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« Reply #150 on: Nov 04, 2012, 06:21 AM »

Originally published Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 4:01 AM
  
Obama on the road: a study in self-assurance

By JULIE PACE and JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE —

In his days in the state Senate in Springfield, Ill., Barack Obama was known as a pretty good poker player. While he might have known how to mask a winning hand then, he's not hiding the self-confidence he appears to have about the outcome of his re-election bid.

He's taken to running to his rope lines, as if one moment away from a voter is a moment too long. He soaks up his crowds, chin out, waiting for the din to die down. He jokes when he urges an overflow audience not to hesitate to take a friend, a neighbor, a girlfriend to vote early.

"You should convince them to vote for me before you before you drag them off to the polls," he says. But his demeanor says he just knows they will.

Obama, in the final three day campaign sprint of his life, betrays no sign of disquiet over the outcome of the race. His team, disciplined analysts of voter data and hard election metrics, shows no anxiety either.

Long-time political adviser David Axelrod, he of the droopy mustache and the hangdog look, is all smiles, vowing to shave off his 40-year-old facial hair if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania (the bet drew a rebuke from the American Mustache Institute) Other aides, including deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, are growing beards until the election.

Senior adviser David Plouffe, who examines political movements like economists track rare market indicators, displays the same coolness he had at this time four years ago, when Obama's victory then was all but assured.

Now, these are professional practitioners of politics where misdirection and a good poker face are requisite arts. Presidents know how to hide bad news or put an upbeat face on gloom. In a nip-and-tuck election, he and his aides could be whistling past a graveyard.

But their body language in every way suggests they believe their numbers. And their own numbers say they are winning. To be sure, Obama has an easier path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win re-election. He must hold on to leads in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, and win in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, states where public polls show him tied or with an advantage. Early voting in Iowa and Ohio show Democrats outnumber Republicans. For Obama, it is clear Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, is the key.

In these final days, Obama has been piling on events. He had three stops in Ohio Friday. He has four stops Saturday, covering Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Virginia. On Sunday, he'll travel to New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio (again), and Colorado.

His voice is raspy now, comforted backstage with sips of hot tea. But the familiar lean into the microphones is more pronounced. In Mentor, Ohio, Saturday, when he cried out "We've come too far to turn back now," his right arm stretched behind him as if to point to a departed place.

Later, at a Milwaukee rally with a boisterous crowd of more than 10,000, he drew attention, as he often does, to his graying hair and suggested that Romney is an unknown quantity.

"Now Wisconsin, after four years as president you know me. You know me. You've watched me age before your eyes."

Among those traveling with him in this last push is longtime Chicago friend Marty Nesbitt.

"I've never seen him more exhilarated than he is right now," Axelrod said.

"He is very cognizant of the fact that this is his last campaign. This is the closing argument of his last campaign," he said. "He knows he's never going to do this again."

***********

Originally published November 3, 2012 at 5:43 AM | Page modified November 3, 2012 at 8:12 AM  

Obama banks on Bill Clinton to clinch close states

By CHARLES BABINGTON
Associated Press

PALM BAY, Fla. —

Republican Mitt Romney has millionaire backers, a huge staff and years of campaign experience, which may be enough to win the White House. President Barack Obama has one asset Romney can't match, however: Bill Clinton.

The former president is sprinting through battleground states, delivering more speeches than Obama himself and, arguably, carrying much of the president's re-election hopes on his 66-year-old shoulders.

There's nothing secret about this campaign weapon. If it's a competitive state, Clinton is there - and there and there - picking apart Romney's proposals in the folksy yet detailed style he unleashed at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. Many party activists left there wondering why Obama can't make his own case as compellingly.

Friday was typical for Clinton. He made five stops in Florida, stretching from Palm Beach in the southeast to Fort Myers on the Gulf Coast to Tallahassee in the panhandle.

Romney had hoped to lock down the mega-swing state long ago. But he will return Monday because of its uncertainty.

Clinton, his raspy voice hoarser than usual, mixed nostalgia with lawyerly dissections when criticizing Romney's tax-cut plans in Palm Bay, the day's second stop, south of Cape Canaveral.

"I don't understand how people like me could sleep at night taking another tax cut, and taking it away from you," he said to cheers from several hundred people, who clearly did not resent his post-presidential wealth.

After shucking his suit jacket and loosening his orange tie under a brilliant midday sun, Clinton rattled off statistics about recent slowdowns in the growth of health care costs, and benefits of Obama's health law. "That is what Mr. Romney wants to repeal," he said.

"Bring it home, Bill" a woman shouted.

At every stop, Clinton praises Obama effusively, but he also reminds voters of his own days in office.

"I am the only living former president that ever gave you a budget surplus," he said in Palm Bay. Obama's policies, he adds, are much more in line with his than are Romney's.

Obama amplifies Clinton's boasts, knowing they give credence to the endorsements. In one Ohio stop Friday, Obama named Clinton four times.

"For eight years we had a president who shared our beliefs, and his name was Bill Clinton," Obama said. "His economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more so we could reduce our deficit and invest in the skills and ideas of our people." Romney opposed that plan, Obama said, and his math "was just as bad back then as it was today."

The white-haired Clinton looks drawn and tired at times, and he makes a few flubs. He apologized this week for saluting Pennsylvania when he happened to be in Ohio.

Clinton still runs late, even at morning events. Former Vice President Walter Mondale had to spin political yarns to kill time this week as voters waited in Minneapolis.

But the man who once headlined nine events in one day for his wife in the 2008 North Carolina primary - when Hillary Rodham Clinton was battling Obama - still feeds off crowds' energy and affection.

In Green Bay, Wis., Clinton gave a 57-minute dissertation on why the economy is better than many think. The only reason the Obama-Romney race is close, he said, "is because Americans are impatient on things not made before yesterday, and they don't understand why the economy is not totally hunky-dory again."

Clinton campaigned for Obama on Thursday in Wisconsin and Ohio. Earlier in the week he was in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

He will join Obama on Saturday for a rally in Virginia and on Sunday morning for an event in New Hampshire. Clinton also will campaign Sunday in North Carolina and Minnesota. And on Monday, the Obama camp hopes Clinton will snuff out any possible Romney eruption in Pennsylvania, scheduling stops for him in Pittsburgh and Scranton, plus two in Philadelphia.

No state underscores Clinton's value more than Florida, where the Republican Bush family looms large. While Obama makes every possible use of his party's most recent president, Romney can hardly mention George W. Bush, who left office amid an economic collapse and an unpopular war in Iraq.

Romney campaigned Thursday in Tampa, however, with Bush's brother Jeb, a former Florida governor who remains widely popular.

Much has been made of Clinton's once-frosty relationship with Obama. Clinton, among other things, in 2008 called Obama's history of opposing the Iraq war a "fairy tale."

The two men may never be chums. But Clinton's endorsements now seem full-throated. It delights Democratic loyalists.

"The Republicans have nothing to match the personal appeal and persuasive power of President Clinton," said Doug Hattaway, a consultant with close ties to the Clintons. "He can energize Democrats and close the deal with moderate swing voters."

Bruce Marvin, who attended Clinton's event in Chillicothe, Ohio, said the ex-president explains Obama's plans even more understandably than does the nominee.

"I think it's backing up what Obama may not have been able to get across," Marvin said.

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

Obama Praises Leaders for Coming Together in a Crisis While Romney Camp Threatens Christie

By: Sarah Jones November 3rd, 2012

At a grassroots rally in Mentor, Ohio earlier today, President Obama told supporters that we are in this together, that we rise and fall as one nation. As the President praised leaders from different parties working together, the Romney camp is threatening Chris Christie for working with Obama at a time when doing so might help the President.

Watch the President’s remarks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zZEuL76ptYU

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS:

OBAMA: You see heroes running into buildings, wading into the water to help their fellow citizens; neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy; leaders of different political parties working together to fix what’s broken; it’s a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough the times are, we’re all in this together – that we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.

And that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. It has carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years. Remember in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.

So we’ve made real progress these past four years. But Ohio, we’re here today because we all know we’ve got more work to do.

SUPPORTER: We love you!

OBAMA: I love you back and we’ve got more work to do. As long as there’s a single American who wants a job and still can’t find work; as long as there are families who are working harder and harder but are still falling behind; as long as there’s a child anywhere in this country who’s languishing in poverty, or barred from opportunity, we got more work to do. Our fight goes on.

End transcript

The President has always talked about our being one nation, even when it irritated his base. He knows he is the president of all Americans, not just his supporters. That’s the kind of leadership we need in the White House. Not petty partisanship and grudge holding. Republicans have given this President every reason to withhold help from them, but he continues to put emotions aside and do what’s best for the country.

Ironically, last night Mitt Romney sent out an email telling us that he will be the President of “one nation”. Coming from the guy who holds half the nation in contempt, this was nothing more than empty rhetoric. But what makes Romney more dangerous is that he not only refused to work with Democrats in the past, he refused to work with his own party members.

The Romney campaign is now suggesting that if Romney wins, Chris Christie better look out. “If Romney wins, it (Christie’s embrace of Obama) won’t be forgotten,” the adviser told Politico. Petty and dark much?

What did Christie do other than put the people of his state first and work with the Democratic president? For this, he will be punished by King Romney, the same Romney who is promising that he will be bi-partisan and lead “one nation”. He forgot to add he will lead one nation — but only of those who are willing to service his agenda.

Character matters. But then so does competence. Barack Obama is has more character in his pinkie than Romney has in his entire campaign and when it comes to competence as President, Obama has wiped the floor with Republican ineptness.

If you don’t believe in government and don’t like it, and you think it’s there to harvest for profit for you and your rich friends, you probably shouldn’t be given the reins. If you are so petty as to hold a grudge against a governor for working with the current president when his state was destroyed by a storm, you probably shouldn’t be chosen to lead this country.

We need to stand together as one nation, and that means having leaders who can put aside their own pettiness and campaigning during a national crisis.

The real problem here is that Mitt Romney is running for President for his own ego, not because he feels a calling to help the people. Everything is about him, even when folks have lost their loved ones to a devastating storm — all he can think about is how to punish Christie for daring to accept help and praise the President. Mitt Romney is a small man with a huge and yet fragile ego.

Correction: Reins for reigns in 3rd to last paragraph. Apologize for the delay. I’m having internet access troubles due to storm repair.

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

President Obama Needs You: The Final Push Is on Us

By: Sarah Jones November 3rd, 2012

The Obama camp needs your help. They wrote, “Across the country, there are people that know that by working together they can change the world for the better. That’s what they did in 2008. And that’s what they will do in three days–but it’s going to take each person doing their part to keep moving our country forward. Today Obama for America released a new video, “The Final Push: It’s On Us,” capturing the enthusiasm and spirit that President Obama has been seeing every day out on the campaign trail. Voters across the country understand the clear choice in this election between going back to the same failed economic policies of the past decade that crashed our economy or continuing to move forward with President Obama. From the first time voter in Virginia to the neighborhood organizer in Iowa, Americans are rallying behind the President because they are willing to fight with him, press on with him, and finish what we started in 2008.”

There are less than 72 hours until Election Day. Now is time to get involved and help re-elect President Barack Obama: OFA.BO/7gYq7L

Confirm your polling location here: OFA.BO/U6HcxB
Get all the information you need to vote here: OFA.BO/wQHU9f

Be a part of history. Vote, Take your friends to vote. Volunteer to drive folks to the polls. Make calls. Do your part to protect your fellow citizens from the sure doom of a Romney presidency. If you’re feeling lazy, just remember the Bush years. Do it for your family, do it for yourself.

Do not allow your vote to be stolen from you. The more they try to intimidate voters, the harder voters should fight back.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zMKryy5TBOA

« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2012, 07:21 AM by Rad » Logged
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« Reply #151 on: Nov 04, 2012, 06:26 AM »

Doing all he can to steal the election, including breaking the law ...

Ohio Republican Secretary of State sued over order to discard provisional ballots

By Megan Carpentier
Saturday, November 3, 2012 17:55 EST

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose decision to try to restrict early voting was thrown out first by an Ohio judge, then a federal appeals court and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, will be back in court again this month after he issued a last-minute directive on provisional ballots that not only contradicts Ohio law but is also in violation of a recent court decision and the opposite of what Husted’s own lawyers said he would do.

As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.

Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that poll workers — not just observers — trained by the Voter Integrity Project, the Ohio affiliate of the tea party True The Vote project, will be in charge of providing provisional ballots and recording IDs. The Voter Integrity Project advertises that its training goes “beyond” what the Secretary Of State offers to poll workers, even though they technically are supposed to follow only the instructions of the Board of Elections.

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

Irony: Registered Republican Tries to Vote Twice, Gets Arrested

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

It turns out that voter fraud is tough to get away with, so Republicans should relax. That is, unless they are the people trying to vote twice.

A registered Republican was arrested by the FBI on Friday for trying to vote twice in Henderson, Nevada. Roxanne Rubin tried to vote twice at two different polling locations. At the second location, they checked her name in the database and her name came up as having already voted. Ms. Rubin tried to claim their database was wrong, and that she hadn’t voted. But they weren’t buying it.

An investigation ensued and she was arrested at the casino where she works on Friday.

Voter fraud is a felony. It’s always been a crime, this is nothing new. Republicans should know this, since they have billboards around the country warning voters about the fact that voter fraud is a felony.

So far this year, we’ve had a rash of Republicans under investigation and/or arrested for a myriad of voter and election fraud charges. It’s a good thing Republicans drew so much attention to this issue. Much of America never knew just how much criminal activity the Republican Party was engaged in, but now, thanks to their attempts to disenfranchise minorities, they are making headlines as alert officials take election and voter fraud more seriously.

Due to concerted efforts by Republicans’ to intimidate and disenfranchise voters, the UN will be monitoring our election closely and the DOJ has been dispatched to several states. Of course, if Republicans really cared about voter fraud, they might think twice before voting for Mitt Romney, who claimed to be living in his son’s basement in January of 2010 so that he could register and vote in the Massachusetts special election to replace Senator Ted Kennedy. Romney did buy a townhouse in the state in July of that year, after the special election. However, it is alleged that he was actually living in California at the time of the election and therefore did not meet the residency requirements of Massachusetts.

Republicans are being hoisted on their ACORN petard this election cycle. Schadenfreude anyone? James O’Keefe, where ever you are, thank you.

As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.

Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that poll workers — not just observers — trained by the Voter Integrity Project, the Ohio affiliate of the tea party True The Vote project, will be in charge of providing provisional ballots and recording IDs. The Voter Integrity Project advertises that its training goes “beyond” what the Secretary Of State offers to poll workers, even though they technically are supposed to follow only the instructions of the Board of Elections.
« Last Edit: Nov 04, 2012, 07:31 AM by Rad » Logged
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« Reply #152 on: Nov 04, 2012, 06:35 AM »


As election looms, ‘the world is watching Ohio’

By Matt Williams, The Guardian
Saturday, November 3, 2012 13:30 EST

Ohio is where the warring halves of America meet. This midwestern state, mixing rural farmland, small towns and decaying industrial cities, is the ground zero of the bitter and protracted 2012 election that on Tuesday will decide who wins the White House.

It is where blue state Americans, who back Barack Obama to win a second term, battle over turf with red state Americans who desperately want Republican challenger Mitt Romney to bring the right back to power.

Ohio has voted for the winning candidate in very election bar one since 1944 (in 1960, it went for Nixon over Kennedy). No Republican has ever won the White House without taking Ohio. If Obama can stop Romney here, he is likely to emerge the victor. But if Romney can take the state it will signify a ground shift: one that will reduce Obama to a humbled, one-term president. Both sides know this.

In the small town of Celina in western Ohio last week, the state’s lieutenant-governor, Mary Taylor, was acting as a warm-up act for Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan. In a high school sports hall she warned a packed crowd: “The world is watching Ohio.” A day later, on the other side of the state – literally and metaphorically – former president Bill Clinton was oozing Arkansas charm in the “rust belt” city of Youngstown. “Ohio is an old-school kind of state, and I mean that in the best possible sense,” Clinton drawled. “Obama had your back when you were against the wall, and you will have his back now.”

This, after months of brutal campaigning, is where it ends. All the heat and fury of almost two years of rallies and speeches, all the relentless attack ads, all the politicking and horse-trading, comes to a head this week.

Across America there are only a nine states where votes matter. Giant states such as Texas and California are already in the bag for, respectively, Romney and Obama. Instead, these few swing states – from Colorado in the west to Florida in the south and tiny New Hampshire in New England – are the battleground on which the election has been fought. The fight there is poised on a knife edge. Romney’s surge after the first presidential debate has abated and left the national polls largely tied. In the swing states – and, crucially, in Ohio – Obama holds a slim but steady lead. That means, as the election goes down to the wire, it is Obama who many believe has his nose just ahead.

But the last week has seen a frantic final push. Across the swing states tens of thousands of party volunteers have gone door to door. The “get out the vote” plans for election day are being rehearsed and fine-tuned. Airwaves in the swing states are so saturated with political ads that in some areas there is no ad space left to buy. Even superstorm Sandy – which devastated the north-east – saw the campaign suspended for only a couple of days before combat resumed. By the time people vote on Tuesday a staggering $2.5bn will have been spent on the election – the most expensive in history.

Yet in Ohio, despite the intense effort, two different realities stubbornly persist. John DeCaussim, a 56-year-old Youngstown mechanic, said he could not understand how anyone could vote for Romney. “I have no idea why this election is close,” he said. “It shouldn’t be.” Meanwhile, in Celina sales manager Jim McGee, 62, believed Obama was a threat to the country’s existence. “He’s been a disaster. In my lifetime I have never seen things fall apart so far,” he said.

 

For Republicans the importance of winning Ohio is maths and history. Every Republican president has had the state on his side. And almost every plan that party strategists have devised to grab the White House for Romney includes Ohio in the win column. As a result, the Romney campaign has been virtually camped in the state. Romney has visited almost 50 times this year alone. Ryan too has been a virtual ever-present.

The state has seen a remarkable transformation of the Romney message over the last week. He has sought to shed his conservative image and long career in high finance and turn into an economic populist, emoting about tough economic times and bewailing the plight of the poor. In Findlay, Ohio, a small college town with a dilapidated Main Street, Romney was in full flow. He told stories of single mothers, low wages and parents making sacrifices so they could buy birthday presents for their children. For Romney, a millionaire many times over who has repeatedly extolled the virtues of high capitalism, it was a jarring performance. “There has been a middle-class squeeze in this country,” he said.

Romney even started to sound like Obama circa 2008. He has adopted the “change” slogan as his own, portraying himself as an enemy of the status quo. “I happen to think that the American people understand that we need dramatic and real change,” he said. Ignoring the last three years of bitter politics and a Tea Party-dominated Republican party, he claimed to be a centrist, keen to reach out a Republican hand to Democrats, even though it is the same hand that has been rejecting Obama for his entire first term.

But Romney as populist fist-pumper was as nothing compared to the musical act in Findlay. Before the teetotal, Mormon former Massachusetts governor took the stage, country music stars John Rich and Cowboy Troy, a black rapper, gave a lyrical performance, singing I Play Chicken with the Train. Rich suggested the crowd treat polling day like a drunken football game day party. “I would make a tailgate party and go to vote for Mitt Romney. Put that man in the White House, can you hear? Oh yeah,” Rich said. “Put some beer in the cooler in the truck!”

But if such contradictory images were a sign of a notoriously fluid Romney, keen to find any message that sells in Ohio, there have also been signs in recent weeks of the Republican party’s knife-sharp edge. Across America mysterious anonymous “robo-texts” slamming Obama have been buzzing millions of people’s mobile phones. Billboards appeared in Ohio, and other swing states, apparently targeting poor and minority neighbourhoods with warnings of the threat of prison for voter fraud.

On the airwaves the ads have got more extreme. A Romney ad claiming Jeep production was being moved to China was condemned as an outright lie by Jeep’s own parent company, Chrysler. Another ad, running in Florida, linked Obama to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Neither is virulent dislike for Obama hard to find, often tinged with a sense that the president is not really American. “I want to support Romney the good old-fashioned American way,” said construction worker Kevin Williams, 48, in Celina. “I don’t like socialism and Obama supports that.”

There is little doubt that Republicans are highly motivated. Maggie Niswaner is 73 but reckons she has walked more than 20 miles in the last week, knocking on doors and delivering pamphlets as a volunteer for Romney in Findlay. “I am a good American,” she said when asked for a reason why she was putting in such efforts to defeat Obama.

The doom and gloom pumped out by the Romney campaign has worked, too. Though there is little doubt the economy is stuttering in its recovery, and unemployment remains high, but has been on a downward trend. But that is taboo on the Republican campaign trail. “We have a jobs crisis in America,” said Paul Ryan in Celina, pointing out that 23 million Americans were struggling to find enough work.

But Ryan is right about one thing. It is a favourite part of the firebrand conservative’s performance to read out a quote at the beginning of his stump speech. It goes: “If you do not have fresh ideas, use stealth tactics to scare voters. If you do not have a record to run on, paint your opponent as someone that people should run from.” Ryan then asks his audience who said that and delightedly gives the answer. “That’s what Barack Obama said when he was running for president four years ago. Now when you switch on the TV that is exactly what he has become,” Ryan said in Findlay.

There is much truth in the claim. Obama’s re-election campaign, led by the hardnosed political operative David Axelrod, has been relentlessly negative. It has been a brutally sustained assault on Romney’s image. One controversial – and widely debunked – attack ad all but accused Romney of killing a man’s wife after she lost healthcare benefits. Obama has raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative advertising and Bill Clinton and vice-president Joe Biden have become even punchier as the campaign has drawn to a close.

In Youngstown, Clinton mocked Romney’s flexibility of ideas, perhaps forgetting his own notorious “triangulation” of policy. “Romney ties himself in more knots than a boy scout does at a knot-tying contest,” Clinton quipped. Biden followed suit. “This guy pirouettes more than a ballerina,” he said, bringing a cry of “Romney is a liar!” from the audience.

It is not a pretty end to Obama’s campaign. And it is a long way from “hope and change”. Though few ever expected Obama to fulfil the wild expectations of his historic 2008 election win, his first term has ended with a disappointed liberal base dismayed by broken promises on union rights and closing Guantánamo Bay and by a resounding defeat in the 2010 midterm elections. The result has been an Obama effort that has only hesitantly defended its main policy achievement of healthcare reform and has focused on attacking Republicans, rather than laying out any bold agenda.

Yet, for many on the blue state side of Ohio’s divide, that is more than enough. On the streets of Akron, a city at the heart of the north-eastern rust belt, student Cara Chappell remained loyal. “When Obama came in it was already all messed up,” she said. “The next four years he will be able to get things right. He had to save the economy first.”

She cannot conceive of a Romney victory, even as she admits that her mother – who boasts a technology degree – cannot find work and might leave the state. “If Romney wins, I will probably be speechless for the first time in my whole life,” she said.

So will Axelrod. Buoyed by polls showing that Obama is holding on to a slim lead in Ohio, his political guru was in a bullish mood. “I don’t want to be ambiguous at all: we are winning this race,” he said.

Of course, both sides cannot be right. Unless the election is so tight that it ends up in court decisions and recounts, either blue state America or red state America will triumph. But the warring sides agree on one thing. As Ryan looked out over an enthusiastic crowd of Republican true believers in Celina, he told them: “Ohio, you get to decide.” That decision – whatever it is – will affect the whole world.

© 2012 Guardian News
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« Reply #153 on: Nov 04, 2012, 06:47 AM »

November 2, 2012

Is Romney Unraveling?

By CHARLES M. BLOW
NYT

Time is running out for Mitt Romney.

According to the latest polls, the most likely outcome of Tuesday’s election is that Romney will lose. If he does, it will likely be a bitter pill to swallow. He would have come so close only to have fate and circumstances step in at the final hour and give President Obama a boost.

How is Romney losing it? Let us count the ways:

1) The economy continues to improve. The argument for electing Romney hinges on a sour economy and his experience as a businessman with the expertise to turn it around. But, on measure after measure, the economy seems to be getting better.

A Commerce Department report released last month found that housing starts jumped 15 percent in September — the largest surge in four years.

The unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent in September and the October jobs report released on Friday was stronger than expected.

Furthermore, according to a Gallup report also released Friday:

“The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as measured by Gallup, was 45.7 percent for the month of October, up from 45.1 percent in September, and reflecting the highest percentage of Americans with good jobs since Gallup began daily tracking of U.S. employment in 2010.”

Romney needed gloom and doom on the economy, but Obama got some rays of sunlight.

2) Romney’s momentum is maxing out. There was a moment after the first debate when it appeared as if he might have a legitimate shot at winning. He surged in the polls. His forlorn followers found their faith. There was hope for their candidate. Momentum begot momentum. But it peaked a couple of weeks ago, and evidence amassed that the momentum has evaporated.

Even so, the Romney campaign seemed to believe it could stick with the momentum meme even after that momentum had stalled because it had been effective at rallying the troops.

As The Times’s Nate Silver wrote Friday about arguments touting Romney’s chances in the election:

“A third argument is that Mr. Romney has the momentum in the polls: whether or not he would win an election today, the argument goes, he is on a favorable trajectory that will allow him to win on Tuesday. This may be the worst of the arguments, in my view. It is contradicted by the evidence, simply put.”

Silver averaged the national polls of likely voters in his database and found that “there is not much evidence of ‘momentum’ toward Mr. Romney. Instead, the case that the polls have moved slightly toward Mr. Obama is stronger.”

That’s right, it is the Obama campaign that has the rightful claim to having momentum.

3) Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane devastated the Northeast, which also happens to be the media center of the country. This diverted people’s attention from the rancor of the campaign trail, and they saw Obama being presidential in his response to the storm.

They also saw bipartisanship. Obama was embraced by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who was the Republican National Convention keynote speaker. He won an endorsement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, an independent.

For his part, Romney transformed an Ohio rally into a “storm relief event.”

4) Truth and lies. Evidence continues to emerge that Romney is one of the most dishonest, duplicitous candidates to ever seek the presidency.

He criticized Obama for telling then-President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with sensitive issues between the two countries after he won re-election. Romney said this was particularly troubling given that Russia “is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

However, according to a report on Friday in The New York Times, Romney’s son Matt recently traveled to Russia and delivered a message to President Vladimir Putin:

“Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.”

It sounds as though he was signaling that Mitt would do exactly what he had castigated Obama for: operate with “more flexibility” after the election.

This is the kind of hypocrisy that just makes you shake your head in disbelief.

According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday, Americans expect Obama to be re-elected by 54 percent to 34 percent. Among those believing that Obama will win were most independents and almost a fifth of Republicans.

I cast my lot with those folks unless there is a seismic shift in the next few days.



I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.
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« Reply #154 on: Nov 04, 2012, 07:27 AM »


Romney’s Greedy Drive to Divide Does Not a President Make

By: RmuseNovember 3rd, 2012

Romney wants to trickle down on you

It is perplexing to determine what forms a politician’s ethics when they claim that their life is shaped by strong adherence to Christianity, and yet they use dishonesty to advance their agenda. It is not unusual for a candidate to stretch the truth during a tightly-contested campaign, but the level of deceit and outright lies coming out of the Romney campaign are unprecedented in modern politics. Pundits assert Romney’s blatant lies are a sign his campaign is in desperation mode, but it is hardly believable because for nine months he avoided the truth regardless if his support was flagging or not, and his fallacies are meant to serve one purpose; divide the American people. There are myriad reasons why Romney is unqualified to serve as president, but chief among them is his willingness to pit American against American on the basis of race and socio-economic status that fuel his entire campaign.

Observing President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie work together to provide relief aid to storm victims was a reminder that Americans are at their best when they work together for a common goal. President Obama has championed that sentiment throughout his term in office, and despite fierce opposition from Republicans; he has never lost sight of his promise to Americans that as President, he would work to unify the country. Conversely, Romney has signaled to voters that he will work primarily to advance the interests of big business, and to garner support for his agenda he has alienated 98% of the population including minorities, women, gays, the middle class, and especially the poor.

The sad truth is that Romney has worked tirelessly to pit low-information voters against any group that does not fit the conservative ideal of white evangelical Christians, and his primary tool of choice is abject lies. One wonders how Willard would be able to lead the nation after spending the entire campaign sowing suspicion and hatred among the population, but apparently, it is not his primary concern. Although he changes his stance on issues depending on his audience, the underlying theme of his campaign is casting aspersion on different groups of Americans to further his chances of winning the election. Americans got a taste of how Romney feels about Americans who do not pay income taxes when he was secretly taped pitting wealthy donors against seniors, the poor, and Veterans who don’t pay income tax, but his divisive tactics extend far beyond pitting rich against the poor.

When Willard addressed the NAACP, he insinuated African Americans were lazy and only wanted handouts from the government, and he bragged to a conservative audience that he told “those people” if they wanted “more free stuff, vote for the other guy.” It was not the last time Romney attempted to drive a wedge between the races, and he has continued implying African Americans are getting “free stuff” by asserting President Obama eliminated the work requirement so lazy African Americans receive free stuff for nothing. Romney’s campaign has attempted to portray the President of the United States as a foreigner since the Republican primaries, and Romney never condemned one of his advisors for using race as the reason Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for the presidency. Romney does not discriminate when it comes to driving a wedge between groups of Americans and implying the President is a foreigner is solely to turn the population against President Obama.

Romney also attempted to drive a wedge between his conservative base and public sector employees in education, law enforcement, and firefighters by accusing them and their unions of being primary drivers of government spending. His pitch to supporters is that their tax dollars are supporting unions and depriving children of an education, but his real agenda is eliminating unions from donating to political campaigns. He reserves that right for corporations he claims have an inherent right to buy elections and advance a libertarian agenda.

To drive a wedge between extremist Christians and women, Romney borrowed the religious liberty meme to restrict women’s rights under the guise of allowing religious maniacs to ban contraception, abortion, and Planned Parenthood. He also promotes enmity between extremist Christians and gays as a religious liberty issue by supporting the discriminatory National Organization of Marriage instead of promoting tolerance and equality between Americans. There are many other instances of Romney’s use of divisive rhetoric to keep the population at odds with itself, and it is impossible to comprehend his true motive because every time he promotes religious, economic, or racial animosity between different groups of Americans, he alienates a different segment of the population that will not support his candidacy.

Romney’s biggest lie to divide America is his contention that government is the people’s enemy, and there was no bigger example of his failed argument than recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. President Obama directed the federal government to be ready to provide valuable assistance to victims of the storm well in advance of the event, and it belied Romney’s assertion that states are better equipped to handle the monumental task of cleanup, financial aid, and recovery efforts. Even Republican governor Chris Christie, no friend of “big government,” was intelligent enough to know that it took the massive federal assistance under President Obama’s direction to provide swift and comprehensive aid in a disaster of epic proportions. Governor Christie also heaped praise on the President and the federal government for their rapid and sustained response and assistance.

There is no reasonable explanation for Romney spending the entire presidential campaign driving wedges between Americans except that he lacks basic comprehension that America is a collection of United States, and not disparate groups of individuals jockeying for superiority and advantage over “the other.” Romney claims to be the consummate American, but he has no more idea what it means to be part of a whole than he understands the plight of middle class America. In fact, Romney is the antithesis of American because his lies cannot conceal his allegiance to the wealthy’s drive to control this country, and if he were an American, he would understand this country either prospers and succeeds together, or fails miserably as a divided nation of religious plutocrats and peasants.

It is painfully obvious that Romney’s ethics are driven by greed and division and whether it is the result of a lifetime of privilege and religious indoctrination that lying is a virtue, or his drive to control all the wealth in America, but whatever his dysfunction, it is not American. President Obama says often that America is at its greatest when the entire nation succeeds, and he backs up his words with deeds in fighting for every American, rich or poor, black or white, or men or women and it is the mark of a real American leader. The only thing Romney accomplished over the past ten months was creating suspicion and hatred between Americans and it designates him as an enemy of the people and unqualified to lead. It has been 147 years since the Civil War nearly tore America apart because a group of men incited Americans to oppose other Americans, and while most of the nation moved forward and accomplished great feats as a United States of America, Willard Romney has spent an entire campaign attempting to divide the American people, and just like the Confederacy’s leaders, he uses lies, suspicion, and misinformation making him bad for unity, bad for community, and bad for America.

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

Saturday Night Shocker: Behind The Spin the Romney Camp Admits They’re Losing

By: Jason Easley November 3rd, 2012

Behind their attempted Saturday night media spin was a bit of read between the lines truth. The Romney campaign thinks that they are losing this election.

After a press conference with reporters where David Axelrod and Jim Messina discussed all of the president’s paths to 270 Electoral College votes, the Romney campaign responded with a statement that only the biggest of partisans could believe.

Romney Political Director Rich Beeson had this response to Obama’s numbers and facts, “If the Obama campaign spent half the time trying to get people back to work as they do spinning reporters on why they’re going to win this election, the unemployment rate might not have gone up. That said, it doesn’t matter how many offices you have, staff you hire, or ground game plans you have – you need a candidate who can tell the American people why things will be better, not worse, after four years of their leadership. The choice is clear: Governor Romney is offering Americans a future of more jobs, more take home pay, and less debt. The President can’t do the same.”

On the surface this looks like more of the same spit in the eye of reality stuff that the Romney campaign has putting out for months, but it is always a mistake to read anything literally in politics. Look beyond the talking points at what the Romney campaign is really saying. They are saying that they don’t need field offices, staff, and get out the vote efforts. Beeson even went as far as to claim that Romney didn’t need a plan to win.

What this means is that the Romney campaign knows that they are losing the get out the vote effort. They know they are losing the ground game. They know that they don’t have enough field offices and staffers in swing states, and most importantly, they have no mapped out plan for winning this election.

When a campaign starts talking about how it doesn’t matter that their opponent is beating them it certain areas, that kind of talk is a huge flashing neon sign telling everyone within earshot that they are losing in those areas. The Romney folks know that they are getting clobbered in early voting and the mobilization of supporters.

Beeson’s statement tonight was an attempt to keep the media on board with the myth of Romentium. The Romney folks have to keep spinning this contest as up for grabs, or else the whole house of cards will come crashing down, and Republicans might not show up to vote on election day.

Once again, nothing in politics should be read literally. There are always deeper meanings and motivations in play.

This statement tonight was a beneath the surface admission that the Romney campaign knows they are losing. They know that Obama has momentum. They see the train getting ready to go off the cliff, and their attempted spin suggests that they have no idea how to stop it.

The Obama advantage in early voting and GOTV is real. And by trying to tell the media how much it doesn’t matter, the Romney campaign admitted that they know they are heading into election day behind. Time is running out and all Romney has left is a hope that you don’t show up to vote, and GOP voter suppression machine if you do.

This election is in your hands, and Mitt Romney knows it.

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

Proving He’s Not Fit to Lead, Romney Blames Others for His Failure

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

The numbers don’t look so great for Romney right now. No matter what the spin is out there about a close race, this race isn’t close if you go state by state, as the Obama campaign figured out long ago.

Unable to deny these numbers internally, even as they spin to win, Romney surrogates are busy blaming Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie, which is really the perfect way for them to flame out.

It’s sort of like when you break up with someone because you just don’t trust them, and after you break up with them they prove you more right than you could have imagined.

Romney has never been a good candidate. Not only was he never loved by his own base and not only did he have to steal wins in the primaries, but he has completely changed what he stands for in the interim. He’s a constant and chaotic rewrite that his own campaign couldn’t keep up with.

Romney never did release his tax returns (we got bits and pieces of two years of amended returns or returns they admitted were manipulated to pay more in taxes). He never did do the math for his Bush on steroids tax plan. He was outed as holding half the country in contempt. He made Sarah Palin look like a knowledgeable candidate on his summer foreign relations disaster tour.

Romney won’t give interviews or answer questions. During his entire summer of gaffes tour, he only answered 6 questions from the press. His campaign shut down all that “access” when the candidate proved his own worst enemy.

Then he deployed his wife Ann as his “secret weapon” only to learn that her whining and imperial attitudes rendered her a weapon of mass campaign destruction. Who can forget “this is hard” as Americans starved or her suggestions that her husband had sort of served in the military by living lavishly in Paris while others died in the war he actively supported.

There was “Russia is our number one geopolitical foe” and putting words in the Australian Foreign Minister’s mouth in order to attack Obama. Romney managed to get the Palestinians and the Israelis to agree on one thing: He is a racist. That was after he insulted the British and left England in a flurry of humiliating headlines best remembered for their scathing beat down of his clownery. He was compared unfavorably to Sarah Palin and called a twit. Crowds mocked him.

Then we got Romney’s binders full of women, general misogyny, “if she’s going to work” tells and him standing by the man who said pregnancy from rape was a gift from God. Not cool. There was his Obamacare slur that got him booed by the NAACP. His busing in of black people to attend that rally. His fear of the ladies on The View. His temper tantrums like the one he aimed at the poor Univsion producers.

There was his failure to mention the troops at the convention and then the doubling down that he mentioned what was “important.” Still wondering why he doesn’t do interviews anymore?

Oh, and Romney’s greatest achievement this cycle — lying so dangerously about auto production being moved to China that he forced GM and Chrylser to correct him on the record, over and over and over again. He’s still telling that lie.

So it should be a given that seeing a potential fail on the horizon, Romney and his surrogates do what Republicans have come to do best. Blame others. They never look at their policies or candidates and think, gee, maybe we got it wrong. Nope.

It’s always everyone else’s fault. And so Chris Christie is being threatened that if Governor Romney wins, he won’t forget (nice mafia tone to that one) the betrayal of Christie helping his state and praising the President for a job well done for the people. So unfair of Christie to refuse to aid Romney in his delusions of grandeur. Doesn’t Christie know what really matters in this world? This is hard, Governor!

And Sandy. Who knows what revenge the GOP has planned for Sandy for screwing them over so. Others lost lives and property but Sandy will be best remembered in Republican land as the unfair stealer of toys for the boys.

According to a PPP poll, Romney’s favorable ratings dropped by a net 7 points in the aftermath of Sandy, while Obama’s rose 6 points. While there’s no way of knowing if that drop is related specifically to the storm, perhaps instead of having a “relief” campaign rally staged with props as Sandy ravaged New Jersey, Romney could have acted presidential, even from the sidelines. Obama did it in 2008 when the financial crisis hit. Then candidate Obama proved himself worthy of leading by rolling up his sleeves and putting the country first.

Sandy wasn’t destiny for Romney. He could have asked the Red Cross what they needed and set about really trying to make that happen instead of posing with canned goods the Red Cross said they didn’t want. He could have praised Christie and Obama and demonstrated his alleged bipartisanship. He could have taken the high road, but then, this is Mitt Romney.

There were options open to Romney that he chose to ignore. No, it wasn’t ideal for him as the challenger, but he could have made it work. Instead, he chose to make cheap shots from the sidelines while complaining about Chris Christie not being his bestie anymore. Maybe if Romney had treated Christie with a modicum of courtesy after he knew he was picking Ryan as his VP, Christie would have felt his loyalty had been returned. But no. Romney left Christie hanging. Another bad decision from Romney, but more than that, an indication that he doesn’t know how to build consensus and loyalty.

If Romney manages somehow to make magical math happen on Tuesday, surely he will take all of the credit. But should he fail, he will take none of the blame. That, in and of itself, should prove he’s unfit to lead.


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« Reply #155 on: Nov 04, 2012, 08:32 AM »

Current predictions for the President of the USA from Five Thirty Eight/ Nate Silver of the New York Times....who was the most accurate of all predictors in the 2008 election.

Click to go to his website: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/


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« Reply #156 on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:21 AM »


Romney’s Worst Nightmare Comes True, the Media Reports He’s Losing

By: Jason Easley November 4th, 2012

On Meet The Press, Chuck Todd debunked Romney’s Pennsylvania spin by pointing out that the Republican is going there because he is losing in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A5OZIwlBPfk

Todd broke down the map as it currently stands, “He could lose Ohio, Iowa, and Pennsylvania and he could get there. The problem is, Wisconsin is looking like a state, it’s a same day voter registration state. So then if you look at it that way, he needs one of these others. In Ohio, if you believe the two-point race there, that would put him over. So that’s why, what explains if you will, David, why Romney is going to Pennsylvania because if you only — if you take away Pennsylvania, he’s only got two routes and Ohio and Wisconsin both seem to be a little where he’s behind.”

The media is seeing through the Romney campaign’s spin, and starting to move away from the toss up/it could go either way talking points that GOP desperately needs to keep alive through election day. The reality is that Romney has not made up any ground in Wisconsin or Ohio. This does not mean that those states are out of play, or that President Obama has the election locked up. It does mean that Romney is behind in critical states on the final weekend before the election.

Romney knows he is losing. Despite conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife trying to provide him political cover for his trip into Pennsylvania by claiming that the state is too close to call, the reality is that Mitt Romney isn’t coming to Pennsylvania because it is a swing state.

He is going to be campaigning there because he wagered all of his chips on Ohio, and so far, that bet isn’t looking like a winner.

The Romney campaign was able to fool a desperately wanting-to-be-fooled media for weeks with their Romentum talk after the first presidential debate, but with less than two days before voters will cast their ballots, the numbers tell a story of a close election that is moving towards the incumbent.

The media has caught on to the poison narrative that the Romney campaign is desperately trying to spin away. When someone as inside the Beltway as Chuck Todd says he is losing, Romney’s not only losing votes. He is also losing the media battle.

It is important to remember that elections aren’t held after the first presidential debate, or on the the weekend before. Presidential elections are held on the first Tuesday in November. The only polls that count are the ones where voters are and will be casting their ballots.

If you want this polling and momentum to become a reality, you must go vote.
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« Reply #157 on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:26 AM »


Romney Surrogates Get Beaten Down by David Gregory and Fox News for Jeep Lies

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

Today, a relentless assault on Romney’s auto lies dominated on the Sunday shows, from Fox News to David Gregory. Yes, you read that correctly.

Watch a montage of Romney surrogates getting pushed on the Jeep and GM moving production to China lies here, courtesy of Obama for America:

An incredulous David Gregory on Meet the Press to a frozen Eric Cantor, “The head of Chrysler said that that is deceptive… This from a business leader, Governor Romney, who apparently thinks it’s good business to outsource in order to make companies more competitive. Is this the hopeful, specific agenda that Governor Romney has for the state of Ohio and the country?”

On CNN’s State of the Union, Candy Crowley said, “You’ve been able to unite both corporate America and the unions in this false ad.”

Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, “Wasn’t that a mistake, especially when both Chrysler and GM said the ad was misleading and the fact is that Chrysler, far from shipping jobs out of Ohio is actually expanding operations in Toledo.”

Republicans can usually count on the Sunday talk shows as a place to spin their “facts” and even get the host to carry their water for them. Studies prove that Democrats have fewer surrogates on the shows and they get more negative press.

But today, all of that changed.

Sadly, I suspect this is more about who Romney lied about than the fact that he lied, as Romney has lied this egregiously before. It’s just that this is the first time he took aim at major U.S. corporations with his lies. Romney damaged their brands with his lies, and that will not be allowed to stand in America. See, they spend a lot of money on TV advertising branding their cars as made in America (see where I’m going with that?) — it’s a vital part of their brand and comeback, especially after the auto bailout. It’s also a part of hoping to get Americans to buy American.

I happen to be a big supporter of the “Big Three” (well, two out of three now), hailing from Michigan as I do. It’s terrible that Romney lied about their plans for production, hurting their brands when they’ve worked so hard to come back. But it bothers me to see that it took this for the media to wake up. It took corporations with power and money to spend on advertising to call Romney out before the media suddenly found the ability to call a lie a lie. If there is one thing that we value, it’s the right of corporations to maintain their brand.

People? Not so much. Unions? Ha ha. The 47%? Teachers? Minorities? Undocumented workers? Women? Students? Veterans? Gays? Y’all already had your brands cooked. No one cared.

But if you go after corporations, the Sunday shows gonna get ya’.

Fourteen years ago, before corporations owned all of the news, a friend of mine produced the news for an NBC affiliate in a major market. I will never forget the day he called me in despair, after being ordered to kill a story that reflected poorly on a major advertiser. It’s much worse now, not better.

Romney took on the world, and never met a victim he couldn’t roll over… until he took on Chrysler and GM.

When is Romney going to learn you don’t mess with Detroit? He’s from the same city as I am, and he still doesn’t know anything about the industry he claims to love so much or the people behind it. Aside from their elevated status as advertisers who pay a lot of money to the networks now standing up for them, Detroit also represents the pride and persistence of the auto companies. Their ability to come back is as American as the Jeep Wrangler and the good paying jobs they provide that helped build our middle class.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rxxP8ImGmmo
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« Reply #158 on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:30 AM »


Romney Supporters Illegally Imprisoned at Pennsylvania Campaign Rally

By: Jason EasleyNovember 4th, 2012

Citing ‘security concerns’, Romney supporters were not allowed to leave his Pennsylvania campaign rally even though the crowd had been waiting in the freezing cold for the tardy candidate for hours.

Reporters at the event tweeted the chaos as Romney supporters were forbidden to leave the event.

Michael Barbaro of The New York Times,

    “We’ve got to get out! My daughter is frostbitten,” begs mom, asking to leave Romney rally. Staffer replies: “It’s not cold enuf for that.”

    — Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 4, 2012

Barbaro then tweeted a clarification that staffers had told reporters that it wasn’t cold enough to allow the crowd to leave.

    To be clear. Staffer said that to reporters.Not to mother.

    — Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 4, 2012

Here is Jackie Kucinich from USA Today,

    Woman says “I feel like a caged animal!” before pushing through staffer. Said she was here since 2.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 5, 2012

    Man just pulled me aside and said “My son is on the verge of hypothermia” just as staffer starts letting people out a few at a time.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 4, 2012

In this world of instant political media shorthand, the story was changed to Romney campaign won’t let his supporters out. In reality, it was the Romney campaign, volunteers, and the Secret Service not letting people out.

    Both volunteers and a secret service were trying to keep people in- it was not just Romney staff.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 5, 2012

It is difficult to believe that a photo-op obsessed campaign like Romney’s would just have security in mind. The people who came to this rally already went through security when they entered, so the whole idea that letting out some cold children would present a security threat is laughable. (The Romney campaign has already demonstrated their fear of children with their refusal to take questions from Nickelodeon, so anything is possible, I guess.) As a person who spent years working with venues and security details, I can tell you that those children and people could have been allowed to leave the venue while posing zero security risk to anyone.

My own experience tells me that this was less about security, and more about Romney preserving the image of viability and vitality that he is desperately chasing around the country.

The point that is being overlooked is that Mitt Romney is supposed to be this organized businessman who can “fix the economy,” but he also is the same guy whose campaign pulled the douchebag move of leaving his supporters out in the cold for hours. (His campaign knew they had been delayed. They could have done things to keep the crowd comfortable, but they chose not to.)

Mitt Romney has been unable to shake the impression that he is a corporate raider, heartless SOB, and fair or not, debacles like the one in Pennsylvania will only serve to reinforce this notion.

The storyline that the Romney campaign wanted out of this rally was that they are on the move and expanding the electoral map. Instead, “I feel like a caged animal,” is the takeaway line.

Whether it was the fault of the campaign, volunteers, or the Secret Service, this just makes Romney look bad.

Nothing says that you care about regular people like illegally imprisoning your own supporters while you are running late.

Isn’t that right, Mitt Romney?
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« Reply #159 on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:32 AM »


Romney becomes first candidate in 16 years to decline youth debate

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, November 4, 2012 13:16 EST

Mitt Romney has become the first major presidential candidate to turn down the Presidential Youth Debate since it began in 1996, according to its organizers.

This year, President Barack Obama answered five questions, including one regarding youth unemployment and another concerning the rising federal debt. Romney, on the other hand, is completely absent from the debate, having declined requests to respond.

“In June both President Obama and Gov. Romney were invited in the hope they would both take this opportunity to address millions of young people about the issues that are most important to them,” the organizer of the debate said in a statement. “Unfortunately, despite our efforts over a four-month period, Gov. Romney declined participation. He is the first and only candidate in our 16-year history to decide not to answer the questions young Americans chose as most important through the Presidential Youth Debate.”

The organizers of the debate said they still hoped Romney would respond before Election Day, noting the importance of Millennials as a voting bloc.

The Presidential Youth Debate describes itself as a nonpartisan youth civic-engagement program and allows 10-35 year olds to submit questions to the presidential candidates.

In 2008, Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) both responded to 14 questions, which ranged from the financial crisis to abortion rights.


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« Reply #160 on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:39 AM »


A last and final look at Mitt Romney close up prior to November 6th

By: Dennis S November 4th, 2012

This will be my last contribution to Politicus prior to the upcoming November 6th General Election. An election as bizarre as it is disquieting. An election that seems to have little or nothing to do with the process we used to call democratic. An election that’s more of a bloodless, money-dominated corporate coup than anything resembling old-fashioned campaigning and voting for the most qualified candidate.

We have a Republican presidential candidate who can’t stay in one place on any given issue long enough to give even the most infinitesimal hint as to where he stands. His name is Willard Mitt Romney and he was born into money in Detroit 65 years ago. Speaking of places of birth, Republicans are obsessed with the birth place of Obama where a one-day-old Kenyan-born Obama, knowing he would be U.S. President someday, apparently persuaded civil servants and local Honolulu newspapers some 10,000 miles distant, to lie and doctor official papers to clear the way for a Marxist Muslim’s election 47 years into the future. The ‘birthers’ have even put together a hilariously bogus video purporting to show Obama’s mom cuddling ‘Barry’ in a Kenyan hospital. Hilarious and on many levels, pathetically sad. Just so you’ll know, even if Obama was born in Kenya, he’d still be an American citizen.

Mitt Romney is a scary guy. His year-round costume is a fancy suit (made overseas of course). Scary! Especially in light of Hurricane Sandy, an unprecedented charge of nature’s volatility that has affected millions of Americans. Romney and his political minions would want to privatize FEMA (check out my colleague, Sarah Jone’s coverage of this vital issue). And there’s the global warming and climate change issue. Republican’s in their partisan low information fog, deny there’s any such thing as climate change. Every time it snows, they say “see?”. Bill McKibben, a climate change believer, activist and author writes that Sandy’s furor of rain is heightened exponentially by area seas five degrees warmer than normal. Republicans most likely are convinced the hurricane is God’s wrath over a newly opened gay bar on the Jersey Shore.

Speaking of scary, my adult son and I listened to Limbaugh for about 20 minutes (my absolute limit) on our way back from Charlotte’s Douglas International, Wednesday. In addition to agreeing with the climate-deniers, Limbaugh ripped New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie from stem to stern for daring to praise the President and FEMA. Limbaugh, who in his role of official Republican Propagandist Laureate, is arguably wealthier than Romney. Forbes magazine pegs last years earnings alone at $69 million. His primary order for the day I was listening, in addition to the points just mentioned, was apparently to spin the major polls to appear that they were all trending Romney, no matter how far the challenger trailed Obama.

I noticed that at the end of most sentences, Limbaugh appeared to sound breathless. That can be a consequence of microphone placement or he may have health problems nobody is talking about.

As the election looms, the last two political bullets in the Romney chamber are going to be jobs (or lack thereof) and gridlock. Incredibly, Barack Obama is going to be blamed for the congressional gridlock that has marked all 4 years of his presidency. And all Romney has to do is just say the word, ‘gridlock’ sans explanation. Nowhere, of course, is there even a scintilla of truth to that absurd charge. Of course that lie follows hard on the heels of the Jeep moving to China whooper that Romney continues to repeat, though it’s been debunked by all of the principals involved. Romney, not Jeep, is the guy who sees to it that jobs move overseas. Not to mention his own tax-avoidance money.

Speaking of the auto industry, Mitt unceasingly renounces the president’s stimulus package at every turn even though the latest edition of the Nation magazine features an article by the greatest living investigative reporter, Greg Palast, that tracks multiple millions, maybe tens of millions of dollars a to the Romney personal bottom line as a direct result of Obama’s auto bailout. Romney pals, who will populate the White House like so many dollar-reeking cockroaches if Romney is elected, fared even better as they continue to grease Mitt’s secret donor coffers.

Mitt wants to repeal Obamacare and he’ll replace it with something he also lies about when he says his mystery plan will retain the pre-existing condition provision. I repeat, it won’t for new signees to his plan. The Republican team is targeting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for destruction with the remaining crumbs to be divvied up amongst Mitt’s corporate pals.

He tolerates the most extreme of hateful and ignorant comments towards women’s equality and reproductive health. His people denounce these remarks on his behalf, but they stay on the front media burner for the duration. He wants to use U.S. military might to blast his way through a corridor of at least a half-dozen Muslim countries. His election guarantees a third world war.

He has no soul for the poor, people of color, gays, most women or for those who disagree with his positions. Trey Gowdy, is the arrogant little South Carolina 4th Congressional District serial braggart House member who led the charge for the baseless, albeit successful ‘contempt of Congress’ finding against Attorney General, Eric Holder. I think he pretty much summed up the current right-wing power prurience when he was recently quoted in his hometown newspaper as saying, “…what sense does it make to be elected as a Republican and then go spend all your time trying to figure out how to keep people who didn’t vote for you happy?”

As is their strategy, the Republicans are pouring money into such critical states of Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada among others. The Democrats are seeding the same states with a fraction of the right-wing total.

I still look for Obama to defeat Romney anywhere from 2 to 4%. If it’s closer, Obama still wins the Electoral vote. The house remains in Republican hands. The Senate race parallels the Presidential race. Close as can be. As I’ve said before, as long as the Republican’s don’t get to the 60-vote filibuster/cloture level and as long as Romney is sent packing to the Caymans, I’m satisfied. In any event, look for two more years of suffering the outrageous fortunes of genuine gridlock, Tea Party style, even though diluted. Then even the low information types ease out of the ether into the real world in the 2014 mid-terms as they finally affix the blame for their declining wages and lost opportunities where it belongs.

Then, for two years at least, President Barack Obama will finally get his due.

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

Mitt Romney is a Caricature of All That is Wrong with the Republican Party

By: Sarah Jones November 5th, 2012

Change means different things to different people. It’s a common enough campaign promise; in fact, Mitt Romney is running on “change” this cycle. Romney promises to deliver change on Day One, some of which is going to happen just because he was elected, according to him. In an email to supporters, he wrote, “This election is a turning point for America. It is a time for greatness, for big change, and for action — not more idle words. I’m not just talking about change, I actually have a plan to make it happen. From day one of my presidency, I will restore common sense to Washington, by cutting wasteful spending and putting us on a path toward a balanced budget.”

Romney’s “change” is actually not change but rather going back to Bush policies, by doubling down on Bush’s tax cuts and deregulation while amping up defense spending way past what the Pentagon said they needed. Romney says he’s running on “change” but he won’t give us any specifics of what that means or looks like, other than promising that he will deliver the 12 million jobs experts say will come our way if we keep doing what Obama is doing now.

Romney also wants to take us back to the social policies of the 1950s, you know, back in the good old days when women knew their place and people were “wholesome” (aka: trapped in bad marriages and housewives were drugged to dull the pain).

That’s Romney’s idea of “change”. I have no idea how he thinks he could change wasteful spending on Day One, but that is probably just campaign rhetoric best ignored, unless you feel like trying to hold him to the same standards Republicans have applied to Obama, but I don’t suggest it. We fall down way before we get that high.

Obama’s ideas of change are changes that benefit the people (I detailed examples here), protecting them from corporate interests and helping them get a fair shot if they work hard. The man isn’t perfect and we are so far from digging our way out of 40 years of Republican “values” I fear it will take another 40 to fix the systemic damage.

We are not where we need to be yet. We may never be where we should be. In a democracy, the fight for the people to maintain their power is never-ending. The elite will always try to steal power back, using religion and propaganda to do it as they have through history. The question isn’t are we where we should be, but are we going in the right direction.

Under Obama, we have made huge strides for the people. That is the right direction, and no, this isn’t even a question of ideology anymore. It’s a question of corporate elites versus the people. Mitt Romney represents the worst of the Republican Party and none of the necessary balance conservatism can lend to progress (real conservatism, not social Darwninism and subsidies for big oil masked as conservatism).

Republicans have forced Democrats to bear responsibility for the conservatives’ burden of fiscal prudence and balanced budgets since Clinton’s days, as they chased women’s reproductive health over a cliff. They abandoned civic duty and intellectualism to the Democrats, greedily siding with corporations and using churches to sell harmful policies to the masses. Republicans are the frothing, irrational radicals of hate now, infamous for not believing in science or polls or reality. Most of the real conservatives are in the Democratic Party now.

The Republican Party has become a sad caricature of itself, and Mitt Romney is the perfect albeit unintentional parody of that caricature. Obama is a great choice as a candidate on his own, but next to Mitt Romney, he is the only choice.


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« Reply #161 on: Nov 05, 2012, 08:47 AM »


While Romney Holds his Supporters Hostage in PA, Obama Dances in Ohio

By: Jason Easley November 4th, 2012

If you want to know who is winning this election consider that while Romney supporters were begging to leave his PA rally, President Obama was dancing with a joyous crowd in Ohio.

The contrast between the two campaigns couldn’t be more stark.

Here is what was going at Mitt Romney’s big Pennsylvania rally a.k.a Dog Day Afternoon.

Yep, the Romney campaign along with volunteers and the Secret Service would not allow supporters leave his rally

    “We’ve got to get out! My daughter is frostbitten,” begs mom, asking to leave Romney rally. Staffer replies: “It’s not cold enuf for that.”

    — Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 4, 2012

    Woman says “I feel like a caged animal!” before pushing through staffer. Said she was here since 2.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 5, 2012

    Man just pulled me aside and said “My son is on the verge of hypothermia” just as staffer starts letting people out a few at a time.

    — Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) November 4, 2012

On the very same day, here was the scene at President Obama’s rally in Cincinnati, Ohio (Courtesy of our friends at The Obama Diary):

Can you tell which candidate thinks he is going to win?

These campaigns are going in opposite directions. The Obama campaign appears to have gotten a burst of momentum, while Romney is trying to hold it together and turn the tide on election day.

More telling is the downtrodden attitude of Romney supporters who seem to be glumly trudging through the landscape determined to carry out their mission. In contrast, there is an air of absolute joy at these Obama rallies. Obama supporters love their candidate, while Republicans are voting for Mitt Romney because their one overriding obsession is to defeat this president.

Obama supporters don’t beg for their freedom as their children freeze, waiting for a candidate who is more concerned about a photo-op than their health and welfare.

People were begging to leave Mitt Romney’s rally. While in Ohio, President Obama danced as he was serenaded by tens of thousands of supporters.

In a nutshell that is really all you need to know about this election, and how the two candidates contesting it view you.

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

Obama Reminds a Huge Crowd in Hollywood Florida What Real Change Looks Like

By: Sarah Jones November 4th, 2012

The Obama campaign estimates that the President spoke to 23,000 supporters in Hollywood, Florida today about the change we need, saying, “(W)e’ve also got to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president.”

Watch the President’s speech at McArthur High School Football Field here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cblMBLv0Azc

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS

Change is turning the page on a decade of war so we can do some nation-building here at home. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will pursue our enemies with the strongest military the world has ever known. But it’s time to use the savings from ending the wars to pay down our debt and rebuild America – rebuilding roads and bridges and making sure our schools are state of the art. And hiring our veterans when they come home because if you fought for this country, you shouldn’t have to fight for a job when you come home. That’s my plan to keep America strong. That’s what’s at stake in this election.

Change is a future where we reduce our deficit in a way that’s balanced and responsible. I’ve cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending. I intend to do more but if we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we’ve also got to ask the wealthiest Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. Because budgets are about choices. We can’t do everything and we gotta make sure that what we do we pay for. And I’m not going to turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. I’m not going to ask young people to pay more for college, just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut.

So Florida, we know what change is. We know what the future requires and we know it’s not going to be easy.

END TRANSCRIPT

The change the President is talking about is change for the people, versus change back to the Bush policies for the rich owners of corporations, which is Romney’s version of “change”.

Change is often just a campaign slogan a challenger uses to fight an incumbent, but under Obama we saw discernible change from ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to attempts to make our tax code more fair to winding down the war in Afghanistan and ending the war in Iraq (Bush was already planning on the drawdown in Iraq, but Afghanistan under a Republican would be fair game for never-ending war). Obama gave us the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and appointed two pro-choice women to the Supreme Court. He invested in clean energy and overhauled the credit card industry. He created The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and worked tirelessly for our veterans. Obama put 4.6 billion into the VA to pay for more mental health professionals. He provided travel expenses to families meeting fallen warriors at Dover AFB.

Obama passed healthcare reform and put an end to pre-existing conditions being a death sentence for those without insurance. He forced insurance companies to disclose how much of the premium actually goes to patient care. He invested 18 billion in scientific research and development and updated our infrastructure. He signed an executive order to close Gitmo (that was roundly obstructed by Congress, which refused to fund the closure and transfer of prisoners). Obama increased funding to our national parks by 10%. Obama gave us voluntary disclosure of visitors to the White House for the first time in history. There’s a lot more that he’s accomplished, but the point of including some of it here is to demonstrate the kind of change it is.

Change for the people — that’s the kind of change Obama is explaining. It’s what he represents, especially in this race as he stands in stark contrast with the poster boy for the top 1%.
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« Reply #162 on: Nov 05, 2012, 09:07 AM »

 Florida Early Voting Fiasco: Voters Wait For Hours At Polls As Rick Scott Refuses To Budge

Posted: 11/04/2012 3:42 pm EST Updated: 11/04/2012 11:15 pm EST

WASHINGTON -- Once again, Florida and its problems at the polls are at the center of an election.

Early voting is supposed to make it easier for people to carry out their constitutional right. Tuesdays are notoriously inconvenient to take off work, so many states have given voters the option of turning out on weekends or other weekdays in the run-up to Election Day.

But in Florida this year, it has been a nightmare for voters, who have faced record wait times, long lines in the sun and a Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has refused to budge and extend early voting hours.

"People are getting out to vote. That's what's very good," said Scott.

People are getting out to vote -- but many of them are having to wait in line for three or four hours to do so. One contributor to DailyKos claimed it took 9 hours to vote. In Miami-Dade on Saturday, people who had gotten in line by 7:00 p.m. were allowed to vote; the last person wasn't checked in until 1 a.m., meaning it took some individuals six hours to cast a ballot.

"We're looking at an election meltdown that is eerily similar to 2000, minus the hanging chads," said Dan Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida.

Miami-Dade attempted to deal with the problem on Sunday by allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. However, after just two hours, the Miami-Dade elections department shut down the location after too many people showed up. People outside the locked doors were reportedly screaming, "We want to vote!"

"They didn't have the infrastructure," filmmaker Lucas Leyva, who was among those turned away, told The Huffington Post's Janie Campbell. "We read the press release and everything that went out this morning, promising we'd be able to get absentee ballots and vote. We got here and there was a line of hundreds of people all being told the same thing, that that wasn't true anymore. You could drop off [a ballot], but they could not issue one."

And if getting turned away from the polls weren't enough of an indignity, some of those 180 people ended up getting their cars towed from the parking lot across the street, according to a Miami Herald reporter.

On Twitter, former Republican governor Charlie Crist -- who is now an independent -- responded to news of the office's closing, writing on Twitter, "Let the people vote!"

“We had the best of intentions to provide this service today,” said department spokeswoman Christina White. “We just can’t accommodate it to the degree that we would like to.”

About 30 minutes later, a Miami Herald reporter tweeted that the Miami-Dade location was reopening its doors.

Palm Beach, Pinellas, Orange, Leon and Hillsborough Counties also opened up in-person absentee voting on Sunday.

President Barack Obama's campaign and some of its supporters were attempting to keep people's spirits up -- and discourage them from abandoning the lines -- by bringing in food, water and even local musicians and DJs as entertainment.

North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre brought 400 slices of pizza to voters in line at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night at the city's public library, according to an Obama official.

While many Democrats viewed it as a victory when a few offices opened absentee balloting on Sunday, the process is not the same as early voting -- and could result in more individuals not having their votes counted.

"Absentee ballots have a much higher rejection rate for minorities and young people, if you look at the Aug. 14 primary," said Smith.

A major reason there are so many problems at the polls is that last year, Florida's GOP-controlled legislature shortened the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, meaning all early voters are trying to cast their ballots in a shorter window. Previously, Floridians were allowed to vote on the Sunday before Election Day -- a day that typically had high traffic.

But losing that final Sunday isn't the only problem. Smith said that he and Dartmouth professor Michael Herron found that in 2008, voters 65 or older were much more likely to cast ballots in the first five days of early voting than members of other age groups, alleviating some of the pressure at the polls in the remaining days. Those extra days, however, are gone this year, leading to a compression that the system has been unable to handle.

Scott has refused to extend early voting hours, essentially arguing that there is no problem, despite calls from Democrats, independent groups and even a Republican elections supervisor. He is arguing that he can extend early voting hours only when there is a true emergency -- like a natural disaster -- that warrants it.

"I'm focused on making sure that we have fair, honest elections," said Scott. "One thing to know, these early voting days and on Election Day, if you're there by the time the polls close, you get to vote."

Scott has some of the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the nation. In recent Quinnipiac poll, just 39 percent of Floridians said they approved of the job he is doing. Scott, unlike many other GOP governors, has not hit the campaign trail much on behalf of Mitt Romney.

As Florida Democrats have pointed out, the state's previous two Republican governors -- Jeb Bush and Crist -- both extended the hours. A spokesman for Bush didn't return a request for comment.

A judge extended the hours in Orange County after the state Democratic Party sued for more time. The location was closed for several hours on Saturday when everyone was evacuated due to a suspicious package.

Democrats are traditionally more likely to vote early, which is why many in the party have ascribed political motives to Scott's restriction of the process. According to a report in the Miami Herald on Saturday, Democrats were leading Republicans "by about 187,000 early in-person ballots cast" as of that morning.

On Election Day, there will be fewer polling precincts this year than in 2008 -- due to redistricting and budget constraints -- meaning traffic on Tuesday could also be a problem.

Florida is expected to be tight in this election. According to HuffPost Pollster's average of polls in the race, Romney is now leading Obama in the state by less than one percentage point.


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« Reply #163 on: Nov 05, 2012, 11:46 AM »

The reality for American if Romney is installed as your president .....

October 26, 2012 2:37 PM

If Elected, Moderate Mitt Will Disappear

By Jonathan Alter

You have to hand it to Mitt Romney and his team. Starting in the first debate, he pivoted almost effortlessly to the center, which is where elections are won. If he beats President Barack Obama, it will be because he Etch-A- Sketched his earlier positions and convinced enough people that he would be a moderate president.

Unfortunately, he has little chance of governing that way. We don’t know which Romney will show up on a given day, but we sure know which Republican Party would be in charge in Washington every minute. The Republicans have become the most extreme major political party in generations. They are tolerating Romney’s heresies this month only to gain power.

If a President Romney tried to govern in a moderate fashion by, say, allowing for some revenue increases to reduce the deficit, his base wouldn’t hesitate to savage him. Then he would be a man without a party, unless you include Senator Susan Collins of Maine. Were Senator Scott Brown to survive his challenge in Massachusetts (and Elizabeth Warren currently leads in the polls), the moderate Republican caucus in Congress might include just two senators, plus three or four House members. That’s it.

More likely, Romney as president would be a man with a strange crick in the neck, constantly looking over his right shoulder to see which pickup truck full of movement conservatives was about to run him over.

Deviating Republicans

If you think he has the fortitude to stand up to people such as the anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist and Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who never hesitate to knife fellow Republicans for deviations, you haven’t been paying attention. Fortitude, constancy, commitment to a set of ideas — these aren’t likely to be the hallmarks of a Romney administration.

So we would have a president constantly buffeted by his base, which is far out of the mainstream. The events of this fall offer proof that Republicans hold extreme views that aren’t shared by most Americans. Otherwise, Romney would have been honest about his program and championed conservative issues instead of executing all those U-turns in the debates.

His real blueprint for governing, readily available from his public statements throughout the campaign, is almost completely at odds with the image he has sought to project before the huge audience of centrist voters who pay little attention to politics.

Instead of “loving regulation,” as he said in the first debate, a President Romney would gut what he called the “extreme” fuel-economy standards that are helping America move toward energy independence; repeal the Volcker rule and other sensible efforts to prevent another financial crisis; and relax emission rules for coal-fired plants, among hundreds of other favors for wealthy interests. Carte blanche for business is the soul of his otherwise soul-less campaign.

In all three debates, Romney also claimed to “love” teachers and education. But as governor of Massachusetts, he slashed funding for the community colleges that train the middle-class workforce of the future. His election would end Obama’s only-Nixon-could-go-to-China progress on getting Democrats to sign on to his Race to the Top accountability standards for schools. Divided Democrats would unite to oppose Romney, dealing a severe setback to education reform. That’s why reformers such as Michelle Rhee and many of the hedge-fund managers bankrolling charter schools are strongly pro-Obama.
Budget Cuts

While Romney claimed in Denver to oppose cuts in Pell grants, the budget proposed by his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, plans 33 percent less for “education, training, employment and social services.” An additional 6 percent would be cut from “general science, space and basic technology” — a gut punch to the research institutions that are critical for a 21st-century economy.

Repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act would mean people like my 18-year-old daughter, who has a serious pre-existing condition, will have trouble getting insured. Cutting $750 billion from Medicaid and block-granting it would lead to more sick, uninsured Americans going to the doctor later than they should, and to the closure of many inner-city hospitals and clinics. And that’s just part of more than $1 trillion in cuts to spending for the needy. There’s nothing moderate about Ryan’s plan to shred the social safety net.

Might President Romney tell Vice President Ryan he’s all wet? Don’t bet on it. No one in Washington thinks Romney would shelve the very document that helped convince him to put Ryan on the ticket in the first place. More likely, he would assign Ryan responsibility for supervising his budget.

Let’s say Romney and the Democrats split the difference and cut only 16 percent from education instead of 33 percent, or increase defense spending by only $1 trillion instead of $2 trillion. In what way is that moderate?

In the negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff, President Romney would be trapped between anti-tax zealots who think they won the election, and deficit hawks willing to raise revenue to close the deficit. The whip hand that Obama has with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts is much more likely to yield a workable compromise.

Then there’s the Supreme Court. Should a vacancy occur (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, is 79), Romney would be compelled to nominate an abortion foe or suffer the wrath that conservatives inflicted on President George W. Bush when he tried to name Harriet Miers to the court.

That would mean a reversal of Roe v. Wade and a return of abortion policy to the states, many of which would ban terminating pregnancies.

To judge by the Boca Raton, Florida, debate this week, Romney’s foreign policy would resemble Obama’s. He claimed repeatedly to agree with the president, even arguing that he would tap global bodies such as the United Nations. So why is Romney surrounded by neoconservatives from the Bush administration who despise the UN and still believe the Iraq War was a good idea?

Obama won the second and third debates by calling Romney out on his Extreme Makeover. His best line was when he charged that Romney wanted to return to the foreign policies of the 1980s, the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.

Secret wars, back-alley abortions, cowboy capitalism. How moderate.
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« Reply #164 on: Nov 06, 2012, 07:37 AM »


Do You Want This Guy with the Tear on His Cheek or Do You Want the Vulture Capitalist?

By: Sarah Jones November 6th, 2012

Right when you think you’re tired of this endless campaign, Obama kicks you in the gut. Hey, wake up. This just got real. Do you want this guy as your president, or the cold vulture capitalist who wants to harvest America for profit?

Last night’s rally wasn’t just any rally. It was the last Obama rally. It was an emotional night in Des Moines, Iowa as the President gave his last speech at a campaign rally for himself, ever.

Watch here (Obama starts around 11 minutes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C9gWrWMM5Mc

Iowa is where it all started for Obama with his 2008 caucus victory, and Monday evening he ended his campaign there. Back in 2008, no one even knew how to pronounce his name.

An estimated 20,000 of the President’s supporters turned out in fired up droves Monday night, braving the cold. The rally was held just yards from from his 2008 campaign headquarters. The sense of having come full circle permeated his remarks. Obama set the tone, asking, “I came back to ask you to help us finish what we’ve started, because this is where our movement for change began.”

The President, appearing confident and a bit sentimental, wiped away a tear or two while talking about those who have supported his campaign. He said, “It’s out of my hands now. It’s in your hands.” He spoke of the journey and all that’s been accomplished, and how grateful he’s been to serve Americans. He spent time on a story about the origins of “fired up, ready to go”, which started with a Greenville, South Carolina woman named Edith Childs. He ended the story saying that he had called Ms. Childs to ask if she wanted to come to Monday’s rally and she said she’d love to, but she has work to do for his campaign in North Carolina.

Obama called his 2008 victory in Iowa “a movement that spread across the country.”

The President urged everyone to vote, saying, “From the granite of New Hampshire to the Rockies of Colorado, from the coast lines of Florida to Virginia’s rolling hills, from the valleys of Ohio to these Iowa fields, we will keep America moving forward.”

There was no mention of his opponent, Mitt Romney. The speech was pure 2008 Obama, lyrical and uplifting though newly nostalgic. When he told the crowd, “I’ve come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote” it really hit home that this is the last time he will be campaigning for elected office.

It also hit home that even though Nate Silver had Obama up to around 314 at this point, he might not win. Suddenly all of the “disappointments” and frustrations seemed to fall away and there was just this man who clearly cares about all Americans, standing there with a tear on his cheek, telling us how grateful he was to have had a chance to serve us.

The idea of Mitt Romney filling his shoes is unthinkable.

A supporter told the Omaha that the President had done well in his first four years, noting that while the economic recovery was slow there were global forces at work and competition from other countries. She said, “With all the obstruction and name calling and pettiness, I think he did pretty well. He never lost his cool.”

No. He never did, not even when Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” No drama, Obama.

Bruce Springsteen played “We Take Care of Our Own” before Michelle Obama took the stage with a heartfelt speech. Michelle pointed out that this was the last campaign event of her husband’s career, saying, “So this is the last time that he and I will be on stage together at a campaign rally.” She focused on how well they’ve been treated by Americans for the last four years, and what an honor it was to serve us. Not a word about this being “hard”.

The Obamas will spend Tuesday in Chicago, having dinner at home after a day of interviews, followed by an election watch party with supporters.

If you love this country or even just like it a little bit, vote.


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