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« Reply #75 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."

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.

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« Reply #76 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.

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« Reply #77 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.

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« Reply #78 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.
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« Reply #79 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.


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 (Cool 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.
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« Reply #80 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.
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« Reply #81 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.

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.
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« Reply #82 on: Oct 23, 2012, 07:48 AM »

Editorial: The Final Debate

Published: October 23, 2012 553 Comments

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.

    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.
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« Reply #83 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:

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« Reply #84 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.
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« Reply #85 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…


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]
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« Reply #86 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.”


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…
OBAMA: Governor Romney, that’s not what you said…
OBAMA: Governor Romney, you did not…
ROMNEY: You can take a look at the op-ed…
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.
OBAMA: Let’s check the record.
ROMNEY: That’s the height of silliness…
OBAMA: Let — let — let’s…
ROMNEY: I have never said I would liquidate…
OBAMA: …at the record.
ROMNEY: …I would liquidate the industry.
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.
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« Reply #87 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

* Asian-Navies-Vary-Broadly-485x611.gif (71.65 KB, 485x611 - viewed 325 times.)

* Total-Navy-Ship-Strength-by-Country-485x503.jpg (52.16 KB, 485x503 - viewed 310 times.)

* horses-bayonets-debate-romney.jpeg (51.12 KB, 500x318 - viewed 288 times.)
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« Reply #88 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.

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« Reply #89 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.
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