Obama is Back
Tonight our president was articulate and forceful — in sharp contrast to his performance in the first presidential debate. He stated his beliefs. He defended his record. He told America where he wanted to take the nation in his second term.
And he explained where Romney wanted to take us.
For example: “Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector; that’s been his philosophy as governor; that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money.”
“Governor Romney … was on ‘60 Minutes’ just two weeks ago, and he was asked, is it fair for somebody like you, making $20 million a year, to pay a lower tax rate than a nurse or a bus driver, somebody making $50,000 a year? And he said, yes, I think that’s fair. Not only that, he said, I think that’s what grows the economy. Well, I fundamentally disagree with that.”
Obama told voters what Romney’s plan was for women (take away their freedom of choice), and for Hispanics (allow police to stop them and demand proof of citizenship, as in the Arizona law “that’s his [Romney’s] policy, and it’s bad policy.”)
He took responsibility for the security lapse in Libya, but made sure Americans understood the danger in Romney’s shoot-from-the-hip, rush to judgment approach to foreign policy.
And the President explained why the way to create more jobs and to get the economy back on track is to strengthen the middle class, in sharp contrast to Romney’s trickle-down redux.
Romney was as combative as in the first debate, but our newly-invigorated president made Romney’s combativeness look like that of a child in a tantrum rather than a principled adult with facts and detailed proposals to support his position.
Romney was also an automaton — moving robot-like across the stage, repeating the same scripted paragraphs in answers to different questions as if he had been programmed with a limited number of options.
Obama, by contrast, seemed steady and relaxed.
The debate left me relieved — the President’s performance will almost certainly stop Romney’s momentum, and may turn the tide — but also left me perplexed. Where was this Barack Obama in the last presidential debate? Was it the altitude in Denver, a failure of preparation, exhaustion, a temporary emotional glitch?
Mostly, though, I’m glad Barack is back.
A MOM AND A DAD.
But not 2 loving parents that could maybe be a mom and a mom or a dad and a dad?
And how does this come from a question regarding gun violence and assault weapons?
Mitt Romney obviously knows so much about education. It’s all a conspiracy theory by the unions! How many wanna bet that all five of Romney’s sons never sat in an elementary or high school classroom with 30+ other kids? (via sickeninglyliberal)
- Mitt Romney (and his wife Ann) went to a private preparatory boarding school called the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. The student to teacher ratio at this school is 8:1. The current tuition for the 2012-2013 school year is $38,900.
- Mitt Romney’s five sons went to Belmont Hill School, a private boys school in Boston, MA. The student to teacher ratio at this school is 11:1. The current tuition for the 2012-2012 school year is $44,700.
Just some fun facts.
There you have it.
The real Mitt Romney said we don’t need any more teachers in our classrooms. But the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers—can’t get enough of them. The Mitt Romney we all know invested in companies that were called “pioneers” of outsourcing jobs to other countries. But the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn’t even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing—he’s never heard of them. Never heard of them. Never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. He said that if it’s true, he must need a new accountant.
Now, we know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney, because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant. So you see, the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year. And that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the last year. So Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be President, you owe the American people the truth. — President Obama in Denver, CO today (via barackobama)
Romney’s Lying Machine
I’ve been struck by the baldness of Romney’s repetitive lies about Obama — that Obama ended the work requirement under welfare, for example, or that Obama’s Affordable Care Act cuts $716 billion from Medicare benefits.
The mainstream media along with a half-dozen independent fact-checking organizations and sites have called Romney on these whoppers, but to no avail. He keeps making these assertions.
Every campaign is guilty of exaggerations, embellishments, distortions, and half-truths. But this is another thing altogether. I’ve been directly involved in seven presidential campaigns, and I don’t recall a presidential candidate lying with such audacity, over and over again. Why does he do it, and how can he get away with it?
The obvious answer is such lies are effective. Polls show voters are starting to believe them, especially in swing states where they’re being repeated constantly in media spots financed by Romney’s super PAC or ancillary PACs and so-called “social welfare” organizations (political fronts disguised as charities, such as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have set up).
Romney’s lying machine is extraordinarily well financed. By August, according to Jane Mayer in her recent New Yorker article, at least 33 billionaires had each donated a quarter of a million dollars or more to groups aiming to defeat Obama – with most of it flooding into attack ads in swing states.
In early August, “Americans for Prosperity,” one of the nonprofit front groups masquerading as a charity, and founded in part by billionaire right-wingers Charles and David Koch, bought some $27 million in ad time on spots now airing in eleven swing states.
So Romney’s lying machine is working.
But what does all this tell us about the man who is running this lying machine? (Or if Romney’s not running it, what does it tell us about a man who would select the people who are?)
We knew he was a cypher — that he’ll say and do whatever is expedient, change positions like a chameleon, eschew any core principles.
Yet resorting to outright lies — and organizing a presidential campaign around a series of lies — reveals a whole new level of cynicism, a profound disdain for what remains of civility in public life, and a disrespect of the democratic process.
The question is whether someone who is willing to resort to such calculated lies, and build a campaign machine around them, can be worthy of the public’s trust with the most powerful office in the world.
I love to watch these horses on TV, but I would love an income that allowed for a $77,000 tax deduction on my hobby more.
Almost twice my yearly income on the care and feeding of one horse. Yeah, this is the candidate who understands the struggles of the middle class.
Romney-Trump in 2012!
What could Romney’s handlers be thinking when they hyped his connection with Donald Trump — fundraising with Trump, offering supporters the possibility of a meal with Trump, relishing Trump’s attention and endorsement?
Trump signifies everything Romney presumably doesn’t want people to associate with himself — conspicuous wealth, arrogance, hubris, and a distinct preference for money over all other human values.
Trump, like Romney, represents almost everything that’s wrong with the American economy today — an unprecedented amount of wealth and power at the very top, widespread insecurity and declining real wages for everyone else, and a form of casino capitalism that places huge bets with other peoples’ money and depends on everyone else to bail it out when the bets turn sour.
But wait a minute. Perhaps Romney’s handlers are smarter than they seem. Maybe Mitt has decided to let it all hang out. Rather than try to hide what’s obvious to everyone, the new strategy is to make Romney’s liabilities into assets by flaunting them. Be even bigger and bolder. Money rules!
In fact, they’re mulling an even bigger and bolder move. Just as Bill Clinton’s choice of Al Gore as running mate in 1992 accentuated Clinton’s youthful energy and the new era Clinton hoped to bring forth, Mitt’s choice of Trump as running mate would allow Mitt to celebrate the “I’ve got mine and the hell with you” social Darwinism that he and the regressive right are convinced will be good for America.
The new bumper-sticker: ROMNEY-TRUMP IN 2012. YOU’RE FIRED!
Fine to nail Romney with Bain Capitalism. But let’s not forget Romney’s budget proposal, which mimics Paul Ryan’s. Take a moment to make yourself aware of both, because they’re eye-opening and scary.
Both would restore the military budget, slash Medicare (turning it into vouchers that shift costs to the elderly) and Medicaid (turning it over to the states but without enough money to keep it going), cut programs for the poor (food stamps, Pell grants, etc), and yet at the same time cut even more taxes on the super rich.
According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, Romney’s plan would give a $250K tax cut, on average, to everyone now earning over a million dollars a year.
Yet Romney’s plan would also — according to the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities — increase the federal budget deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next ten years. (Romney says he’ll close tax loopholes, but he assiduously avoids saying which ones — which means he won’t really close any.)
This is truly nuts, and it represents not conservativism but regressivism — a lurch backward toward the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.
How Odd that Mitt’s Smitten With Clinton
Mitt Romney is full of praise for Bill Clinton even as he heaps scorn on Obama.
“Almost a generation ago, Bill Clinton announced that the era of big government was over,” says Romney, “Clinton was signaling to his own party that Democrats should no longer try to govern by proposing a new program for every problem.” By contrast, President Obama has “tucked away the Clinton doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas.”
It’s politics at its stupidest. Polls show Bill Clinton with higher favorability ratings than Obama, so Romney does what any vacuous opportunist politician does — try to associate himself with more popular, and maybe bring along some of those white males who voted for Clinton in ‘92 and ‘96.
But it won’t work. It might even backfire.
I was in Bill Clinton’s cabinet. I was in charge of Clinton’s economic transition team even before he became President. I’ve known Bill Clinton since he was 22 years old.
Romney doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Clinton doctrine? As president, Bill Clinton raised taxes. Government receipts as a percent of gross domestic product rose from 17.5 percent in 1992, when Clinton was elected, to 20.6 percent in 2000, when he left office. Supply-siders screamed. They predicted the end of civilization as we know it.
In 2011, President Obama’s third full year in office, government receipts were down to just 15.5 percent of GDP.
Does Romney really prefer Clinton’s approach?
Under Bill Clinton, the top income tax rate was 39.6 percent. It’s now 35 percent, courtesy of George W. Bush. Obama wants to return to the 39.6 percent rate, but he doesn’t want to restore the Clinton rates on the middle class. Obama wants a lower rate on the middle class than the rate under Clinton.
(Romney doesn’t even mention George W. Bush, by the way. He now refers to him as “Obama’s predecessor.”)
So why, exactly, does Romney prefer Clinton over Obama?
The Obama administration has been far friendlier to business than Bill Clinton ever dreamed of. Obama bailed out Wall Street, no strings attached. He bailed out General Motors and Chrysler. His healthcare law creates giant benefits for Big Pharma and big insurance. By contrast, business hated Clinton’s major initiatives, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Think about the modesty of Obama’s healthcare plan (which was enacted) relative to Bill Clinton’s immodest one (which wasn’t, due largely to the opposition of Big Pharma, big insurance, and the AMA). Obama’s plan bears far more resemblance to Romneycare in Massachusetts than to Bill Clinton’s failed plan.
During the first three years of Bill Clinton’s administration the government invested far more in education, infrastructure, basic R&D, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (a wage subsidy for the poor) than has the Obama administration to date.
So Romney really prefers Clinton to Obama?
In his absurd attempt to drive a wedge between Obama and Clinton, Romney has even gone so far as to suggest Obama has a “personal beef” with the Clintons.
Doesn’t Romney know the Obama White House is brimming with veterans of the Clinton Administration – from Gene Sperling (head of the National Economic Council) to Alan Kreuger (chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors), to Hillary Clinton herself?
Doesn’t he know Bill Clinton is already campaigning hard for Obama?
And that almost everyone who served with Bill Clinton is dead set against almost everything Mitt Romney stands for?
Oh, one more thing. Romney has done whatever he can to appeal to right-wing evangelical Christians, from opposing same-sex marriage to decrying abortion. Perhaps Romney doesn’t remember Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath to cover up an affair with an intern?