Tag Archives: 2012 elections

Liveblogging debate #3, or ‘what the hell do we do when this one’s over?’

1030 pm – okay, moving into closing statements. I’ll just listen. Liveblogging over.

1028 pm -Mitt says American such a prosperous nation, it’s a shame what’s happened in last four years.

1027 pm – are closing statements scheduled? We’ve got 3 minutes left.

1024 pm  – Ooooh, Mitt’s feelings are hurt. Obama called him names. And again, more lying. It’s getting to Obama. Mitt is slimey smooth. Obama is frustrated and pissed. Solyndra!!! Romney is doing that condescension again. And he can overtalk anyone. The man is unbeleivable. Just unbeleivable. He just talks and talks and talks and he lies and lies and lies. Quite remarkable.

1023 pm – Obama: America is a Pacific power. So there.

1021 pm – Obama – we’re not buying cars from China, we’re selling cars to China! US exports to China have doubled since ’09. So, Mitt?

1019 pm – BUT, currency manipulator!! Day One! So now he’s listing all the bad bad things China is doing,, but, you know, not an adversary in any shape or form. Egad.

1015 pm – Obama: China adversary and potential partner. Mitt: First, government bad. “we don’t have to be an adversary in any shape or form’. I cannot beleive he just said that! Is Mitt chiding prez for not being nice enough to China?

THIS THING is a draw so far. Romney, lying little shit that he is, sounds strong. He’s been reminded of his manners, and that helps. Obama is strong and I think he’s getting a bit pissed with the lying  . . .

1010 pm – Schieffer just said “obama’ for “osama’.. Nice.

1008 pm – Obama: we’re are so getting out of Afghanistan!

1004 pm – Romney talking Afghan as if he were president and listing all that he’s done and how good it is. But, Pakistan!! Some people think it doenst matter (oh, not you Mr. President).  O Christ, he wants benchmarks for Pakistan. He’s going to fix Pakistan.

1003 pm – Romney tried the talk over moderator again. Scheiffer shut him down and it passed. Someone obviously had a cautionary word with Mitt before tonight

958 pm – Obama didn’t have fundraisers when he went to Israel. Romney took donors with him. So there! Ooooh, Romney says he has such a great relationshhip with Netanyahu, Israel wouldn’t do anything like bomb Iran without talking to Mitt first. They’re close. Really close.

956 pm – Romney says it’s four years later than when Obama came into office. And he hurt Israels’ feelings.

953 pm – oooh, Mitt’s saying Chavez and other scary names.

Obama didn’t save Iran – he was probably dreaming of socialist utopias. Also, Romney doing some serious lying here.

950 pm – here comes that creepy smile again. He’s smirking – who knew the man could smirk?

947 pm – Mitt repeating Obama’s words re Iran. He seems to think his words are original. Sanctions? Mitt called for them five years ago, so I guess that’s why we have them today. But he would of course ‘tighten’ them. Does he know Iran’s currency has crashed? He’ll launch diplomatic efforts – clever lad. He thinks Prez Ahmajinidad should be dragged before world court for genocide because of what he said? Puzzling.

946 pm – stupid Israel question. Is an attack on them an attack on us? (Does Schieffer watch the news?)

944 pm – Obama. We don’t have as many ships as whenever, true. But we also don’t have as many horses or bayonets.

940 pm – Barry on military for a minute or two. Somehow Mitt is talking again. And boy oh boy! He balanced budgets lots of them. Romney won’t cut military. Sinking down to Limbaugh type talking points about numbers of ships and planes and the sequester.

939 pm – Romney is utterly shameless. Absolutely  shameless. Taking credit for stuff he didn’t do. Insisting he did it. And he’s still talking. Obamacare goes! He’ll cut ‘programs’.  Balanced budget – presto!

937 pm – I’d like to see who ends up having had more speaking time. Sure feels like Romney right now.

932 pm – Mitt said our alliances are weak. Barry says Romney wants to go back to Bush/Cheney days. Mitt says he has a plan too. He’ll get America working again. Five Steps!!!!! Energy independance! More trade! Latin America! China? Meh, China doesn’t matter. Latin America! Schools! Kids! Balanced budget! Or we’re Greece ya’know. Champion small business!!

931 pm – Mitt’s been speaking for a long long time. Also, we blew it in Iran.

930 pm – Mitt loves our military and allies. And America. And guess what, we have 42 allies. Obama destroyed America! Mitt going all flag waving and bumper sticker. America must be strong. America must leave. But Obama ruined economy – no jobs, bad bad Obama, what a mess he made. Also, our military needs to be stronger. Again!

925 pm – Barry talking Egypt – Israel, women, counter terrorism – talking region, goals of peoples there. Mitt says he agreed with Obama re Egypt at time of revolution, except, see, Obama blew it cuz he didn’t see it coming and control every single second of the revolution.

920 pm – question: would you do no fly zones in Syria? Mitt – no military intervention. None. But still, Obama screwing it up. Ahhh, ‘we have to make sure they have the arms they need’. Again, pretty much exactly what we’re doing right now.

918 pm -Barry: intervening has risks and is very serious. Who is the ‘opposition’. Romney: Syria important! Israel! Seeing to replacement govt be responsible people. No war! Actually,, he’s basically rephrasing everything Obama just said. He’s talked about Isreal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia – no mention of Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey who are being pulled in right now??? Hey Mitt, what about them?

915 pm – Syria bad bad bad.  Barry talking, Mitt can’t wait to hit back.

914 pm part deux – Barry is saying Commander in Chief a lot. Romney looking over with that genuinely creepy smile of his.

914 pm – arguing! Anyone involved in a drinking game can now take a sip

911 pm – Re Romney’s earlier claim that Russia is our greatest foreign threat: “The 1980’s are calling,, they want their foreign policy back.” Obama to Romney. Good.

908 pm – Barry didn’t say bin Laden. (but he wanted to!)

907 pm – Mitt says we can’t kill our way out of this mess. Peacenik.

906 pm – Barack looks steely eyed.

904 pm – Libya!

901 pm – the rules are, oh hell,, who cares.

9 pm – And we’re off.

What mac said in 2010. (We wuz smart!)

In comments below, talking about Obama, mac just reminded me of a dialogue he and I had in June of 2010, after he posted 10 reasons Obama is quitting in 2012. I just re-visited the post – quite prophetic and a must read – our conversation back then is eerily accurate, given that it was only 15 months into the presidency. (I am surprised that I’d had so many misgivings s0 early –  I’d actually forgotten.)

I think mac got it right in all ten points, except for thinking that it would be Obama’s decision not to do a second term. If there’s no second term, the decision will not have been his.

2751 comments on a single post. Alas, not mine.

I’ve never seen a number like that. That comment thread is at David Corn’s original MoJo article about the video from a Romney fundraiser where, to quote Corn:

Romney displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don’t contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative.

2751 Frackin’ comments! Also, class warfare anyone?

UPDATE: In comments, mac adds this (wowza!):

But guess what Moe! Just saw that the original post on HuffPo about the video – which has become the most commented EVER at their site..

167,682 comments.

Yes. 167 thousand comments.

This is adorable: Todd Akin refers to himself in the third person

I just got an email campaign ad from Rep. Todd Aiken. I was thrilled because I’d been afraid he would never  call, never write.

Here’s some of it. Check out the language:

For too long, the Party Bosses – the same ones that left Todd Akin for dead politicially — have come to you hat in hand for your support. They ask for your money, your time, and your energy.

They raise money from pro-life supporters like you and me, but they then turn around and give it to people like Scott Brown, but not Todd Akin. Enough is enough!

Like Mike Huckabee said: “If they don’t want us, then they don’t need us.”

Mike and Janet Huckabee have donated the maximum to Todd Akin because they know that Todd won’t just talk the talk, he will walk the walk.

Todd Akin doesn’t shy away from what he believes in. He will STAND UP for life, regardless of the political consequences. Won’t you consider helping Todd stand for life?

If you want a candidate who says “NO” to the corrupt Party Bosses and “YES” to life, support Todd Akin today!

Sincerely,

Todd

Actually, I don’t think he has any eyelids

Mitch McConnell: worst. speaker. ever.

Excuse me?

So, here comes a somewhat ordinary political story – Obama has chosen very poorly by naming Cardinal James Dolan, the Archbishop of New York to give the closing prayer at the DNC Convention (and why the hell is there a prayer anyway!). The choice is not going down well in the LGBT community, a key Democratic constituency. Dolan is a heavyweight and plays a big role in the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay rights (otherwise a not-bad guy by all reports). So, all the ingredients for a good solid and typical political story.

But then there’s this:

Dolan . . . is also slated to give the closing prayer at this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Both conventions? Both?

Hey, let’s just invite him to join the Cabinet – whoever’s Cabinet it ends up being since he’s already seated at the table.

Cool. Help is at hand.

I just learned from Ann Romney that Medicare isn’t the only thing the Republicans are going to save from those black-hearted Democrats. Thank Elvis, they’re gonna save the women too! The GOP has our back girls!

Yeah Mitt!

(IN FAIRNESS: The woman is a terrific speaker.)

Dear CNN: bite me


Now this is going to be useful! YouTube has launched an Elections Hub channel for 2012 and I think I’m going to like it. It’s here. From their own announcement, it will be:

. . . .a one-stop channel for key  political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle . . .  videos from politicians and parties, plus a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage . . . from the conventions to the debates to election night.

They’ll offer live and on-demand stuff from ABC, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Univsion . . .

Reminds me of something

Paul Ryan just descended to the podium on a walkway from the USS Wisconsin. I’m trying to think . . . battleship? politician? Damn it, I know it reminds me of something.

New Republican candidate with some chops. I’ll keep an eye on him and I think I’ll donate to the Democrat

Meet Ted Cruz. The new Marco Rubio, but smarter. He’s a Harvard educated Tea Partier and once clerked for William Rehnquist. Slightly contradictory but hardly insubstantial credentials.

The story is at Politico;  here’s some commentary from Think Progress, which is not enthusiastic:

. . .  his considerable intellect is rivaled by his very poor judgment. Here are just five of the most revealing windows into Cruz’ Tea Party worldview:

1) Believes George Soros Leads A UN conspiracy To Eliminate Golf: . . . Cruz lays the blame for this global anti-golf conspiracy at the feet of a well-known Tea Party boogieman — “The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros.”

2) Wants To Gut Social Security: In an interview with the Texas Tribune Cruz labeled Social Security a “ponzi scheme” and outlined a three-step plan to gut this essential program. (And, surprise!, he wants to privatize it.)

3) Wants To Party Like It’s 1829: The Constitution provides that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land,” and thus cannot be nullified by rogue state lawmakers. Cruz, however, co-authored an unconstitutional proposal claiming two or more states could simply ignore the Constitution’s command and nullify the Affordable Care Act so long as they work together. . . Cruz falsely claimed that states do not need to meet these Constitutional requirements to undermine laws they don’t like.

4)  Is An Islamophobe:  . . .  claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in this country.

5) Campaigned On How He Helped Texas Kill A Mexican: “Cruz fought all the way to the Supreme Court” after “the UN and World Court overruled a Texas jury’s verdict to execute an illegal alien.”. . . the case Cruz won had nothing to do with whether Texas had the authority . . . it concerned whether Texas could defy a treaty requiring it to inform foreign nationals who are arrested of their right “to request assistance from the consul of his own state.” Even North Korea honored this treaty that Cruz fought to undermine.

So, more good fun ahead.

 

They want to rig it, not fix it

Isn’t it a comfort to know that Gov. Voldemort and his paranoid cynical minions in the Florida Republican Patty are moving aggressively, along with other Republican legislatures, to fix a non-problem that they invented out of thin air ? Just like with that earlier threat to the nation, ‘Welfare Queens’, attention must be paid!

Voter registration fraud must be stopped! And dammit, here in Florida, we’re making that happen. Just in my own tri-county area, where we’ve finished running the State lists against our own rolls, of our 100K+ registered voters, two have been proved to be cases of actual voting fraud. Two whole people.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars plus thousands of man hours from public employees have been expended. Two cases.

Today, The NY Times (sorry, no linkee) reports that in 2005, the election reform bipartisan ‘commision of  that day, led by former Sect’y of State James Baker and former Prez Jimmy Carter, found  that 140,000 Florida voters were registered for absentee ballots in four other states – 46,000 in New York City alone. Another 60,000 were also registered  simultaneously in North or South Carolina. When a few thousand of those registered for absentee ballots in Florida, their second state, there was no investigation. Repeat, there was no investigation.

In a comment thread over at MashedPotatoBulletin about the voter ID push, I said:

I don’t think many people would object if the process were announced and then implemented over a period of years allowing sufficient time for everyone to get the ID. Once we’ve all got one, it’ll be easy to put a process in place to plug in new voters as they qualify. In fact, I think every citizen should be issued a voter ID card whether they register or not. Just get it done and cut out that silly middle step.. It could be Federal and make it acceptable for all States.

If it were done that way, I’d be fine with it. But of course that’s not how it’s being done because ID itself is not the point. Suppression is the point.

Onward Christian soldiers. March as to war; it’s the Republican way.

Video

I think this is the best political ad I’ve ever seen

Devastating.

I really should visit Rolling Stone more often

This is pure political gold – from Matt Taibbi, a famously smart person and one I used to read a lot.

Most presidents have something under the hood – wit, warmth, approachability, something. Even the most liberal football fan could enjoy watching an NFL game with George Bush. And even a Klansman probably would have found some of LBJ’s jokes funny. The biggest office in the world requires someone who buzzes with enough personality to fill the job, and most of them have it.

But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations. He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair. Instincts like those are probably what made him a great leveraged buyout specialist, but in a public figure? He is a disaster.

 

A new resource for political bloggers – thanks Josh!

The season is almost upon us and Talking Points Memo has very thoughtfully launched a new site, PollTracker, that features – are you ready bloggers? – a Presidential Dashboard! Great stuff – all the polls, all the breakdowns, the latest in the swing states.

I was surprised to Obama leading (sometimes only by a nose) in all 12 swing states. Today, anyway. I expect to visit often. And so should you.

 

Blogging resumes tomorrow perhaps . . . but first a warm up

Remember: he impreached Clinton

“Newt Gingrich signed a ‘no adultery’ pledge. Out of habit he signed it John Smith.” – Jay Leno

The ones he married

I know it’s silly to waste space on this – Gingrich is finished in this primary – but  his sanctimonious moralizing really annoys me.

Move over Glenn Beck – make room for the ABC team.

These aren't the clowns tonight

Is there no end to the stupidity of these debate questioners? Diane Sawyer? Really? George Stephanopoulos? Really?

Stephanopoulos just grilled Romney demanding that he issue an opinion –  a legal opinion I assume since he makes a point of the fact that Romney went to law school a gazillion years ago – on whether states can constitutionally ban contraception. Romney points out that no state wants to ban contraception and no state has ever wanted to ban contraception. But George will not be stayed. He seems to think it’s important and by elvis, he wants his answer.

He is a fool.

Ahhh – the audience comes to the rescue. They are booing Stephanopoulos. Smart audience.

Okay, I’ll bite.

Romney.

You know what would be funny?

Mitt Romney winning Iowa would be funny.

Crow pie? Not likely.

Donald is having a big debate and nobody is coming.  Well, noboby who isn’t named Newt Gingrich anyway. (Even Bachmann backed out.)

Cause, I think, for celebration.

How did I miss this? But of course!

 

 

But it’s entertaining, and that’s what matters here

Mac this morning; from an article from Der Spiegel, the largest circulation newspaper in Germany, read all over the world. And this is what they think of our GOP clown train.

(To those who disdain all those ‘elite Europeans” – opinions matter. They matter in business, in investments, and in diplomatic relations. They really matter.)

The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country’s reputation. . . .

They lie. They cheat. They exaggerate. They bluster. They say one idiotic, ignorant, outrageous thing after another. They’ve shown such stark lack of knowledge — political, economic, geographic, historical — that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein and even cause their fellow Republicans to cringe.

“When did the GOP lose touch with reality?” wonders Bush’s former speechwriter David Frum in New York Magazine. In the New York Times, Kenneth Duberstein, Ronald Reagan’s former chief-of-staff, called this campaign season a “reality show,” while Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan confidante Peggy Noonan even spoke of a “freakshow.”

Here’s the Der Spiegel headline: A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses

They’ve got this part right:

So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the “American Idol” and “X Factor” contestants littering today’s TV. The cruder, the dumber, the more bizarre and outlandish — the more lucrative. Especially for Fox News, whose viewers were recently determined by Fairleigh Dickinson University to be far less informed than people who don’t watch TV news at all.

I’m so proud.

Why Newt won’t win

Aside from the lobbying, the half million dollar Tiffany bill, the three wives and his famous thin skin, there is this (h/t Don). (Also, those thin lips . . .)

Again? Christie says “Obama’s just a bystander”

Has he noticed Romney sliding? Have the pleadings of adoring fans and desperate Republicans broken through his usual good sense and otherwise honest assessment of himself?  It can all be pretty seductive. Convention draft anyone?

Romney and Pawlenty even look like Kerry and Edwards

Yeah, that’s Moe’s prediction – Romney picks Pawlenty (unless he’s another Mormon – that would be a spoiler for sure. Is he?).

(By the way, go google images for Kerry and Edwards – was there something going on there that we missed?)

Say no more . . . our shame is complete

This is what it’s come to – child labor laws bad, suffering good.

Say it ain’t so Newt

I know it’s hard to believe, but The Newtster is a hypocrite.

Newt Gingrich slammed Democrats in 2008 as wholly owned subsidiaries of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Guess it takes one to know one.

As Republicans presidential nominee John McCain struggled to match his opponent in the polls, Newt Gingrich urged the Senator to reboot his campaign by relentlessly attacking Democrats for being too close to housing giant Freddie Mac.

That would be the same Newt Gingrich who took a reported $1.6 million in “consulting fees” from Freddie Mac during an eight-year relationship that had ended only months earlier.

He says today he was a consultant to Freddie Mac/Mae. I think last week he thought he’d been engaged as an historian.

Let’s just pin the tail on the donkey. Now, that’s leadership!

From the transcript of Cain’s interview at the Milwakee Journal-Sentinel

He defended his view that presidents and presidential candidates don’t need to be immersed in the fine print of world affairs – they simply need to be leaders who can surround themselves with the right people and sift through their advice.

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out,” he said, a dig at his critics.

So he’s saying he will make decisions on which advisor to believe, and he doesn’t need any personal knowledge to evaluate that advice. Okay.

“I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president (people say) you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t! That’s not good decision-making,” said Cain.*

Having the answer is not good decision-making. Doing what someone else has decided is good decision-making. Okay that too.

The constant iteration ‘I’ll listen to the commanders on the ground’. is nonsense. The generals’ job is to determine a strategy to fulfill the mission as defined by civilians, in the person of the CinC.  (Has there ever been a general for whom more troops and more weapons is not the answer to everything?)  That statement almost always goes unchallenged.

*I guess the man means: I’m not supposed to know anything about the Constitution.

Seven Dwarfs are falling down, falling down . . .

Hats off to Scott Pelley and Major Garret, moderaters of tonight’s Republican debate. It was structured and had rules and they made the candidates stick to them, even holding back Bachmann, who tried (“But, Scott!, but Scott!”) repeatedly to cut in – something she’d managed to do in previous debates. But not this time.

I was struck again by how genuinely clueless are Perry, Cain and Bachmann. They’ve repeatedly revealed that they lack all knowledge of this nation’s history, its laws, it relationships around the world or its responsibilities at home and abroad.  And yet there they are, still standing.

Ron Paul and Santorum are running in the roles of ‘true-beleivers’. Paul is principled and knowledgable and is out there to deliver his libertarian message as honestly as he can. Santorum too (strike me dead Elvis!) is principled, and he’s surprised and impressed me a few times.

I’m confused by Hunstman. He’s smart, capable, attractive in multiple ways, yet remains the invisible man. It’s not likely he hopes to be a second Mormon on the Romney ticket in 2012. So why is he there? Like I said, I’m confused by him.

And the Newtser? Ah, the lad is just giving his ego an outing, selling some books, and trying to get those speaking fees up – you know, trying to make a living.

And that leaves Romney. Who actually is running.

Never gonna happen

(UPDATE below) Since there is apparently another GOP Presidential candidate debate tonight (twice a week now), let’s look at this gem from David Frum (my favorite no-longer-crazy Bush guy) in its entirety:

Had I been on the panel for Wednesday’s economics debate, I’d have opened with the question: “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Just for fun.

CBS and National Journal asked me among others to suggest some questions to ask the candidates . .  My suggested list follows.

1. Mexico is being torn apart by a civil war to control the drug routes to the United States. Many Mexican leaders urge drug legalization in the US in order to move the drug trade away from violent criminals to legitimate business. If a Mexican president asked you to consider such a step, what would you answer and why?

2. Canada is our largest trading partner and most important energy supplier. What do you see as the major issues between the US and Canada and what would you do to strengthen this supremely important relationship?

3. If asked, would you support a US contribution to the fund to stabilize the Euro currency? Why or why not?

4. Taiwan is China’s largest foreign investor. Taiwan and China have an intensifying economic relationship. Taiwan has refused to make the military investments that our military considers necessary to Taiwan’s security. Is the US security guarantee to Taiwan obsolete?

5. If you had been president in 2010, would Hosni Mubarak still be in power today?

6. Do you believe there is a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

7. It’s often said that our present energy policy leaves us dependent on oil suppliers who do not like us. Our top 10 suppliers are:

Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, Algeria, Iraq, Angola and Colombia.

The anti-US feeling of the Chavez regime is notorious. Which of the other 9 would you describe as a supplier who “does not like us”?

8. Afghanistan: At the end of your first term do you think we’ll have more or less than 20,000 troops in that country?

9. Iraq: Knowing everything you know now, if you had been in Congress in 2002, would you have voted to authorize force against Saddam Hussein, yes or no?

Good questions, all of them. However, attention must be paid to 9-9-9 and Texas.

MEA CULPA UPDATE: The debate is now over. I watched it. And the moderators from CBS and National Journal asked intelligent and relevant policy questions. They really did.