We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, October 16. 2012
For those following the campaign, the Townhall is mostly repeat of talking points. For those who haven't, the collection of talking points may be informative. The questions come from the 82 uncommitted voters from the NY area chosen by Gallup. Their questions reflect a NY perspective, and did not come across as from an uncommitted voter. If it were a slugfest, it goes by slight points to Obama, but Obama fails to score big, still has no second term agenda, and Romney holds own well. Each's supporters got what they wanted. The undecideds? See the reactions below. -- If it were a snooze, we needed more colorful NY-type characters. Probably the most injurious moment to Obama was when a black man who voted for him in 2008 says he has doubts now. Probaly the other most injurious moments to Obama was the number of NY accents and the slant of their questions, a turn off to most of the rest of the country. A draw or slight edge in points won't get Obama re-elected. -- IMHO,post-Townhall fact-checking will expose more Obama falsehoods, which will impact undecideds.
Instapoll/Focus Groups: Fox-Luntz focus group has many 2008 Obama voters switching to Romney. Obama aggressive. Romney hammers on Obama's failures. Very fact-based. ---- CBS instapoll: Obama 37%, Romney 30%, Tie 33%; 65% say Romney won on economy, 35% Obama ; CNN 48% not persuaded to either, 25% to each, Obama spent 49% of time attacking, much less by Romney, Romney favored 58% on economy, 49% on healthcare, 59% on deficits, 61% say Obama does not offer clear plan for solving country's problems, otherwise the poll details are largely down the middle, overall 46% Obama, 39% Romney but the details lean Romney. That will tell in the post-Townhall fact-checking.
Round One, Jobs: Both promise jobs in the future. Romney has experience creating jobs. Obama has had 4-years not doing so.
Round Two, Energy: Obama says oil imports lowest in 20-years. Doesn't mention depressed economy uses less. Romney points out that all increases in production on private land and despite federal interference and opposition. Obama interrupts Romney repeatedly, showing his inner-Biden. Finally, Romney tells Obama to let him finish speaking. Obama lies and lies.
Round Three, Taxes: Romney will not raise taxes on middle class, and will broaden tax base. Obama channels his inner Occupy, and his Big Bird. Romney says Obama takes US on road to Greece. Candy Crowley keeps interrupting, expected.
Round Four, Women: Obama trots out his grandmother, Ledbetter, government inflating college tuitions (through churning out student loans!). Romney actually recruited women and accomodated their job and family needs. Obama talks about government benefits that make it easier for women to work. His two daughters should have same opportunities as any man; sure they will with him and Michelle as rich parents. Romney has to use his time from next question to say that he does not oppose contraception.
Round Five, Bush?: Question is how does Romney differ from Bush. Romney is different in energy independence, cracking down on China, more free trade, a balanced budget, championing small business. Obama, "no one knows the trouble I've seen", will create more jobs. Romney gets positive ratings from men and women at CNN ticker of undecideds. Obama flat. Then, Obama says that Bush was less "extreme" on social policy.
Round Six, What Have You Done Obama?: 2008 Obama voter says not so optimistic now. Obama replies with his stump speech. Says that Romney will keep his promises, "me too" with conservatives. Romney says, "I think you know better." BINGO. Repeats Obama's 2008 promises, that Obama hasn't accomplished or even tried, and those policies he has tried haven't worked.
One hour in to the debate, Obama has taken 20% more time than Romney. Wind (hot air) power.
Round Six, Immigrants: Asked by woman with accent. Romney welcomes legal immigrants, green cards for educated/high-skilled, stop illegal immigration, employers sanctioned for hiring illegals, kids of illegals get a legal pathway (ex: military service). Obama has not kept promise, despite supermajority in Congress, to introduce comprehensive immigration law. Obama, "we're a nation of laws", doesn't mention those he has ignored via executive order, such as virtual amnesty for young illegals.
Round Seven, Libya: Obama cares about his representatives around the world. Then says he got Osama and out of Iraq, and on way out of Afghanistan, so trust him that he will get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. Then, what about this 2010 promise by Obama?
Romney asks why Obama administration says now it didn't know what happened, when there was evidence almost immediately. Why did Obama go to Las Vegas instead of to the American people with facts. Cites catastrophes throughout Middle East, "unraveling" Obama policies. Crowley asks Obama if buck stops with Hillary or him. Obama, "I'm always responsible." I greeted the caskets. "The suggestion that anybody on my team...would play politics or mislead is offensive..." Romney: It took long time for administration to say it was a terrorist act. Crowley interrupts and saves Obama's lie from being fully exposed. -- UPDATE: After Townhall: Debate moderator Candy Crowley: Romney was right in main Libya argument, but ‘he picked the wrong word’ Crowley just guaranteed that the Obama administration's avoidance of the terror truth about Benghazi will stay at the top of the news. Not good for Obama. Not good for Crowley, who will hopefully never again be chosen as a moderator.
Round Eight, Assault Weapons: Obama, keep them out of hands of abusers. Does not mention Fast and Furious. Romney says improve conditions for those in poverty. Romney says Fast and Furious is where thousands of assault weapons were given to drug lords as a policy of this administration. The administration has claimed executive provilege to keep all the info coming out. Crowley interrupts. Surprise. Romney talks about getting Reps and Dems together in Mass. about assault weapons. Obama's turn: no mention of Fast and Furious. It's all about culture of violence, says Obama, without mention that violent crime is down since the '60s and Hollywood (his bundlers) glorifies violence. Everyone gets a chance to succeed, esp. via education, claiming gains that came from Bush initiatives for No One Left Behind standards.
Round Nine, Outsourcing Jobs: Romney targets China's currency manipulation to keep its currency artificially low. Key to bringing back jobs to US is to make US more attractive for investment. US corporate tax rate highest in world, regs have "quadrupled" under Obama, business "feels under attack", Obamacare is a deterrent to hiring. Obama says he agrees that corporate tax rate should be lowered, but reduce tax benefits from going offshore. Obama wants to double exports. (Devalued dollar helps that!) Crowley asks about cheaper labor in China. Romney says we can compete on level playing field, properly valued currency, no hacking into or stealing our tech, US more attractive. Obama says some jobs can't come back because they're low pay/low skill. We need high value production. Invest in training. Romney says, "government does not create jobs."
Round Ten, Biggest Misperception About You: Romney's passion flows from beliving in G-d and caring for each other. Cites his personal and public accomplishments. "We don't have to settle"...for litany of present bad conditions. Obama denies that government creates jobs, says he believes in free enterprose, but everyone should have a fair shot. I was thinking that the Townhall is almost over and Obama has not trotted out the 47%. Wrong.
That's all folks, for the Townhall. But, not for the commentators. Surprise, network talking heads give the slight decision to Obama. Not the knockout Obama needed. On the other hand, there was nothing likable about Obama's behavior, so likely this didn't help him with women. I think the undecideds will not be decided by this Townhall. Possibly the post-Townhall fact-checking will impact undecideds' view of Obama, by again exposing more lies.
Tracked: Oct 17, 18:59
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
For the fact checkers: Does Obama face ALL the caskets of the returning fallen? (Or do many get missed like the security briefings?, or there is a useful photo op?)
I felt Romney could have helped himself to stay short and respectful of the clock, let the opponent appear like an ankle biter. They both look like ankle biters, especially with some of the weakness of the points being made as the fading punch as the other is walking away to the next question.
Interesting to see what President Romney would do to follow up on his statements on China. I think he oversimplified the position. Maybe the actual policy could do something. Wait and see.
What nobody is admitting on outsourcing jobs is that if politicians didn't do things that: deflate the currency, cause inflation, and cause the endless cycle of raising the minimum wage because of COLA's (repeat that over and over to eternity or insolvency of the country) it wouldn't even be a question.
I'd call this one a draw.
Rose Garden address;
Obama: No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
An act of terror or a terrorist act. I'm certain you can discern the difference.
Language and word sequencing are everything. Acts of terror are essentially a large laundry list of actions that could be perpetrated by anyone or any group. Ever raise a 3 year-old?
Terrorist acts is a tighter list of actions carried out by proud, self-proclaimed, identifiable, Terrorists.
Basic English my friend.
Paul Kuster: Language and word sequencing are everything. Acts of terror are essentially a large laundry list of actions that could be perpetrated by anyone or any group. Ever raise a 3 year-old?
Seriously, Paul Kuster, nothing in the president's comments could be construed to be condemning the acts of a 3 year old.
Obama 9/13/2012: Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week -- we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya. Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed. And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans... So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. (Applause.) I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.)
The issue is two-fold:
1. The President's reference to "terror" is unclear as to whether he is referring to Benghazi ( http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/18/cnn-internal-email-contradicts-crowleys-fact-check/ ) and is unclear as to whether he is referring to an organized attack. Meanwhile, his administration spokespeople continued to characterize the attack as due to the video snip that some Muslims found objectionable, rather than due to finally admitting, weeks later, that it was an organized attack and there was not a protest of the film snips on Youtube.
2. Moderator Crowley injected herself into the debate as a participant, incorrectly as to the fact of the matter, and contrary to her role. (see the link above, again)
Bruce Kesler: The President's reference to "terror" is unclear as to whether he is referring to Benghazi
It's quite clear.
Obama: So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. (Applause.) I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.
There's no other reasonable way to read it. Obama refers directly to those killed in Benghazi, then to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
It's a silly, manufactured controversy by the right, and the end result was to show that Romney is trapped in the right wing echo chamber. The real issues are the obvious failure of security in Benghazi, and the larger problem of how to deal with unrest in the region.
Your closed mindedness is obvious, as is your evasion that Obama at the UN and his spokespeople put the cause upon snippets of a fake film at Youtube rather than an organized terrorist attack the planning for which preceded the news of the film and was timed for 9/11. The cover-up appears to be for no other reason than to salvage Obama's political points that he got Osama and debilitated Al Quaeda, besides his administration making a mess of US foreign policy throughout the Middle East.
Zach, your common technique is to toss out a factoid and ignore the context or the surrounding facts. Very obvious efforts to argue the indefensible. You are a billboard for lefty trolls.
Bruce Kesler: The cover-up appears to be for no other reason than to salvage Obama's political points that he got Osama and debilitated Al Quaeda, besides his administration making a mess of US foreign policy throughout the Middle East.
We responded to the one issue, whether Obama had used the term "act of terror" to refer to the Benghazi attack. He did. More than once.
As we mentioned, there are legitimate issues related to the failure of security in Benghazi, and the overall U.S. policy in the region; but it's hard to have a conversation on those issues when easily verifiable facts are subject to political spin.
Even CBS is on to the Obama/Crowley BS:
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Jan Crawford devoted a full story to President Obama's deceptive claim that he called the Benghazi attack an "act of terror" early on, as she recounted the administration's initial reluctance to call it a terrorist attack. The CBS correspondent also implicated debate moderator and CNN anchor Candy Crowley in bolstering Obama's distortion.
After showing a clip of Obama and Romney clashing over whether Obama had used the words "act of terror" early on, Crawford showed a clip of what the President said the day after the Benghazi attack, but then exposed Obama's revisionism:
But with that statement, Mr. Obama didn't directly say the Libya attack qualified as one of those acts of terror. Earlier in his remarks, he seemed to suggest the attacks instead were triggered by an anti-Muslim video.
After another clip of Obama, she continued:
Top administration officials, including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, delivered that message over the next five days. On Face the Nation, Rice suggested the Benghazi incident might have been triggered by demonstrations in Cairo over the film.
Give it up Zack, or take it to a site where you can make up facts or avoid them.
Bruce Kesler: Even CBS is on to the Obama/Crowley BS
Doesn't change the facts. He clearly and repeatedly referred to the attacks as an "act of terror". While Crawford refers only to the speech in the Rose Garden, the connection is even more clear in his speech the following day.
Probably where the confusion comes is whether it was planned in advance, or was a crime of opportunity due to the instability brought on by the YouTube controversy. It's a silly, manufactured controversy.
Zach: "It's a silly, manufactured controversy."
Only to you and others who try to avoid that this administration doesn't have its head screwed on straight, and instead denies that it was an organized attack, instead blaming a trivial video snip, to avoid admitting that its entire Middle East policy of accomodating extremist Islamists is a failure, and to forestall recrimination for that until after Nov. 6 in order to shield Obama from the voters.
Now, as usual, slither away to trollland where you may be appreciated, and stop wasting my and others time with your evasions.
You obviously have a great deal of trouble with the concept of nuance. Here's perhaps a bit more clarification on the matter.
Maybe being north of the border gives me a different perspective on all this.
I am a husband, father, grandfather and a small business owner. Obama has no idea what he is doing and his turning negative and trying to copy VP Biden's debating style is disgusting. Do you seriously want your kids to look up to people that behave like our President and Vice President has these last two weeks? Romney is way more Presidential than these two fools ever could be.
Debate : Tie
Style : Romney
Truthfulness : Romney
Mean Spirited : Obama
Obama is from the school that believes if you repeat a lie loudly and often, people eventually will believe it as truth. He has always acted like an arrogant egomaniac (and I've heard him prattle since his days as an activist in Chicago).
I would have used the discussion of education to remind voters that Obama and his friend Bill Ayres wasted $50 million of foundation money without changing the outcome of Chicago students (via a critique by the U. of Chicago) and his policies continue to raise the cost of education nationally without improving the employment levels of graduate.
On assault weapons, why are executive orders needed to prevent an investigation into Fast & Furious, which has endangered hundred in Mexico, Americans along our borders and encouraged drug cartels. While the crime rate has decreased nationally, young men in Chicago and Detroit are killiing and maiming people nightly, thanks to AG Holder refusing to take a stand on prosecuting Black thugs and, notably, the intimidating Black Panthers.
Romney tried to expose the misinformation on Libya, but Crowley interrupted. Obama lies and passes the buck, his Alinsky training at its best.
Realizing this is a sexist comment, I go forth. It would appear to me, a woman, that the children of the dem party need mommy-like figures(moderators) to protect them from the mean, adult men of the republican party.
There was a Planned Parenthood moment and I think Romney missed a great opportunity. What do we need PP for when Obamacare will provide free contraception, abortion, mammograms, etc.? Aren't we paying twice for the same services as federal money goes to PP?
And after these nearly four years, you still believe him. Keepin' the faith. Ummmmmmm hmmmmmmmmm.
Bruce Kesler: Round One, Jobs: Both promise jobs in the future. Romney has experience creating jobs. Obama has had 4-years not doing so.
Bruce Kesler: Round Two, Energy: Obama says oil imports lowest in 20-years. Doesn't mention depressed economy uses less.
That's a reasonable point, though U.S. GDP is now higher than before the recession.
Bruce Kesler: Romney points out that all increases in production on private land and despite federal interference and opposition.
That is incorrect. There was a large loss in production due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but overall production has still increased more than 10% since 2008.
Bruce Kesler: Round Three, Taxes: Romney will not raise taxes on middle class, and will broaden tax base.
According to Romney, the rich will still pay the same, the middle class will pay less, but the result will be deficit neutral. Huh?
In any case, several studies have shown the math doesn't add up.
Bruce Kesler: Round Four, Women:
Bruce Kesler: Round Five, Bush?
Heh. Obama muffed a softball.
Bruce Kesler: Round Six, What Have You Done Obama?
Navigated the U.S. through the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, leaving the U.S. with among the strongest developed economies in the world.
Bruce Kesler: Round Six, Immigrants
Bruce Kesler: Round Seven, Libya: Obama cares about his representatives around the world. Then says he got Osama and out of Iraq, and on way out of Afghanistan, so trust him that he will get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi.
Okay. Romney should have pointed out the failure of security in Libya, an important and legitimate issue, rather than pushing the obviously manufactured Fox News controversy.
Bruce Kesler: Round Eight, Assault Weapons: Obama, keep them out of hands of abusers.
Obama expressed support for the Second Amendment, particularly with regards to self-defense. He supports laws against assault weapons, but pointed out that cities are often beset by violence associated with cheap handguns. This implies there is no easy solution, but to build stronger families and communities, and provide more opportunities.
Bruce Kesler: Round Nine, Outsourcing Jobs
Romney is a recognized expert on outsourcing.
Bruce Kesler: Round Ten, Biggest Misperception About You: Romney's passion flows from beliving in G-d and caring for each other.
A lot of fundamentalist Christians have long considered Mormonism a cult. One of Romney's apparent motivations is to bring Mormons into mainstream acceptance.
Many of the misperceptions of Obama are the usual Kenyan, usurper, very urban, Indonesian, black radical, fascist, metrosexual, socialist, racist, atheist, Muslim variety.
"Bruce Kesler: Round Three, Taxes: Romney will not raise taxes on middle class, and will broaden tax base.
According to Romney, the rich will still pay the same, the middle class will pay less, but the result will be deficit neutral. Huh?
In any case, several studies have shown the math doesn't add up."
Um, do you not see the words 'broaden the base'???? This is how you increase the amount of taxes coming into the government...not by raising taxes, but by increasing overall employment. How can unemployed people provide taxes? They can't. If we got back to a 5% unemployment rate (during most of the Bush years), our tax base would broaden. This is how you raise more money. DUH.
That's not what the term "broaden the tax base" usually means, but reducing deductions so more income or goods are subject to taxation.
In your own post-debate debate, all you raise is nothings and quibbles. In the actual debate, Obama edged on debating points, but registered voters gave the edge to Romney on the specific issues, and on who will better lead us in the next four years as a good indicator of for whom they will vote.
Zach, stop wasting our time. The clock is over for you, a running joke.
Bruce Kesler: Only to you and others who try to avoid that this administration doesn't have its head screwed on straight
Perhaps. There were obviously a number of failures which should be investigated and understood. But the question on this thread was whether Obama said "act of terror" with respect to the attack in Benghazi.
"Please proceed governor"