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Friday Talking Points [222] -- A Really Boring Election?

[ Posted Friday, August 10th, 2012 – 16:56 PDT ]

From time to time, here in these pages, we take the opportunity to pre-empt our usual talking points and instead offer up a rant. These rants are usually pretty feisty, and are fun for the whole family (so to speak). This week, we don't precisely know what to call what we've done in the talking points segment, since we don't know what the opposite of a "rant" is (maybe "snooze-fest"?). It may be boring, mostly because the subject matter is how boring the election season has so far been. If that doesn't sound like fun (for any member of the family), then I wouldn't blame you if you decided to take a nap rather than read it.

With that "fair warning" out of the way, there are two highly amusing talking points coming from the Republican camp this week. If your irony-detector is as acute as mine, you'll appreciate the GOP completely and utterly destroying two of their bedrock positions just to score a few cheap political points. I don't know about you, but I find this sort of thing to be one of the more enjoyable forms of political entertainment around.

First out of the chute was Mitt Romney taking Barack Obama to task because (wait for it...) two Republican governors asked for waivers so that the big, bad federal government would give them more local power and control over a federal program. Mitt Romney himself, when he was a governor, asked for the same sort of waiver on welfare benefits. Now he is, apparently, against them because Barack Obama is in the White House. The hilariousness of a Republican trying to score political points off of an action taken by two Republican governors is simply off the charts, folks. What it translates into is nothing more than: "Republicans wanted more local control rather than federal government regulations, and the Democrat in the White House is bad because he agreed with the Republican governors." I mean, is the Romney team just getting desperate? They sure seem to be flailing around on this one.

But it's not just Romney who is turning previously agreed to Republican dogma on its head. There's a group of Republicans in Congress who are touring swing states warning that the sky is about to fall -- because government jobs will be lost. For the past thirty or forty years, Republicans have sworn up and down that "government doesn't create jobs" and that any attempts at using federal dollars to create any jobs, anywhere, was the absolute definition of "evil" (or perhaps just "stupidity"). Now, however, Republicans are warning everyone who works -- directly or indirectly -- for the Pentagon that they're going to get a pink slip in a few weeks -- because of something many Republicans actually voted for. "Oh no!" they cry. "Jobs will be lost if the budget is cut!" Also: "Why oh why did we vote to cut the budget?" Well, maybe not, on that last one.

The tears shed by GOP politicos can only be described as "crocodilian" (if that's even a word... I have my doubts). I mean, seriously, guys, you're now arguing government money is necessary for jobs, budget deficit be damned? The hypocrisy raises such a stench it's hard to get within a ten-mile radius of these opportunistic flibbertigibbets. Where is some Jimmy Olsen local reporter to ask them point blank: "So, Senator, does government spending create good jobs, or not?"

OK, enough laughing at Republicans standing Republican ideology on its head, we've got lots to get through today, so let's just get on with it.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Nobody impressed us this week in the world of Democratic politics. Congress scarpered off to more pleasant climes than the swamp known as Washington, the Olympics distracted the media, and the only thing worth noting was a progressive group presenting Harry Reid with a pair of boxing gloves for bringing the fight to Mitt Romney on taxes. That was impressive enough, but we spent all last week discussing Reid, so even that failed to qualify this week.

So instead of the MIDOTW award, we're going to hand out a Most Impressive Non-Partisan Government Agency Of The Week award to the folks at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for the stunningly successful landing of the robot explorer "Curiosity" on the planet Mars.

The maneuvers for entering the Martian atmosphere and landing the rover seemed designed by the ghost of Rube Goldberg. I heard a NASA scientist being interviewed who said that 79 separate rockets had to fire during the landing, and if any one of them failed the whole thing would go kerblooey (I am paraphrasing, here). Even with that insane level of complexity -- even with the rocket/helicopter "sky crane" lowering the rover on a cable while hovering above -- NASA managed a perfect landing. That is worth some sort of award, surely.

Contrary to the popular dismissive saying, this is rocket science, folks. One thing most of the media missed is that "real-time" control is absolutely impossible from Earth, at such a distance. There is no guy with a figurative joystick who is able to control what is happening. The planet is so far away that if it was tried, no matter what problem you try to correct, it will have already happened a long time in the past. Meaning the entire landing sequence was pre-programmed and all the NASA folks could do was hope that it worked and sweat it out like everyone else watching.

I apologize for saying it, since it's so overused during gymnastics coverage, but NASA "perfectly stuck the landing." Well done, NASA scientists. Our first MINPGAOTW award goes out to you.

[You can follow Curiosity's progress from its NASA mission page, or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Curiosity page.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We've got some new business, and some old business to take care of this week. First, the new. A (Dis-)Honorable Mention goes out to Attorney General Eric Holder this week, for his pathetic record on prosecuting financial fraud. Not just because he won't prosecute any one particular bank, mind you, but for the graph which RJ Eskow helpfully includes in his article today reaming the Justice Department for being completely asleep at the switch on financial fraud prosecutions -- during Obama's entire term. You can quibble about one bank's non-prosecution, but the record this graph shows is indefensible, taken as a whole.

But even that didn't rise to the level of the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Because what actually happened last week was so far beyond merely being "disappointing" that we can't see handing the award to anyone other than Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Even if it did happen last week (while we were busy with Harry Reid's big fight).

The Chick-fil-A controversy was something we initially didn't pay much attention to, truth be told. I seriously doubt the corporation is going to pay much of a price for its political activity, because Chick-fil-A is based mostly in the South, and that sort of thing plays pretty well politically in the region. But the two mayors both made monumentally stupid statements during the controversy which should be denounced by every American, no matter what your political stripe.

Corporations are allowed to do whatever they wish, within the law, with their money. They can donate to any political causes they feel like. That's the American way. If their customers don't like it, then they are free to organize a boycott or other form of protest. That is also the American way.

What is disgustingly un-American is using your political power to deny legal rights to any corporation (or person) because of what they think or say politically (or who they donate money towards). Chick-fil-A never said they were going to illegally discriminate against anyone. The head of the company just doesn't agree with gay marriage, that's all.

There is a word that describes the behavior of the two mayors, who threatened to deny permits to the company to build restaurants in their cities. It is a very old word, and it's almost never used (at least in Democratic circles) these days. The word is "tyranny." If Rahm and Tom had attempted to follow through with their threats, they would have been no better than tinhorn despots. "I don't like you, I don't like your politics, and I'm mayor -- therefore we're going to shut you out of our town" is not the American way, by any stretch of the imagination. It is dictatorial. It is, in fact, tyranny.

So while we had thought that Rahm Emanuel had won his last MDDOTW of all time, both Rahm and Tom Menino are hereby awarded retroactive Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards. For shame, guys. I mean, really: for shame.

[Contact Mayor Rahm Emanuel via the City of Chicago official contact page, and Mayor Tom Menino via his official contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 222 (8/10/12)

I know this could get me kicked out of the Partisan Pundits, Prognosticators, and Proselytizers Club, but I just can't ignore the subject any longer.

Are we in the midst of a really, really boring election? Is it going to stay boring right up to the end?

I know, I know, I'm just not supposed to say things like that. Like all credentialed members of the Punditocracy, I have been writing my share of the "Oh no! Election close! Woo hoo! Look over here, folks!" type of articles this season. It's expected in any election year, and I do my part to deliver, every Friday.

Perhaps it's because it's hot out as we loll our way into the dog days of summer, perhaps it's because we haven't yet agreed on which particular inane story of shiny, shiny nothingness the media is going to obsess over during the "Silly Season" of August, perhaps it is just that my brain has been absolutely numbed by the quadrennial awfulness of NBC's Summer Olympics "coverage" -- but for whatever the reason, I just had to take a pause this week to suggest that, perhaps, that Emperor guy over there is wearing less than everybody seems to think.

Oh, I know, there are plenty of reasons why "this is the most important election of your lifetime!" -- but then again, there are always reasons why this particular election is so much more crucial than all others before it or to come. Always. Every single election I've ever voted in has likewise been served up as the "most important" of all time, period.

But the reality seems to be that just about everyone has already made up their minds. Since the beginning of the calendar year, many important issues have come up in the world of politics. Contentious issues. Bold stances taken, bold stances denounced, with plenty of mealy-mouthed waffling as well. On both sides of the political aisle. There has been good news for Democrats at times, and at other times good news for Republicans. There has been good -- and also disappointing -- news on the economy. During this entire period, President Barack Obama's job approval rating has stayed remarkably steady -- within, in fact, the microscopic range of 1.9 percentage points. His disapproval rating was even tighter. If you remove January's numbers (when the Republican primary season was at its height), Obama's approval and disapproval numbers have stayed within a range of one percentage point since February. National polling between Romney and Obama has also stayed fairly stable, with Obama consistently averaging out a slight (but not overwhelming) edge -- as, indeed, most incumbents do. Watching the state-by-state polling is even more boring, as few states appear to be swinging much at all, and Obama shows a much bigger lead (but again, not yet overwhelming) than in national polling.

Time and time again, some burning issue-of-the-day is put under the cable television and blogospheric microscope, and fits of the vapors ensue on one side or the other. Gay marriage! Immigration! Tax returns! Jobs! Health care! We've even had a dancing horse in the mix, completing the "center ring of the circus" feel. Throughout it all, the American public has hardly budged, in one direction or the other. Somewhere around 47 or 48 percent are pretty much locked in for each candidate, and the remaining five percent will determine the election. That's "close" and "exciting" when looked at one way, but it's also pretty boring when you don't focus on the five percent, but on the 95 percent who might as well just mail in their votes early.

Maybe that's overstating it a bit, but it's hard to argue that at least nine in ten Americans who vote have pretty much made up their minds at this point. Americans who don't vote don't count, of course. Not in the insulting sense of the phrase, but in the literal sense -- if you don't vote, then you simply are not included when the votes are counted.

Mitt Romney has been teasing the media for weeks now on who he will pick for his running mate. Unfortunately for Mitt, the lesson of the last election hangs heavy over the GOP: when your candidate is boring, sometimes adding "excitement" to the ticket can spectacularly backfire on you. Mitt Romney, not unlike John McCain, is just not that charismatic a guy out on the stump. This raises a conundrum. If Mitt picks someone "exciting" he risks being overshadowed by the junior member of the ticket. If Mitt picks someone safe, it's just going to crank up the boredom. Yet this is the position Mitt finds himself in: seriously contemplating people like Tim Pawlenty and Rob Portman, neither of which could remotely be considered "exciting" in any way, shape, or form. Romney/Pawlenty? I think half the nation just dropped off to sleep, there. Perhaps they'll campaign on: "Doublin' down on the boredom!"

Of course, there are people intensely excited about the presidential race. These people are called "local television station owners" -- who fully expect to surf an absolute flood of advertising money.

Kidding aside, though, even for partisans there seems to be a serious enthusiasm gap on both sides of the aisle this year. Lefties (some of them) are seriously disappointed, if not downright peeved, with some of the things President Obama has done -- or not done. Unlike the caricature painted of him by his opponents, Obama has not really made much of an effort to reach out to his base, with the notable exception of gay rights advocates. But Romney's got the same problem with his base -- many of them flat-out don't trust Romney at all. The Tea Partiers and other hard-right folks are very enthused about voting against Barack Obama, but Romney is not one of those politicians who qualifies as a Tea Party rock star.

Of course, for the rest of us, we sit back and watch the ad wars between the candidates and between the parties. We either snicker heartily or cheer loudly when our side puts out a particularly clever bit of manipulation, and we gnash our teeth or loudly complain when the other side scores a point or two off "our guy." This sort of thing will tide us over until November -- more and more vicious ads that tend to oversimplify complicated issues to a nine-second soundbite. The Punditocracy will breathlessly exclaim that "this is the worst election rhetoric ever in all of American history!" and they will be laughably wrong about it, as usual. This sort of thing has been going on since the "Revolution of 1800" when Thomas Jefferson's opponents regularly called him an atheist who would destroy everything good in America (when they weren't snidely making fun of him and Sally Hemings, that is). Look it up -- elections have always been viciously and intensely fought, at least back to the election of 1828, which quite possibly was the "dirtiest presidential campaign of all time."

The tsunami of television ads will excite partisans, it is true. Both sides will also nervously sweat out a possible election-changing event (or "October surprise"). Some external event could shake the race up completely, such as the financial crisis did (or, more precisely, John McCain's peripatetic response to it) in 2008.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, sooner or later the media is going to get so bored with the race themselves that they'll trot out their go-to default campaign story -- the American public is "disgusted" with how nasty the race has become. Interviews with men and women on the street will get some snappy quotes about how yucky everyone supposedly thinks politics has become, with plenty of speculation about why "things can't be different" (than they've always, always been).

This misses a very crucial point, though. If almost everybody who is going to vote has made up his or her mind, then the entire election boils down to convincing a very tiny slice of the public. A lot of these voters are people who generally don't pay much attention to politics in the first place (not all, but a large percentage of them). There's only one way to reach these people -- by running ads they might see during their favorite television programs. Meaning most of them aren't going to excitedly vote for either candidate, but they'll wind up voting against the other guy, perhaps holding their nose as they vote.

We're all going to get a boatload of obsession over trying to ascertain what these undecided voters are thinking, over the next few months. Tactics and strategies will be attempted, and some will work. The needle may slowly swing one way or another.

Maybe it's me. Maybe it's just hardened cynicism, maybe it's the inherent lassitude of watching an incumbent president run for re-election, maybe it's just a particularly boring (so far) "Silly Season" this year. It could even be Bob Costas-induced brain numbness. But for whatever reason, I just have to say that this election is shaping up to be an exceptionally boring one, at least so far.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

101 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [222] -- A Really Boring Election?”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I apologize for saying it, since it's so overused during gymnastics coverage, but NASA "perfectly stuck the landing." Well done, NASA scientists. Our first MINPGAOTW award goes out to you.

    That landing was truly fascinating to watch! Especially when the little rover sent back pictures so soon after its big feat. (I think that was a little joke)

    Hey, between checking in regularly on Curiosity as it gets ready to rove around Mars and watching the amazing show being put on by Usain Bolt and Company in London (LIVE, I might add!) I've almost forgotten about the boring election campaign ... besides, finishing off your big project is far more important than the politics of this presidential campaign. I'm going to try to take an extended break from it all for a while.

  2. [2] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Rasmussen is reporting a dead heat in Iowa. So here we go with Iowa now. I don't know if I would call this election "boring" so much as "maddening," Chris.

    I would caution the Left not to be too quick to dismiss Romney as "boring," however, or create any false sense of security based on personal likeabilities/favorabilities. I'm not seeing any hard evidence that this is gonna come down to a personality contest. If that were the case, I think charming, smiling, likeable O would've broken out of this dead heat by now.

  3. [3] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Wow, the news is reporting that Romney is gonna make his veep announcement tomorrow morning, 9:00 AM, in Norfolk, VA.
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ROMNEY_RUNNING_MATE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-08-10-23-20-38

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Do you have any predictions as to who it will be?

    I hope it's Paul Ryan!

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If this election is about the economy, then it would seem to me that Romney's pick for running mate would be a no-brainer. After all, he loves the Ryan budget!

  6. [6] 
    Chris1962 wrote:
  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Really! Well, I'll be damned ...

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If that turns out to be true, then the veep debate is going to be more fun than I think I can handle. :)

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Geithner's final (first term) mission should be to advise Biden on how to obliterate the Ryan budget, one piece at a time!

    Can you tell I'm getting excited!?

  10. [10] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Another good read. But, perhaps your analysis of the election results needs tweaking. The election may not be decided by the 5%. Instead, it might be decided by the percent of a candidate's 48% that turn out. In such a scenario, voter ID laws are a potentially effective "strategy."

  11. [11] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    It'll surely be interested. Ryan certainly knows how to state his case and isn't shy about doing so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPxMZ1WdINs

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Obviously, you haven't seen him TRY to go head-to-head with Geithner at one of his committee hearings. Now, THAT's my definition of fun!

  13. [13] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Going a step further and putting $$$ there, each party is going to be spending $2 billion or more (Prez, Senate, House, States, Govs, PACs, etc). The left, starting with $400 mil or more from the Obama campaign might be best served by spending a billion or so on voter registration, turnout, and other efforts rather than on advertising. Oddly, it would create more jobs than ads would, as well.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Speak2,

    They're ALL good reads, without exception.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Speak2,

    It would also be helpful if Team Obama could keep improving on their messaging because, clearly, they still have a long way to go on that front. Which continues to amaze me, especially given that the facts are virtually all on their side.

  16. [16] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I wonder what Team-O is planning to do tommorow at 9:00 AM, to suck the oxygen out of the announcement. They've got all night to come up with something, if they haven't already.

  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Well, the only thing I can conclude is that the Romney team was so upset over my headline that they jumped the gun and had to announce their Veep pick.

    Heh. No, not really. But even I have to admit that things just got a whole lot more interesting.

    Democrats are joyful at the Ryan news, but I have my reservations. I've seen Ryan interviewed, and the one word I'd use to describe him is "unflappable." He stays on message, no matter what. He also has a way of making the craziest plans sound quite ordinary and plausible. I think he's going to be a lot more formidable than the Obama people now expect.

    LizM [1] -

    I had to hold my breath while watching the landing team holding their breath, personally. This is a long-term rover, so we should be seeing cool photos and stuff for years to come.

    Chris1962 -

    Iowa's been pretty soft all year for Obama. Last Electoral Math column (the one before this week's) I had it as "Too Close To Call."

    Yeah, Romney's boring, but this column was really about the whole race being boring. Maybe Ryan'll shake things up, who knows. It does seem awfully weird to make such an announcement late on Friday, on what politicos call "take out the trash day" becuase they know nobody's paying attention, but maybe they just wanted to dominate the Sunday morning shows this week, which is now absolutely guaranteed.

    Speak2 -

    That's a good point. I actually expect turnout to be kind of soft -- down from 2008 levels, I bet. It may come down to which side gets out the vote better than the other. Obama's invested heavily in the "ground game" stuff in many battleground states, so we'll see if it pays off or not, even with the voter ID thing.

    -CW

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I dunno ... but, if you ask me, they are salivating at the prospects!

    Of course, they do have that little problem with respect to messaging so, who knows ... they're probably losing sleep over it. :(

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Maybe Ryan should debate Geithner. I've seen those two in action and I'd love to see it again!

  20. [20] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Thanks, Chris.

    LizM: I think you're underestimating Ryan as a debater. Gore had trouble with Bush. Carter and Mondale both had trouble with Reagan. Biden had trouble with Palin. Debates are an odd thing.

  21. [21] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CW: It does seem awfully weird to make such an announcement late on Friday, on what politicos call "take out the trash day" becuase they know nobody's paying attention, but maybe they just wanted to dominate the Sunday morning shows this week, which is now absolutely guaranteed.

    I'm sure that's the strategy.

    Ryan. Interesting, interesting choice. And I think you're right to have your reservations, for the reasons you've stated. That guy articulates policy very well.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Speak2,

    Biden had trouble with Palin because he didn't want to come off as a cad, for lack of a better word at 2am in the morning!

    Now, the gloves come off!

    Ryan articulates nonsense.

    Good night all!

  23. [23] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'm wondering what kind of a bump Romney is gonna get out of this announcement. Single digits? Double digits? Nothing?

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Actually, there is another option - this pick should put Romney in a bit of a tailspin ... if you know what I mean and I'm not sure that you do.

  25. [25] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW - I think Obama and the Democrats will see this as Christmas come early. All the past few months everyone has been wondering how Democrats are going to tie Romney to the Paul Ryan budget plan. Now they don't need to!

    The Ryan budget polls very poorly with independent voters. He has only a 38% positive approval rating. Most analysts believe this won't be enough to swing Wisconsin, so he didn't even pick a VP from a battleground state that could help swing it.

    I guess nobody high profile in the Republican party wanted this spot (just like how they didn't want to be the candidate either). They'll all have their sights set on 2016. And I also think Romney has been pushed into this, just like he has been pushed by his party to go very far right wing - this won't win him independents.

  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Speak2 [20] -

    I think the Ryan/Biden debate will be fascinating to watch. I think Palin actually hit the high point in her campaign at the one VP debate -- she was more cogent and smooth than at any other time during the campaign. I still think Biden walked away with it (don't worry, Liz), but I was still impressed at how much better Palin did than everyone expected.

    Ryan is no Palin, however, and I mean that in a good way. Ryan is going to be tough to debate, because he can be quite a slippery eel.

    Chris1962 [21] -

    I don't know, the more I think about it the more I wonder. 10:00 at night on a Friday? That smacks of either desperation or ineptitude by the Romney campaign. I think the trio of polls that got released showing Romney down 7 points, 7 points, and 9 points nationally may have spurred them to rush the announcement that was perhaps planned for next week. But perhaps I'm biased, who knows? It's only the uber-wonky who even notice this sort of subtlety, it's not like it's going to change anyone's vote what day the announcement was.

    Chris1962 [23] -

    Nationally, I have no idea (don't really even follow the national polls, they're meaningless with the Electoral College). It may be hard to read -- assume that those three polls (+7, +7, +9) for Obama were just a statistical fluke -- three outliers together, if you will. Maybe Obama is actually around 5-6 points up, and the margin of error just swung a bit in those polls. Well, if polls start to come out showing (for instance) 4, 5, 6 points up, then that may have been reality all along, who knows? But it'll be read as a Romney bounce.

    Now, I'm not trying to dodge the question, just saying I don't follow the national polls quite closely enough to form an intelligent opinion, that's all.

    Much more interesting to me are going to be how three states react: FL, PA, and IA. They all have higher-than-average seniors, especially FL. PA Obama's had a solid edge for a while. IA, Obama's had a slight edge and Rasmussen just put Romney up by 2. FL, Obama's had a microscopic edge, and can be considered "even". Let's see what the polling in all three of those states has to say.

    National polling might be influenced by a lot of hard-righties getting a whole lot more enthusiastic about Romney now that Ryan's on the ticket. But Ryan's weak point is Social Security and Medicare. Those are the big senior issues, so I really think the best measurement of whether Ryan was a good choice or not is going to come out of FL, IA, and PA (maybe OH, too, but not so much). Give it a week or so, then take a look at those states' polling. If Romney doesn't go down there, then Ryan was probably a good pick and might help him nationally. If Romney goes up there, then it was a brilliant pick. If Romney spikes down there, then he may have just kissed off Florida's whopping 29 EV -- which could, indeed, be a fatal mistake.

    So we'll see. Hey, you asked, so there's my take on it.

    michty6 -

    I agree completely with your first paragraph -- this will mean Romney is going to have to answer for every bit of the Ryan budget, and it will put the Ryan budget front-and-center in the campaign. A lot of Americans are about to learn a lot more about this budget in the coming weeks, if Dems have any TV money to spend (and they do).

    As for independents, didn't know that, but it certainly sounds encouraging. As for WI -- that's the one I forgot in my answer to Chris1962 above. WI will also be very interesting to watch. Will there be a "favorite son" bounce for Romney in WI? That is entirely possible. But I'd bet Obama's going to take the state anyway in Nov.

    Interesting speculation about 2016, but I had heard that Ryan wasn't going to take the VP slot for the same reason (had his sights set on 2016), so who knows?

    -CW

  27. [27] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Here's an interesting thought for everyone:

    Will there even BE a "silly season" this year? I mean, with the early VP pick by Romney, it certainly gives everyone something substantial to talk about for the next few weeks, before the conventions start. Will August 2012 go down in history as being the first time in years that everyone in the media didn't simultaneously freak out over some non-story or some hype gone berzerk?

    We haven't had a truly silly obsession yet this year, and with Ryan to talk about, maybe we won't. What do you all think?

    I have to compliment folks, too, for (ahem) raising the level of the typical Friday column's discourse here in the comments. I am going to get back to my other work now, but so far this is the sort of discussion we can all be proud of, so let's all try to keep it that way, shall we?

    [Picture of me with a ruler in hand, standing at front of classroom of unruly hellions, with a frowny stern face... heh]

    :-)

    -CW

  28. [28] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Here's another interesting note:

    This is comment #24992. Who will be the one to write our 25,000th comment? Could it be you?

    Heh.

    (Hint: to see these numbers, mouse-over the "Permalink" at the bottom of comments, or view the URL at the top of your browser right after posting one...)

    -CW

  29. [29] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CW: I think the trio of polls that got released showing Romney down 7 points, 7 points, and 9 points nationally may have spurred them to rush the announcement that was perhaps planned for next week.

    I don't think Team-Romney is studying the same polls you and I are seeing, Chris. (I was just looking at a new poll, showing 12% undecideds. Twelve percent? Really?) But Lord knows what their internals are showing, so you could be right. Or Romney may simply have come to a final decision and wanted to make the introductions before heading out on his swing-state tour, since Ryan certainly changes the entire dynamic of the race, forcing Team-O into addressing budget/economy. And here the press and inside-the-beltway chattering class had convinced themselves that Romney would undoubtedly play it safe. I think folks may be underestimating this CEO. He's striking me as a very strategic, disciplined guy, who knows how to (key) stick to the strategy.

    Well, if polls start to come out showing (for instance) 4, 5, 6 points up, then that may have been reality all along, who knows? But it'll be read as a Romney bounce.

    If Romney gets a bounce, polls are gonna be meaningless until such time as it settles down. I found it interesting that his own campaign came out with the prediction of a double-digit bounce. Since one can be sure they've been polling and focus-groupoing their fool heads off throughout the veep decision-making process, their internal polling may be saying something way different than what we're seeing in the mish-mash of LV, RV and NA out there. I guess we'll find out soon enough. If their pollster comes up with a healthy bounce, they'd be crazy not to publish it.

    Much more interesting to me are going to be how three states react: FL, PA, and IA. They all have higher-than-average seniors

    The interesting thing I find about seniors, with respect to Ryan's medicaid revamp, is that even after the Left threw grandma, in her wheelchair, off the cliff, 59% of seniors turned out for the Republicans in 2010. So seniors, indeed, will be interesting to watch, particularly since Ryan's revamp doesn't even affect them. I get the feeling that as long as Team-R is able to get that message across, seniors will be fine with it. (His revision, with Wyden, also makes it a bipartisan plan.) But I also get the feeling that Team-O and the Left-friendly press are gonna do everything in their power to make seniors believe their medicare is gonna be taken away from them.

    As for independents, didn't know that, but it certainly sounds encouraging.

    Just as an aside, folks should be careful about reading favorabilities for Ryan. If he pulls a low percentage, check the "don't know/not sure/haven't heard enough" number.

    Here's CNN's latest:

    "...Polls show Americans are largely unsure of Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee. A CNN/ORC International survey taken August 7-8 showed 54% of those polled saying they didn't know enough about Ryan to form an opinion. Twenty-seven percent said they viewed the Wisconsin congressman favorably and 19% viewed him unfavorably.

    Among Republicans polled, Ryan's favorability was higher - though 45% still said they didn't know enough about him to form an opinion. Ryan was viewed favorably by 49% of Republicans and unfavorably by 6%.

    Twenty-seven percent of independents surveyed viewed Ryan favorably, compared to 22% who said they had an unfavorable opinion of him and 54% who were unsure...." http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/11/polls-paul-who/

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    If Americans care about their future, there will be no silly season this year.

  31. [31] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW - You make a good point about the elderly. Republicans already had problems with: blacks, hispanics, women, LGBT - basically any non-white males. Now you can add independents and the elderly into this group with the addition of Mr Ryan.

    It's a shame my austerity article was published just a few days ago, as it is much more relevant now with Mr Ryan on the ticket!

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW - Your point about the elderly is very important. This will be key during this election. Republicans already had problems with blacks, hispanics, women and LGBT (basically any non-white male groups) - now you can add in independent and elderly into this.

    Is it just me who has been waiting for Romney to pivot to the centre for the independent vote? This VP selection seems to be the final nail in the coffin that this will never happen. Romney has completely lost his party to the far right. Like I said, Christmas day for Obama...

    [Editor's note: Don't know why, but this comment (and another one I'm about to approve that is very similar) was held for moderation in the spam queue. If this happens to anyone, PLEASE let me know about it, it is a software glitch and not my moderation... thanks -CW]

  33. [33] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I agree completely with your first paragraph -- this will mean Romney is going to have to answer for every bit of the Ryan budget, and it will put the Ryan budget front-and-center in the campaign.

    Also front-and-center will be the O budget — or wholesale lack thereof. What's Team-O's master plan gonna be? To cross their fingers and hope no one notices?

  34. [34] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "Also front-and-center will be the O budget — or wholesale lack thereof. What's Team-O's master plan gonna be? To cross their fingers and hope no one notices?"

    O's plan is easy: tell the people about the Ryan budget. No need to have to tie it to Romney anymore. No need for Romney to duck and dodge around whether or not the Ryan budget is his budget. As CW pointed out the Ryan budget is now front and centre in the election campaign:

    Austerity + tax cuts for the wealthy + tax increases for everyone else + cut 80% of medicaid + millions of elderly with no healthcare = the Ryan budget = why it's Christmas come early for Obama.

  35. [35] 
    michty6 wrote:

    This was just when they were trying to tie Romney to the Ryan budget. Now they don't even need to do that anymore!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWyk-Mr6cfc&feature=player_embedded

  36. [36] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    O's plan is easy: tell the people about the Ryan budget. No need to have to tie it to Romney anymore.

    Really? We're gonna have a national budget discussion, with no budget from the incumbent — whose last budget was shot down by every Dem in congress? Not seeing anything wrong with that picture, michty? Everyone's just gonna quite naturally see things your way, and that will be that?

  37. [37] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "Really? We're gonna have a national budget discussion, with no budget from the incumbent — whose last budget was shot down by every Dem in congress? Not seeing anything wrong with that picture, michty? Everyone's just gonna quite naturally see things your way, and that will be that?"

    The Senate passed a budget. Obama endorses that budget. But it's pretty easy to work out what Obama endorses: the exact opposite of everything in the Ryan budget. Hence why Obama will make this election into a referendum on the Ryan budget.

    Funnily enough, Romney is already trying to distance himself with elements of Ryan's budget - hahaha, amazing - already trying to back away from the budget plan of the guy you just made your VP. It's like he made him VP when he was drunk and has only just realised now how big a mistake that was! Awesome politics from Romney:

    "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have different views on some policy areas -- like Medicare spending, entitlement reform, labor, etc. -- do you think those differences are going to hurt or help?

    · Of course they aren't going to have the same view on every issue. But they both share the view that this election is a choice about two fundamentally different paths for this country. President Obama has taken America down a path of debt and decline. Romney and Ryan believe in a path for America that leads to more jobs, less debt and smaller government. So, while you might find an issue or two where they might not agree, they are in complete agreement on the direction that they want to lead America"

  38. [38] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The Senate passed a budget.

    O's 2013 budget went down in flames, 99-0, in May. Not one single Dem voted for it. That's following the House vote, two months earlier, where it was defeated 414-0 — again, with not one single Dem voting for it. And O has yet to sign a budget since he's been in office, including the in first two years when the Dems held large majorities in both the House and Senate.

    But it's pretty easy to work out what Obama endorses

    Except that the public wants details, such as the Republicans are offering. Numbers. A plan. O's path to prospertity has no numbers behind it. Just O's dazzling smile and say-so, despite his stimuls plan having failedby its own measure, and with unemployment ticking UPWARD, as in the opposite direction it's supposed to be going in, and growth at a feeble 1.9, and a $15.6T national debt that's growing at a rate of a couple of million bucks per minute, and a flagship CrapCare program that the majority of Americans want repealed.

    Funnily enough, Romney is already trying to distance himself with elements of Ryan's budget

    Gosh, a presidential candidate having his own input. Will wonders never cease. Might those elements be the ones Wyden contributed to Ryan's revised bipartisan plan?

  39. [39] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Looks like newcomer michty6 logged the 25,000th comment...

    over on the Guest Columnist column...

    Congratulations!

    Chris1962 -

    You're ignoring the fact that the Ryan budget refuses to make the tough choices, and he himself has been quoted saying (I'm paraphrasing) "All those loopholes that will be closed? They'll be closed by other House committees, I'm not responsible for that."

    Dems are about to have a field day on the Ryan budget. Hope Ryan is ready for it, because there are a whole lot of holes in what he proposed -- not solid numbers, big empty holes. Obama's budget, whatever you may say about it, had no such holes.

    It's about to get VERY interesting (and VERY specific), especially in the TV ads....

    -CW

  40. [40] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CW: You're ignoring the fact that the Ryan budget refuses to make the tough choices

    That's an opinion that's highly debatable, Chris. This is a guy who's tackling the third-rail entitlements, which have to be addressed if Americans want Medicare and Social Security to be alive and well a decade from now. You and the Left may not agree with the way Ryan proposes to handle it, and you may not agree with the budget he's laid out. But at least he's got one, which is more than the incumbent can say.

    Dems are about to have a field day on the Ryan budget. Hope Ryan is ready for it, because there are a whole lot of holes in what he proposed

    So let's have a big national discussion about it. And when Americans are are all through listening to what Dems perceive to be holes in the Ryan budget, they'll then compare it to the Obama budget, only to be reminded that — whoops — O doesn't have one. They're gonna have to take O's "word for it," instead. Only O does not exactly have a stellar, rock-solid track record for keeping his word, and I suspect that's gonna present a problem for him.

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    CW,

    [Picture of me with a ruler in hand, standing at front of classroom of unruly hellions, with a frowny stern face... heh]

    *sniff* i'm so proud. *sniff*

    ;)
    ~joshua

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Funnily enough, Romney is already trying to distance himself with elements of Ryan's budget - hahaha, amazing - already trying to back away from the budget plan of the guy you just made your VP. It's like he made him VP when he was drunk and has only just realised now how big a mistake that was! Awesome politics from Romney:

    i wouldn't get overconfident about that. choosing ryan seems to me like a long-term move, not a short-term one. even if there are a few liabilities at the outset, i think romney has confidence that ryan will benefit both his campaign and the republicans in Congress. As CW pointed out, Ryan is a good talker, which is something Romney sorely needs.

  43. [43] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris

    Unfortunately for you, no matter how much you repeat something on here no-one will believe it if it isn't factually true. People on here like facts, not rhetoric.

    Apparently (in your world) the budget voted through the Senate in just the last month wasn't a budget. But the House one was. So (in your world) Republicans have a budget and Democrats don't!

    Well let me point this out to you - Ryan has not passed a budget. As chair of the House Budget Committee, THIS IS HIS JOB. If he were actually serious about getting America working he would've come to a deal with the Democrats in the last 2 years, like every single other House has done in the past. But no, party politics wins over doing the best for your country in his (and today's Republicans) world.

    As for the rest of your nonsense:
    "In his speech, Romney faulted Obama for failing to pass a budget. He was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget requests, both times they were voted down. But the job of passing a budget resolution is not the president’s. That responsibility falls to Congress, and even then the president doesn’t sign it. As Ellis, our expert, put it: "The president has no role in passing a budget. The president can cajole Congress about passing a budget and advocate for positions and funding levels, but in the end, Congress approves the budget resolution for their own purposes." That’s the difference between this and other claims we’ve rated which blamed Congress for inaction on the budget.

    Romney’s statement contains a grain of truth, in that two of Obama’s budget requests failed to pass. But citing those votes leaves a wrong impression -- namely that the votes were anything more than political theater. Romney omitted the more critical information that passing a federal budget is the job of Congress. Given all that, we rate his statement Mostly False."

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/apr/06/mitt-romney/romney-says-obama-failed-pass-budget/

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962

    When will you stop posting outright lies on this board?

    For example ... at no time, since Obama has been in office, have the "Dems [held] large majorities in both the House and Senate."

    So long as you persist in posting such false and misleading information, you will never have any semblance of credibility here. Without credibility, all you can succeed in doing here is wasting bandwidth and the time of those of us who value facts in context and reality based opinions and who are capable of distinguishing between them.

  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Liz,

    that's not false, the dems did have large majorities in both the house (255-179) and senate (57-41, and 58-40 for a short time). in my mind that qualifies as large majorities. i can't speak to the other refutable facts that CB puts forth, but that one passes my BS filter. the republicans were certainly trying to make it as difficult as possible for obama to make use of those majorities to (in my opinion) benefit the country, but large majorities did exist.

    ~joshua

  46. [46] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Unfortunately for you, no matter how much you repeat something on here no-one will believe it if it isn't factually true.

    No offense, michty, but you constantly confuse your opinions for facts. So when you state your personal views to me in the form of fact, don't expect me to accept them as such. And as for "believing me," if you don't wanna believe my claim that the House and Senate Dems all shot O's budget down, go to google and refute it with something that shows a vote other than 414-0 and 99-0. Or save yourself the time and trouble, because you won't find it.

    As for my opinions on any given subject, I'm not seeking to change the minds of hard-core liberals on this board. If you don't like my opinions/views, don't accept them. But at the same time, don't twist or misrepresent my statements for the purpose of then going about arguing against that which I never said to begin with.

    And when you present a flat statistic, don't consider your personal views on a subject case-closed, as reality lies in the details and breadowns, not in an averaged-out number itself. By way of example, RCP's averaged-out MONTHLY approval statistic for O is 47.3%. Only both Gallup and Rasmussen's DAILY tracking — reflecting the here and now — show him lower than that. So (point) there's a difference between the appearances that averages give and the actualities that lie in the details.

    Apparently (in your world) the budget voted through the Senate in just the last month wasn't a budget. But the House one was. So (in your world) Republicans have a budget and Democrats don't!

    I'm not talking about Harry Reid's vision, as neither he nor any Senate Dem is running for the presidency or vice-presidency. Obama is the incumbent, running for of the office of the presidency. So where is Obama's budget, laying out his vision of where to take the country, and how, and with x-many dollars? Obama's budget does not exist. What's his vision? What's his strategy? Where are the numbers that map out the path to achieving his goals over the next four years (especially considering that he didn't meet his goals in the first four years). Is he planning on resurrecting his 2013 budget/vision, which was shot down by every last Dem member of congress? If so, put it on the table alongside Romney/Ryan's. If not, I think he needs to put a plan together, with numbers in it. Otherwise, Romney/Ryan will have a plan to present to the American people, and (point) the incumbent president/veep will not. O is only going to be able to point his finger at R&R's budget/vision for just so long before the American people ask, "So where are YOUR numbers, Mr. President? How do YOU plan to balance the budget, and tackle the unsustainable entitlements, and how much money is it going to take, and what results do you expect to yield, and how, and by when?"

    "He was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget requests, both times they were voted down.

    Like I said.

    But the job of passing a budget resolution is not the president’s.

    No one said it was. That's where presidential leadership comes in. Only O hasn't pulled that off. We've got a gridlocked congress, with polarized constituents from both parties demanding that THEIR wishes be represented in Washington. So now voters are gonna have to make a decision as to which direction they want to take this country in, with swing voters making the ultimate decision. Do they wanna go Left, with O/Biden, or do they wanna go Right, with Romney/Ryan? That's what we're gonna find out in November.

  47. [47] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    i wouldn't get overconfident about that. choosing ryan seems to me like a long-term move, not a short-term one.

    I agree. That wasn't a pick designed to win a battleground. That was a pretty bold choice, designed to create a NATIONAL discussion about the candidates' visions.

    I also agree about getting overly confident. I think the Left has a terrible habit of doing that to themselves. I saw this same scene play out with the 2010 midterm, with everyone on the Left howling laughing over the prospect of Tea Partiers beating out the opponents, and how silly they were, and how they didn't have a snowball's chance, and on and on. Fast forward, and about 90 of them won seats all across the country, including in the U.S. House and Senate. I also saw terribly confident liberals paying no never-mind to the notion that the Republicans could possibly upset the balance of power in congress. Only House Speaker Pelosi is now former House Speaker Pelosi, because while Charlie Cook was saying "Hello, a tsunami is rolling in," for MONTHS before the election, the Left was way too busy trashing Tea Partiers to hear it.

  48. [48] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    When will you stop posting outright lies on this board?

    For example ... at no time, since Obama has been in office, have the "Dems [held] large majorities in both the House and Senate."

    In whose OPINION? "Large" is a subjective statement, which I'm entitled to make without being called a liar.

    Y'know what I think might be really helpful? I think folks should start discerning between statements of opinions and statements of fact. When I say "I think [this or that]," I'm stating a personal view. When I say "Both the House and Senate voted down Obama's 2013 budget," I'm stating a fact. When I say "large majorities," I'm making a subjective claim, which IF ANYTHING, can be viewed as an opinion, not a "fact" and certainly not a "lie."

    Chris asked for peace on this board, so how about EVERYONE doing their part in helpint to keep it, starting with distinguishing between statements of opinion and fact. There's a very big difference between the two, so let's all take a minute to study how a statement is actually worded before flying off the handle and accusing someone of lying, k?

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    As Chris1962 knows full well, large majorities would be able to overcome Republican filibusters. Of course, the unprecedented number of filibusters is never mentioned as that would render the supposed point being made essentially meaningless.

    Yes, I should have used a better example to call out the lies, false and misleading information consistently posted here by this commenter who is apparently oblivious to what informed debate is all about. What really disturbs me is how the constant onslaught of nonsense and attitude coming from this poster is affecting the integrity of this vitally important site.

    So, I thank you for the very legitimate and much deserved rebuke. I mean that sincerely. In future, I will try to be more careful about containing my obvious displeasure. (Okay, I’ll try very hard but you have to know it’s going to be very difficult for me!) Most importantly, though, I promise to be infinitely more judicious in dealing with what is, in my not so humble opinion, nonsense for the sake of nonsense.

    EVERYONE, and you know who you are, may consider yourselves forewarned. Heh.

  50. [50] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    As Chris1962 knows full well, large majorities would be able to overcome Republican filibusters.

    Like in the case of passing the health care law?

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Was that the piece of legislation that was passed via the budget reconciliation process or the one that was rammed down the throats of Americans by a large majority in Congress?

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, did you just say "health care law"!?

    Never thought I'd see the day.

    Wait a second ... just who are you and what did you do with the real Chris1962?

  53. [53] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I thought we were talking about the Senate, with the "large" majority, which you've accused me of lying about. I seem to recall a Democrat, by the name of Nelson, holding up that health care vote. But, apparently, that reality doesn't work with your narrative, so the topic has suddenly and conveniently changed to include the House, now, I see.

    The Left likes to neatly forget that Republicans (who are in Washington to represent their constituents' wishes, not O's, BTW; hence, the reason they filibuster) are not the only congressional members O has had trouble with. He had to bend over backwards to get a few Dem Senators onboard. And Rahm Emanuel had his hands full, as well, working with Pelosi to get Dem House members behind the HCR passage. And THAT vote was quite the nail-biter for O, as well. Here's a PBS documentary, entitled "Obama's Deal," if you'd like to refresh your memory: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamasdeal/view/?utm_campaign=viewpage&utm_medium=grid&utm_source=grid

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    I have never before encountered an individual who has been capable of bringing out the very worst in me. You’re the first.

    But, I won't allow you to ruin my experience here or to diminish the integrity of this site.

    Consequently, I will limit my interaction with you to calling out your most blatant attempts to spread false and misleading information throughout this very special place in the blogosphere where reality-based political commentary and intellectual honesty reign supreme.

  55. [55] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Consequently, I will limit my interaction with you to calling out your most blatant attempts to spread false and misleading information

    Bear in mind, BEFORE you attack, that personal opinions do not qualify as "misleading information" but personal views. And, yes, the Right is actually allowed to hold and express opinions and views that differ from your own. You don't have to like or agree with them, but you don't get to accuse people of "lying" about an OPINION, either. Try correctly identifying and distinguishing between opinions and facts — something we all learned back in elementary school — and perhaps we can have a civilized conversaton someday, Liz. 'Til then, I can't say that I'll miss your reckless attacks, which *I* grew tired of long ago.

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well now that we've all gone back to our respective corners, can i get the last word? i'm going to pretend that the last two posts weren't dripping with snark, and that we've all agreed to address only the substance of comments, not the subtext.

    in other news... while i've thought of citizens united just as a terrible court decision, i guess i somehow forgot that it's also an actual PAC that does actual PAC stuff:

    http://www.politico.com//blogs/burns-haberman/2012/08/citizens-united-to-unveil-film-with-santorum-at-convention-131623.html

    "this documentary will remind Americans of what made our country great at its beginning,”

    perhaps, but not nearly in as accurate or entertaining a manner as CW's upcoming book will, that i can practically guarantee. hopefully he's off working on that right now.

    ~joshua

  57. [57] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris

    Read the politifact link I posted before you just repeat the exact stuff that the link shows as misleading.

    As I said before: you can repeat the line 'Obama has no budget' as many times as you like. And not it is not an opinion. It is complete rhetoric nonsense spewed by people who don't want to debate the issues and just want to make cheap, silly, uninformed points.

    As both Liz and I have pointed out making such statements (over and over and over again) advances the argument nowhere. No-one is on this blog to do this.

    We can move on and actually debate the contents of the Republicans budget vs the Democrats budget or you can keep arguing your silly point about who has a budget and who doesn't.

  58. [58] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Read the politifact link I posted before you just repeat the exact stuff that the link shows as misleading.

    I've already read and responded to it.

    We can move on and actually debate the contents of the Republicans budget vs the Democrats budget

    Here's the subject, michty: Obama's vision for the country. Not Harry Reid's; not the Dems' in the Senate. Obama's.

    Here's my question, which neither you nor your politifact article answers: What is Obama using to outline his vision of the next four years to the people of America? Is he going to direct them to his 2013 budget, or is he going to direct them to Harry's budget, or is he going to through the rest of the campaign season without presenting any numbers at all? Do you know the answer to that question? Not your opinion on what you think he will or should do, but what Obama, himself, is actually planning to do in terms of explaining his vision for the next four years, and how many dollars it's going to require to get there.

    If you know the answer to the question, kindly answer it. If not, kindly stop telling me about my "statements," otherwise known as the QUESTION I have been asking since the start of this conversation, which neither you, Liz nor politifact have yet to get around to answering.

  59. [59] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris

    Again: rhetorical nonsense spewed by people who don't want to debate the issues and just want to make cheap, silly, uninformed points.

    Try Google or even barackobama.com. Heck I'll even link the CBO analysis for you since you seem incapable of reading anything that hasn't come off a right-wing news site telling you what you need to believe: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-16-APB1.pdf

    If you haven't worked out what his budget is you need to stop reading whatever far right media you do. Do some research about reality. Stop being told what to believe by right-wing media. Try forming your own opinions and views. Think before you post here.

  60. [60] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Again: rhetorical nonsense spewed by people who don't want to debate the issues and just want to make cheap, silly, uninformed points.

    I'm asking a question, michty.

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-16-APB1.pdf

    Is that your answer? Obama is going to refer the American people to his 2013 budget proposal (which was rejected by every congressional member of his own party)? A simple yes or no — minus the insults and other assorted assaults — will do just fine.

  61. [61] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Ok as you wish: No

  62. [62] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Sorry I should clarify: the budget voted on in Congress is not the budget Obama will refer to. Finally getting it?

  63. [63] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Sorry I should clarify: the budget voted on in Congress is not the budget Obama will refer to.

    So his 2013 budget proposal, shot down by congress, is not the budget Obama will refer to. I'm not quite sure you gave me the link to it, if that's the case, but at least we're starting to get somewhere.

    So, if he's not going to refer to his own 2013 budget proposal (not sure how you know that, but I'll take your word for it), what will he be putting forth to the American people in its place? And if you have a link handy, I'd love to have a look at it.

  64. [64] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Whoops, my mistake. I opened the wrong download. So he'll be putting forth the CBO analysis of his 2013 budget ... or what? Which document will he actually be presenting and/or referring the press and the American people to, michty? You keep alluding to it though never quite naming it.

  65. [65] 
    michty6 wrote:

    This is fun. It's like a murder mystery, leading you patiently to the part you are missing. Here we go:

    He WILL be referring to his 2013 budget for sure.
    Link to it: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/budget.pdf

    He will not be referring to the budget that was unanimously voted down in the House and Senate. Link to it: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112sconres41pcs/pdf/BILLS-112sconres41pcs.pdf

    (This is my biggest clue yet, we're almost there)

  66. [66] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    according to the politifact article, a president's budget is basically just a wish list, with no expectation that it will be passed intact. the republicans in congress pushed for a vote on it, presumably for their own future political use. that's fine, it's a clever tactic.

    however, and please pardon the football analogy, it's kind-of like how most NFL teams give their starting players limited minutes in the pre-season. you can use the results as a confidence booster if you want, but it's meaningless when the real games start. in 2010, two teams went o-fer in the pre-season, and both won their respective divisions.

    so, i'm sure obama has certain parts of his budget proposal that he sees as vital and other parts that he sees as works in progress. just like any other politician (or coach), he'll present those parts he thinks will ultimately help him inspire and maintain control of the team, while keeping most of his actual budget playbook hidden from the opposition. as to how successful he'll be in either respect... i'll start keeping score when the games count.

    ~joshua

  67. [67] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    so, i'm sure obama has certain parts of his budget proposal that he sees as vital and other parts that he sees as works in progress. just like any other politician (or coach), he'll present those parts he thinks will ultimately help him inspire and maintain control of the team

    I don't know a thing about football. LOL. I think I get what you're saying, though. But, overall, I see O in a sticky situation. To "present those parts," as you say (and if I'm reading you right), he has to either point to the plan itself or present it through rhetoric while keeping the actual plan (his updated version?) stowed away.

    And the reason I keep harping on this "plan" is because he couldn't get one solitary soul from his own party to touch that thing with a ten-foot pole. And one can reasonably assume it's because a whole lot of Dem members of congress are now on the campaign trail themselves. IOW, when they shot his plan down, they had their own reelection campaigns in mind. That, to me, spells "toxic plan," which doesn't exactly send a good signal out to the public.

    Romney/Ryan, on the other hand, also have a revised plan, but at least the original got some (arguably decent) support from the party. Plus, the revision is bipartisan, with Wyden having signed onto it.

    It just makes for an comfortable position for O, I think, with the opposition slapping their polar-opposite plan on the table and saying "Let's have a national discussion and make a choice between the two visions" and O not doing the same with his own plan. I think that puts him in a weird position, strategically speaking (and especially with Wyden backing the opposition's direction). It's like O is saying, "Don't take their path; take mine, which I'm happy to tell you about but would prefer not to show all of it." I mean, I hear what you're saying about not revealing the entire playbook to the opposition, but when the opposition's got their playbook open for voters to see, and O's only willing to reveal parts of his, doesn't that beg those essential swing voters to wonder if something fishy is going on with O's "vision"? It just feels like one of things that would make a body go "Hmmm..."

  68. [68] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michty6 -

    Just a technical note -- your comment was held for moderation because it had two links in it. If you separate them into one per comment, they'll show up right away.

    OK, everyone else:

    I haven't read all of these yet, but I did kind of address the main debate here, I think, in today's article.

    I'll post more detailed commentary in a bit, here, but did want to direct your attention to Monday's column.

    -CW

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    joshua,

    Condescension is worse than snark. And, that goes especially for unintended snark.

  70. [70] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    (This is my biggest clue yet, we're almost there)

    I'm not quite sure why you feel the need to play a game in the first place, michty. The bottom line is that O will be pointing to a revised proposal that's none too dramatically different from the one that no Dem in congress got behind. That's not a good thing, politically speaking, no matter how much lipstick you applh. Political junkies can spin that every which way from Tuesday, but think of how 414-0 and 99-0 look through the eyes of a swing voter. It doesn't exactly scream "Hot vision coming out of the White House!"

  71. [71] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris

    I was trying to make you do some research and look at the facts, read the info yourself instead of being fed info and believing it despite the fact there is bias in many sources.

    It didnt work so ill have to give the game away....

    Nypoet

    Your analogy isnt quite incorrect. Here is a better analogy much closer to what happened:

    - A bill is introduced and, despite the fact it is Republicans introducing it, its is called the 'President Obama budget bill'
    - The bill contains one line 'this bill makes punching babies legal'
    - The House unanimously votes against the bill obviously
    - Republicans and right wing media (correctly) proclaim "'president Obama budget bill' defeated - even democrats voted against it!"
    - Other news sources report the actual content of the bill but uninformed people who only look at right wing sources never know the actual contents or bother comparing them to Obama's actual budget - even when a kindly guy gives them both links on a chrisweigant forum....

    This analogy is actually very close to reality ;)

  72. [72] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I was trying to make you do some research and look at the facts

    Oh, I read plenty on a daily basis, mitchy. No need for the condescending advice that I read more. And no need to create a game just because you're having trouble answering a question.

  73. [73] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    according to the politifact article, a president's budget is basically just a wish list, with no expectation that it will be passed intact.

    Well, the public sees that so-called "wish list," which includes the money a president would like to spend.

    the republicans in congress pushed for a vote on it, presumably for their own future political use. that's fine, it's a clever tactic.

    Yeah, it's called getting the president's party down on the record. And when every last member of a prez's own party decides that they don't want to be associated with his budget, that doesn't say good things about the prez's vision.

  74. [74] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris

    My point was that if you believe the House and Senate actually voted 100% against Obama's actual budget then you DO need to do more research into this.

    Furthermore, I was joking around because if you are going to spend a lot of time arguing 'Obama doesn't have a budget' and repeating this over and over again don't expect me to take you too seriously!

    "Yeah, it's called getting the president's party down on the record. And when every last member of a prez's own party decides that they don't want to be associated with his budget, that doesn't say good things about the prez's vision."

    You still haven't realised what is going on here yet. Even after reading Politifact or when I posted links to the President's budget and the Republican version of President's budget...

    Think about it: do you seriously think every single Democrat would vote against the President's budget?
    Yet, despite this, 4 months later they voted in favour of it in the Senate.

    Do some research (the clues are in this page) and try and work out why when the Republican's wrote the 'President's budget bill' it was voted against unanimously; yet when the Democratswrote the 'President's budget bill' it wasn't (I put more clues in italics). It isn't rocket science!

  75. [75] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    My point was that if you believe the House and Senate actually voted 100% against Obama's actual budget

    I think the point is that the public saw Obama's "vision" shot down by his own party, 414-0 and 99-0, which is about as embarassing a rejection as it gets. And my question all along was/is whether Obama — strategically speaking — plans on pointing directly to his revised budget numbers, or if he's going to create, introduce and refer to a campaign document that highlights the good and downplays the bad (which is a perfectly viable strategic option), or if he's gonna employ rhetoric, i.e., speak in broad, lofty terms about his vision, while trying to keep the focus and attack on R/R's numbers and staying away from the details of his own, as best he can. That all remains to be seen.

    Think about it: do you seriously think every single Democrat would vote against the President's budget?

    Well, yeah, I know they would because that's what they did:

    "The Obama administration's 2013 budget proposal, which was released on February 13, 2012, was defeated by a unanimous 99–0 vote of the United States Senate on May 16, 2012, the second year in a row that the president's proposed budget was defeated by a unanimous vote in the Senate. The House of Representatives rejection in March by a vote of 414–0 means the Obama administration's budget failed to win a single vote.[10]"

    yet when the Democratswrote the 'President's budget bill' it wasn't (I put more clues in italics). It isn't rocket science!

    IOW, you can't provide numbers.

  76. [76] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol this is amazing. Still not getting it.

    This isn't the first time Republicans have tried this stupid tactic. In 1995 a 'Clinton budget' (introduced by Republicans) was voted down 99-0, just like the 'Obama budget' was.

    (The fact I have to put those phrases in inverted commas is another clue...)

  77. [77] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I know all about politics, mitchy. I know the tactics each side employs to put the opposition down on the record. But those tactics are employed for a reason: the party memebers do, indeed, go down on the record, and it sends a message to the public — voters — that the president's own party doesn't back his plan. That doesn't leave a good impression with the public, because it leaves them thinking, "Well, if not even Dems back the president's vision, why should I trust that it's good?" IOW, it's designed to put doubt in the minds of voters. (Think swing voters.)

    But no amount of your veering off the subject changes the FACT that O's "vision" didn't fly with even so much as one Dem, which many a Republican candidate can FACTUALLY state, out there on the campaign trail. And that includes Romney and Ryan.

  78. [78] 
    michty6 wrote:

    "But those tactics are employed for a reason: the party memebers do, indeed, go down on the record, and it sends a message to the public — voters — that the president's own party doesn't back his plan"

    Nope. Since they didn't actually vote on the President's plan. They voted on a bill that the Republicans completely made up and called the President's plan.

    Then 4 months later they voted in favour for the President's plan.

    The first vote is the sort of tactics that a 'do-nothing' House with 15% public approval comes up to waste everyone's time and play cheap political nonsense games.

    "But no amount of your veering off the subject changes the FACT that O's "vision" didn't fly with even so much as one Dem, which many a Republican candidate can FACTUALLY state, out there on the campaign trail. And that includes Romney and Ryan."

    Nope. Again you just aren't getting this one are you.

    Congress has voted on the President's plan once, that was last month. It passed through the Senate after being supported by Democrats.

    At no point before this did any part of Congress ever vote on the President's actual plan.

    Do you need more clues?

  79. [79] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Another clue: Obama's budget is 256 pages long. The 'budget' that Republican's forced a vote on 56 pages long.

  80. [80] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But no amount of your veering off the subject changes the FACT that O's "vision" didn't fly

    since we're discussing the difference between fact and opinion in this thread, i think it's a good place to point out that the above statement is not fact, it is opinion. the FACT is that congress voted on a bill that was called obama's budget, introduced by republican jeff sessions of alabama.

    whether or not that bill actually represented a real budget by the real obama, is not factual at all, since obama himself didn't write it or ask anyone to introduce it. Democrats who voted against it referred to it as a parody or caricature, so their opinion was that it was NOT the president's budget proposal.

    political stunts like that one can indeed be effective, because they do try to send the message that the president's party don't support him. based on their own responses at the time, it seems that wasn't actually the case.

  81. [81] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The funny thing is it is quite easy to work out how stupid the Republicans 'budget' bill was.

    It doesn't even mention a single word or sentence about tax rates. Nothing.

    It doesn't even have the character '%' or the word 'percent/percentage' or the phrase 'tax rates'.

    Like I said my analogy of the baby punching bill is pretty close to what they actually did here... Stupid pointless time-wasting games to give the right-wing media a bone to chew on.

  82. [82] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    since we're discussing the difference between fact and opinion in this thread, i think it's a good place to point out that the above statement is not fact, it is opinion. the FACT is that congress voted on a bill that was called obama's budget,

    I know, poet. I know the politics. I know the games. And here's my point. It's the same point I made from the start: The public — your everyday Joe and Josie, as in folks who DON'T sit on political bulletin boards — saw headlines, or heard sound bites, about a 99-0 and 414-0 vote against "Obama's budget," with not a single Dem voting for it. And (point) the political damage was done.

    So let's go back to my question: What does O point to on the campaign trail? What's his strategy? Because in the eyes of Joe and Josie — particularly "undecided" Joe and Josie, who pay the least attention to politics of anyone — "Obama's budget" is damaged goods. It's toxic for O. "Obama's budget" is Obama's budget, in Joe and Josie's eyes. And Republicans can stand up and FACTUALLY state that it was not supported by a single Dem in the Senate or House and be telling the God's-honest truth, which is why these political stunts are conducted in the first place. (Why Dems don't just get smart and scrape together enough votes that will be just SHY of passage, for appearances sake, I don't know. You'd think there would be enough brave souls to risk some political capital just so Joe and Josie won't be looking at a devastating defeat. But that's another story.)

    So what's O's strategy? How does he plan to handle that? Does he talk about his budget, which is one and the same with Obama's Budget, as far as Joe and Josie's are concerned? Does he go through the chore of trying to explain the history of "Obama's budget"? Does he avoid all that by crafting a campaign presentation that enables him to point to things he feels are are his strengths and bury controversial items? Does he keep focused on bashing the R/R numbers and just employ rhetoric when it comes to his own damaged-goods budget? It's a genuine political dilemma, and if I were him, I'd go with a campaign presentation.

  83. [83] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Nope. Since they didn't actually vote on the President's plan.

    They didn't have to, as long as it was called "Obama's budget." In the minds of the public, it becomes synonymous with O's budget. The public doesn't make the distinctions that political junkies do, michty. You say "Kleenex" and they hear "tissues." That's why these games are played in the first place.

    So what's the strategy, when O's all through trashing the R/R budget, and the public asks, "So where's YOUR budget, Mr. President?" and the Republicans leap up, with "Obama's budget" in hand, and say "Here it is! It was defeated 99-0 and 414-0, and not a single Dem got behind it." What's O's move? Does he offer a "yeah, but..." explanation, which can easily sound like another of his endless excuses as to why it wasn't his fault that the entire House and Senate shot down "Obama's budget"? He Republicans put him in a nice sticky situation. For a reason.

  84. [84] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris

    Because in the eyes of Joe and Josie — particularly "undecided" Joe and Josie, who pay the least attention to politics of anyone — "Obama's budget" is damaged goods

    This is the point you're missing. The media didn't cover the Obama budget being voted down. Because they know it's stupid right-wing nonsense. Try finding coverage of it on a mainstream site... It's difficult.

    You only think the public reacted this way because you see lots of right-wing media so it was big, breaking news to you and, in your mind, the public now know about it. To the mainstream media reporting 'Democrats unanimously reject baby punching bill' isn't news, no matter what you call the bill...

    This is why Democrats don't care about the stupid tactics. The REAL media see through them. Just because people on the right had a heart-attack at how good it looks, means nothing!

    So what's the strategy, when O's all through trashing the R/R budget, and the public asks, "So where's YOUR budget, Mr. President?"

    Does he keep focused on bashing the R/R numbers and just employ rhetoric when it comes to his own damaged-goods budget? It's a genuine political dilemma, and if I were him, I'd go with a campaign presentation.

    You don't understand how bad and extreme the Ryan budget is to the average person, because it fits into your view of the world. A libertarian right-wing budget that doesn't even cut the deficit? Not what people were looking for!

    The problem with the Ryan budget for Obama is: where to start? There are so many things wrong with it and it's so crazy right-wing that it's difficult to decide which point to start with... It's like all your chickens hatched at once and there are so many eggs it's hard to pick which ones to go with!

    In fact this is a SERIOUS problem. Focus testing from Democrats show that the Ryan budget is SO BAD that when they test attack lines on independents people quite simply don't believe them. They literally responded 'no it can't be that bad you must be making it up!'. The budget is so bad it's not believable and people think you're making it up to attack it. This is about the most serious dilemma from Ryan being added to the ticket. Probably a 'good' problem though...

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Republicans can stand up and FACTUALLY state that it was not supported by a single Dem in the Senate or House and be telling the God's-honest truth, which is why these political stunts are conducted in the first place.

    This statement - and, especially, your emphasis on FACTUALLY - indicates, once again, that your understanding of what constitutes a fact is quite tenuous.

    Facts stated in the absence of their proper and reality-based CONTEXT are often rendered essentially meaningless and, consequently, unworthy of debate and/or discussion.

  86. [86] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    This statement - and, especially, your emphasis on FACTUALLY - indicates, once again, that your understanding of what constitutes a fact is quite tenuous.

    If it's named "Obama's budget" and is voted on in congress, and receives no votes from Dems, it is a FACT that "Obama's budget" received no votes from Dems. Is it designed to mislead the public? Uh-huh. Is it a devious tactic? Uh-huh. But it's also a verifiable statement of fact.

  87. [87] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    This is the point you're missing. The media didn't cover the Obama budget being voted down.

    Really? No sleepy little local newspapers ran that headline? No sound bite on local TV affiliates? No mention of it on all-day-all-night news radio programs? How would you know that, michty? Have you reviewed every newspaper, TV transcript, radio tape, etc., across America? Because you would have to do that before your could state, as a point of fact, that "the media didn't cover [it]." So I'll assume that you're merely stating your personal opinion in the form of fact. Again. As usual.

    Try finding coverage of it on a mainstream site... It's difficult.

    Oh, so it WAS covered, but just difficult to find, in your personal experience. But I thought you just said that the media didn't cover it.

    Is it time to tell me what I think, yet?

    You only think the public reacted this way because you see lots of right-wing media so it was big, breaking news to you and, in your mind, the public now know about it.

    And that's where I stop reading your post.

    Can I make a suggestion, michty? Try dropping "you think" from your sentences, and see what happens. Just try it as an experiment.

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay folks, I don't normally cite links and I certainly frown on the overabundant use of them. However, sometimes, they can be helpful...

    Treasury Department's Fiscal 2013 Budget Request

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/304457-1

    This is a link to Treasury Secretary Geithner's testimony before Rep. Ryan's budget committee (Feb 16, 2012)

    It is, at once, educational and infinitely amusing - from beginning to end - not to mention extremely apropos to the ongoing discussion here.

    I personally guarantee that EVERYONE will get a chuckle out of it, regardless of what political ideology you happen to come from.

    Enjoy!

  89. [89] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Chris62

    "Really? No sleepy little local newspapers ran that headline? No sound bite on local TV affiliates? No mention of it on all-day-all-night news radio programs? How would you know that, michty? Have you reviewed every newspaper, TV transcript, radio tape, etc., across America? Because you would have to do that before your could state, as a point of fact, that "the media didn't cover [it]." So I'll assume that you're merely stating your personal opinion in the form of fact. Again. As usual."

    Lol Liz is right you have no clue what the difference between fact and opinion is. You are completely unable to enter into intelligent conversations without bringing the topic down to semantics.

    Try using 'Google'. See how much you can find of this vote down on mainstream news. The only mainstream media I found covering it was ABC and they actually pointed out that it was a nonsense High-School-level-of-politics vote: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/house-and-senate-unanimously-reject-obama-budgets-or-do-they/

    Huffpo reported it the same way: childish politics on a 'Budget Offered By Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)'

    So yes some of the limited mainstream news media out there that actually bothered to cover the bill actually pointed out how it was a piece of childish behaviour from the House with the lowest approval rating of all time... Do you think this will have served Republicans well? Do you think this is what independents want to hear they are spending their time on? Do you think this, and repealing Obamacare 35 times, is what people want to hear that their representatives in Congress are doing for them? Or would people rather they were getting things done and not playing stupid childish party games?

    Liz

    I listened to a similar debate where both Ryan and Obama were round the table yesterday. It was on Obamacare where Ryan thought he had found holes in the numbers but Obama put him in his place :)

  90. [90] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Congress approval just hit an all time low of 10% (fact).

    Wonder why? Could it be anything to do with the budget bills that aren't really budget bills?

    Nah probably not, let's make the Republican leader of the House our next VP!

  91. [91] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Wonder why? Could it be anything to do with the budget bills that aren't really budget bills?

    Oh, I'll bet folks have lots of assorted reasons for giving congress a 10% rating, with game-playing being among them, to be sure. But I wouldn't consider "Obama's budget" a central reason, since Congress had been pulling poor approval ratings well before the "Obama's Budget" caper went down; plus, Likely Voters don't seem to be holding Republicans responsible:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/generic_congressional_vote-2170.html

  92. [92] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yeh for sure I agree it certainly wasn't this alone that created the low ratings but it is this sort of thing (basically doing absolutely nothing but wasting everyone's time - a common theme in the House) that is keeping ratings of Congress under 10%...

  93. [93] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Lol Liz is right you have no clue what the difference between fact and opinion is. You are completely unable to enter into intelligent conversations without bringing the topic down to semantics.
    Try using 'Google'. See how much you can find of this vote down on mainstream news. The only mainstream media I found

    IOW, coverage exists, just like I said and in stark contrast with your claim that "the media didn't cover [it]." Except that they did. And that's not to mention the local TV news, print and radio outlets, which also exists in this nation.

    But do keep those lol's and insults coming, michty, like that's gonna help you out.

  94. [94] 
    michty6 wrote:

    IOW, coverage exists, just like I said and in stark contrast with your claim that "the media didn't cover [it]."

    Nope, not what I said lol. You should probably try quoting in context. Here is the context: Try finding coverage of it on a mainstream site... It's difficult.

    This is why the rest of your statment:

    Except that they did. And that's not to mention the local TV news, print and radio outlets, which also exists in this nation.

    Doesn't really prove anything. The word 'mainstream' was quite important in the context of my comment and this debate on media coverage of the Republicans nonsense...

  95. [95] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Actually you are right, I am probably wrong: if you consider Fox mainstream (which is obviously true) then there is a mainstream media network that covered it!

    But if you like let's make this scientific. We'll take the top 5 news networks in America (by viewers): Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN.

    Here are how the 5 major news networks reported it (spot the one which is considered to have Conservative bias!):

    Fox - 3 headlines 'House Clobbers Obama budget 414-0' and 'House easily rejects Obama budget in tactical vote' and 'Obama's Budget Fails 0-513'
    CNN - Can't find anything
    MSNBC - 'House ready to OK GOP budget, rejects rival plans'
    CNBC - Can't find anything
    HLN - Can't find anything

    It's actually pretty shocking that the news media in America is so bad that no-one reported on the silly games being played by the Republicans (except Fox, which didn't exactly point out they were silly games). Kind of worrying.

  96. [96] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    It's actually pretty shocking that the news media in America is so bad that no-one reported on the silly games being played by the Republicans (except Fox, which didn't exactly point out they were silly games). Kind of worrying.

    Fox is but one news outlet. And, yeah, they report the news, which is probably why they're so popular. Their viewers can rely upon them to actually report what happened on any given day. As for the rest of the mainstream news media (although your so-called scientific research doesn't include "the big three": CBS, NBC and ABC), I can't say that I'm too shocked to see you having difficulty finding coverage. But don't forget that there are many local newspapers, tv stations and news radio programs out there. So just because the left-leaning national media chooses to omit, downplay or bury a story doesn't mean that people aren't still seeing headlines and hearing sound bites from their own local news sources.

  97. [97] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Fox is but one news outlet. And, yeah, they report the news, which is probably why they're so popular. Their viewers can rely upon them to actually report what happened on any given day. As for the rest of the mainstream news media (although your so-called scientific research doesn't include "the big three": CBS, NBC and ABC),

    NBC is MSNBC right?

    I'll get to Fox in a moment but let's see the other's:
    CBS - 'House passes GOP budget with no Dem support' (briefly touches upon the GOP silly budget)
    ABC - 'House and Senate Unanimously Reject Obama Budgets — Or Do They?'

    We have a winner by a landslide: ABC! The only news outlet to correctly report what happened and catch on to the silly Republican games.

    MSNBC in a distant 2nd. Followed by CBS in 3rd.

    4th place depends on your opinion of what's worse: not covering it or covering it with a completely nonsense over-the-top headline that misleads about what happened?

    I tend to think a nonsense misleading headline is worse than not covering it. But this is offset by the fact that at least 1 of the 3 Fox articles actually hints to the fact that this was a tactical-joke- GOP-budget, not an Obama budget... So I'll just about give them a distant 4th based on this.

  98. [98] 
    michty6 wrote:

    From ABC:

    “I think it’s readily apparent there is a big difference between the president’s budget, which I hold in my hands, and what Sen. Sessions has presented as being the president’s budget. This is not the president’s budget. So, of course, we’re not going to support it. It’s not what the president proposed.”

    The White House official said the Sessions and Mulvaney’s bills were mere GOP stunts to get Democrats on record opposing ‘the President’s budget’” as well as distracting from what the House Republican budget would do, which the official described as “protect(ing) massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while making the middle class and seniors pay.”

    Very sad that they were the only mainstream media to spot this stupid game played by the Reps.

  99. [99] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    NBC is MSNBC right?

    MSNBC is their cable network.

    CBS - 'House passes GOP budget with no Dem support' (briefly touches upon the GOP silly budget)

    Well, that's my point: There were headlines and sound bites out there for people to see and hear. And that's O's dilemma, strategically speaking. "Obama's budget" and O's budget are likely one and the same thing, in the minds of the average Joe and Josie, who don't sit on political bulletin boards, arguing every last word of an article, but glean their news from headlines and sound bites — which was the entire purpose behind the Republicans naming it "Obama's budget," in the first place.

  100. [100] 
    michty6 wrote:

    You have a point for sure. But I still say that if only 1 out of the 7 mainstream news outlets covered it in a negative perspective for Obama (unsurprisingly it was Fox), then the average Joe and Josie that doesn't watch Fox won't know about this. The ones that do watch Fox already probably hate a more negative perspective of Obama anyway since (I believe, in accordance with how the channel is presented in the UK) that Fox is a Conservative news station...

    I'd say that you and I (more informed people commenting on blogs and discussing politics) are the tiny minority compared to other Americans and you are over-estimating the effect of this time-wasting nonsense, especially since no mainstream media picked it up...

  101. [101] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    You have a point for sure. But I still say that if only 1 out of the 7 mainstream news outlets covered it in a negative perspective for Obama (unsurprisingly it was Fox), then the average Joe and Josie that doesn't watch Fox won't know about this.

    You keep forgetting about all those local newspapers, tv and radio outlets out there. National mainstream news is not the only news source out there.

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