across so strong and confident, like a businessman of course and the GOP is selling that and  some people are beginning to buy that, all the while changing he stance every which way he turns.

All of this makes me wonder about:

Obama's Chiron return, how it is affecting him

the current Moon Mars conjunction opposing US Uranus square US Sun--
"...And lest we forget, from late on October 17 through the morning of October 19, transiting Mars will be opposite US Uranus (8Gemini55) and square to US progressed Sun (8Pisces), suggestive of some kind of sudden, unexpected, and possibly violent incident that jolts the nation and wakes people up to a previously little-considered issue.  A swift shift in national attention is likely during this time. In particular, watch for significant events on the morning of October 18 when the Moon makes a conjunction to Mars." from Nancy Sommers Starlight News Blog

What really happened in Libya (did the Big Guns create that scenario in an attempt to make the Whitehouse take a fall????)

and who the heck was Mitt Romney in relation to the past life of Abraham Lincoln?

Rad, I recall reading a post or comment, somewhere here on the forum, that briefly alluded to who Romney may have been relative to the same lifetime as Lincoln.  Do you recall this?  Is this something you can speak to now?

Thanks and God Bless,

Wendy


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 17, 2012, 08:30 AM
Hi Wendy,

Yes. Here is the link: http://schoolofevolutionaryastrology.com/forum/index.php/topic,742.0.html

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 17, 2012, 08:49 AM
Hi All,

Here is a link in which you can watch the second debate between Romney and Obama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QEpCrcMF5Ps


God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 18, 2012, 07:25 AM
October 17, 2012

Mr. Obama Comes Back

NYT Editorial

There is a price to pay when a president appears disengaged, and President Obama obviously learned how much his diffidence cost him in the first debate this month. On Tuesday night, in the second debate, he regained full command of his vision and his legacy, leaving Mitt Romney sputtering with half-answers, deceptions and one memorable error.

Instead of windy and lethargic answers, the president was crisp in reciting his accomplishments and persuasive in explaining how he has restarted economic growth. Instead of letting Mr. Romney get away with a parade of falsehoods and unworkable promises, he regularly and forcefully called his opponent wrong. Having left many supporters wondering after the first debate whether he really wanted another four years, he finally seemed like a man who was ready to fight for another term.

What he did not do was describe how a second term would be more successful than his first has been, and, in particular, show how he would cut through the thicket of Republican opposition if re-elected. He missed opportunities to call for a more forceful opposition to assault weapons in another term, and to put forward a clear immigration policy.

But the contrast with the weak and failed ideas that Mr. Romney proposed could not have been clearer. The president noted that he had signed legislation that increased pay equity for women; Mr. Romney not only refused to say whether he would have done so, but condescendingly said he had hired many women when he was the governor of Massachusetts and had given them flexible schedules.

Mr. Obama pointed out that Mr. Romney’s tax numbers did not add up, and called the plan a “sketchy deal”; Mr. Romney responded in a huff. “Of course they add up,” he said. “I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget.” Apparently he thinks it should be self-evident that a private equity mogul knows how to cut taxes drastically and still balance the budget, but it is not evident to any of the independent experts who have looked at his plan, as Mr. Obama icily pointed out.

The president reminded listeners that Mr. Romney’s immigration adviser was the author of Arizona’s radical, unconstitutional immigration law. And Mr. Romney himself repeated his cruel prescription to have undocumented immigrants “self-deport” by making it impossible for them to find work and aggressively demanding their identification papers. Mr. Obama offered the better, broader view on fixing immigration, though his own administration has also deported tens of thousands of noncriminals through a crackdown similar to Arizona’s law.

The president even got off a few good lines, pointing out that his pension was considerably smaller than Mr. Romney’s, and that his opponent was far more extreme than President George W. Bush in proposing to turn Medicare into a voucher system and to eliminate financing for Planned Parenthood. He finally took the opportunity to bring up Mr. Romney’s dismissal of 47 percent of the country as people who consider themselves victims and do not take personal responsibility for their lives.

But the most devastating moment for Mr. Romney was self-inflicted. Continuing his irresponsible campaign to politicize the death of the American ambassador to Libya, he said it took two weeks for the president to acknowledge that it was the result of an act of terror. As the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, quickly pointed out, the president referred to it as an act of terror the next day, in the Rose Garden. “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” asked Mr. Obama, having fully regained his stride and confidence.

Voters who watched the first debate might have been left with an impression that Mr. Romney was the candidate of ideas and that Mr. Obama’s reserves of energy and seriousness had been tapped out. On Tuesday night, those roles were reversed.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 18, 2012, 07:26 AM
October 17, 2012

Mr. Romney’s Version of Equal Rights

NYT Editorial

It has dawned on Mitt Romney that he has a problem with female voters. He just has no idea what to do about it, since it is the result of his positions on abortion, contraception, health services and many other issues. On Tuesday night, he bumbled his way through a cringe-inducing attempt to graft what he thinks should be 2012 talking points onto his 1952 sensibility.

In the midst of their rancorous encounter at Hofstra University, President Obama attacked Mr. Romney for vowing he would end federal support of Planned Parenthood and for criticizing the provision in the health care law that requires employers — except churches and religiously affiliated institutions — to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Clearly agitated, Mr. Romney said in response, “I’d just note that I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.”

Perhaps Mr. Romney forgot that he vetoed a bill as Massachusetts governor in 2005 that would have given women who were raped access to emergency contraception, or that he supported an amendment this year that would have allowed any business to opt out of the contraceptive mandate, or that he has said he would support a state constitutional amendment that would declare that life begins at conception — potentially making some kinds of contraceptives illegal.

Perhaps Mr. Romney was trying to say that the issue is who pays for contraceptives, not whether women can use them. But all those possibilities are just reminders of how hard it must be for him to remember where he stands at any given moment.

In any case, you cannot untangle access and money. Mr. Romney’s stated zeal to “defund” Planned Parenthood is either a rote ideological posture or a belief that it is right to end the federal support that gives many poor women access to mammograms, cervical cancer screening, family planning and other services. As Mr. Obama said: “That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country. And it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work.”

Having fumbled that one, Mr. Romney made things worse when he tried to talk about equal opportunity for women, which was made much harder by his opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He told a strange tale of his early days as governor of Massachusetts when he “had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.” He said he went to his staff about it and was told that “these are the people that have the qualifications.”

So far, not so terribly bad.

But then he started a slow, painful slide into one of the most bizarre comments on this issue we’ve ever heard, which became an instant Internet sensation. “We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Mr. Romney said, sounding as if that were a herculean task. An appeal to women’s groups, he said, “brought us whole binders full of women.”

This was important, he said, because “I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the work force that sometimes they need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”

At this point we could practically hear his political consultants yelling “Stop!”

But Mr. Romney did not. “She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school.”

Flexibility is a good policy. But what if a woman had wanted to go home to study Spanish? Or rebuild an old car? Or spend time with her lesbian partner? Would Mr. Romney have been flexible about that? Or if a man wanted similar treatment?

True equality is not satisfied by allowing the little lady to go home early and tend to her children.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 18, 2012, 07:35 AM
For those who live in America please read....

The Real Threat of Bain Electoral Fraud for Romney in Ohio

By: Rmuse October 17th, 2012

It is a privilege and a right in a representative democracy for an electorate to choose, among several candidates, its representatives in government, and a vote is a formal expression of an individual’s choice for a certain candidate or a political party. In America, a secret ballot prevents voters from being intimidated and protects their political privacy, but it has its drawbacks as well as benefits. Voting is the greatest expression of a democracy, but tragically, one political party in America is going to great lengths to end to the democratic process in their drive to transform the government into a plutocracy. Republicans have spent the past two years bemoaning rampant voter fraud that investigations have proven does not exist (except among Republicans), and they utilized their corporate legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to model and pass state legislation to prevent seniors, students, minorities, and the poor from participating in the democratic process.

Despite courts striking down, as unconstitutional, suppression efforts, the GOP and their candidate for president, Willard Romney, have been inexorably linked to voter suppression and fraud with impunity, and as of late there are two developments involving Republican groups that warrant more investigation by the Justice Department. It has been obvious for over three years that Republicans hate the American people, and to silence opposition to their democracy destroying efforts conservatives are resorting to outright employee intimidation and, in Ohio, there is a real threat of Bain Romney electoral fraud.

The news has been inundated with reports of voter suppression and intimidation tactics in states controlled by Republicans to deny Democratic-leaning groups their right to cast ballots. In several states, besides harsh voter ID laws, voters were purged to give Republican candidates an advantage in the general election, and Romney’s campaign was linked to a company that sought out and registered Romney supporters, and the same group is tied to destroying Democratic voter registration forms. In each of the cases, they attempted to suppress voting, but this week reports surfaced that large corporations were intimidating employees with threats of job losses if Romney failed to win the election in another attempt to influence the outcome prior to Election Day. However, there is a troubling development out of Ohio that could alter the results of the election after voting is finished and it is no surprise they are intricately linked to Willard Romney’s company, Bain Capital.

In this year’s election, much of the Ohio electorate will cast its ballots on machines owned by close cronies of the Republican presidential candidate Willard Romney. Electronic voting machines owned by Mitt Romney’s Bain business partners and set to count the votes in Cincinnati could decide the 2012 election. In Cincinnati and around the state, the e-voting machines are owned by Hart Intercivic that are infamous for mechanical failures, “glitches,” counting errors and other problems now completely identified with the way Republicans steal elections. Hart Intercivic was taken over last year by H.I.G. Capital, and prominent partners and directors on the H.I.G. board hail from Bain Company or Bain Capital that Romney is still associated with.  What is more troubling is that H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney’s campaign, and two H.I.G. Directors, John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman, are major Romney fundraisers along with a former Bain and H.I.G. manager, Brian Shortsleeve.

The problem with electronic voting machines is that the software they use is proprietary to the manufacturer, and individual election boards may own the actual machines. In Ohio, it is nearly guaranteed there will be no vote count transparency on election night because the tally will be conducted by Hart Intercivic and controlled by Secretary of State John Husted and Governor Kasich, with no public recourse or accountability. Husted was in the news yesterday when the Supreme Court denied his suit to eliminate early voting in Ohio on the weekend prior to the election, but by controlling the vote count with Romney’s Bain business partners owning the machines, it may not matter what the real results are. In 2008 during federal testimony, Karl Rove operative, and now-deceased, Michael Connell made it perfectly clear that electronic vote-flipping is relatively cheap and a simple process; especially if Republican election officials own and programmed the machines prior to the election.   Just as Governor Robert Taft controlled election results in 2004, Husted and Kasich will control Ohio’s electronic vote count on election night free of meaningful public checks or balances which is why the Department of Justice must investigate Kasich, Husted, Romney, and his Bain Capital cohorts for conflict of interest and remove electronic voting machines owned by Bain directors and Romney fundraisers.

These questionable ties to Bain, Romney, and Ohio’s Republican governor and secretary of state may not be an issue if they were an isolated case of election tampering. However, throughout the campaign there has been one after another instance of voter suppression and fraud unique to Republicans. In several states, a so-called Republican strategist and voter fraud activist, Nathan Sproul, and his company registered Republicans while destroying registration forms of Democrats, and in GOP-controlled states, ALEC-modeled voter ID laws targeting Democratic-leaning voters sailed through legislatures, and election officials were terminated if they contested voter purging efforts.

It should come as no surprise that Koch Industries sent letters to 45,000 employees warning them of possible job losses if Romney was not victorious, and David Siegel, founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, sent an email to all of his thousands of employees, insinuating they would be fired of Barack Obama is reelected. In 2008, Siegel sent a similar email to employees prior to the election warning that “if you lose your job, it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, and if that happens, you can find me retired, with no employees to worry about.”  Siegel is wealthier than ever.

America’s days as a representative democracy are numbered as Republicans seek to reserve voting rights to white Christian Republicans. In Republican states there is no way elections are free of despicable tactics whether it is in Pennsylvania claiming voter ID is still required (they are not) or in Florida where Veterans of WWII are purged from voter rolls. It is nearly unfathomable that Willard Romney’s business associates and fundraisers from Bain Capital own electronic voting machines and the count will be supervised by confirmed vote-suppresor John Husted and governor Kasich. Perhaps if Romney was not corrupt, and if Husted was not actively working to suppress the vote, Americans could rest easy, but in their drive to destroy democracy, Republicans, especially Romney, have demonstrated they will use any devious, illegal, unconstitutional, and decidedly un-American ploy to muzzle the American peoples’ voices and put an end to their last hurdle toward plutocracy; the right to a free and fair election

****************

Audio Reveals Mitt Romney is Behind Employer Layoff Threats if Obama Wins

By: Jason Easley October 17th, 2012

In audio of a conference call, Mitt Romney can heard instructing employers on how to tell their employees who to vote for, and the consequences to their job if Obama wins.

Here is the audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ucuMHuVlIW0

According to the Working blog at In These Times, Romney said, “I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees.”

Thanks to Citizens United, these kind of scare tactics are legal, and they should sound familiar. Employers have been using these same kinds of threats to keep unions out of the workplace for decades.

It isn’t a coincidence that in recent weeks there have been a rash of Romney supporting billionaires warning of layoffs if Obama wins.

ASG President and CEO Arthur Allen warned his employees, “We have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none. If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come. I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President and administration on November 6th. Even then, we still might not be able to remain independent, but it will at least give us a chance. If we don’t, that chance goes away.”

Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel told his employees, “The economy doesn’t currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can’t tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn’t interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.”

The Koch Brothers also threatened 45,000 Georgia Pacific employees, “If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.”

All three messages to employees have one thing in common. They warn that a vote for Obama could cost a person their job, and we now know that this coordinated scare campaign is being run through the Republican nominee for president.

With Romney continuing to trail President Obama, the right wing millionaires and billionaires are worried that their multimillion dollar investment in Mitt Romney, Candidate Inc. might be turning into a bust. Despite their best efforts, and literally hundreds of millions of dollars in dark money ads, Obama continues to lead. They needed to do something to turn up the heat, so the message is vote for Mitt Romney or lose your job.

Mitt Romney wants America to believe that he cares about the middle class, and if you don’t believe that, you could lose your job.

Because nothing says democracy like the threat of being fired if you exercise your right to vote for the candidate of your choosing.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 18, 2012, 07:58 AM
October 17, 2012 7:29 AM

Romney’s Cynical China Strategy

By Jonathan Alter

Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently appeared for coffee at Bloomberg View in New York and made a good impression, if you don’t count his failure to identify even one tax loophole or deduction he would eliminate to help pay for a 20-percent reduction in tax rates. But he didn’t make any news until he was on the way out and a bunch of reporters from other news organizations were out of earshot.

I asked Rubio if he thought it was a good idea for Mitt Romney to declare China a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency, as the former governor of Massachusetts has repeatedly promised to do.

“No, not really,” Rubio said. “It could kick off a trade war that would be bad for the economy.” As he walked away from the table, he added, “I agree with Obama on that one.”

Rubio is right, of course, as anyone in the business community — including Romney — understands. The only reason Romney hasn’t been pilloried for this bit of shameless pandering is that nobody expects him to keep his promise.

This view that he will back off immediately after taking the oath is simultaneously cynical and politically ignorant. Romney’s promise is so specific — and so lacking in escape hatches — that it’s a sure bet he would feel obliged to keep it.

Otherwise, within 24 hours of his swearing in he would be pilloried by the press for breaking a major promise. If he immediately confirmed all of the Democrats’ attacks about his lack of constancy, his honeymoon would be over before it even started.

Presidents break campaign promises all the time, of course, but there is no history of a president backing off a day-one promise.

President Bill Clinton had to retreat from a campaign promise to crack down on China in the wake of Tiananmen Square, vaguely suggesting he might not let China obtain most-favored-nation status. But the promise was so open-ended and unspecific that it was easily skirted.

Similarly, candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008 to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but not on day one, and, after a lopsided vote in Congress in the late winter of 2009, it was not something he could do unilaterally.

By contrast, each of the executive orders Obama promised to sign on day one, including banning torture and loosening secrecy standards, he signed. Had he not done so, he would have been accused of breaking pledges even before the inaugural scaffolding was down. The same would happen to Romney should he renege.

We all know that the Chinese do indeed manipulate their currency, and calling them out on various trade abuses — as Obama did on tires — is important. The U.S. government must push back on a variety of fronts to keep the pressure on for fair trade.

But officially designating China as a currency manipulator — a formal finding — would be seen as a declaration of trade war, which is in no one’s interest. If you don’t believe me, check with Mayor Michael Bell and the business community of Toledo, Ohio, where thousands of new jobs have been created through joint ventures between U.S. firms and the Chinese. Those jobs — and thousands of others — would immediately be at risk.

Romney knows this perfectly well, as do all of his friends and business associates. But unlike Rubio, he will say anything to try to gain a political advantage. Why this doesn’t seem to bother his supporters is beyond me.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 19, 2012, 07:35 AM

Obama Exposed Romney as a Brat Who has Never Been Challenged or Corrected

By: Rmuse October 18th, 2012

One of the most difficult and under-appreciated jobs in America is being a public school teacher for myriad reasons, but none more than dealing with children whose parents coddle them from birth and inculcate them with the notion they can do no wrong. It is a disservice to children, and teachers, for parents to indoctrinate their child to believe that not only are they perfection exemplified, but that their excellence makes them immune to authority. Most teachers have experienced a student who refuses to follow instructions based on their deep-seated belief their superiority exempts them from following directions or adjusting to social norms. Early primary grade teachers have an especially trying job because they may be the first real authority figure the blessed student interacts with, and possibly the first non-family member who either corrects them or gives them negative feedback for improper behavior.

There is no dearth of analysis of the 2nd presidential debate on Tuesday, and critics and pundits alike weighed in on the exchanges between Romney and President Obama as well as the fine job the debate moderator, Candy Crowley, pulled off during tense exchanges as Romney and the President answered questions posed by audience members. However, there were several instances during the debate that a seasoned school teacher may have noticed that Willard Romney exhibited all the characteristics of a petulant child who was corrected, and challenged, for the first time in their life. Whether it is due to his cult’s belief that Mormon males are without fault and princely from the age of twelve, or because he was born into wealth and privilege, Willard had the look of disbelief that anyone on Earth dared to doubt, challenge, or correct his stunning lies and misinformation, and for the first time in the campaign, his vapid, soulless eyes showed emotion.

It was not surprising Willard stood and lied time and time again, it is what pathological liars do, but his insolence, rude behavior, and blatant disrespect for the President, moderator, and debate rules he agreed on was stunning. What Romney verified was that he presents symptoms of anti-social personality disorder that informs his “narcissism, extreme sense of entitlement, and intolerance for authority figures” that he put on display for 65-million Americans in Tuesday’s debate.

One of the rules Romney agreed on was no questions from one candidate to the other, and Romney broke that simple rule often. It wasn’t just that he asked President Obama direct questions, he harassed him and at one point told the President “answer the question, answer the question” as if he was the authority figure and the President was his employee or a witness being grilled by a slimy defense attorney. In one exchange, Romney asked the President about oil drilling permits, and he interrupted and badgered the President by repeating the question 6 times before he stopped running his mouth, and then interrupted the President again and told him “you’ll get your chance in a moment, I’m still speaking.” It was, without a doubt, typical of an arrogant spoiled child used to bullying his parents that educators see from children who never learned social convention whether it is in a school setting, at home, or at family functions, but one never expected to see such rude behavior from a presidential candidate.

Romney also attempted to bully and manipulate the moderator as he had done in the first debate, except Ms. Crowley is not Jim Lehrer and at one point she told Willard, “if I can have you sit down governor Romney;” it must have stung Romney to have anyone, much less a woman, tell him, in essence, to sit down and shut up. One wonders if anyone, male or female, ever gave Willard Romney a direct order he had to follow, because this was not Bain Capital’s board room, or a Mormon temple event, but a nationally televised debate witnessed by 65 million Americans and there is little question it flustered Romney when he realized he was not in charge. Romney failed to appear presidential, because he is an overbearing bully used to never being challenged, and it plays out every day in public schools by children whose parents are either too in awe, or too frightened, to discipline their child to function normally in society, public school, or a presidential debate.

Romney challenged the moderator, disrespected the President, and showed America he is rude, obnoxious, and a schoolyard bully borne of arrogance, entitlement, and inability to acknowledge authority. One observation psychologists make regarding sufferers of ASPD is their behavior closely resembles that of convicted felons unable to recognize they are not a law unto themselves, or that as members of civilized society they are required to demur to authority, rules, and social conventions. School teachers are hardly surprised when petulant, overbearing children find themselves in trouble with the law as adults, and they can cite the same behavior and attitude Willard Romney displayed in the first two debates.

What should concern voters is how Romney could work with Democrats if he brings his overbearing boardroom-boss style of governance to negotiations with Congress, or worse, if he meets with foreign leaders. What the people witnessed was a man unwilling to follow social norms of mutual respect that good parents teach their children long before they reach school age. It is safe to say that every public school teacher has witnessed, at some point in their career, the Willard Romney’s of the world in their classrooms, and because their parents treated them as entitled little gods they become socially inept bullies who lord their arrogance over classmates, teachers, and their parents until they end up in jail or the CEO of Bain Capital.

No-one really knows what shaped Willard Romney into the self-important, arrogant malcontent he is today, but it appears that between his life of wealth and entitlement coupled with his religious upbringing as a princely god-in-waiting, he was molded into a disrespectful bully who cannot bring himself to show deference to the President and in fact, treated him like an underling or worse; a cursed-by-god dark-skinned man unworthy of respect.

President Obama won the debate on Tuesday, and he won using facts and challenging every one of Romney’s lies and deceitful assertions. He also exposed Romney as a fraud because when his lies were stripped away, and the bully was smacked down, what was left was a sniveling little brat who has never been challenged or corrected. When he was confronted as a liar and bloviate incapable of showing deference to the President or debate moderator, he was exposed for what he really is; a bully that a school teacher would report as antisocial and in need of immediate intervention.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 19, 2012, 07:37 AM

Bill Clinton Slams Romney and Exposes the Top 4 Things that Mitt is Hiding

By: Jason Easley and Sarah Jones October 18th, 2012   
   

At a grassroots event today in Parma, Ohio, President Clinton said that Mitt Romney’s hiding the truth from the American people.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON: Now, the last thing could say is, I had a lot of fun down at the Democratic Convention talking about arithmetic. But I listened very carefully to the Vice Presidential debate and to the second Presidential debate, and Mr. Romney says, I’m going to do all of this, I’m going to just cut taxes for the middle class, I’m not interested in rich people, they’ll pay the same percentage of tax they pay now. What does that mean? He thinks we’re dumb.

    [Laughter]

    If you cut everybody else’s taxes and people in my income group pay the same percentage, it means we get a tax cut too. Right? We have too. You cut everybody else’s taxes, and I say that my percentage should go up if you freeze my taxes. So, in the debate, without saying so, he got caught with a fact. He hates to get caught admitting anything. And so, we keep saying, show us your budget. Where are your numbers? The President has given you a budget. He said you won’t like all of it. It adds to two and a half dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of new revenues, but we’ve got to do something about the debt. It will take the debt down $4 trillion. Here are my numbers. Where are your numbers? This guy ran Bain Capital and is a business guy, and he’s hiding his budget? That ought to tell you something. He – well, he’s hiding his taxes, too, but he’s hiding his taxes in the years when he earned ordinary income. He’s given us two years when he was just running for president. And, he’s hiding whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter act. He’s hiding everything. He doesn’t want you to think about him. He wants you to think, oh this economy is terrible. “I’m a jobs guy.” And as President Obama said in the debate, if I brought you a deal to Bain Capital and I said, fund my new business, I’ll give you the budget sometime in the future, just trust me on that – you wouldn’t give me one red cent, and we should not give him one vote on that.

According to Clinton, Romney is hiding:

1). The fact that his tax plan cuts taxes for the wealthy.

2). His budget

3). His tax returns

4). The fact that he doesn’t support equal pay for women.

In all the media appearances and campaign stops that President Clinton has done, this is closest that he has come to flat out calling Mitt Romney a liar.

Bill Clinton is too smooth and polished to do something as crass as calling Romney a liar. Instead, he presented the facts in his own common sense folksy way, and let the audience draw their own conclusions about Romney’s honesty.

Former President Clinton was correct. Romney does think that the American people are stupid. After using up everything in his bag of tricks during the first presidential debate, Romney was left with nothing but criticisms of Obama, and his used car salesman promise that America should trust him to fix the economy.

While Mitt Romney is trying to sell you a lemon, Bill Clinton is checking under the hood.

The Republican nominee won’t let you take a test drive, but President Clinton is making sure that Ohio, and the rest of the country, doesn’t get stuck with another clunker.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 19, 2012, 07:39 AM

Richard Clarke: Romney’s Libya Questions Reveal Someone with No Experience in Terrorism

By: Sarah JonesOctober 19th, 2012

Richard Clarke Calls Romney Out for Asking Novice Questions about Libya

Richard Clark weighed in on Mitt Romney’s attacks on Obama over Libya. Clarke, whose resume gives him far more credence on the issue than most people’s– including by far Mitt Romney’s, wrote for the New York Daily News, “Mitt Romney seems fixated on why Washington did not know with better clarity and sooner what went on during a terrorist attack. It is the kind of question that comes from someone who has no experience dealing with terrorism crisis management or, indeed, combat.”

You might recall Richard Clarke as the guy who issued the August 6, 2001 Daily Briefing Memo, entitled “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US” that George W Bush ignored, which warned that Al-Qaeda was going to strike the US. (The Bush administration tried to argue that the memo didn’t actually discuss being attacked in the U.S. in order to redact it, but it did.) Clarke is a national security expert who worked under Reagan and Bush – he’s no partisan hack. After Clarke objected to invading Iraq, his character was assassinated by the Bush regime, but he was proven correct with time.

Clark continued, “I dealt with scores of incidents and military operations over 30 years in the Pentagon, State Department and White House. I never saw a case where there was initial and accurate clarity about what happened.”

Boom goes Mitt Romney’s wishful talking point about Libya.

Clark indicts Romney, “If there were not a presidential campaign going on, a campaign in which the incumbent (Obama) has a stellar record of fighting terrorism, I doubt Romney would care about the details of what happened in Benghazi. In 20 years of running for office, he has never demonstrated any expertise or even real interest in the details of national security.

But it is politics to rush out with a press release critical of the President’s handling of a crisis while the crisis is still going on, while American diplomats are still under fire. The Romney campaign did just that and got many details wrong in so doing.”

Romney’s foreign policy team is made up of former Bush Cheney neocons. They are desperate to clear their names from the WMD lie and the failure to read intel.
Unlike Romney’s rush to judgment, the 9/11 Commission and subsequent investigations and outings have proven that Bush ignored the intel and that we were led into war on a false premise. It took so long for us to learn these facts that Bush won a second term before the public knew what had happened.

Yet Romney and Republicans expect that this administration would know the second something happened in Libya exactly who, what, why, and how. And not only know, or suspect, but deem it safe for all (including the CIA base the Republicans outed in their “investigation”) to disclose this information to the public.

What happened in Libya is a tragedy, but there is no evidence that the administration withheld any information. In 30 years, Clarke never saw a situation where the intital intel was correct. Maybe, just maybe, this is why there was conflicting information in the beginning and new info trickling in still.

This line of attack by Romney is clearly a Rovian political strategy by a man who couldn’t even manage to show up at the Summer Olympics without insulting our greatest ally by suggesting that their security wasn’t ready for the games, because that’s what all terrorist experts recommend — get on international TV and tell the entire world that you are not prepared and cannot defend yourselves now, at this particular time and place (not). This is also not so good for tourism (read: economy). That’s our Mitt.

It has yet to occur to Mitt Romney that perhaps caution is warranted when making public statements about acts of terror or the possibility thereof. His own behavior demonstrates that he sees no need for caution — he just rushes to the nearest microphone to blurt out whatever info he thinks he has about a situation he doesn’t understand.

Romney wasn’t done stumbling through national security and foreign policy like an eager, panting puppy. He later broke protocol and security by revealing his secret meeting with M16, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. Romney sounded like a hyper active kid who got to sit at the grown ups’ table. Once was probably enough for M16.

Romney has no experience with terrorism or combat, whereas Obama’s record on getting the bad guys is a devastating rebuke to Republicans. This won’t stop Romney from trying to smear Obama with Bush’s failures at the next debate, which will be centered around foreign policy. Romney promised his wealthy friends that he would take advantage of any hostage-like situation, and he is doing just that.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 19, 2012, 08:58 AM
Romney Economic Policy Director Was Lobbying For Wall Street Three Months Ago

By Travis Waldron on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

A recently hired economic policy director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was a top lobbyist for JP Morgan Chase, Wall Street’s biggest bank, and federal documents show that he lobbied Congress and federal regulators this year on issues ranging from the implementation of new financial regulations to corporate tax reform.

Pierce Scranton, who became Romney’s economic policy director in August, is listed as JP Morgan’s executive director of the bank’s lobbying department on public federal documents filed in 2012. Those documents show that between January and July of this year, Scranton oversaw lobbying activities on a host of economic issues, including legislation dealing with home mortgage modifications and foreclosures, Chinese trade and currency manipulation, the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and other financial regulations, the Jumpstart Our Small Businesses (JOBS) Act, and corporate tax reform.

Scranton, according to the documents, lobbied Congress and federal regulatory agencies on legislation regarding the “implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.” Scranton and JP Morgan, at the time, were lobbying for a loophole in a regulation that limited risky trading; months later, the bank lost billions of dollars on risky trades that would be prohibited without such a loophole. Scranton lobbied on four pieces of legislation dealing with Dodd-Frank’s regulation of the derivatives market, according to the documents. He also met with Treasury officials in January of 2011 regarding Dodd-Frank, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

JP Morgan has been an ardent opponent of many of the rules contained in Dodd-Frank, including the regulation of the derivatives market. JP Morgan has spent nearly $10 million lobbying since the beginning of 2011, much of it aimed at Dodd-Frank and regulations it includes.

Romney pledged to repeal Dodd-Frank early in his presidential campaign. He has offered vague support for “enhanced capital requirements” and the regulation of derivatives and has said he plans to replace Dodd-Frank with a “streamlined regulatory framework,” but the only specifics he has offered are already in Dodd-Frank (which he admits in his plan).

While Scranton oversaw JP Morgan’s lobbying, the bank also lobbied against legislation meant to address Chinese trade and currency manipulation. JP Morgan and other banks and financial services companies lobbied against the bill. Romney, however, has talked openly about signing an executive order on his first day in office that would declare China a currency manipulator.

Scranton also “discussed the issue of corporate tax reform” and a special tax break for banks’ offshore profits, according to the documents. Corporate taxation has also been a prominent issue for Romney’s campaign. His tax plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and would institute a territorial tax system that would exempt American corporations from paying taxes on the profits they earn abroad.

The Romney campaign did not respond to Think Progress’ request for comment.

*******************

Romney Cites Study Based On Repealing Almost All Middle Class Tax Breaks To Bolster His Tax Plan

By Pat Garofalo posted from ThinkProgress Economy on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

Mitt Romney has been desperately trying to refute a study by the Tax Policy Center showing that he can’t mathematically achieve his goals of reducing income tax rates while shielding the middle class from a tax increase and not adding to the deficit. If Romney is committed to his rate reduction and deficit neutrality, he would have to raise middle class taxes by $2,000, even under the most generous assumptions.

Romney has been pointing to “six studies” that he claims show that his tax plan work. However, those “studies” (which are mostly blog posts and op-eds) show no such thing.

So now the Romney campaign is touting a 2006 study from the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation that he claims vindicates his approach, telling Roll Call the study shows “how a ‘Romney-style tax plan’ could bolster growth.” According to the study, tax reform that eliminates deductions and loopholes and reduces income tax rates will slightly increase economic growth over a decade. But the study assumes that nearly all middle class tax breaks — including those for children, mortgages, and employer contributions for health care — are repealed in their entirety:

    Under the proposal, all personal exemptions, itemized deductions, personal credits except for the earned income credit, and all above-the-line adjustments to income except for retirement savings deductions and the deduction for self employment taxes would be repealed. The largest categories of deductions repealed are present-law deductions for home mortgage interest expenses, State and local taxes, and charitable contributions. In addition, the exclusions for certain employee fringe benefits, such as employer contributions for health and life insurance, would be repealed. The standard deduction would remain.

The study also found that such a plan would result in the “redistribution” of income tax liability from high-income earners to the middle class. And the promised job growth is only between 1 and 2 percent over ten years (one to two million jobs), while Romney promises that his tax plan will create seven million jobs over four years.

Romney’s claims about job creation under his tax plan are almost entirely fabricated. An economic adviser for both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations said this week that Romney’s tax plan won’t create jobs.

****************

New Proposal Doesn’t Stop Romney’s Plan From Giving A Huge Tax Cut To The Rich

By Travis Waldron posted from ThinkProgress Economy on Oct 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm

During Tuesday’s second presidential debate, Republican nominee Mitt Romney floated a new idea to pay for his tax plan, which provides nearly $5 trillion in tax cuts. Romney introduced this proposal after analysts showed that Romney can’t mathematically achieve his goals of reducing income tax rates by 20 percent while not increasing middle class taxes or adding to the deficit.

But a Tax Policy Center analysis found Romney’s idea, to cap the amount of deductions each taxpayer can take advantage of at $25,000, also fails to make his plan add up.

And as the Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon noted in a column on Thursday, Romney’s plan would still provide a massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans, even if a deduction cap were in place. After they hit the cap on deductions, members of the top one percent would get tax cuts totaling more than $105,000. And for wealthier taxpayers, the breaks get even bigger, Hanlon found:

The tax cuts from Romney’s plan would come on top of the reductions they received from extending the Bush tax rates, which Romney wants to make permanent. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the average millionaire would save more than $250,000 a year when the Bush and Romney tax cuts are combined, even if Romney eliminates all of their deductions.

Romney also floated another idea: capping deductions at $50,000 instead of $25,000. That plan would indeed make the tax cut for the rich smaller, but it would also reduce the amount of revenue gained, making the math of Romney’s plan even worse. And it would render the idea of capping deductions almost irrelevant, since the average member of the top one percent claimed just over $43,000 in tax deductions last year.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 19, 2012, 02:33 PM

Obama Mocks Romney’s Lies and Flip-flops by Coining the Term Romnesia

By: Jason Easley October 19th, 2012

While speaking at George Mason University today President Obama coined the term Romnesia to describe Mitt Romney’s shifts, flip-flops, and lies.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8BBEXB1Wf9c

Obama said,

    But now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. “Severely Conservative” wants you to think he was “severely kidding” about everything he’s said over the last year. He told folks he was “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party, now suddenly he’s saying, “what, who, me?” He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will too.

    I mean he’s changing up so much – backtracking and sidestepping. We’ve gotta name this condition that he’s going through.. I think it’s called “Romnesia.” That’s what it’s called. I think that’s what he’s going through.

    Now, I’m not a medical doctor but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it.

    If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work – you might have Romnesia.

    If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care – you might have a case of Romnesia.

    If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be “delighted” to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases – man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia.

    Now, this extends to other issues. If you say earlier in the year I’m going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent and then in a debate you say, I don’t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks – you need to get a thermometer, take your temperature, because you’ve probably got Romnesia.

    If you say that you’re a champion of the coal industry when while you were Governor you stood in front of a coal plant and said, this plant will kill you – that’s some Romnesia.

    So – I think you’re beginning to be able to identify these symptoms. And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions.

    We can fix you up. We’ve got a cure. We can make you well, Virginia. This is a curable disease.

    Women, men, all of you. These are family issues. These are economic issues. I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as anybody’s sons. I believe America does better, the economy grows more, we create more when everybody participates, when everyone’s getting a fair shot, everybody’s getting a fair shake, everybody’s playing by the same rules, everybody’s doing their fair share. That’s why I’m asking you for another term as President of the United States. I need you to help me finish the job.

President Obama has coined a new and humorous way to call Mitt Romney a liar. Not only was Obama calling out Romney for not telling the truth, he also threw a jab in there about this being a “preexisting condition.” That was a little hint to voters that the political shape shifting and lies they are currently seeing from Romney is who the candidate really is.

If there was any doubt left about just how much President Obama dislikes Mitt Romney, that should be erased now. Throughout the 2008 election and his presidency, Obama has never openly mocked an opponent in the manner that he has with Mitt Romney. John McCain deserved the respect that Obama gave him in 2008, and no matter how nasty things became during the Obama/Clinton Democratic primary, then candidate Obama never showed his feelings about Hillary Clinton as openly as he does when it comes to Romney.

Of course, Mitt Romney has a way of bringing this out of people. Newt Gingrich, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee all openly loathe the guy. It seems that anyone who has ever shared a political stage with Romney comes away with an intense dislike for him.

The Obama campaign seems to have an endless supply of nice or humorous ways to call Mitt Romney a liar without sounding mean, nasty, or negative.

His sense of humor is one of the reasons that many Americans find President Obama to be so likable.

It turns out that behind the charm the million megawatt smile, the Obama sense of humor can also be a dangerous political weapon.

Obama has the permanent cure for Romnesia, and it is going to be administered in about 17 days.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 19, 2012, 02:37 PM

Bipartisan Mitt Myth Busted: As Gov, Romney Didn’t Even Know Legislators’ Names

By: Sarah JonesOctober 19th, 2012

During a press conference call Friday afternoon, Democratic Massachusetts state Senator Karen Spilka debunked Mitt Romney’s claims of bipartisanship. She said many legislators– including Republicans — would say that Mitt Romney not only wasn’t bipartisan, but he didn’t even know where that aisle was.

Sen. Spilka recounted that at one point, after she had been working with Romney for weeks, he still didn’t know who she was. Romney then came to her district and still didn’t know who she was. In retelling this to a Republican colleague, the colleague told her not to feel bad because Romney didn’t know who the Republican legislators were either. He said, “Karen, don’t feel so badly. He doesn’t know who we are either.”

The picture painted by Senator Spilka is not one of a hard working Governor, much less a bipartisan one. Spilka said contrary to the fairy tale Romney is selling the public about how he convinced the lions to lay down with the lambs and used his business experience to bring everyone together, the Mitt Romney they know from Massachusetts belongs in a “Grimm Fairy Tale”. She said it was clear by the end of year two that Mitt Romney was more interested in running for president than anything to do with Massachusetts. He was gone 417 days from Massachusetts, prompting the New York Times to dub him the “absentee” governor.

Spilka repeated the often echoed charges that Romney was aloof and distant to such an extent that he had stationed police around his office so that the legislators and public couldn’t get in to see him. According to her, no other governor before or since has done that. She said, “He treated us like employees.”

A reporter from the Wall Street Journal brought up the bipartisan healthcare reform law passed under Romney as an example of him working across the aisle. The Senator explained that they had been working on that for years, “We had been talking about reforming healthcare in the early 2000′s. Romney embraced it. This is his major achievement in helping getting it through.” However, she continued, “As soon as it was signed, he ran away from it – went around the country and mocked it. It is the single example of Romney actually sitting down, rolling up his sleeves, working with legislature. In all other instances, he wanted to tell us what should happen. When there was other dialogue, it was his way or the highway.”

The Senator charged that Romney failed to deliver on his promises of jobs and a balanced budget, noting that even as the national economy was growing, “We were sinking.” Spilka added, “He promised to balance budget, but he left his successor with billion dollar deficit.” Businessman Romney also left the highest debt per person of any state in the country.

The Senator is correct about the deficit Romney left in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ long-term debt increased by 16.4 percent, or by $2.6 billion over four years. [Source: Massachusetts Office Of The Treasurer] and Romney left behind a billion-dollar deficit when he left office. [Source: Boston Globe, 12/30/06]

With job creation, income and wages lagging well behind the rest of the country, 222,000 residents left the state, the third-highest rate of population loss in the country. In 2007, the Boston Globe noted that under Romney, “We were one of only two states to have experienced no growth in its resident labor force.”

Additionally, her other charges regarding Romney’s economic record are also accurate. According to Think Progress:

    Under Mitt Romney’s leadership, Massachusetts ranked 47th among the 50 states in job creation.

    During Mitt Romney’s tenure, Massachusetts’ job growth was at 0.9 percent, far behind the national average of over 5 percent.

    A Northeastern University economist found that Massachusetts lagged on virtually every economic indicator while Mitt Romney was in office.

    Mitt Romney called for taxes on the poor, saying low-income Americans having no income tax liability is “a problem” that will “kill the country.”

The Boston Globe confirms the Senator’s story about the troopers being used to cut off access to the governor, “During Romney’s four years as governor, the troopers reserved one of the two elevators outside the Corner Office solely for Romney’s use. They also erected velvet ropes in front of his office, allowing only those approved to enter. The beefy men and unflinching women of the detail ensured that few approached the governor who were not expected.” (Boston Globe, 2/3/12)

Mitt Romney didn’t even know the names of Republican legislators, let alone the Democrats. It’s not just that Romney failed to be bipartisan, but that he was so absent he didn’t even know the names of some of the Republican legislators.

Senator Spilka pointed out, “Why would anyone think he would be any different as president? We’ve seen the real Mitt Romney we know his record. Massachusetts knows Mitt Romney more than anyone else in the country, and Massachusetts is voting for Barack Obama.”


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 20, 2012, 07:14 AM

Mitt Romney is the Tip of the Republican Religious Extremist Spear

By: Rmuse October 19th, 2012

It is always fascinating that a country responsible for stunning technological advancements, groundbreaking scientific research, and engineering marvels is painfully slow to change on social issues. American conservatism at one time preferred gradual to abrupt change and believed defending civilization from modernistic culture was crucial to social stability. America has made gradual social changes over the past 50 years, and conservatives fought to preserve the status quo every inch of the way, but since 2009, a new form of conservatism is threatening to take this country to late-17th Century America where the rule of law is the Christian religion and social progress is eradicated making the concept of maintaining tradition highly desirable. There have always been crackpots and religious fanatics preaching the virtues of biblical rule, but between growing numbers of Christian conservatives in Congress, and the Republican presidential ticket, Americans are precariously close to living under scriptural edict that will make the Taliban look tame.

Religious extremists directing Republicans have sought to impose their worldview on all Americans and are a stark reminder of the need to enforce the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause which keeps religious groups from controlling the government. A perennial example in Congress is Louis Gohmert who recently said slavery was an ugly moment in the nation’s history, but the situation now is even worse. Gohmert said America was coming to the “end of its existence” as evidenced by leaders and citizens neglecting to remain true to biblical teachings, and that the situation is worse because “the entire nation  is far away from God’s teaching and so openly rebelling, even from the top, against God’s teachings in the Bible.” Gohmert is an extreme example, but he is not far removed from Willard Romney and Paul Ryan’s vision of America under a bible-inspired set of rules dictating how Americans conduct their personal lives.

Both Romney and Ryan signed the National Organization of Marriage (NOM) pledge agreeing if they reach the White House, they will appoint U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges and an attorney general who reject the idea the Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into the Constitution. They will also defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) vigorously in court, and establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections. Although every part of the NOM pledge is offensive on its face, it is the last section that portends danger for any American who supports same-sex marriage, because if there is one thing Christian conservatives and Republicans have made an issue of, it is their claim of persecution when they are prevented from exercising their religious liberty to impose bible edicts on the rest of the population. Don’t believe it?

In August, the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute released a joint report entitled “The Survey on Religious Hostility in America” which is a “collection of more than 600 cases, detailing religious bigotry throughout America.” Extremist Christian David Barton commented on the alleged persecution of Christians saying People For the American Way (PFAW) and other groups have created a “toxic” and “hostile” environment where public officials are pressured into persecuting Christians. Translation; the Constitution prohibits Christians from imposing their beliefs on the government and rest of the population. A Romney presidency that appoints a commission to investigate and regulate so-called “persecutors” will become a 21st Century American Inquisition to ferret out and punish same-sex marriage supporters.

The gay community faces more trouble if Romney appoints federal judges and Supreme Court justices who agree with current Justice Antonin Scalia who recently said, “outlawing homosexual sodomy is a no-brainer.” Scalia wrote that nowhere in the Constitution does it say “homosexual sodomy is a ‘fundamental right, and that Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, scoutmasters, teachers, or boarders in their home. They are protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle they believe to be immoral and destructive.” This attitude falls directly in line with Romney’s pledge to propose a constitutional amendment defining marriage according to Christian tradition and vigorously defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Interestingly, on Thursday the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal appeals court to strike down DOMA as an unconstitutional violation of equal protection. However, with Christian bible dogmata replacing the Constitution, the concept of equal protection will be a distant memory.

Women should be most frightened of Romney and Ryan’s religious fundamentalism that abhors a woman’s right to choose their own reproductive health. Romney said he strongly supported “personhood” measures since they were introduced several years ago, and he supports a constitutional amendment that would establish the definition of life at conception.  His position has been consistent, clear, and far outside the mainstream as well as a serious threat to women’s health. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, cosponsored the bill, with Todd Akin,  that presented America the despicable term “forcible rape.” Ryan and Akin also cosponsored a federal personhood bill, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, that declares a fertilized egg is entitled to the exact same legal rights as an adult human being. If Ryan’s bill became law, the likely effect would be to treat killing a fertilized egg as the same thing as homicide. Subsequently, nearly all forms of contraception would become murder weapons and the law would effectively ban contraception in the United States.

It would be a tragic mistake for any woman, or man for that matter, to think if Romney and Ryan were elected they would tack to the center and relax their religious tendencies to impose biblical dogma on the nation. Romney and Ryan have been consistent in opposing abortion in any situation as cited in a disturbing instance of Romney pressuring a Mormon woman to have a baby despite a life threatening condition where both doctors, and even the Mormon Stake President, recommended an abortion. The woman’s father said Romney pressured them mercilessly and that he had “never been so upset about anything in my life; Romney is an authoritative fellow who thinks he is in charge of the world.” It is important to remember that Romney’s religion dictates that if he wins the White House, he will be in charge of the world and one of his duties is imposing his religious beliefs on the American people; especially women.

This election is crucial in many respects, but none as important as maintaining the separation of church and state. With a growing number of legislators subscribing to the Christian bible as rule of law mindset, and a presidential ticket replete with hardline religious fanatics who signed a solemn pledge to enforce biblical ideology on all Americans, there is no demographic that will be safe; especially women and gays. It is one thing for conservatives and their Christian fanatics to prefer gradual change and maintain traditions, but this new conservative is harkening back to the pre-Constitution era more in line with the Salem witch trials of 1692 than 21st Century America.

The religious right, Dominionists, and theocracy proponents pose a clear and present danger to all Americans regardless of their religious persuasion. There are historical instances of entire populations being caught up in religious-like frenzy and sweeping away all those who stand opposed, and it is certain that in pre-Nazi Germany, good German people had no more reason to assist in the slaughter of six million Jews than they would exterminate their own children, but when incited to action borne of fear-mongering and state-sponsored hate, there are no groups that can remain safe. America is nearing that point, and Republicans have fallen in line with extremist Christian fanatics whose sole intent is replacing the Constitution with the Christian bible, and America’s worst nightmare is a Romney presidency bolstered by conservative Christians in Congress and a bible-based Supreme Court that outlaws homosexuality, contraception, abortion, and gives full Constitutional rights to a single-celled organism. America does change slowly, but a Republican victory in November will bring a rapid change taking America into Dark Ages when there was no Constitution, no equal rights, and the bible’s Old Testament was the law of the land.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 20, 2012, 07:16 AM

In a Devastating Turn for Romney, Swing State and Home State Papers Endorse Obama

By: Sarah Jones October 19th, 2012

Major papers in two swing states (Florida and Colorado) endorsed President Barack Obama for a second term, and in Utah – considered by some a home state of Mitt Romney’s – the Salt Lake Tribune has also endorsed President Barack Obama.

In the heart of Utah (one of Mitt Romney’s many home states), the Salt Lake Tribune endorses President Barack Obama for a second term. The self-described “largely Mormon, Republican and business friendly state” is going for the incumbent Democrat. They conclude, “(O)ur endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term.” The Salt Lake Tribune:

    Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state…

    In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem-solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.
    Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

The Florida Tampa Bay Times cites Romney’s “fanciful math” that would increase taxes on the middle class. They conclude, “Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress.”:

    In contrast, Romney would transform Medicare into a voucher program that likely would force many future seniors to pay more for less coverage. He rejects raising even $1 of new revenue for every $10 in spending cuts, and he promises to cut taxes by $5 trillion but won’t say which loopholes or tax breaks he would end to cover the cost. Meanwhile, he wants to reduce the federal deficit while increasing spending on defense beyond what even the Pentagon requests — even though the United States spends nearly as much on its military as the rest of the world combined. This fanciful math could only add up to deep cuts in spending on education and other domestic programs — and tax increases on the middle class.
    We wish the economic recovery was more vigorous, and we would like the president to present a sharper vision for a second term. But Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.
    For president of the United States, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama.

In Colorado, The Denver Post cites Romney’s troubling comments about the 47% painting him as someone who won’t bring his party closer to the center where it needs to be right now. They conclude, “Obama, on the other hand, has shown throughout his term that he is a steady leader who keeps the interests of a broad array of Americans in mind.”

    And though there is much in Mitt Romney’s résumé to suggest he is a capable problem-solver, the Republican nominee has not presented himself as a leader who will bring his party closer to the center at a time when that is what this country needs.

    His comments on the 47 percent of Americans who refuse to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” were a telling insight into his views and a low point of the campaign.

    Obama, on the other hand, has shown throughout his term that he is a steady leader who keeps the interests of a broad array of Americans in mind.

    We urge Coloradans to re-elect him to a second term.

Romney didn’t get any primary love from his home state of Massachusetts, where he was governor for four years. The Boston Globe, the biggest Massachusetts paper, endorsed Jon Hunstman over Romney in the primary. No word yet from Michigan’s the Detroit Free Press, but the state where Romney grew up is polling solidly for the President, as is Massachusetts where the President’s lead is in double digits.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 20, 2012, 09:05 AM

Republicans are Engaging in a Concerted Illegal Effort to Hijack the Election

By: Rmuse October 20th, 2012

There is a debate within psychology that is concerned with the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a product of either inherited (genetic) or acquired (learned) characteristics referred to as nature versus nurture. It is difficult to look carefully at human behavior and succumb to one or the other side in the nature v. nurture debate, and it is reasonable to conclude that both inherited and personal experiences shape a human being’s character and behavior. There are some behaviors that appear to be innate in groups, and the persistent reports of voter fraud specific to Republicans leads one to wonder if it is a learned or natural behavior to commit fraud on the electorate at such high frequency. It certainly appears that cheating to win elections is intrinsic to Republicans, and especially the GOP’s standard bearer, Willard Romney. After observing Romney over the past ten months, it is obvious his megalomania and mendacity did not come from his father, and it leads one wonder if Willard taught his sons that, in the pursuit of power and greed, nothing is out of bounds.

With all the reports of GOP voter fraud and attempts to suppress the vote, it appears that cheating is endemic to Republicans and apparently, Willard Romney. Any questions about the legitimacy of Romney’s campaign were answered when a recording surfaced where he asked business owners to pressure employees to influence their votes. Intimidation, restricting voting access, and disposing of voter registration forms are all despicable attempts to fix an election, but Romney, his wife, son, and brother have taken the next logical step and bought electronic voting machines used in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Colorado. Apparently in politics, electoral fraud is a learned behavior inherent to Republicans, especially those named Romney.

On Wednesday this column reported that Romney’s Bain Capital business partners owned electronic voting machines in Ohio through H.I.G. Capital that took over Hart Intercivic last year.  H.I.G. employees contributed to Romney’s campaign, and two H.I.G. Directors are major Romney fundraisers that should have raised the alarm and a Department of Justice investigation. Now it is confirmed that “through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Romney, his wife, son, and brother are major investors in H.I.G. Capital that holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic,” the electronic voting machine company.

The Romney gang investments are through the private equity firm Solamere Capital run by Tagg Romney, Willard’s eldest son. Recent revelations and disclosures from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) link Willard and Tagg Romney to Solamere Advisors, a company that maintains ties with the Ponzi-linked firm, Solamere Advisors. Romney invested $10 million in Tagg’s Solamere Capital venture, which suggests Willard has a financial relationship with fraudsters involved in a Ponzi scheme. In May, Willard and Tagg Romney were implicated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme with Wall Street investors Allen Stanford and James M. Davis.

Romney’s problems with Ponzi scheme corruption notwithstanding, with the help of his family and Bain Capital connections, appears to be more than willing to try to take the White House through illegitimate and highly unethical, if not specifically illegal means. However, he is not alone among Republicans attempting to hijack the election. In Ohio, despite the Supreme Court upholding two lower court rulings that Secretary of State John Husted cannot restrict early voting, he quickly limited early voting hours on the three days before the general election to just 16 hours. In Virginia, a 23-year-old man working for the Virginia Republican Party, Republican National Committee, and prior to that, as an Intern for Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa), was charged with attempting to destroy voter registration forms by tossing them into a dumpster behind a shopping center in Harrisonburg. The man, Colin Small, was “working as a supervisor as part of a registration operation in eight swing states financed by the Republican National Committee.” There is no end to the voter fraud at the highest levels of the Republican establishment and coupled with the Romney family’s ownership of electronic voting machines in multiple states, a petition was created for concerned citizens who believe an electoral emergency exists and are appealing to the Department of Justice for intervention and to save free and fair elections in America.

The petition is to be delivered to The Honorable Eric Holder, Attorney General, United States of America and The Honorable Thomas Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Civil Rights and it reads;

Nullify the vote count from Hart Intercivic voting machines tied to “Romney Bundlers,” disqualify Romney’s candidacy based on the Republican Party’s massive pre-election illegal activities and conflict-of-interest in voting machine ownership. The petition outlines the massive fraud on democracy and ends poignantly with a plea for “Restoration of Democracy in the United States, beginning with Restoration of ACTUAL ELECTIONS rather than Fraudulently Manipulated Elections in the United States of America.”

It is a sad time in America when a major political party undertakes a concerted, illegal, and fraudulent effort to deny the American people the right to participate in free and fair elections. The corruption and fraud is a learned behavior that found success in 2000 and 2004, and if the Department of Justice had done due diligence under the Bush administration, perhaps Republicans would think twice before blatantly suppressing and denying American citizens the right to vote. However, as corrupt and scandalous as the Republican Party is, they pale in comparison to Willard Romney’s encouraging business owners to intimidate their employees, and his family’s back-door purchase of electronic voting machines to be placed in critical swing states to affect the outcome of the general election.

America cannot survive as long as wealthy corporations, vulture capitalists, and the entire Republican Party have the ability to subvert democracy with impunity, and it is why it is crucial for the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law every last Republican, investor, and Republican candidate for president for electoral fraud, voter suppression, and destroying voter registration forms. With just over two weeks before the election to decide whether America continues making economic progress after suffering 8 years of Republican malfeasance that lead to a world-changing economic recession, it is critical to pressure the Justice Department to, once and for all, put a stop to Romney, Republicans, and their Super-PAC’s illegal electoral fraud and restore America’s storied ‘free and fair” elections. The question the mainstream media and all Americans should be asking is; if Willard Romney has the innate gifts he claims, why does his family buy voting machines, lie, and go to illegal lengths to try to win the election?

Please sign and distribute the petition to hold Romney and the Republican Party responsible for their illegal voter suppression tactics and electoral fraud because it may be the final opportunity to have your voice heard; especially if your vote is hijacked by the Romney family’s voting machines.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Wendy on Oct 20, 2012, 07:32 PM
Hey Rad and All,

I saw this circulating on Facebook tonight and hope you'll appreciate it as much as I did.  Really gave me a good laugh! and still is...

(http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv196/Astroearth/th_romnesia.jpg) (http://s683.photobucket.com/albums/vv196/Astroearth/?action=view&current=romnesia.jpg)

This is also a great YouTube video about Women's Reproductive Rights, encouraging voters to vote for reproductive rights:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdaJtc5AEyYxg5CDVDGOy6Q (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdaJtc5AEyYxg5CDVDGOy6Q)

Cheers,
Wendy


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 21, 2012, 07:01 AM
October 19, 2012

A World of Harm for Women

NYT Editorial

If Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, were to win next month’s election, the harm to women’s reproductive rights would extend far beyond the borders of the United States.

In this country, they would support the recriminalization of abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and they would limit access to contraception and other services. But they have also promised to promote policies abroad that would affect millions of women in the world’s poorest countries, where lack of access to contraception, prenatal care and competent help at childbirth often results in serious illness and thousands of deaths yearly. And the wreckage would begin on Day 1 of a Romney administration.

Mr. Romney has pledged that, on his first day in the White House, he would reinstate the “global gag rule,” the odious restriction that has been used to deny federal money for family-planning work abroad to any organization that provided information, advice, referrals or services for legal abortion or supported the legalization of abortion, even using its own money.

Merely talking about abortion could cost groups not only federal money, but also useful technical support and American-donated supplies of contraceptives, including condoms for distribution in the communities they serve.

The gag rule, also known as the “Mexico City policy,” was imposed by the last three Republican presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was rescinded by President Bill Clinton in 1993, then reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001. President Obama, fulfilling a campaign pledge, signed an executive order lifting the global gag rule shortly after taking office in 2009.

The gag rule did nothing to prevent use of government financing for abortions because that was already illegal under federal law. But it badly hampered the work of family-planning groups overseas, forcing clinic closures, reduced services and fee increases. It also violated principles of informed consent by requiring health care providers to withhold medical information from female patients. And, by stifling political debate on abortion-related issues and violating free speech principles, the gag rule badly undermined America’s credibility as it tries to promote democracy abroad.

Republican opponents of family planning and women’s reproductive autonomy in Congress have been trying to reinstate the gag rule by legislation. If elected, Mr. Romney has said he would do so with a stroke of the pen.

Mr. Romney also vows to renew another of George W. Bush’s shameful policies (which was ended by President Obama), which blocked the United States from contributing to the United Nations Population Fund. That fund supports programs in some 150 countries to improve poor women’s reproductive health, reduce infant mortality, end the sexual trafficking of women and prevent the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. Like Mr. Bush, Mr. Romney has embraced the bogus charge that the Population Fund supports coerced abortions in China, ignoring a State Department investigation that found no evidence for that claim. In fact, the fund has helped promote a voluntary approach to family planning.

The annual federal contribution to the fund is now down to $35 million, compared with $55 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2011; overall support for international family planning and reproductive health programs stands at $610 million — far short of the need. Even so, this amount of money pays for contraceptive services and supplies that reach more than 31 million women and couples, averting 9.4 million unintended pregnancies, 4 million abortions (three-quarters of them unsafe) and 22,000 maternal deaths annually, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

House Republicans want to cut the nation’s investment in international family planning severely. Mr. Romney’s record of bending to suit the most extreme elements of the Republican Party suggests that he may well go along on this critical issue as well.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 21, 2012, 07:33 AM

Cleveland Plain Dealer Endorses Obama, Criticizes GOP Belligerence and Swagger

By: Sarah JonesOctober 20th, 2012

The largest newspaper in the swing state of Ohio, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, endorsed President Obama for a second term today, citing his policies as best for Ohio, noting that’s he’s been met with unbending resistance and belligerence from Republicans and sounding the alarm on etch-a-sketch Mitt Romney’s domestic and foreign policies.

They write:

    Much of what beset America during Obama’s first term lay outside his direct control. The bobsled slide into recession was in full motion when he took office. The economic calamity has been global; recovery, sporadic and weak. Obama’s attempts to reach across the aisle politically were met with unbending resistance, even belligerence…

Not impressed with Romney’s ever-changing domestic policies or his inability to reign in the extreme elements of his party (Ohio is very aware of Ryan et al’s obstruction to Speaker Boehner’s deficit and debt deals), it’s Romney’s blustering, swaggering foreign policy that raises even more alarms:

    Romney’s tendency to bluster on foreign policy provides more cause for doubt. With tens of thousands of young Americans still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, the United States cannot afford to be drawn into new wars without clear national interests at stake or to sap its resources in further open-ended conflicts. The Benghazi killings reveal the risks of an “Arab Spring” in which terrorists have gained new weaponry and new freedom to operate. But these challenges require inventive diplomacy and international engagement, not slogans or swagger.

On the auto bailout, they praise Obama’s auto rescue plan and explain the differences between what Romney advocated for and what Obama did, saying Obama’s plan was gutsy as it was unpopular at the time – and it worked:

    Public opinion opposed another bailout. Romney urged the companies to file for traditional bankruptcy — at a time when private-sector credit was frozen even for healthy firms.

    Obama told the companies to restructure using the Bankruptcy Court and set conditions for government financing: GM’s chairman had to go. Excess plants and dealerships had to close. Chrysler had to be bought out by Fiat. Contracts had to be renegotiated… It was unpopular but gutsy. And it worked. That’s leadership that deserves a chance to finish the job. Re-elect President Obama.

Newspaper endorsements might not seem important in the larger context of an election, but they can have an important impact locally, where they are viewed as a trusted source of information. This is just one of many endorsements flooding in for the President this week, and they’ve all been thoughtful, important reads in the sense that they provide an overview of how newspaper editors, who follow politics closely, view the actions of our elected officials.

Editorial endorsements offer us a chance at the big picture, instead of the 24 hour cable news cycle race. For this reason alone, it’s worth noting how many of them mention the President’s calm, steady leadership, the obstructionism of the Republican Congress (specifically the House where Ryan resides), the unnerving changes of Mitt Romney’s positions on domestic issues and his damaging swagger on foreign policy.

Another swing state paper has endorsed Obama, and they did it by explaining the auto rescue in a way that debunks Romney’s talking points. This isn’t good news for the Romney campaign.

Click to read their full endorsement:

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/10/on_the_basis_of_sound_leadersh.html


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 21, 2012, 07:41 AM

How to be a Foreign Policy Bumbler Like Mitt Romney in 5 Easy Steps

By: Jason EasleyOctober 20th, 2012see more posts by Jason Easley

            
         
   
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With the third and final presidential debate happening on Monday, the Obama campaign has helpfully put out a video that can teach all of America how to be a foreign policy bumbler like Mitt Romney.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=x-jY7ZkRqb4

The 5 steps are so easy that anyone (who watches Fox News) can do them.

Step 1: Get the facts wrong;
Step 2: Undermine long-lasting relationships with your allies;
Step 3: Frequently highlight your lack of experience;
Step 4: Assemble a team of ideologues committed to endless war;
Step 5: Mistake your enemies (“C’mon, Mitt…think!”)

As you can see Mitt is batting a perfect 5 for 5. He consistently gets facts wrong, which is a polite way of saying that he is lying. For example, in the second presidential debate, Romney claimed that Obama never called the Libya attack an act of terror, when the president did exactly that.

Step two takes some real skill, but Romney managed to knock that one out of the park when he insulted everyone in England on the eve of the Olympics by questioning their security for the event. Romney has also been amazingly efficient at bragging to the world that he knows nothing about foreign policy. He checked step three off his list by claiming that, “a president is not a foreign policy expert.”

Step four was the easiest one of all of for Romney. Seventeen of Romney’s 24 special advisers on foreign policy served under Bush. This is why every single foreign policy address that Romney has given has been obsessed with war in the Middle East. The face at the top is different, but the policy of preemptive war remains the same. Step five was easily satisfied by Romney expressing his Rocky IV foreign policy that Russia is the US’s biggest geopolitical enemy.

Mitt Romney has a foreign policy problem. He doesn’t know anything about foreign affairs, and the only policies that he does have, come verbatim from the rejected presidency of George W. Bush. Mitt Romney’s debate strategy will likely be to attack Obama on foreign policy, while trying to pivot back to the economy as often as possible.

Never has a party’s candidate for president demonstrated as much foreign policy incompetence before an election as Mitt Romney has. Romney has been completely inept at every turn. It leads one to the conclusion that the Romney foreign policy has been informed by Fox News, and is being guided by the failure twins George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Mitt Romney isn’t just a return to the past. He is the past trying to look like the present.

Haven’t we had enough of bumbling foreign policy presidents who start wars and get Americans killed?

*************

Originally published October 20, 2012 at 8:44 AM | Page modified October 20, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Romney rips Russia, at least on campaign trail

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney calls Russia the No. 1 foe of the United States and promises to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But if he's elected president, he might find that he'll need Moscow's help.

By DESMOND BUTLER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney calls Russia the No. 1 foe of the United States and promises to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But if he's elected president, he might find that he'll need Moscow's help.

Russia plays a critical role in facilitating the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The United States also needs Moscow's cooperation on keeping nuclear materials away from terrorists and American adversaries, and preventing gridlock at the U.N. Security Council, where both countries have vetoes.

While Romney has criticized President Barack Obama's "reset" - his administration's policy for improving relations with Russia - he has not said what exactly he would do differently beyond taking a tougher approach. Given U.S. interests in a cooperative relationship with Russia, some analysts think Romney may have to tone down his rhetoric if wins the White House.

"He may discover the value of Russia as a partner on some issues," says Andrew Kuchins, the head of the Russia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

U.S.-Russian relations, like international affairs in general, have not been major issues in a presidential campaign dominated by the economy. But they are an area of sharp disagreement between the candidates and could be an issue in Monday's presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy.

Obama administration officials see improved relations with Russia as a foreign policy success after years of tension during George W. Bush's presidency. They cite the opening of a supply corridor to Afghanistan, the signing of a major arms control treaty, known as New Start, and progress on trade issues, including Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization.

While Russia has often blocked Western initiatives in the U.N. Security Council, it has gone along in key instances. Last year, Moscow abstained in a vote allowing military intervention in Syria, though Russian officials later accused the U.S. and allies of abusing the council's mandate. In 2010, Russia also backed new sanctions against Iran after a compromise. However, it has opposed further sanctions aimed at curbing Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Recent heated disputes over Syria and Iran and missile defense show that the relationship remains testy and may be getting tense. In a sign of faltering ties, Russian officials said recently that they would not extend a 20-year-old program for U.S. help securing Russia's nuclear stockpile unless it was substantially overhauled. The Nunn-Lugar program is considered one of the hallmarks of post-Cold War cooperation.

Also, last month, Russia ordered U.S. foreign aid workers out of the country, charging that they were inciting unrest by supporting government opponents.

Romney advisers say Obama has conceded much to Russia and received little in return. They accuse Obama of being weak with Putin, whom they see as bent on undermining democracy at home and abroad and harming U.S. interests wherever he can. They cite Russian opposition to U.S. and European efforts to reign in Iran's nuclear ambitions and to bring down the Syrian government.

"On every major issue, we have received nothing but intransigence, obstruction, counterproductive behavior," says Romney foreign policy adviser Alex Wong.

Romney has criticized Obama's decision to scrap a Bush administration plan for a European missile defense system and replace it with one that was less threatening to Russia. He says this offended important allies like Poland and the Czech Republic, which were to host the original system, and won nothing from Moscow. Indeed, Moscow continues to oppose Obama's missile defense plans.

Romney also says the New Start treaty accomplished little because Russia's arsenal was already below treaty limits. The Obama administration says the agreement allowed a resumption of U.S. inspections of Russian weapons facilities that had ceased when a previous treaty expired.

If elected, Romney "will reset the reset," his campaign website says.

Obama's backers say Romney's comments are overblown and reflect his lack of foreign policy experience. For instance, they say, in naming Russia as the worst U.S. foe, Romney skipped over al-Qaida and Iran.

"The goal of the reset was to not let our disagreements with Russia prevent us from working together on our shared interests," says Spencer Boyer, a national security adviser to the Obama campaign. "That has been a success."

For all his tough talk, it's not clear what Romney would change, especially considering the potential consequences. A rupture in relations with Russia could prevent a smooth exit from Afghanistan. A supply corridor that runs through Russia and Central Asia is one of only two possible routes for the millions of tons of military equipment that the U.S. needs to bring home. The other one runs through Pakistan, which once closed it after a NATO airstrike killed Pakistani soldiers.

Advisers say Romney would proceed with the Obama administration's missile defense plans if they are effective, while retaining the option to revert to the Bush administration plan. In a foreign policy speech this month, Romney said he wouldn't allow Putin any flexibility on missile defense, a jibe at Obama, who was caught on a microphone telling then-President Dmitry Medvedev last March that the U.S. would have more flexibility to work on missile defense issues after the election.

Romney's campaign website says he would review the New Start treaty. When asked what that means, Wong said that Romney will review everything when he gets into office.

It's not unusual for presidential candidates to talk tough about an adversary during a campaign only to become more pragmatic in office. In fact, Putin stoked anti-American sentiments in his presidential campaign. Yet one of his first moves was to approve a transit facility for NATO at a Russian airbase.

Still, Romney's blunt talk has been noticed in Moscow. Putin said in a TV interview last month that it justified his opposition to U.S. missile defense plans, which he says could undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent.

But he also said he could work with Romney.

"We'll work with whichever president is elected by the American people," Putin said. "But our effort will be only as efficient as our partners will want it to be.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 21, 2012, 07:43 AM

At this point, a Vote for a Republican is an Endorsement of Election Fraud

By: Adalia Woodbury October 20th, 2012

Republicans are at it again. This time, a man from Pennsylvania was arrested in Virginia after he dispensed with some voter registration forms. According to Ryan J. Reilly of Talking Points Memo,
The investigation of 23-year-old Colin Small began when he was spotted throwing a folder of voter registration forms in a dumpster behind the shopping center where he works.

    Prosecutors charged him with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice.

According to several reports, Small worked for a company called Pinpoint. According to the New York Times, Small had previously worked for Strategic Allied Consulting. Pinpoint was a subcontractor to Strategic Allied Consulting.

Yes, the Strategic Allied Consulting that is owned by longtime Republican “strategist” Nathan Sproul. This is the same Strategic Allied Consulting that was embroiled in similar conduct in Florida and the Republican Party said they were firing because they don’t tolerate Election Fraud.

This is the same Nathan Sproul who was paid millions of dollars in previous elections to provide similar services.

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins said that he was “alarmed by the allegations” and that Small was “fired immediately” when the allegations surfaced. “The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process,” Mullins said.

Right. Where have we heard that before?

The fact that Small was charged is some consolation. However, in the eyes of those who make the decision to engage in systematic election fraud, Small and others like him are just casualties in their war against the vote. Perhaps there will be some more Colin Smalls and more shell companies “fired” by State and National Officials of the Republican Party. Perhaps there will be more statements of zero tolerance for election fraud and assurances that this is an isolated incident.

I’m reminded of a previous time, with a previous president, albeit with a very different problem. When we first heard about Abu Graib, then President Bush “assured” us that the torture in that prison was an “isolated incident” committed by “a few bad apples.” Eventually, we learned about the Torture Memos, and the wide spread torture. To this day, they are still referring to that program as “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Let’s get back to the republican crime du jour: election fraud. Maybe another of Sproul’s numerous shell companies may go down, only to be replaced by another one. Sproul will continue to profit from election fraud and Republicans will continue to protest that they really don’t tolerate election fraud.

The problem doesn’t end with Nathan Sproul. Republican officials at the state level are doing all they can to suppress the vote. Jon Husted, fought to the Supreme Court in an effort to restrict early voting in Ohio. When that didn’t work, he cut the hours during which Early Voting will be available. Rick Scott and his henchman in Florida utilized purge lists, as well repressive voter ID laws; restrictions on voter registration drives. Other states, including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania established repressive new Voter ID laws, though the courts struck them down.

In addition, the Tea Party’s True to Vote group is out there establishing its own purge lists, and promising to intimidate voters in Democratic strongholds across the country.

Then, of course, there are the voting machines in which the Romney family has both a political and financial stake. No appearance of a conflict of interest there right?
This will continue unless all those involved in the decision making process are held accountable. Actually, not only will it continue, it will get worse should Republicans be given the opportunity. At this point, I can only see a vote for a Republican candidate as a tacit endorsement of election fraud and voter suppression, in addition to the Republicans’ attacks on everything that doesn’t benefit the 1%.
There are so many reasons to throw these people out. Their involvement in election fraud is one of the more serious reasons. It isn’t the only reason. It isn’t even the only serious reason.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 21, 2012, 07:46 AM

Romnesia Spreads to Paul Ryan as He Forgets Romney’s ‘Coal Kills’ Record

By: Sarah JonesOctober 20th, 2012

Paul Ryan was stumping for his ticket in at campaign rally Saturday in Moon Township, Pennsylvania when he attacked President Obama’s record on coal as part of the Romney campaign’s “Pennsylvania crush”. Speaking to a few hundred supporters, Ryan said, “He’ll keep his war on coal going. Not only are these policies wrong, they are keeping us from having a boom. They are keeping us from having jobs.”

Paul Ryan must have Romnesia. This is bad news, because it means Romnesia is, indeed, contagious. For those inoculated, Ryan’s running mate Mitt Romney said coal kills back when he espoused the dangers of acid rain. Standing in front of coal plant, Romney said, “That plant kills people.” He then regulated carbon dioxide.

Here’s Mitt Romney saying coal kills in 2003:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HZAs6vrgr6I

Danny Kanner, campaign spokesman for Obama for America, came back with, “Congressman Ryan either doesn’t know his running mate’s record or he’s just not telling the truth about it. As Governor, Mitt Romney said a coal-fired plant ‘kills people’ and touted his power plant regulations as the ‘toughest in the nation.’”

This is true.

    Just after he (Romney) took office, in 2003, he had attended a news conference at Salem Harbor, Mass., vowing to close an aged coal-fired power plant and declaring: ‘That plant kills people.’ His administration went to work on what would become the nation’s first regulations on the emission of carbon dioxide, and helped launch negotiations on a Northeast regional compact to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/11/11]

Furthermore, Romney used the exact same coal plants as the Bad Guy in 2003 for failing to meet Massachusetts clean air standards. He said “Massachusetts was under siege from ‘acid rain and air pollution from the Midwest’ and that it ‘would be wrong, even hypocritical’ not to pursue upgrades to ‘antiquated coal combustion technologies.’” Now, Romney calls those same emissions standards that he was calling for a “war on coal”.

If Romney really believed that coal killed in 2003, what are we to make of his latest policy of let them do whatever they want? Is he saying that he now doesn’t care if coal kills Americans — have at it coal, because he’s being funded by the Appalachian Koch brothers?

Kanner pointed out that coal jobs are at a 15 year high, “But under President Obama, employment in coal mining hit a 15 year high in 2011 while he’s making historic investments in clean coal research and development.”

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don’t want to explain that their energy policy was written by oil and gas industry executives, so they couch their policy gifts of further deregulation in obscure “jobs” language. No one ever asks them how deregulation, which leads to offshoring and outsourcing, actually works to create jobs here, in the United States instead of Romney’s preferred labor market of China.

Romney promises to create 12 million jobs, which is the exact amount economists predict will be created if we do nothing but continue at the current recovery. But Romney/Ryan also believes that government can’t create jobs. This is Ryan’s excuse for voting no on Obama’s jobs bills, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how their base can buy a promise that flies in the face of their championed laissez-faire economic policies.

Perhaps Republicans love that Romney is running on the issue of our time by claiming, “I will do nothing about jobs. Laissez-faire!” Somehow that’s not as appealing, especially when contrasted with President Obama’s Bedford Falls vision of America where we pass laws to encourage manufacturing here in the U.S. and hard work is rewarded while the rich pay their fair share.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can’t talk about their jobs plan because they don’t have one, unless you call doubling down on Bush’s trickle down tax cuts and deregulation a jobs plan — in which case, please go explain to the workers at Sensata just how that’s working out. So instead, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will continue spreading Romnesia to as many people as possible.

Beware the Republican tea.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 21, 2012, 10:13 AM
What is wrong with about half of the voting age population in America ?

Mitt Romney is the Executioner Who is Leading His Supporters to the Gallows

By: Rmuse October 21st, 2012

In the Aesop fable, “The Ass and His Purchaser,” the moral of the story is that you are known by the company you keep, and it suggests that an adult is apt to be judged by their friends, associates, and heroes, but it does not mean they have to choose to be like them. It is related to another message in “The Farmer and the Stork” whose moral is “birds of a feather flock together,” and it is apropos to who one supports in the upcoming general election. The choice Americans make in November informs they either identify as associates of warmongers, racists, corrupt corporatists, and phony Christians, or as citizens of a country founded on equality and fairness.

At this late date in the campaign, it is unfathomable that any American would associate themselves with Republicans or Willard Romney. Romney promises to lead the GOP in cementing their reputation as enemies of the people and friends of corporations and the wealthy elite, and the idea that half of America yearns to cede government control to corruption and religion is beyond the pale. However, the past eleven years has proven that a large segment of the population is stupid enough to wildly cheer as their executioners lead them willingly to the gallows, and defines the sad state of affairs America appears unlikely to escape.

There is no demographic that supports Romney that is not inexorably linked to their own destruction and unfortunately, to their family members, friends, and this country’s future. Republicans have panted to turn government over to corporations, religion, and the wealthy since their man-turned-god, Ronald Reagan, was president.  For three-and-a-half years, Republicans actively and with malice aforethought worked to retard economic recovery and keep millions of Americans unemployed and hungry while they fought to increase entitlements to the wealthy, oil industry, and Israel. One hoped Republican supporters were not willing participants in inflicting damage to their fellow citizens and this country, but the 2010 midterm elections were proof positive that a majority of Americans thought so little of their countrymen and government, that they elected the most vindictive and incompetent representatives in the nation’s history.

What boggles the mind is the groups supporting Republicans and Romney know exactly what awaits them if they are victorious in November. Senior citizens who support Romney and Ryan know they intend on ending Medicare in its present form, and guarantee its insolvency by 2016. Veterans who support the current Republican ticket know the Veteran’s Health Administration faces steep cuts as Romney promotes giving Veterans a coupon to buy private healthcare insurance as well as cutting their benefits. Women supporting Republicans are crying out for lower pay, discrimination, allowing Christian men to dictate their reproductive health, and to become birth machines to produce cannon fodder for perpetual Middle East wars.

One may think that Romney supporters may have forgotten the devastation their champions caused this country during the Bush presidency, but that is highly unlikely because it has only been two years since Republicans toured the nation promising their focus was creating jobs, jobs, jobs, only to begin the 112th Congress attacking women, women, women. Despite high unemployment and several jobs bills sitting idle on John Boehner’s desk, he led House Republicans on a campaign to ban contraception, drastically slash social safety nets, and strive to make America number one with the highest child poverty rate in the entire world. It must make Republican supporters proud that they are associated with harsh overlords influenced by religious fanatics and corporate cash. However, it is the number of Americans identifying with Willard Romney that associates them with racism, religious extremism, and corruption.

Willard Romney is a pathological liar with a business history steeped in corruption and fraud as he destroyed entire companies and consorted with the likes of disgraced junk bond king Michael Milken, his son Tagg’s Ponzi schemers, and foreign countries he contends are enemies of the state. Americans love a success story, but Romney’s support informs that they also love his un-American tactics that raided employees’ pensions, shipped jobs to China, and sent his ill-gained wealth offshore to avoid paying taxes. Romney’s supporters may claim that accusations of his malfeasance are historical, but how many corruption accusations does it take before an intelligent human being thinks, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire?”  The only conclusion one can make is that a large segment of the population loves associating with liars, economic traitors, and tax evaders and still call themselves “real Americans.”

It is incredibly curious that so many Americans identify with a party of anti-government corporatists and corrupt businessmen and claim to be good Americans, and it is incomprehensible why they support a Republican candidate with a shadowy business record, hatred for at least 47% of the population, and fallaciously claims to be a Christian. For the record, Jesus Christ never condoned lying, restricting healthcare and food for the poor, children, and seniors, or advocated for war, and yet that is Romney’s appeal to the American people; particularly the religious right.

It is troubling to portray Romney supporters as pathetic sycophants yearning for Dark Age social policy and government by theocratic plutocracy, but the alternative explanation is worse; racism. That is what this election is coming down to and it has been the driving force behind Romney’s popularity and the ease at selling a Draconian corporatist agenda to the American people. Over six months ago during an interview with four retired middle class men, the question was posed; “do you really want a government controlled by corporations and religious extremists?”   The spokesman’s reply was instantaneous; “We’d rather have a corporate theocracy than a n*gger in the White House,” as his compatriots nodded in agreement and patted him on the back. That one statement defines Romney supporters and a great portion of America. This is America drives a large segment of the population to forfeit Medicare, contraception, and peace, and they will give up economic freedom willingly to see a white man, even a corrupt white man, in the Oval Office.

A large number of Americans are disappointing in their bigotry and willingness to see friends, family members, and neighbors suffer just to defeat an African American President. What is most disappointing though, is their inclination to associate with a false Christian, corrupt business man, and coward who will send their children to die in the Middle East to satisfy his allegiance to Bush warmongers and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Based on their support for Romney, one can only conclude that by association, a large number of Americans want corruption, lying, greed, and racism to define America, and it is another sign this country will never be exceptional until every American is afforded the same deference as the hallowed white man with a Cayman Island bank account, a bible, and wrapped in an Israeli flag.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 06:42 AM
The Very Latest: “Keep the faith”

By Zara on October 3, 2012

    "I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket! ... I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward."
    —Kobe

Standing at the back of a packed high school gym as Vice President Biden finished speaking in Ft. Myers, Florida, on Saturday was 15-year-old Kobe Groce. He cradled a "Forward" sign, hoping to get the Vice President to sign it for his brother, Kaelin. After unsuccessfully trying to make it to the front of the event, a staff member asked if he could help. Kobe told his story, and the staffer left for a moment and came back, saying simply: "The Vice President would like to meet you."

    "I turned around and looked back at my mother as I was walking with the staffer in disbelief—I didn't know how to react. I was about to meet the man that helped make my life so much better.

    "My mother, Jessica, raised us as a single mother. She's a teacher and has worked so hard to support her four children. I wanted the Vice President to know that yes, we are definitely better off than we were four years ago. My family has received the tax cuts for the middle class that the President and Vice President passed, and it has helped us tremendously.

    "The President and Vice President have gone above and beyond for people like me and my family, and they stand for things like keeping school affordable. My older brother uses Pell Grants and college loans to be able to afford school, and I'm thankful for that. I want to be able to go to Florida State University one day, and now I know I don't have to worry about being able to afford it. Life would not be the way it is today if they hadn't taken office four years ago.

    "The Vice President approached me and I was introduced to him as a ‘special guest.’ I was overwhelmed with different emotions. I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President's suit jacket! I met someone who has done so much for my family without even knowing us, and that was an incredible, overwhelming feeling. I felt like he really heard me, like he knew who I was. I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward."

Kobe was very grateful for the chance to meet the Vice President, but he didn't want to leave without something for his brother.

    "I explained to the Vice President that the reason I was there was because my older brother inspired me to do so. He said, 'Do you have his phone number?' Then he called him and said, 'Kaelin, this is Vice President Biden' and they chatted for about five minutes! He also signed my placard, and the last line of his note really has stuck with me. He wrote: 'It was a pleasure meeting you, keep the faith.'

    "I'm definitely going to keep the faith, and the thing I'm most looking forward to is watching President Obama and Vice President Biden being sworn in for a second term on January 20th, 2013."

Today, Kobe is signing up to spend the last 34 days of this campaign working as hard to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden as they are working for him. Follow Kobe's lead and sign up to volunteer now.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 06:49 AM

Swing State Papers Flock to Obama, Deem Romney Unworthy of Presidency

By: Sarah JonesOctober 21st, 2012

Swing state papers in Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, and Arizona (yes, Arizona is turning out to be a 2012 surprise of a swing state) endorsed President Obama this weekend. They write that Romney has no core conviction other than thinking he should be president, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal writes that Romney’s comments about the 47% render him unworthy of the presidency, “He either was telling the crowd what he thought it wanted to hear, or he believes what he said. Either way, the words aren’t worthy of a president.”

The swing state Colorado Durango Herald endorsed Obama for a second term, writing that Romney is not even a viable alternative and his mysterious platform consists of nothing more than nostalgia for the 1950s. Most damaging, and a sentiment shared by many editorials endorsing Obama, they write that Romney has no core conviction other than that he should be president:

    The question before presidential voters is simple: Who will better serve this country for the next four years, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? When couched in straightforward terms, the answer is clear: President Obama should be re-elected.

    Unfortunately, the Republican Party has offered no credible alternative. Its platform consists of little more than nostalgia for the 1950s, and its presidential candidate largely remains a mystery. Romney has publicly demonstrated no core convictions beyond his obvious belief that he should be president. He apparently thinks that simply not being Obama is qualification enough. It is not.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal of swing state Ohio endorses Obama for a second term recalling how “dire” things were when Obama took office in 2009:

    Recall how dire things were when he arrived at the White House, the economy plunging downward, at a pace much worse than almost anyone thought, contracting 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2008, and then another 6.5 percent the following three months. The job losses were staggering, the contraction the most severe since the Great Depression. The blows to housing, construction and finance made certain the recovery would be slow and halting, many coping with diminished assets and heavy debt, all of it setting back demand.

They note that Obama and the Democrats in Congress did everything they could to save the economy within the confines of the “political landscape” — a dig at Congressional Republicans who obstructed Obama’s efforts to do even more.

    In response, the Obama White House and a Democratic Congress acted as aggressively as the political landscape would allow. They enacted a stimulus package that prevented something much worse and set the economy on a path of growth. They rescued the auto industry. They strengthened regulation of Wall Street.

They also point out what few have mentioned about the Obama Stimulus, “It looked forward via the first substantial commitment to research and development of green technology…” They praise Obama for elevating our image overseas by working with other nations, and cite his sanctions on Iran as an effective example of Obama working with other nations.

Of all of the thoughtful editorials out there, this one got to something too often ignored — how we use government, what its purpose is. They write that Obama has used government to bolster the economy, invest in education, innovation and more.

    What is telling about a presidency is its tilt, its direction, spirit and priorities. Thus, to those who argue the president lacks a plan for a second term: Look at the foundation that has been set. He has used the levers of government to bolster the economy, investing in education, innovation and health care, understanding the essential role of the public sector in competitiveness. Those tasks are not complete. They would continue.

They call out Romney for his far right positioning and failure to acknowledge the necessity of raising revenue in his promise to address the debt. They say “Romney would be more credible as a candidate if on one occasion he had told the far right something it did not want to hear.” And they find Romney’s job plan to be a vague rehash in part of things the President is already doing. They also call Romney out for his comments about the 47%, writing that these comments alone make him unworthy to be President. “He either was telling the crowd what he thought it wanted to hear, or he believes what he said. Either way, the words aren’t worthy of a president.”

The Asheville Citizen-Times of North Carolina (Asheville is a very liberal part of NC) endorses Obama for a second term as President, citing Romney’s ever changing positions. With Obama, they write, we know what we are getting and to continue his progress, they endorse him for re-elction:

    It’s hard to know exactly how these differences apply to the presidential race because, despite having essentially run for president for six years, it’s still hard to get a handle on many of Romney’s positions. It is difficult to know whether a President Romney would be the progressive who governed Massachusetts or the partisan of the campaign trail.

    With Obama, we know what we are getting. He has consistently embraced the concept of community. Obama believes we are not just a bunch of individuals but a nation, and that we must work together to address the challenges we face.

    We feel the best way to continue that progress to re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 6.

In the surprising 2012 swing state of Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star endorsed Obama for a second term, writing, “America needs a leader with a strong moral compass who is steadfast but not rigid – a leader whose views evolve within a consistent and inclusive world view.” They note the progress made in Arizona, and that this is not the time to change course, and they point to the need for a unified agenda in Congress in a subtle reminder to vote downticket if you want faster results:

    Changing course would undercut that progress and create further uncertainty – two things we cannot afford. We can and must move ahead. And no matter who we elect to the White House, we’ll still have a divided Congress. Anything possible and good must first come through consensus-building leadership in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. No president will be successful without one unified American agenda.

They sum up their endorsement for Obama noting his principled leadership:

    Principled leadership, consensus and time are required. Obama’s accomplishments and positions on health care, higher education, and economic and social issues continue to make him the best choice for the interests at home in Southern Arizona and in our country.

    This is why the Arizona Daily Star endorses Barack Obama for a second term.

Every editorial covered so far has been thoughtful and interesting in terms of how the editors see the President’s policies impacting their local area. But most interesting to me was the Akron Beacon Journal’s deep analysis of how a leader uses government. As the nation was focused on avoiding another Great Depression, few noticed how Obama’s stimulus invested in our nation. Those choices spoke volumes about his vision for this country – green energy, better education, investment in scientific research, infrastructure and manufacturing jobs.

Perhaps it doesn’t get talked about often because we focus on the minutiae, lurching from one Republican manufactured crisis to another, but if you stand back from this Presidency, you can see a vision as big as FDR’s in terms of how we use government. If you believe that government was designed to stand for the common good, your choice is clear.

*************

The Conservative LA Times: “The only thing he (Romney) really stands for is his own election”

By: Sarah JonesOctober 22nd, 2012

In a flood of new endorsements for Obama, the consensus is that Obama has a vision for this country while Romney stands for nothing except a belief that he should be president.

While we’ve been focused on swing state endorsements, Obama also got an endorsement from the conservative LA Times in which they write that Romney’s ever-changing positions leave the impression that “the only thing he really stands for is his own election.” Additionally the Sante Fe New Mexican wrote passionately about the President’s gutsy leadership in getting Osama and Obama’s slow and steady approach that is focused on the needs of the country, working for the collective good.

The Sante Fe New Mexican endorsed President Obama for a second term, saying his steady leadership stayed focused on the collective good. They note Obama’s gutsy leadership in getting Osama bin Laden:

    He inherited an unholy mess — an economy teetering on the edge of a second Great Depression and two foreign wars top the list of disasters. Slowly, steadily and with his eye fixed firmly on the needs of the country, the president has worked hard every day to improve our collective good. It was President Obama who bailed out the auto industry, salvaging 1.1 million jobs and keeping manufacturing alive in this country. It was President Obama who made the gutsy call to invade a compound in Pakistan, tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden. It was President Obama who finally signed comprehensive health reform so that no American has to fear bankruptcy because of a medical catastrophe. More work remains for a second term…

    So much accomplished in four years. So much remaining to be done.

The conservative LA Times (yes, Virginia, conservatives do have a voice in Los Angeles) that Murdoch is eyeing up to buy in order to spread his filthy propaganda endorsed Obama, saying Romney is flat out wrong on the issues and his willingness to pander raise questions about who he is.

    Republicans have sought to make the presidential election an up-or-down vote on Obama, hoping that voters will hold him accountable for the country’s stubbornly high unemployment and sluggish economy. But this election isn’t a referendum on one candidate, it’s a choice between two. And unfortunately for the GOP, its candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has demonstrated clearly that he’s the wrong choice. He’s wrong on the issues, from immigration to tax policy to the use of American power to gay rights and beyond. And his shifting positions and willingness to pander have raised questions about who he is and what he stands for.

They call Romney out for not standing for anything other than his own reelection:

    The most troubling aspect of Romney’s candidacy is that we still don’t know what his principles are. Is he the relatively moderate Republican who was governor of Massachusetts, the “severely conservative” one on display in the GOP primaries or the more reasonable-sounding fellow who reappeared at the presidential debates? His modulating positions on his own tax plan, healthcare reform, financial regulation, Medicare, immigration and the national safety net add to the impression that the only thing he really stands for is his own election.

Repeatedly, the editorials endorsing Obama call Mitt Romney out for standing for nothing but his own election. He is a man who has shown himself to have no core convictions other than a belief that he is entitled to the White House. On the other hand, we have President Obama who is praised for his guiding principles of working for the common good of all Americans, his steady hand on a teetering economy, and his diplomatic finesse in foreign relations.

The Republicans put up a candidate who quite simply has offered the American people nothing but his belief in his entitlement to the White House.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 06:52 AM

Obama Camp: It Only Took Romney One Term as Governor to Raise the Debt and Ruin Jobs

By: Sarah Jones October 21st, 2012

In spite of Romney’s claims that a businessman can fix what’s broken, his record in one term as Governor of Massachusetts tells another story. In one term, he managed to explode the debt per capita and decimate job growth, in addition to raising taxes and fees on everyone but the wealthiest residents.

Yet in Romney’s new ad, his campaign claims “Some can’t live up to their promises. Others find a way.” The narrator says that a four-year term is “all Mitt Romney needed. He turned Massachusetts around, cut unemployment, turned the deficit he inherited into a rainy day fund, all with an 85% Democratic legislature.”

Kudos to the Romney camp for finally managing the adjective “Democratic” instead of “Democrat” (that intentional misuse of the English language is an old and deliberate Republican trick intended to deny Democrats being associated with “democratic”.)

Obama for America spokeswoman Lis Smith released the following statement on Mitt Romney’s new ad:

“If his latest ad is any indication, Mitt Romney’s Romnesia is only getting worse. But he is right on one point- he only needed four years as governor of Massachusetts. That’s because in just one term, Romney drove the state down to 47th out of 50th in job creation, increased per capita debt to the largest in the nation, left his successor a $1 billion deficit, and pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest residents while raising taxes and fees on everyone else. And he did all of this while refusing to work across the aisle. Mitt Romney wouldn’t make Washington better- he’d make it worse.”

In one term, Romney did manage to decimate job growth. “Unlike Obama, Romney took office during an economic uptick. Massachusetts had a net job growth of 1.4 percent under Romney. However, that was far slower growth than the national average of 5.3%. As Romney’s opponents have frequently, and correctly, noted, Massachusetts ranked 47th in job growth over the entirety of Romney’s term. The only states that did worse: Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.” [Fact Check, USA Today, 1/5/12]

Romney and Republicans like to paint their party as the party of low spending, but George W Bush’s term of drunken spending that was not paid for tells the real story. Romney has a similar record in Massachusetts, where “State Spending Rose By 22% On Romney’s Watch, Nearly Double The Rate Of Inflation.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/9/12]

Romney left a billion dollar deficit in his wake, even though he claims otherwise in public. From an op-ed by Peter Gelzinis: “In off-the-record comments to reporters, those leftover Romney aides conceded that the state’s finances were in much rougher shape than their boss with Potomac fever had admitted to. Even as Mitt’s mouthpiece, Eric Fehrnstrom, scrambled to get out of Dodge a year ago, he declined to offer an on-the-record explanation for the huge discrepancy between what Mitt and his people were claiming in public and what they were privately telling their successors in Deval Patrick’s administration.” [Boston Herald, op-ed, 2/1/08]

The debt per capital did increase under Romney, to such an extent that Massachusetts topped U.S. as debtor state. [The Republican, 2/3/07] The Tax Foundation listed their debt as first in the nation, and per capita as $10,546 at the end of fiscal year 2007. (Alaska was second.)

So unconcerned was Romney with the debt that he found a way to reimburse the wealthiest in his state for capital gains they had paid 3 years previously. “Gov. Mitt Romney proposed on Friday that Massachusetts residents forced to pay retroactive capital gains taxes from 2002 get the money back in rebates over three years… The Department of Revenue has already begun mailing out the new tax bills. About $78 million of that is owed by just 278 wealthy people, who would pay an average of $281,000 each.” [Associated Press, 11/18/05]

According to a Mitt Romney press release, “The state is required to refund between $225 million and $275 million to the estimated 157,000 taxpayers who paid the higher capital gains tax rate in the last eight months of 2002.” Press Release, Mitt Romney, 12/8/05]

There’s always money in the till to reimburse the folks like Romney — those who aren’t “victims” and shouldn’t have to pay their fair share. It doesn’t matter how much it balloons the deficit, so long as entitlements for the rich are in place.

You know how Romney is always saying that he won’t raise taxes (when he’s not saying that he will), and then he launches into loopholes and deductions but fails to be specific? In spite of his claims that he didn’t raise taxes in Massachusetts, he did in fact raise taxes in Massachusetts through fees and loophole closures, and he raised fees more than any other state in the nation:

“The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Estimated That The Former Governor Raised An Extra $750 Million Per Year Through Fees And Loophole Closures.” [Washington Post, Fact Checker, 6/12/12]

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation also found that Romney’s fees hit just like a tax, and hit less fairly than a regular tax would. That sounds like our venture capitalist, harvesting the middle class to give tax cuts to the rich – which is exactly what he did in Massachusetts by cutting the capital gains tax and reimbursing the wealthiest for previous years while hitting the middle class and poor with fees and closed loopholes.

History does not confirm Romney’s claims that a businessman can do a better job in the White House, but even if it did, Romney’s own record speaks for itself. Furthermore, Romney’s experience as a businessman was not that of someone who grew a business or created jobs, but rather someone who harvested existing companies for revenue for his investors.

It only took Romney one term to leave Massachusetts in such bitter dismay that his disapproval ratings were exceptionally high. In one term, Romney built more debt, less job growth, and higher taxes on everyone but the rich. If his record is anything to go on, had Romney been at the wheel in the last four years we would not be in an economic recovery — we would be knee deep in Bushian fiscal failure for all but the wealthiest Americans.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 06:54 AM

Obama’s Economic Message: I’m Bill Clinton, Romney is George W. Bush

By: Jason EasleyOctober 21st, 2012


The Obama campaign is summarizing their economic pitch to voters with a simple comparison. Obama is offering the policies of Bill Clinton, while Romney promises a return to George W. Bush.

Rahm Emanuel summed up this message when he was asked about Obama’s second term plans on ABC’s This Week.

Emanuel said,

    After a decade of war, both in Afghanistan and Iraq, the most important thing that we have to do now is bring American troops home and battle for America’s future economically and strength in America at home. That’s the most important point to be made, and that battle means doing what has been done from President Clinton to President Obama, investing in the education and training of our workforce, investing in our roads and bridges to make we have the 21st century economy built on the 21st century foundation not a 20th century foundation – it moves too slow. And then third, investing in our research and development so we can stay competitive in all the new products, all the new technology and the fundamental research. And then having certainty around our regulatory reform, and making sure we have tax fairness where the middle class aren’t taking the brunt of the tax system, but actually have a tax system helping them send their kids to college. The most important thing right now for a second term is to do what has worked in the past: investing in America. If you go to the policies — here’s the thing, there’s a contrast here and we already have the facts. Mitt Romney wants to basically do George Bush’s policies – and a little more of that. Barack Obama has built policies based on the same premises that President Bill Clinton had investing in America and strengthening its people and its economic bedrock research and development.

The Obama campaign’s economic message is made even more powerful by the fact that President Clinton himself is out on the campaign trail telling voters the exact same thing. While George W. Bush remains so toxic that he can’t even be acknowledged by Romney, Obama is using Clinton to drive his economic message home in swing states like Ohio and Iowa.

In fact, the birth of Romnesia can be traced back to Romney’s belief that the last Republican president was Ronald Reagan. One of the telltale signs of suffering from Romnesia is inability to remember George W. Bush, or his eight years in office.

Fortunately for President Obama, polling data shows that plenty of Americans remember what George W. Bush and his party did to the economy. As recently as last month, a CNN poll found that 57% of registered voters still blame George W. Bush and the Republican Party for the condition of the economy.

Obama is blaming Bush for the economy because it is true, and a solid majority of Americans are doing the exact same thing.

Linking Romney to Bush and Obama to Clinton is a powerful perception that the Romney campaign can only pray that voters don’t take to the polls with them.

If Obama wins reelection, don’t be surprised if it was the economic contest between two former presidents that aren’t even on the ballot that tipped the swing state scales toward the incumbent president.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 07:00 AM

Ignoring Romney’s Record of Election Theft, Media Dismisses Voting Machine Concerns

By: Jason EasleyOctober 21st, 2012

Today, NBC’s Chuck Todd called concerns about Romney owned voting machines conspiracy garbage, while conveniently ignoring the 2012 primaries that Mitt Romney has already stolen.

Chuck Todd tweeted:

    The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage.

    — Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) October 21, 2012

Normally, I might be inclined to agree with Chuck Todd. Every election cycle we hear about some vast conspiracy that is going to take the election away from one side or the other. (This paranoia is the stinking legacy of Florida 2000. As if Bush didn’t do enough to harm the country while in office, his election itself managed to destroy faith in the electoral process for many Americans.) In this case, I disagree with Todd completely.

Why?

Mitt Romney has shown throughout 2012 that he has no qualms about rigging elections, whether they count or not.

Remember the Iowa caucus that the Romney backing Republican leadership was so desperate for him to win that they proclaimed him the winner by eight votes over Rick Santorum, only to quietly correct the record a little more than two weeks later, and admit that Santorum actually won by 34 votes? Between January 4 and January 19 Romney was able to use his Iowa “win” to help him win New Hampshire, and look like the unstoppable nominee. The only problem is that Mitt Romney didn’t really win Iowa.

With his candidacy still floundering in February, Romney trucked in his own supporters to CPAC, so that he could beat Rick Santorum in an utterly meaningless straw poll. According to Santorum, Romney won, “because he just trucks in a lot of people pays for their ticket, they come in and vote and then leave.”

Oh, but Mitt was just getting warmed up. His boldest act of theft came in Maine, where the Romney campaign used one of their own supporters, who just happened to be the party state chairman, to give the state’s primary election to Romney before everyone in the state had voted, “Despite the facts that not all of the state had caucused yet and the margin separating Mitt Romney and Ron Paul was less than 200 votes, state GOP Chairman Charie Webster told Washington County, who had to postpone their caucus today because of an expected snowstorm, and anyone else who didn’t caucus today that their votes will not count.”

And yet, Chuck Todd thinks that Mitt Romney would never, ever mess with the voting machines in Ohio, or engage in any other form of cheating in order to triumph in a state that he most likely can’t win the presidency without.

I think that much of the angst and conspiracy theories surrounding our electoral process are scars left over from 2000, but Mitt Romney has a record of cheating to win. Romney is consumed with a desire to be president. He has been running for the office for six straight years. He has already shown a willingness to cheat, and yet Chuck Todd refuses to believe that Romney would behave this way in a General Election.

Todd wants to paint anyone who is suspicious of Romney as an out of touch tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, when the reality is that anyone who isn’t suspicious of Romney should have their head examined.

Chuck Todd’s remarks are more evidence that there are two elections going on in 2012. The first election is the one that is being reported by the mainstream and Beltway media that shows Obama and Romney as equal candidates in a neck and neck race to the finish. To buttress their point, they rely on national polls that are utterly meaningless because the popular vote will not decide the outcome of this election.

The second contest for the presidency is being waged on the ground in a handful of swing states. This is the real race that will decide the presidency, and Mitt Romney is losing. Obama has three times more field offices than Romney does, and a huge lead in the ground game. Obama is also dominating early voting.

At other points when Mitt Romney was losing in 2012, he cheated.

Anyone who thinks that Mitt Romney wouldn’t cheat on Election Day hasn’t been paying attention.

This is a man who made his millions firing people for profit. Mitt Romney isn’t even patriotic enough to release his tax returns, and keep his money in the United States.

Mitt Romney has no sense of honor and duty to America, and would not think twice about rigging an election if he thought it would get him the presidency.

If Chuck Todd trusts Mitt Romney, then maybe we ought to think twice about trusting the opinion of Chuck Todd.

**********************

NBC News Election Expert Chuck Todd: Voting Machine Concerns are 'Conspiracy Garbage'
A few questions for the popular pundit that may help better educate both him and the nation's electorate...


By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2012, 12:56pm PT 

This morning, NBC News' top election expert, Chuck Todd, tweeted the following...

    The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage.

    — Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) October 21, 2012

Todd was responding, no doubt, to the many folks who have been justifiably concerned of late, since it was discovered that a bunch of Bain Capital investors, led by Mitt Romney's son Tagg, via a company called H.I.G. Capital (believed to stand for Hart Intercivic Group) took over control of Hart Intercivic, the nation's third largest voting machine company, in 2011.

The Austin-based Hart company, according to VerifiedVoting.org's database, supplies electronic voting machines and paper ballot tabulators that will be used to tally votes in the Presidential Election this year in all or parts of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

I offered my point of view about those concerns earlier this month, explaining that it was not just the private ownership of Hart's machines by Romney backers which voters should be concerned about, but the private ownership of the similar systems in all fifty states that will once again be used to tabulate the results of this year's Presidential Election with little --- and very often zero --- possibility of oversight by the public or even by election officials.

Todd does an extraordinary disservice to the electorate with Tweets like the one above, and I'd be happy to come on his daily MSNBC show any time to explain why, as I have told him via Twitter in response to the above.

As Todd has not responded in kind, and to expand upon my response to Todd there, I'd like to ask him these few respectful questions...

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when paper ballot optical-scan tabulators made by Sequoia Voting Systems in Palm Beach County declared incorrect results of three different races last March, including declaring two losing candidates to be the "winners"?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the Canadian firm, Dominion Voting, which now owns Sequoia Voting Systems admitted the failure in Palm Beach was caused by a bug in all versions of its central tabulation software which will be used to tabulate the Presidential Election (and many others) on November 6th this year in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when, despite using Dominion/Sequoia's recommended "fix", the same problem occurred yet again in Palm Beach County's August primary elections, as their Supervisor of Elections recently explained to me on air?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when 16,632 votes were found unaccounted for when those same machines were first used in Palm Beach County back in 2008?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when eight (8) top election officials --- including the County Clerk, a Circuit Court Judge and the School Superintendent --- in Clay County, KY were sentenced last year to 156 years in federal prison for gaming elections, including changing the votes of voters on ES&S electronic touch-screen voting machines?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the President of Diebold Election Systems, Inc. (by then renamed Premier Election Systems, which is now owned by the Canadian firm Dominion Voting) admitted in 2008 that the company's GEMS central tabulation software, used in some 34 states, does not tabulate votes correctly and routinely drops thousands of them when they are uploaded to the central server?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when Diebold/Premier's spokesman admitted to the CA Secretary of State during a 2009 hearing that the supposedly permanent "audit logs" in all versions of its GEMS central tabulation system fail to record the deletion of ballots, after it was discovered that their electronic tabulator had failed to tabulate hundreds of paper ballots in a Humboldt County election (or to even notify system administrators that it had deleted those ballots)?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the CA Sec. of State decertified federally-certified electronic voting and tabulation systems made by Diebold, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic in 2007 after a state-commissioned team of computer science and security experts from the University of California, Livermore National Laboratories and elsewhere "demonstrated that the physical and technological security mechanisms" for all of the state's electronic voting systems (also used across the rest of the country) "were inadequate to ensure accuracy and integrity of the elections results and of the systems that provide those results" and that their "independent teams of analysts were able to bypass both physical and software security measures in every system tested"?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the 2007 landmark study commissioned by OH's then Democratic Sec. of State, found "Ohio's electronic voting systems have 'critical security failures' which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State" and when she (unsuccessfully) recommended, along with the then Republican Speaker of the Senate, who is now the state's Republican Sec. of State, that all touch-screen systems in the state be decertified due to concerns of, as she told The BRAD BLOG, "viruses that can be inserted into [Ohio's e-voting and tabulation] system through something as simple as a PDA [Personal Digital Assistant] and a magnet and then the cards are passed from machine to machine almost like Typhoid Mary" so that "If there is malicious software, like a virus put into the system, it can not only affect the machines at the polling places, it can affect the tabulation that occurs at the server and it can also affect future elections if it's not detected"?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the New York Daily News discovered in 2012 that hundreds of paper ballots at just one precinct in the Bronx went uncounted in 2010 during the September primary (failure rate of 70%) and the November general election (failure rate of 54%) on their brand new ES&S DS200 paper ballot optical-scanners, which are also used in OH, AZ, MI and elsewhere?

    • Was it 'conspiracy' garbage when the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) released a warning in 2011 from a "Formal Investigation Report" that those same systems failed to count paper ballots correctly, on the heels of Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH's previous finding that 10% of those machines failed during pre-election testing in 2010?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when Oakland County, MI wrote a letter of concern to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), seeking advice in 2008 after finding their ES&S M-100 optical scanners "yielded different results each time" the "same ballots were run through the same machines" during pre-election testing?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when Princeton University discovered in 2006 that they could, in seconds time, implant a virus onto Diebold touch-screen systems used in dozens of states which could then spread itself from machine to machine and result in an entire county's election being flipped with little chance of detection?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when a computer security expert hacked a memory card on a Diebold paper ballot optical-scan system and flipped the results of a mock election (see the hack and its results as captured in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy here) in such a way that only a hand-count of the paper ballots in the election could reveal the true results?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when a CIA cybersecurity expert testified to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission(EAC) in 2009 that e-voting was not secure, "that computerized electoral systems can be manipulated at five stages, from altering voter registration lists to posting results" and that "wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to...make bad things happen"?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' that the Vulnerability Assessment Team (which also monitors nuclear facilities) at Argonne National Laboratory (the non-profit research lab operated by the University of Chicago for the Dept. of Energy) released a report earlier this year finding that Diebold's touch-screen systems and, according to the team's lead scientist, "pretty much every electronic voting machine", can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, or just $26 if you want to do it remotely?

    • Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when, in Volusia County, FL's 2000 Presidential Election a paper-based optical-scan tabulator made by Global Elections Management Systems (GEMS, thereafter purchased by Diebold to become Diebold Election Systems, Inc.) tallied negative 16,022 votes for Al Gore thanks to a supposed "software flaw" which has never been explained by anyone, and which Leon County (Tallahassee), FL's Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho --- the man, so well respected by both major parties, that he was placed in charge of the aborted 2000 Presidential Election recount in Florida --- believes was a purposeful hack of the electronic tabulation system which is now used in hundreds of counties in dozens of states?

I could go on and on, obviously, but I won't. You're welcome. There are some 10 years worth of articles at The BRAD BLOG that folks can peruse to determine the facts underscoring my concerns and those of the others who have legitimately expressed them to you, Chuck Todd, about private, unaccountable corporations --- owned by associates of Mitt Romney or by anybody else --- having so much unoverseeable control of our once-public electoral system.

But, to misinform your 272,035 Twitter followers, not to mention your millions of viewers on television, that concerns about oft-failed, easily-manipulated electronic voting and tabulation systems are little more than "conspiracies" which "belong in the same category as the Trump birther garbage" is an extraordinary disservice to your readers, your viewers and the U.S. electorate as a whole.

They deserve a much better understanding of our electoral system from someone such as yourself, who is relied upon by so many as an expert in these matters.

Again, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these concerns with you on your Daily Rundown show on MSNBC any time.

If, in fact, you are correct, that these concerns are little more than 'conspiracy garbage', you will do the electorate a great service by having me on, and putting me in my place once and for all by explaining why.

If these concerns are not 'conspiracy garbage', as I would argue, you would be performing a great service to the electorate by helping the electorate understand why they are not, and what voters may be able to do at this point to help minimize the possibilities of their votes not being counted accurately or transparently, or even at all, this November 6th.

Either way, the electorate will end up being much better informed before this year's Presidential Election, which is, after all, as I'm sure we can both agree, the most important core function of your job --- and mine --- as journalists.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 07:03 AM
Republican Ohio Sec of State Believes Early Voting (By Democrats) is Un-American

By: Adalia Woodbury October 21st, 2012

According to Jon Husted, making the vote accessible to all eligible voters is un-American. The Federal Court ruling against his efforts to suppress the vote is un-American. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling that Husted thinks is un-American. Therefore, while he didn’t say it, he inferred that the Supreme Court is also un-American. Considering how conservative the Roberts Supreme Court is, Husted’s comments speak volumes about his extreme political views.

According to the Toledo Blade, Husted made the outrageous claims during a keynote speech at the University of Toledo College of Law on Friday.

    Mr. Husted spoke of a recent federal court decision that he claimed intruded on Ohio’s ability to run its own elections and called it an “un-American approach to voting” — an opinion not shared by many who attended the symposium.

Mr. Husted’s comments speak to many things. They speak to the extremism that he and the Republican Party have come to represent. The ideals that the Romney/Ryan Republicans stand for scare the hell out of sane Americans, including some older white men.

In short, they can’t win an honest very pro America election, in which people aspiring for political office recognize that they are serving the public. The Romney/Ryan Republicans think they are entitled to “rule over” the public rather than serve them.
That is evident from Mitt Romney’s attitude to 47% of the country, conveyed many times before the video. We heard it when Ann Romney said it’s our turn. We heard it when the Romneys decided we didn’t have a right to know what’s in their tax returns.

We saw it very time Mitt Romney was rude and disrespectful to the President and both moderators in the Presidential debates so far. We saw ut with every twist of the truth that came out of Romney’s mouth and every deceitful ad that came from dark money.

Every time Mitt Romney avoids discussions about policy, and refuses to offer specifics on his policies, Mitt Romney conveys the attitude of an Emperor, rather than a potential leader of the Free World. We saw it when he refused, over and over again, to identify the tax exemptions he would eliminate to pay for the tax cuts he plans to give the rich. We saw it when he refused to answer the simple question of whether he is for or against equal pay for equal work. Sarah Jones has written volumes on Mitt Romney’s position when it comes to women’s health and reproductive rights.

The Mitt Romney who thought he was being ever so liberal by “letting” women out of his corporate binder to go home and cook dinner doesn’t appeal to Americans. As a man, Mitt Romney doesn’t appeal to half of America because half of America doesn’t appeal to him. The Mitt Romney who believes its okay for bosses to tell their employees who to vote for would prefer that the vote be limited to people who, in the words of one of his supporters” gets how things work.

Husted’s claim that States can do whatever they want shows his arrogance, not to mention a failure to understand the Constitutional principles that all States must abide by. When a State violates the constitution, then it is not only the option, but the responsibility of the courts to strike down unconstitutional laws.

Husted fails to understand that America operates under the rule of law, not the rule of men – no matter how rich, how spoiled, and how arrogant these men may be.

Even the conservative Supreme Court of the United States couldn’t find anything to justify Husted’s voter suppression laws. That should tell him something.

Husted’s behavior and views are more reminiscent of totalitarian regimes, in which voting was a rubber stamp of one party and one party only. There is nothing more un-American than that.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 22, 2012, 08:32 AM
It has come to this in the USA .. for those who live there deeply consider what this means in terms of what is happening in your country ... what is has become.

UN Vote Monitors Draw Outrage from the GOP’s Voter Suppression Groups

By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonOctober 22nd, 2012

Republicans hate the United Nations. They hate globalism and the world government that supposedly threatens to consume the freedoms Americans enjoy – at least before they themselves can strip them from us. Recent events aren’t going to make them happy.

They brought it on themselves.

The Hill reports that “International monitors at US polling spots draw criticism from voter fraud groups.”

    United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.

Of course, given that voter/election fraud groups is a conservative euphemism for voter suppression groups, it’s not surprising they’d bristle at the idea of UN observation.

Greta Van Susteren says if we can’t make our own eleections fair we ought to “hang it up.” In other words, what the hell is up with conservatives not being able to blatantly suppress the vote this year? Some other “Patriot” yokel thew up this headline: “U.N. Eurotrash Will Monitor Polling Places Around the U.S. for ‘Voter Suppression’.”

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze went with this headline, answering their own question: “U.N. PARTNER TO MONITOR U.S. ELECTIONS FOR VOTER SUPPRESSION BY…CONSERVATIVES?”

Yes Glenn, by conservatives.

Just to be clear, Tea Party groups plan to deploy their stromtrooper bullies on Election Day to suppress the vote under the guise of “protecting us” from electionfraud – you know:  minorities voting.

It is a sad commentary on conditions in the United States that we actually need the UN to protect our rights; rights, ironically, conservatives claim the UN threatens.

I never thought, product of America’s Cold War might that I am, that the people of the United States would need the United Nations to protect us on our own soil from our own elites. That’s something that is supposed to happen in developing nations, what I grew up thinking of as the Third World.

But it’s real. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), ironically enough a Cold War product like myself, will, says The Hill, “deploy 44 observers from its human rights office around the country on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places. It’s part of a broader observation mission that will send out an additional 80 to 90 members of parliament from nearly 30 countries.”

You can imagine how unhappy conservative voter suppression groups are to have witnesses to their act ivies on Election Day, especially from a group that specializes in this sort of thing. The OSCE says that they are “a leading organization in the field of election observation. It conducts election-related activities across the 56 participating States, including technical assistance and election observation missions.”

Good thing. Recent news tells me we’re going to need all the help we can get.

The United States is one of those 56 states. You can bet if Romney wins, that will no longer be the case.

The Hill reports:

    The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”

Predictably, “The request for foreign monitoring of election sites drew a strong rebuke from Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, a conservative-leaning group seeking to crack down on election fraud.”

Crack down on voting, you mean, given that Engelbrecht is excited about having thousands of volunteers suppressing the vote this year.. Yes, like Bulgaria, Romania, and Belarus, America, we do need the OSCE; we need them more than we have ever needed anything, this coming Election Day.

Engelbrecht whines that “These activist groups sought assistance not from American sources, but from the United Nations,” she said in a statement to The Hill. “The United Nations has no jurisdiction over American elections.”

Where else are they going to seek help from? They’re not going to get help from you, who are trying to silence their vote, who are seeking to disenfranchise millions of Americans so that a few rich white folks can put their surrogate in the White House.

The Hill points out that, “Neil Simon, director of communications for the OSCE’s parliamentary assembly, agreed the U.N. does not have jurisdiction over U.S. elections but noted all OSCE member counties, which include the United States, have committed since 1990 to hold free and democratic elections and to allow one another to observe their elections.”

Free elections the GOP has decided we don’t need after all. Trickle Down Economics has now become Trickle Down Voting Rights. The money doesn’t trickle down folks, and you don’t need me to tell you that the vote doesn’t either.

Breitbart.com, of course, is in a tizzy. “Dr. Susan Berry” storms:

    News of the UN-affiliated observers comes one day after Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollak reported that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights has warned Americans not to elect Republican candidate Mitt Romney as the next president. Alluding to Romney’s refusal to ban waterboarding in interrogation practices of terror detainees, Ben Emmerson of the UN said that electing Romney would be “a democratic mandate for torture.”

    We already know that this election will not be like any other election we have experienced. Because of Obama’s overwhelming willingness to apologize to the world for the supposed “sins” of the United States, he has furthered the cause of the United Nations becoming a global government. As the Romney-Ryan campaign continues to gain momentum, we can expect more input than ever thought imaginable from other nations and the UN regarding what the U.S.’s actions and decisions should be. It is also sobering to remember that, even if Romney wins the election, Obama will still be president until January, enough time to do yet more considerable damage.

If you peruse the web you will find comments like this from conservative readers (these were at The Yeshiva World News):

1. I think there is a joke in this article, but I don’t get it. We’re worried about conservatives cheating at the polls? How about all those Chicago-vote-early-and-often folks? How about those black panthers in Philadelphia in 2008? They sure guarded the polling places. Also, we seem to be asking the wolves to guard the henhouse! Maybe it takeh is a joke, but the joke’s on us, folks!!!

2.  So is this what the UN spends its money on with our USA-provided taxpayer money??

3. #1, No, they’re concerned about conservatives trying to prevent cheating.

The usual. Despite the lack of evidence for voter fraud anywhere, conservatives acting in the finest traditions of cognitive dissonance, have convinced themselves that liberals are stealing elections through voter fraud. These fine readers have somehow missed all the news of Republican shenanigans since President Obama was elected.

The same goes for sites like Patriots for America, where the headline…

    Is This Constitutional? – “International monitors at US polling places draw criticism”

…is followed by the question,

    “Is this constitutional? If so, please explain how by referencing the U.S. Constitution only.
    Twana

Unfortunately, folks, this “Twana” person is serious. She really wants you to explain how this can be constitutional, referencing only the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Constitution isn’t going to mention the United Nations. They didn’t have the United Nations in 1789 (which I’m sure is a point “Twana” would raise. Rest assured, Twana, this is constitutional.  Or do you perhaps not know what “observing” means?

Unsurprisingly, her readers are feeling, shall we say, typically aggressive and violent and would make Hitler proud:

    with this action, every honest American citizen has been slapped in the face and betrayed yet again by a president who himself has made a complete mockery of our constitution since the first day he took office. this may get very ugly and my question is, will these monitors be just as willing to intervene every time they come across voter fraud at the polls by acorn and other liberals.

Yeah, okay, stupid question. Twana and her readers didn’t read the article, just the headline (see that all the time here, too, don’t we?) and they do not know what “observing” means.

The next one is the Nazi…er, I mean, Tea Party at it’s best:

    I have read ing (sic) the Constitution and no where (sic) in it does it give any one (sic) authority to monitor our elections! If some faggot wearing U.S. Blue shows up at any polling station, feel frree (sic) to kick his ass on the spot!

These people are living proof that Americans need the UN. I think that along with sending mosquito netting to Africa, we need to send mirrors to Red States. When they ask “Why?”, all they will need to do for an answer is to lift up their mirrors and look into them.

And this comment captures conservative behavior perfectly:

    If I go to the polls here in My district,and see even a HINT of intimidation,

    I will come back and react in kind.

    If I see even a HINT of a UN “observer”,well,violence,of course,will not be

    necessary,but NO-ONE with tender ears will want to hear the dressing-down

    I’ll hand the SOB,and there won’t be a damn thing he/she can do about it.

    Have Me arrested?For what? Disturbing the peace,maybe?I’ll be out by morning,

    I have an excellent lawyer.

    This I promise.

Republicans are all in a tizzy over the origins of these vote monitors: places where icky brown foreign people come from. I dunno, reading the comments above I’ll pick the “icky brown foreign people” over icky yokels who marry their sisters.

Erica Ritz, at The Blaze, asked, “Though, really, what inspires more confidence in fair elections than representatives from Kazakhstan?” I would ask, “Though, really, what inspires less confidence in fair elections than representatives of the Republican Party?”

As a dear friend of mine said, “sickening freaks.”

Amen, sister.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 07:48 AM

Editorial: The Final Debate

Published: October 23, 2012 553 Comments
NYT

   
Mitt Romney has nothing really coherent or substantive to say about domestic policy, but at least he can sound energetic and confident about it. On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.
Related

    Obama and Romney Bristle From Start Over Foreign Policy (October 23, 2012)

Related in Opinion

    Bruni: Heated in Florida (October 22, 2012)
    Campaign Stops: Debating Points, Global Edition (October 22, 2012)
    Times Topic: United States Elections

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During the debate, on issue after issue, Mr. Romney sounded as if he had read the boldfaced headings in a briefing book — or a freshman global history textbook — and had not gone much further than that. Twice during the first half-hour, he mentioned that Al Qaeda-affiliated groups were active in northern Mali. Was that in the morning’s briefing book?

At other times, he announced that he had a “strategy” for the Middle East, particularly Iran and Syria, and really for the whole world, but gave no clue what it would be — much like his claim that he has a plan to create 12 million jobs and balance the budget while also cutting taxes, but will not say what it is. At his worst, Mr. Romney sounded like a beauty pageant contestant groping for an answer to the final question. “We want a peaceful planet,” he said. “We want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they’re going to have a bright and prosperous future and not be at war.”

He added that the United States “didn’t ask for” the mantle of global leadership but was willing to wear it. We wondered what Ronald Reagan would have thought of that.

Mr. Romney’s problem is that he does not actually have any real ideas on foreign policy beyond what President Obama has already done, or plans to do. He supports the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan — and was quick to insist on Monday night that he would pull out by 2014. He thinks there should be economic sanctions on Iran, and he thinks the United States should be encouraging Syrian opposition forces that seem moderate. Mr. Romney said he would work with Saudi Arabia and Qatar on this, but those governments are funneling arms to the jihadist groups that he says he abhors.

The president kept up the attack at virtually every opportunity, showing no sign of the oddly disconnected Barack Obama who lost the first debate. When Mr. Romney called for spending more money on the military than the United States can afford or the military wants, Mr. Obama moved in: “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” Mr. Romney tried to revive the Republican claim that Mr. Obama conducted an “apology tour” at the start of his presidency, which Mr. Obama correctly called “the biggest whopper” of a campaign that has been filled with them. And he took a dig at Mr. Romney’s recent world travels. “When I went to Israel as a candidate,” he said, “I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fund-raisers.”

Mr. Romney tried to say that the president had “wasted” the last four years in trying to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But Mr. Obama said, “We’ve been able to mobilize the world. When I came into office, the world was divided. Iran was resurgent. Iran is at its weakest point, economically, strategically, militarily.”

Mr. Romney tried to set himself apart from Mr. Obama on Iran, but ended up sounding particularly incoherent. At one point he said he would indict President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on genocide charges. He gave no clue how he would do that; like many of his comments, it was merely a sound bite.

Mr. Obama hit Mr. Romney hard on his ever-shifting positions on world affairs, including comments he made in 2008 disparaging the idea that killing Osama bin Laden should be a priority. “You said we should ask Pakistan for permission,” Mr. Obama said. “If we had asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten it.”

Mr. Romney’s closing statement summed it all up. He said almost nothing about foreign policy. He moved back to his comfort zone: cheerfully delivered disinformation about domestic policy.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 07:55 AM

Obama Lays Waste to Romney in Final Presidential Debate

By: Jason Easley October 22nd, 2012

As expected in the final presidential debate, Mitt Romney was in way over his head, as President Obama used his experience as Commander in Chief to lay waste to his Republican challenger.

The first segment was on the changing Middle East, and the first question was on Libya. Romney gave a rambling answer that blamed Obama for the problems in the Middle East. Romney said we need a comprehensive strategy against extremism, but he didn’t say what that strategy would be. Obama played Commander in Chief card, and talked about keeping America safe for four years and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama then turned to Libya, and highlighted his successes in the Middle East, and said Romney has been all over the map. Romney then told the president who got Bin Laden that he was going to go after the bad guys. (Romney was already in way over his head here.) Romney kept hammering North Mali being taken over by al-Qaeda, and Obama nailed Romney for finally recognizing al-Qaeda is big threat and called Romney’s foreign policy straight out of the 1980s. Obama rolled over him, and pointed out that Romney has been wrong on every foreign policy opinion that he has offered.

The president said the US needs strong steady leadership not reckless leadership in the Middle East. Romney claimed that everything he said about Russia and all of other foreign policy statements was inaccurate. Romney claimed Obama was wrong about his Russia comment, but then he promised to get tough on Putin.

Obama spent the first twenty minutes of the debate hammering away on Romney. The Republican nominee bumbled across the Middle East. Whether the question concerned Iraq, Libya, or Syria, Romney was full of bluster and babble. Romney found a brief escape by retreating into jabbering on about the economy while promising a strong military, and not to cut the budget. The debate then got way off course as both candidates started talking about domestic policy.

With Romney badly losing the debate, the Republican broke out all of the far right talking points about Obama being weak. Romney claimed that Obama wanted to sit down with China, N. Korea, Iran, and that the president apologized for America. Obama fired back by calling out Romney’s lie about the apology tour as not true. He then knocked down Romney’s tough talk on Iran by bringing up his investment with a Chinese oil company that was doing business with Iran.

Romney responded by going to back to the apology tour. Obama swung back by pointing out that as a candidate, when he visited foreign nations, he didn’t talk to donors and hold fundraisers. Obama detailed all of his travels to Israel and the region. Romney’s only response was that things are really really bad in the world, and it is all Obama’s fault. Obama responded by breaking down all of Romney’s bad calls and flip-flops on foreign policy.

The questioning turned to Afghanistan, and Obama got to talk about his record with al-Qaeda and transitioned to now being the time for America to do nation building at home. Mitt Romney got a question about Pakistan, and he didn’t really seem to have anything to say. Romney said that he didn’t blame Obama for the strained Pakistan relationship, but said that we can’t walk away from Pakistan. Romney was asked about the drone strikes, and again all he had to say was that the president was right to use that technology. Romney seemed to have run out of debate prep talking points, and was now agreeing with Obama, but claiming that world has gone to hell thanks to Obama.

Obama was asked about our biggest threat to national security, and he said terrorist networks. The topic also shifted to China, and Obama laid out everything he has done to crack down on China. Romney called America’s greatest national security threat a nuclear Iran. Romney then stepped into the danger zone by talking about China, and blamed Obama for looking weak to China. Romney blamed China for outsourcing, and repeated his disastrous plan to label them a currency manipulator. Bob Schieffer woke up from his nap and asked Romney if a plan to label China a currency manipulator would start a trade war? Romney, who invested in a Chinese company that stole intellectual property, criticized China for stealing intellectual property.

Obama opened up a can of whoop ass on Romney, and called out his investment in companies that outsource jobs to China. Obama then hammered Romney’s corporate tax plan change that would create 800,000 jobs overseas. Obama pointed out that US exports to China have doubled since he came into office, and he pointed out the country now has its best currency situation since 1993. Romney tried to clean up his previous statements about auto bailout and lied by claiming that he would do nothing to hurt the auto industry. (This was a blatant appeal to Ohio voters.) Obama called out Romney for lying, and airbrushing history. Romney was left repeating his litany of bad economic numbers. Romney was in full blown retreat, and used the only card he really has left to play in this election.

In their closing statements, Obama made his case for a second term. Romney’s closing argument was to attack Obama, and offer vague promises of prosperity.

Obama was comfortable in this debate, and he owned Romney. The Republican nominee kept trying to change the subject to domestic policy, but when he did he danced on landmines. At times, Romney was tossing around a word salad that didn’t really mean anything. Romney looked weak in this debate, and he was left repeating much of what he already said in the first two debates. Mitt Romney looked totally lost on foreign policy. Obama followed up his strong performance in the second debate, with an equally strong showing in third debate.

Obama takes the debates by winning two out of three.

Click to watch the debate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tecohezcA78


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 07:58 AM

Flash Verdict: Obama Strong, Romney Didn’t Answer Debate Questions

By: Sarah JonesOctober 22nd, 2012

President Obama came on strong from the beginning of the third and last Presidential debate, while Romney avoided answering questions and seemed nervous and cautious. Here’s a round up of reaction on Twitter:

Ed Henry ‏@edhenryTV Obama seems more comfortable weaving his way around world — Romney appears to be watching every word carefully to avoid gaffe, v cautious

jmartpolitico ‏@jmartpolitico Mitt seems nervous out of gates

Jim Acosta ‏@jimacostacnn Obama did come out swinging. #CNNDebate

Laura Rozen ‏@lrozen Obama sounding a bit more sure footed so far……Romney like he memorized the map of MENA

Scott Conroy ‏@RealClearScott Romney asked lay-up question on Libya. Doesn’t answer it.

Arlette Saenz ‏@ArletteSaenz Obama: When asked about our greatest geopolitical threat, you said it was Russia…The 80′s are now calling us for their foreign policy back

Ed Henry ‏@edhenryTV Obama zing on Russia: The 1980′s wants its foreign policy back

jasoncherkis ‏@jasoncherkis Looks like we are getting the Obama from the second debate.

Major Garrett ‏@MajoratNJ Significantly, Romney does not describe what new U.S. strategy should be in Libya, Syria, Mali, Egypt or region.

Marc Ambinder ‏@marcambinder Romney wants to let the Arab world fight terrorism on its own, but would leave more troops in Iraq

Philip Klein ‏@philipaklein This is not the same Mitt who wanted to double Gitmo.

John Heilemann ‏@jheil Romney very soft on Libya.

Keith Boykin ‏@keithboykin CNBC web poll: 63% say Obama won the debate. Only 33% said Romney. pic.twitter.com/VSIJiJmM

Henry C.J. Jackson ‏@hjacksonAP Carville on CNN says this was a “rout” for Obama.

Chuck Todd ‏@chucktodd POTUS controlled the tone and tenor of the debate, came armed with a ton of zingers. And Romney simply let him do it.

John Weaver ‏@JWGOP Romney wanted to look presidential. Agreeing with the President seems like an odd way to do that.

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire Romney is out of his league whevever they get back to national security. It really helps to be president for four years.

david carr ‏@carr2n Romney sounds more like Obama’s running mate than his opponent tonight. Etch-a-Sketch protocol in high effect.

attackerman @attackerman Unless Romney draws some distinction with Obama now on Iran, he’s basically unilaterally disarming.

jasoncherkis @jasoncherkis1m First debate where Romney doesn’t sound prepared.

Josh Dorner ‏@JoshDorner Obama dial test line for women on CNN has been bumping along the top all night. Line among men has also generally been strong too.

Brian Fung @b_fung Romney’s embrace tonight of Obama’s decisions a clear case of Romnesia. Ryan last week: Obama’s FP is “failing, unraveling”

Robert Schlesinger ‏@rschles CNN’s John King: Debate coaches would say president won this on points.

Eli Lake ‏@EliLake Obama won this debate. #debate2012

Don Lemon @DonLemonCNN Kids, when u hear old folks talk about experience, this is what they mean. It’s hard to compete w/ having been there. #Debate2012#CNNDebate

Amy Davidson ‏@tnyCloseRead Obama won. Without the flash of the second #debate–but solidly, in every section.

Henry C.J. Jackson ‏@hjacksonAP Carville on CNN says this was a “rout” for Obama.

David Firestone @fstonenyt Romney’s worst debate of the three. He was basically treading water, simply hoping not to drown.

Mitt Romney did a good job repositioning himself from The Other Mitt by copying most of Obama’s ideas on foreign policy. If the public buys that, it might help him as the policies he’s had up until today were not attractive to most voters. In spite of his memorized talking points, Romney was out of his element on the subject of foreign policy. He looked nervous and he refused to answer questions with specifics, using a pivot to domestic policy or the Middle East in general to avoid laying out his policies. Mitt Romney spent the debate agreeing with President Obama.

The President was strong, articulate, knowledgeable and confident, as his record indicated he would be.

The CBS flash poll of uncommitted voters agreed, with 53 percent saying Obama won and 23 percent saying Romney won. 71 percent of the CBS poll also think Obama is trusted to handle an international crisis and only 49 percent say that about Romney. That’s a bigger win than Romney got with the same group in the first debate. CNN’s poll of likely voters had 48 percent for Obama and 40% for Romney. Swing state voters with PPP agreed that Obama won 53-42, and are planning on voting for Obama 51 percent and Romney 45 percent.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 08:00 AM

Romnesia in Debate: Romney Pretends He Didn’t Call Russia Our No 1 Geopolitical Foe

By: Sarah Jones October 22nd, 2012

It’s time to remind Mitt mid-debate that he actually did call Russia our number one geopolitical foe while he was ignoring al Qaeda. Romney skipped his way around having called Russia our number one political foe in tonight’s debate, claiming that Obama wasn’t being accurate and his attacks were wrong. Romney claimed that he called Russia a foe along with others. But indeed, Romney did inaccurately and bizarrely call Russia our number one geopolitical foe, and he did it several times.

From the debate Monday night:

OBAMA: Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.

Cut to Romney’s response:

ROMNEY: Well, of course I don’t concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that I’ve said. They don’t happen to be accurate. But — but I can say this, that we’re talking about the Middle East and how to help the Middle East reject the kind of terrorism we’re seeing, and the rising tide of tumult and — and confusion. And — and attacking me is not an agenda. Attacking me is not talking about how we’re going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East, and take advantage of the opportunity there, and stem the tide of this violence.

But I’ll respond to a couple of things that you mentioned. First of all, Russia I indicated is a geopolitical foe. Not…

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: Excuse me. It’s a geopolitical foe, and I said in the same — in the same paragraph I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election, he’ll get more backbone.

A refresher for Mitt Romney of his own record:

Romney: “There’s No Question But That In Terms Of Geopolitics… Russia Is The Number One Adversary.” [Situation Room, CNN, 7/30/12]

Romney: Russia “Is Without Question Our Number One Geopolitical Foe.” [Situation Room, CNN, 3/26/12]

“Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s ‘No. 1 geopolitical foe.’ His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender.” [Editorial, New York Times, 3/29/12]

“Mitt Romney’s labeling of Russia this week as America’s ‘No. 1 geopolitical foe’ has drawn attention to his emerging hawkishness on several foreign policy fronts, from China’s monetary policy to the war in Afghanistan—a trend that contrasts to his more muted style on domestic issues. The Russia remark has fanned concerns among both Romney supporters and nonpartisan foreign-policy experts that Mr. Romney’s desire to contrast himself with President Barack Obama has led the GOP candidate to take positions that would be difficult to maintain if he wins the presidency.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/29/12]

As for Al Qaeda, they weren’t on Mitt’s mind until tonight. About time.

Romney mentioned “Al Qaeda” in only two of his seven foreign policy addresses and gave no specifics on how he would address the terrorist group.*

Ezra Klein said on the Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, 7/25/12: “The problem is Mitt Romney is running against the president who finally killed Osama bin Laden and ended the really, really unpopular war in Iraq and who amped up the drone war like it or not, that has killed almost every guy to hold the title al Qaeda`s number three….

Not once in his speech did Mitt Romney mention the phrase al Qaeda. Not once. Go ahead, we have linked the transcript on our blog. You can go there, you can hit control F, and type in al Qaeda. You will get nothing. In anticipation of that speech, Romney campaign put out this fact sheet telling the candidate`s foreign policy. There were lots and lots of bullet points but again, not any mentions of al Qaeda. Control F al Qaeda, bupkis.”

The real deal here is that Mitt Romney can’t articulate his foreign policy because he doesn’t have one that the American public would like to hear about. Romney’s foreign policy team is full of Bush Cheney people. Just like them, he’s not interested in going after al Qaeda because he is more interested in going to war and giving war contracts to the folks on his “military advisers” team. In this debate, Romney did a big turn from his previous positions, not the least of which was suggesting that he had supported Obama’s withdrawal plan in Afghanistan, when in fact Romney called it a mistake until today.

Suddenly tonight, Mitt Romney agreed with President Obama more than he disagreed.

*[Romney, VFW Address, San Antonio TX, 8/30/11; Romney Foreign Policy Address, Charleston SC, 10/7/11; Romney VFW Address, Reno NV, 7/24/12; Romney Address, Jerusalem Israel, 7/29/12; Romney Address, Warsaw Poland, 7/31/12; Romney American Legion Address, Indianapolis IN, 8/29/12; Romney Foreign Policy Address, Lexington VA, 10/8/12]


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 08:01 AM

Mitt Romney Taking Credit for the Auto Rescue is ‘Laughable’ ‘Absurd’

By: Sarah Jones October 23rd, 2012

Mitt Romney told us to fact check him on the auto bailout during Monday night’s debate and so we did. Turns out, Romney had Romnesia again, and it looks like it’s getting critical. Romney didn’t just write “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” in an op-ed, he repeated it personally many times. His attempt to take credit for the auto rescue has been deemed “laughable”, “absurd” and “only in his dreams.”

Transcript:

ROMNEY: My plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need — these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy. And in that process, they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they’d — they’d built up.
And fortunately…
(CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: Governor Romney, that’s not what you said…
(CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: Governor Romney, you did not…
ROMNEY: You can take a look at the op-ed…
(CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: You did not say that you would provide government help.
ROMNEY: I said that we would provide guarantees, and — and that was what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, to come out of bankruptcy. Under no circumstances would I do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet. And the idea that has been suggested that I would liquidate the industry, of course not. Of course not.
CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: Let’s check the record.
(CROSSTALK)
ROMNEY: That’s the height of silliness…
(CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: Let — let — let’s…
(CROSSTALK)
ROMNEY: I have never said I would liquidate…
(CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: …at the record.
(CROSSTALK)
ROMNEY: …I would liquidate the industry.
(CROSSTALK)
OBAMA: Governor, the people in Detroit don’t forget.
End transcript.

In the last debate, Romney said, “And one thing that the — the president said which I want to make sure that we understand — he — he said that I said we should take Detroit bankrupt, and — and that’s right. My plan was to have the company go through bankruptcy like 7-Eleven did and Macy’s and — and — and Continental Airlines and come out stronger.”

The truth is that Romney was advocating for private bankruptcy at a time when banks weren’t lending. Credit was frozen. Without the auto bailout, the auto recovery would not have happened, and this is why it’s absurd for Romney to try to take credit for an accomplishment of Obama’s – on top of the fact that Romney wasn’t the President and shouldn’t be taking credit for the President’s accomplishments, he should be running on his own record of “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

The reaction to Romney’s op ed proves that Obama was correct in his assessment tonight. Bloomberg explained that Romney’s op ed was “detached from reality’: “The piece drew criticism from Mike Jackson, chief executive officer of AutoNation Inc. (AN), the largest auto-dealer group in the U.S., who called it ‘truly reckless, detached from reality, and dishonest,’ as well as ‘very bad politics, especially in Michigan.’ Jackson, who has been a Romney advocate, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News the assertion that private financing should have been used to fund GM and Chrysler bankruptcies was ‘fantasy,’ adding, ‘Everyone knows we were in the midst of the greatest financial meltdown since the 1930s.’”

Where was Mitt Romney during the financial crisis? He certainly wasn’t here if he thinks credit was available. Romney argued against using taxpayer money to keep the companies afloat, but both Bush and Obama found it necessary after the Bush stock market crash of 08 to do just that. Private financing was not available at the time. The banks were in distress. Where was Romney? Romney is supposed to be the business expert — how could he not understand this? He made himself into a laughing stock with this claim in his op ed and now he’s trying to pretend that he had a different plan.

Romney has been trying to take credit for Obama’s auto rescue for a year, and for year, it’s been called a big lie. The Detroit Free Press called it a “big lie”, “Instead, we’ve heard Romney flim and flam about what he said about the auto industry in 2008. And now, incredulously, he wants to claim credit for the resurgence of General Motors and Chrysler, saying it was his idea to push them through bankruptcy. That’s obviously a lie, and a pretty big one.”

The Detroit Free Press also wrote an article title, “How Mitt Romney Saved Detroit, If Only In His Dreams” and the Toledo Blade said it was “absurd” for Romney to claim credit for the auto recovery, “When the history of the 2012 presidential campaign is written, the absurdity of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney taking credit for the rebound of the U.S. auto industry will warrant an entry all its own.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in May when Romney made the same claim, “When the history of the 2012 presidential race is written, the absurdity of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney claiming credit for the rebound of the auto industry will warrant an entry, most likely under the heading ‘Laughable.’”

Laughable, reckless, absurd, dreaming, and a big lie. That’s our Mitt Romney.

President Obama bet on the American worker, saving over a million jobs and helping make all three Detroit automakers profitable for the first time in seven years and now Mitt Romney wants all of the credit even though he is on the record as being against the very idea that succeeded. Go figure.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 08:07 AM

Republicans Scramble to Make Horses and Bayonets Work for Them

By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson October 23rd, 2012

Mitt Romney betrays his essential nature again and again: a bullying, grasping little boy who has to have more toys than the other kid.

In this case, as president, he is determined to have more ships than anybody else.

Trouble is, he already does. The United States not only spends more its military than any other nation, it has more ships than any other nation. The U.S. Navy, the “global force for good” we hear so much about on commercials, reigns supreme in the role the Royal Navy once occupied. Look at a couple of charts, like this one from Global Fire Power (GFP):

We also have better ships, as this chart below shows:

But Romney likes to push the narrative that Obama has made America weaker and that our Navy is no longer the Navy it once was. Romney is wrong, but being wrong has never stopped Romney before, and it did not stop him last night.

As Jason Easley pointed out here last night, Romney, in pushing this narrative, created a turning point in the debate. Romney argued,

    ROMNEY: Our Navy is old — excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at under 285. We’re headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.

    I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947.

But President Obama was ready for this weak play:

    But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works.

    You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

    And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.

Horses and bayonets quickly began trending on Twitter

Predictably, cognitive dissonance-afflicted conservatives insisted that “horses and bayonets” was a slip by Obama, a slip that would come back to hurt him in sound bites.  Ann Coulter came back with

    I guess that’s one thing you don’t learn as president. RT @pambestederWow! Just heard on Fox News that Marines STILL use bayonets!— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter)

But while many of us cheered President Obama’s “horses and bayonets” moment, some bristled, like Virginia governor Bob McDonnell:

    Bob McDonnell ‏@BobMcDonnell

    President Obama’s comment about ‘horses and bayonets’ was an insult to every sailor who has put his or her life on the line for our country.

Somehow, McDonnell thinks Obama’s fact-based beat-down of foreign-policy pretender Mitt Romney insulted our veterans. In a statement for Team Romney which accompanied his tweet, McDonnell said,

    “The United States Navy calls Hampton Roads home. Norfolk Naval Station is the largest naval station in the world, and all Virginians are honored to have this great facility in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, President Obama’s dismissive comments about the Navy tonight should be concerning for any voter who cares about the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad. President Obama has not only ignored these concerns — but his flippant comment about ‘horses and bayonets’ was an insult to every sailor who has put his or her life on the line for our country. Gov. Romney is clearly the candidate in this race who recognizes the importance of ensuring that our fighting men and women have the resources and the support they need to protect our interests and ensure that no adversary would think to challenge us. Tonight, Virginians, and all Americans, saw that Mitt Romney is the president we need in a challenging and uncertain world.”

President Obama was, of course, anything but dismissive. It was Romney who said the U.S. Navy couldn’t do its job. Contrary to Romney’s claims, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus quite clearly stated in February of this year,

    Now, the ships we have today are far more capable than any ships we’ve ever had, and comparing them to the old fleet in terms of numbers is sort of like comparing iPhones to the telegraph. But quantity has a quality all its own if you want capability”

And in April, Mabus said that you can’t compare the Navy’s strength to that of 1917, simply by counting hulls. As he told the Navy Times, “It’s like comparing the telegraph to the smartphone. They’re just not comparable.”

Romney just doesn’t get it. Romney surrogates don’t get it.

Amy Davidson wrote in The New Yorker:

    It is a measure of Obama’s success here that Romney supporters came out to object that the Marines do, indeed, still use bayonets, and Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, tweeted that the line was somehow “an insult to every sailor who has put his or her life on the line for our country.” It is not; nor was Obama disparaging Ann Romney and her horse Rafalca by suggesting that the way we measure cavalry forces has changed. If there’s an insult here, it lies in Romney’s apparent assumption that voters are incapable of grasping that distinction. That he even used this line was either an act of clumsiness or a cynical assessment of political discourse, since it has already been widely discredited by fact-checkers. Glenn Kessler, of the Washington Post, called it “nonsense,” and pointed out that even on Romney’s absurd terms it is wrong, since there were fewer ships in George W. Bush’s Navy than in Obama’s. Did Romney suppose that Obama might point that out? Worse, did he not care?

But a New York Times editorial perhaps said it best:

    Mitt Romney has nothing really coherent or substantive to say about domestic policy, but at least he can sound energetic and confident about it. On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

Romney and his surrogates exposed themselves to ridicule last night and responded by trying to ridicule Obama. Their efforts are frantic and transparent. Romney’s one-dimensional thinking would not have gotten him far in the days of wooden ships and iron men and it won’t get him far in today’s complex world.

The Navy knows how many ships it needs to perform its assigned mission and Obama has worked with them to provide both the number and types of required ships. Romney thinks more is better and came across as unaware and ill-informed. He got the slap-down he deserved from President Obama. Putting a spin on his ignorance will not, and cannot, change the facts. They know that, which is why they are scrambling now to change the perception of the facts.

Image from Mashable.com


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 08:11 AM

Rachel Maddow On Romney’s Lies, ‘It’s a Character Issue, and I find it Disqualifying’

By: Sarah JonesOctober 23rd, 2012


Rachel Maddow believes Mitt Romney isn’t fit to be president. While talking about his lies and shifting policies she said, ‘It’s a character issue, and I find it disqualifying.’

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gtfdpx3jnGs

Maddow said was talking about Romney’s complete reversal of his policy on the war when she said,

    That political calculation makes so much sense to me, if there were not 68,000 American lives on the line. And that’s what infuriates me, because this is a real war. This is not changing your mind on light rail. This is changing your mind and denying your previous positions that are on the record about the fate, the lives and deaths, of 68,000 Americans, and asserting that not only is it okay for you to change your mind, I believe in people changing their mind, but that you can get away with running from the things that you have previously claimed were your heartfelt beliefs, and now denying that you ever believed they were true. It’s a character issue, and I find it disqualifying.

I am certain that anyone on the right or left who cares about facts and honesty probably agrees with Maddow, but facts and honesty aren’t the media world that we are living in. The issue isn’t that Mitt Romney lies with impunity. The problem is that few people in the mainstream media are actually challenging the lies.

However, President Obama would likely be better served not to spend the final two weeks on the campaign trail chasing those ghosts. If Obama spends his last days on the stump fact checking Romney, he will lose control of the story that he is trying to tell to voters about the choice between the two paths the country can travel down for the next four years.

In another era Mitt Romney would not have survived the primary process, much less became a major party nominee. It speaks volumes about the health and condition of the Republican Party that a candidate who would have been weeded out during the primary process became the nominee. But it really doesn’t matter who the Republicans would have nominated, the party would have rallied around him because they hate Obama that much.

Mitt Romney’s lying and political shape shifting should disqualify him from office, but it won’t. The Romney campaign knows that most voters are too uninformed to know that he is lying, and the media is too worried about being “neutral” to care. Mitt Romney’s lack of character was on full display during the debate as he gleefully toyed with the fates of 68,000 Americans who are serving their country, which is something that Romney himself never had the character and courage to do.

Romney’s shape shifting should be a disqualifying issue, but it has become a strength. If Romney can find enough low information voters to exploit, he could be elected president.

The prospect of a Romney presidency isn’t just infuriating; it is illness inducing.



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 09:21 AM

An Avalanche of GOP Voter Suppression and Fraud is Threatening the Election

By: Rmuse October 23rd, 2012s

Human beings are programmed with a need to control their environment whether it is in their place of abode, their job, or their community. There are countries in the world where government is chosen by military might, religious institutions, or by royal birth, but the people have little control of their own lives. America’s founders did not believe every resident had a right to choose their representatives, and it has taken over two hundred years to give every citizen a voice in choosing their representatives in government. When America invaded Iraq, one of the first tasks the military accomplished was providing Iraqi citizens with free and fair elections for the first time in decades, and it was a watershed moment for the people who suffered under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. It is ironic then, that in America, the prospect of free and fair elections is being threatened by an avalanche of reports of voter suppression and fraud by the Republican Party.

Republicans are notorious for projecting their beliefs and practices on their opponents, and for the past two years their state legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) passed restrictive and harsh voter ID laws to combat what they claimed was massive voter fraud. Over the past few months, reports of voter suppression and registration fraud have built up to the point that, like Iraq, this country’s election will be monitored by an international group to stop fraud and intimidation. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is a United Nations affiliate that will deploy 44 observers around the country on Election Day and an additional 80 to 90 members of parliament from nearly 30 countries to monitor American elections. The OSCE election monitors are from its human rights office that focuses on democratization, and they will be looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups.

Americans should be embarrassed the country best known for promoting democracy around the world requires human rights monitors to ensure free and fair elections at home. The founder and leader of True the Vote, a conservative group seeking to crack down on election fraud was outraged and said, “activist groups sought assistance not from American sources, but from the United Nations,” but after months of reporting fraud, and Republican leaders refusing to follow court orders, there was little choice but to appeal to an outside source. The Justice Department cannot possibly keep up with the overwhelming number of cases committed exclusively by Republican groups who claimed voter fraud had reached epidemic proportions, but as usual, it is Republicans committing fraud.

OSCE is monitoring the elections after reports of “coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities” that makes it a civil rights as well as an election issue. It has been widely reported (in liberal blogs) that the RNC hired a known Republican strategist with a reputation of voter registration fraud and attempts to suppress Democratic voter turnout for $3.1 million. Reports of destroying voter registration forms in Virginia last week drew minor attention from local media, and on Friday in Ohio, a Republican election official blamed a computer glitch for sending out notices to three precincts with improper polling places and news the election was Thursday, November 8 instead of Tuesday, November 6. There are myriad reports of voter suppression and fraud that one expects in young democracies like Iraq, and over the weekend two Iraq combat veterans noticed a parallel between elections in America and Iraq.

The young men served in Iraq leading up to the nation’s first free and fair elections, and it was their only source of pride at having served in Iraq. Although they felt betrayed and deceived at being sent to war over a lie, they said it was worth it to see Iraqis participating in their first fair election. Both men felt betrayed that after fighting to give Iraqis the right to participate in a fair election, their party was guilty of suppressing the vote and wondered if they should be deployed to protect Americans’ right to vote. They had heard a World War II veteran was purged from voter rolls in Florida, and opined that the President should send a squad of Rangers to guarantee the veteran was allowed to vote.

Americans should be outraged at Republican attempts to suppress votes, but the media has been negligent by not reporting the rampant voter suppression. In a large newspaper in Central California, there has not been one article or story reporting voter registration fraud or suppression efforts throughout the campaign. The paper said it was not “that big of a deal” and that it would cast unfair aspersion on Republicans so close to the election, so they would not report on it. Recently, it was brought to their attention the Republican chair of the Committee on Legislative Ethics committed voter fraud and faces removal from the ballot, but they demurred again because “it was a Southern California senator and not that big of a deal.”

Therein is the problem, and why Republicans continue flaunting the law, suppressing votes, and committing fraud; because “it’s not that big of a deal.” However, it is a big deal to the American people who lose their right to vote, and it is a big deal to an international human rights organization or they would not send monitors to stop “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”

It is a sad commentary when America needs an international organization to monitor a general election, but it is crucial to save our democracy from Republican malfeasance.  The founders believed only wealthy land owners deserved the right to vote, and after valiant struggles and Constitutional amendments, instead of celebrating every American’s right to vote, Republicans are suppressing voting rights. Hopefully with international monitors in place, every American who wants to vote will get the opportunity, but at the rate the GOP has suppressed the vote, it does not look very likely. It is a shame that the country that sent its soldiers to protect Iraqis right to vote cannot deliver that assurance to its own people; maybe the United Nations will do the job and save America’s democracy.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 23, 2012, 10:48 AM
This is what is happening in America. How voter machines are corrupted.

Click to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcOFBu-Thds


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 24, 2012, 06:50 AM
October 23, 2012

Watching U.S. Race, Other Nations See Themselves

By ELLEN BARRY
IHT

MOSCOW — For weeks, coverage of the United States presidential race in Russia’s state-controlled media has been obscured by a layer of derision, cast by top commentators as a mudslinging brawl or a “beauty contest” in which candidates vie for the loyalty of voting blocs, “some who love ample, fatty brunettes — and some preferring skinny anorexics.”

But for those who believed that Russia had nothing at stake, Monday’s televised debate served to focus the mind. By lunchtime on Tuesday, a top analyst had rendered his verdict in the newspaper Izvestiya: If Mitt Romney wins, Fyodor Lukyanov wrote, “it’s not that relations between Russia and the United States will be spoiled — they will halt. And they will not exist for a long time.”

As the race between Mr. Romney and President Obama rounds its last curve, the world is watching — and the coverage from other countries reveals as much about how they see themselves as it does about the American political process.

Japanese reporters have followed candidates on the campaign trail, scrutinizing their tactics as a blueprint for the vibrant two-party system Japan would like to build.

Brazilian commentators, drawing on their familiarity with American cultural icons, are poring over details — expressing shock, for example, at Mr. Romney’s idea of ending the subsidy for PBS, whose Big Bird is fondly called Garibaldo in Brazil’s version of “Sesame Street.”

In other countries, like Russia and China, coverage has been muted, reflecting both wariness about Mr. Romney and disappointment with the four-year arc of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. Indeed, disillusionment has tempered news coverage in many countries — even Germany, a nation addicted to American political arcana. In contrast with 2008, when coverage of the Democratic primaries was breathless front-page news all over Germany, this season’s analysis has been sober and far less enthusiastic.

“Everyone was asking in 2008, ‘Where is the German Obama?’ ” said Christoph von Marschall, Washington bureau chief for Germany’s Tagesspiegel newspaper. “Nobody asks this anymore. Obama is no longer the messiah. He is also just a politician, a normal and sometimes nasty politician.”

In Japan, by comparison, major newspapers and television news run daily stories on the campaign, pointing out the candidates’ missteps and setbacks with analysis that would seem zealous in American outlets. Their enthusiasm is largely practical. Three years ago, an election ended decades of one-party dominance in Japan, and its leaders are searching for a model for a two-party system.

Though commentators are critical of aspects of American campaigning, like attack ads, the competitive political system is still viewed positively in Japan, and readers lap up fine-grained details about exercises like party primaries. The raw verbal sparring at debates is the subject of particular fascination, in part because such direct personal attacks are foreign to Japan’s restrained, self-deprecating political culture.

“The whole world is watching the election of the superpower,” the Mainichi Shimbun, one of Japan’s biggest dailies, said recently in an editorial. “We expect an energetic battle of words on such issues as” the dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea. But if they were waiting for rigorous discussion of issues of regional interest, Japanese newspapers have seemed disappointed so far.

“In contrast to the ferocity of their verbal give-and-take, the debates have left those of us outside the United States feeling dissatisfied,” the Nishi Nippon Shimbun said in an editorial.

Brazilian correspondents have fanned out to Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire, offering daily coverage of every shift in the polls.

Commentary has poured out via blogs and social media — Brazil ranks second after the United States in users of both Facebook and Twitter — and news outlets, agitated over the fate of Big Bird, seemed relieved when the Obama campaign released ads attacking Mr. Romney for suggesting that financing for PBS could be cut.

Though Latin America has barely figured as a topic in the campaign, Brazilians are fascinated as the race moves into its final days with the two candidates in a dead heat.

An influential political columnist, Elio Gaspari, on Sunday dissected a chain of events in which Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama could split the Electoral College with 269 votes each, sending the race to a vote in the House of Representatives. That way, he wrote, Mr. Romney could win the presidency even if Mr. Obama were to win the popular vote.

“American democracy will look terrible in that light,” he wrote.

That sense of drama is not reaching Chinese viewers. Though the main national television channel, CCTV, has opened a large new bureau in Washington, the presidential race has not been given much prominence in news reports, and no Chinese reporters have been out on the campaign trail.

This is partly a matter of timing; Election Day in the United States comes just two days before the opening of the all-important 18th Communist Party Congress, which is to usher in a new set of leaders in the second peaceful transfer of power in China’s Communist era.

The capital, Beijing, is consumed with its own internal political jockeying, and there is little sense of how the top government leaders view Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama.

The campaign has drawn interest among Chinese who have frequent contact with Americans. Students and young workers say they are fascinated with the open debate, and what seem like major differences between the two major parties.

“The clash of ideologies in the United States is so much more dramatic than that in China,” said Guan Xin, who translates such American material as “The Daily Show” and “Real Time With Bill Maher” into Chinese. “You always hear phrases like ‘bitterly polarized’ in news reports. The partisan division between the right and the left is so big now. I haven’t seen the phrase ‘class warfare’ in a Chinese newspaper in ages.”

Russian coverage is similarly muted. The American race comes after a string of three largely noncompetitive elections in Russia, which have extended the rule of President Vladimir V. Putin and the main pro-Kremlin party, United Russia. The authorities in Russia are preoccupied with controlling domestic dissent, and have asserted that the United States State Department has actively supported a rise in antigovernment activism.

Vladimir Solovyov, a popular television host, said Mr. Obama’s presidency had delivered another round of disappointment for Russia.

“Finally, we understood that there is nothing to expect from the United States,” he said. “Unfortunately, you do not live by your promises to other countries.”

On television, which heavily influences public opinion, much commentary on the hard-fought American race has been neutral or negative.

“Dumb and dumber,” announced an anchorwoman on Sunday’s edition of “Vesti,” a news roundup, as she introduced a segment on the election. “The fashion in the last two weeks of this election season: It was decided to fill voters’ hearts and minds not with love for their candidate, but with hatred for the other.”

“To an outsider, the struggle for the superpower’s top post looks like a squabble in the kitchen of a communal apartment,” she said. In the segment, the reporter Grigori Yemelyanov declared, “America likes a show — it’s probably more interesting to watch than to make a principled choice between two diametrically opposing platforms.”

Behind this criticism there is some concern about what a Romney victory would mean in Russia, especially after Monday’s debate, when the candidate accused Mr. Obama of showing a submissive face to Mr. Putin. Some hard-liners in the Kremlin, who have warned of external threats to Russia as a way to unify the country, may see a useful foil in Mr. Romney, who has called Russia “our No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

Despite cooling perceptions of the United States, Mr. Obama is preferred by ordinary Russians; in a survey released this month by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies, 42 percent said an Obama victory would benefit Russia, whereas only 4 percent said the same of a Romney victory.

“Look, Obama is a partner,” said Aleksei K. Pushkov, who hosts the political talk show “Post-Scriptum” and is the head of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee. “We may be disappointed with him, but we consider him a partner. Romney does not look like a partner at all.”

Reporting was contributed by Simon Romero from Rio de Janeiro; Nicholas Kulish from Berlin; Hanna Kozlowska from Warsaw; Choe Sang-Hun from Seoul, South Korea; Martin Fackler from Tokyo; Jane Perlez from Beijing; and Anna Kordunsky from Moscow.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 23, 2012

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the Washington bureau chief for Germany’s daily Tagesspiegel newspaper. He is Christoph von Marschall, not Marshall. The article also misstated the duration of one-party rule in Japan, which ended in 2009. It was not 57, as the article originally stated, or 55, as stated in an earlier correction.

********************

Poll finds 20 of 21 countries strongly prefer Obama (exception: Pakistan)

Posted by Max Fisher on October 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm
BBC   

A just-out BBC World Service poll surveying 22,000 people in 21 countries found a wide preference for President Obama in the presidential race, who scored 50 percent favorable among all respondents to Mitt Romney’s 9 percent. Almost a quarter, 24 percent, gave some variation of an answer that it made no difference. Only 16 percent said they didn’t know, a reminder of how closely the world follows American politics.

The poll surveyed many of the world’s most populous countries. It emphasized famously Obama-friendly Western Europe but skipped Russia and the Arab Middle East. Here are the results from Globescan’s report:

(Globescan)

The only country where Romney scored higher was Pakistan, which may be more about widespread opposition to the Obama administration’s policies than is it about embracing Romney. Only 11 percent of Pakistanis said they wanted to see Obama reelected — by far his lowest score out of the countries surveyed — while 15 percent supported Romney, which is roughly consistent with his numbers in other countries. An earlier Pew poll found only 7 percent confidence for Obama in Pakistan, with 60 percent expressing no confidence. The U.S. drone program in Pakistan’s border region is a source of particular popular animus.

Obama scored extremely well in Canada, Australia, Africa, Western Europe (except Spain, where he received a relatively low 45 percent, though Romney got only 1 percent), as well as Panama and Brazil. Since 2008, when the poll was also conducted, pro-Obama sentiment has most significantly dropped in China, Mexico and Kenya; it rose by the widest margins in India and Panama.

Romney’s best showing was in Kenya with 18 percent, perhaps reflecting a degree of disillusionment with Obama (John McCain scored only 5 percent there in the 2008 poll). His second-highest score was in Poland. “Eastern Europe has long seen Republicans as more sympathetic to their struggles with Russia, and former Polish president Lech Walesa endorsed Romney over the summer,” The Post’s Michael Birnbaum and Keith B. Richburg explained Sunday. Broadly, though, his numbers in this poll are consistent with McCain’s in 2008, suggesting the possibility that many foreign publics associate Republicans with the George W. Bush, whose administration was deeply unpopular abroad.

Neither candidate fared especially well in China or, more surprisingly, Japan. Chinese gave Obama 28 percent approval and Romney 9 percent, a single-digit but significant drop since 2008. Both citizens and government officials in China have been glued to the 2012 race, often expressing concern over the increasingly pointed rhetoric against Chinese policies.

Japanese opinion is more complicated, in part because polls have been inconsistent. Globescan says that 33 percent support Obama and 9 percent for Romney, pretty low given how highly Japanese seem to score the U.S. in other surveys. A Gallup poll found Japan’s presidential job approval rating drop from 66 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2011. Pew reported that Japanese confidence in Obama had slipped from a sky-high 85 percent in 2009 to a still-high 74 percent this year; the same poll, though, found Japanese favorability toward the U.S. itself rising from 59 percent to 72 percent. Pew’s analysts attributed this increase to the U.S. aid effort after the March 2011 Fukushima crisis, although it’s not clear, then, why they would appear to rate Obama so poorly in the Globescan poll.

The countries where Obama leads together make up about 56.4 percent of the global population. Non-Americans sometimes joke — or gripe — that they should get a vote in U.S. presidential elections, given the winner’s potential impact on their country and sometimes individual lives. If they did, it seems likely, based on this poll, that Obama would win.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 24, 2012, 07:36 AM

Obama Blasts Romney’s Poor Debate Performance as Stage Three Romnesia

By: Jason Easley   October 23rd, 2012

President Obama keeps hammering the message home that Mitt Romney is lying. Today, Obama diagnosed Romney’s poor debate performance as stage three Romnesia.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ym7ALGy4Bjk

Transcript:

    THE PRESIDENT: Now, last night we had our third and last debate. And I hope that during the debate I made those differences very clear. Because the greatest responsibility I have as President is to keep the American people safe. That’s why I ended the war in Iraq, so we could go after the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. That’s why we decimated al Qaeda’s core leadership and brought Osama bin Laden the justice he deserved. That’s why we’re ending the war in Afghanistan, because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home. In a world of new threats and profound challenges, America needs leadership that is strong and is steady. Governor Romney’s foreign policy has been wrong and reckless. Last night he was all over the map. Did you notice that? During the debate he said he didn’t want more troops in Iraq, but he was caught on video saying it was unthinkable not to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq, troops that would still be there today.

    Last night he claimed to support my plan to end the war in Afghanistan. I’m glad he supports it. But he’s opposed a timeline that would actually bring our troops home. Early in this campaign he said he’d do the opposite of whatever I did in Israel, but last night I reminded him that cooperation with Israel has never been stronger.

    Last night he said he always supported taking out Osama bin Laden, but in 2007, he said it wasn’t worth moving heaven and earth to catch one man.

    Now, we’ve come up with a name for this condition. It’s called Romnesia.

    AUDIENCE: Romnesia! Romnesia! Romnesia!

    THE PRESIDENT: We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage three Romnesia. And I just want to go over with you some of the symptoms, Delray, because I want to make sure nobody in the surrounding area catches it. If you say that you love American cars during a debate, but you wrote an article titled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” you might have Romnesia.

    If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate — but said just a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t hire any more because they won’t grow the economy, what do you have?

    AUDIENCE: Romnesia!

    THE PRESIDENT: I’ll bet you’ve got some Romnesia. If you say you love Medicare — and by the way, there’s a theme here — he keeps on loving stuff and then wants to end it or cut it or not help it. But if you say that you love Medicare, but your plan turns it into a voucher that ends the guaranteed benefit of Medicare, you definitely have Romnesia.

    So, I mean, we’re breaking down the symptoms here. If you’ve come down with a case of Romnesia, if you can’t seem to remember the policies on your website, or the promises that you’ve been making over the six years that you’ve been running for President, if you can’t even remember what you said last week — don’t worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. We can fix you up. We can cure this disease. There’s a cure!

    Listen, let me just say this. In all seriousness, I mean, we’re accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four years ago. We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their position from four days ago.

The Romnesia line drives the Romney campaign absolutely nuts, because it is true. It was good to see the president not get caught up in using his entire speech to fact check Romney. The vast majority of the electorate is well aware of what Romney is up to. What voters want to hear from Obama is his message about the next four years.

Romnesia has become a nifty bit of political shorthand that allows the president to call out Romney’s ever changing positions without losing his own message. Romnesia helps Obama get out the vote. It is the counterattack to Mitt Romney’s efforts to make himself look as bland and non-threatening as possible.

The Romney campaign should be afraid of Obama’s Romnesia line, because it is working. For the next two weeks, swing state voters all across the country are going to hear about they can’t trust anything that comes out of Mitt Romney’s mouth.

With each laugh Obama’s Romnesia line gets, Mitt Romney inches closer to losing this election.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 24, 2012, 07:37 AM

Bad News for Romney: Ohio Early Voting Turnout is Up for Obama, Down for GOP

By: Jason EasleyOctober 23rd, 2012

In a conference call with reporters Obama campaign manager Jim Messina dropped some devastating numbers on Romney. Messina pointed out that more people are early voting for Obama in 2012 than did in 2008.

Messina laid out what early voting is looking like for the president right now. He said Obama is winning early voting in Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Ohio early vote turnout is higher for Obama in 2008 than in Republican counties. He said that this election is more diverse. Most new registrants are under 30. 2/3 of those who have early voted are women, African-Americans, and Latinos. Democrats are winning everywhere where there are in person early votes.

Obama’s campaign manager explained why they think some of these polls are way off in the battleground states, “I do think there is some differences in states, we delve very deep into these states, and we think some people aren’t getting it right about who this electorate is going to be.” We continue to think the math has changed in Florida.” He said there are 250,000 more registered African-American and Latino voters in Florida, and that overall early voting among African-Americans is up 50% over 2008.

New voter registration numbers in Ohio heavily favor Obama. Four in five Ohioans (81 percent) who have registered to vote in 2012 are either female, younger than 30, or African-American or Latino. 64 percent of Ohioans who have registered to vote in 2012, and the same percentage among those who have already voted, live in counties that President Obama won in 2008.

The polling numbers for early voting in Ohio also back up what the Obama campaign is saying. A Survey USA poll found that Obama leads by 19 points (57/38) among those who have already. PPP found that Obama leads by 52 points (76%-24%) in Ohio early voting. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found Obama leading Romney, 63%-37% with early voters. Even Republican pollster Rasmussen has Obama leading big in Ohio early voting, 63%-34%.

Recent early voting numbers in Ohio back up the Obama campaign’s claim that early voting is up for Obama and down for Romney. 582,402 ballots have been requested this year from precincts that Obama won in 2008, 33,414 more than in from precincts that McCain won.The total number of votes already cast this year (both by mail and in-person) from precincts Obama won in 2008 is 261,304 – 55,636 more than from precincts McCain won.

When people worry about the voting machines in Ohio, one of the things that must be considered is that the election has to be close enough to be stolen. During the conference call, both Axelrod and Messina suggested that their goal was to pile up huge margins in the early voting swing states that would make the math for Romney difficult to impossible to overcome on Election Day.

I am a believer in the importance of vigilance against election fraud. I think letting the people who would cheat know that we are watching them does serve as a deterrent, but what must be kept in mind is that election must be close enough to be stolen.

Only a fool would believe that Romney wouldn’t cheat if given the chance, but the purpose of the Obama ground game is to pile up a big lead in early voting, so that the Republican Party doesn’t get their chance to pull any Election Day shenanigans in Ohio.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Steve on Oct 24, 2012, 04:14 PM
And now, from the terminally deluded, a divination of God's intent with this election:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beck: God ‘guided’ Romney to lose final debate
By David Edwards
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 14:56 EDT

Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck says that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost the final debate because he was “being guided” by God to be “less contentious” and agree with President Barack Obama.

Although Obama was aggressive throughout the Monday’s debate, Romney used a softer strategy, repeatedly endorsing the current administration’s positions on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the use of drones. The tactic clearly worked for the president because instant polls conducted by CBS News and CNN showed that he won decisively.

While conservative columnist Ann Coulter joked that Romney was simply being “kind and gentle to the retard,” Beck was clearly disgusted with the Republican nominee’s performance, tweeting, “I am so glad mitt agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?”

But by Tuesday, the conservative radio host seemed to have come to terms with Romney’s loss, chalking it up to God’s will.

“I believe Mr. Romney prays on his knees every day,” Beck said during his radio program. “I know he prays before the debate. I don’t know if it was the right thing, but I believe he’s being guided. And I believe he feels it’s important to be less contentious. It may be that he’s doing exactly what the Lord wants him to do right now.”

“A lot of people who are conservatives who have been walking down this road for a long time, we wanted him to eviscerate the president last night, metaphorically speaking. But our ways aren’t necessarily His ways. And I hope and pray and believe Mitt Romney is trying to seek out His way.”

He added: “Last night, you saw somebody who took the stage who appeared to me to be George Washington.”

Speaking to his radio listeners last month, Beck said that Romney’s poll numbers had fallen as a part of a plan from God to make it obvious to the American people that divine intervention was responsible when Republicans took the White House in November.

“I am to the point that — God is trying to make this so clear to us that if it happens, it’s his finger,” he explained.

Raw Story (http://s.tt/1qUAk)




Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 25, 2012, 12:43 AM
RT: 'Obama, Romney - same police state': Third party debate up-close (FULL VIDEO)

Published: 24 October, 2012

There's a blackout by the mainstream media and the US political elite on coverage of third parties, but RT covered and broadcast this year's third-party presidential debate, hosted by Larry King and featuring a panel including our own Thom Hartmann.

On Tuesday night, RT was one of only a handful of media outlets to broadcast the debate, moderated by award-winning broadcast journalist Larry King. Organized by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation, candidates from the Constitution, Green, Justice and Libertarian parties sounded off on the issues facing American voters, without having to worry about towing party lines for the Democrats or Republicans.

The third-party candidates' debate statements, diverse as they were, were a change of pace for the growing number of Americans who see little substantive difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Though they often disagreed, there was near unanimity on one general concept: The Democratic and Republican parties represent corporate interests, not the average American.

Speaking to RT, Free and Equal Elections Foundation founder Christina Tobin said, "We’re going to shift the power back to the people, back to the origins of the Constitution, which doesn’t even mention parties or corporations."

Despite having their voices and positions largely shut out of the two-party system, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson plan to continue their campaigns until Election Day. Largely ignored by the mainstream media, the candidates had few opportunities before this debate to air their positions on critical issues, and their visions for America.

At the outset, the four dove into a set of questions submitted through social media – after the debate's hosts forgot to allow time for opening statements. The debate went smoothly after that, and the audience breaking into applause after each candidate’s answer. On one occasion, an answer was even met with boos – hardly the stuff of traditional presidential debates.

Before taking the stage, each candidate was interviewed by a panel that included RT's Thom Hartmann and the event's organizers.

If you missed RT's live coverage, make sure to check out our full video of the debate – and our in-depth breakdown of the four candidates and their positions – below.



­Rocky Anderson – Justice Party

Representing the newly formed Justice Party, Ross Carl Anderson served two terms as the mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah. A former Democrat, Anderson focused on income-related issues facing Americans, specifically mentioning the "corrupting influence of money" in American politics. The result, he said, was that American officials end up representing whoever floats them the most cash, rather than their constituents.

As for the two-party system, Anderson took a clear stance: It's putting a "stranglehold on our democracy."

Anderson positioned himself as a candidate fighting for lower-income Americans who often fall victim to both financial interests and law enforcement. He was adamant that Washington must help students facing crippling loan debts and working families facing foreclosure if Wall Street continues to get an unlimited zero-interest credit line.

On domestic issues, Anderson said the US Constitution was "shredded" under George W. Bush and Obama, with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing US presidents to imprison anyone for the rest of their lives, without trial or even formal charges.

Anderson also insisted on the right to education for all Americans, saying "we cannot afford not to provide" the higher learning that leads to "equality of opportunity." While Washington pushes austerity, he said, Americans must demand prosperity and support the workers and students he says will build the country's future.

The War on Drugs was a hot topic at the debate. Anderson was clear that he sees it as a waste of national money, and a "source of unbelievable human tragedy." He noted examples of Americans who will sit in prison for decades simply for selling marijuana, which he said should be legalized. He used the example of alcohol, which was formerly under prohibition, and said drugs should be issues for education and health issues – not law enforcement.

Anderson added that the US incarcerates more people for drug charges than the entire prison population of Western Europe. If elected president, he said, he would immediately pardon anyone in jail on a drug offense that did not include any other charge.

On foreign policy, Anderson told the audience that under both George W. Bush and Obama, the US has engaged in overseas wars based on a "pack of lies." He said that while the Pentagon warns that climate change is a bigger threat to national security than global terrorism, elected officials are "sound asleep" and asking to increase military spending.

He then further explained his stance on foreign wars: The US should not engage in wars of aggression, and should only attack another country if American soil has been attacked first. Anderson also noted that wars of aggression are illegal under the UN Charter, and that the US has lobbied for the prosecution of foreign leaders who commit the same crimes US officials have committed.  




Virgil Goode – Constitution Party

The nominee from the Constitution Party, Virgil Hamlin Goode, is a former member of the United States House of Representatives who wants to give Americans broader access to diverse political views. He believes that without a constitutional amendment limiting politicians’ terms, the Congress will always be more worried about the next election than solving the country’s problems.

Goode kept most of his answers short and sweet, focusing on balancing the US government's budget while respecting constitutional principles. He had little to say that didn't fit into a brief soundbite – and clearly took pride in the brevity and clarity of his answers.

In his opening statement, Goode gave a concrete example of what he said many Americans are feeling: That there's little substantive difference between Obama and Romney. "Obama and Romney both claim to support a balanced budget," Goode told the audience, "but the Obama budget is $1 trillion in deficit," while the budget proposed by vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan would create an $800 billion deficit.

Goode proposed spending cuts in various areas. Another of his much-touted concepts was term limits for elected officials, so that they can do their best possible work in office instead of constantly fundraising to get reelected. He conceded that such a proposal would be fought tooth and nail in Washington, and might require a grandfather clause allowing sitting politicians to serve until they retire.


He was also adamant about the danger of Political Action Committees (PACs) in American politics, which he said impede the democratic process. "We must throw the PACs out now," he declared.

As for the War on Drugs, Goode was clear: He doesn't support the legalization of drugs. He supports cutting back federal anti-drug spending, but noted that would only account for a few billion dollars of the budget, a relatively small sum in Washington's budget.

Goode was the only candidate to draw boos from the crowd when he said he would cut funding to Planned Parenthood "to zero." He justified the proposal by saying "we have to reduce nearly everything" to balance the budget.

Another of Goode's proposed budget cuts was the Department of Defense. Goode said he supported a strong defense, but not the US' current role as the "policemen of the world." He closed his answer by saying that "the US must stop trying to be the overseer of the world."

Goode also said he would cut Pell Grants, veto the NDAA and put a moratorium on green cards for immigrants until unemployment dropped below five percent for American citizens.




­Gary Johnson – Libertarian Party

­Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is an experienced entrepreneur and a former Governor of New Mexico who, he said, made a name for himself by vetoing legislation. He said he would veto laws that end up costing the American taxpayer more than the country can afford, or laws that dictate what citizens can do in the privacy of their own homes. Most of Johnson's answers dealt with domestic issues.

Johnson's first point was that the US political system is in desperate need of transparency. Whether Obama or Romney is elected next month, he told the audience, we will still have "a heightened police state in the US." And Obama and Romney are guaranteed to continue American military interventions abroad, he added.

One of the domestic changes Johnson emphasized was term limits for elected officials. Implementing them, he said, would do away with the politician who makes grand promises while campaigning but never fulfills them. He contrasted that approach with his own record, recalling how the term limit for governors forced him to "push the envelope" as much as he could while in office.

One way Johnson said he'd push the envelope as president would be to abolish income taxes on individuals and corporations. He linked the tax issue to an impending "monetary collapse," in which US dollars would be worthless thanks to the country's debts.  


However, he saw taxing marijuana as one alternative to outlawing it. "I have drank alcohol," he said, "and I have smoked marijuana. … I can tell you that in no category is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol – yet we are arresting 1.8 million people a year on drug-related crimes." He claimed that fully half of the US court and prison budget every year goes to drug-related offenses, and asked, rhetorically, "to what end?"

He was also clear in his position on education: "the notion of 'free' must be put to an end" in the US, and that would include education. He argued that the system of guaranteed federal loans allows universities to charge whatever they want due to immunity from real pricing mechanisms.

Johnson repeated throughout the debate that thanks to American wars abroad, the US has unnecessarily made millions of enemies around the world. The use of the military, he said, is to defend the country, not invade other nations. "The biggest threat to our national security is that we're bankrupt," he told the audience, proposing a 43% cut to military spending that would end every single overseas US military engagement.

Johnson stood in contrast to Goode, the other candidate on the right, in his stance on immigration. "Immigration is a good thing," he told viewers, proposing that the US make it as simple as possible for foreigners who want to work to get American work visas.

He also called for an end to drone strikes and the hawkish stance against Iran. Along with the other candidates, Johnson called for a veto of the NDAA, saying he would decommission it if elected. He also said he would repeal the PATRIOT Act, and ensure that marriage equality is protected under the Constitution, dubbing it a struggle on par with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.




Jill Stein – Green Party

­Green Party nominee Jill Ellen Stein, a Harvard-trained doctor, stands for social responsibility and renewable energy as a path to restoring the country. She proposed a 'Green New Deal' that would bring renewable energy jobs to the US and push the country towards energy independence.

"We could turn American politics on its head," she told the crowd, if students and workers banded together to support a third party.

Stein was enthusiastic about the untapped power in third parties. "Ninety million Americans will say no to politics as usual" this election year by not voting, she said. "Imagine what would happen if we let those voters know they have a variety of choices."

She opened by criticizing the mainstream debate system, saying Americans "must stand up and demand real democracy – including real debates." She noted how she and her running mate had been arrested and shackled to chairs for eight hours without charge after simply trying to enter the venue of one of the debates between Obama and Romney.

The furthest left of the candidates, Stein focused primarily on income inequality and the environment. "The wealthy are wealthier than ever," she said, adding that the rest of Americans are forced to accept the austerity program that allows Washington to spend trillions on wars abroad and pay for Wall Street's bad bets.

One solution to the economy under a Stein administration would be new jobs created by green energy. Another would be to make public higher education free for everyone, she said, "as it should be." She noted that it's not such a controversial claim, citing the WWII-era GI Bill for veterans that, she said, put seven dollars into the American economy for every dollar it cost.

Stein spoke as a doctor on the issue of drugs: "Marijuana is dangerous on account of being illegal, not illegal on account of being dangerous." The health impacts of the drug trade, she said, are much more significant than those of the actual drugs. "We must use science" to determine which drugs should be illegal, she said, in which case marijuana would be off the list immediately.

She repeatedly referred to American students as "indentured servants" of the financial interests that hold their debts. Stein maintained that students, not Wall Street, should be the recipients of federal bailouts. "They are the greatest resource we have," she told the audience.

Stein also mentioned several shorter points, including "outrage that the NDAA was ever passed." She called it an "incredible betrayal of our civil liberties," saying the president had "assumed dictatorial rights" by allowing himself the power to imprison Americans indefinitely without charge.

Stein also called for the repeal of the laws that allow for assassinations and wiretapping, along with the PATRIOT Act.

Finally, she said she would push for a constitutional amendment clarifying that money does not equate to speech, and that corporations are not people. She accused corporations of "stealing our rights of personhood," and subverting individuals in the political process.

Watch VIDEO: http://rt.com/usa/news/third-party-debate-us-election-094/


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 25, 2012, 12:51 AM
Police State USA: In Amerika there will Never be a Real Debate In the US today, the power of money rules. Nothing else is in the equation

(hyperlinks in the article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/police-state-usa-in-amerika-there-will-never-be-a-real-debate/5309506)

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research, October 24, 2012
paulcraigroberts.org

God help them if Obama and Romney ever had to participate in a real debate about a real issue at the Oxford Union. They would be massacred.

The “debates” revealed that not only the candidates but also the entire country is completely tuned out to every real problem and dangerous development. For example, you would never know that US citizens can now be imprisoned and executed without due process. All that is required to terminate the liberty and life of an American citizen by his own government is an unaccountable decision somewhere in the executive branch.

No doubt that Americans, if they think of this at all, believe that it will only happen to terrorists who deserve it. But as no evidence or due process is required, how would we know that it only happens to terrorists? Can we really trust a government that has started wars in 7 countries on the basis of falsehoods? If the US government will lie about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in order to invade a country, why won’t it lie about who is a terrorist?

America needs a debate about how we can be made more safe by removing the Constitutional protection of due process. If the power of government is not limited by the Constitution, are we ruled by Caesar? The Founding Fathers did not think we could trust a caesar with our safety. What has changed that we can now trust a caesar?

If we are under such a terrorist threat that the Constitution has to be suspended or replaced by unaccountable executive action, how come all the alleged terrorist cases are sting operations organized by the FBI? In eleven years there has not been a single case in which the “terrorist” had the initiative!

In the eleven years since 9/11, acts of domestic terrorism have been miniscule if they even exist. What justifies the enormous and expensive Department of Homeland Security? Why does Homeland Security have military-equipped Special Response Teams with armored vehicles?

Who are the targets of these militarized units? If eleven years of US government murder, maiming, and displacement of millions of Muslims hasn’t provoked massive acts of domestic terrorism, why is Homeland Security creating a domestic armed force of its own? Why are there no congressional hearings and no public discussion? How can a government whose budget is deep in the red afford a second military force with no defined and Constitutionally legal purpose?

What is Homeland Security’s motivation in creating a Homeland Youth? Is the new FEMA Corps a disguise for a more sinister purpose, a Hitler Youth as Internet sites suggest? Are the massive ammunition purchases by Homeland Security related to the raising of a nationwide corps of 18- to 24-year-olds? How can so much be going on in front of our eyes with no questions asked?

Why did not Romney ask Obama why he is working to overturn the federal court’s ruling that US citizens cannot be subject to indefinite detention in violation of the US Constitution? Is it because Romney and his neoconservative advisers agree with Obama and his advisers? If so, then why is one tyrant better than another?

Why has the US constructed a network of detainment camps, for which it is hiring “internment specialists”?

Why does the US Army now have a policy for “establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations“?

Here is Rachel Maddow’s report on how Obama criticizes the neoconservative Bush/Cheney regime for violations of the US Constitution and US statutory law and then proposes the same thing himself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8J_lcHwkvc

How did the presidential debates avoid the fact of Predator Drones flying over us here in the domestic United States of America? What is the purpose of this? Why are the smallest police forces in the most remote of locations being equipped with armored cars? I have seen them. In small lilly-white communities north of Atlanta, Georgia, communities of sub-million dollar MacMansions have militarized police with armored cars and automatic weapons. SWAT teams in full military gear are everywhere. What is it all about? These small semi-rural areas will never see a terrorist or experience a hostage situation. Yet, they are all armed to the teeth. They are so heavily armed that they could be sent into combat against the Third Reich or the Red Army.

Any such questions run afoul of the assumption of America’s moral perfection. No such debate will ever happen. But if “it is the economy, stupid,” why is there no economic debate?

Last month the Federal Reserve announced QE3. If QE1 and QE2 did not work, why does anyone, including the Federal Reserve chairman, think that QE3 will work?

Yet, the utterly irrational financial markets, which haven’t a clue about anything, were overjoyed at QE3. This can only be because what rules the equity market is propaganda, spin, and disinformation, not facts. The vaunted stock market is incapable of making any correct decision. The decisions are made by the fools in the market operating on a short-run basis. The only safe path to take is to run with the lemmings. This strategy insures that a portfolio manager is always in the middle of his peers and, therefore, he doesn’t lose clients.

How wonderful it would have been for Obama and Romney to have confronted in a real debate how QE3, designed to help insolvent “banks too big to fail,” can help households operating, with two earners, on real incomes of 45 years ago, which is where the current real median household income stands.

How does saving a bank, designated as “too big to fail,” help the family whose jobs or main job has been exported to China or India in order to maximize corporate profits, executive performance bonuses and shareholders’ capital gains?

Obviously the working population of the US has been sacrificed to the profits of the mega-rich.

An appropriate debate question is: Why has the livelihood of working Americans been sacrificed to the profits of the mega-rich?

No such question will ever be asked in a “presidential debate.”

In the 21st century, US citizens became nonentities. They are brutalized by the police whose incomes their taxes pay. They, for protesting some injustice or for no cause at all, are beaten, arrested, tasered and even murdered. The police, paid by the public, beat up paralyzed people in wheel chairs, frame those who call them for help against criminals, taser grandmothers and small children, and shoot down in cold blood unarmed citizens who have done nothing except lose control of themselves, either through alcohol, drugs, or rage.

Brainwashed Americans pay large taxes at every level of government for protection against gratuitous violence, but what their taxes support is gratuitous violence against themselves. Every American, except for the small number of mega-rich who control Washington, can be arrested and dispossessed, both liberty and property, on the basis of nothing but an allegation of a member of the executive branch who might want the accused’s wife, girlfriend, property, or to settle a score, or to exterminate a rival, or to score against a high school, college, or business rival.

In America today, law serves the powerful, not justice. In effect, there is no law, and there is no justice. Only unaccountable power.

What is the point of a vote when the outcome is the same? Both candidates represent the interests of Israel, not the interests of the US. Both candidates represent the interests of the military/security complex, agribusiness, the offshoring corporations, the suppression of unions and workers, the total demise of civil liberty and the US Constitution, which is in the way of unbridled executive power .

In the US today, the power of money rules. Nothing else is in the equation. Why vote to lend your support to the continuation of your own exploitation? Every time Americans vote it is a vote for their own obliteration.

-------------------------------------------------------

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, has held numerous university appointments and is Contributing Editor to Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 25, 2012, 01:43 AM
 I pray most intensely for the USA and its people. May good people find fortitude and courage to transform the country and take back the power back from the corporatocracy into the hands of righteous and wise leaders. The outcome of its fate is also pivotal for the rest of the world currently descending further down the current draconian deroute -  while the cracks in the walls separating people are showing signs of widening at the same time.

I am horrified and speechless and don't know what to write other than try to express something like; may adamant wise action, love and truth, prevail

Btw: There are so many wise and good people in this forum - Thx for your continuing pioneering explorations.

P


“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
-  Henry David Thoreau

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
   -  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
 - Howard Zinn






Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 07:22 AM
America's corporate media propaganda yet again ....


Mittocracy: Tearing Down The Media’s Mitt Momentum Myth

By: Sarah Jones October 24th, 2012

Very excited is the media about Mitt Romney’s “momentum”. They say he got this “momentum” when he lied his way through the first debate, leaving the President stunned by Mitt’s willingness to abandon all of his positions when facing the general public. We were told that the public loves an alpha male so win for Romney. No word on the fact that Romney’s post debate bounce evaporated a week later and the President won the second two debates, and Biden won the VP debate.

When Obama won the second debate, we were told women didn’t like the “pettiness” of the debate so lose for Obama because he fought back against the lies.

In the third debate, in which the President clearly routed Mitt Romney with facts and style (not surprising given that Mitt Romney knows less about foreign policy than he knows about taking care of dogs properly), we were told that Romney won or pulled even by not making any mistakes.

Sure, if Romney were ahead, that might make sense. But he’s not. And he did make mistakes. Romney made a gaffe ignored by the media, who lowered the bar for Romney as they did Palin. Romney said (again), “Syria is Iran’s . . . route to the sea.” This, of course, isn’t true. That’s Palin-level stuff, but barely a peep has been uttered about it. A Washington Post Fact Checker didn’t think it worthy of a Pinocchio rating “unless we create a category for weird language.” They haven’t done that yet, even though Sarah Palin used weird language for as subterfuge just as Romney is doing? Words don’t matter anymore?

Hey, kids! Climate change is a hoax and Syria is Iran’s route to the sea. Also, myths.

Romney, the media claimed, earned his stripes by sitting next to the president on a tough subject that the president is so good at. So, see, it’s not that you want the person who’s best at national security and foreign policy – it’s that you should give it to the guy who doesn’t care to learn about it because it’s unfair that he was outclassed by the President. Republicans don’t want a meritocracy anymore. They want a feel sorry for Mittocracy.

Helping these narratives along were the 25,000 tickets for a venue that seats 10,000 that the Romney campaign gave out to a Kid Rock concert/Romney campaign rally. There were crowds! He’s never managed to get a crowd until now, but the media claims it’s part of his momentum – not Kid Rock for free. Never mind that Romney has not managed to draw crowds like the President has consistently drawn during this entire campaign. Of special note were the “Democrats for Romney!” signs. This raises the spectre of the homeless African Americans the Scott Brown campaign paid to wear Obama for Brown! t-shirts, but okay.

And then we have the pollsters. New on the scene this year, because you can’t have enough Republican leaning pollsters even though there are more registered Democrats in this country than Republicans (though Republicans vote more than Democrats), we added Gravis Marketing to Rasmussen and Gallup, both of whom lean Republican — both of who are also reputable, tried and true polling firms, unlike Gravis Marketing.

Gravis Marketing is the pollster that announced African Americans were going for Romney suddenly by 40%, when all other polling showed Romney with 0-2% of the African American vote. When bloggers questioned Gravis Marketing’s methods, the owner showed up to argue in the comment section over and over and over again. Gravis is being included in most of the major poll tracking, and some folks weigh Gravis heavily.

Because Rasmussen uses formulas that render it in a different category than PPP, it’s possible that legitimate outlets are using Gravis as a conservative leaner to offset PPP. That doesn’t make Gravis accurate. It’s not just me — Bob Shrum noted Gravis’ Republican outlier status today on Politics Nation. It might behoove the media to read up on Gravis sooner rather than later. If they need help, the folks at Democratic Underground have done some digging.

This election will be won by state, not by feigned or propped up momentum. And by state, Romney is in trouble. Obama has the math in his favor at this point. Greg Sargent points out, “Whatever is happening on the national level, the fact remains that Romney faces a more daunting climb in the electoral math than Obama does — meaning the President is currently leading.”

Three new polls in battleground Virginia show Obama leading between 3-7 points. We’ve been told by the Romney campaign that Virginia was in the bag for them. “We are going to win Virginia, you know that?”

By early voting, Romney is in trouble. The Obama team’s ground game is a force of nature. In the all important state of Ohio, Obama is winning in early voting. Jason Easley covered the Obama ground game yesterday, “Obama is winning early voting in Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Ohio early vote turnout is higher for Obama in 2008 than in Republican counties. He (Messina) said that this election is more diverse. Most new registrants are under 30. 2/3 of those who have early voted are women, African-Americans, and Latinos. Democrats are winning everywhere where there are in person early votes.”

Can Mitt Romney win this election? Yes, he can. Between voter suppression, voter ID laws, voter registration fraud, voting machine malfeasance, True the Vote intimidation of minorities, and a Campaign of Lies so surreal and epic I’m nominating him for a Political Razzie, it’s possible. Low information voters combined with voter disenfranchisement and a lot of dark money creates a toxic brew.

But not much of this is real. Mitt Romney doesn’t have momentum.

He has never had momentum. What Mitt Romney has is a lot of big money behind him, propping him up and selling his lies to an unsuspecting public. He also has a media hungry for a horse race and seemingly incapable of keeping up with his repositioning and denials of his own policies. Is that dangerous and can he win? Yes, and yes. Does he have “momentum”? No.

What we have here is a Mittocracy rather than a meritocracy; it’s all about the myth, the con, the illusion.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 07:24 AM

Obama’s Job Approval Jumps To Highest Point Since 2011

By: Ray Medeiros October 24th, 2012

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval rating has jumped to 53% since the third presidential debate. The significance of this is two fold. First, the jump occurred very close to the election. This is one hurdle cleared in order for the President to be re elected decisively.

Second, this is President Obama’s highest approval rating by Gallup since Bin Laden’s death in May of 2011. President Obama realized a huge surge in the job approval ratings when he announced he had Bin Laden killed. It surged to 53% in May of 2011.

This poll is also the first poll after Romney’s “leading from behind” debate performance. People have realized two things. Romney has no plan on foreign policy, and Obama is doing his job fairly well. It’s all a big fail on Romney’s part.

Job approval ratings have been the gauge of past elections. Most Presidents do not get re elected if their job approval numbers are below 50%, and most get re-elected if their job approval numbers are above 50%.

The latest exception was George W Bush, who had a job approval of less than 50% on Election Day 2004.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 07:26 AM

Disastrous News for the GOP as Obama Leads Romney in Three New Ohio Polls

By: Jason Easley October 24th, 2012

Three new polls of the critical swing state of Ohio all agree. Barack Obama is currently leading Mitt Romney in the Buckeye State.

Obama leads Romney in the Time poll 49%-44%. Time’s polling also revealed that there are two races going on in Ohio right now. Among voters who haven’t voted yet, the candidates are tied 45%-45%, but President Obama is dominating Romney with early voters 60%-30%. Obama is leading with women 56%-37%, while Romney is leading with men, 51%-42%. Romney is leading with white voters (49-43), while Obama is leading big with young voters and minorities. Romney’s negative message about the economy isn’t working in Ohio, as 54% of those surveyed believed the country is on the wrong track, but 51% also believe that their state is on the right track.

Obama leads Romney 47%-44% in the SurveyUSA poll. Much like the Time poll, Romney leads with men (49%-42%), while Obama holds a double digit lead with women (52%-40%). Obama leads by nine points (49%-40%) with voters age 18-49, and Romney holds a small three point lead (49%-46%) with those over age 50. Romney leads Obama by just 5 points with white voters (49%-44), and the president leads 70%-22% with African-Americans.

A Lake Research poll has Obama leading 46%-44% in Ohio. The poll found that Romney is struggling with men in the state. The Republican leads Obama with men by just a four point margin, 47%-43%. Obama leads Romney with women 49%-41%. Romney’s biggest problem in the state is that more Ohio voters have a negative view (49%) than have a positive view (47%) of him. In contrast, 52% have a favorable view of Obama and 44% have an unfavorable view of the president.

Even Republican pollster Rasmussen has Romney tied with Obama (48%-48%). Rasmussen polls contain a 4 point Republican bias, so when the extra four points are factored in, even the Republican poll is in line with the other three. In total, four new polls of the state of Ohio were released today, and Mitt Romney is leading none of them.

If Obama’s domination of early voting continues, and the candidates split the vote on Election Day, the president will carry Ohio. A key number to pay attention is the amount of the total vote in the state that comes in through early voting. In 2008, 33% of the vote in Ohio was done during early voting. If this percentage is higher in 2012, it bodes well for President Obama.

Mitt Romney is not performing strongly enough with white and male voters to offset the big Obama advantages with young people, women, and African-Americans. Romney can’t split or narrowly win Ohio white voters and men. He will have to beat Obama by double digits to even have a chance of winning the state.

For those of you who are concerned about the voting machines in Ohio, keep in mind that an election has to be close for fraud to have an impact. Election fraud can really only shift a very close contest. A five point lead is too much to be manipulated. People must be vigilant, but the best way to ease election fraud concerns is for President Obama to build up a lead so large in early voting that it can’t be taken away.

The Romney campaign continues to claim that they are gaining ground in Ohio, but as we draw closer to Election Day, Obama’s lead continues to remain at a roughly 3-5 point margin. It becomes difficult to impossible for Romney to win without winning Ohio. The Republican candidate has no choice but to keep competing there; however, it is looking more and more like Mitt Romney is spinning his wheels and getting nowhere fast in Ohio.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 07:30 AM

National Organization for Women Says Richard Mourdock is Romney Unmasked

By: Sarah Jones October 24th, 2012

National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill issued a statement Wednesday saying that Republican Indiana Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock (pregnancies from rape are “God’s will”) is “Romney Unmasked”, noting that Romney has not yet withdrawn his endorsement of Mourdock or asked the Republican to stop running his ads.

Terry O’Neill writes, “Last night Republican candidate Richard Mourdock confirmed what Todd Akin brought to light earlier — that the radical fringe currently in control of the GOP holds misogynistic and deeply unpopular views about women, rape and reproductive rights. Anyone who thinks Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a moderate who stands apart from this fringe should think again.

During a debate for Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat, Mourdock asserted that when a woman becomes pregnant from a rape “that’s something God intended.” Romney attempted to distance himself from Mourdock’s pronouncement, but he has yet to withdraw his endorsement of the candidate or call for him to stop running a TV ad that features Romney expressing support for Mourdock.

Voters should understand that Mourdock and Romney are soul-mates who think they know what’s best for women. They seek to re-victimize rape survivors, control women’s reproductive lives by criminalizing abortion and blocking their access to contraception, and deny women autonomy over their bodies and lives. Mourdock is simply Romney unmasked, and their brand of governing is a threat to women in Indiana and throughout the United States.”

Tea Party Republican Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock is in hot water. Hrafnkell Haraldsson reported this morning:

“Mourdock, who had previously compared the Chrysler bailout to slavery, a tortured comparison making him Abraham Lincoln to Obama’s Stephen Douglas, said Tuesday that when a woman becomes pregnant because of rape, it is something God intended:
‘I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.’”

Romney tried to distance himself with this lame side step, “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views.” But he has yet to even withdraw his endorsement of a man who thinks rape is something God intended.

NOW isn’t having any of that. It appears that Mourdock has unmasked Romney’s true feelings about women, finally. We heard the stories, and now we’re hearing the deafening silence of a coward who also refused to condemn Rush Limbaugh over his Sandra Fluke comments.

Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, has donated $5,000.00 to Mourdock’s campaign via his PAC.

Need fodder for your nightmares? Here’s American Bridge’s newest video showing voters what a Romney-Mourdock partnership would look like in Washington. WARNING: Offensive content.

UltraViolet has joined the pushback with a petition to urge Mitt Romney to withdraw his endorsement of Mourdock. They write, “Governor Romney: If you want women’s votes, you need to stop supporting candidates with extreme views on rape. You must withdraw your endorsement of Richard Mourdock and Republican campaign committees must stop supporting him right away.”

**************


President Obama Sets Mourdock Straight: Rape is Rape and It’s a Crime

By: Sarah Jones October 25th, 2012

President Obama was on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last night. After Obama finished off Donald Trump with the quip, “This all dates back to when we were growing up in Kenya,” Leno read Republican Senate candidate Robert Mourdock’s comment about rape is something God intended to happen and all life is a gift even if it comes from rape.

The President replied that “rape is rape” and this is the reason why mostly male politicians should stay out of women’s health care decisions.


TRANSCRIPT

LENO: The senate candidate Richard Mourdock. He made a statement today — or I — or at least I saw it today. I want quote what he said. He said — he was asked about rape and — “I struggled with it, myself, for a long time, but I came to realize life is a gift from God. And even if life begins in a horrible situation of rape, it is something God intended to happen ” which — I mean, this seems like we’re back to Todd Akin time again.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well — you know, I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition.

LENO: Mm-hm.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so, these various distinctions about rape and, you know — don’t make too much sense to me. Don’t make any sense to me. The second thing this underscores, though, this is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians — mostly male — making decisions about women’s health care decisions. I — women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors. And, you know, for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, often times without any information, is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election. You’ve got a Supreme Court that — you know, typically a president is gonna have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term. And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance. You’ve got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms — all kinds of basic healthcare.

LENO: Right.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And so I think it’s really important for us to — to understand that women are capable of making these decisions and that these are not just women’s issues. These are family issues.

The audience showed their entusiasm for Obama’s position with clapping and cheering. It obviously resonated deeply.

Robert Mourdock’s comments reveal that the extremism of the Republican Party is not contained to Paul Ryan and Todd Akin of forcible rape and legitimate rape infamy. While people who pay attention to politics know that the Republican Party’s current platform is as extreme as Ryan, Akin and Mourdock, the general public doesn’t know that. But now with Mourdock, the sense that this extremism is a part of the GOP instead of a fringe element may start to stick.

Mitt Romney endorsed Mourdock in an ad that started playing on Monday and Romney has yet to ask Mourdock to apologize let alone pull his ad. What kind of leader would Mitt Romney be? He can’t even stand up to a man who isn’t even elected yet. He can’t stand up to Rush Limbaugh.

Romney is starting to look like the appeaser he is, and the country doesn’t need a President appeasing the extremists in his party – especially not the current tea steeped Republican party. We have had just about enough of them over the last two years as they proposed record setting levels of anti-woman legislation around the country.

Rape is rape. It’s a crime. It’s also none of Mourdock’s, Romney’s, Akin’s, or Ryan’s business, though I am wondering why they seem so concerned with the result of rape instead of trying to stop rape from happening. The Violence Against Women Act is still sitting unsigned in the House where Ryan obstructs jobs bills in order to control women’s bodies.

Clearly a Romney administration would be taking orders from men who know nothing about women, reproduction, science, or medicine because nothing says modern day Republican like know nothings in charge of the one thing they know the least about.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 07:32 AM

Obama on Fire in Iowa: Calls Out Romney’s Bait and Switch

By: Sarah Jones October 24th, 2012

President Obama was on fire in Davenport, Iowa Wednesday on the first stop of his two-day, non-stop “America Forward!” tour. Obama reminded voters that Romney’s economic plans don’t add up, referring to the Washington Post calling the Republican’s jobs plan a “bait and switch.” The President emphasized the issue of trust, saying, “(T)here’s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust.”

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hsKyNWQI5Ys

TRANSCRIPT
Listen, smart people who don’t have a dog in this fight, independent analysts, economists, they took out their pencils, they had their green eye shades, turns out Governor Romney’s economic plan is a sketchy deal. The results aren’t something you’d want to write home about. The Washington Post called his jobs plan a “bait-and-switch.” The bait is the promise that his plan creates 12 million jobs. The switch is the fact that his plan doesn’t create 12 million jobs. In fact, it won’t even create jobs right now.

Then, Governor Romney wants to spend $5 trillion on tax cuts that favor the wealthy, $2 trillion more on defense spending that our military isn’t asking for, and he wants you to believe that he can do all this without adding to the deficit or raising middle-class taxes. The problem is, you’d need to invent a new kind of math to actually make this true. The arithmetic does not work.

So we know Governor Romney’s jobs plan doesn’t really create jobs. His deficit plan doesn’t reduce the deficit. We joke about Romnesia. But all of this speaks to something important: trust. There’s no more serious issue on a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters.

END TRANSCRIPT

The President has laid out a specific plan to contrast with Romney’s ever-changing rhetoric on his own policies. President Obama focused on trust as an elevated discussion about Romnesia. Mitt Romney won’t disclose his tax returns, he won’t tell the American people what his tax plan is, he wouldn’t be honest about his foreign policy in the last debate, and he reverses positions faster than you can fact-check him on his last statement.

The question I always come up against with Mitt Romney’s failure to disclose the truth is why? There can only be one reason, and that is that he knows his policies aren’t popular. They won’t get him elected. And so over and over again, on policies from women’s issues to jobs plans to war with Iran, Romney tells his base one thing and reverses course for the general public.

Which does he mean? Hard to know, but the folks he surrounds himself with and choses for plum positions tell us that he is aligned with the Bush Cheney Rumsfeld folks in foreign policy and the Paul Ryan Todd Akin tea party types on social issues. Romney is an extremist because that’s what he needed to be to get where he is today.

There is not one major issue that Romney has been transparent about and faithful to. He has changed on every single major issue raised in this campaign, talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Trust matters, and so do words.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 07:36 AM

Texas Declares War on UN Vote Monitors

By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson October 25th, 2012

Reuters reported yesterday that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has warned the OCSE to stay away from Texas polling places. I wrote the other day about the Republican reaction to the presence of these international observers. The agents of voter suppression to not want witnesses to their illegal activities.

So in a move that is likely to be repeated in other Red States, Abbott says he will take legal action if the OCSE refuses to follow state law. Not federal law, mind you, but state law. The treaty in question, of course, was not made by the State of Texas, but by the United States of America.

Abbott said,

    “They act like they may not be subject to Texas law and our goal all along is to make clear to them that when they’re in Texas, they’re subject to Texas law, and we’re not giving them an exemption.”

He claims, “Our concern is that this isn’t some benign observation but something intended to be far more prying and maybe even an attempt to suppress voter integrity.”

Only in Texas, is the subtitle here. These Red States sometimes forget we are a nation, a union of states under a single federal government and that individual states do not make foreign policy decisions, sign treaties, or decide which obligations to adhere to. You might be able to ignore biblical injunctions at will but states can’t ignore international treaties.

So Abbott sent a letter to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and told them that OSCE vote monitors were not allowed by Texas state law to enter polling places:

    “While it remains unclear exactly what your monitoring is intended to achieve, or precisely what tactics you will use to achieve the proposed monitoring, OSCE has stated publicly that it will visit polling stations on Election Day as part of its monitoring plan.”

Abbott’s letter included a warning:

    “It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.”

You can almost hear his outrage: “Now, how the hell are we gonna suppress them darkies and greasers from voting if we got the UN watchin’?”

In a tweet, he did what Texans always seem to do, and drew a comparison with the days of the Alamo, in this case, the Battle of Gonzales in 1835. In that battle, Mexican troops attempted to confiscate a cannon and the Texans raised a flag over it saying, “Come and take it”:

     ”UN poll watchers can’t interfere w/ Texas elections,” he tweeted. “I’ll bring criminal charges if needed. Official letter posted soon. #comeandtakeit ”

Can we get any more melodramatic than that? Well, they do say everything is bigger in Texas. That apparently includes bullshit.

It bears mentioning here that Texas’ voter ID law, which Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called a “poll tax,”  was blocked in federal court on August 30 of this year and that Abbott plans to appeal it to the Supreme Court. The Washington Post reported with regards to that event that,

    the U.S. District Court in Washington ruled that Texas had failed to show that the statute would not harm the voting rights of minorities in the state. In addition, the judges found that evidence indicated that the cost of obtaining a photo ID to vote would fall most heavily on African American and Hispanic voters.

    Evidence submitted by Texas to prove that its law did not discriminate was “unpersuasive, invalid, or both,” David S. Tatel, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, wrote in the panel’s 56-page opinion. Voting Rights Act cases must be decided by a special panel of three federal judges.

It is hardly surprising then that Abbott should react so violently to the presence of those whose task it is to make sure that Texas is not going all cowboy on minority voters. Remember that the Texas law was blocked in federal court, and then look at what Abbott told ODIHR/OCSE:

    “The OSCE may be entitled to its opinions about Voter ID laws, but your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional.”

Apparently, Abbott feels no more constrained by facts than he does by the law.

Frantic as ever to keep the light from shining on Texas as it bullies the vote into line for Mitt Romney’s plutocratic theocracy, Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade wrote to OSCE/ODIHR on Tuesday, saying,

    “We have had a long and productive relationship with OSCE and election process observers,” The Texas Tribune reports Andrade as saying that the observation program “has provided valuable insights into the administrations of elections in various political systems and contexts. The exchange of information establishing best practices has been important and insightful and, up to now, completely devoid of any partisanship.”

So it is bipartisan to want a fair election process? There you have it, right out of the horse’s ass…er, mouth. At least Andrade had the cojones to admit it, if no other Republican will, though I’m sure that wasn’t her intention at all.

In support of his renegade attorney general and secretary of state, Governor Rick “Pray for Rain” Perry tweeted Tuesday,

    ‏”No UN monitors/inspectors will be part of any TX election process; I commend @TXsecofstate for swift action to clarify issue.”

Needless to say, the OCSE is not impressed by Texas bluster. In a press release Tuesday, the organization had this to say:

    Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), expressed his grave concern today over the threat of criminal prosecution of OSCE/ODIHR election observers.

    This threat, contained in an open letter from the Attorney General of Texas, is at odds with the established good co-operation between OSCE/ODIHR observers and state authorities across the United States, including in Texas, Lenarčič said, adding that it is also contrary to the country’s obligations as an OSCE participating State.

    The ODIHR Director shared his concerns in a letter to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    “The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable,” Lenarčič said. “The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.”

    The ODIHR Director also stressed that any concerns or reports that the election observers intended to influence or interfere with the election process were groundless. He underlined that OSCE/ODIHR election observers adhere to all national laws and regulations, as well as a strict code of conduct.

    “Our observers are required to remain strictly impartial and not to intervene in the voting process in any way,” Lenarčič said. “They are in the United States to observe these elections, not to interfere in them.”

    The ODIHR limited election observation mission for the 2012 general elections in the United States consists of a core team of 13 experts, from 10 OSCE participating States, based in Washington D.C., and 44 long-term observers deployed throughout the country. These are the sixth United States elections the Office has observed, without incident, since 2002.

Only Red State would think it makes sense to say, as they do, that because the OCSE has no binding authority over anyone they should not be allowed in polling places. If they can’t affect the outcome of the election, as even Red State admits, then what harm in letting them observe? Got something to hide, guys? Of course, Red State also thinks Richard Mourdock is the victim of a left-wing media witch hunt, if that helps put things in perspective.

Let’s face it: rationality is not a conservative strong suit this election cycle or at any time in the past decade.

On that subject, it is funny from the outside looking in that Texas conservatives love to appeal to the Alamo at every opportunity. They have completely lost sight of the fact that they have nothing in common with the defenders of the Alamo, who fought to free themselves from tyranny, but with General Antonio López de Santa Anna, who sought to impose it.

They forget, when they try to suppress the Latino vote, that among the defenders of the Alamo were about a dozen Tejanos, as they were called. In fact, the Tejano contingent boasted the only six defenders actually born in Texas: Juan Abamillo, Juan A. Badillo, Carlos Espalier, Gregorio Esparza, Antonio Fuentes, and Andrés Nava.

Rick Perry’s regime in Texas isn’t defending the Alamo, it’s attacking it.

Remember the Alamo indeed.

************

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 25, 2012, 09:23 AM

Colin Powell Rips Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy while Endorsing Obama

By: Jason Easley October 25th, 2012

While endorsing President Obama today, Gen. Colin Powell ripped Mitt Romney’s ‘moving target’ foreign policy.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EBzCvfw54bM

Transcript:

    POWELL: I signed on for a long patrol with President Obama and I don’t think this is the time to make such a sudden change. And not only am I not comfortable with what Governor Romney is proposing for his economic plan, I have concerns about his views on foreign policy. The Governor, who was speaking on Monday night at the debate, was saying things that were quite different from what he said earlier. So I’m not quite sure which Governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy.

    O’DONNELL: What concerns do you have about Governor Romney’s foreign policy?

    POWELL: Well, it’s hard to fix it. I mean, it’s a moving target. One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Governor Romney agreed with the President with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign. And my concern, which I’ve expressed previously in a public way, is that sometimes I don’t sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have, and he gets advice from his campaign staff that he then has to adjust to modify as he goes along.

    ROSE: Are you concerned about the people that are advising Governor Romney?

    POWELL: I think there’s some very, very strong neo-conservative views that are presented by the Governor that I have some trouble with. There are other issues as well, not just the economy and foreign policy. I’m more comfortable with President Obama and his administration when it comes to issues like what are we going to do about climate, what are we going to do about immigration? What are we going to do about education? Lots of things like that. I do not want to see the new Obamacare plan thrown off the table. It has issues, you have to fix some things in that plan. But what I see when I look at that plan is 30 million of our fellow citizens will now be covered by insurance. And I think that’s good. We’re one of the few nations in the world, with our size, population and wealth, that does not have universal health care.

Republicans had been quietly hoping for much of the year that Powell would endorse Mitt Romney, but once John Bolton and the Bush neo-con crew took over Romney’s foreign policy, there was absolutely zero chance of that happening. Since Powell was Secretary of State under George W. Bush, his 2008 endorsement was embraced by Obama supporters, but met with skepticism by some parts of the left who can never forgive him for his role in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.

In 2012, it is more obvious that Gen. Powell has some serious disagreements with the neo-con vision of foreign policy that is personified by Mitt Romney. Hopefully, Colin Powell’s endorsement will prompt some Americans to see past Romney’s foreign policy me too snow job at the third debate, and think about what a potential Romney presidency would mean in terms of foreign policy.

Domestic policy dominated the 2000 election too, but it was George W. Bush’s foreign policy that led the country into two wars that we are still trying to fully extract ourselves from.

The reason why Mitt Romney changed his position on preemptive war in the third debate is because he knows that war is unpopular with the American people. Colin Powell lived the nightmare of dealing with a president who didn’t think things through on foreign policy up close and personally.

Gen. Powell is warning the country what a Romney presidency will bring. Unless Americans want more war, they had better listen.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 25, 2012, 10:06 AM
Now That Was a Debate: The Other Presidential Candidates Speak Out


By David Swanson
Global Research, October 24, 2012

Here’s a video with highlights of Tuesday’s presidential debate:
http://youtu.be/iiPtJkK58lo

Participating were Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, and Gary Johnson. Moderating was Larry King. Larry was a bit unprepared, but his questions were far superior to those asked at any of the corporate funded debates thus far. They weren’t his questions, though, as they’d been submitted through the internet and selected by http://FreeAndEqual.org Also contributing to the debate was an audience that was permitted to applaud and frequently did so. Johnson was the clear favorite of the crowd before any words were said.

The first question dealt with election reform, and Stein and Anderson made clear they would clean the money out of elections. Goode proposed to ban PACs but to let the money flow through individuals. Johnson made no proposal to limit private election spending, even though it’s the primary reason most Americans have no idea he’s running for president. Instead, Johnson claimed he’d like politicians to wear NASCAR suits advertising their funders. However, he was not wearing one.

Following the first question, it was pointed out to King that he’d skipped opening statements. So those were made. Stein and Anderson described a nation in crisis, suffering from expanding poverty, lack of healthcare, homelessness, and an erosion of civil liberties. Goode tackled the pressing issues of the deficit, immigration, and his desire for term limits (as he would throughout the evening). As a former constituent of Goode, I’ll have you know we had to vote him out before he would leave. Johnson focused his comments on the need to end wars, including drone wars, as well as the war on drugs. He agreed with Stein and Anderson on civil liberties, proposing to repeal the PATRIOT Act and indefinite detention. But he also proposed to virtually eliminate taxes. Johnson tried to address the apparently unfamiliar topic of poverty that Stein and Anderson had raised, referring repeatedly to policies that “disparagingly” impacted the poor (he meant disproportionately).

The second question dealt with the drug war, and all but Goode proposed to end it, and to reduce incarceration. Anderson said that he would pardon all prisoners convicted of only drug crimes. Goode said he’d keep marijuana illegal but cut funding for enforcing that law. Cutting funding in his view is clearly desirable even when he approves of the funding.

The third question was whether military spending should be so incredibly high. All four agreed with the majority of the rest of us that it needs to be cut. Goode didn’t specify how much he would cut, and his record suggests he would cut little or nothing. Johnson proposed cutting 43%. Stein and Anderson failed to specify but have both said elsewhere, including on their websites (which will always remain the best source of most information debates provide), that they would cut 50%. Johnson, Anderson, and Stein, listed off the wars they would end. Stein stressed that climate change is where she would move much of the money.

Tuesday’s debate included a great deal of denouncing the Obama-Romney position on a range of topics, and a great deal of developing slight differences among agreeing candidates. But the fourth question brought out dramatic disagreement. Asked about the cost of college, Goode said he would cut spending on education, apparently because cutting spending is just more important than anything else. Johnson, in a slight variation, said he’d stop funding education because without student loans students would just avoid education and eventually schools would have to lower their costs. With at least one leader of the Chicago Teachers strike in the room, Stein and Anderson said they would make college free. This resulted in Johnson and Goode arguing that there is no such thing as free, that the money must come from somewhere. A flight attendant on the airplane I took out of Chicago shared their view when I asked her if the online internet was free and she rather angrily informed me that “Nothing is free, sir.” But of course the porno-cancer-scans and gropes from the TSA are free. What we choose to fund collectively is often not thought of as a consumer good at all. Stein and Anderson came back with an argument that “we cannot afford NOT to invest in education.” But neither of them pointed out that by cutting the military and/or taxing billionaires we could have far more money than needed. At no time in the course of the debate was the room full of libertarians (who imagine we all have an equal right to spend money) informed that 400 Americans have more money than half the country.

The fifth question dealt with the presidential power to imprison anyone forever without a charge or a trial, a power contained in the 2011 National “Defense” Authorization Act, and a power which Obama’s subordinates are currently struggling in court to uphold. All four candidates, coming from very different places, agreed that this power needs to be removed, along with powers of assassination, warrantless spying, and retribution against whistleblowers. Clearly there is a broad public consensus on these issues that is derailed by lesser-evilism, with half of those who care about such things holding their nose and backing Republicans, and the other half Democrats.

A sixth and final question, before closing statements, asked the four participants for one way in which they would amend the Constitution. Goode and Johnson proposed term limits, a rather silly solution that would not fix elections but just remove one person from them, accelerating the pace of the revolving door between government and lobbyist jobs. Anderson proposed an equal rights amendment barring discrimination based on gender or sexual preference. And Stein, to huge applause, proposed an amendment clarifying that money is not speech and corporations are not people.

Here’s the full video:
http://www.c-span.org/Events/Third-Party-Presidential-Debate/10737435220-1/





Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 26, 2012, 12:52 AM
RT to host final US presidential third-party debate

RT - 26 October, 2012

Libertarian Party candidate Gov. Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein will sound off once more before Election Day, with both presidential hopefuls now slated to debate live from RT’s Washington, DC studio on October 30.

Tens of thousands around the globe watched earlier this week when broadcasting legend Larry King moderated a debate between the top third-party candidates live from Chicago. As those politicians continue to be shunned by the mainstream media and political establishment alike, though, they remain excluded from presenting their platform to the country on the eve of a historic election. RT aims to make a difference, however, and will host Johnson and Stein to speak their minds on the topics Americans really care about in 2012.

Following the success of this week’s Third Party Presidential Debate broadcast on RT live from Chicago, the top candidates as selected by voters on the Free and Equal Elections Foundation website will move on to a second debate from the nation’s capital, this time answering questions dedicated solely to foreign policy.

“The voters have spoken, and we are pleased to announce that Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will advance to the second debate,” Christina Tobin, founder and chair of Free and Equal, tells RT.

When Johnson and Stein took the stage to participate in the first third-party debate this year, the candidates sounded off on questions that, while vital to the voting public, were absent from the discussions held between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney during the televised debates that selected only Democrat and Republican politicians to participate.

The second and final third-party presidential debate will be held on October 30 from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, (October 31, 1:00 a.m. – 2:30 a.m. GMT)  and will be aired on RT America as well as RT.com and on RT’s YouTube channel.
http://rt.com/usa/news/rt-third-party-debate-stein-249/


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 26, 2012, 12:55 AM
Prometheus...I removed the artice on the Texas threat to the U.N monitors because an article about this had been previously posted .... God Bless, Rad



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Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 26, 2012, 06:37 AM

October 25, 2012

Obama Campaign Endgame: Grunt Work and Cold Math

By JIM RUTENBERG
NYT

CHICAGO — This is what “grinding it out” looks like at President Obama’s election headquarters: scores of young staff members intently clicking away at computer keyboards as they crunch gigabytes of data about which way undecided voters are leaning, where they can be reached, and when; strategists standing at whiteboards busily writing and erasing early voting numbers and turnout possibilities; a lonely Ping-Pong table.

The wave of passion and excitement that coursed through Mr. Obama’s headquarters here in 2008 has been replaced with a methodical and workmanlike approach to manufacturing the winning coalition that came together more organically and enthusiastically for him the last time, a more arduous task with no guarantee of success.

As Washington and the cable news commentariat breathlessly discuss whether Mitt Romney’s post-debate movement in the polls has peaked, Mr. Obama’s campaign technicians — and that’s what many of them are — are putting as much faith in the multimillion-dollar machine they built for just such a close race as in the president himself.

“We are exactly where I thought we would be, in a very close election with 12 days left with two things to do and two things only: persuade the undecided and turn our voters out,” said Jim Messina, 43, the president’s technocratic campaign manager, slightly paler and more hunched than he was when the campaign began. Pointing to the rows of personnel outside his office on Thursday, he added, “Everything in that room has been focused on that.”

Four years ago, Mr. Obama’s political team here was preparing one of its trademark showstoppers: a half-hour prime-time program extolling Mr. Obama’s character and plans across four networks, culminating in a live feed from a boisterous rally in Florida.

There will be no such razzmatazz this time around. Any extra money in this tight final phase of the election is being wired to Nevada and Florida for more Spanish-language ads, to Iowa and Ohio for more on-the-ground staff members, and to Google and Facebook for more microtargeted messaging to complacent, maybe even demoralized, young supporters.

Mr. Obama emphasized the importance of their task during a stop at a phone bank here in Chicago on Thursday, telling volunteers, “If we let up and our voters don’t turn out, we could lose this election.” He added quickly, “The good news is, if our voters do turn out, we will definitely win the election.”

At the White House, it is clear that the action has moved to Chicago, with some staff members, who are legally prohibited from even wearing campaign buttons to work, pining to be on the trail and others whiling away the time preparing for the lame-duck Congressional wrangling on the budget impasse.

For Mr. Obama’s campaign staff in a nondescript office tower here, the task now comes down to creating an electorate more favorable to Democrats than most major pollsters have assumed, with percentages of Obama-friendly black, Latino and young voters that rival those of 2008, at least enough to offset the large drop in support among other segments of the population, like independent men.

An ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll on Thursday had Mr. Romney with a 50-to-47-percent edge among likely voters nationwide, the first time the challenger had reached 50 percent in the poll. But Mr. Obama’s aides here are at least projecting an air of confidence. They say their system, which they began building long before the Republican primaries, is exceeding expectations. Eleven days will tell whether they are bluffing.

After using their huge database to increase registration among favorable voting groups in crucial states, they are now pinpointing people who ordered absentee ballots and need a nudge to send them, or sporadic voters who indicated they would vote for the president but may need to be pushed to show up at their polling place.

“We made a strategic choice very early on that getting our supporters — and the right types of supporters — to the polls before Election Day was a big priority for us,” said Mitch Stewart, the Obama campaign’s battleground state director, who has been helping organize Mr. Obama’s supporters since the 2008 election and started at the campaign some 19 months and, in his words, “20 pounds ago.”

With a box of Tastykakes sitting on his desk in his spartan office, Mr. Stewart added, “The electorate’s going to look much more like 2008 than 2010.”

Some polls in recent weeks have shown Mr. Obama with an advantage among all registered voters, and Mr. Romney with an advantage or tied among likely voters. Mr. Obama’s aides are contending that the pollsters are wrongly assuming that Mr. Obama’s voters are less enthusiastic and that turnout among his key groups will be down, that is, he has fewer likely voters than he had four years ago.

A new Time magazine poll this week showed Mr. Obama ahead by a two-to-one ratio among those who voted early in Ohio.

His aides pointed to statistics showing that a slightly higher percentage of African-Americans had voted early in North Carolina compared with the percentage at this point four years ago, and that their percentages are up along with those of Hispanics in the early mail-in vote in Florida, which they attributed to their turnout operations.

Officials with Mr. Romney’s campaign disagree, and they said that whatever gains Mr. Obama had would be unsustainable through Election Day, contending that he is succeeding only in getting those most likely to support him to show up early, an assessment that Mr. Obama’s aides dispute.

“Every cycle, when someone is losing, they claim they are altering the electorate,” said Rich Beeson, Mr. Romney’s political director.

Of course, at this stage of the race, each campaign is engaged in a bit of bravado, aimed at giving supporters and undecided voters alike a sense that it is the winning team to be on.

There is little dispute that for Mr. Obama to at least come close enough to matching his 2008 coalition to win he will need to induce people to vote in a way he did not have to four years ago, before the full impact of the Great Recession was followed by intensive partisan wrangling.

Mr. Obama’s aides here said they had prepared for the need to rebuild his coalition all along, and that is why they have kept careful tabs on his former supporters, and worked to identify potential new ones, since he took office, all the while perfecting ways to keep track of them, keep in touch with them, and, ultimately, persuade them to vote.

The campaign is refocusing its advertising to scare less motivated supporters to vote. One new ad presents a reminder of Al Gore’s loss to George W. Bush in the Florida recount of 2000, which, the ad says, made “the difference between what was, and what could have been.”

But ultimately, if Mr. Obama does win, it could come down to the huge room of technicians and data crunchers in a corporate office here, sitting on exercise balls or squeezing stress toys as they dispatch information to volunteers knocking on doors hundreds of miles away.

In interviews, Mr. Obama’s aides wistfully recalled when the office had just opened, a vast, mostly empty space with a countdown of the days scrawled in Magic Marker — then well into the hundreds. Now it is done with a digital clock, ticking off the very last minutes and seconds.

Peter Baker contributed reporting from Chicago, and Mark Landler and Jackie Calmes from Washington.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 26, 2012, 06:45 AM

October 25, 2012 07:00 PM

Gov. Mitt Romney Blocked Birth Certificates To Gay Parents; Felt They Are Unfit And Kids Would Be Developmentally Impaired

By John Amato

Murray Waas broke an important story and one which goes to the very core of Mitt Romney's beliefs and who he really is.

It's been hard to figure out during this presidential campaign just what Romney wants to do as president. He was vehemently against same-sex marriage and parents after the law was passed in Massachusetts to legalize gay marriage in 2003. But it went deeper than that. He believed gay parents were unfit to be parents and that children born to same-sex couples could be developmentally impaired.

    After presenting their proposal for revised forms to Romney’s chief of staff Beth Myers in May 2004, Department of Public Health officials were told by a Romney staff lawyer via e-mail that “there appear to be many complicated issues that should be discussed with many different communities before the changes are made.’’ The next month, Romney delivered remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington in which he decried the state Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling and its effect on child-rearing. He outlined his misgivings about the request from the Registry of Vital Records.

        “The children of America have the right to have a father and a mother,’’ Romney said in his prepared remarks. “What should be the ideal for raising a child? Not a village, not ‘parent A’ and ‘parent B,’ but a mother and a father.’’Romney also warned about the societal impact of gay parents raising children. “Scientific studies of children raised by same-sex couples are almost nonexistent,’’ he said. “It may affect the development of children and thereby future society as a whole.’’

    Romney expressed similar beliefs during a speech in 2005 to socially conservative voters in South Carolina, as he was beginning to be viewed as a serious candidate for president.

        “Some gays are actually having children born to them,’’ he declared. “It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father.’’

    The birth-certificates episode reflects a constantly evolving approach on gay rights for the former Massachusetts governor. Romney ran for Senate in 1994 promising to be a moderate champion of homosexual rights.

Mitt strongly believes that gay parents would hurt society as a whole. That's insane. I believe his Mormonism has a lot to do with his deep-seated hatred of gays.

    After the Supreme Judicial Court ruling, he actively supported efforts in Massachusetts for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Those efforts never bore fruit.

Romney has to be judged by his actions; period. In the story itself, Waas also reports on how horrible Romney was to all the new gay parents in his state.

    It seemed like a minor adjustment. To comply with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics said it needed to revise its birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The box for “father” would be relabeled “father or second parent,’’ reflecting the new law.

    But to then-Governor Mitt Romney, who opposed child-rearing by gay couples, the proposal symbolized unacceptable changes in traditional family structures.He rejected the Registry of Vital Records plan and insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents. Only after winning approval from Romney’s lawyers could hospital officials and town clerks across the state be permitted to cross out by hand the word “father’’ on individual birth certificates, and then write in “second parent,’’ in ink.

He lied when he ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994 promising to be a moderate champion of homosexual rights and he lied when he ran for Governor in 2002. Remember when he scored a perfect 100 on a Planned Parenthood questionnaire? In '02 Romney Supported Roe v Wade Decision and Spending State Funds For Abortion Services

He also lied when he said he would never try try to force his religious beliefs about abortion on other people -- a position he's again trying to claim. Of course, during the GOP primaries, he was eager to help overturn Roe v. Wade and vowed to sign a constitutional amendment declaring life to begin at conception. But that was then, and this is now.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 26, 2012, 06:47 AM

The Media Won’t tell You About Decades of Perjury Accusations Against Romney

By: Rmuse October 25th, 2012

A compulsive liar is a person who lies out of habit as their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions, and they typically lie about everything, large and small, and their habit makes telling the truth very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right.  Willard Romney has proven himself to be a compulsive liar throughout the Republican primary and during the general election campaign, and it appears it has been his practice in business as well. Lying in court is especially egregious, and there is a report that Willard Romney committed perjury in his friend’s divorce proceedings, and it is not the first time he is accused of perjuring himself.

Romney often boasts that one of Bain’s success stories was the office supply chain Staples that his good friend Tom Stemberg founded. In 1988 when Stemberg was going through divorce proceedings, Romney testified on record that Staples stock was “over-valued,” and that he “didn’t place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company’s future.” Willard went on to testify that Stemberg spoke about the probability of success as if it was today and that “he minimized the risk and maximized the high probability of success, and the dream went on.” It was to Stemberg’s benefit to place little value on Staples stock to prevent his wife, Maureen Sullivan-Stemberg, from gaining from Staples equity and Romney’s testimony undervalued Stemberg’s primary asset in a fifty/fifty state.

However, if Romney truly believed Staples stock was “over-valued,” why was he, at the same time, making a deal between Stemberg and Goldman Sachs to take the company of no worth public? Because he was protecting his close friend from having to split fairly the assets from the marriage and depriving Stemberg’s ex-wife from her fair share according to the law. Some people may claim Romney made an honest miscalculation in not knowing if Staples stock was worthless or not, but as the first investor, a major shareholder, and board member, as with any corporation, he had a fiduciary responsibility to inform shareholders that the stock’s value was plunging. Either Romney lied about the worth of the stocks, or he was concealing the truth that Staples was a worthless investment and intended to fleece shareholders as he did in several other cases such as KB Toys.

Romney was not a stupid investor or business man, and he claims Staples is his “proudest achievement” on the campaign trail, but to claim a company is worthless at the same time he was in talks to take the company public and make millions informs his willingness to either perjure himself in court or shirk his fiduciary duty as a Staples’ board member.  This was not a flip-flop on Romney’s part, it was either a deliberate lie to benefit his friend and cheat his ex-wife, or conceal important investment information from shareholders, but based on the fact he was dealing with Goldman Sachs to take the company public, it appears Romney was lying to deprive his friends ex-wife from her fair share of the marriage assets. It is also not the first time Romney has been accused of committing perjury.

In bankruptcy cases, a cardinal rule “mandates all disclosures of conflict of interest,” and according to 18 USCS § 152 (3) “A person who knowingly and fraudulently makes a false declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1s746 of title 28, in or in relation to any case under title 11 shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.” In 2001, Romney was “sole shareholder, director, and President of Sankaty Ltd. and thus is the controlling person of Sankaty, Ltd,” and Sankaty applied for payment of administrative expenses from Stage Stores, a company in which Romney was controlling shareholder, and by not disclosing conflict of interest, he committed perjury according to USCS § 152 (3). In a case often cited as precedent, a lawyer, failed to report conflict of interest and he went to prison, paid a fine, and settled for millions-of-dollars for simply not alerting the court he had a conflict of interest.

Willard Romney is a liar and there can be little doubt he failed to disclose conflict of interest in bankruptcy court. He also knew Staples was not a worthless company or he would not have been making a deal with Goldman Sachs to take the company public at the same time he told a judge  Staples stock was “over-valued” and that he “didn’t place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company’s future.” In those business deals, Romney was not lying because “telling the truth was very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right,” he lied to deprive his friend’s ex-wife from her rightful due and to prevent his friend from losing half his Staples investment.  He lies were purely for profit and not out of a pathological condition or mental disorder.

Romney cannot be trusted on myriad levels, but especially when it comes to money. He conceals hundreds-of-millions of dollars offshore to avoid paying taxes, and he lies about his tax plan that will save him millions. When a person lies in court, whether bankruptcy or divorce court, it is simply perjury, and it is to deceive the court. The statute of limitations expired in the Stemberg divorce case, but in bankruptcy court it is a different story and Romney needs to face the full weight of the law like any other American who deliberately and with malice aforethought commits perjury whether it is to protect his friends investment, deprive a woman of her share of marriage property, or to deceive a bankruptcy judge of conflict of interest.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 26, 2012, 06:49 AM

Ohio’s Election Nightmare – Courtesy of Jon Husted

By: Adalia Woodbury October 25th, 2012

Many are saying that this election hinges on Ohio. Well, if that is true, thanks to Jon Husted’s new program, we may not know the results of the election until late November.

    We could easily see a situation in which the nation has to wait for Ohio because of provisionals,” said Ed Foley, an Ohio State University law professor and nationally respected expert on election law. “We ought to start thinking about those what-if scenarios now rather than the Wednesday morning after the election.

The stated objective of Husted’s decision to send absentee ballot applications to nearly 7 million registered voters was to make things easier. Instead, it is causing a calamity.

Cincinnati.com reports on a truly nightmare scenario.

As of the time of the report, 1.43 million Ohioans requested the absentee ballot. According to Husted’s office, only 618,861 returned their vote. Both numbers are expected to grow by the deadline for most Ohioans to request an absentee ballot on November 3.

Nearly 190,000 people cast their absentee ballots in person at the designated early voting centers.
It’s possible that many of the 800,000 plus voters who have yet to return their completed absentee ballot are planning to return them closer to Election Day.

However, it’s just as possible that many of these voters may opt to vote in person, and that’s where the problems start. This means they would have to cast provisional ballots, so that election officials can cross check to confirm that people didn’t vote absentee then vote again in person.

Provisional votes will not be counted until November 17th.

If the election hinges on the outcome in Ohio, that means we will be waiting for several weeks to know the outcome of the election.

There is nothing about this program that makes voting easier. Rather, it has created confusion to the point that the results of the election might not be known until late November.

Given Husted’s history, it is more likely that his intent was to create even more confusion for voters. This is the same Secretary of State who attempted to restrict early voting in Democratic leaning counties, while maintaining the previsious early voting days and hours in Republican strongholds.

This is the same Jon Husted who thinks it’s “un-American” for Democrats to vote early. His policies suggest that Husted’s idea of America is giving preference to Republican voters. So dedicated is Husted to an America in which Democrats votes are suppressed, that he defended his position in the courts, including the Supreme Court. After losing every legal battle, Husted restricted the available hours that people who vote in the three days leading up to the election.

This absentee ballot program has created more problems than Husted may have intended to resolve.
While it remains possible that some of the people who have yet to return their completed absentee ballot; the more likely scenario is a substantial increase in provisional ballots, which cannot be counted until November 17th.

Not only did Husted make voting in Ohio more complicated, he created additional work for election workers because now they will have to cross check many more provisional ballots than they had to in the past. This means the results in Ohio will be delayed and if the election depends on the outcome in Ohio, the nation will have to wait weeks to know who will be elected President.

Husted deserves a 1 finger salute in appreciate of his efforts to make voting in Ohio “easier” immediately followed by losing his job.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 26, 2012, 08:16 AM

October 26, 2012 07:00 AM

How Do You Know Mitt Romney Is Lying? His Lips Are Moving!

By Susie Madrak

Here's one for your Facebook page. It seems like Mitt Romney isn't the only Republican with Romnesia. Enjoy this collection of his current Republican boosted saying what they really think about the Mittster! Dear God, even Newt Gingrich is telling the truth.

With friends like these, huh, Mitt?

Click here to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ByzxFQSlyDA#!


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 26, 2012, 08:20 AM
He literally can not stop himself ....

Mitt Romney Plays Grim Reaper of Jobs in Ohio with Scary Lies about Jeep

By: Sarah JonesOctober 26th, 2012

At an event in Defiance, Ohio Thursday evening, Mitt Romney got his Halloween on early by playing the Grim Reaper of jobs when he told a complete falsehood about Chrysler moving Jeep to China and taking Americans job with them. Chrysler said that a “careful and unbiased” understanding “would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” That’s our Mitt.

Romney took “a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats” Thursday when he said, “I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it’s fair, America will win.”

Did you catch that? He saw a “story” alright, and just like Fox, he figured he’d “some people” reality by not bothering with it at all.

The truth is that Chrysler is not moving its Jeep production from America to China. As Chrysler said today, “Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.”

President Obama has challenged unfair Chinese tariffs on U.S. auto exports to China, including Jeeps. We all know that Romney would have let the American auto industry and a million jobs go under and he’s all for shipping jobs overseas where men like him can get away with paying workers 88 cents a day and no worries about healthcare or being sued for dangerous working conditions.

Here are the facts from the Chrysler Blog Post. They point out, “A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” Ouch.

    Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation….

    There are times when the reading of a newswire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach. On Oct. 22, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. ET, the Bloomberg News report “Fiat Says Jeep® Output May Return to China as Demand Rises’ stated ‘Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

    Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

Business Week backs up Chrysler, “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

In case Mitt is still confused, “Chrysler Group announced that it will invest $500 million at the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) for the production of the next generation Jeep® SUV in 2013. As a result, the Company will add a second shift of production or about 1,100 jobs in the third quarter of 2013.”

It looks like Romney was hoping to deflect and distract from Bainport on the evening when Sensata workers were threatening a walkout after being harassed and threatened by managers at the Bain owned plant. The Bain owned Sensata is shipping American jobs overseas to China after forcing the American workers to train their Chinese replacements in spite of being a profitable plant.

“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Mitt Romney must feel he has to go Grim Reaper of Death and Fear when faced with the success of Obama’s auto rescue, “Basking in such sentiments echoing across assembly lines of shiny Wranglers, Obama took a victory bow at the Jeep plant, where he was hailed by many of the 1,763 workers as a job-savior for the 2009 federal bailout that kept Chrysler and General Motors alive.”


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Prometheus on Oct 27, 2012, 03:18 AM
Who Will Win the Elections? “The Republicrats”


By Julie Lévesque
Global Research, October 24, 2012
 (hyperlinks in the article; http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-will-win-the-elections-the-republicrats/5309524 )

There is no democracy in the United States.

American political life is dominated by one party with two heads, often called the “Republicrats”.

Republicans and Democrats agree on core issues and only argue on technicalities. Obama, who was portrayed as a peaceful saviour in the last presidential elections, has demonstrated during his four years in office that he is not much different from his predecessor.

Nobel “Peace” Prize Laureate Barack Obama’s “war record” is worse than that of George W. Bush;  the civil rights of Americans have shrunk further in the last four years and President Obama has shown that  he is closer to Wall Street than to Main Street.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are more of the same on key issues as Glen Ford explains:

To any objective observer, the consensus that exists between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the fundamental issues of war and peace, Wall Street’s dominance of American life, and fiscal austerity, has been made crystal clear in the two “debates.” In the absence of effective popular resistance to the duopoly of money, the economic and social crisis fails to create a corresponding political crisis for the rulers. As a result, there is nothing important for them to debate. (Glen Ford, Obama-Romney: The Duopoly Debates Itself)

But how are Presidential debates regulated? The history of the Commission on Presidential Debates sheds light on how and why other parties are excluded from the political debate and kept away from the public’s eyes and ears:

The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation headed by the former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. The CPD is a duopoly which allows the major party candidates to draft secret agreements about debate arrangements including moderators, debate format and even participants. The result is a travesty riddled with sterile, non-contentious arguments which consistently exclude alternative voices that Americans want to hear. (VIDEO : SpartacusMoriarty, The Truth About the Commission on Presidential Debates)

In 2008, while the Republicrats agreed on bailing out Wall Street, ALL other presidential candidates were against this massive institutionalized fraud. Thanks to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Americans were led to believe that the bank bailout was not only inevitable but in the public interest. Americans were prevented from hearing the dissenting political voices, who were opposed to this odious debt. The same goes for the Republicrats’ Imperial design fueled by “the war on terrorism” and regime change, defended by both Romney and Obama as a legitimate “humanitarian” undertaking.

This excerpt of the last debate shows the extent to which American tyranny around the world is trivialized by the two major parties. The only two presidential candidates allowed to “debate” can casually declare on national television that their country is superior to all others, that they wish to arm foreigners in order to remove a foreign head of state and replace him with a “friendly” leader instead, all of this, oddly enough, for the benefit of the values America advocates with all its might: “human rights [...], freedom of expression, elections [...]”

Romney: Well I — I absolutely believe that America has a — a responsibility, and the privilege of helping defend freedom and promote the principles that — that make the world more peaceful. And those principles include human rights, human dignity, free enterprise, freedom of expression, elections. Because when there are elections, people tend to vote for peace. They don’t vote for war. So we want to promote those principles around the world.

[...]

Obama: America remains the one indispensable nation. And the world needs a strong America, and it is stronger now than when I came into office.

[…]

Romney: As I indicated, our objectives are to replace Assad and to have in place a new government which is friendly to us, a responsible government, if possible. And I want to make sure they get armed and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves, but also to remove — to remove Assad.

As you hear from intelligence sources even today, the — the insurgents are highly disparate. They haven’t come together. They haven’t formed a unity group, a council of some kind. That needs to happen. America can help that happen. And we need to make sure they have the arms they need to carry out the very important role which is getting rid of Assad.

[...]

Obama: What you just heard Governor Romney said is he doesn’t have different ideas. And that’s because we’re doing exactly what we should be doing to try to promote a moderate Syrian leadership and a — an effective transition so that we get Assad out. That’s the kind of leadership we’ve shown. That’s the kind of leadership we’ll continue to show. (FoxNews, Transcript: October 22 Presidential Debate, October 22, 2012)

It is mind-boggling to see how both candidates in chorus “promote democracy”, while calling for the removal of a head of state by arming terrorist gangs to do the job. And whoever is in office in the wake of the November elections, “that’s the kind of leadership [they]’ll continue to show”.

For Bill van Auken the debate was a “filthy political spectacle”:

In what can only be described as a degrading and filthy political spectacle, both the questions posed by the moderator and the answers provided by the candidates of the two major capitalist parties began with the premise that US imperialism has the unassailable right to defend its interests by inflicting death and destruction on anyone or any country that is deemed an obstacle.

No attempt was made to probe the broader interests of American capitalism underlying the wars, occupations and assassination campaigns that have dominated world affairs over the past decade. The impression was promoted that opposing these policies is beyond the pale of American politics, at once forbidden and futile. (Bill Van Auken, Obama and Romney concur on War, Assassination and Reaction)

Even if the two parties are two sides of the same coin, fraudulent behaviour is not ruled out of the Presidential equation. Reminiscent of the 2004 election fraud, a new controversy surrounding voting machines has arisen. Do the Romneys “own your vote”?

Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the US. (Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis, and Harvey Wasserman, United States. Does the Romney Family now Own your E-Vote?)

[T]he Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt’s “6th son” and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney’s campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines. What is not as well documented is a subsidiary of that private equity firm hiring employees of a failed firm tied to a Ponzi scheme that has a long history of money laundering for Latin American drug cartels and to the Iran-Contra scandal. (Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Employees of Romney family’s secret bank tied to fraud, money laundering, drug cartels and the CIA)

Global Research brings to its readers a list of articles on this very important topic.




Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 27, 2012, 06:56 AM

Texas AG Threatens Election Observers while Ignoring Conservative Vigilante Group

By: Adalia Woodbury October 26th, 2012

Things are never dull in the State of Texas. The reaction of State Officials to the idea of international observers being in their state to observe elections is no exception. First, as Hrafnkell Haraldson reported earlier this week, the voter suppression groups blew a gasket and State officials followed their lead.

The OSCE responded to the Attorney General’s threats with a statement which says in part:

    The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable,” Janez Lenarčič said. “The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.”
    “Our observers are required to remain strictly impartial and not to intervene in the voting process in any way,” Lenarčič said. “They are in the United States to observe these elections, not to interfere in them.”

Indeed, there is a huge difference between observing an election and interfering in it, at least that’s how we saw it when we were the ones doing the observing.

Interfering with the vote sounds more like what Republicans have done with efforts to suppress the vote through voter ID laws, hiring a “strategist” with a history of voter registration fraud; and giving nods and winks to groups like True To Vote that intend to intimidate voters on Election Day.

If we are going to talk about observers who seek to interfere with elections, let’s talk about the Texas based Tea Party group, True to Vote. This group has interfered with the election process seeking to have eligible voters removed from the rolls. While calling their foot soldiers “poll watchers” this group has interfered with the vote in minority neighborhoods, by virtue of intimidating voters and challenging a voter’s right to vote with election officials. They plan to do the same in this election. They caused delays in places where lines are long, with the intent to discourage voters from exercising their constitutional rights and plan to do the same during this election.

What has the Attorney-General of Texas done to stop this group from violating the very laws he seeks to use against the OSCE observers? Moreover, the OSCE is acting in an official capacity, and under the conditions that every OSCE country, which includes the United State, agreed to by virtue of being members of the organization. Conversely, True to Vote is a Koch brother financed vigilante group with no official standing and whose purpose is to influence and interfere with the election process.

A-G Abbot mentions ACORN in his letter, specifically stating: “One of those organizations, Project Vote, is closely affiliated with ACORN, which collapsed in disgrace after its role in a widespread voter-registration fraud scheme was uncovered.”

This is laughable given that the RNC and several state Level Republican officials hired Nathan Sproul given his history of alleged widespread voter-registration fraud. If the Attorney-General is so concerned about voter registration fraud, why isn’t he speaking out to condemn the Republican Party’s payoff to Nathan Sproul for engaging in the very things Abbot accused ACORN of.

Moreover, Republicans are attempting to deny people’s votes in another way. Sources in Texas tell of a Republican effort to manipulate Democrats out of their down ballot votes by circulating misinformation in an email containing the following message.

    ATTENTION! TO EVERYONE THAT’S VOTING IN THE NOVEMBER 2012 ELECTION!!

    IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO VOTE A “STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET” THIS NOVEMBER, BE SURE TO
    PUNCH PRESIDENT OBAMA’S NAME “FIRST” ON THE CARD, THEN PROCEED TO PUNCH “STRAIGHT
    DEMOCRATIC TICKET”! IF YOU DON’T PUNCH PRESIDENT OBAMA NAME FIRST ON THE TICKET, YOUR
    VOTE WILL BE VOIDED!!!!

    PLEASE PASS THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON TO ALL YOUR EM-MAIL FRIENDS AND FAMILIES. I’M
    SURE THIS INFORMATION WILL NOT BE TOLD TO YOU AT THE POLLS THIS COMING NOVEMBER!!!!!!

    GOD BLESS!

Well this information won’t be told at the polls because it isn’t true. The reality is voters in Texas who wish to vote a straight Democratic Ticket should punch the President’s name first. If, as he claims, the Attorney-General is concerned about the integrity of the election, he better start by cleaning house in his political party and the organizations support it.

There is also something called The Logan Act which forbids unauthorized individuals from engaging in acts of diplomacy.

Unless the Attorney General sought and obtained authority from the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, his letter to the Ambassador appears to violate the “Logan Act” under Section 953.

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

We are aware that Governor Rick Scott has previously threatened to secede from the United States, but so far as we know, the Governor has yet to act on that threat.

In other words, the Attorney General is still subject to federal laws, including the Logan Act.
I’m willing to bet the Attorney General didn’t bother to get authorization from the Obama Administration before writing his threatening letter to the Ambassador, possibly placing him in a legally precarious position.

All off this is happening because Republicans know that the majority of Americans reject their plutocratic/theocratic “vision” of America. Rather than offering a mainstream conservative platform as Republicans did in the past, today’s Republican party is resorting to voter intimidation, vote suppression and using corporate funded vigilante groups to bully people away from the polls.

Threatening an international organization only emphasizes the need for an outsider to monitor our elections.

The Republican Attorney-General of Texas is doing nothing to stop efforts by his party and organizations friendly to it from doing the very things he wrongly accuses the OSCE of doing. Aside from ignoring violations of his state’s law by True to Vote, the Attorney general appears to have violated at least one Federal law with his threatening letter to a foreign diplomat.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 27, 2012, 06:58 AM

Obama and Dems ‘Absolutely Crushing’ Romney and GOP in Early Voting in Nevada

By: Sarah Jones October 26th, 2012

On MSNBC this morning, Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston said that President Obama and Democrats are “absolutely crushing” Mitt Romney and Republicans in early voting in the state. He’s right. Democrats lead Republicans on every metric: mail ballots returned, in-person early voting, and total ballots cast.

TRANSCRIPT

ROBERTS: We want to dig deeper into the numbers with Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston, host of “Ralston Reports,” our NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, which is KSNV, and also the author of the “Ralston Reports” website and joining us is Allison Sherry, Washington correspondent for The Denver Post. It’s great to have you all here. Jon, I want to start with you. Key in Nevada, our polls showing that President Obama with this lead among the state’s large Hispanic population. NBC News Political Director Chuck Rodd reports even Republicans feel Nevada is so well-organized on the Democratic side of things, it’s really going to be hard to overcome the advantage. So, what are you hearing on the ground?

RALSTON: Well, on the ground, Thomas, the Democrats are absolutely crushing the Republicans in early voting. Where I’m sitting right now, Clark County, the Las Vegas area, more than 200,000 people have already voted, it might be a third of the total vote has already been cast and the Democrats have about a 36,000 vote lead in ballots returned if you’re assuming that most of those are voting for the President, that’s a real problem for Mitt Romney, but those Hispanic numbers you mentioned with the 50-point lead, which is about what exit polls showed, by the way, in 2008 Obama beat John McCain by. That’s a real problem, again, for Mitt Romney. Hispanics will be about 15% of the electorate here…

ROBERTS: Jon, as we look at the Romney Political Director Rich Beeson telling Politico, quote about Nevada “Nevada has been the toughest nut for us to crack.” He also points, though, to some hopeful signs including winning early voting two days in a row in Washoe County, which includes Reno, that’s exactly where Governor Romney was earlier this week. He says that John McCain never won early voting one day there. Beeson also pinning hopes on big margins in the rural counties, what do you think of that?

RALSTON: I think all of that is true, Thomas, but I think comparing 2008, which was a landslide wave election especially here in Nevada where John McCain essentially abandoned the state and did not campaign here is a fool’s errand for the Republicans, but what they’re right about is that Romney will win by a big margin in rural Nevada, but that’s only about 12%, maybe 15% of the vote. Washoe County is a swing county in the state. The registration is about even. The Republicans are doing okay up there but not great, Thomas. The Democrats are keeping it about even. Romney has to win Washoe County by five to seven points at least I would say to have a chance of winning the state. There’s no evidence yet, and, again, we only have six days and 14 days of early voting in the book that that’s happening.

End transcript.

One of the reasons comparing the early vote to the 2008 scenario is not accurate is because Obama is leading Romney by as much as 51% among Latino voters, and more Latinos will vote this year than ever before. The Hill reported, “Obama leads Mitt Romney by 70 to 25 percent in a poll of Latino likely voters conducted for NBC News, Telemundo and the Wall Street Journal. That’s similar to a 71 to 20 percent lead he has with Hispanic registered voters according to a new poll from Latino Decisions.”

Voter registration among Latinos is up by 15% in Nevada from 2008. The Obama ground game is on second to none, and get out the vote is working in Nevada. The Republican Party’s gamble on the small tent of only white men is not paying off in Nevada so far.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 27, 2012, 07:03 AM
From John Sununu to Sarah Palin, Racism is the Lexicon of the Right

By: Tim From LA October 26th, 2012

Here we go again. The former governor, former 2008 Vice President candidate and former Miss Alaska pageant entrant, opening up her mouth and trying to defend herself from racist comments she posted on her Facebook page…for ALL to read.

The controversy started when Sarah Palin posted the following comment:

    Obama’s Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies
    by Sarah Palin on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 8:39am ·

    As I mentioned on “On the Record”

    last night, there is breaking news that just two hours after the September 11th attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, the White House and State Department knew that an Islamic terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda claimed credit for the attack. We now know that the State Department sent an email to the White House, the Pentagon, the FBI and others in the intelligence community about this Islamist group claiming responsibility. And yet for days afterwards the White House and State Department led everyone to believe that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest over an obscure YouTube video that had been uploaded months prior. Anywhere from 300 to 400 people from the administration and our intelligence community would have seen that email. Why the lies? Why the cover up? Why the dissembling about the cause of the murder of our ambassador on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil? We deserve answers to this. President Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.

    - Sarah Palin

What is Shuck and jive? Well, according to Urban Dictionary

    To shuck and jive” originally referred to the intentionally misleading words and actions that African-Americans would employ in order to deceive racist Euro-Americans in power, both during the period of slavery and afterwards. The expression was documented as being in wide usage in the 1920s, but may have originated much earlier.

    “Shucking and jiving” was a tactic of both survival and resistance. A slave, for instance, could say eagerly, “Oh, yes, Master,” and have no real intention to obey. Or an African-American man could pretend to be working hard at a task he was ordered to do, but might put up this pretense only when under observation. Both would be instances of “doin’ the old shuck ‘n jive.”

So Sarah decided to counter the complaints by posting her response on Facebook…one more time:
    
    For the record, there was nothing remotely racist in my use of the phrase “shuck and jive” – a phrase which many people have used, including Chris Matthews, Andrew Cuomo, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to name a few off the top of my head. In fact, Andrew Cuomo also used the phrase in reference to Barack Obama, and the fact that Mr. Cuomo and I used the phrase in relation to President Obama signifies nothing out of the ordinary. I would have used the exact same expression if I had been writing about President Carter, whose foreign policy rivaled Obama’s in its ineptitude, or about the Nixon administration, which was also famously rocked by a cover-up.

    I’ve been known to use the phrase most often when chastising my daughter Piper to stop procrastinating and do her homework. As she is part Yup’ik Eskimo, I’m not sure if this term would be deemed offensive when it’s directed at her or if it would be considered benign as in the case of Chris Matthews’ use of it in reference to Rachel Maddow. Just to be careful, from now on I’ll avoid using it with Piper, and I would appreciate it if the media refrained from using words and phrases like igloo, Eskimo Pie, and “when hell freezes over,” as they might be considered offensive by my extended Alaska Native family.

    The outrageously outraged reaction to this expression from perennial hypocrites like Chris Matthews has only made me laugh. Mr. Matthews, let me share with you my favorite Irish toast: “May we always be happy, and may our enemies always know it.”

    - Sarah Palin

Her logic? “(M)any people have used, including Chris Matthews, Andrew Cuomo, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to name a few off the top of my head.”

So if Matthews, Cuomo and Carney say it, then it’s fine? With that logic, there would be no issues from her if I call her a, “big F@@@@ing cry baby” or call her the “C” word because Howard Stern on Sirius Satellite said it? Howard Stern – Sarah Palin's Statement – 01/13/2011 Is that OK? Of course not, and neither is shuck and jive.

With her right-winged logic still clouding her brain, Palin said:

    I’ve been known to use the phrase most often when chastising my daughter Piper to stop procrastinating and do her homework. As she is part Yup’ik Eskimo, I’m not sure if this term would be deemed offensive when it’s directed at her or if it would be considered benign as in the case of Chris Matthews’ use of it in reference to Rachel Maddow. Just to be careful, from now on I’ll avoid using it with Piper, and I would appreciate it if the media refrained from using words and phrases like igloo, Eskimo Pie, and “when hell freezes over,” as they might be considered offensive by my extended Alaska Native family.

Huh? So you tell your daughter to stop shucking and jiving, and you’re offended when people say igloo, Eskimo pie and “when Hell freezes over” because Piper is part Yup’ik. The Yupik are a group of indigenous or aboriginal peoples of western, southwestern, and southcentral Alaska and the Russian Far East, and you call her an Eskimo?

Another thing, Eskimo Pie, in case you did not know, was an ice cream. It was vanilla ice cream covered in hard chocolate: Eskimo Pie It was taken off the shelf because it was offensive to the indigenous people. So which media is bringing up Eskimo Pie? Chris Matthews? Rachel Maddow? Randi Rhodes? Thom Hartmann? Who?

Then Palin said that saying Hell freezing over is offensive to the Native Americans. Is Palin now saying that Alaska is Hell? The “Eskimos” are demons? The true offender here is Sarah Palin, and when she does her best to try and explain herself, she falls flat on her face.

Now it seems that another Republican wants to go one step deeper in racism and that’s John Sununu, a top Romney surrogate, former Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush. He said:

    “Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama,” Sununu said.

    “What reason would that be?” asked host Piers Morgan.

    “I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him,”

Sununu: Colin Powell May Have Endorsed Obama Because Of His Race

So when Sununu said:

    “I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him,”

His race. President Obama is of Kenyan ancestry. Is Powell also Kenyan? Because, there are 54 fully recognized sovereign states (“countries”), 9 territories and three de facto states with limited recognition and they are: Countries of Africa. It’s like saying Mexicans and Brazilians are the same race. Or Chinese and Koreans are the same race. All four groups are on two different continents, but are totally different races.

Sununu backpedaled and said “Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the President’s policies.”

Because Colin Powell never endorsed: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm or Rev Al Sharpton and according to Powell’s record of voting and endorsing white Republicans, what proof does Sununu have to say Powell is basing his endorsement on race? Powell is endorsing Obama’s policies, not his skin color.

Racism is alive in well in the Republican Party, and just because a black Republican endorses a half black Democratic president, it doesn’t mean he’s voting for him because he’s black or because Obama is of Kenyan descent. We don’t know even know what ethnicity Powell is. He may be Kenyan, Zaire, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire. So how can it be of race? Or what if he’s from: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda? A lot of black folks there too?

So yes, whether it’s Sununu or Palin, the hatred for our president will continue, and supporting today’s Republican Party only fans the flames of racism.

************

The Republican Party: The Crazy Ex in Charge of Your Freedom

By: Sarah Jones October 26th, 2012

Yesterday, when Ron Christie sat on the Ed Show with Keli Goff and patronizingly told her that women’s issues were “small ball”, I realized that these Republicans are not just acting like they don’t get that they’re discussing whether or not to let a woman live if she needs a life saving abortion after being raped. They’re not just aiding and abetting criminal violence against women as they refuse to sign the Violence Against Women Act while pushing to give the rapists exactly what they want – control.

No, they aren’t just aiding and abetting. They are the crazy ex, the stalker, the abuser, the “power over” mentality of the drunken frat boy and the greedy CEO, the rapist, the dog abuser…

They talk about legislating not allowing a woman to save her own life and not allowing her loved ones to save her life as if they are legislating what color pencil Americans can use.

It has been explained over and over and over again that contraception is often used for women’s health and sometimes-serious health issues. It’s been explained that ectopic pregnancies are a common occurrence that can and do kill women. It’s been explained that in 31 states, we allow a rapist to have visitation and custody of the child they raped to conceive. But still these men cry about a fetus and tell women that for them to be upset over “small ball” issues is silly.

When they talk about coming between a woman and her doctor, they are talking about not letting a woman save her own life.

Imagine, if you will, if our elected officials were mostly women. And if over the last two years, one party elected women so crazy they reminded men of the crazy ex that threatened to kill herself if you left.

Imagine if those women then legislated that if you made a woman feel like that, your freedom to have medical assistance in the case of a life threatening accident or illness would be taken away. That’s the closest I can come to an analogy since women can’t overpower men and impregnate them when they want to control them. Women can’t impose a medical condition upon men for revenge like men can and do to a woman with rape. But if you aren’t a hater, you get the idea. I suppose it’s a micro example of a woman who gets pregnant to “trap” a man, if women like that were running Congress and decided that the men might not be able to live if they chose to leave because — BABIES.

This is about control. The crazy people are in charge of the asylum now. Women know these men, just like men know the crazy ex girlfriend type once they’ve had one. They’re on TV and in Congress and running for the highest office in the land as they talk about whether or not they are going to make a law saying that women are not free to save their own lives.

The bitterness that seeps through these men’s words is lost on those who haven’t been on the receiving end of a controlling, insecure man. But it is loud and clear to those who have. These are men so insecure that they are dreaming of making laws that would kill women for not being compliant even with a rapist’s desire to control them.

I can’t believe there isn’t an uprising against these men, but they’ve done a great job packaging their control in the wrapper of family values and love for babies. Nothing gets women like the desire to protect babies, and that’s what they’re banking on. Everyone loves a baby, but apparently these men don’t love a woman or else glibly discussing her government-imposed death wouldn’t be “small ball”.

Death panels? Yes, that’s what this is, only it’s not a panel of people who are deciding – it’s the whim of the sickest in our society – the rapist, the stalker, and the batterer. Yes, impregnating a woman is a common thing for an abuser to do to a woman who is trying to leave. So when Republicans talk about giving that rapist/abuser exactly what he wants—access to her and control over her for the next 18 years, they are incentivizing rape.

And if that pregnancy turns out to be life threatening, which is not uncommon, Republicans are giving the abuser/rapist the authority to kill the woman legally.

That’s “small ball” to Republicans. Ron Christie sat there patting Keli Goff’s arm when she tried to make a point, discussing legalizing killing women, and called it small ball.

In reality, these men don’t give care about live babies or children, or else they wouldn’t be cutting back food stamps and government assistance to poverty stricken parents trying to feed their children. They wouldn’t be trying to defund the one sure way we have of reducing abortions – birth control. They wouldn’t be suggesting that crime is a function of single motherhood while they seek to make it impossible for a woman who is raped to have an abortion.

These men are trying to put women at their mercy, with no freedom, while they incentivize violence against women and defund programs meant to help victims of violence.

Why isn’t anyone calling these guys on what they are really saying? They aren’t talking about being pro-life; they are talking about legislating the deaths of women and incentivizing rape and violence against women.

These men are the problem, not the solution. They are spewing hate talk on TV and no one calls them on it. They are saying it’s “small ball” to suggest killing women and everyone glides right over that and discusses the issue as if it’s just another policy instead of the suggestion that half of the population should be left to die at the “religious” whim of these sick control freaks.

I put religious in quotes because to call the desire to kill women religious is giving it way too much cover. These men aren’t religious, and the Nuns on the Bus proved that with their boycott of these men’s Randian budget. These men aren’t lovers of babies – they are haters of women. They don’t hate abortion or else they would not be destroying the one method that reduces abortions or giving would-be rapists an incentive to commit a heinous crime of violence against innocent women. And just for the record, far too often these “pro-lifers” are against abortion for everyone else, but when their mistress gets pregnant, they become bullies for abortion. It’s all about control.

These men (and their female enablers) always talk about “innocent life” as if the women’s lives they are asserting control over are not innocent. They imply that women are evil sinners, trash to be discarded in order to save the “innocent”. I note that not one of them is discussing that it takes two to get pregnant, or implying that men are automatically not as worthy of freedom and life as a fetus.

The Republican Party is being overtaken by the crazy exes, bitter and bursting with desire for revenge against a world that threatens to take away their control and power.

The Romney campaign has been dismissing women’s lives as shiny objects for a while now. That’s what Mitt Romney thinks of women’s lives, but we already knew that Romney’s “only concern is for the fetus.”

Here’s a compilation of the crazy exes spewing their glorification of controlling women by David Packman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1b9GV-h8BQ&feature=player_embedded


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 27, 2012, 07:04 AM

Reaction to Romney’s Economic Speech: ‘All About Obama’, ‘Uniformly Negative’

By: Sarah Jones October 26th, 2012

On the day when economic news should have dampened Romney’s dreams of using actual numbers to bash Obama in order to avoid laying out his own plan, Romney called the numbers showing that “the U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster 2 percent annual rate” “discouraging.”

Despite promising that he was indeed finally laying out major economic news of a Romney plan, Mitt Romney stumbled his way through a stump speech attack on Obama that included no economic news, no specifics, but tons of negativity aimed at the President.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Ames, Iowa, Romney failed to impress. Here’s a roundup of reaction:

Ali Velshi: “They said this was major economic news. There wasn’t a piece of economic news in it.”

Gloria Borger: “This wasn’t so much about, you know, specific policy prescriptions. Nothing new right now.”

Jim Acosta: “Yes, there’s not really a whole lot that’s new inside these remarks here, if you take a look at these remarks in terms of what he said out here today.”

Brooke Baldwin: “I didn’t hear a lot new in the speech. I’m guessing you didn’t hear much new in the speech either.”

Jim Acosta ‏@jimacostacnn Owner of Iowa company where Mitt Romney delivering speech on economy received stimulus funds: on.cnn.com/QKbZg9

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress Romney makes closing economic argument at firm that benefited substantially from stimulus funds thkpr.gs/ScsELv

Sam Youngman ‏@samyoungman Looking at excerpts from Romney’s “major” econ address. Looks like his stump speech to me.

Ari Shapiro ‏@Ari_Shapiro Romney campaign releases excerpts of today’s “major economic speech.” So far looks a lot like the stump speech he’s been giving this week.

Benjy Sarlin ‏@BenjySarlin So….what’s the news in this major Romney speech so far.

Ali Velshi ‏@AliVelshi I’ll rejoin @SuzanneMalveaux on @CNN after Romney’s econ speech from. This speech isn’t delivering specifics.

Kathie Obradovich ‏@KObradovich Romney about 9 minutes into his speech and it has been uniformly negative in terms of bashing Obama. #romneyia

Molly Ball ‏@mollyesque So far Romney’s big speech on the economy is all about Obama.

Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp With all the talk of bi-partisanship, has anyone asked Romney campaign if he still looks back at himself as a severely conservative gov?

Justin Wolfers ‏@justinwolfers Turns out that Romney’s “big economic speech” today, was just a placeholder, so that he could go on the attack if the GDP numbers were bad.

Jonathan Cohn ‏@CitizenCohn It’s been a while since I listened to a full Romney speech. Sort of awe-inspiring to hear all of deceptions strung together.

Eric Kleefeld ‏@EricKleefeld Mitt Romney delivers major economic speech, declares substantively that he loves America.

Molly Ball ‏@mollyesque Apparently difference between a Major Romney Address & a regular Romney speech is whether he enters to “Air Force One” or “Born Free.”

Elizabeth Drew ‏@ElizabethDrewOH There Mitt goes again: He will create the 12 million jobs that are going to happen anyway. Who is going to speak up?

Travis Waldron ‏@Travis_Waldron There was nothing major about that speech.

Poor Mitt Romney. Today, the Economist wrote, “Yet in the latest quarter America made its biggest contribution to world GDP growth since 2005 (excluding periods of global recession).”

Lis Smith, Obama campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement, “Romney has started promising ‘big change,’ but the only change Romney’s offering is to take us back to the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place. That’s not the change we need, and with every ‘major speech,’ Mitt Romney just reminds voters that’s all he’s got to offer.”

Why was Mitt so negative yet unspecific? Because his specifics spell doom for most Americans. The Economic Policy Institute concluded, “Romney’s policy proposals would reduce GDP growth by 0.5% in 2013, and by 1.1% in 2014. His spending cuts alone would reduce GDP growth by 0.9% in 2013 and by 1.3% in 2014.”

Yeah, that’s change you can believe in — Bushian, backward change. Only Mitt Romney would promise to deliver economic news in an allegedly major economic policy speech and then fail to deliver any news or policy.

After what Mitt Romney did to Massachusetts’ economy, it’s unclear why anyone thinks he could do better if he had a hold of the entire nation. Perhaps this is another reason why he fails to deliver specifics. The economy has a long way to go in order to continue its recovery, but backward isn’t advisable.

Irony alert: Romney gave this speech at a location that received Obama stimulus funds.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 28, 2012, 07:48 AM
October 26, 2012 10:00 PM

Romney Repeats False Claim That Jeep is Outsourcing All Jobs to China

By Heather

Here we go again with Willard telling about his thousandth or so lie out on the campaign trail, but this time we find out that apparently badly sourced right wing blogs are his fact checking department. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Romney repeats false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China; Chrysler refutes story:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeated a false claim Thursday night that Chrysler Group may move all Jeep vehicle production to China, drawing criticism from the Obama campaign, which said the Michigan native had blatantly skewed a news wire story.

    Romney’s comments came the same day that the Free Press reported that 1,100 new Chrysler workers will begin making the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs at a plant in Detroit next week.

    “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China,” Romney said during a rally in Defiance, Ohio, before 12,000 cheering supporters, according to several reports. “I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it’s fair, America will win.

    Romney apparently was referencing conservative bloggers who misrepresented a Bloomberg story from Monday that discussed Chrysler’s decision to consider starting Jeep production in China, the world’s largest new-vehicle market.

    That story, while accurate, sparked a raft of other stories and blogs that incorrectly concluded that Chrysler might close plants or move Jeep production from the U.S. to China.

    Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s vice president of communications, criticized those stories Thursday even before Romney made his comments.

    “Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China,” Ranieri said. “It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China, for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation.”

    A spokesperson for the Romney campaign declined to comment.

    In fact, Chrysler is investing $500 million at its Toledo North Assembly Plant and plans to add 1,105 new workers by the third quarter of 2013 to build an all-new SUV that will replace the Jeep Liberty.

    Production of the new SUV will begin next summer and the hiring process for the new workers, who are scheduled to start by the next fall, has begun, said Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.

    Romney’s comments were immediately skewered by auto industry observers and Romney’s political opponents because Chrysler added about 7,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.

As Rachel also noted earlier in her reporting, Romney was out there deriding the stimulus program at... you guessed it... a company that benefited from stimulus funds. This man just lies every time his mouth is open.

You'd think he'd pick his audience a little more carefully though, since all he did is make himself look like a blathering idiot less than two weeks from the election, when voters are paying attention, and when voters in the states that were saved by the auto bailout know better than to believe him.

Click to watch the pathological liar:

<embed src="http://embed.crooksandliars.com/v/MjU4ODgtNjI4NjE?color=C93033" quality="high" wmode="transparent"   width="400" height="336" allowfullscreen="true" name="clembedMjU4ODgtNjI4NjE" align="middle" quality="high" allowScriptAccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer"></embed></object


*****************

October 26, 2012

The Company Romney Keeps

By CHARLES M. BLOW
NYT

The saying goes: A man is known by the company he keeps.

If that is true, what does the company Mitt Romney keeps say about him?

This week Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama again, as he did in 2008. That apparently set John Sununu, a co-chairman of the Romney campaign, on edge. Powell’s endorsement couldn’t possibly be the product of purposeful deliberation over the candidates’ policies. In Sununu’s world of racial reductionism, Powell’s endorsement had a more base explanation: it was a black thing.

On Thursday, Sununu said on CNN:“When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.” He continued: “I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”

Talk about damning with faint praise. In other words, Sununu was basically saying that he was applauding Powell’s inability to see past the color of his own eyelids.

Sununu is the same man who said that the president performed poorly in the first debate because “he’s lazy and disengaged.” He is also the same man who said of the president in July, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”

Could Sununu be unaware that many would register such comments as coded racism? Or was that the intent?

To understand Sununu, it is important to understand his political history.

For starters, he is no stranger to racism controversies. When George H.W. Bush selected him as chief of staff in 1988, The New York Times reported:

“Mr. Sununu’s selection was shadowed by concern among some key Jewish leaders. The 49-year-old New Hampshire Governor, whose father is Lebanese and who takes pride in his Arab ancestry, was the only governor to refuse to sign a June 1987 statement denouncing a 1975 United Nations resolution that equated Zionism with racism.”

But that wasn’t his undoing. It was his actions. In 1991, Sununu became enmeshed in a scandal over using government planes for personal trips.

After the embarrassment of the incident, Bush ordered Sununu to clear all future flights in advance. What happened later you must read for yourself, and it is best stated by Time Magazine in a July 1, 1991, article:

“If Sununu hadn’t exactly been grounded, he had certainly been sent to his room. But Bush underestimated the depth of Sununu’s ethical obtuseness and his zeal at finding a way around the rules. Like a rebellious adolescent, Sununu sneaked down the stairs, grabbed the car keys and slipped out of the White House. After all, the old man had only said, ‘Don’t take the plane.’ He didn’t say anything about the car.”

The piece continued:

“Overcome by a sudden urge two weeks ago to buy rare stamps, Sununu ordered the driver of his government-paid limousine to drive him 225 miles to New York City. He spent the day — and nearly $5,000 — at an auction room at Christie’s. Then he dismissed the driver, who motored back to Washington with no passengers. Sununu returned on a private jet owned by Beneficial Corp.”

By the end of 1991, amid sagging poll numbers, Bush began to see Sununu as a drag and unceremoniously relieved him of his post. As The Times reported then, Sununu was made to plead for his job before he was pushed out anyway:

“Mr. Sununu and the White House portrayed the departure as voluntary. But it followed meetings in which Mr. Bush listened to Mr. Sununu’s arguments that he should stay on and then decided to follow the advice of top-level Republicans who urged the removal of his chief of staff.”

R. W. Apple Jr. wrote in The Times after the move that Bush’s “indirectly soliciting and then promptly accepting” Sununu’s resignation had made it abundantly clear what actually happened.

Sununu has apologized, somewhat, for his racial attack on Powell’s motives. But what should we make of all this?

We have a very racially divided electorate. As The Washington Post reported Thursday, “Obama has a deficit of 23 percentage points, trailing Republican Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among whites, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll.”

The report pointed out that nearly 80 percent of nonwhites support Obama, while 91 percent of Romney’s supporters are white.

I worry that Sununu’s statements intentionally go beyond recognizing racial disparities and seek to exploit them.

What does that say about Romney, and what does it say about his campaign’s tactics?

Remember: A man is known by the company he keeps.

***************

While Romney Runs and Hides, a Confident Obama Takes Media Questions in All Formats

By: Sarah JonesOctober 27th, 2012

While the President makes the rounds and takes questions in situations where “anything can happen”, Romney won’t come on – he’s avoiding the Kids, MTV, Rock Center, Letterman, O’Reilly, and more.

On MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell tackled Romney’s lack of confidence, “The President did at least seven affiliate interviews, a handful of radio interviews and a live interview for the under-30 crowd on MTV.”

TRANSCRIPT via MSNBC with modifications/clarifications:

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: With just 11 days until election, President Obama made the media rounds this week, in between a nonstop campaign scheduled today alone, the president did at least seven affiliate interviews, a handful of radio interviews and a live interview for the under-30 crowd on MTV.

Mitt Romney on the other hand is playing hard to get.

Nickelodeon: Although it was last April when we began requesting that former governor Romney answer your questions, his team has told us he’s been, quote, unable to fit it in, unquote.

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: We should also know once again, we’ve asked for the chance to spend similar time with the Romney campaign.

MTV: Of course we extended the same offer to governor Romney and we hoped to be able to bring you that interview sometime soon.



MTV’S SWAY CALLOWAY: He (Obama) said he’s anxious to get out there and get the message across in terms of young voters and talk about the issues that matter the most for them. And he believed that light night talk show hosts make better interviewers because it allows him to loosen up.

LOD: he also has to be comfort enough to do this. Because he doesn’t know what Sway is going to come up with. You had questions from some viewers and all that, tweeted questions all that stuff.

SWAY: Facebook and tweets.

LOD: And anything can happen in those situations. And that seems to be what mitt Romney is afraid of, is those anything can happen situations.

LOD: There were two shows, two very big ones, by which I mean tall. Complaining about this last night. Let’s look at David Letterman and Bill O’Rielly.



LETTERMAN: We have our own little problem.

O’REILLY: Romney won’t come on. He’s not coming on at all.

LETTERMAN: He doesn’t have to come on.

O’REILLY: I think you and I because he’s not on “The Factor.” We should go together and just confront him.

END TRANSCRIPT

Mitt Romney has had a long standing policy of avoiding the media at all costs. He broke with this to do a few interviews during his summer gaffe-filled diplomacy gone wrong tour, but he only allowed 6 questions in pressers during his entire tour.

Romney has refused to take questions from children, from MTV, from late night hosts, from mainstream outlets and even from Fox News.

Once again, we find in this one issue an attitude that should disqualify Romney from even running for office. If he is this afraid of the press now, how will he treat the fourth estate should he become president?

We need more transparency, not less.

The interviews done this week with the President, especially the Jon Stewart and MTV interviews, provided a chance to hear him discuss issues the mainstream media doesn’t address, like climate change. At one point in the Stewart interview, we almost got into the finer points of laws like the Patriot Act, which would have been fascinating because we never hear the President’s take on pre-existing laws that he has tweaked but kept in place. Sadly, after warning Stewart that it wasn’t sexy but starting to get into it, they had to break.

Still, we got something specific from these interviews that we don’t from mainstream outlets. We got to hear the President’s thought process in a way that reveals his values. Spontaneous interviews and live interviews provide that context and transparency, and it’s a shame that Mitt Romney refuses to do them.

Romney prefers to control his interviews tightly, which is next to impossible in a live interview situation. Romney rarely sits for even scripted, edited interviews to begin with, but when he does, he has refused to appear until the hosts agree to say the things he wants them to:

    Univision says that during his townhall with them, not only did the Romney campaign pack the hall with non-students because they couldn’t find enough supporters on campus, but when the anchor gave an introduction to Mitt that he didn’t like, he refused to go on until they re-taped it. A Republican present called it a “temper tantrum”.

This allows a candidate to perpetuate a false reality for viewers.

Avoiding the press services Romney’s lies. After Romney’s egregious and outrageous lie about Jeep moving jobs to China — told in an Ohio auto industry county — The Detroit Free Press (a conservative paper that endorsed Romney, by the way) wrote that the Romney campaign refused to answer questions about Romney’s incorrect reading:

    If Mitt Romney knows Chrysler will keep making Jeeps in Detroit and Toledo, neither he nor his staffers acknowledged it Friday.

    A spokesman for the Republican presidential candidate declined to answer questions about the candidate’s incorrect reading of a news report that Chrysler was considering moving all Jeep production to China.

The President sat for questions in a Reddit IAmA chat, while the Romney campaign — afraid of the crowdsourced intellect of Reddit — stuck Paul Ryan on Quora where he dodged questions. Romney was too afraid to appear on The View, saying that there was only one conservative on the show. If he can’t handle Nickelodeon or The View, how would he handle Putin?

Romney’s fear and loathing of the press goes back to his father’s bad experiences during his run for the White House, but there’s no excuse for avoiding the press and certainly no excuse to avoid direct questions from voters. The fourth estate is an essential part of our democracy. While we might not like what the candidates say or agree with them on everything, it is more important that they are at least willing to subject themselves to the people’s scrutiny and questions. To refuse to do so should be a disqualifier.

It should trouble all Americans that Romney has this attitude toward the press, and it begs the question, what is he so afraid of?

***************

Mitt Romney’s 5 Point Plan is the Same Plan as McCain in ’08 and Bush in ’04

By: Jason Easley October 28th, 2012

Mitt Romney’s 5 point plan to create jobs was John McCain’s 5 point plan in 2008, and George W. Bush’s 2004. In reality, voters are voting for Bush’s economic ideas, not Romney’s.

Here is Romney’s 5 point plan:

1). Achieve energy independence on this continent by 2020. America is blessed with extraordinary natural resources, and developing them will create millions of good jobs – not only in the energy industry, but also in industries like manufacturing that will benefit from more energy at lower prices.

2). Trade that works for America.

3). Provide Americans with the skills to succeed through better public schools, better access to higher education, and better retraining programs that help to match unemployed workers with real-world job opportunities.

4). Cut the deficit, reducing the size of government and getting the national debt under control so that America remains a place where businesses want to open up shop and hire.

5). Champion small business. Small businesses are the engine of job creation in this country, but they will struggle to succeed if taxes and regulations are too burdensome or if a government in Washington does its best to stifle them. Mitt will pursue comprehensive tax reform that lowers tax rates for all Americans, and he will cut back on the red tape that drives up costs and discourages hiring.

Here is John McCain’s 5 point plan from his 2008 acceptance speech at the Republican convention:

1). I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them.

2). I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

3). Education — education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained, but what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice.

4). We all know that keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs.

5). We’ll attack — we’ll attack the problem on every front. We’ll produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells off-shore, and we’ll
drill them now. We’ll drill them now.

George W. Bush’s 5 point plan for the economy from 2004:

1). To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation and making the tax relief permanent.

2). To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

3). To create jobs, we will expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe.

4). And we must protect small-business owners and workers from the explosion of frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across our country. Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess…

5). To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for. He’s proposed more than $2 trillion in new federal spending so far, and that’s a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts.

Mitt Romney’s 5 point plan to jumpstart the economy is actually John McCain’s 2008 5 point plan to get the economy moving, which was George W. Bush’s 2004 five point plan to grow the economy. The plan for the Republicans is always the same, cut taxes, reduce spending, a talking point about school choice, more domestic oil drilling, and free trade.

The last time this plan was tried by a president the economy collapsed. Voters rejected a rehash of the Bush ideas in 2008, and Mitt Romney is back trying to sell the same plan in a different order in 2012. The reality is that Republicans have no idea how to fix or grow the economy, but they do have an ideology that tells them government is bad, and tax cuts for the wealthy are good.

Mitt Romney isn’t some bold visionary who has the secret to unlocking our national economic power. He is just the latest in a long line of Republican salesmen who are peddling an economic plan that didn’t work then, and won’t work now.

If you are early voting now, or will be stepping into the voting booth on Election Day, remember that you aren’t voting for Mitt Romney’s plan. You’ll be voting for George W. Bush’s, and we all remember where that got us the last time we tried it.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

TRANSCRIPT via MSNBC with modifications/clarifications:

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: With just 11 days until election, President Obama made the media rounds this week, in between a nonstop campaign scheduled today alone, the president did at least seven affiliate interviews, a handful of radio interviews and a live interview for the under-30 crowd on MTV.

Mitt Romney on the other hand is playing hard to get.

Nickelodeon: Although it was last April when we began requesting that former governor Romney answer your questions, his team has told us he’s been, quote, unable to fit it in, unquote.

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: We should also know once again, we’ve asked for the chance to spend similar time with the Romney campaign.

MTV: Of course we extended the same offer to governor Romney and we hoped to be able to bring you that interview sometime soon.

MTV’S SWAY CALLOWAY: He (Obama) said he’s anxious to get out there and get the message across in terms of young voters and talk about the issues that matter the most for them. And he believed that light night talk show hosts make better interviewers because it allows him to loosen up.

LOD: he also has to be comfort enough to do this. Because he doesn’t know what Sway is going to come up with. You had questions from some viewers and all that, tweeted questions all that stuff.

SWAY: Facebook and tweets.

LOD: And anything can happen in those situations. And that seems to be what mitt Romney is afraid of, is those anything can happen situations.

LOD: There were two shows, two very big ones, by which I mean tall. Complaining about this last night. Let’s look at David Letterman and Bill O’Rielly.

ROLL CLIP:

LETTERMAN: We have our own little problem.

O’REILLY: Romney won’t come on. He’s not coming on at all.

LETTERMAN: He doesn’t have to come on.

O’REILLY: I think you and I because he’s not on “The Factor.” We should go together and just confront him.

END TRANSCRIPT

Mitt Romney has had a long standing policy of avoiding the media at all costs. He broke with this to do a few interviews during his summer gaffe-filled diplomacy gone wrong tour, but he only allowed 6 questions in pressers during his entire tour.

Romney has refused to take questions from children, from MTV, from late night hosts, from mainstream outlets and even from Fox News.

Once again, we find in this one issue an attitude that should disqualify Romney from even running for office. If he is this afraid of the press now, how will he treat the fourth estate should he become president?

We need more transparency, not less.

The interviews done this week with the President, especially the Jon Stewart and MTV interviews, provided a chance to hear him discuss issues the mainstream media doesn’t address, like climate change. At one point in the Stewart interview, we almost got into the finer points of laws like the Patriot Act, which would have been fascinating because we never hear the President’s take on pre-existing laws that he has tweaked but kept in place. Sadly, after warning Stewart that it wasn’t sexy but starting to get into it, they had to break.

Still, we got something specific from these interviews that we don’t from mainstream outlets. We got to hear the President’s thought process in a way that reveals his values. Spontaneous interviews and live interviews provide that context and transparency, and it’s a shame that Mitt Romney refuses to do them.

Romney prefers to control his interviews tightly, which is next to impossible in a live interview situation. Romney rarely sits for even scripted, edited interviews to begin with, but when he does, he has refused to appear until the hosts agree to say the things he wants them to:

    Univision says that during his townhall with them, not only did the Romney campaign pack the hall with non-students because they couldn’t find enough supporters on campus, but when the anchor gave an introduction to Mitt that he didn’t like, he refused to go on until they re-taped it. A Republican present called it a “temper tantrum”.

This allows a candidate to perpetuate a false reality for viewers.

Avoiding the press services Romney’s lies. After Romney’s egregious and outrageous lie about Jeep moving jobs to China — told in an Ohio auto industry county — The Detroit Free Press (a conservative paper that endorsed Romney, by the way) wrote that the Romney campaign refused to answer questions about Romney’s incorrect reading:

    If Mitt Romney knows Chrysler will keep making Jeeps in Detroit and Toledo, neither he nor his staffers acknowledged it Friday.

    A spokesman for the Republican presidential candidate declined to answer questions about the candidate’s incorrect reading of a news report that Chrysler was considering moving all Jeep production to China.

The President sat for questions in a Reddit IAmA chat, while the Romney campaign — afraid of the crowdsourced intellect of Reddit — stuck Paul Ryan on Quora where he dodged questions. Romney was too afraid to appear on The View, saying that there was only one conservative on the show. If he can’t handle Nickelodeon or The View, how would he handle Putin?

Romney’s fear and loathing of the press goes back to his father’s bad experiences during his run for the White House, but there’s no excuse for avoiding the press and certainly no excuse to avoid direct questions from voters. The fourth estate is an essential part of our democracy. While we might not like what the candidates say or agree with them on everything, it is more important that they are at least willing to subject themselves to the people’s scrutiny and questions. To refuse to do so should be a disqualifier.

It should trouble all Americans that Romney has this attitude toward the press, and it begs the question, what is he so afraid of?



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 28, 2012, 07:53 AM
October 27, 2012

The Price of a Black President

By FREDRICK C. HARRIS
NYT

WHEN African-Americans go to the polls next week, they are likely to support Barack Obama at a level approaching the 95 percent share of the black vote he received in 2008. As well they should, given the symbolic exceptionalism of his presidency and the modern Republican Party’s utter disregard for economic justice, civil rights and the social safety net.

But for those who had seen in President Obama’s election the culmination of four centuries of black hopes and aspirations and the realization of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a “beloved community,” the last four years must be reckoned a disappointment. Whether it ends in 2013 or 2017, the Obama presidency has already marked the decline, rather than the pinnacle, of a political vision centered on challenging racial inequality. The tragedy is that black elites — from intellectuals and civil rights leaders to politicians and clergy members — have acquiesced to this decline, seeing it as the necessary price for the pride and satisfaction of having a black family in the White House.

These are not easy words to write. Mr. Obama’s expansion of health insurance coverage was the most significant social legislation since the Great Society, his stimulus package blunted much of the devastation of the Great Recession, and the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul added major new protections for consumers. His politics would seem to vindicate the position of civil rights-era leaders like Bayard Rustin, who argued that blacks should form coalitions with other Democratic constituencies in support of universal, race-neutral policies — in opposition to activists like Malcolm X, who distrusted party politics and believed that blacks would be better positioned to advance their interests as an independent voting bloc, beholden to neither party.

But the triumph of “post-racial” Democratic politics has not been a triumph for African-Americans in the aggregate. It has failed to arrest the growing chasm of income and wealth inequality; to improve prospects for social and economic mobility; to halt the re-segregation of public schools and narrow the black-white achievement gap; and to prevent the Supreme Court from eroding the last vestiges of affirmative action. The once unimaginable successes of black diplomats like Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Susan E. Rice and of black chief executives like Ursula M. Burns, Kenneth I. Chenault and Roger W. Ferguson Jr. cannot distract us from facts like these: 28 percent of African-Americans, and 37 percent of black children, are poor (compared with 10 percent of whites and 13 percent of white children); 13 percent of blacks are unemployed (compared with 7 percent of whites); more than 900,000 black men are in prison; blacks experienced a sharper drop in income since 2007 than any other racial group; black household wealth, which had been disproportionately concentrated in housing, has hit its lowest level in decades; blacks accounted, in 2009, for 44 percent of new H.I.V. infections.

Mr. Obama cannot, of course, be blamed for any of these facts. It’s no secret that Republican obstruction has limited his options at every turn. But it’s disturbing that so few black elites have aggressively advocated for those whom the legal scholar Derrick A. Bell called the “faces at the bottom of the well.”

The prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power, regardless of political winds or social pressures, has a long history. Ida B. Wells risked her life to publicize the atrocity of lynching; W. E. B. Du Bois linked the struggle against racial injustice to anticolonial movements around the world; Cornel West continues to warn of the “giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism” that King identified a year before his death.

But that prophetic tradition is on the wane. Changes in black religious practice have played a role. Great preachers of social justice and liberation theology, like Gardner C. Taylor, Samuel DeWitt Proctor, John Hurst Adams, Wyatt Tee Walker and Joseph E. Lowery, have retired or passed away. Taking their place are megachurch preachers of a “gospel of prosperity” — like Creflo A. Dollar Jr., T. D. Jakes, Eddie L. Long and Frederick K. C. Price — who emphasize individual enrichment rather than collective uplift. “There’s more facing us than social justice,” Bishop Jakes has said. “There’s personal responsibility.”

Mr. Obama hasn’t embraced this new gospel, but as a candidate he did invoke the politics of respectability once associated with Booker T. Washington. He urged blacks to exhibit the “discipline and fortitude” of their forebears. He lamented that “too many fathers are M.I.A.” He chided some parents for “feeding our children junk all day long, giving them no exercise.” He distanced himself from his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose incendiary remarks about racism’s legacy caused a maelstrom.

But as president, Mr. Obama has had little to say on concerns specific to blacks. His State of the Union address in 2011 was the first by any president since 1948 to not mention poverty or the poor. The political scientist Daniel Q. Gillion found that Mr. Obama, in his first two years in office, talked about race less than any Democratic president had since 1961. From racial profiling to mass incarceration to affirmative action, his comments have been sparse and halting.

Early in his presidency, Mr. Obama weighed in after the prominent black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass. The president said the police had “acted stupidly,” was criticized for rushing to judgment, and was mocked when he invited Dr. Gates and the arresting officer to chat over beers at the White House. It wasn’t until earlier this year that Mr. Obama spoke as forcefully on a civil rights matter — the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida — saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

INSTEAD of urging Mr. Obama to be more outspoken on black issues, black elites parrot campaign talking points. They dutifully praise important but minor accomplishments — the settlement of a longstanding class-action lawsuit by black farmers; increased funds for black colleges; the reduction (but not elimination) of the disparities in sentences for possession of crack and powder cocaine — while setting aside their critical acumen.

For some, criticism of Mr. Obama is disloyal. “Stick together, black people,” the radio host Tom Joyner has warned. (Another talk show host, Tavis Smiley, joined Dr. West on a “poverty tour” last year, but has been less critical of the president than Dr. West has.)

It wasn’t always so. Though Bill Clinton was wildly popular among blacks, black intellectuals fiercely debated affirmative action, mass incarceration, welfare reform and racial reconciliation during his presidency. In 2001, the Harvard law professor Charles J. Ogletree called the surge in the inmate population “shocking and regrettable” and found it “shameful” that Mr. Clinton “didn’t come out and take a more positive and symbolic approach to the issue of reparations for slavery.” But Mr. Ogletree, a mentor of Mr. Obama’s, now finds “puzzling the idea that a president who happens to be black has to focus on black issues.”

Melissa V. Harris-Perry, a political scientist at Tulane who hosts a talk show for MSNBC, warned in 2005 that African-Americans “who felt most warmly toward Clinton and most trusting of his party’s commitment to African-Americans” were in danger of underestimating “the continued economic inequality of African-Americans relative to whites.” But she has become all but an apologist for Mr. Obama. “No matter what policies he pursues, the president’s racialized embodiment stands as a symbol of triumphant black achievement,” she wrote in The Nation this month.

Black politicians, too, have held their fire. “With 14 percent unemployment if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House,” Representative Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told The Root last month. “The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”

Some of the reticence stems from fear. “If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us,” Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, told a largely black audience in Detroit last year.

But caution explains only so much. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, one of King’s last living disciples, has not used his moral stature to criticize the president’s silence about the poor. Neither have leaders of the biggest civil rights organizations, like Benjamin Todd Jealous of the N.A.A.C.P., Marc H. Morial of the National Urban League or Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, whether because of emotional allegiance or pragmatic accommodation.

The two black governors elected since Reconstruction — L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia and Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts — have also de-emphasized race. So, too, have the new cadre of black politicians who serve largely black constituencies, like Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark, Mayor Michael A. Nutter of Philadelphia and Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama — all of whom, like Mr. Obama, have Ivy League degrees and rarely discuss the impact of racism on contemporary black life.

Some argue that de-emphasizing race — and moving to a “colorblind” politics — is an inevitable and beneficial byproduct of societal change. But this ideal is a myth, even if it’s nice to hear. As Frederick Douglass observed, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” The political scientist E. E. Schattschneider noted that conflict was essential to agenda-setting. Other interest groups — Tea Party activists, environmentalists, advocates for gay and lesbian rights, supporters of Israel and, most of all, rich and large corporations — grasp this insight. Have African-Americans forgotten it?

IN making this case, I have avoided speculation about Mr. Obama’s psychology and background — his biracial heritage, his transnational childhood, his community organizing, his aversion to being seen as “angry,” his canny ability to navigate multiple worlds, his talent at engaging with politics while appearing detached from it. As a social scientist I keep returning to the question: What is the best strategy for black communities to pursue their political interests as a whole?

Were Harold Cruse, the author of the unsparing 1967 book “The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual,” still alive, he would despair at the state of black intellectual life. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., a professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton, told me: “Too many black intellectuals have given up the hard work of thinking carefully in public about the crisis facing black America. We have either become cheerleaders for President Obama or self-serving pundits.”

There are exceptions. Writing in the journal Daedalus last year, the Harvard philosopher Tommie Shelby called Mr. Obama’s approach “a pragmatic strategy for navigating hazardous racial waters” that might improve lives for poor minorities. But he added: “Judged alongside King’s transformative vision of racial equality and integration, Obama’s philosophy is morally deficient and uninspiring.”

Mr. Obama deserves the electoral support — but not the uncritical adulation — of African-Americans. If re-elected he might surprise us by explicitly emphasizing economic and racial justice and advocating “targeted universalism” — job-training and housing programs that are open to all, but are concentrated in low-income, minority communities. He would have to do this in the face of fiscal crisis and poisonous partisanship.

Amid such rancor, African-Americans might come to realize that the idea of having any politician as a role model is incompatible with accountability, the central tenet of representative democracy. By definition, role models are placed on pedestals and emulated, not criticized or held accountable.

To place policy above rhetoric is not to ask what the first black president is doing for blacks; rather, it is to ask what a Democratic president is doing for the most loyal Democratic constituency — who happen to be African-Americans, and who happen to be in dire need of help. Sadly, when it comes to the Obama presidency and black America, symbols and substance have too often been assumed to be one and the same.

A professor of political science and the director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, and the author of “The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics.”


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 28, 2012, 07:58 AM
October 27, 2012

Barack Obama for Re-Election

New York Times

The economy is slowly recovering from the 2008 meltdown, and the country could suffer another recession if the wrong policies take hold. The United States is embroiled in unstable regions that could easily explode into full-blown disaster. An ideological assault from the right has started to undermine the vital health reform law passed in 2010. Those forces are eroding women’s access to health care, and their right to control their lives. Nearly 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, all Americans’ rights are cheapened by the right wing’s determination to deny marriage benefits to a selected group of us. Astonishingly, even the very right to vote is being challenged.

That is the context for the Nov. 6 election, and as stark as it is, the choice is just as clear.

President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless. Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate says volumes about that.

We have criticized individual policy choices that Mr. Obama has made over the last four years, and have been impatient with his unwillingness to throw himself into the political fight. But he has shaken off the hesitancy that cost him the first debate, and he approaches the election clearly ready for the partisan battles that would follow his victory.

We are confident he would challenge the Republicans in the “fiscal cliff” battle even if it meant calling their bluff, letting the Bush tax cuts expire and forcing them to confront the budget sequester they created. Electing Mr. Romney would eliminate any hope of deficit reduction that included increased revenues.

In the poisonous atmosphere of this campaign, it may be easy to overlook Mr. Obama’s many important achievements, including carrying out the economic stimulus, saving the auto industry, improving fuel efficiency standards, and making two very fine Supreme Court appointments.

Health Care

Mr. Obama has achieved the most sweeping health care reforms since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The reform law takes a big step toward universal health coverage, a final piece in the social contract.

It was astonishing that Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Congress were able to get a bill past the Republican opposition. But the Republicans’ propagandistic distortions of the new law helped them wrest back control of the House, and they are determined now to repeal the law.

That would eliminate the many benefits the reform has already brought: allowing children under 26 to stay on their parents’ policies; lower drug costs for people on Medicare who are heavy users of prescription drugs; free immunizations, mammograms and contraceptives; a ban on lifetime limits on insurance payments. Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2014, insurers must accept all applicants. Once fully in effect, the new law would start to control health care costs.

Mr. Romney has no plan for covering the uninsured beyond his callous assumption that they will use emergency rooms. He wants to use voucher programs to shift more Medicare costs to beneficiaries and block grants to shift more Medicaid costs to the states.

The Economy

Mr. Obama prevented another Great Depression. The economy was cratering when he took office in January 2009. By that June it was growing, and it has been ever since (although at a rate that disappoints everyone), thanks in large part to interventions Mr. Obama championed, like the $840 billion stimulus bill. Republicans say it failed, but it created and preserved 2.5 million jobs and prevented unemployment from reaching 12 percent. Poverty would have been much worse without the billions spent on Medicaid, food stamps and jobless benefits.

Last year, Mr. Obama introduced a jobs plan that included spending on school renovations, repair projects for roads and bridges, aid to states, and more. It was stymied by Republicans. Contrary to Mr. Romney’s claims, Mr. Obama has done good things for small businesses — like pushing through more tax write-offs for new equipment and temporary tax cuts for hiring the unemployed.

The Dodd-Frank financial regulation was an important milestone. It is still a work in progress, but it established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, initiated reform of the derivatives market, and imposed higher capital requirements for banks. Mr. Romney wants to repeal it.

If re-elected, Mr. Obama would be in position to shape the “grand bargain” that could finally combine stimulus like the jobs bill with long-term deficit reduction that includes letting the high-end Bush-era tax cuts expire. Stimulus should come first, and deficit reduction as the economy strengthens. Mr. Obama has not been as aggressive as we would have liked in addressing the housing crisis, but he has increased efforts in refinancing and loan modifications.

Mr. Romney’s economic plan, as much as we know about it, is regressive, relying on big tax cuts and deregulation. That kind of plan was not the answer after the financial crisis, and it will not create broad prosperity.

Foreign Affairs

Mr. Obama and his administration have been resolute in attacking Al Qaeda’s leadership, including the killing of Osama bin Laden. He has ended the war in Iraq. Mr. Romney, however, has said he would have insisted on leaving thousands of American soldiers there. He has surrounded himself with Bush administration neocons who helped to engineer the Iraq war, and adopted their militaristic talk in a way that makes a Romney administration’s foreign policies a frightening prospect.

Mr. Obama negotiated a much tougher regime of multilateral economic sanctions on Iran. Mr. Romney likes to say the president was ineffective on Iran, but at the final debate he agreed with Mr. Obama’s policies. Mr. Obama deserves credit for his handling of the Arab Spring. The killing goes on in Syria, but the administration is working to identify and support moderate insurgent forces there. At the last debate, Mr. Romney talked about funneling arms through Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are funneling arms to jihadist groups.

Mr. Obama gathered international backing for airstrikes during the Libyan uprising, and kept American military forces in a background role. It was smart policy.

In the broadest terms, he introduced a measure of military restraint after the Bush years and helped repair America’s badly damaged reputation in many countries from the low levels to which it had sunk by 2008.

The Supreme Court

The future of the nation’s highest court hangs in the balance in this election — and along with it, reproductive freedom for American women and voting rights for all, to name just two issues. Whoever is president after the election will make at least one appointment to the court, and many more to federal appeals courts and district courts.

Mr. Obama, who appointed the impressive Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, understands how severely damaging conservative activism has been in areas like campaign spending. He would appoint justices and judges who understand that landmarks of equality like the Voting Rights Act must be defended against the steady attack from the right.

Mr. Romney’s campaign Web site says he will “nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito,” among the most conservative justices in the past 75 years. There is no doubt that he would appoint justices who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Civil Rights

The extraordinary fact of Mr. Obama’s 2008 election did not usher in a new post-racial era. In fact, the steady undercurrent of racism in national politics is truly disturbing. Mr. Obama, however, has reversed Bush administration policies that chipped away at minorities’ voting rights and has fought laws, like the ones in Arizona, that seek to turn undocumented immigrants into a class of criminals.

The military’s odious “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule was finally legislated out of existence, under the Obama administration’s leadership. There are still big hurdles to equality to be brought down, including the Defense of Marriage Act, the outrageous federal law that undermines the rights of gay men and lesbians, even in states that recognize those rights.

Though it took Mr. Obama some time to do it, he overcame his hesitation about same-sex marriage and declared his support. That support has helped spur marriage-equality movements around the country. His Justice Department has also stopped defending the Defense of Marriage Act against constitutional challenges.

Mr. Romney opposes same-sex marriage and supports the federal act, which not only denies federal benefits and recognition to same-sex couples but allows states to ignore marriages made in other states. His campaign declared that Mr. Romney would not object if states also banned adoption by same-sex couples and restricted their rights to hospital visitation and other privileges.

Mr. Romney has been careful to avoid the efforts of some Republicans to criminalize abortion even in the case of women who had been raped, including by family members. He says he is not opposed to contraception, but he has promised to deny federal money to Planned Parenthood, on which millions of women depend for family planning.

For these and many other reasons, we enthusiastically endorse President Barack Obama for a second term, and express the hope that his victory will be accompanied by a new Congress willing to work for policies that Americans need.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 28, 2012, 10:44 AM
Prometheus,

Your posts have been removed because they are simply political commentary from your point of view. This thread is about the election of Obama and Romney and articles that directly reflect that election in the USA.

I have talked to you about this before. Please don't do this again.

God Bless, Rad


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 29, 2012, 07:13 AM

Press Wakes Up to Romney’s Lies, Says There’s ‘no excuse’ for ‘astonishingly misleading’ Jeep Ad

By: Sarah Jones October 29th, 2012

The Romney campaign has jumped the lie shark with their new ad slyly building on the lie that Chrysler is moving Jeep jobs to China. Romney told this easily disproven falsehood to Ohioans at a rally last week. Chrysler pointed out that a “careful and unbiased” understanding “would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.”

When asked to comment on Romney’s claims, the Romney campaign at first refused to comment and then defended the lie with an already debunked Bloomberg article that everyone knows is wrong. The press is not impressed. It seems they have finally met a lie they can’t excuse.

Here’s a roundup of the brutal reaction:

Detroit Free Press: “Not only was the story wrong, Romney took criticism for not knowing better and repeating it without questioning it.”

Toledo Blade: “‘The latest Romney ad, I will grant you, is a clever play on words to avoid saying things that are utterly false,’ Mr. Rattner said, referring to a new Romney ad out today. But he said the implication of the ad is ‘just not true. Chrysler is adding people. It’s made major investments in the Toledo Wrangler plant.’”

Huffington Post: “Where the ad goes from misleading to something more nefarious is in the text it shows. At one point, it displays a line from a Bloomberg story stating that Chrysler “plans to return Jeep output to China,” the implication being that the company is moving operations there as opposed to expanding operations that are already there.”

Wall Street Journal: “So far, the Romney campaign hasn’t issued a public statement on the flap.”

Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp i asked this morning and am still waiting this evening: anyone have a sound defense of this Romney Jeep ad?

Ron Fournier ‏@ron_fournier Nope “@samsteinhp: i asked this morning and am still waiting this evening: anyone have a sound defense of this Romney Jeep ad?”

Ben White ‏@morningmoneyben Wait, not only did Romney camp not back off the erroneous Jeep to China canard, they made an ad out of it? My god

Ben White ‏@morningmoneyben @davidshepardson it’s astonishingly misleading

David Shepardson ‏@davidshepardson @morningmoneyben I agree many people will assume ad means Jeep sending US jobs to China

Joe Vardon ‏@joevardon Wait, Jeep isn’t considering moving manufacturing to China? But Romney said in Ohio … bit.ly/ScsbsY

McKay Coppins ‏@mckaycoppins There’s really no good explanation or excuse for it. Mitt Romney’s Jeep ad is misleading. Full stop.

Tim Dickinson ‏@7im”Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China” on.freep.com/VRbWVD

Michael Cohen ‏@speechboy71 The mendaciousness of Romney’s new auto ad is breathtaking even for him: www.detroitnews.com/article/2012102… …

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress Is the new Romney ad on the auto bailout the most dishonest one this cycle? thkpr.gs/RdUgMh #probably

Travis Waldron ‏@Travis_Waldron Mitt can’t tell the truth about GM/Chrysler, because the truth is simple: At every turn, he was wrong.

Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp The Romney campaign did defend the Jeep ad to me, by citing the Bloomberg piece that has been called wrong by Jeep huff.to/PAZCWY

Blake Hounshell ‏@blakehounshell OK, @CitizenCohn has persuaded me: this is pretty despicable www.tnr.com/blog/plank/109256/romne… …

Andrew Kaczynski ‏@BuzzFeedAndrew Interestingly, this Romney ad cites the Detroit News, which also debunked the Jeep production moving to China claim. youtu.be/kVv6w0EC7Qs

Josh Greenman ‏@joshgreenman Who’s acting desperate now? www.tnr.com/blog/plank/109256/romne… …

Kurt Eichenwald ‏@kurteichenwald Do GOPers believe Romney when he repeatedly says Chrysler’ moving jeep job to china, when company says it’s a lie? He’ll say anything to win

A few headlines:

Detroit News: New Romney ad: ‘Italians’ plan to build Jeeps in China
Detroit Free Press: Romney returns topic to auto industry bailout, his weak spot, in crucial swing state Ohio
Detroit Free Press: Romney camp silent on his Jeep-to-China gaffe
Detroit News: Romney picks up incorrect story about Jeep production moving to China
Detroit Free Press: Romney repeats false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China; Chrysler refutes story
MLive: Romney wrongly claims Chrysler may move all Jeep production to China
NBC 24: Jeep not leaving Toledo for China, Chrysler assures
Toledo Blade: Romney tweaks Jeep production to China claim
CBS: Romney cites incorrect auto manufacturing claim in Ohio
The Hill: Chrysler: Romney is wrong, Jeep not leaving US for China
NBC: Politics of auto bailout haunt Romney in Northwest Ohio
Huffington Post: Mitt Romney Releases Auto Ad That Misleads On Facts
Think Progress: Romney Auto Bailout Ad Tells Four Myths In 30 Seconds
The New Republic: A Desperate, Deceptive Gambit for Romney in Ohio

The truth is that Chrysler is not moving its Jeep production from America to China. In fact they are adding jobs, “Chrysler Group announced that it will invest $500 million at the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) for the production of the next generation Jeep® SUV in 2013. As a result, the Company will add a second shift of production or about 1,100 jobs in the third quarter of 2013.”

The press is confused by Mitt’s mendacity, especially the conservative Detroit Free Press, which endorsed Mitt only to find him lying about their area of expertise — the auto industry. They were shocked when they tried to get the Romney campaign to comment on Romney’s Jeep lies and the campaign blew them off and then continued to tell the lie. Yes, this is the candidate they endorsed for President.

This is hardly Romney’s first go at ignoring facts. Mitt Romney makes his own reality and is outraged if you point to facts because they are not facts in Mitt Romney’s book. Romney is the sole decider of what is a fact and what is not in Mittland.

Is anyone concerned yet?

Here’s the Romney campaign’s desperate attempt to rewrite “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” in Ohio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=REB_Q7N8vSw


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 29, 2012, 07:17 AM

With Turnout up 20%, Democrats Lead Republicans 50%-31% in North Carolina Early Voting

By: Jason Easley October 28th, 2012

The early voting numbers in North Carolina are trickling in, and they don’t look good for Romney. Democrats lead Republicans 50%-31% in early voting, turnout is up 20% overall, and young voter turnout is up 24%.

The Obama campaign’s attempt to win North Carolina for a second time is built on getting voters who are don’t vote in every election registered and voting early. Since July, Democrats have almost doubled Republicans in new voter registrations, 120,000-68,000. Since 2008, the number of African Americans who have registered to vote in the state has increased by 168,000. So far these efforts are paying off in early voting, as Democrats who didn’t vote in 2010 are outvoting Republicans by a 2 to 1 margin.

African-American voters make up 22% of North Carolina’s electorate, and their early voting turnout is up 23% over 2008. African Americans have already cast 72,000 more ballots in North Carolina than at the same time in 2008. Turnout among young voters is also up 24%, and it is a pretty safe bet that the vast majority of these young and African-American voters aren’t showing up to support Romney.

Overall, 50% of the early votes that have been cast have been by Democrats. Thirty one percent have come from Republicans. Early voting turnout is up 20% over the same point in 2008, and 1.3 million votes cast (an increase of 277,000 over this point in 2008.)

Unlike Ohio where both the polls and the early voting numbers both favor Obama, the polls in North Carolina show a tie or small Romney lead. The Republicans wanted to have North Carolina wrapped up by now, and they don’t. Romney has been unable to close the deal in the state, and if President Obama can pile up a huge early voting edge, Romney may have to fight for a state that his campaign wants everyone to believe is in the bag.

Obama only won North Carolina by 14,000 votes in 2008, and it would surprise no one if Romney won it in 2012. One thing that is becoming clear is that whoever wins the state will not have a large margin of victory. It would not be surprising if the Tar Heel State was decided by a similarly small margin to that of 2008.

Don’t believe the bluster coming from the Romney campaign about North Carolina. It is far from a done deal. In fact, either candidate could still win the state.

While Republicans have stepped up their early voting game, it wouldn’t be shocking if the vastly superior Obama ground game kept the state blue in 2012.

The Romney campaign is trying to depress Democratic early voting turnout by claiming the state is a done deal for him. If you haven’t voted yet, go vote.

Because just like in 2008, your vote could be the margin of victory in North Carolina.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 29, 2012, 09:17 AM
This most stunning part of all this is that about 90 million of American will vote for this pathological liar, psychopath, and sociopath anyway ...
 
Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XL

By Steve Benen
 
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:23 PM EDT

A joke made the rounds this week, which resonated with me. It goes like this: a man dies, goes to heaven, stands before St. Peter, and see a huge wall of clocks. The man asks what all the clocks are for and St. Peter explains, "These are lie clocks. Everyone on earth has a lie clock. Every time a person lies, the clock hands move."

Pointing to one, the man says, "Whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's," St. Peter answers. "The hands have never moved, indicating she never told a lie."

"Incredible," the man responds. "And whose clock is that?"

St. Peter responds, "That's Abraham Lincoln's. The hands moved twice telling us he told two lies in his entire life."

"Where is Mitt Romney's clock?" the man asks.

"Romney's clock is in Jesus' office," St. Peter says. "He's using it as a ceiling fan."

It's obviously just a joke, but it reinforces an increasingly common observation about Romney's casual relationship with the truth. Consider, for example, the 40th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. At an event in Defiance, Ohio, last night, Romney told voters, "I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China."

Even by Romney standards, this was a rather brazen falsehood.

2. At a campaign event in Reno, Nevada, Romney said President Obama has been "unable to communicate an agenda" for a second term.

The day before, Obama published a 20-page agenda for a second term.

3. At the same event, Romney said, "The idea that the president would cut Medicare for current seniors ... is something which I don't think the American people understand."

The notion that Obama is cutting Medicare for current seniors is ridiculously untrue. Indeed, Obama is expanding benefits, not cutting them.

4. Romney added, "I will get America to finally be on track to a balanced budget."

No he won't. Romney's plan slashes tax rates (which makes the deficit worse, not better), increases defense and entitlement spending (which makes the deficit worse, not better), and every independent analysis reaches the same conclusion: Romney's numbers don't add up.

5. Romney also argued, "If I'm elected -- when I'm elected -- we're going to finally get this housing market going."

The housing market is currently seeing its strongest gains in several years. Romney, meanwhile, has said he intends to deliberately avoid any efforts to curtail foreclosures.

6. Romney said, "Under President Obama, you really don't have a jobs plan."

Romney doesn't have to like the American Jobs Act, but he shouldn't get away with brazenly lying about its existence.

7. Romney went on to say, "Paul Ryan and I have a plan with five simple steps. These steps are going to get America's economy just cooking again."

The five-point plan -- oil drilling, trade, privatizing K-12 education, vague assertions about debt reduction, and ambiguous promises about doing nice things for small businesses -- is a rehash of Bush/Cheney promises. No credible analysis of the vague agenda has found it capable of boosting the economy.

8. At a campaign event in Henderson, Nevada, Romney blamed Obama for the "doubling of the gasoline prices you're paying."

This is wildly misleading. It's true that when Obama took office, gas cost about $1.81 a gallon, and it's more than double now. And how did gas prices get so low in late 2008 and early 2009? Because there was a global economic catastrophe -- gas was cheap because the economy had fallen off a cliff, and demand crawled to a stop. As the economy improved, demand went up, and the price of gas started climbing. It's Economics 101.

9. At the same event, Romney said, " We're gonna crack down on cheaters when they steal our jobs through unfair trade practices like China, we'll crack down. He has not."

Yes he has.

10. In a television ad debuted this week, Romney says a second Obama term would mean "the debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion."

If Romney's elected and the Ryan budget plan is implemented, the debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion.

11. In the same ad, Romney adds that if there's a second Obama term "20 million Americans could lose their employer-based health care."

No. Millions may get different insurance, but they'll have better and more secure coverage, not nothing. By Romney's reasoning, if you replace your old, unreliable car with a new one, you've lost your car.

12. Also in the ad, Romney says in a second term for the president, "taxes on the middle class will go up by $4,000."

That's absurd.

13. In the same ad, Romney whines about "$716 billion in Medicare cuts that hurt current seniors."

This is deeply silly. Obama strengthened the Medicare system's finances by reducing payments to insurance companies and hospitals. Benefits for seniors have been expanded, not cut.

14. In this week's debate in Boca, Romney argued, "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea."

Iran doesn't share a border with Syria, and Iran already borders two bodies of water.

15. Romney also said, "We need to have strong allies. Our association and connection with our allies is essential to America's strength. We're the great nation that has 42 allies and friends around the world."

The United States has more than 42 allies and friends around the world.

16. Romney argued, "When the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred. For the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake."

Obama wasn't silent, and the comment continues to reinforce suspicions that Romney is incapable of thinking strategically when it comes to foreign policy.

17. Romney also said, "The president said by now we'd be at 5.4 percent unemployment."

That's a favorite GOP talking point, but the president never said this.

18. "As a matter of fact, Latin America's economy is almost as big as the economy of China."

As a matter of fact, that's really not true.

19. Reflecting on his education record, Romney boasted, "While I was governor, I was proud that our fourth graders came out number one of all 50 states in English and then also in math, and our eighth graders number one in English and also in math -- first time one state had been number one in all four measures. How did we do that? Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education that focused on having great teachers in the classroom."

At a minimum, this is wildly misleading. It's true that policymakers from both parties instituted effective education reforms that improved Massachusetts schools, but this was done many years before Romney took office.

20. Romney argued, "Come on our website, you'll look at how we get to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years."

Aside from some vague platitudes, there is no balanced-budget plan on Romney's website. There's a good reason for that -- his numbers don't add up.

21. Romney went on to say, "We [balance the budget] by getting, by reducing spending in a whole series of programs. By the way, number one I get rid of is Obamacare. There are a number of things that sound good but, frankly, we just can't afford them."

This is incoherent and absurd. "Obamacare" cuts the deficit to the tune of about $109 billion over the next decade. It's simply incoherent to say you'll cut the deficit by eliminating a law, which would in turn increase the deficit. That's like promising to put out a fire by using more kerosene.

22. Romney argued, "I was in the world of business for 25 years. If you didn't balance your budget, you went out of business."

That's both untrue and ridiculous. Businesses operate in the red all the time, and take out loans for capital improvements, expansions, acquisitions, etc. If Romney's background is in the private sector, how could he not know this?

23. Romney also said, "I went to the Olympics that was out of balance, and we got it on balance."

In context, Romney made it sound as if he balanced the Olympics' books through skill. In reality, he balanced his budget at the Olympics thanks to a massive taxpayer bailout, the largest in U.S. history for any Olympic games.

24. Romney argued, "Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917."

Oh, please.

25. Romney added, "[T]he president began what I've called an apology tour."

This is what I've called Romney lying.

26. Romney also said, "[T]he president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel."

There's simply no record of Obama ever saying that or anything like it.

27. Romney argued, "I look around the world, I don't see our influence growing around the world."

There's ample evidence that respect and support for the United States around the world has improved under Obama.

28. Romney added, "Is al Qaeda on the run, on its heels? No."

Sure it is.

29. Romney complained about "our decision to cut back on our military capabilities -- a trillion dollars."

Romney appears to be referring to cuts, which have not yet kicked in, and which were crafted, not by the White House, but by Romney's own party. They were also endorsed and supported by his own running mate.

30. In reference to the rescue of the American auto industry, Romney argued, "I said they need, these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees."

That is absolutely not what he said.

31. Romney went on to say, "I want to invest in research. Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tank, great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not. That's the wrong way to go."

We know Romney doesn't mean this because, as governor, he invested in companies all the time.

32. Romney added we're "heading towards Greece."

For those who have even a passing familiarity with the Greek crisis, this is painfully untrue.

33. Romney argued, "I'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs."

Putting aside the pesky detail that Romney doesn't actually have a specific jobs plan, the claim about 12 million jobs has been definitely proven fraudulent. His own economic advisor was forced to concede the candidate's -- and the campaign's -- talking point was based on a falsehood.

34. Romney also said, "I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle."

No he didn't.

35. At a campaign event in Daytona Beach, Florida, Romney promised, "If I am elected, we're going to reduce taxes on middle income Americans."

There's ample reason to believe the exact opposite -- independent budget analysts have concluded that once Romney slashes taxes on the wealthy, increases defense spending, increases entitlement spending, and cuts corporate tax rates, all while promising to balance the budget, he'll have no choice but to ask more from the middle class. Indeed, there's no other way for Romney to keep his other promises.

36. "Look, the president wants to fundamentally transform America. He's making us more and more like Europe. I don't want to become Europe."

The irony is, Europe is trying to grow through austerity, just as Romney intends to do here. He's lying in a self-refuting sort of way.

to see the entire list click on this blog: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/26/14725019-chronicling-mitts-mendacity-vol-xl?lite

scroll to the bottom in which you will then see this:

Previous editions of Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity: Vol. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII,XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV, XXXVI, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 29, 2012, 09:34 AM

The Boston Globe Endorses President Obama Over Their Former Gov Romney

By: Sarah Jones October 29th, 2012

After the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed Obama, Romney must have been relieved when his other home state paper the Detroit News endorsed him. But today, the real blow comes from Massachusetts, where he was Governor. The Boston Globe has endorsed President Obama.

The Globe writes of many reasons to reelect Obama, saying that not only would a second term be a mandate against the Republican obstructionism, but it would curb the power of special interests:

“Obama’s reelection would also curb the growing power of special interests, who so often hide their self-serving agendas behind a facade of fist-in-the-air patriotism and promises of low taxes. Anyone who lived through the crash of 2008, and now sees Republicans in Congress seeking to thwart the Dodd-Frank law’s protections, should sense the true impetus behind all the pronouncements about unleashing the job creators. The Supreme Court’s wrongheaded Citizens United decision, granting corporations unlimited power to influence campaigns, provided yet another weapon for the powerful to deploy against the general interest.”

The Globe praises Obama’s diligence and bipartisanship, and calls out the Republican meme that it’s Obama who is divisive, “He stands between the divides in American society, so some say he must therefore be the source of division. But as president, Obama has reached out repeatedly to Republicans and shied away from the I’m-the-decider pronouncements of his predecessor. He’s been diligent and responsible — to a fault.”

Reminding us where we were and what we avoided under Obama’s leadership (with a few painful reminders of the “chaos” of the Bush years), they write, “As Obama was taking the oath on Jan. 20, 2009, the economy was losing a whopping 818,000 jobs in that month alone, with almost as many to follow in each of the next two months. Soon, Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package stopped the hemorrhage, and the still-bruised labor market has added jobs fitfully ever since.”

The Globe makes more of a case for Obama than a case against Romney, though they seem as confused as most as to which Romney is running for President and this is a danger for a president, “Identifying the real Romney on any major issue — social, economic, or foreign — is impossible. But a president this vulnerable within his party, needing to satisfy a conservative Congress, could never make good on his moderate commitments. Whichever Romney shows up, the Romney years would end up looking a lot like the Bush years.”

Those are scary words. The Globe harkened back to the chaos of Bush in a way that freshly reminded me of what a different style of leadership we have in Obama. We don’t lurch from crisis to crisis having to give Obama the benefit of the doubt when he wasn’t around. Obama canceled his campaign plans as Sandy was heading our way, and he’s been quietly there, working, planning, organizing, calling governors — he’s been there. Obama is a soothing presence, not only because he’s working steadily and he never makes erratic sudden moves, but because we can count on him to never be small or petty. He is always just putting Americans first, as even Governor Chris Christie acknowledged yesterday.

The Boston Globe is the paper that knows Romney’s elected leadership style best. The Salt Lake Tribune would be second in knowing Romney’s leadership style. It would be natural for both papers to have a loyalty to home stater Romney, but both papers went for President Obama.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 30, 2012, 08:02 AM

Mitt lied about Jeep because he has to lie. The truth would sink his campaign.

By: Black Liberal Boomer October 30th, 2012

Of course Romney’s Jeep ad was a lie, and no it’s not surprising that he has continued to perpetuate that lie for as long as he figures he can get away with it.

That’s because Romney himself is a lie. His position on (INSERT CAMPAIGN PROMISE HERE) is a lie, and if he says it’s not a lie then he’s lying. It’s like the Rev. Al Sharpton said a few weeks ago, I believe it was on the MSNBC panel discussing the second presidential debate, when he said that Mitt Romney was an “accomplished liar”, whereas Paul Ryan was only a “fibber” striving to reach the breathtaking heights of the  acknowledged master.

I realize I’m not breaking new ground when pointing to the fact that Mitt is a liar, and yet it does seem somewhat comical in a painful sort of way at this point when some of us continue to act surprised at stories such as the one about the Jeep ad which manufactured a lie so big and bold that the Jeep folks themselves over at Chrysler had to step up and let it be known what a whopper this one was. Sure it was a whopper, but then this is the guy who spun so many lies so hard and fast during his first debate that Obama got dizzy. Then came the second debate and he lied some more, only this time POTUS was ready for him (“Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”). I’m pretty sure he went on to toss a few more onto the heap during the third and final debate, but at this point who’s counting, right?

Romney is lying because Romney has to lie. It’s the best card he has to play in a stacked deck, betting on the ignorance and short term memory of the electorate. Oh, and rightwing racial hatred. Romney knows that if he were to tell too much of the truth then he would have to switch sides and begin campaigning for Obama, so instead he and his crew of ankle biters have conspired to weave an intricate alternate universe where the truth is defined strictly by the degree to which it benefits Romney. For instance, in RomneyWorld, Romney never told Detroit to go bankrupt, he only suggested that they consider a managed bankruptcy and Obama stole his idea from him. In RomneyWorld, Obama Care was modeled after..well…something else. In RomneyWorld, a steady if somewhat slowly improving unemployment rate (5.2 million jobs over the past 31 months) is not what a recovery looks like.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled democracy.

****************

Clinton slams Romney: Jeep ad the ‘biggest load of bull in the world’

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, October 29, 2012 22:50 EDT

Former President Bill Clinton on Monday blasted Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over a misleading advertisement his campaign recently released.

“Now it turns out that Jeep is reopening in China because they made so much money here they can afford to do it and they are going on with their plans here,” he said at a campaign event in Youngstown, Ohio. “They put out a statement today saying that it was the biggest load of bull in the world that they would consider shutting down their American operation.”

“They are roaring in America thanks to people like the people of Ohio. So in keeping with that, here is what I want to say I think this election is about. I support Barack Obama because I think he has got a better jobs plan, and a better jobs record, a better budget plan, a better education plan, a better health care plan than his opponent Governor Romney.”

Citing a Bloomberg News report, the ad suggests that Chrysler is moving Jeep production from North America to China and blames Obama for taking the car maker into bankruptcy. The President forced Chrysler into federal bankruptcy protection in 2009 and the company is now operated by Italian car maker Fiat.

However, Chrysler is not actually shifting Jeep production from North America to China. Instead, it is looking to expand production in China — the world’s largest auto market — while still maintaining production in the U.S. The company announced Monday that it nearly doubled its profit in the July through September period.

Click to watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2TiE2HzeYpQ

**************

Obama Stops Romney’s Jeep Lie Dead In its Tracks With Blistering New Ohio Ad

By: Jason Easley October 29th, 2012

The Obama campaign is stopping Romney’s Jeep to China lie dead in its tracks with a tough new ad that delivers the facts, and calls Romney a liar.

Here is the ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7iE5wBfM1LQ

The script for the ad reads, “When the auto industry faced collapse, Mitt Romney turned his back. Even the conservative Detroit News criticized Romney for his ‘wrong-headedness’ on the bailout. And now, after Romney’s false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China, Chrysler ITSELF has refuted Romney’s lie. The truth? Jeep is ADDING jobs in Ohio. Mitt Romney on Ohio jobs? Wrong Then. Mitt Romney: ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’ Dishonest Now.”

In the span of 30 seconds, the Obama campaign called Romney both a liar and dishonest. The problem for Romney is that Ohio voters aren’t going to be fooled by his last ditch gambit to scare them into supporting him. During a conference call with reporters today, UAW Region 2B Director Ken Lortz summed up the reaction to Romney’s desperate tactics as, “The people of Toledo and North Ohio are being subjected to this filth and we won’t tolerate it.”

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina pointed out that Romney is getting desperate, so he released an ad that everyone knows is false. The fact that Romney ran this ad tells you a lot about him and where he stands in Ohio. The reality is that Romney is trailing in 14 of the 16 most recent polls released in the state. (The other two polls are tied.) Even though Romney isn’t leading a single poll of the state, many in the mainstream media continue to push the Romney campaign’s spin that the state is a toss up. As Nate Silver keeps pointing out, the data shows that the state isn’t a toss up. Obama is the favorite to win in Ohio.

Desperate campaigns do things like intentionally twisting a Bloomberg article so that they can claim that Jeep is moving jobs to China when the opposite is true. The Romney campaign has been backing their lies about Jeeps with bluffs about momentum. They are also bluffing about expanding the map, and their biggest bluff of all is the idea that Ohio is somehow up for grabs.

The hard data coming out about early voting doesn’t lie. Obama is piling up big leads in Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, and the president is doing well in North Carolina. Romney currently leads in zero battleground states. Mitt Romney had to have Ohio. He is not getting it, so his campaign is subtly starting to spin away from Ohio by claiming that Wisconsin is the new Ohio, and Minnesota is the new Ohio.

Mitt Romney is trying to lie his way to victory in Ohio, and the Obama campaign has responded by calling out the lie and the liar.



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 30, 2012, 08:04 AM

Joe Biden Slams Romney, ‘He will say anything to win, but he can’t run from the truth.’

By: Jason Easley and Sarah Jones October 29th, 2012

Joe Biden unloaded on Mitt Romney for his Jeep lies and said he will ‘say anything, absolutely anything, to win, it seems. But he can’t run from the truth.’

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1zyhndHr6vs

Transcript:

    Look, his saying he’ll get tough on China is only outdone by his bizarre, bizarre claim about the automobile industry. A week ago, remember what he was saying with the President — is, Mr. President, I supported the rescue of the automobile industry. I did it. I said exactly what you did. I said we’ll get them through bankruptcy, et cetera. Problem is he did not say there should be a — he would not allow a penny of federal money to help them out, and there was nobody, including Bain Capital, willing to come in and help them out.

    But here’s the thing. This guy pirouettes more than a ballerina. Now he says — seriously, think of what he’s saying within two weeks. I find — I’ve never seen this in public. I’ve served with eight Presidents. I have never seen this in my public life. Within two weeks, he’s running an ad in this state saying that President Obama made the companies go bankrupt; is now — gave the industry the Italians, who are selling it to the Chinese. Whoa. As we say in my faith, bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I mean, what are you talking about? I have never seen anything like that. It’s an absolutely patently false assertion. It’s such an outrageous assertion that one of the few times in my memory a major American corporation, Chrysler, has felt obliged to go public and say, there is no truth. They said, Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. Chrysler Corporation, which is highly unusual, said, a careful and unbiased reading would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

    Ladies and gentlemen, have they no shame?

    Romney will say anything, absolutely anything, to win, it seems. But he can’t run from the truth. He said in an article entitled — that he wrote — “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

Vice President Biden played the role of our moral compass today, articulating what so many are feeling about the Romney campaign. “Have they no shame?” No, apparently, they don’t.

When Joe pointed out that this kind of blatantly fasle assertion compelled a major corporation to step forward in order to clarify it, his words have weight. It’s not too often you’re going to see a major corporation step into a political fray but Romney has a way of pushing people, allies, elected officials from other countries, and now corporations into defending themselves against his abuse.

The problem is that not only did Romney not think about the middle class he was frightening in Ohio with his Jeep moving to China lies, but he also never thought about the impact of his completely false assertion on the Chrysler corporation. Last I heard, corporations were people, so it follows that Romney has misused and abused Chrysler for his political gain with nary a thought as to what is moral, proper, or even wise. Were he to be president, he might find the binders full of enemies he’s creating troublesome, and so might we.

Smoking Joe really brought it home with this, “I find — I’ve never seen this in public. I’ve served with eight Presidents. I have never seen this in my public life.” It’s finally sinking in that Mitt Romney isn’t a Michele Bachmann type liar. Not only is Romney running for a national office on a platform of lies, but he isn’t crazy like Bachmann. At least Bachmann only attacks those she will never need. But Romney isn’t even that smart. Romney attacks our greatest allies, puts words in the Australian Foreign Minister’s mouth — using him to attack the President of the US which is not good for Australia, and uses Chrysler to scare Ohioans into forgetting that he was against them when it mattered.

Has Mitt Romney no shame? I haven’t seen any sign that he is capable of feeling shame. He proceeded forward with the Jeep ad knowing it was false. He avoids the press Paris Hitlon style, pretending he didn’t hear them as his entourage presses on. Mitt Romney is a hot mess of a candidate who never should have made it out of the primaries. The only reason he did was Jon Huntsman was too sane for the teabaggers and the rest of the gang was too crazy for average Americans. That left Republicans with the guy who will say anything to anyone with no guiding conscience and no shame.

Mitt Romney makes his own reality and he believes he has the right to do so. Didn’t we already have a decider in office? That didn’t work out so well.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 30, 2012, 08:12 AM
Bloomberg News: Romney ‘rented’ Mormon church’s exemption to defer taxes for 15 years

By David Edwards
Monday, October 29, 2012 15:08 EDT

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney used a loophole to “rent” the Mormon church’s tax exemption status and defer paying taxes for 15 years, according to a new report.

Tax returns obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request indicated that Romney set up a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) in June 1996 just before Congress cracked down on the loophole in 1997.

“In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years,” Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker explained. “At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires.”

Estates lawyer Jonathan Blattmachr told Bloomberg that Romney’s trust benefits from the Mormon church’s exempt status because charities don’t pay capital gains taxes when they make a profit from the sale of assets.

“The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said, adding that the charitable contribution “is just a throwaway” and the church would receive little if any financial benefit from the trust.

“I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero,” he pointed out.

The CRUT allows individuals to “defer capital gains taxes on any profit from the sale of the assets, and receive a small upfront charitable deduction and a stream of yearly cash payments,” Drucker wrote. “Like an individual retirement account, the trust allows money to grow tax deferred, while like an annuity it also pays Romney a steady income. After the funder’s death, the trust’s remaining assets go to a designated charity.”

In fact, the amount available to go to the Mormon church has decreased from at least $750,000 in 2001 to $421,203 at the end of 2011 as Romney has collected yearly cash payments from the trust.

The Romney campaign declined to answer questions about the trust but insisted that it was “operated in accordance with the law” in an email to Bloomberg.

The trust represents a small fraction of Romney’s more than $250 million fortune and is only one of several methods the formal Bain Capital CEO has employed to avoid paying taxes.

Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is also a Mormon, had suggested that the Republican presidential nominee refused to release his tax returns because he had not paid any income taxes over a 10-year period.

In a September speech on the Senate floor, Reid said that leaked tapes insulting the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes as “dependant” on the government have gave the world a “rare look at the real Mitt Romney.”

“For all we know Mitt Romney could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax. Thousands of families making more than a million dollars per year pay nothing in federal income tax,” the Nevada Democrat observed. “Is Mitt Romney among those? We’ll never know because he refuses to release his tax returns.”

“We know that Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families, thanks to a number of things he’s done: Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands tax shelters. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns like his dad did.”

Reid noted that most of “those people” who Romney talked about “are not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Islands tax shelters or Swiss Bank accounts like Mitt Romney. Millions of the 47 percent are seniors on Social Security, who don’t have Bain Capital retirement funds or inherited stock to fall back on.”


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 30, 2012, 03:48 PM
This pathological liar simply can not help himself .. for those in America imagine this soulless automaton actually being the president of your country ...

Romney’s New Radio Ad Reaches Surreal Level of Desperation and Fail

By: Sarah Jones October 30th, 2012

Instead of killing his Jeep ad lie, Romney expanded it to a radio ad. Buckle up, because this ad is much, much worse than the TV ad. It’s so bad that it pains me to have to report that a candidate for president stooped this low. Mind you, I had the Palin beat for 4 years. I’ve seen low.

The new Romney ad claims that Obama saved the auto industry for China, not for America. Then he claims that Chrysler will be moving Jeep production to China, a charge he danced around in his TV ad by implying it rather than saying it as he did at a rally in Defiance. Then he claims that when the Detroit News endorsed him they did it because they approved his “understanding” of the auto industry, followed by a claim that Romney would stand up for the auto industry. In reality the Detroit News praised Obama’s leadership for the auto bailout and I suspect they are currently trying to find a way to remove the Romney egg from their editorial board.

Here we go. Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xl77CapjzsA

Scary, scary transcript of lies from Greg Sargent:

    Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. But for who? Ohio, or China? Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs. But they are planning to double the number of cars built in China — which means 15,000 more jobs for China.

    And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making jeeps in — you guessed it — China. What happened to the promises made to autoworkers in Toledo and throughout Ohio — the same hard-working men and women who were told that Obama’s auto bailout would help them?

    Mitt Romney grew up in the Auto Industry. Maybe that’s why the Detroit News endorsed him, saying: “Romney understands the industry and will shield it from regulators who never tire of churning out new layers of mandates.” Mitt Romney. He’ll stand up for the auto industry. In Ohio, not China.

It’s hard not to laugh. Mitt Romney, who sends jobs to China as a course of business, is telling folks he will stand up for the auto industry here, not in China — as Sensata workers at Bainport beg him to meet with them about the jobs Bain is moving to China. Deception? This is the big bad wolf disguising himself as grandma to Little Red Riding Hood.

Yes, the radio ad is worse than the TV ad that the The Cleveland Plain Dealer slammed as a ‘masterpiece of misdirection.’ PolitFact was even compelled to label Romney’s TV ad “Pants on Fire” (sadly leaving no room for this new level of fail):

    “The Romney campaign ad says Obama ‘sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China’ at the cost of American jobs. The ad leaves the clear impression that Jeeps built in China come at the expense of American workers. The ad miscasts the government’s role in Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler, and it misrepresents the outcome. Chrysler’s owners had been trying to sell to Italy-based Fiat before Obama took office. The ad ignores the return of American jobs to Chrysler Jeep plants in the United States, and it presents the manufacture of Jeeps in China as a threat, rather than an opportunity to sell cars made in China to Chinese consumers. It strings together facts in a way that presents an wholly inaccurate picture. We rate the statement Pants on Fire!”

Wholly inaccurate and pants on fire, you say? Well, by gosh, Romney figured he better turn that into a radio ad and build on the Ro-mentum, ‘cuz nothing says Mitt Romney like plumbing the depths of deception and trickery.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says, “It won’t work. Ohio voters know who stepped up when the auto industry was at the abyss — and it wasn’t Romney.”

Romney keeps campaigning in Ohio even as Obama is off dealing with the Superstorm. Sure, Romney said he wasn’t going to, and he’s calling his rally a relief rally, but according to reporters who were there, it is the same campaign rally complete with same video and songs as he always does. Also, the press badges read, “Victory Rally.” They didn’t have time to get the whole new show on apparently, but they can’t stop campaigning because Romney is losing Ohio in early voting.

Also, 1 in 8 Ohio jobs are tied to the auto industry. Let Detroit Go Bankrupt….

Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner responded by calling out Romney’s desperation, “Mitt Romney is losing Ohio and he knows it. There’s no other excuse for why he’d run a radio ad that’s even worse than the false TV ad that the Cleveland Plain Dealer slammed as a ‘masterpiece of misdirection.’ These are the facts: Mitt Romney turned his back on the American auto industry and its workers when they were on their knees, led investments in companies that were pioneers in outsourcing to low-wage countries like China, and proposed a tax plan that could create 800,000 jobs overseas, including in China. Ohioans know the truth – President Obama saved an industry that supports one in eight jobs in the state – and they won’t be fooled by these desperate tactics. We’ve always known Mitt Romney would say absolutely anything to win this election, but as he sees it slipping away in the final week, the American people simply cannot trust a word he says.”

The wolf hiding in the Jeep lies is not your friend. He’s just looking for something to harvest, “The better to eat you with!”

****************

Chrysler Slams Romney with Facts, ‘U.S. production of our Jeep models has nearly tripled’

By: Sarah Jones October 30th, 2012

How do you know when your lie is so big it won’t be allowed to stand? Maybe it’s when President Clinton said yesterday that Jeep has called Romney’s claim “the biggest load of bull in the world.” Maybe it’s when Vice President Biden asks if you have any shame. Or maybe it’s when the CEO of a major corporation takes to newspapers repeatedly to correct you in no uncertain terms, even though they know they risk alienating the frothing Republican base.

Chrysler isn’t taking Mitt Romney’s lies about Jeep moving production to China lying down. Just to be sure everyone has it right, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has written a letter published in the Detroit News restating the truth for those who have difficulties with reality.

Sadly for Mitt Romney, Chrysler’s side of reality is backed up by numbers and it tells of huge success – another fact Romney wants to pretend isn’t happening.

    I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China.

    North American production is critical to achieving our goal of selling 800,000 Jeep vehicles by 2014. In fact, U.S. production of our Jeep models has nearly tripled (it is expected to be up 185%) since 2009 in order to keep up with global demand.

Marchionne goes on to rub salt in the wound by pointing out how their success (thank you President Obama) has added jobs and will continue to do so, “With the increase in demand for our vehicles, especially Jeep branded vehicles, we have added more than 11,200 U.S. jobs since 2009. Plants producing Jeep branded vehicles alone have seen the number of people invested in the success of the Jeep brand grow to more than 9,300 hourly jobs from 4,700. This will increase by an additional 1,100 as the Liberty successor, which will be produced in Toledo, is introduced for global distribution in the second quarter of 2013.”

Marchionne makes a case for Jeep’s patriotism which only highlights the lack of patriotism in Romney’s Bain Sensata debacle, “Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots…. Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”

Chrysler has committed that the iconic Jeep Wrangler, currently produced in Toledo Ohio, will never be produced outside of the U.S.

What Jeep is doing is building Jeeps for the Chinese market in China, and they are doing this because they have been so successful and want to expand their brand. They are not moving American production to China. Mitt Romney keeps telling us how much he loves cars and how he’s a car guy — how come he doesn’t seem to understand anything about the car business?

Oh, that’s right. Mitt Romney can’t win Ohio based on his record of “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” so he thought he’d smear Chrysler and scare Ohioans with lies about their jobs being shipped to China. Romney calculated the cost of lying to you and determined it was worth it. Who cares if he destroys Chrysler’s reputation or terrifies hard working people in Ohio so long as Romney gets what he wants.

Now, imagine Chrysler in this situation was Iran and the Ohioans were Iranian citizens. Any cost to having a leader willing to smear, lie and deceive with no shame in order to get what he wants? What if he wants a war to repay his campaign donors and the military contractors comprising his military “advisers”?

The President visited a Jeep Wrangler assembly plant in Toledo in June, where workers thanked him for saving their jobs. They wore t-shirts thanking him and one told the President, “Thanks for saving my job.” The President responded to the worker, “I appreciate your service, Mr. Dandar.”

Romney would have let an entire American industry go bankrupt and shipped the jobs to China in order to harvest GM and Chrysler for profit. He doesn’t want you to know that, so he’s deliberately lying in order to deceive you.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 31, 2012, 06:27 AM
October 31, 2012

Ohio Working Class May Offer Key to Obama’s Re-election

By JEFF ZELENY and DALIA SUSSMAN
NYT

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As President Obama and Mitt Romney enter the closing week of the presidential race, where the 18 electoral votes of Ohio are seen by both sides as critical to victory, Mr. Obama’s ability to prevent erosion among working-class voters may be his best path to re-election.

In Ohio, according to the latest poll of likely voters by Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News, Mr. Obama runs nearly even with Mr. Romney among white voters who do not have college degrees.

That helps explain why he appears slightly better positioned there in the closing week of the campaign than in Florida and Virginia, where the polls found that Mr. Romney holds an advantage of about 30 percentage points among those voters.

The presidential contest has become an intense state-by-state fight, with the climate in Ohio shaped by months of efforts by the Obama campaign to portray Mr. Romney as a job killer who opposed the president’s decision to bail out the auto industry.

Mr. Obama, who has a 50 percent to 45 percent edge here, also appears to be benefiting from an economic recovery in Ohio that is running ahead of the national recovery.

The poll found that nearly half of all white voters without college degrees here say the economy is improving, and most give Mr. Obama some credit. Only about a quarter of those voters in Virginia and Florida say their economy is getting better.

The polls, along with interviews with strategists and supporters in the three battleground states, illustrate the dynamic facing both campaigns in the final days of the race. The race is essentially tied in Florida and Virginia, the polls found.

The presidential race is now brimming with even more uncertainty as Mr. Obama canceled a trip to Ohio on Wednesday and stays off the campaign trail for a third straight day. Mr. Romney was set to resume his schedule in Florida and Virginia, but he faced a delicate task of campaigning during a natural disaster.

But the campaign is still very much alive here in Ohio, where Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama are locked in a bitter duel over blue-collar voters. A dispute over the Obama administration’s 2009 effort to rescue the auto industry boiled over yet again on Tuesday, with the Romney campaign arguing in a new radio commercial that the government’s $80 billion assistance plan helped China more than the United States.

The chief executive of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, took the rare step of disputing a presidential candidate by calling the assertion “inaccurate.” He said production would not be moved from the United States to China, adding: “Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change.”

The Ohio economy’s recovery has complicated Mr. Romney’s efforts to portray Mr. Obama as an ineffective leader. The president is seen in a favorable light by 52 percent of likely voters, compared with 46 percent who have a favorable opinion of Mr. Romney.

Yet the poll here showed that the race is tight, with Mr. Obama’s five-point edge the same as last week but cut in half from a month ago.

Among the likely voters in Ohio who say they are paying a lot of attention to the race, Mr. Obama’s edge narrows to one percentage point, or essentially tied, which underscores the extent to which the race will turn on the get-out-the-vote efforts of each campaign.

“It seems like the economy is on an upswing,” Kathleen Foley, a special-education teacher in Dayton, said in a follow-up interview. “I truly believe that in the next few years, our economy is going to see an upswing. I’d like Obama to get some credit for the work he’s done.”

In the closing stages of the race, Mr. Romney has taken steps to emphasize the moderate elements of his record. His campaign was running a television advertisement here on Tuesday reminding voters that he supports abortion rights in the case of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. Democratic groups and the Obama campaign countered with their own ads.

The economy remains the top issue on the minds of voters, the poll found, and the ads were dismissed as not relevant by one poll respondent, Dana Hogan of Cincinnati.

“Do I really think we’re going to go back to the point where women won’t be able to have abortions or birth control is going to be rationed? That’s just silly to even think of,” said Ms. Hogan, who works at a small company and spoke in a follow-up interview. “Some women do still get really riled up by that, but I think it’s just a scare tactic. Really, you think women are that dumb?”

The presidential race, which has largely played out in nine swing states, is suddenly showing signs of expansion. The Romney campaign and Republican groups announced new investments in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, a reflection that the contest was tight across the country and their options in the existing battleground states may not be enough for Mr. Romney to reach the necessary 270 electoral votes.

A nationwide poll of likely voters from The New York Times and CBS News, which was released Tuesday evening, found that more voters now view Mr. Romney as a stronger leader on the economy and Mr. Obama as a better guardian of the middle class. The president was the choice of 48 percent, with 47 percent for Mr. Romney. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

But the biggest focal point of the race remains in seven states, particularly Ohio, where Mr. Romney appeared for the last three days. Mr. Obama had been scheduled to make two stops in Ohio on Wednesday before the storm hit the East Coast. Both candidates are set to make multiple trips back to the state before Election Day, aides said.

The Times, in collaboration with Quinnipiac and CBS News, has tracked the presidential race with recurring polls in key battleground states. The three latest surveys, which were conducted Oct. 23 to 28 among likely voters on landlines and cellphones, are the final series in the project.

In Florida, the overall race has narrowed considerably from a month ago, with Mr. Obama now the choice of 48 percent to 47 percent for Mr. Romney. In Virginia, Mr. Obama has 49 percent, with 47 percent for Mr. Romney. The results in each state have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

In each state, Mr. Obama holds a double-digit lead among female voters, while Mr. Romney does better among men, especially white men. Most voters age 65 and older in each state prefer Mr. Romney, while younger voters support Mr. Obama. Voters who call themselves independents are closely split in Florida and Ohio, the polls found, but support Mr. Romney by a wide margin in Virginia.

The polls offer a window into the intensity of the campaign in these states, with more than three in four likely voters in each state saying they are paying a lot of attention to the election and wide majorities saying they have been contacted by one or both campaigns.

Few voters in each state — just 3 percent in Florida and Virginia, and 4 percent in Ohio — remain undecided. And just 3 percent of voters who support a candidate in Florida, and 4 percent in Ohio and Virginia, say they might change their mind.

In Ohio and Florida, the voting is already well under way. The Ohio poll found an advantage for the Obama campaign in their efforts to get out early voters. Nearly one in four voters in Ohio said they had already cast their ballots, and 6 in 10 of them say it was for Mr. Obama, compared with 34 percent for Mr. Romney.

The poll found a closer race among the one in five voters in Florida who said they had already voted, with 50 percent of them saying they backed Mr. Obama and 44 percent saying they supported Mr. Romney.

Jeff Zeleny reported from Columbus, and Dalia Sussman from New York. Reporting was contributed by Allison Kopicki, Marjorie Connelly and Megan Thee-Brenan in New York, and Craig Duff in Cincinnati.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 31, 2012, 11:37 AM

Romney Pays Dearly for Making the Fatal Mistake of Lying about Corporations

By: Sarah Jones October 31st, 2012

The Denver Post joined the line up of papers attacking Mitt Romney’s blatant dishonesty in the ad where he claims that Jeep is moving jobs to China and the radio ad in which the Republican candidate claims Obama saved GM for the Chinese. There’s an entire line up of papers that have taken a hard line against Romney’s Jeep and GM lies.

When Romney used his usual tactic of making harmful things up in a chaotic attempt to make himself look better, he made a fatal mistake in taking aim at corporations. Here’s a round up.

The Denver Post begins with, “Nothing smells like desperation more than the falsehoods and half-truths coming out of the Romney campaign about Chrysler purportedly moving Jeep manufacturing jobs to China. The episode has been shameful.” And it gets worse. They denounce Romney for his refusal to let facts get in the way and call him out on basically not liking that Obama was making inroads in Ohio because of his auto bailout, “But why let the facts get in the way when you can exploit a poorly written news story for political gain in a must-win state?”

It seems others agree with the Denver Post, from the New York Times to the Toledo Blade. I pointed out yesterday that Romney’s statements indicated that he knows absolutely nothing about global auto manufacturing. But it is a lot more fun coming from Greg Martin, spokesman for GM, who called Romney out on being a know-nothing in the New York Times. New York Times: “‘That is absolutely bereft of any fundamental understanding of the global automotive industry,’ Mr. Martin said. ‘All global manufacturers, whether General Motors, Ford, Chrysler or VW, build historically in the markets in which we sell.’”

Detroit Free Press: “‘We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,’ GM spokesman Greg Martin said. ‘No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.’”

Detroit News: “Chrysler Group and General Motors Co. forcefully attacked comments from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that Chinese production could cost Americans jobs.”

The Cleveland Leader: “We all know that lying and politics go hand-in-hand, but Mitt Romney is really taking the cake this year with the 2012 presidential election. After being blasted by the auto industry for making false claims at a rally in Defiance, Ohio, last week that Chrysler was going to move jobs from their Jeep plant in Ohio to China, Romney’s campaign decided to solidify the blatant lies in a television ad suggesting the exact same thing. Despite the claims be called outright lies by Chrysler itself, which has invested over $500 million into the Jeep factory in Ohio, Romney’s campaign is not backing down. Instead, they’ve opted to triple down on the assertion that Chrysler is moving Ohio jobs to China in a new radio ad that began running in Ohio on Tuesday.”

: “GM and Chrysler officials ‘feel they’re being dragged into a political campaign in the most dishonest, cynical way,’ Rattner said. ‘To be accused by someone who’s a presidential candidate of exporting jobs is infuriating. Romney crossed the line here. It’s one thing to have a point of view or to shape something to help a position. It’s another thing to just make things up out of whole cloth.’”

Toledo Blade: “‘Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change,’ Mr. Marchionne said. ‘So much so that we committed that the iconic Wrangler nameplate, currently produced in our Toledo, Ohio, plant, will never see full production outside the United States.’”

Denver Post: “Beyond the ad’s veracity is a question about character. In a place like Ohio, where 1 in 8 jobs are in the auto industry, such a lie matters. It scares people. It makes them worry that better economic times they are just beginning to see could dissolve before their eyes. It bespeaks an indifference to the concerns of Ohio’s working class, and that is just as revealing as backing an ad that leaves a wholly untruthful impression.”

Reuters: “Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne reaffirmed on Tuesday that the company is not moving Jeep vehicle production out of the United States to China … Chrysler in an October 25 blog post had already rejected a statement made that day to a crowd in Ohio by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, that Chrysler was thinking of moving all Jeep production from Ohio to China.”

The best quote of all has to be Greg Martin stabbing Romney right in the Bain Cayman with this, “We think creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back in this country should be a source of bipartisan pride.”

The press has finally caught Romney in a lie that can’t be explained away. And why is that? Because this lie impacts corporations.

Such is the respect we give the business community in this country. When workers came forward to tell of how Romney decimated their jobs they were dismissed as sore losers. When women came forward to tell of how Romney tried to force them to give up their child for adoption or not have a life-saving abortion, they are ignored and the press gives Romney a pass on his extremist views on women’s freedom. But when Mitt Romney started lying about corporations, that was too much.

Romney’s lies about Jeep and GM are no less egregious than the lies he tells about his views on women’s freedom and equal pay, healthcare, middle class taxes, Medicare, Social Security, and so much more. No less egregious or ruining of reputations than when he smeared 47% of the country as lazy victims who felt “entitled” to food and shelter. But heck, it was okay when he was smearing those people. If it wasn’t exactly okay, it was up for debate. Were they not paying taxes, who wasn’t paying taxes, why and how much – these were issues.

But when he started smearing corporations and hurting business, well that was enough of that. Mitt Romney can make enemies anywhere at any time. That much is clear. It seems Mitt Romney has just met two corporations that are not people. They are much bigger than people. Even Mitt Romney will not be allowed to lie about big corporations.

GM and Chrysler didn’t deserve to be dragged into Romney’s mud, but then neither did union members, women, the gay community, single mothers, veterans, people on Social Security, Britain, and the rest of the global community he’s taken aim at in despicable acts of stupidity and desperation. It’s one thing to have an ideological position and another to tell egregious, harmful lies about the other in order to get votes and money.

The press just can’t believe Romney would stoop this low. But the littered path of destruction in Romney’s wake of ugly lies reveals that this isn’t a new turn for Romney, but rather the usual way he conducts himself — with no attachment to reality and no remorse about the damage he’s inflicting without just cause.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Oct 31, 2012, 11:38 AM

Mitt’s Math Problem: Romney Must Get 54%-60% of the Vote to Win Iowa, Nevada, and NC

By: Jason Easley October 31st, 2012

The early voting math is creating a problem for Mitt Romney. Obama is piling up such large margins that Romney will have to get 54%-60% of the votes on Election Day in Iowa, Nevada, and North Carolina in order to win each state.

In a conference call with reporters today, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina described the electoral lay of the land as, “We have the math. They have the myth,” and accused the Romney campaign of, “trying to sell illusion and delusion.” The early voting numbers reveal that the Obama campaign piling up big margins in the battleground states that are going to make the Election Day math very difficult for Romney to overcome.

The Romney campaign always had fewer paths to 270 electoral votes, and early voting is making those paths to victory very, very narrow. Democrats already lead in Iowa by 60,000 early votes. Democrats lead by 30,000 early votes in Nevada, and have cast 45% of the ballots, compared to 37% for the Republicans as of October 27. In North Carolina, Democrats lead early voting by 305,000.

The most troubling of the three states for the Romney campaign is Iowa. If the early voting turnout continues to its current pace, by the end of this week 45% of the total ballots in the election may have already been cast. If Obama maintains his lead at that level of turnout, the math becomes virtually impossible for Romney in Iowa on Election Day.

The reality of the Electoral College math is that if Obama wins Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada, plus the states that he is expected to win, the president will be reelected.

The reason why Romney has turned his attention towards Michigan and Pennsylvania is because things are looking bad for him in Ohio. A new CBS News/Quinnipiac poll has Obama with the same 5 point lead in the Buckeye State that he had last week.

The Romney campaign can keep spinning and blustering about their momentum, but behind closed doors his campaign appears to be increasingly realizing that Ohio is not going to go their way. This is why they are dumping millions of dollars in ads into Michigan and Pennsylvania. If Romney can’t replace Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes with another big state, the results in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado will be irrelevant for him.

It is easy to see why Republicans were so desperate to restrict early voting in the swing states. The Obama early voting machine has been getting out the vote and delivering the results. However, all early voting does is put the president in a good position to win. Voters still have to go to the polls on Election Day and support their candidate.

This election is not over by a long shot, but if Obama supporters show up to vote on Election Day, and keep these battleground state tallies close, Obama’s early voting advantage will put the president over the top.

Mitt Romney’s math problem is difficult right now, but it becomes impossible if Obama supporters show up at the polls on in 6 days.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 01, 2012, 07:07 AM

Romney Rigs His Own ‘Relief Rally’ by Buying $5,000 Worth of Supplies

By: Sarah Jones October 31st, 2012

Want a photo-op with Mitt Romney just after Sandy made landfall in New Jersey? Just grab a pre-purchased jar of WalMart peanut butter and hand it to him at his “Victory Rally” “Relief Rally”. Heck, “Just grab something.” It’s not as if it matters what it is, because this is all just a Big Show.

Today we discover that those supplies at the Romney “Relief Rally” were not all random donations but rather buttressed with $5,000 worth of goods purchased by a desperate campaign as props. The campaign planned to photo op Romney accepting food from supporters and loading a truck with food after the event, but what if no food showed up? Buzzfeed is reporting:

    But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal-Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it “did donate supplies to the relief effort,” but would not specify how much it spent.)

What makes this so outrageous is that the Red Cross did not want the items the Romney campaign collected in the first place. The Red Cross would have been better served with a $5,000 cash donation from the campaign. But that wouldn’t have allowed Romney to pose with canned goods and water as the Caring But Refusing to Answer Questions Republican Who May or May Not Want to Privatize FEMA.

Mitt Romney’s “relief rally” yesterday rang more like a typical campaign rally, except for the oddly similar stacks of food and water he photo-oped himself loading into a truck after the event. It was odd to see, for example, what appeared to be multiple bags of uncooked rice going to people without power, but whatever, right? No one ever claimed Romney or his followers were practical sorts.

The press was not impressed with Romney’s transparent attempts to keep campaigning through a disaster even before they knew it was staged with props, and they called him out on his “Victory Rally” (as their press passes read) repeatedly:

    Lots of Qs in the press corps today on how Romney’s OH “storm relief event” is diff from a “campaign event.” Same venue, same celeb guests.

    — Ari Shapiro (@Ari_Shapiro) October 30, 2012

    Romney’s event it in Kettering Ohio:This photo says it all — “Obama: You’re Fired an here’s some canned goods” twitter.com/jonkarl/status…

    — Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) October 30, 2012

They also called him out on his failure to answer questions about his position on FEMA. The campaign explained that the Victory Rally badges were printed up the day before, but what kind of campaign doesn’t reprint them for the optics alone?

Given Romney’s stance that we should privatize FEMA and turn it over to the private sector, his own failure to do anything other than use the storm as a prop is not only indicative of his craven character, but also kills the entire premise of his privatization cries. Republicans like to tell us that the private sector will step up. Will they, then? Would you imagine that a multi-millionaire with money stashed all over the world might step up? Or do you think that multi-millionaire might only care about how he appeared to the Victims whose votes he needs?

This is what Romney meant when he said all campaign events would be canceled. Because, see, this wasn’t a campaign event per se. It was a photo op: Mitt Romney as Purchaser of Prop Canned Goods that the Red Cross Doesn’t Need.

Meanwhile, as Romney posed with canned goods pre-purchased by his campaign and pretended he wasn’t the desperate liar who was also smearing Chrysler and GM, Republican Governor Chris Christie was making the rounds on TV to discuss the serious damage done to his state by Sandy. Christie also made the point over and over again that President Obama had been “wonderful” and had cut through red tape to make things happen.

Republicans, never able to keep their pettiness to themselves even during national crises, took to the airwaves to express dismay that Obama had been too competent and too prepared. Bush’s former FEMA director during Katrina accused the President of addressing Sandy “too early”, as opposed to waiting say five days while Americans starved in pools of their own urine or drowned waiting for FEMA.

“Just grab something!” Anything. Anything at all will do. It’s not like real people need real food. It’s just a photo op with stage props.

This should surprise no one after Paul Ryan’s blatant abuse of a soup kitchen where he posed without permission from the folks in charge with dishes real Americans had already cleaned. Ironically, Ryan left the soup kitchen in worse shape, as people were outraged by the politicization and blamed the soup kitchen for Ryan’s abuse. Photo-oped compassion. What’s next? Will they start photo-shopping themselves at hurricane relief centers with their tidy, neatly pressed rolled up sleeves and wooden smiles?


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 01, 2012, 07:11 AM

Even the Beltway is Catching on to Romney’s ‘Desperate Dishonesty’

By: Sarah Jones October 31st, 2012

On Bloomberg TV, Al Hunt, executive Washington editor for Bloomberg News, said that Romney’s “dishonest” ads about Chrysler and GM moving to China are “just desperation.” Hunt pointed out that executives of the auto companies have called the ads fraudulent, and that President Obama saved the American auto industry while Romney opposed the rescue.

Yes, you know all of this already and the polls confirm it, but what makes this special is that Al Hunt said it. Al Hunt called Romney desperate and dishonest.

TRANSCRIPT

HUNT: Moreover, when Romney runs a dishonest ad claiming that the Obama auto rescue plan is resulting in Chrysler and General Motors moving jobs overseas to China, that’s just desperation. Romney opposed rescuing the American automobile industry. Obama favored it, and it worked, as Ohio Republican, Governor John Kasich, and Senator Rob Portman have attested. Moreover, his ad is fraudulent according to executives from Chrysler and General Motors. I would remind you of one thing. No Republican has ever been elected President without carrying Ohio.

Hunt is not just some journalist. He worked for the Wall Street Journal for many years and was even their executive Washington editor. He was one of ten people chosen to remember Tim Russert at his memorial service. When Hunt calls you desperate and dishonest, you are cooked.

Or, if you are a conservative, you just scream that Al Hunt is a “left wing extremist”. A “left wing radical” translates to an informed person who refuses to bend reality for conservatives. Here’s Hunt’s bio on Bloomberg: “Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist appearing on Mondays. The executive editor of Bloomberg News, he directs coverage of the Washington bureau, which includes more than 250 reporters and editors. Hunt hosts the weekly television show “Political Capital with Al Hunt.” In his four decades at the Wall Street Journal, he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor and wrote the weekly column “Politics & People.” Al also directed the Journal’s polls, was president of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund and a board member of the Ottaway community newspapers. He was a panelist on the CNN programs “The Capital Gang” and “Novak, Hunt & Shields.” Al is co-author of books on U.S. elections by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution. His Bloomberg column also appears in the International Herald Tribune.”

In a sane world, no one would accuse Bloomberg of being a hotbed of liberal radicalism. Thus we are left with the knowledge that even the centrists are calling out Mitt Romney and using the words “fraudulent” “dishonest” and “desperate” to describe the Republican’s ads.

A new Michigan poll shows Obama with a 6 point lead over Romney. EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn told the Detroit Free Press, “I think the auto issue … has solidified things for Obama.” The Free Press explains the support, “Half of those polled said the rescue of GM and Chrysler was a deciding factor in their support — and of those, nearly two-thirds backed Obama.”

When Romney went after two huge American corporations, he introduced a whole new segment of the population to his mendacity. Or, as Republicans call it, “winning”.

************

Joe Biden Destroys ‘Contortionist’ Romney for His GM/Chrysler Lies

By: Sarah Jones October 31st, 2012

Speaking in Florida Wednesday, Vice President Biden said of Chrysler and GM, “They don’t want to get involved in presidential politics, but they spoke up. They called it, quote – I’m going to quote – “a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.” That’s the quote. I wouldn’t call these guys acrobats, I’d call them contortionists.”

The American people, the Vice President said, want a President they can trust, and they know Romney doesn’t pass that test.

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ERRzrhKzdV8

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN’S PARTIAL REMARKS:

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States rescued the automobile industry, saving one million jobs, creating 200,000 new jobs, good paying jobs you can raise a family on. GM is back. Chrysler is the fastest growing automaker in the world. And what’s happened? What’s Ryan’s and Romney’s response. Desperation. Desperation.

In the last hours of this campaign – I just came from Ohio – in the last hours of this campaign, if you can believe it, they’re running the most scurrilous ad in Ohio, and I mean this, I want you to listen – one of the most flagrantly dishonest ads I can ever remember in my political career. In the ad they’re running in Ohio, they said that President Obama forced Chrysler into bankruptcy – I’m paraphrasing, but they said – so quote – I don’t what they have against Italians – so the Italians could take over Chrysler and ship Jeep manufacturing to China. That’s what the ad says. That’s what the a says. It’s an outrageous lie, a lie that’s so deceptive and so patently untrue that the Chrysler Corporation, including the chairman of the board of Chrysler, they actually spoke up. They don’t want to get involved in presidential politics, but they spoke up. They called it, quote – I’m going to quote – “a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.” That’s the quote. I wouldn’t call these guys acrobats, I’d call them contortionists…

Ladies and gentlemen, GM’s response to the false assertions these guys are coming up with in the last waning moments of the campaign – I love this quote – they said, quote, “they must be in a parallel universe.” That’s a quote from GM. GM went on to say, they called it campaign – this is a quote – “campaign politics at its cynical worst.” Have you ever heard an American corporation do that? In all my time, I’ve never heard an American corporation in the waning hours of a campaign give that kind of description of what a presidential candidate’s doing. That’s the best description of the cynical worst that I’ve heard of the Ryan-Romney ticket, the Romney-Ryan ticket, in this campaign…

Look, why would they do this? Why would they do this in the face of overwhelming facts contradicting them? I’ll tell you why I think: they’re trying to scare the living devil out of a group of people who have been hurt so badly over the last, the previous four years before we came to office. The last year before we were sworn in they lost 400,000 auto jobs. My state of Delaware was decimated. It had seen both its Chrysler and its General Motors plants close. Those folks in Ohio, in Lorrain and Toledo, they lost, some of them lost their homes after they lost their jobs. They lost – they’re back on their feet, they’re back. But they still feel the sting of what happened four years ago.

Because they’re running those ads in the very communities that were decimated by those policies, communities that had the most at stake in the automobile industry, these are the workers waking up in their communities just to see this ad. And guess what? They were calling, thousands of them calling their UAW reps. “Is it true? Is it true? Is Jeep really going to leave?” It’s the announcement they made, “Are you going to shut down our plant?” What a cynical, cynical thing to do…

Folks, I’ve not seen anything like this. Folks, the president’s job is not to sow confusion, it’s to plant the seeds of confidence. You’ve probably heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, presidential elections are overwhelmingly about character. They’re overwhelmingly about the character of [inaudible]. Character, character, character. It’s the most impressive trait and necessary trait a president must possess to lead the nation and the incredible people that we are. And my guy, your guy, Barack Obama has character. He’s got backbone like a ramrod. He has the character of his convictions. He does not engage in deception. He does not mislead. He says what he means and he stands by what he says.

And that’s one thing his opponent has not done. He has not stood by anything he has said. So ask yourself in this election, who do you trust? Who do you trust to be straight with you? To level with you? Who do you trust to stand up for the middle class? Who do you trust to stand up for America? Ladies and gentlemen, America does [inaudible]. We are not in decline, they are in denial.

END REMARKS

I’d fact check this for you AGAIN, but I’ve spent days linking to reality. It is an established fact that the Romney campaign is guilty of an absurd lie. But facts are apparently now a partisan issue due to Romney’s refusal to be dictated to by them. Here’s the newsflash: Biden told the truth. Romney lied again. Romney scared voters in Ohio and smeared Chrysler and GM because it’s what he does.

It’s not fair to mislead the American people about the fundamentals of who you are. Romney was against the auto bailout and he should take the hits for his position. He obviously felt strongly enough about it to gloat about it endlessly during the crisis and right up until after polls showed him losing Ohio.

The truth is that the Romney campaign jumped the fact shark a long time ago, and he’s not playing typical spin politics — he’s destroying the credibility of the election process with lies so huge they bear no relationship to reality. The Obama campaign focuses on reality that speaks well of their choices, they spin the take on reality to advance Democratic beliefs, but they do not cheerfully attack with utter falsehoods and refuse to tweak their claims when hit by factcheckers (whose own inability to see Romney’s lies in their consistent arc rather than piece by piece is a problem).

These two campaigns aren’t playing the same game at all. One is politics and the other is a circus act of deliberately deceptive contortions.

CHICAGO points out the reason for Romney’s lies, “As Mitt Romney’s path to 270 becomes further out of reach, his attacks get further from the truth… As Vice President Biden asked Floridians this morning, why should voters trust someone who will say absolutely anything to get elected, even when he knows it’s dishonest?”


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 01, 2012, 07:14 AM

Obama’s Lead in Grows in Three Ohio Polls as Romney’s Jeep Lie Backfires

By: Jason Easley October 31st, 2012

In days since Mitt Romney lied and said Jeep was moving production to China, Barack Obama’s lead has expanded in three different polls.

In the closest of the polls, the ” University of Cincinnati found that since Romney claimed that Jeep is moving production to China, the contest has gone from 48%-48% tie to a 48%-46% Obama lead. In the latest PPP poll, President Obama has gained a point on Mitt Romney in the last three days. Since his Jeep lie, Romney has lost two points in the state, and the president now leads 50%-45%. In the Newsmax/Zogby Ohio tracking poll, Obama has increased his lead from 48%-45% to 50%-44%. In two other polls, Obama’s lead remains the same as it was last week. In the CBS News/Quinnipiac poll, Obama leads 50%-45%, and in the SurveyUSA poll, the president maintained a 48%-45% lead.

The best case scenario for Mitt Romney after he lied about Jeep moving production to China, then doubled down with a misleading television ad, and then tripled down with a lie filled radio ad is that he hasn’t lost any more ground to the president. However, it is clear that Romney is not gaining ground in Ohio, as the president has led the state in 20 of the last 22 polls. There is no momentum for Romney in Ohio. Three new polls show that Mitt Romney has lost support in the state since he decided to try to lie to Ohio’s voters.

The average of all polling in the state gives Obama a 2.4 point lead, but in four of the last five polls Obama’s lead is greater than the average. Mitt Romney’s tactical decision to try to scare voters into supporting him appears to be backfiring. Voters are more often than not in these polls moving away from Romney. He has been roundly condemned for his false statements by newspapers and other media outlets across the state and the country.

Voters aren’t stupid. They know the story of the auto bailout, and they don’t appreciate being lied to.

Romney’s ploy to win Ohio may end up backfiring and turning an Obama lead into a victory on Election Day.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 07:52 AM
Campaign Stops - Strong Opinions on the 2012 Election
November 1, 2012, 12:25 am

Liberty to Lie

By CHARLES M. BLOW
NYT

This election may go down in history as the moment when truth and lies lost their honor and stigma, respectively.

Mitt Romney has demonstrated an uncanny, unflinching willingness to say anything and everything to win this election. And that person, the unprincipled prince of untruths, is running roughly even with or slightly ahead of the president in the national polls.

What does this say about our country? What does it say about the value of virtue?

The list of Romney's out-and-out lies (and yes, there is no other more polite word for them) is too long to recount here. So let's just take one of the most recent ones: the utterly false claim that General Motors and Chrysler shipped, or planned to ship, American auto jobs to China.

First, let's take on the Chrysler claim.

On Saturday, The Des Moines Register endorsed Mitt Romney because it thought that he would be "the stronger candidate" to forge "compromises in Congress." On Tuesday, the news side of that same publication fact-checked Romney's Chrysler-China claim and found that it was a lie.

According to the Register:

    Mitt Romney first told a crowd in Ohio on Thursday that Chrysler was shifting the production of Jeeps to China. Then he aired an ad claiming that President Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China." (The clear impression in the ad is that American jobs will be lost.) Neither is true.

The paper continued:

    Jeep sales have nearly tripled since 2009, according to Chrysler, and the company has added 4,600 jobs to its Jeep plants since then. Another 1,100 jobs will be added at an Ohio plant next year. Sales of Jeep in China have grown in recent years and Chrysler plans to resume vehicle production there, but not at the expense of American jobs.

Now on to GM. The Romney ad claims that "under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China."

This drew a sharp rebuke from GM:

    We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.

Factcheck.org went into more detail to disprove Romney's claim:

    The Romney radio ad also claims - correctly - that GM has cut 15,000 U.S. jobs under Obama. It's true that 13,000 U.S. hourly employees and 5,000 salaried workers accepted a buyout offer in 2009 to either retire early or voluntarily leave the company, according to GM's 2009 annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Web site continued:

    But those numbers don't tell the whole story. GM eliminated old brands and shuttered dealerships when it went through bankruptcy in 2009 - resulting in fewer jobs. The alternative was to go out of business entirely.

And made one further point:

    The radio ad goes on to falsely claim that the reduction in GM's U.S. payroll "means 15,000 more jobs for China." That's not true. As we wrote once before, GM is expanding operations in China to meet increased demand there for its vehicles. The increase in its China operations is unrelated to its U.S. operations.

Romney wouldn't acknowledge the truth if it kissed him on the cheek. In fact, Romney seems to have decided that the only things standing between him and the White House are stubborn facts. He continues to roll right over them.

The question is: will this scurrilous tactic have negative consequences?

Unfortunately, there is some evidence that facts and the people who check them don't carry the same weight that they once did.

First, the right's disinformation machine is, explicitly and implicitly, making the argument that facts (science, math, evidence) are fungible and have been co-opted by liberal eggheads.  They have declared war on facts in response to what they claim is a liberal war on faith.

This is an utterly false and ridiculous argument, but it works on some people.

According to a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News Swing State poll released Wednesday, President Obama has a 9 percentage point lead over Romney in Ohio among likely voters on the question of who is honest and trustworthy (most people thought that the president was honest while most would not say the same about Romney). But that same poll found that the president only had a 5-point lead in the horse race numbers in Ohio.

The president had a similarly large lead on the honesty question in Florida in Virginia, but in those states the poll found the race to be virtually tied - the president had a small lead that was within the margin of error.

How is it that so many people are willing to support a man who they don't believe is honest or trustworthy?

The poll also found that most voters didn't believe that Romney cared about their problems. On the other hand, at least 60 percent of voters in each state said that they believed that the president cared about their problems.

Who votes for a man who doesn't care about you over a man who does?

I recognize that Obama hatred is a real thing, but disliking the president so much that you would do harm to yourself by voting for someone who you admit you don't trust seems to be taking things to extremes.

All the voters who are aware of Romney's fact-mangling but vote for him anyway must ask themselves this question: are they granting him the liberty to lie?

***************

October 31, 2012
NY Times Editorial

Romney Versus the Automakers

When General Motors tells a presidential campaign that it is engaging in “cynical campaign politics at its worst,” that’s a pretty good signal that the campaign has crossed a red line and ought to pull back. Not Mitt Romney’s campaign. Having broadcast an outrageously deceitful ad attacking the auto bailout, the campaign ignored the howls from carmakers and came back with more.

Mr. Romney apparently plans to end his race as he began it: playing lowest-common-denominator politics, saying anything necessary to achieve power and blithely deceiving voters desperate for clarity and truth.

This started months ago when he realized that his very public 2008 stance against the successful and wildly popular government bailout of G.M. and Chrysler was hurting him in the valuable states of Ohio and Michigan. In February, he wrote an essay for The Detroit News calling the bailout “crony capitalism on a grand scale” because unions benefited and insisting that Detroit would have been better off to refuse federal money. (This ignores the well-documented reality that there was no other cash available to the carmakers.)

When that tactic didn’t work, he began insisting at the debates that his plan for Detroit wasn’t really that different from President Obama’s. (Except for the niggling detail of the $80 billion federal investment.)

That was quickly discredited, so Mr. Romney began telling rallies last week that Chrysler was considering moving its production to China. Chrysler loudly denounced it as “fantasies,” saying it was only considering increasing production in China for sale in China, without moving a single American job.

“I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Chrysler’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, said in a statement. “Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.” In fact, 1,100 new jobs will be added in Toledo to produce a new generation of Jeep.

The Romney campaign ignored the company, following up with an instantly notorious ad saying President Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.” If the false implication wasn’t clear enough, the campaign put out a radio ad on Tuesday saying “Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. But for who? Ohio or China?” What happened, the ad asks, “to the promises made to autoworkers in Toledo and throughout Ohio?”

What happened was that those promises were kept. Nearly 1.5 million people are working as a direct result of the bailout. Ohio’s unemployment rate is well below the national average. G.M.’s American sales continue to increase, and Chrysler said this week that its third-quarter net income rose 80 percent. These companies haven’t just bounced back from the bottom; they are accelerating.

What Mr. Romney cannot admit is that all this is a direct result of the government investment he would have rejected. It’s bad enough to be wrong on the policy. It takes an especially dishonest candidate to simply turn up the volume on a lie and keep repeating it.

By doing that in a flailing, last-minute grab for Ohio, Mr. Romney is providing a grim preview of what kind of president he would be.

 


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 07:56 AM
Post Sandy Obama Returns to Campaigning with a Blistering Vengeance

By: Jason Easley November 1st, 2012

President Obama returning the campaign trail in Wisconsin with a blistering attack on the kind of change Mitt Romney would bring, and making his case for what real change will look like if he is reelected.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Xk-W6rRs76w

Transcript:

    Now, in the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after for the past four years, and he is offering them up as change. He is saying he is the candidate of change. Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. What the Governor is offering sure ain’t change. Getting more power back to the biggest banks isn’t change. Leaving millions without health insurance isn’t change. Another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy isn’t change. Turning Medicare into a voucher is change, but we don’t want that change. Refusing to answer questions about the details of your policies isn’t change. Ruling out compromise by pledging to rubber stamp the tea party’s agenda as president, that’s definitely not change. In fact, that’s exactly the attitude in Washington that needs to go.

    Here’s the thing, Wisconsin. After four years as president, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I’ve made. You may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I’m willing to make tough decisions even when they’re not politically convenient, and you know I’ll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as I know how. You know that. I know what change looks like because I have fought for it. You have too. After all we’ve been through together, we sure as heck can’t give up now. Change is a country where Americans of every age have the skills and education that good jobs now require. Government can’t do this alone, but don’t tell me that hiring more teachers won’t help this economy grow or help young people compete. Don’t tell me that students who can’t afford college can just borrow money from their parents. That wasn’t an option for me. I’ll bet it wasn’t an option for a whole lot of you. We shouldn’t be ending college tax credits to pay for millionaires’ tax cuts. We should be making college more affordable for everyone who is willing to work for it. We should recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs aren’t created in China. They’re created right here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We should work with community colleges to claim another two million Americans with skills that businesses are looking for right now. That’s my plan for the future. That’s what change is. That’s the America we’re fighting for in this election.

Obama returned from his campaign postponement immediately after Hurricane Sandy with a vengeance today. The president isn’t speaking like a candidate who is losing. He seems to have found the right balance between contrasting what Romney would do as president with what he has done, and would continue to do over the next four years.

The Romney campaign continues to feed a mainstream media that is desperate to continue the this election could go either way narrative, but Obama has the look of a president who understands the electoral map, has a plan, and is sticking to it. The Obama campaign isn’t taking any state for granted. That’s why the president was in Wisconsin today. Obama has more paths to victory, but his leads aren’t big enough that he or his supporters should be taking anything for granted.

With just five days to go before the election, Obama is in a much better position than Romney. The president either leads or is tied in every battleground state. Obama’s goal over the remaining days is to protect and build on his advantages, while Romney has the much more difficult tasks of both flipping states and trying to expand the map.

Using Wisconsin as an example, here is how much easier Obama’s path to victory is. Even if Obama loses Wisconsin, he only needs to win four states that he is currently leading and favored in, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Iowa in order to win reelection. If Obama wins Wisconsin, he can afford to lose New Hampshire and Iowa, and still win a second term. Romney needs to win, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and either Iowa or Colorado in order to win the election. Romney currently leads in none of these states. If Romney loses Ohio, Virginia, Florida, or North Carolina, his path to winning the election become more difficult.

Obama is in a better position to win, but the only way that victory will become a reality is if all of his supporters go out and vote.

***********

Fired Up in Las Vegas, POTUS Says Middle Class Deserves a Champion in DC

By: Sarah Jones November 1st, 2012

President Obama laid out his case to voters in Las Vegas, Nevada this afternoon, saying they middle class deserves a champion who will stand up and fight for them.

Watch the President’s remarks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L_H_ZmQFsWQ

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS

“The folks at the very top in this country don’t need another champion in Washington. They’ll always have a seat at the table. They’ll always have access and influence. That’s okay we understand that. The people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read late at night; the men and women I meet on the campaign trail every single day. The laid off furniture worker who is retraining at age 55 after they got laid off – she needs a champion. The small restaurant owner who needs a loan to expand after the bank turned him down – he needs a champion. The cooks and waiters and cleaning staff working overtime at a Vegas hotel, trying to save enough to buy a first home or send their kid to college – they need a champion. The autoworker who’s back on the job after thinking he might never go back — filled with the pride and dignity of building a great, American car – he needs a champion. The young teacher doing her best in an overcrowded classroom with outdated textbooks, digging into her own pocket to buy school supplies, never giving up on those kids, understanding that they can learn – she needs a champion.

And all those young people in inner cities and small farm towns, in the valleys of Ohio or rolling Virginia hills or right here in Vegas, way up in Elko; kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs, diplomats, maybe even a President – they need a champion in Washington. The future will never have as many lobbyists as the past, but it is the dreams of those children that will be our saving grace.”

Someone is fired up and ready to go. It seems the President is good a math and he can see that he has a path to victory if only everyone will show up on election day in order to exercise their right to vote. President Obama has been and will be a champion of the middle class. If you think we need more of that, you know what you need to do.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 08:01 AM

Business Abandons Romney as Bloomberg and The Economist Endorse Obama

By: Sarah Jones November 1st, 2012

Days before the election, the business community is abandoning Republican “businessman” Mitt Romney in order to endorse the Democratic incumbent President Obama. These are not ringing endorsements, but rather concern over Romney’s failure to make the math work and his hard turn to the right. In other words, Mitt Romney has finally managed to lose the faith and confidence of the one constituency that he was supposed to have locked up.

The Mayor of New York and the founder/majority owner of Bloomberg News endorsed Obama today. Bloomberg said if the old Mitt Romney were running, he might have voted for him. But given Romney’s tack to the right, Bloomberg is endorsing the President for a second term. He concluded, “If he (Obama) listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.”

Bloomberg wrote:

“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.

One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.

One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.

One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”

President Obama responded by saying, “I’m honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.

“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time – that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation – together. I look forward to thanking him in person – but for now, he has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger.”

The Economist endorsed Obama saying, “America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill.” Yes, not exactly a ringing endorsement, but then that speaks volumes about Mitt Romney.

They say Obama’s foreign policy could be better, but “Mr Obama has been a safe pair of hands.” They cite his healthcare achievement in addition to their view that his foreign policy is an achievement after spending the entire paragraph citing what’s wrong with it, “Even to a newspaper with no love for big government, the fact that over 40m people had no health coverage in a country as rich as America was a scandal. ‘Obamacare’ will correct that, but Mr Obama did very little to deal with the system’s other flaw—its huge and unaffordable costs.”

They are very unhappy with Obama’s surrender to “left-wing Democrats” — a charge the left would take issue with. They then go on about their doubts, leaving the reader with the impression that they would endorse anyone but Obama. They seem resentful of Obama’s attitudes toward business and capitalism (leaving one with the idea that they watch too much Fox News). They feel Obama has spent his entire campaign attacking business. I say learn to read; Obama didn’t attack business, he attacked greed and failure to pay taxes. But hey. They really can’t stand Obama.

And yet, they can’t endorse Mitt Romney. They write, “Many a Mitt makes a muddle.” Romney’s foreign policy terrifies them (so they are awake). The Economist writes, “But Mr Romney seems too ready to bomb Iran, too uncritically supportive of Israel and cruelly wrong in his belief in “the Palestinians not wanting to see peace”. The bellicosity could start on the first day of his presidency, when he has vowed to list China as a currency manipulator—a pointless provocation to its new leadership that could easily degenerate into a trade war.”

Romney’s math is a problem for The Economist, “Yet far from being the voice of fiscal prudence, Mr Romney wants to start with huge tax cuts (which will disproportionately favour the wealthy), while dramatically increasing defence spending. Together those measures would add $7 trillion to the ten-year deficit.” Here they praise Obama for getting it and shame Romney for being in “the cloud-cuckoo-land of thinking you can do it entirely through spending cuts.” They say that backing business is important, but first you better get macroeconomics. Ouch.

The Economist counts Romney’s tack to the right as his biggest detriment, “(T)he extremism of his party is Mr Romney’s greatest handicap.” And ultimately they decide to go with the “devil we know.”

So, basically, they think Obama is the devil but he is a better devil than wildly right wing Romney who doesn’t even get macroeconomics and whose foreign policy is a threat that could lead immediately to a trade war.

Romney had to stink pretty badly for The Economist to come to this.

Mitt Romney has now managed to lose the one constituency he was supposed to have locked up, even as he fought for the evangelicals and Tea Party of his own base. Forget winning Independents, Romney is losing the business community. Meanwhile, the economic data is showing steady signs of modest improvement.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 08:03 AM

The War on Women Takes a Toll in Swing States and with Independents

By: Sarah Jones November 1st, 2012

Surprise! There really is a war on women and more people know about it than the media and the GOP let on. What’s really shocking is just who knows about it. 54% of Independent voters and 46% of swing state voters agree that there is a war on women, while 67% of Black men and 63% of Hispanic women agree there is a war on women. In other words, the war on women isn’t a liberal or Democratic issue; it’s broader than that (nice try, Republicans).

In a new poll commissioned by Rad Campaign and conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, more Black men (67%) agree that there’s a war on women than any other race. Next up agreeing that there is a war on women are Hispanic women at 63%, Black women at 62%, White women at 47%, White men at 39% and Hispanic men at 33%.

They polled 1,000 likely voters and asked if respondents agreed or disagreed with this statement, “Lawmakers in Washington have been engaging in a War on Women, by taking away women’s rights to contraception, denying equal pay for equal work, and curbing a woman’s right to choose.”

More Liberal men (71%) agree there’s a War on Women than Liberal women (68%) (ladies, seriously? Check it out – proof of the war on women). What gave it away? Was it the women as livestock bill that Georgia passed (H.B. 954)? What gifts have the Republicans for you? Well, “this bill criminalizes abortion after 20 weeks, even if the woman is known to be carrying a stillborn fetus or the fetus isn’t expected to live to term.” There are no exceptions for rape or incest. But then, “crime has consequences” and “legitimate rape” has a way to shut all of that down and “incest is rare”. Don’t be upset ladies, Rep. England can explain this all to you real slow like. See, “if farmers have to ‘deliver calves, dead or alive,’ then a woman carrying a dead fetus, or one not expected to survive, should have to carry it to term.” Because you are a cow and Republicans are the farmers or something.

54% of Independent women voters agree that there is a war on women. That’s not good for Republicans, but it’s also much lower than it should be given the reality of the situation. Did you know that in Arizona, you are always in a state of perpetual possible pregnancy now? Yes. H.B. 2036 declares women “pregnant” 2 weeks before conception. Fun, right?

Here are some more bad numbers for Republicans. 46% of voters in swing states and 37% of voters in base Republican states believe that there is a war on women. Sadly, only 51% of voters in base Democrat states, where facts should matter, believe there is a war on women. It should be much higher. What’s the problem, people– too busy to come out to the farm to say hello to us?

Women under the age of 45 are more likely to feel under attack at 55%, according to the poll. That makes sense given that reproductive rights impact that group more, and statistically violence against women occurs at higher rates against younger women.

The war on women is more than words. It’s comprised of historic levels of anti women legislation being proposed and passed by Republican lawmakers, taking aim at women’s rights to contraception, abortion, and equal pay for equal work but also refusing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

“It’s estimated that the House of Representatives wasted $249.6 million on the War on Women between January 2011 and July 2012,” said Rad Campaign’s co-founding partner Allyson Kapin. “The poll shows that people understand this is an attack on human rights, not just on women. With the election just days away, these numbers matter now more than ever.”

Republicans ran on jobs and then spent the last two years refusing to pass one single jobs bill, instead spending all of their time and your money taking freedom and liberty away from more than half of the population. There are women in jail right now for having a miscarriage, and yet these same men will tell you that we are fighting in the Middle East to protect women’s freedom — just another value they seem unable and unwilling to promote here at home.

Republicans dismiss the war on women as Democratic talking points, but they do so at their own peril.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 08:05 AM

Evangelicals Refuse to Support Romney, Urge Voters to Write In Jesus

By: Candace Talmadge November 1st, 2012

Internet evangelist Bill Keller is urging the faithful to promise to vote for Jesus for president in this election.

So far, his website, VotingforJesus.com, says it has more than 1.6 million pledges to write in the name of Jesus on their ballots instead of any other presidential candidate.

If even half of those who signed the pledge vote accordingly, this could signal real trouble for Mitt Romney in close races by reducing the pool of voters who usually opt for the GOP.

But Keller, in an email interview, argues otherwise. “A large percentage of the people signed up are part of the 9 million self-identified evangelicals who never voted at all in 2008,” he maintains. “While they will write in the name of Jesus for president, they will also vote for men and women who share their faith values down ticket. It is flawed logic that if you don’t vote for Romney, you are costing him votes or helping Obama. The only way to vote for either man is to vote for them.”

Keller also notes that those who signed the pledge “seem very serious and happy to have an outlet to take a stand for their faith.” He adds that the point of writing in Jesus’s name is not that he will win, but that the exercise offers those who pledge a chance “to take a stand for their faith by writing in the name of Jesus, to bring awareness that the real problems in this nation are NOT political, they are spiritual.”

How much impact this effort will have on the outcome at any level is anybody’s guess until the votes are counted and the exit polls analyzed the every last morsel of meaning.

It is clear right now, however, that Keller, who claims an audience of more than 2.4 million for his daily religious messages, has the ability to influence the actions of millions of them at least to the extent of making a promise on how they will vote.

Other conservative Christians have noticed and taken Keller to task for it, even going so far as to redirect a search for .org version of Keller’s VotingforJesus.com web address to a website where they argue that Keller’s pledge will take votes away from Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

It’s a fascinating glimpse into this year’s split between uber-right Christian voters who previously have cast their ballots pretty much in lock-step for GOP candidates like George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. This year, with a Mormon the GOP standard-bearer, a significant proportion of these once reliable voters are not having any of it.

Yet few mainstream commentators are willing to tackle out loud the subject of religious bigotry’s influence on election outcomes. After all, doesn’t Billy Graham’s endorsement of Mitt Romney mean that religious conservatives pretty much have accepted the latter as the Republican most likely to win?

Keller, who condemned Graham’s acceptance of Romney, disagrees in fiery rhetoric that he wields unsparingly. “On every major spiritual issue of the day, President Obama has proved to be an enemy of God and a true tool of Satan!” he writes on the home page of VotingforJesus.com.

Of Obama’s GOP opponent, he declares, “If Mitt Romney is elected, he will be the fulfillment of his cult’s polygamist, pedophile, racist, con artist, murdering founder Joseph Smith’s ‘White Horse’ prophecy that Romney and all Mormons believe.”

Virulently anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-Mormon and more, Keller spent time in federal prison after being convicted of insider trading. His organization, St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Bill Keller Ministries, has been branded a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he has threatened with a defamation lawsuit.

Keller represents the extreme wing of conservative Christian political activists. The rest of us ignore or discount him and them at our peril, because they have deadly serious political ambitions backed by deep pockets and clout.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 08:08 AM

Economic Update Before The Election Looks Good For Obama

By: Ray Medeiros November 1st, 2012

After listening to the radical Republicans say how bad the economy is, let’s look at the actual numbers that are coming out this week which show modest but steady improvement.

In a report by CNBC, “The private sector created a better-than-expected 158,000 jobs in October, while jobless claims edged lower and productivity rose about as much as expected.”

The jobless claims came in this week at 363,000, a number consistent with modest job growth.

U.S. October ISM manufacturing index rises to 51.7 from 51.5. Chrysler reported the best September since 2007, with a ten percent growth in sales.

The Institute for supply management shows modest growth in the economy. Consumer confidence also rose to 72.2, which is the best number since February 2008, showing once again you are feeling better than you did 4 years ago.

Finally, construction spending also rose 0.6%, which was also inline with expectations.

Yes, this is all good news heading into the election on Tuesday. The last data point will be in on Friday, which is the BLS’s job numbers. I am figuring a static number or a slight increase or decrease in the overall unemployment situation, nothing that is dramatic.

**********

U.S. jobless rate ticks up slightly to 7.9 percent in October

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, November 2, 2012 8:57 EDT

WASHINGTON — The US unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent the prior month, the government said Friday in a highly anticipated report ahead of the November 6 election.

Though the jobless rate ticked up a notch, the economy added 171,000 jobs in October, well above expectations.

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate was “essentially unchanged” at 7.9 percent, and noted job growth in professional and business services, health care and the retail sector.

The number of unemployed people — 12.3 million — was slightly higher, following a dip in September.

Most analysts had forecast the rise in the unemployment rate, but the job growth far outpaced the 125,000 estimate.

The better-than-expected jobs report serves as the final snapshot on the economy as President Barack Obama battles for re-election next Tuesday in a neck-and-neck race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 02, 2012, 08:20 AM
 SPIEGEL ONLINE
11/01/2012 06:09 PM

The American Enigma: Berlin Unsure about a Possible President Romney

By Severin Weiland

Germans like US President Barack Obama, but what if his challenger Mitt Romney wins next week's election instead? The Republican politician is hard to read when it comes to foreign policy matters, and politicians in Berlin are asking what it would mean for German-American relations.

Germans have long since made up their minds about Mitt Romney. Only 5 percent would give him their vote if they had one, they say.

The result of the most recent poll by Forsa is far from surprising. When America votes, the German heart traditionally beats for the Democratic candidate. To many, the Republicans are suspect: cocky, Christian-conservative, narrow-minded and often hawkish -- at least according to the widespread cliché. Some 92 percent of Germans, the poll found, would vote to return incumbent Barack Obama to the White House.

They aren't allowed to cast a ballot, of course, and are damned to be observers, nervously standing on the sidelines. Obama and Romney are neck-and-neck in the polls, with just days to go before Election Day next Tuesday. And politicians in Berlin have long since begun considering the possibility that Romney may take over the reins of state.

But what would a President Romney mean for Berlin? Frankly, politicians in the German capital aren't sure. The Republican candidate, said Harald Leibrechts, Germany's coordinator for German-American relations, is a "blank page, which makes him difficult to gauge. He is unlikely to be alone in this assessment.

Unclear Positions

Romney has portrayed himself as both a tough guy and a diplomat, but his waffling has confused people both at home and abroad. In his final debate against Obama, he took a conciliatory tone, and it appeared as though he had few policy differences with Obama in places like Syria, Afghanistan and Iran. But only a few months prior, Romney sounded completely different, declaring Russia as America's "number-one geopolitical foe."

His policies on Iran have also been cause for some concern. This summer one of his top foreign policy advisors said Romney would "respect" an Israeli decision to use force against Tehran. Furthermore, Romney's position on the planned withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in 2014 also remains unclear; he has expressed doubts about the time frame.

In Berlin, the Republican nominee is seen as somewhat of an enigma. Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière, for one, is puzzled, saying during a recent NATO meeting that "no one at the table" could say how the US mission in Afghanistan would play out if there was a change in the White House. And because the allied nations plan to build their strategies around the US model, the Nov. 6 election is extremely important, de Maizière said.

Do German leaders think that Romney would try to return the US to its erstwhile role as global police officer? "I don't believe so," says Philipp Missfelder, foreign policy spokesperson for conservatives in parliament. "The financial situation is so desolate in the US that Romney wouldn't be able to afford" such a role.

Still, in the last TV debate between Obama and Romney, the latter spoke against cuts to the military budget and in favor of building new warships. Could Romney turn back the clock to the days of Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, who was reviled in Germany? According to Missfelder, the answer is no. He isn't a bogeyman to be feared, he says, adding that many in Germany mistakenly equate him with the Tea Party movement and its isolationist approach to foreign policy. "Romney is actually a pragmatist," Missfelder says hopefully.

During the campaign, Romney has presented himself as an economic leader and there are tendencies within his party to protect the domestic market. With the entire House of Representatives and one third of the Senate set to be chosen next week, there is some concern that this "America first" attitude could become stronger. Indeed, Ralf Braml, an expert on US politics with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, anticipates protectionist tendencies to mainly eminate from the legislative branch. "Even German and European firms will have difficulties selling their products in the US," he says.

More Military Demands?

Rolf Mützenich, the foreign policy spokesman of the opposition Social Democrats in parliament, believes that a Romney victory would result in an "initial standstill and uncertainty" while the administration went through the drawn-out process of making new appointments. What's more, he fears that if Romney chooses to rely on former advisers from the Bush era, "disagreements could arise regarding not only the issues of Iran and Russia, but also when it comes to respect for the United Nations, international law and disarmament." Likewise, he holds that a Romney administration would most likely not see eye to eye with Germany and its fellow European Union nations when it comes to the global regulation of the financial markets.

Braml, the DGAP expert and author of the book "Der amerikanische Patient" ("The American Patient"), champions the thesis that American's poor socio-economic condition and growing isolationist sentiments will lead it to try to shift the burdens of military actions onto its allies. This view is shared by many in Berlin. Leibrecht, Chancellor Merkel's coordinator for German-American relations, has said that one of the possible consequences of a Romney victory would be calls for augmenting defense budgets. "That is not particularly popular with us," he said, "and we also don't support this request in light of the consolidation and cost-cutting course that has been pursued in Europe."

In any case, whether Obama or Romney wins, CDU politician Missfelder says that Germans will have to get used to one thing: "When it comes to global military actions in crisis zones, the Americans will definitely be coming to us and demanding more in the years to come."

***********

Citizens of China and Japan support Barack Obama for a second term, poll shows

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, November 2, 2012 7:09 EDT

Citizens of China and Japan overwhelmingly support President Barack Obama to win a second term, according to an AFP-Ipsos poll which suggests Mitt Romney’s tough talk on the Asian powers could have dented his image.

The US elections may be a toss-up at home but the survey carried out by Ipsos Hong Kong found a whopping 86 percent of Japanese back the Democrat incumbent compared to only 12.3 percent for Republican party candidate Romney.

Chinese respondents were less emphatic, but still a hefty 63 percent said they wanted Obama to serve out another four years, according to the online poll conducted in September and October.

Analysts said Obama’s record on the economy and security had buttressed his standing in the East, while Romney’s outspoken comments on Beijing’s alleged currency manipulation and Japan’s economic decline may have lost him some friends.

“Asia wants Obama to win the election overall, but China has more supporters of Romney than Japan,” Ipsos Hong Kong associate director Andrew Lam said.

“It is possible that Romney’s strong stand on currency and trade, as well as his plan to have a stronger military capability in the Pacific, has led the Chinese to believe it is better to stay with the status quo.

“For Japan, Romney’s low popularity is possibly linked to his earlier public comment about Japan being an economy in decline. Japanese have strong national pride, and could react negatively toward this kind of public remark.”

The Chinese are around three times more likely to approve of Romney despite his more hawkish stance on trade and military spending, according to the AFP-Ipsos survey which will be publicly released on Monday.

Romney’s popularity was highest among older Chinese and in less developed “Tier Two” cities, inland population centres which have not industrialised at the pace of the more economically liberal special economic zones such as Shanghai.

International relations expert Chen Qi, of China’s Tsinghua University, said some Chinese held the Republican party in high regard based on its history of engagement with Beijing going back to president Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit.

But he said many other Chinese did not look favourably on Romney’s background as a wealthy capitalist.

“Many people feel that Obama looks after the bottom level of society, with his policies such as medical reform, and a lot of Chinese people support that… There is some suspicion of rich businessmen entering politics,” Chen said.

Romney has repeatedly vowed to brand Beijing a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, as a way to address China’s huge trade surplus with the United States.

“They’re taking jobs, and we’ve been looking the other way for too long,” he said on the campaign trail last month.

Critics in the United States and other developed economies accuse China of keeping its currency deliberately low to flood the world with exports of inexpensive goods, devastating manufacturing industries elsewhere.

The Obama administration has repeatedly urged Beijing to let the yuan appreciate, but has stopped short of declaring China a currency manipulator — a designation that could trigger sanctions and perhaps an all-out trade war.

The AFP-Ipsos survey showed that most Japanese (81.8 percent) and Chinese (58.3 percent) thought Obama would be the best US president for Asian economic growth, rejecting Romney’s claims to be the stronger economic manager.

Asked which candidate would be better for peace and security in Asia, 85.3 percent of Japanese and 56.3 percent of Chinese said Obama.

Takehiko Yamamoto, professor of international politics at Tokyo’s Waseda University, said Obama’s efforts to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were popular in Japan.

“The Bush administration took a kind of coercive approach to Japan in mustering support for the Japan-US alliance when it dealt with Afghanistan and Iraq. But Obama has not been so forcible,” he told AFP in Tokyo.

Obama’s so-called “pivot” to Asia has been a key strategy of his administration’s foreign policy, a move that China has eyed with suspicion but other Asian states have broadly welcomed as a balance to Beijing’s influence.

Despite the high stakes involved, the poll showed many more Chinese (47.7 percent) are indifferent to the US election outcome than Japanese (30.3 percent).

Analysts said that with a once-a-decade leadership transition due to take place in Beijing shortly after the US vote, this was not surprising. There was also a sense of disappointment after the excitement of Obama’s 2008 victory.

“The election is the most important to the Japanese, possibly because the US has been their most important long-term ally diplomatically and militarily,” said Lam.

“With their rising political and economic power, the Chinese may regard themselves as less reliant on any single nation including the US, thus the indifference.”

The poll, which surveyed around 1,000 people in each country, has a margin of error of five percent.

************

Israelis back Mitt Romney in upcoming presidential election but Palestinians are indifferent

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, November 2, 2012 7:55 EDT

Israel may be openly hoping that Republican challenger Mitt Romney will end up stealing the presidency from Barack Obama, but for the Palestinians it makes little difference who takes over the White House.

With the US presidential race drawing to a close, Israelis have come out strongly in favour of the Republican nominee who they believe is likely to be a better friend to the Jewish state than President Obama.

Figures published in a Peace Index poll showed a clear majority of Jewish Israelis — 57 percent — believe that when it comes to Israel’s interests, Romney would be the best president, compared with 22 percent for Obama.

“Israelis are a bit suspicious of Obama and prefer Romney,” said Eytan Gilboa, an expert on US-Israeli relations at Bar Ilan University.

“This is because of Obama’s tough attitude — personally to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also on the diplomatic level towards Israel,” he said.

Netanyahu himself “would prefer Romney, because he feels that relations with Obama were tense, that there was not enough cooperation — neither personally nor nationally,” Gilboa explained.

Ties have never been easy between Netanyahu and Obama — their public meetings have often been visibly tense, marked by awkward body language, and the two have differed over key issues, most recently over how to handle the Iran nuclear file.

While both Obama and Romney were on the same page in their attitude towards Israel’s security needs, there was a significant difference between the two on the key issue of a nuclear Iran, Gilboa said.

Netanyahu has pushed for a much more hardline approach that could include pre-emptive military action, while Obama has preferred to allow diplomacy and sanctions dissuade Iran from building the bomb.

From Netanyahu’s perspective, “Obama is against any Israeli use of force, and won’t use force himself” against Iran, he said.

“Romney won’t use force himself, but would let Netanyahu carry out a military action if he chose to do so.”

Despite some Israeli media and conservative US Jews portraying Obama as giving Israel the cold shoulder, his administration has done a lot for Israel’s security over the past four years, said Peter Medding, a professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“The issue really for Israel is, irrespective of who you want, security or defence,” he told AFP, adding there was “plenty of evidence” to show the Obama administration had done a great deal to bolster Israel’s security.

Although it was no secret that Netanyahu would prefer Romney to be elected, the main issue was a president who would watch out for Israel’s back, he said.

“The consensus is that the personal relationship between Netanyahu and Obama is not good, but having said that, you then look at the record of what Obama and his administration have done,” he said.

“If you’re engaged in politics and statesmanship at that level, you have to relate to the issues as they are and not to the persons who are representing them.”

On the Palestinian side, there is little enthusiasm about the election.

With peace negotiations on hold for more than two years, Obama no longer inspires the enthusiasm he once did among Palestinians who say the identity of the next US president will not change anything.

“The situation in the United States is known — they will support Israel whoever the next American president is,” said Muhanned Abdelhamid, a political analyst from the West Bank town of Ramallah.

“The United States adapts itself to the Israeli reality and the nature of the government in Israel and not the other way around, which means US positions towards Israel are the same whether it is Netanyahu’s Israel or (Avigdor) Lieberman’s,” he said referring to Israel’s ultranationalist foreign minister.

Any optimism sparked by Obama’s election four years ago has long since dissipated in the cold light of weakening US stands on issues like Israeli settlement building, said Abdel Majid Sweilem, a political scientist from Al-Quds University.

“I don’t think there is any possibility that the United States will drastically change its policy in the Middle East from what we are used to, whoever is the next US president,” he said.

Earlier this year, Romney came under fire for saying the Palestinians had “no interest whatsoever” in peace and indicating he would not make any serious bid as president to solve the Middle East conflict.

But Gilboa suggested that a victory by Romney, who was unlikely to exert much pressure on Israel over negotiations or its settlement building policy, could actually help rekindle the stagnant peace process.

“The Palestinians thought that Obama would do the work for them — that they’d get a deal in which Israel would make concessions, but they would not have to,” he said.

“That’s why they were so insistent all the time.”

But if they see Romney elected president, it could have the opposite effect. “They could say: ‘We should enter negotiations after all’,” he said.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 03, 2012, 07:21 AM

Terrifying Video: ‘News on the 100th Day of a Romney Presidency’

By: Sarah Jones November 2nd, 2012

Yikes. Elections do have consequences. It’s not like the Obama campaign to use fear tactics, so their terrifying new video showing the news on the 100th day of a Romney presidency is a departure in tone.

What’s at stake, you ask? Watch here, but steel yourself first.

CHICAGO says, “What would lead the news on the 100th day of a Mitt Romney presidency? OFA’s new “breaking newscast” has the top stories Americans could expect to see if Romney gets to push his version of “real change” as president: a tax cut for millionaires and corporations is signed into law as taxes rise for the middle-class; Chinese manufacturing is booming as American jobs are shipped overseas; Roe v. Wade threatened by the confirmation of President Romney’s first nominee to the Supreme Court; Medicare is turned into a voucher system; and Obamacare is repealed, leaving many Americans with preexisting conditions without insurance.

Elections have consequences, and this is the “real change” that Romney is promising. It’s the kind of change that Americans simply can’t afford. In four days, Americans will decide if they want to continue moving forward with President Obama, or if Romney gets to deliver the change he has promised, taking us back to the same failed policies of the past.”

Tax cuts for millionaires, Roe V Wade on the docket to be overturned, no FEMA, Medicare being turned into vouchers — not a pretty picture. While Romney probably couldn’t actually achieve all of these goals, they are fair representations of positions he has taken at one time (and later denied, avoided, walked back, lied about, etc.).

You might want to share this video with undecideds. Sometimes it takes a little exaggeration or imagination to get people to wake up. After all, this does represent what a Romney presidency would look like without any obstacles (read Democrats) in the road.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kY9_WLLuhB4


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 03, 2012, 07:24 AM

Obama Explains Change to Romney with Three Words: Made in America

By: Sarah Jones November 2nd, 2012

Mitt Romney is selling change along with that secret tax plan in the used car lot where trickle down lemons hide in shame. The President is having none of that. Today he told supporters that change is when everyone has a fair shot, “That’s the future I see for this entire country. Making stuff again. Selling it all around the world. Products stamped with three proud words: Made in America.”

Watch the President’s remarks from a rally in Springfield, Ohio today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PCbuLB8T_lQ

TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S REMARKS
I know what real change looks like, because I’ve fought for it. Right alongside you. And after all we’ve been through together, we sure can’t give up on now.

Let me tell you about the change we need over the next four years. Real change. Real change is a county where every American has a shot at a great education. You know, this school that we’re in is an example of a school that is making incredible reforms. The Race to the Top program that we put together – this is one of the winners of Race to the Top right here. So, we know how to raise standards and recruit great teachers and become more creative in the classroom. And our kids are going to succeed.

But you can’t tell me that more teachers won’t help grow our economy. Don’t tell me that students who can’t afford to go to college should just borrow more money from their parents. That wasn’t an option for me, probably wasn’t an option for a lot of you. That’s why I want to cut the growth of tuition in half over the next ten years. That’s why I want to recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that our kids don’t fall behind the rest of the world. That’s why I want to train two million Americans at our community colleges with the skills that businesses are looking for right now. That’s what change is. That’s my plan for the future. That’s the America we’re fighting for in this election. Forward.

Change comes when we live up to this country’s legacy of innovation. The nice thing about the auto industry, we’re not just building cars again, we’re building better cars again, more advanced cars, better technology – cars that by the middle of the next decade will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. Today, there are workers that are building long-lasting batteries and wind turbines all across the country and right here in Ohio. These are jobs that didn’t exist four years ago. I don’t want a tax code that subsidizes oil company profits when oil companies are already making a lot of money; I want to support the clean energy jobs of tomorrow. I want to support the new technology that is gonna cut our oil imports in half by 2020. I don’t want a tax code that rewards companies for creating jobs overseas; I want to reward companies that are taking root right here in Springfield, Ohio. Right here in Lordstown and Toledo and Youngstown. I am confident about a renaissance, a resurgence of American manufacturing and that’s good for the entire economy. That’s the future I see for this entire country. Making stuff again. Selling it all around the world. Products stamped with three proud words: Made in America.

END TRANSCRIPT

Oh, POW right to the kisser. Made in America. Made in America. Mitt Romney is hiding in his Sensata bunker right about now. While Obama is delivering remarks about making things here in America, Matt Romney (Mitt’s son) is in Russia conducting business and sending secret notes to Putin assuring him that Mitt doesn’t mean the things he says on the campaign trail. USA! USA!

Seriously, this is the President in the final days leading up to the campaign. I’d like to remind everyone that this is the same guy who some call weak when he’s governing. Does he seem weak? No. Not unless you’re drinking Fox Koolaid. Let us remember that campaigning Obama is not governing Obama. He is smart enough to know the difference and so might we be.

If he is re-elected next week, we have a shot at actually making things here in America. If we fall to the low information voters, we can kiss Made in America goodbye.

Chicago adds, “Mitt Romney is pledging that he would bring “real change” if he’s elected, but we know all he would do is bring back the failed policies of the past that crashed the economy and punished the middle class in the first place. That’s the kind of change that the American people simply can’t afford. Americans know what real change looks like. That’s because they’ve fought for it alongside President Obama. America has come too far to turn back now, and as the President reminded voters in Springfield, Ohio earlier today, there’s still more work to do. That’s why President Obama is fighting for the change that gets folks back to work and strengthens the middle class by making smart investments in energy, education and training, growing small businesses, promoting technology and innovation, and reducing the deficit in a balanced, bipartisan way.”

Made in the USA. Take that, Mitt Caymans cash stashing, shipping jobs to China, not paying all your US taxes Romney.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 03, 2012, 07:25 AM

Obama Leads Romney in 14 of 16 Swing State Polls Released Today

By: Jason Easley November 2nd, 2012

Did Hurricane Sandy shift momentum to Obama? From New Hampshire to Colorado, President Obama leads Mitt Romney in 13 of the 15 polls released today with two polls showing ties.

As we head into the final weekend of campaigning, it looks like momentum is moving towards the incumbent. In Colorado, the Reuters/Ipsos poll of the state shows the candidates tied, 46%-46%. A PPP poll of the state has Obama leading Romney, 50%-46%, and a Denver Post/SurveyUSA poll has Obama leading Romney, 47%-45%. Reuters/Ipsos has Obama leading Romney 48%-46% in Florida, and a Gravis poll has Obama leading Romney 49%-45% in Iowa. Republican and Democratic pollsters both agree that Obama leads Michigan. Republican pollster Rasmussen has Obama leading Romney 52%-47%, and Democratic pollster PPP has Obama leading in Michigan, 52%-46%. A new Mellman poll has Obama leading Romney 50%-44% in Nevada, and a New England College poll shows Obama leading Romney 50%-44% in New Hampshire.

President Obama leads Mitt Romney in three of the four new polls of Ohio. Obama leads Romney 50%-47% in the latest CNN/ORC poll, 47%-45% in the Reuters/Ipsos poll, and 50%-46% in the We Ask America poll. Republican pollster Rasmussen has Ohio tied at 49%-49%. In Virginia, Obama leads Romney 48%-45% according to Reuters/Ipsos, and 49%-48% in the We Ask America poll. Mitt Romney was hoping to turn Wisconsin red, but according to We Ask America, Obama holds a seven point lead over Romney 52%-45%.

What should be very troubling to Republicans is that of the 16 swing state polls taken Obama is at 50% or better in eight of them. Mitt Romney is not over 50% in any of today’s polls. Another three polls on the list have Obama at 49%. This means that in 11 of the 16 polls released today Barack Obama is either one point away from, or at 50% or better.

It is important to remember that these polls are only indicators of which way the political winds are blowing. They aren’t evidence of victory. In fact, President Obama holds small, but significant leads in most of these polls. If voters don’t come out and vote, small polling leads can transform into losses without supporters casting their ballots.

However, the consensus within these polls suggests that momentum is on the president’s side. The trendline will become more visible over the final weekend of polling, but it is very possible that voters are following their electoral historical precedent and moving towards the incumbent as the election approaches.

So far, that late breaking wave that the Romney campaign is counting on hasn’t materialized.

Early voting may be putting Iowa and Nevada out of reach for Romney. Obama is piling up enough of a margin during Ohio’s early voting that Romney will require at least 53% of the election day vote in order to be competitive in the state. To put Romney’s task in Ohio in perspective, the Republican will have to improve on his current poll performance by 4-8 points to even have a chance at winning the state.

We’ll see on Tuesday if Obama’s excellent performance after Hurricane Sandy gave him extra momentum heading into election day, but it is becoming clear that while Romney is limping towards the finish line, Obama is surging into the final weekend of the 2012 campaign.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 03, 2012, 07:27 AM

The Republican Hail Mary Pass: Racist Mailers and More Vote Suppression

By: Adalia Woodbury November 2nd, 2012

Romney used every deceitful trick in the book, albeit with a little help from other people who believe in an America that should be run like a corporation, rather than led as a country.

As I reported previously, Romney’s poll watchers are being trained to deceive voters and election officials in Wisconsin. However, the deception doesn’t end in Wisconsin. That would be asking way too much of the Romney Campaign.

Romney workers in Iowa were told to ask for voters’ ID.

Here is the Romney campaign’s training video for its poll watchers in Iowa.

There is one problem with that. Iowa doesn’t have a voter ID law. Actually, there are many problems with that, as there has been with the nationwide effort by Republicans led by Romney to suppress the vote.

With everything from ALEC inspired legislation, most of which was struck down by the courts because these laws had a disproportionately adverse effect on Racial minorities, students, the elderly, single mothers and single women in general; people who work for a living.

It’s no coincidence that these identifiable groups are more likely to vote Democrat, than for the corporatist/theocratic alliance of the Republican Party.

Most elections are about a choice between leaders and wannabes. This election is no exception.

Our choices are very clear cut. Either we can choose to a real leader in Barack Obama, or Corporate America’s wannabe, Mitt Romney.

Either we can chose a leader, in Barack Obama, who may not tell us everything we want to hear, then moments later deny he said it. The other choice Mitt Romney who changes his mind about his strongly held convictions = sometimes within minutes of stating them.

This election is just as much about who the candidates believe should have a voice in deciding our future. This is about so much more than a contest between two candidates and their immediate policies. It goes to the heart of what we value as a nation.

You can tell a lot about a candidate’s vision by their views and actions on voting rights.

Again, there is a sharp contrast between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. While Barack Obama and Democrats have fought for your right to vote, Mitt Romney and the Republicans used every trick in the book (and made up a few more) to silence you.

Throughout this campaign, we have documented the laws that Republican legislatures passed in the name of suppressing your vote at the polls.

Some expressed contempt for the notion that their state should have to “contort” the system to make voting equally accessible to all voters.

Whether it was new voter ID requirements, restrictions on registration drives, early and absentee voting, Republicans offered disingenuous claims that the purpose of these measures was to protect your vote from alleged in person voter fraud.

Yet, when given a chance to provide evidence of voter fraud in a court of law, Republicans always came up empty. It seems that while they have no problem lying to the people of America, the courtroom was as effective, if not more so, than a polygraph machine.

They hired Nathan Sproul to manipulate voter registration in a manner that they hoped would deny Democrats their vote, when the voter suppression laws failed. (At least the few that were not struck down by the courts.)

Voters who survive the first endurance test to the vote, will be met by right-wing foot soldiers, be they from the Romney campaign or from the Koch Brother financed True to Vote and similar organizations. While claiming to be “concerned citizens” whose purpose is to intimidate you into silence, be it with false challenges to your vote, or delaying your vote by virtue of raising false challenges.

These individuals do not have standing to ask anything of you. They sure as hell don’t have a right to see your ID (whether or not your state has a voter ID law.) Don’t let them steal your vote, or anyone else’s. Once you pass the Republican endurance test for voting, the struggle ends if you live in a state that uses paper ballots. If you live in a state that gives you a choice between a paper ballot and a machine, always choose the paper ballots.

If you live in a state with machine ballots only, there is reason to be concerned about whether the machines were rigged. If you live in Ohio, this is worth noting.

According to The Free Press:

Untested, uncertified and “experimental” election tabulation software was installed on ES&S machines in 39 districts.

You’ll just love the justifications offered by Ohio’s officials. According to Election Counsel, Brandi Laser Seske,

    Its function is to aid in the reporting of results that are already uploaded into the county’s system. The software formats results that have already been uploaded by the county into a format that can be read by the Secretary of State’s election night reporting system.”

    “Because the software is not 1) involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots (or in communicating between systems involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots) or 2) a modification to a certified system, the BVME [Board of Voting Machine Examiners] was not required to review the software.

According to Seske, “It is not part of the certified Unity system, so it did not require federal testing.”

Because the software is not 1) involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots (or in communicating between systems involved in the tabulation or casting of ballots) or 2) a modification to a certified system, the BVME [Board of Voting Machine Examiners] was not required to review the software.”

In English, Seske is saying that the “experimental” software will transmit “custom” election results to the Secretary of State’s office, bypassing normal election night reporting methods.

Moreover, it’s pretty clear that Seske is trying to justify a deliberate attempt to skirt Federal election law to benefit the Republicans.

Considering that the Secretary of State in question is Jon Husted, it’s safe to say this custom reporting serves a partisan purpose. After all, Husted’s idea of election integrity would ideally only count Republican votes. The fact that he found an excuse to avoid certification, considering Husted’s history, suggests that he is up to no good.

As noted by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis,

    The software, although not communicating actual ballot information, facilitates communication between systems upon which votes are tabulated and stored. Although the software purports to not modify the tabulation system software, it is itself a modification to the whole tabulation system. This is why certification and testing is required in all cases.”

The Romney campaign has more post-Halloween tricks for Ohio – including their latest flier, complete with
with Chinese food containers and chopsticks, all the better to tar Democrats with.

Sam Stein explains the symbolism behind this blatantly racist mailer.

    Anti-China sentiment can be politically persuasive in the Midwest, which is still stinging from years of manufacturing jobs being outsourced. It’s why President Barack Obama’s super PAC spent the summer focusing on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, accusing him specifically of being a pioneer in the field of outsourcing. It’s why the Obama campaign soon followed suit. And it’s why the Romney campaign, in the closing weeks, has launched surreptitious ads suggesting that, under the president’s watch, America’s auto companies are sending production to China

The mailer in Ohio adds that extra ugh factor with the takeout container with money, chopsticks and the stereotypical Chinese font.

Well, no one can accuse the Republicans of being classy, nor can one accuse Mitt Romney of being a leader.

No one can compel you to vote. That is your choice and your choice only. Just bear in mind that if you choose to stay home, you will be giving the plutocratic/theocratic alliance that is the Romney Republican Party exactly what they want.

Using your vote matters because it is your chance to choose between leader and someone who views you as nothing more than a means to an end – whether that be his personal profits or his personal quest for power.

True leaders comfort the downtrodden, rather than talk about them disparagingly, when they think no one is listening.

True leaders give a hand up to the less fortunate because a strong society is built by all of us – not one per cent, 2 per cent or 10%.

A true leader listens to all voices, – not only to his cheering section. When a true leader talks of bipartisanship, they mean working in a cooperative spirit for the good of the country.

A united country is built when everyone has a stake in it as citizens, not because they have the money to buy a voice. Politicians who seek unity while listening to those who mirror their views create animosity.

A leader has the judgment to recognize that on matters of National Security, it’s a good idea to get the facts first. A politician sees tragedies like Benghazi as a political opportunity.

A leader works with others be they members of another political party within his country or leaders of allied nations across the world. The wannabe in this election alienated Democrats while serving as governor and found a way to offend our closest ally at the Olympics. Romney’s actions show that his idea of cooperation ends with talking about it.

Leaders take responsibility for their actions, while wannabes blame everyone but themselves.

Leaders see their position as one in which they were entrusted to use power wisely and to the benefit of the people they lead. Wannabes sees the power and status like shiny objects – without showing any interest in understanding the responsibilities of the job.

Leaders insure opportunity is available to everyone who wants to take them. Wannabes see opportunity as a privilege for those who already have everything.

If you want a leader, there really is only one choice in the election – Barack Obama.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 03, 2012, 09:43 AM

November 03, 2012 07:00 AM

Matt and Tagg Romney Round Up Their Oligarchs For Mitt's Presidency

By karoli

It wasn't that long ago that Mitt Romney was making the impassioned claim that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe and we should be aiming our military might at seeing to it they're cowed and put in their place. Of course, Romney's Reagan-era world view didn't stop him from making the big bucks helping Big Tobacco do business over there, but then, business is business and politics is just better business, right?

Evidently Tagg and Matt Romney agree with that philosophy. They are unafraid of the bogeymen in Russia. Quite the contrary. They welcome the opportunity to bring Russian oligarchs into the fold of vulture capitalism inhabited by American oligarchs, whether real estate or corporate equity just as their father did with his Latin American oligarchs in order to make his fortune.

Let's start with Matt, who took a little jaunt to Russia for the sole purpose of courting oligarchs to his newest venture. Like father, like son. Via New York Times:

    Matt Romney, a son of the Republican presidential nominee, traveled to Moscow this week seeking Russian investors for his California-based real estate firm just days before his father is to wrap up a campaign in which he has vowed to take a tougher stance with the Kremlin.

    Mr. Romney, the second-oldest son of Mitt Romney, met with Russians whom he hoped to convince to invest in his company, Excel Trust, which owns shopping centers across the United States, the firm said. Although the company’s focus has been solely domestic, it said it has begun exploring international opportunities to raise funds.

    Mr. Romney’s trip a week before the presidential election underscored the complex relationship between his family’s business and the political campaign. Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama for being too soft on Russia, calling it “our No. 1 geopolitical foe” and promising to confront President Vladimir V. Putin’s government with “more backbone” if elected on Tuesday.

Now, don't be shocked by this, but Matt actually told his oligarchs they shouldn't worry if Dad is elected, because his rhetoric is just a bunch of bluster.

    But while in Moscow, Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.

    Matt Romney traveled to Moscow with Gary B. Sabin, the chairman and chief executive of Excel Trust, which is based in San Diego. Greg Davis, the firm’s vice president of capital markets and communications, said the trip was unrelated to the campaign.

FLASHBACK: Right wing freaks out over Obama reassuring Putin while his mic was still hot.

Excel Trust invests in real estate; specifically, commercial real estate with big box stores like Staples and Sports Authority. There's a surprise. I suppose it wouldn't surprise you to know that Gary Sabin is also Mormon, either. Not that there's some secret Mormon thing going on with respect to Russia or anything, but really, does anyone think it's a good idea to sell California real estate to Russian oligarchs?

Onward to Tagg Romney now. Lee Fang first reported about Tagg's Solamere investments and Mitt's $10 million initial investment, and how it stands to be a conduit into a Romney White House. Solamere, as a fund of funds, could also be viewed as a billionaire aggregator, rounding up Mitt's billionaires and setting them up for pretty profits if Mitt were elected president.

    What is known is that Solamere’s private equity partners are eager to influence the federal government. Three of the firms listed in the Solamere prospectus—Sun Capital Partners, TPG Capital and TA Associates—are currently financing a lobbying campaign under a trade group called the Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC), which is seeking to influence a number of tax and regulatory decisions.

    The PEGCC has spent nearly $5.8 million on federal lobbying over the past three years, and untold millions this year on a public relations campaign in swing states to improve the image of private equity—a strategy seen as designed to benefit Romney’s campaign. One of the primary concerns of the PEGCC and many private equity firms is that the carried interest loophole, which allows wealthy investment managers to be taxed at only the 15 percent capital gains rate, may be closed. The group has also fired off at least a dozen letters and held meetings with regulators to complain about the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill’s mandates, ranging from new registration requirements to limits on commodity speculation.

The Seattle Times has more:

    Fracking and other energy interests have put their money with Tagg. So have military contractors. Dental-management companies have been targeted for pressuring dentists to perform expensive work on low-income children, the bill sent to Medicaid. They’re in Solamere. So are the investor-owners of for-profit colleges, which Romney has praised from the stump. Known for providing weak education, the for-profit schools draw 85 percent of their revenues from taxpayers. Romney a small-government president? My foot.

So, let's add all of this up. Matt Romney goes to Russia to round up Russian oligarchs for investment in California real estate funds. Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick are tied up with Solamere Equity, a "fund of funds" that has private equity partners lobbying to influence tax and regulatory decisions, and some of those investors are military contractors, energy investors, and fracking proponents.

This would not end well for we, the people.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 06:10 AM

November 03, 2012 03:00 PM

2012: A Truly Historic Election

By Mike Lux

There was, rightly, a massive amount of discussion about the 2008 Presidential election being a very historic election. All by itself, the election of the first African-American President guaranteed that- and then there was Hillary Clinton’s historic candidacy, Sarah Palin’s VP candidacy, and the massive financial collapse happening just weeks before election day. Heavy duty historical business was going down in the fall of 2008, and it was remarkable to see it happening.

But history calls to us in every election year, and there are some big things moving and shaking this time around, too. On the one side we hear the echoes of John C. Calhoun, the Social Darwinists and Robber Barons of the 1880s, the people who cried out that Social Security and the New Deal would lead us to slavery, the Southerners who said that states' rights trumped civil rights, and the selfishness-is-a-virtue-charity-is-weakness philosophy of Ayn Rand. On the other side, we hear the call for community and equal opportunity that is reminiscent of the Pilgrims, Jefferson, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, and Martin Luther King. We should choose to be on the right side of history.

You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. The values that these two political parties have laid out are as starkly different as anything I've seen in my lifetime. Even with Romney's etch-a-sketch turn to the center since the first debate, he and his running mate Paul Ryan, along with their fellow Republicans further down the ticket running with them, have made it clear throughout this election what their guiding philosophy would be, and it is as hard core extreme right as any since maybe Cal Coolidge in 1924. We've had a Romney-Ryan budget proposal that eviscerates every program that benefits the poor and middle class; privatizes and voucherizes Medicare; block grants and slashes Medicaid; explodes the military budget; and showers huge new tax cuts on the wealthy and big corporations. We've had Romney pushing to privatize FEMA and disaster relief; we've had a frightening and bizarre series of references to rape that sound like they are coming straight out of the history of the 1800s; we've had anti-immigrant rhetoric that sounds like it is from the 1920s; and we have had videos from both Ryan and Romney talking about how huge percentages of Americans (30% in Ryan's case, and more famously 47% in Romney's) are lazy, dependent non-contributors to society, an idea straight from the pages of Ayn Rand and the Social Darwinists. A Romney election would be historical, alright, but very much the wrong kind of history.

The Republican definition of freedom has become that of Calhoun and the Southern plantation elite of the 1800s. Freedom to them was the freedom to do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted to do it, and they were quite explicit about that. When Romney and Ryan extol freedom, wanting to lift the burden of regulation and taxes from those job creators on Wall Street, wanting to celebrate the "makers" (wealthy people) in contrast with the "takers" (those folk who get Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, veterans' benefits, and the like), they are echoing Calhoun's celebration of the planter elite.

Thankfully, though, there is another tradition in American history- and it started very early. Pilgrim founder John Winthrop, ironically the same City on a Hill letter writer conservatives get so excited about quoting when talking about the idea of American exceptionalism, said this about the idea of America: "We must delight in each other, make others' conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body." The founders at the constitutional convention were part of that same tradition, proclaiming that these United States were one people: E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. The Presidents from later generations who history deems our greatest Presidents ever- Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt- carried on in the same tradition as well. They saw this country as a big united family, indivisible, one people whose fates were tied together, and they stood up to the powers that be, whether slave owners or big rapacious corporations, that were exploiting us and ripping us apart. Martin Luther King saw the same thing: that we were one people who should be sitting down at the table of brotherhood together, that we were "inextricably linked in a garment of destiny".

Now I am not suggesting that President Obama should be compared with those men, but his philosophical underpinnings clearly come from the same foundation. Here he is yesterday, making the historical argument:

History calls to us again in this election. It's an old values debate, begun between the planters who came to these shores in the South and the Pilgrims who came to New England in the 1600s. It continues today, in this election. When our country has made progress, when it has gone forward, it has been when the leaders who believed in community, and that we were one people who would rise and fall together, were in charge. When we have chosen a more selfish vision of America, such as when conservatives brought us the Great Depression, or when George W Bush was in office for the 8 years at the start of this century, most of us have suffered while a few became incredibly wealthy. Let's choose to be on the right side of history in 2012. Go vote, and make sure all your friends do too.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=htCWerpalU0


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 06:21 AM
Originally published Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 4:01 AM
  
Obama on the road: a study in self-assurance

By JULIE PACE and JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE —

In his days in the state Senate in Springfield, Ill., Barack Obama was known as a pretty good poker player. While he might have known how to mask a winning hand then, he's not hiding the self-confidence he appears to have about the outcome of his re-election bid.

He's taken to running to his rope lines, as if one moment away from a voter is a moment too long. He soaks up his crowds, chin out, waiting for the din to die down. He jokes when he urges an overflow audience not to hesitate to take a friend, a neighbor, a girlfriend to vote early.

"You should convince them to vote for me before you before you drag them off to the polls," he says. But his demeanor says he just knows they will.

Obama, in the final three day campaign sprint of his life, betrays no sign of disquiet over the outcome of the race. His team, disciplined analysts of voter data and hard election metrics, shows no anxiety either.

Long-time political adviser David Axelrod, he of the droopy mustache and the hangdog look, is all smiles, vowing to shave off his 40-year-old facial hair if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania (the bet drew a rebuke from the American Mustache Institute) Other aides, including deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, are growing beards until the election.

Senior adviser David Plouffe, who examines political movements like economists track rare market indicators, displays the same coolness he had at this time four years ago, when Obama's victory then was all but assured.

Now, these are professional practitioners of politics where misdirection and a good poker face are requisite arts. Presidents know how to hide bad news or put an upbeat face on gloom. In a nip-and-tuck election, he and his aides could be whistling past a graveyard.

But their body language in every way suggests they believe their numbers. And their own numbers say they are winning. To be sure, Obama has an easier path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win re-election. He must hold on to leads in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, and win in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, states where public polls show him tied or with an advantage. Early voting in Iowa and Ohio show Democrats outnumber Republicans. For Obama, it is clear Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, is the key.

In these final days, Obama has been piling on events. He had three stops in Ohio Friday. He has four stops Saturday, covering Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Virginia. On Sunday, he'll travel to New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio (again), and Colorado.

His voice is raspy now, comforted backstage with sips of hot tea. But the familiar lean into the microphones is more pronounced. In Mentor, Ohio, Saturday, when he cried out "We've come too far to turn back now," his right arm stretched behind him as if to point to a departed place.

Later, at a Milwaukee rally with a boisterous crowd of more than 10,000, he drew attention, as he often does, to his graying hair and suggested that Romney is an unknown quantity.

"Now Wisconsin, after four years as president you know me. You know me. You've watched me age before your eyes."

Among those traveling with him in this last push is longtime Chicago friend Marty Nesbitt.

"I've never seen him more exhilarated than he is right now," Axelrod said.

"He is very cognizant of the fact that this is his last campaign. This is the closing argument of his last campaign," he said. "He knows he's never going to do this again."

***********

Originally published November 3, 2012 at 5:43 AM | Page modified November 3, 2012 at 8:12 AM  

Obama banks on Bill Clinton to clinch close states

By CHARLES BABINGTON
Associated Press

PALM BAY, Fla. —

Republican Mitt Romney has millionaire backers, a huge staff and years of campaign experience, which may be enough to win the White House. President Barack Obama has one asset Romney can't match, however: Bill Clinton.

The former president is sprinting through battleground states, delivering more speeches than Obama himself and, arguably, carrying much of the president's re-election hopes on his 66-year-old shoulders.

There's nothing secret about this campaign weapon. If it's a competitive state, Clinton is there - and there and there - picking apart Romney's proposals in the folksy yet detailed style he unleashed at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. Many party activists left there wondering why Obama can't make his own case as compellingly.

Friday was typical for Clinton. He made five stops in Florida, stretching from Palm Beach in the southeast to Fort Myers on the Gulf Coast to Tallahassee in the panhandle.

Romney had hoped to lock down the mega-swing state long ago. But he will return Monday because of its uncertainty.

Clinton, his raspy voice hoarser than usual, mixed nostalgia with lawyerly dissections when criticizing Romney's tax-cut plans in Palm Bay, the day's second stop, south of Cape Canaveral.

"I don't understand how people like me could sleep at night taking another tax cut, and taking it away from you," he said to cheers from several hundred people, who clearly did not resent his post-presidential wealth.

After shucking his suit jacket and loosening his orange tie under a brilliant midday sun, Clinton rattled off statistics about recent slowdowns in the growth of health care costs, and benefits of Obama's health law. "That is what Mr. Romney wants to repeal," he said.

"Bring it home, Bill" a woman shouted.

At every stop, Clinton praises Obama effusively, but he also reminds voters of his own days in office.

"I am the only living former president that ever gave you a budget surplus," he said in Palm Bay. Obama's policies, he adds, are much more in line with his than are Romney's.

Obama amplifies Clinton's boasts, knowing they give credence to the endorsements. In one Ohio stop Friday, Obama named Clinton four times.

"For eight years we had a president who shared our beliefs, and his name was Bill Clinton," Obama said. "His economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more so we could reduce our deficit and invest in the skills and ideas of our people." Romney opposed that plan, Obama said, and his math "was just as bad back then as it was today."

The white-haired Clinton looks drawn and tired at times, and he makes a few flubs. He apologized this week for saluting Pennsylvania when he happened to be in Ohio.

Clinton still runs late, even at morning events. Former Vice President Walter Mondale had to spin political yarns to kill time this week as voters waited in Minneapolis.

But the man who once headlined nine events in one day for his wife in the 2008 North Carolina primary - when Hillary Rodham Clinton was battling Obama - still feeds off crowds' energy and affection.

In Green Bay, Wis., Clinton gave a 57-minute dissertation on why the economy is better than many think. The only reason the Obama-Romney race is close, he said, "is because Americans are impatient on things not made before yesterday, and they don't understand why the economy is not totally hunky-dory again."

Clinton campaigned for Obama on Thursday in Wisconsin and Ohio. Earlier in the week he was in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

He will join Obama on Saturday for a rally in Virginia and on Sunday morning for an event in New Hampshire. Clinton also will campaign Sunday in North Carolina and Minnesota. And on Monday, the Obama camp hopes Clinton will snuff out any possible Romney eruption in Pennsylvania, scheduling stops for him in Pittsburgh and Scranton, plus two in Philadelphia.

No state underscores Clinton's value more than Florida, where the Republican Bush family looms large. While Obama makes every possible use of his party's most recent president, Romney can hardly mention George W. Bush, who left office amid an economic collapse and an unpopular war in Iraq.

Romney campaigned Thursday in Tampa, however, with Bush's brother Jeb, a former Florida governor who remains widely popular.

Much has been made of Clinton's once-frosty relationship with Obama. Clinton, among other things, in 2008 called Obama's history of opposing the Iraq war a "fairy tale."

The two men may never be chums. But Clinton's endorsements now seem full-throated. It delights Democratic loyalists.

"The Republicans have nothing to match the personal appeal and persuasive power of President Clinton," said Doug Hattaway, a consultant with close ties to the Clintons. "He can energize Democrats and close the deal with moderate swing voters."

Bruce Marvin, who attended Clinton's event in Chillicothe, Ohio, said the ex-president explains Obama's plans even more understandably than does the nominee.

"I think it's backing up what Obama may not have been able to get across," Marvin said.

****************

Obama Praises Leaders for Coming Together in a Crisis While Romney Camp Threatens Christie

By: Sarah Jones November 3rd, 2012

At a grassroots rally in Mentor, Ohio earlier today, President Obama told supporters that we are in this together, that we rise and fall as one nation. As the President praised leaders from different parties working together, the Romney camp is threatening Chris Christie for working with Obama at a time when doing so might help the President.

Watch the President’s remarks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zZEuL76ptYU

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS:

OBAMA: You see heroes running into buildings, wading into the water to help their fellow citizens; neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy; leaders of different political parties working together to fix what’s broken; it’s a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough the times are, we’re all in this together – that we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.

And that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. It has carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years. Remember in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.

So we’ve made real progress these past four years. But Ohio, we’re here today because we all know we’ve got more work to do.

SUPPORTER: We love you!

OBAMA: I love you back and we’ve got more work to do. As long as there’s a single American who wants a job and still can’t find work; as long as there are families who are working harder and harder but are still falling behind; as long as there’s a child anywhere in this country who’s languishing in poverty, or barred from opportunity, we got more work to do. Our fight goes on.

End transcript

The President has always talked about our being one nation, even when it irritated his base. He knows he is the president of all Americans, not just his supporters. That’s the kind of leadership we need in the White House. Not petty partisanship and grudge holding. Republicans have given this President every reason to withhold help from them, but he continues to put emotions aside and do what’s best for the country.

Ironically, last night Mitt Romney sent out an email telling us that he will be the President of “one nation”. Coming from the guy who holds half the nation in contempt, this was nothing more than empty rhetoric. But what makes Romney more dangerous is that he not only refused to work with Democrats in the past, he refused to work with his own party members.

The Romney campaign is now suggesting that if Romney wins, Chris Christie better look out. “If Romney wins, it (Christie’s embrace of Obama) won’t be forgotten,” the adviser told Politico. Petty and dark much?

What did Christie do other than put the people of his state first and work with the Democratic president? For this, he will be punished by King Romney, the same Romney who is promising that he will be bi-partisan and lead “one nation”. He forgot to add he will lead one nation — but only of those who are willing to service his agenda.

Character matters. But then so does competence. Barack Obama is has more character in his pinkie than Romney has in his entire campaign and when it comes to competence as President, Obama has wiped the floor with Republican ineptness.

If you don’t believe in government and don’t like it, and you think it’s there to harvest for profit for you and your rich friends, you probably shouldn’t be given the reins. If you are so petty as to hold a grudge against a governor for working with the current president when his state was destroyed by a storm, you probably shouldn’t be chosen to lead this country.

We need to stand together as one nation, and that means having leaders who can put aside their own pettiness and campaigning during a national crisis.

The real problem here is that Mitt Romney is running for President for his own ego, not because he feels a calling to help the people. Everything is about him, even when folks have lost their loved ones to a devastating storm — all he can think about is how to punish Christie for daring to accept help and praise the President. Mitt Romney is a small man with a huge and yet fragile ego.

Correction: Reins for reigns in 3rd to last paragraph. Apologize for the delay. I’m having internet access troubles due to storm repair.

****************

President Obama Needs You: The Final Push Is on Us

By: Sarah Jones November 3rd, 2012

The Obama camp needs your help. They wrote, “Across the country, there are people that know that by working together they can change the world for the better. That’s what they did in 2008. And that’s what they will do in three days–but it’s going to take each person doing their part to keep moving our country forward. Today Obama for America released a new video, “The Final Push: It’s On Us,” capturing the enthusiasm and spirit that President Obama has been seeing every day out on the campaign trail. Voters across the country understand the clear choice in this election between going back to the same failed economic policies of the past decade that crashed our economy or continuing to move forward with President Obama. From the first time voter in Virginia to the neighborhood organizer in Iowa, Americans are rallying behind the President because they are willing to fight with him, press on with him, and finish what we started in 2008.”

There are less than 72 hours until Election Day. Now is time to get involved and help re-elect President Barack Obama: OFA.BO/7gYq7L

Confirm your polling location here: OFA.BO/U6HcxB
Get all the information you need to vote here: OFA.BO/wQHU9f

Be a part of history. Vote, Take your friends to vote. Volunteer to drive folks to the polls. Make calls. Do your part to protect your fellow citizens from the sure doom of a Romney presidency. If you’re feeling lazy, just remember the Bush years. Do it for your family, do it for yourself.

Do not allow your vote to be stolen from you. The more they try to intimidate voters, the harder voters should fight back.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zMKryy5TBOA



Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 06:26 AM
Doing all he can to steal the election, including breaking the law ...

Ohio Republican Secretary of State sued over order to discard provisional ballots

By Megan Carpentier
Saturday, November 3, 2012 17:55 EST

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose decision to try to restrict early voting was thrown out first by an Ohio judge, then a federal appeals court and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, will be back in court again this month after he issued a last-minute directive on provisional ballots that not only contradicts Ohio law but is also in violation of a recent court decision and the opposite of what Husted’s own lawyers said he would do.

As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.

Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that poll workers — not just observers — trained by the Voter Integrity Project, the Ohio affiliate of the tea party True The Vote project, will be in charge of providing provisional ballots and recording IDs. The Voter Integrity Project advertises that its training goes “beyond” what the Secretary Of State offers to poll workers, even though they technically are supposed to follow only the instructions of the Board of Elections.

**************

Irony: Registered Republican Tries to Vote Twice, Gets Arrested

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

It turns out that voter fraud is tough to get away with, so Republicans should relax. That is, unless they are the people trying to vote twice.

A registered Republican was arrested by the FBI on Friday for trying to vote twice in Henderson, Nevada. Roxanne Rubin tried to vote twice at two different polling locations. At the second location, they checked her name in the database and her name came up as having already voted. Ms. Rubin tried to claim their database was wrong, and that she hadn’t voted. But they weren’t buying it.

An investigation ensued and she was arrested at the casino where she works on Friday.

Voter fraud is a felony. It’s always been a crime, this is nothing new. Republicans should know this, since they have billboards around the country warning voters about the fact that voter fraud is a felony.

So far this year, we’ve had a rash of Republicans under investigation and/or arrested for a myriad of voter and election fraud charges. It’s a good thing Republicans drew so much attention to this issue. Much of America never knew just how much criminal activity the Republican Party was engaged in, but now, thanks to their attempts to disenfranchise minorities, they are making headlines as alert officials take election and voter fraud more seriously.

Due to concerted efforts by Republicans’ to intimidate and disenfranchise voters, the UN will be monitoring our election closely and the DOJ has been dispatched to several states. Of course, if Republicans really cared about voter fraud, they might think twice before voting for Mitt Romney, who claimed to be living in his son’s basement in January of 2010 so that he could register and vote in the Massachusetts special election to replace Senator Ted Kennedy. Romney did buy a townhouse in the state in July of that year, after the special election. However, it is alleged that he was actually living in California at the time of the election and therefore did not meet the residency requirements of Massachusetts.

Republicans are being hoisted on their ACORN petard this election cycle. Schadenfreude anyone? James O’Keefe, where ever you are, thank you.

As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.

Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that poll workers — not just observers — trained by the Voter Integrity Project, the Ohio affiliate of the tea party True The Vote project, will be in charge of providing provisional ballots and recording IDs. The Voter Integrity Project advertises that its training goes “beyond” what the Secretary Of State offers to poll workers, even though they technically are supposed to follow only the instructions of the Board of Elections.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 06:35 AM

As election looms, ‘the world is watching Ohio’

By Matt Williams, The Guardian
Saturday, November 3, 2012 13:30 EST

Ohio is where the warring halves of America meet. This midwestern state, mixing rural farmland, small towns and decaying industrial cities, is the ground zero of the bitter and protracted 2012 election that on Tuesday will decide who wins the White House.

It is where blue state Americans, who back Barack Obama to win a second term, battle over turf with red state Americans who desperately want Republican challenger Mitt Romney to bring the right back to power.

Ohio has voted for the winning candidate in very election bar one since 1944 (in 1960, it went for Nixon over Kennedy). No Republican has ever won the White House without taking Ohio. If Obama can stop Romney here, he is likely to emerge the victor. But if Romney can take the state it will signify a ground shift: one that will reduce Obama to a humbled, one-term president. Both sides know this.

In the small town of Celina in western Ohio last week, the state’s lieutenant-governor, Mary Taylor, was acting as a warm-up act for Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan. In a high school sports hall she warned a packed crowd: “The world is watching Ohio.” A day later, on the other side of the state – literally and metaphorically – former president Bill Clinton was oozing Arkansas charm in the “rust belt” city of Youngstown. “Ohio is an old-school kind of state, and I mean that in the best possible sense,” Clinton drawled. “Obama had your back when you were against the wall, and you will have his back now.”

This, after months of brutal campaigning, is where it ends. All the heat and fury of almost two years of rallies and speeches, all the relentless attack ads, all the politicking and horse-trading, comes to a head this week.

Across America there are only a nine states where votes matter. Giant states such as Texas and California are already in the bag for, respectively, Romney and Obama. Instead, these few swing states – from Colorado in the west to Florida in the south and tiny New Hampshire in New England – are the battleground on which the election has been fought. The fight there is poised on a knife edge. Romney’s surge after the first presidential debate has abated and left the national polls largely tied. In the swing states – and, crucially, in Ohio – Obama holds a slim but steady lead. That means, as the election goes down to the wire, it is Obama who many believe has his nose just ahead.

But the last week has seen a frantic final push. Across the swing states tens of thousands of party volunteers have gone door to door. The “get out the vote” plans for election day are being rehearsed and fine-tuned. Airwaves in the swing states are so saturated with political ads that in some areas there is no ad space left to buy. Even superstorm Sandy – which devastated the north-east – saw the campaign suspended for only a couple of days before combat resumed. By the time people vote on Tuesday a staggering $2.5bn will have been spent on the election – the most expensive in history.

Yet in Ohio, despite the intense effort, two different realities stubbornly persist. John DeCaussim, a 56-year-old Youngstown mechanic, said he could not understand how anyone could vote for Romney. “I have no idea why this election is close,” he said. “It shouldn’t be.” Meanwhile, in Celina sales manager Jim McGee, 62, believed Obama was a threat to the country’s existence. “He’s been a disaster. In my lifetime I have never seen things fall apart so far,” he said.

 

For Republicans the importance of winning Ohio is maths and history. Every Republican president has had the state on his side. And almost every plan that party strategists have devised to grab the White House for Romney includes Ohio in the win column. As a result, the Romney campaign has been virtually camped in the state. Romney has visited almost 50 times this year alone. Ryan too has been a virtual ever-present.

The state has seen a remarkable transformation of the Romney message over the last week. He has sought to shed his conservative image and long career in high finance and turn into an economic populist, emoting about tough economic times and bewailing the plight of the poor. In Findlay, Ohio, a small college town with a dilapidated Main Street, Romney was in full flow. He told stories of single mothers, low wages and parents making sacrifices so they could buy birthday presents for their children. For Romney, a millionaire many times over who has repeatedly extolled the virtues of high capitalism, it was a jarring performance. “There has been a middle-class squeeze in this country,” he said.

Romney even started to sound like Obama circa 2008. He has adopted the “change” slogan as his own, portraying himself as an enemy of the status quo. “I happen to think that the American people understand that we need dramatic and real change,” he said. Ignoring the last three years of bitter politics and a Tea Party-dominated Republican party, he claimed to be a centrist, keen to reach out a Republican hand to Democrats, even though it is the same hand that has been rejecting Obama for his entire first term.

But Romney as populist fist-pumper was as nothing compared to the musical act in Findlay. Before the teetotal, Mormon former Massachusetts governor took the stage, country music stars John Rich and Cowboy Troy, a black rapper, gave a lyrical performance, singing I Play Chicken with the Train. Rich suggested the crowd treat polling day like a drunken football game day party. “I would make a tailgate party and go to vote for Mitt Romney. Put that man in the White House, can you hear? Oh yeah,” Rich said. “Put some beer in the cooler in the truck!”

But if such contradictory images were a sign of a notoriously fluid Romney, keen to find any message that sells in Ohio, there have also been signs in recent weeks of the Republican party’s knife-sharp edge. Across America mysterious anonymous “robo-texts” slamming Obama have been buzzing millions of people’s mobile phones. Billboards appeared in Ohio, and other swing states, apparently targeting poor and minority neighbourhoods with warnings of the threat of prison for voter fraud.

On the airwaves the ads have got more extreme. A Romney ad claiming Jeep production was being moved to China was condemned as an outright lie by Jeep’s own parent company, Chrysler. Another ad, running in Florida, linked Obama to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Neither is virulent dislike for Obama hard to find, often tinged with a sense that the president is not really American. “I want to support Romney the good old-fashioned American way,” said construction worker Kevin Williams, 48, in Celina. “I don’t like socialism and Obama supports that.”

There is little doubt that Republicans are highly motivated. Maggie Niswaner is 73 but reckons she has walked more than 20 miles in the last week, knocking on doors and delivering pamphlets as a volunteer for Romney in Findlay. “I am a good American,” she said when asked for a reason why she was putting in such efforts to defeat Obama.

The doom and gloom pumped out by the Romney campaign has worked, too. Though there is little doubt the economy is stuttering in its recovery, and unemployment remains high, but has been on a downward trend. But that is taboo on the Republican campaign trail. “We have a jobs crisis in America,” said Paul Ryan in Celina, pointing out that 23 million Americans were struggling to find enough work.

But Ryan is right about one thing. It is a favourite part of the firebrand conservative’s performance to read out a quote at the beginning of his stump speech. It goes: “If you do not have fresh ideas, use stealth tactics to scare voters. If you do not have a record to run on, paint your opponent as someone that people should run from.” Ryan then asks his audience who said that and delightedly gives the answer. “That’s what Barack Obama said when he was running for president four years ago. Now when you switch on the TV that is exactly what he has become,” Ryan said in Findlay.

There is much truth in the claim. Obama’s re-election campaign, led by the hardnosed political operative David Axelrod, has been relentlessly negative. It has been a brutally sustained assault on Romney’s image. One controversial – and widely debunked – attack ad all but accused Romney of killing a man’s wife after she lost healthcare benefits. Obama has raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative advertising and Bill Clinton and vice-president Joe Biden have become even punchier as the campaign has drawn to a close.

In Youngstown, Clinton mocked Romney’s flexibility of ideas, perhaps forgetting his own notorious “triangulation” of policy. “Romney ties himself in more knots than a boy scout does at a knot-tying contest,” Clinton quipped. Biden followed suit. “This guy pirouettes more than a ballerina,” he said, bringing a cry of “Romney is a liar!” from the audience.

It is not a pretty end to Obama’s campaign. And it is a long way from “hope and change”. Though few ever expected Obama to fulfil the wild expectations of his historic 2008 election win, his first term has ended with a disappointed liberal base dismayed by broken promises on union rights and closing Guantánamo Bay and by a resounding defeat in the 2010 midterm elections. The result has been an Obama effort that has only hesitantly defended its main policy achievement of healthcare reform and has focused on attacking Republicans, rather than laying out any bold agenda.

Yet, for many on the blue state side of Ohio’s divide, that is more than enough. On the streets of Akron, a city at the heart of the north-eastern rust belt, student Cara Chappell remained loyal. “When Obama came in it was already all messed up,” she said. “The next four years he will be able to get things right. He had to save the economy first.”

She cannot conceive of a Romney victory, even as she admits that her mother – who boasts a technology degree – cannot find work and might leave the state. “If Romney wins, I will probably be speechless for the first time in my whole life,” she said.

So will Axelrod. Buoyed by polls showing that Obama is holding on to a slim lead in Ohio, his political guru was in a bullish mood. “I don’t want to be ambiguous at all: we are winning this race,” he said.

Of course, both sides cannot be right. Unless the election is so tight that it ends up in court decisions and recounts, either blue state America or red state America will triumph. But the warring sides agree on one thing. As Ryan looked out over an enthusiastic crowd of Republican true believers in Celina, he told them: “Ohio, you get to decide.” That decision – whatever it is – will affect the whole world.

© 2012 Guardian News


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 06:47 AM
November 2, 2012

Is Romney Unraveling?

By CHARLES M. BLOW
NYT

Time is running out for Mitt Romney.

According to the latest polls, the most likely outcome of Tuesday’s election is that Romney will lose. If he does, it will likely be a bitter pill to swallow. He would have come so close only to have fate and circumstances step in at the final hour and give President Obama a boost.

How is Romney losing it? Let us count the ways:

1) The economy continues to improve. The argument for electing Romney hinges on a sour economy and his experience as a businessman with the expertise to turn it around. But, on measure after measure, the economy seems to be getting better.

A Commerce Department report released last month found that housing starts jumped 15 percent in September — the largest surge in four years.

The unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent in September and the October jobs report released on Friday was stronger than expected.

Furthermore, according to a Gallup report also released Friday:

“The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as measured by Gallup, was 45.7 percent for the month of October, up from 45.1 percent in September, and reflecting the highest percentage of Americans with good jobs since Gallup began daily tracking of U.S. employment in 2010.”

Romney needed gloom and doom on the economy, but Obama got some rays of sunlight.

2) Romney’s momentum is maxing out. There was a moment after the first debate when it appeared as if he might have a legitimate shot at winning. He surged in the polls. His forlorn followers found their faith. There was hope for their candidate. Momentum begot momentum. But it peaked a couple of weeks ago, and evidence amassed that the momentum has evaporated.

Even so, the Romney campaign seemed to believe it could stick with the momentum meme even after that momentum had stalled because it had been effective at rallying the troops.

As The Times’s Nate Silver wrote Friday about arguments touting Romney’s chances in the election:

“A third argument is that Mr. Romney has the momentum in the polls: whether or not he would win an election today, the argument goes, he is on a favorable trajectory that will allow him to win on Tuesday. This may be the worst of the arguments, in my view. It is contradicted by the evidence, simply put.”

Silver averaged the national polls of likely voters in his database and found that “there is not much evidence of ‘momentum’ toward Mr. Romney. Instead, the case that the polls have moved slightly toward Mr. Obama is stronger.”

That’s right, it is the Obama campaign that has the rightful claim to having momentum.

3) Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane devastated the Northeast, which also happens to be the media center of the country. This diverted people’s attention from the rancor of the campaign trail, and they saw Obama being presidential in his response to the storm.

They also saw bipartisanship. Obama was embraced by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who was the Republican National Convention keynote speaker. He won an endorsement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, an independent.

For his part, Romney transformed an Ohio rally into a “storm relief event.”

4) Truth and lies. Evidence continues to emerge that Romney is one of the most dishonest, duplicitous candidates to ever seek the presidency.

He criticized Obama for telling then-President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with sensitive issues between the two countries after he won re-election. Romney said this was particularly troubling given that Russia “is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

However, according to a report on Friday in The New York Times, Romney’s son Matt recently traveled to Russia and delivered a message to President Vladimir Putin:

“Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.”

It sounds as though he was signaling that Mitt would do exactly what he had castigated Obama for: operate with “more flexibility” after the election.

This is the kind of hypocrisy that just makes you shake your head in disbelief.

According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday, Americans expect Obama to be re-elected by 54 percent to 34 percent. Among those believing that Obama will win were most independents and almost a fifth of Republicans.

I cast my lot with those folks unless there is a seismic shift in the next few days.



I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 07:27 AM

Romney’s Greedy Drive to Divide Does Not a President Make

By: RmuseNovember 3rd, 2012

Romney wants to trickle down on you

It is perplexing to determine what forms a politician’s ethics when they claim that their life is shaped by strong adherence to Christianity, and yet they use dishonesty to advance their agenda. It is not unusual for a candidate to stretch the truth during a tightly-contested campaign, but the level of deceit and outright lies coming out of the Romney campaign are unprecedented in modern politics. Pundits assert Romney’s blatant lies are a sign his campaign is in desperation mode, but it is hardly believable because for nine months he avoided the truth regardless if his support was flagging or not, and his fallacies are meant to serve one purpose; divide the American people. There are myriad reasons why Romney is unqualified to serve as president, but chief among them is his willingness to pit American against American on the basis of race and socio-economic status that fuel his entire campaign.

Observing President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie work together to provide relief aid to storm victims was a reminder that Americans are at their best when they work together for a common goal. President Obama has championed that sentiment throughout his term in office, and despite fierce opposition from Republicans; he has never lost sight of his promise to Americans that as President, he would work to unify the country. Conversely, Romney has signaled to voters that he will work primarily to advance the interests of big business, and to garner support for his agenda he has alienated 98% of the population including minorities, women, gays, the middle class, and especially the poor.

The sad truth is that Romney has worked tirelessly to pit low-information voters against any group that does not fit the conservative ideal of white evangelical Christians, and his primary tool of choice is abject lies. One wonders how Willard would be able to lead the nation after spending the entire campaign sowing suspicion and hatred among the population, but apparently, it is not his primary concern. Although he changes his stance on issues depending on his audience, the underlying theme of his campaign is casting aspersion on different groups of Americans to further his chances of winning the election. Americans got a taste of how Romney feels about Americans who do not pay income taxes when he was secretly taped pitting wealthy donors against seniors, the poor, and Veterans who don’t pay income tax, but his divisive tactics extend far beyond pitting rich against the poor.

When Willard addressed the NAACP, he insinuated African Americans were lazy and only wanted handouts from the government, and he bragged to a conservative audience that he told “those people” if they wanted “more free stuff, vote for the other guy.” It was not the last time Romney attempted to drive a wedge between the races, and he has continued implying African Americans are getting “free stuff” by asserting President Obama eliminated the work requirement so lazy African Americans receive free stuff for nothing. Romney’s campaign has attempted to portray the President of the United States as a foreigner since the Republican primaries, and Romney never condemned one of his advisors for using race as the reason Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for the presidency. Romney does not discriminate when it comes to driving a wedge between groups of Americans and implying the President is a foreigner is solely to turn the population against President Obama.

Romney also attempted to drive a wedge between his conservative base and public sector employees in education, law enforcement, and firefighters by accusing them and their unions of being primary drivers of government spending. His pitch to supporters is that their tax dollars are supporting unions and depriving children of an education, but his real agenda is eliminating unions from donating to political campaigns. He reserves that right for corporations he claims have an inherent right to buy elections and advance a libertarian agenda.

To drive a wedge between extremist Christians and women, Romney borrowed the religious liberty meme to restrict women’s rights under the guise of allowing religious maniacs to ban contraception, abortion, and Planned Parenthood. He also promotes enmity between extremist Christians and gays as a religious liberty issue by supporting the discriminatory National Organization of Marriage instead of promoting tolerance and equality between Americans. There are many other instances of Romney’s use of divisive rhetoric to keep the population at odds with itself, and it is impossible to comprehend his true motive because every time he promotes religious, economic, or racial animosity between different groups of Americans, he alienates a different segment of the population that will not support his candidacy.

Romney’s biggest lie to divide America is his contention that government is the people’s enemy, and there was no bigger example of his failed argument than recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. President Obama directed the federal government to be ready to provide valuable assistance to victims of the storm well in advance of the event, and it belied Romney’s assertion that states are better equipped to handle the monumental task of cleanup, financial aid, and recovery efforts. Even Republican governor Chris Christie, no friend of “big government,” was intelligent enough to know that it took the massive federal assistance under President Obama’s direction to provide swift and comprehensive aid in a disaster of epic proportions. Governor Christie also heaped praise on the President and the federal government for their rapid and sustained response and assistance.

There is no reasonable explanation for Romney spending the entire presidential campaign driving wedges between Americans except that he lacks basic comprehension that America is a collection of United States, and not disparate groups of individuals jockeying for superiority and advantage over “the other.” Romney claims to be the consummate American, but he has no more idea what it means to be part of a whole than he understands the plight of middle class America. In fact, Romney is the antithesis of American because his lies cannot conceal his allegiance to the wealthy’s drive to control this country, and if he were an American, he would understand this country either prospers and succeeds together, or fails miserably as a divided nation of religious plutocrats and peasants.

It is painfully obvious that Romney’s ethics are driven by greed and division and whether it is the result of a lifetime of privilege and religious indoctrination that lying is a virtue, or his drive to control all the wealth in America, but whatever his dysfunction, it is not American. President Obama says often that America is at its greatest when the entire nation succeeds, and he backs up his words with deeds in fighting for every American, rich or poor, black or white, or men or women and it is the mark of a real American leader. The only thing Romney accomplished over the past ten months was creating suspicion and hatred between Americans and it designates him as an enemy of the people and unqualified to lead. It has been 147 years since the Civil War nearly tore America apart because a group of men incited Americans to oppose other Americans, and while most of the nation moved forward and accomplished great feats as a United States of America, Willard Romney has spent an entire campaign attempting to divide the American people, and just like the Confederacy’s leaders, he uses lies, suspicion, and misinformation making him bad for unity, bad for community, and bad for America.

****************

Saturday Night Shocker: Behind The Spin the Romney Camp Admits They’re Losing

By: Jason Easley November 3rd, 2012

Behind their attempted Saturday night media spin was a bit of read between the lines truth. The Romney campaign thinks that they are losing this election.

After a press conference with reporters where David Axelrod and Jim Messina discussed all of the president’s paths to 270 Electoral College votes, the Romney campaign responded with a statement that only the biggest of partisans could believe.

Romney Political Director Rich Beeson had this response to Obama’s numbers and facts, “If the Obama campaign spent half the time trying to get people back to work as they do spinning reporters on why they’re going to win this election, the unemployment rate might not have gone up. That said, it doesn’t matter how many offices you have, staff you hire, or ground game plans you have – you need a candidate who can tell the American people why things will be better, not worse, after four years of their leadership. The choice is clear: Governor Romney is offering Americans a future of more jobs, more take home pay, and less debt. The President can’t do the same.”

On the surface this looks like more of the same spit in the eye of reality stuff that the Romney campaign has putting out for months, but it is always a mistake to read anything literally in politics. Look beyond the talking points at what the Romney campaign is really saying. They are saying that they don’t need field offices, staff, and get out the vote efforts. Beeson even went as far as to claim that Romney didn’t need a plan to win.

What this means is that the Romney campaign knows that they are losing the get out the vote effort. They know they are losing the ground game. They know that they don’t have enough field offices and staffers in swing states, and most importantly, they have no mapped out plan for winning this election.

When a campaign starts talking about how it doesn’t matter that their opponent is beating them it certain areas, that kind of talk is a huge flashing neon sign telling everyone within earshot that they are losing in those areas. The Romney folks know that they are getting clobbered in early voting and the mobilization of supporters.

Beeson’s statement tonight was an attempt to keep the media on board with the myth of Romentium. The Romney folks have to keep spinning this contest as up for grabs, or else the whole house of cards will come crashing down, and Republicans might not show up to vote on election day.

Once again, nothing in politics should be read literally. There are always deeper meanings and motivations in play.

This statement tonight was a beneath the surface admission that the Romney campaign knows they are losing. They know that Obama has momentum. They see the train getting ready to go off the cliff, and their attempted spin suggests that they have no idea how to stop it.

The Obama advantage in early voting and GOTV is real. And by trying to tell the media how much it doesn’t matter, the Romney campaign admitted that they know they are heading into election day behind. Time is running out and all Romney has left is a hope that you don’t show up to vote, and GOP voter suppression machine if you do.

This election is in your hands, and Mitt Romney knows it.

**************

Proving He’s Not Fit to Lead, Romney Blames Others for His Failure

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

The numbers don’t look so great for Romney right now. No matter what the spin is out there about a close race, this race isn’t close if you go state by state, as the Obama campaign figured out long ago.

Unable to deny these numbers internally, even as they spin to win, Romney surrogates are busy blaming Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie, which is really the perfect way for them to flame out.

It’s sort of like when you break up with someone because you just don’t trust them, and after you break up with them they prove you more right than you could have imagined.

Romney has never been a good candidate. Not only was he never loved by his own base and not only did he have to steal wins in the primaries, but he has completely changed what he stands for in the interim. He’s a constant and chaotic rewrite that his own campaign couldn’t keep up with.

Romney never did release his tax returns (we got bits and pieces of two years of amended returns or returns they admitted were manipulated to pay more in taxes). He never did do the math for his Bush on steroids tax plan. He was outed as holding half the country in contempt. He made Sarah Palin look like a knowledgeable candidate on his summer foreign relations disaster tour.

Romney won’t give interviews or answer questions. During his entire summer of gaffes tour, he only answered 6 questions from the press. His campaign shut down all that “access” when the candidate proved his own worst enemy.

Then he deployed his wife Ann as his “secret weapon” only to learn that her whining and imperial attitudes rendered her a weapon of mass campaign destruction. Who can forget “this is hard” as Americans starved or her suggestions that her husband had sort of served in the military by living lavishly in Paris while others died in the war he actively supported.

There was “Russia is our number one geopolitical foe” and putting words in the Australian Foreign Minister’s mouth in order to attack Obama. Romney managed to get the Palestinians and the Israelis to agree on one thing: He is a racist. That was after he insulted the British and left England in a flurry of humiliating headlines best remembered for their scathing beat down of his clownery. He was compared unfavorably to Sarah Palin and called a twit. Crowds mocked him.

Then we got Romney’s binders full of women, general misogyny, “if she’s going to work” tells and him standing by the man who said pregnancy from rape was a gift from God. Not cool. There was his Obamacare slur that got him booed by the NAACP. His busing in of black people to attend that rally. His fear of the ladies on The View. His temper tantrums like the one he aimed at the poor Univsion producers.

There was his failure to mention the troops at the convention and then the doubling down that he mentioned what was “important.” Still wondering why he doesn’t do interviews anymore?

Oh, and Romney’s greatest achievement this cycle — lying so dangerously about auto production being moved to China that he forced GM and Chrylser to correct him on the record, over and over and over again. He’s still telling that lie.

So it should be a given that seeing a potential fail on the horizon, Romney and his surrogates do what Republicans have come to do best. Blame others. They never look at their policies or candidates and think, gee, maybe we got it wrong. Nope.

It’s always everyone else’s fault. And so Chris Christie is being threatened that if Governor Romney wins, he won’t forget (nice mafia tone to that one) the betrayal of Christie helping his state and praising the President for a job well done for the people. So unfair of Christie to refuse to aid Romney in his delusions of grandeur. Doesn’t Christie know what really matters in this world? This is hard, Governor!

And Sandy. Who knows what revenge the GOP has planned for Sandy for screwing them over so. Others lost lives and property but Sandy will be best remembered in Republican land as the unfair stealer of toys for the boys.

According to a PPP poll, Romney’s favorable ratings dropped by a net 7 points in the aftermath of Sandy, while Obama’s rose 6 points. While there’s no way of knowing if that drop is related specifically to the storm, perhaps instead of having a “relief” campaign rally staged with props as Sandy ravaged New Jersey, Romney could have acted presidential, even from the sidelines. Obama did it in 2008 when the financial crisis hit. Then candidate Obama proved himself worthy of leading by rolling up his sleeves and putting the country first.

Sandy wasn’t destiny for Romney. He could have asked the Red Cross what they needed and set about really trying to make that happen instead of posing with canned goods the Red Cross said they didn’t want. He could have praised Christie and Obama and demonstrated his alleged bipartisanship. He could have taken the high road, but then, this is Mitt Romney.

There were options open to Romney that he chose to ignore. No, it wasn’t ideal for him as the challenger, but he could have made it work. Instead, he chose to make cheap shots from the sidelines while complaining about Chris Christie not being his bestie anymore. Maybe if Romney had treated Christie with a modicum of courtesy after he knew he was picking Ryan as his VP, Christie would have felt his loyalty had been returned. But no. Romney left Christie hanging. Another bad decision from Romney, but more than that, an indication that he doesn’t know how to build consensus and loyalty.

If Romney manages somehow to make magical math happen on Tuesday, surely he will take all of the credit. But should he fail, he will take none of the blame. That, in and of itself, should prove he’s unfit to lead.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 04, 2012, 08:32 AM
Current predictions for the President of the USA from Five Thirty Eight/ Nate Silver of the New York Times....who was the most accurate of all predictors in the 2008 election.

Click to go to his website: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 05, 2012, 08:21 AM

Romney’s Worst Nightmare Comes True, the Media Reports He’s Losing

By: Jason Easley November 4th, 2012

On Meet The Press, Chuck Todd debunked Romney’s Pennsylvania spin by pointing out that the Republican is going there because he is losing in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A5OZIwlBPfk

Todd broke down the map as it currently stands, “He could lose Ohio, Iowa, and Pennsylvania and he could get there. The problem is, Wisconsin is looking like a state, it’s a same day voter registration state. So then if you look at it that way, he needs one of these others. In Ohio, if you believe the two-point race there, that would put him over. So that’s why, what explains if you will, David, why Romney is going to Pennsylvania because if you only — if you take away Pennsylvania, he’s only got two routes and Ohio and Wisconsin both seem to be a little where he’s behind.”

The media is seeing through the Romney campaign’s spin, and starting to move away from the toss up/it could go either way talking points that GOP desperately needs to keep alive through election day. The reality is that Romney has not made up any ground in Wisconsin or Ohio. This does not mean that those states are out of play, or that President Obama has the election locked up. It does mean that Romney is behind in critical states on the final weekend before the election.

Romney knows he is losing. Despite conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife trying to provide him political cover for his trip into Pennsylvania by claiming that the state is too close to call, the reality is that Mitt Romney isn’t coming to Pennsylvania because it is a swing state.

He is going to be campaigning there because he wagered all of his chips on Ohio, and so far, that bet isn’t looking like a winner.

The Romney campaign was able to fool a desperately wanting-to-be-fooled media for weeks with their Romentum talk after the first presidential debate, but with less than two days before voters will cast their ballots, the numbers tell a story of a close election that is moving towards the incumbent.

The media has caught on to the poison narrative that the Romney campaign is desperately trying to spin away. When someone as inside the Beltway as Chuck Todd says he is losing, Romney’s not only losing votes. He is also losing the media battle.

It is important to remember that elections aren’t held after the first presidential debate, or on the the weekend before. Presidential elections are held on the first Tuesday in November. The only polls that count are the ones where voters are and will be casting their ballots.

If you want this polling and momentum to become a reality, you must go vote.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 05, 2012, 08:26 AM

Romney Surrogates Get Beaten Down by David Gregory and Fox News for Jeep Lies

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

Today, a relentless assault on Romney’s auto lies dominated on the Sunday shows, from Fox News to David Gregory. Yes, you read that correctly.

Watch a montage of Romney surrogates getting pushed on the Jeep and GM moving production to China lies here, courtesy of Obama for America:

An incredulous David Gregory on Meet the Press to a frozen Eric Cantor, “The head of Chrysler said that that is deceptive… This from a business leader, Governor Romney, who apparently thinks it’s good business to outsource in order to make companies more competitive. Is this the hopeful, specific agenda that Governor Romney has for the state of Ohio and the country?”

On CNN’s State of the Union, Candy Crowley said, “You’ve been able to unite both corporate America and the unions in this false ad.”

Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, “Wasn’t that a mistake, especially when both Chrysler and GM said the ad was misleading and the fact is that Chrysler, far from shipping jobs out of Ohio is actually expanding operations in Toledo.”

Republicans can usually count on the Sunday talk shows as a place to spin their “facts” and even get the host to carry their water for them. Studies prove that Democrats have fewer surrogates on the shows and they get more negative press.

But today, all of that changed.

Sadly, I suspect this is more about who Romney lied about than the fact that he lied, as Romney has lied this egregiously before. It’s just that this is the first time he took aim at major U.S. corporations with his lies. Romney damaged their brands with his lies, and that will not be allowed to stand in America. See, they spend a lot of money on TV advertising branding their cars as made in America (see where I’m going with that?) — it’s a vital part of their brand and comeback, especially after the auto bailout. It’s also a part of hoping to get Americans to buy American.

I happen to be a big supporter of the “Big Three” (well, two out of three now), hailing from Michigan as I do. It’s terrible that Romney lied about their plans for production, hurting their brands when they’ve worked so hard to come back. But it bothers me to see that it took this for the media to wake up. It took corporations with power and money to spend on advertising to call Romney out before the media suddenly found the ability to call a lie a lie. If there is one thing that we value, it’s the right of corporations to maintain their brand.

People? Not so much. Unions? Ha ha. The 47%? Teachers? Minorities? Undocumented workers? Women? Students? Veterans? Gays? Y’all already had your brands cooked. No one cared.

But if you go after corporations, the Sunday shows gonna get ya’.

Fourteen years ago, before corporations owned all of the news, a friend of mine produced the news for an NBC affiliate in a major market. I will never forget the day he called me in despair, after being ordered to kill a story that reflected poorly on a major advertiser. It’s much worse now, not better.

Romney took on the world, and never met a victim he couldn’t roll over… until he took on Chrysler and GM.

When is Romney going to learn you don’t mess with Detroit? He’s from the same city as I am, and he still doesn’t know anything about the industry he claims to love so much or the people behind it. Aside from their elevated status as advertisers who pay a lot of money to the networks now standing up for them, Detroit also represents the pride and persistence of the auto companies. Their ability to come back is as American as the Jeep Wrangler and the good paying jobs they provide that helped build our middle class.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rxxP8ImGmmo


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 05, 2012, 08:30 AM

Romney Supporters Illegally Imprisoned at Pennsylvania Campaign Rally

By: Jason EasleyNovember 4th, 2012

Citing ‘security concerns’, Romney supporters were not allowed to leave his Pennsylvania campaign rally even though the crowd had been waiting in the freezing cold for the tardy candidate for hours.

Reporters at the event tweeted the chaos as Romney supporters were forbidden to leave the event.

Michael Barbaro of The New York Times,

    “We’ve got to get out! My daughter is frostbitten,” begs mom, asking to leave Romney rally. Staffer replies: “It’s not cold enuf for that.”

    — Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 4, 2012

Barbaro then tweeted a clarification that staffers had told reporters that it wasn’t cold enough to allow the crowd to leave.

    To be clear. Staffer said that to reporters.Not to mother.

    — Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 4, 2012

Here is Jackie Kucinich from USA Today,

    Woman says “I feel like a caged animal!” before pushing through staffer. Said she was here since 2.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 5, 2012

    Man just pulled me aside and said “My son is on the verge of hypothermia” just as staffer starts letting people out a few at a time.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 4, 2012

In this world of instant political media shorthand, the story was changed to Romney campaign won’t let his supporters out. In reality, it was the Romney campaign, volunteers, and the Secret Service not letting people out.

    Both volunteers and a secret service were trying to keep people in- it was not just Romney staff.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 5, 2012

It is difficult to believe that a photo-op obsessed campaign like Romney’s would just have security in mind. The people who came to this rally already went through security when they entered, so the whole idea that letting out some cold children would present a security threat is laughable. (The Romney campaign has already demonstrated their fear of children with their refusal to take questions from Nickelodeon, so anything is possible, I guess.) As a person who spent years working with venues and security details, I can tell you that those children and people could have been allowed to leave the venue while posing zero security risk to anyone.

My own experience tells me that this was less about security, and more about Romney preserving the image of viability and vitality that he is desperately chasing around the country.

The point that is being overlooked is that Mitt Romney is supposed to be this organized businessman who can “fix the economy,” but he also is the same guy whose campaign pulled the douchebag move of leaving his supporters out in the cold for hours. (His campaign knew they had been delayed. They could have done things to keep the crowd comfortable, but they chose not to.)

Mitt Romney has been unable to shake the impression that he is a corporate raider, heartless SOB, and fair or not, debacles like the one in Pennsylvania will only serve to reinforce this notion.

The storyline that the Romney campaign wanted out of this rally was that they are on the move and expanding the electoral map. Instead, “I feel like a caged animal,” is the takeaway line.

Whether it was the fault of the campaign, volunteers, or the Secret Service, this just makes Romney look bad.

Nothing says that you care about regular people like illegally imprisoning your own supporters while you are running late.

Isn’t that right, Mitt Romney?


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 05, 2012, 08:32 AM

Romney becomes first candidate in 16 years to decline youth debate

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, November 4, 2012 13:16 EST

Mitt Romney has become the first major presidential candidate to turn down the Presidential Youth Debate since it began in 1996, according to its organizers.

This year, President Barack Obama answered five questions, including one regarding youth unemployment and another concerning the rising federal debt. Romney, on the other hand, is completely absent from the debate, having declined requests to respond.

“In June both President Obama and Gov. Romney were invited in the hope they would both take this opportunity to address millions of young people about the issues that are most important to them,” the organizer of the debate said in a statement. “Unfortunately, despite our efforts over a four-month period, Gov. Romney declined participation. He is the first and only candidate in our 16-year history to decide not to answer the questions young Americans chose as most important through the Presidential Youth Debate.”

The organizers of the debate said they still hoped Romney would respond before Election Day, noting the importance of Millennials as a voting bloc.

The Presidential Youth Debate describes itself as a nonpartisan youth civic-engagement program and allows 10-35 year olds to submit questions to the presidential candidates.

In 2008, Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) both responded to 14 questions, which ranged from the financial crisis to abortion rights.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 05, 2012, 08:39 AM

A last and final look at Mitt Romney close up prior to November 6th

By: Dennis S November 4th, 2012

This will be my last contribution to Politicus prior to the upcoming November 6th General Election. An election as bizarre as it is disquieting. An election that seems to have little or nothing to do with the process we used to call democratic. An election that’s more of a bloodless, money-dominated corporate coup than anything resembling old-fashioned campaigning and voting for the most qualified candidate.

We have a Republican presidential candidate who can’t stay in one place on any given issue long enough to give even the most infinitesimal hint as to where he stands. His name is Willard Mitt Romney and he was born into money in Detroit 65 years ago. Speaking of places of birth, Republicans are obsessed with the birth place of Obama where a one-day-old Kenyan-born Obama, knowing he would be U.S. President someday, apparently persuaded civil servants and local Honolulu newspapers some 10,000 miles distant, to lie and doctor official papers to clear the way for a Marxist Muslim’s election 47 years into the future. The ‘birthers’ have even put together a hilariously bogus video purporting to show Obama’s mom cuddling ‘Barry’ in a Kenyan hospital. Hilarious and on many levels, pathetically sad. Just so you’ll know, even if Obama was born in Kenya, he’d still be an American citizen.

Mitt Romney is a scary guy. His year-round costume is a fancy suit (made overseas of course). Scary! Especially in light of Hurricane Sandy, an unprecedented charge of nature’s volatility that has affected millions of Americans. Romney and his political minions would want to privatize FEMA (check out my colleague, Sarah Jone’s coverage of this vital issue). And there’s the global warming and climate change issue. Republican’s in their partisan low information fog, deny there’s any such thing as climate change. Every time it snows, they say “see?”. Bill McKibben, a climate change believer, activist and author writes that Sandy’s furor of rain is heightened exponentially by area seas five degrees warmer than normal. Republicans most likely are convinced the hurricane is God’s wrath over a newly opened gay bar on the Jersey Shore.

Speaking of scary, my adult son and I listened to Limbaugh for about 20 minutes (my absolute limit) on our way back from Charlotte’s Douglas International, Wednesday. In addition to agreeing with the climate-deniers, Limbaugh ripped New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie from stem to stern for daring to praise the President and FEMA. Limbaugh, who in his role of official Republican Propagandist Laureate, is arguably wealthier than Romney. Forbes magazine pegs last years earnings alone at $69 million. His primary order for the day I was listening, in addition to the points just mentioned, was apparently to spin the major polls to appear that they were all trending Romney, no matter how far the challenger trailed Obama.

I noticed that at the end of most sentences, Limbaugh appeared to sound breathless. That can be a consequence of microphone placement or he may have health problems nobody is talking about.

As the election looms, the last two political bullets in the Romney chamber are going to be jobs (or lack thereof) and gridlock. Incredibly, Barack Obama is going to be blamed for the congressional gridlock that has marked all 4 years of his presidency. And all Romney has to do is just say the word, ‘gridlock’ sans explanation. Nowhere, of course, is there even a scintilla of truth to that absurd charge. Of course that lie follows hard on the heels of the Jeep moving to China whooper that Romney continues to repeat, though it’s been debunked by all of the principals involved. Romney, not Jeep, is the guy who sees to it that jobs move overseas. Not to mention his own tax-avoidance money.

Speaking of the auto industry, Mitt unceasingly renounces the president’s stimulus package at every turn even though the latest edition of the Nation magazine features an article by the greatest living investigative reporter, Greg Palast, that tracks multiple millions, maybe tens of millions of dollars a to the Romney personal bottom line as a direct result of Obama’s auto bailout. Romney pals, who will populate the White House like so many dollar-reeking cockroaches if Romney is elected, fared even better as they continue to grease Mitt’s secret donor coffers.

Mitt wants to repeal Obamacare and he’ll replace it with something he also lies about when he says his mystery plan will retain the pre-existing condition provision. I repeat, it won’t for new signees to his plan. The Republican team is targeting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for destruction with the remaining crumbs to be divvied up amongst Mitt’s corporate pals.

He tolerates the most extreme of hateful and ignorant comments towards women’s equality and reproductive health. His people denounce these remarks on his behalf, but they stay on the front media burner for the duration. He wants to use U.S. military might to blast his way through a corridor of at least a half-dozen Muslim countries. His election guarantees a third world war.

He has no soul for the poor, people of color, gays, most women or for those who disagree with his positions. Trey Gowdy, is the arrogant little South Carolina 4th Congressional District serial braggart House member who led the charge for the baseless, albeit successful ‘contempt of Congress’ finding against Attorney General, Eric Holder. I think he pretty much summed up the current right-wing power prurience when he was recently quoted in his hometown newspaper as saying, “…what sense does it make to be elected as a Republican and then go spend all your time trying to figure out how to keep people who didn’t vote for you happy?”

As is their strategy, the Republicans are pouring money into such critical states of Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada among others. The Democrats are seeding the same states with a fraction of the right-wing total.

I still look for Obama to defeat Romney anywhere from 2 to 4%. If it’s closer, Obama still wins the Electoral vote. The house remains in Republican hands. The Senate race parallels the Presidential race. Close as can be. As I’ve said before, as long as the Republican’s don’t get to the 60-vote filibuster/cloture level and as long as Romney is sent packing to the Caymans, I’m satisfied. In any event, look for two more years of suffering the outrageous fortunes of genuine gridlock, Tea Party style, even though diluted. Then even the low information types ease out of the ether into the real world in the 2014 mid-terms as they finally affix the blame for their declining wages and lost opportunities where it belongs.

Then, for two years at least, President Barack Obama will finally get his due.

************

Mitt Romney is a Caricature of All That is Wrong with the Republican Party

By: Sarah Jones November 5th, 2012

Change means different things to different people. It’s a common enough campaign promise; in fact, Mitt Romney is running on “change” this cycle. Romney promises to deliver change on Day One, some of which is going to happen just because he was elected, according to him. In an email to supporters, he wrote, “This election is a turning point for America. It is a time for greatness, for big change, and for action — not more idle words. I’m not just talking about change, I actually have a plan to make it happen. From day one of my presidency, I will restore common sense to Washington, by cutting wasteful spending and putting us on a path toward a balanced budget.”

Romney’s “change” is actually not change but rather going back to Bush policies, by doubling down on Bush’s tax cuts and deregulation while amping up defense spending way past what the Pentagon said they needed. Romney says he’s running on “change” but he won’t give us any specifics of what that means or looks like, other than promising that he will deliver the 12 million jobs experts say will come our way if we keep doing what Obama is doing now.

Romney also wants to take us back to the social policies of the 1950s, you know, back in the good old days when women knew their place and people were “wholesome” (aka: trapped in bad marriages and housewives were drugged to dull the pain).

That’s Romney’s idea of “change”. I have no idea how he thinks he could change wasteful spending on Day One, but that is probably just campaign rhetoric best ignored, unless you feel like trying to hold him to the same standards Republicans have applied to Obama, but I don’t suggest it. We fall down way before we get that high.

Obama’s ideas of change are changes that benefit the people (I detailed examples here), protecting them from corporate interests and helping them get a fair shot if they work hard. The man isn’t perfect and we are so far from digging our way out of 40 years of Republican “values” I fear it will take another 40 to fix the systemic damage.

We are not where we need to be yet. We may never be where we should be. In a democracy, the fight for the people to maintain their power is never-ending. The elite will always try to steal power back, using religion and propaganda to do it as they have through history. The question isn’t are we where we should be, but are we going in the right direction.

Under Obama, we have made huge strides for the people. That is the right direction, and no, this isn’t even a question of ideology anymore. It’s a question of corporate elites versus the people. Mitt Romney represents the worst of the Republican Party and none of the necessary balance conservatism can lend to progress (real conservatism, not social Darwninism and subsidies for big oil masked as conservatism).

Republicans have forced Democrats to bear responsibility for the conservatives’ burden of fiscal prudence and balanced budgets since Clinton’s days, as they chased women’s reproductive health over a cliff. They abandoned civic duty and intellectualism to the Democrats, greedily siding with corporations and using churches to sell harmful policies to the masses. Republicans are the frothing, irrational radicals of hate now, infamous for not believing in science or polls or reality. Most of the real conservatives are in the Democratic Party now.

The Republican Party has become a sad caricature of itself, and Mitt Romney is the perfect albeit unintentional parody of that caricature. Obama is a great choice as a candidate on his own, but next to Mitt Romney, he is the only choice.


Title: Re: The Presidential Election In The USA..........
Post by: Rad on Nov 05, 2012, 08:47 AM

While Romney Holds his Supporters Hostage in PA, Obama Dances in Ohio

By: Jason Easley November 4th, 2012

If you want to know who is winning this election consider that while Romney supporters were begging to leave his PA rally, President Obama was dancing with a joyous crowd in Ohio.

The contrast between the two campaigns couldn’t be more stark.

Here is what was going at Mitt Romney’s big Pennsylvania rally a.k.a Dog Day Afternoon.

Yep, the Romney campaign along with volunteers and the Secret Service would not allow supporters leave his rally

    “We’ve got to get out! My daughter is frostbitten,” begs mom, asking to leave Romney rally. Staffer replies: “It’s not cold enuf for that.”

    — Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 4, 2012

    Woman says “I feel like a caged animal!” before pushing through staffer. Said she was here since 2.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 5, 2012

    Man just pulled me aside and said “My son is on the verge of hypothermia” just as staffer starts letting people out a few at a time.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 4, 2012

On the very same day, here was the scene at President Obama’s rally in Cincinnati, Ohio (Courtesy of our friends at The Obama Diary):

Can you tell which candidate thinks he is going to win?

These campaigns are going in opposite directions. The Obama campaign appears to have gotten a burst of momentum, while Romney is trying to hold it together and turn the tide on election day.

More telling is the downtrodden attitude of Romney supporters who seem to be glumly trudging through the landscape determined to carry out their mission. In contrast, there is an air of absolute joy at these Obama rallies. Obama supporters love their candidate, while Republicans are voting for Mitt Romney because their one overriding obsession is to defeat this president.

Obama supporters don’t beg for their freedom as their children freeze, waiting for a candidate who is more concerned about a photo-op than their health and welfare.

People were begging to leave Mitt Romney’s rally. While in Ohio, President Obama danced as he was serenaded by tens of thousands of supporters.

In a nutshell that is really all you need to know about this election, and how the two candidates contesting it view you.

*****************

Obama Reminds a Huge Crowd in Hollywood Florida What Real Change Looks Like

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

The Obama campaign estimates that the President spoke to 23,000 supporters in Hollywood, Florida today about the change we need, saying, “(W)e’ve also got to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president.”

Watch the President’s speech at McArthur High School Football Field here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cblMBLv0Azc

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS

Change is turning the page on a decade of war so we can do some nation-building here at home. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will pursue our enemies with the strongest military the world has ever known. But it’s time to use the savings from ending the wars to pay down our debt and rebuild America – rebuilding ro