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Friday Talking Points [228] -- Debate Questions I'd Ask

[ Posted Friday, September 28th, 2012 – 17:28 PDT ]

Mitt Romney has been fighting the image of himself as plutocrat for his entire campaign. He seems to be losing that fight, and just when the whole "47 percent" thing starts receding in the media's focus, here comes yet another "plutocrat moment."

It seems Mitt is a helpful guy, especially when a neighbor needs a hand parking his yacht. Really -- you just can't make this stuff up, folks. Mitt Romney's a regular guy after all, since he helped tie up the boat belonging to the executive chairman of Marriott International.

Unsolicited advice to the Romney campaign: this is not the way to convince voters that your candidate isn't Thurston Howell III. I'm just sayin'....

In other news, Mitt Romney is apparently now less popular than George "Dubya" Bush. That takes a real effort, in this day and age.

The Republicans are now grasping at two very thin straws as they survey the homestretch of the election. The first is that all those polls out there which are saying Romney is losing must be wrong, because of course Romney's going to beat Obama. Pollsters are all conspiring to hoodwink the public into believing Obama's got a healthy lead right now, you see. This somehow, inexplicably, includes pollsters from Fox News and Rasmussen, neither of which is generally thought of as part of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. But consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds... or something... it's hard to tell at this point. One can't help but wish that there were "professional referees" in the world of politics, as there now are in the National Football League (once again).

The second barely-graspable straw for the GOP is that once, a long time ago, a Republican challenger was down in the polls right before election day, and yet still won. The problem with this construct is that to duplicate this feat, we'd need the second coming of Saint Ronald of Reagan.

The only teensy problem with this fantasy is that Mitt Romney -- to put it mildly -- is no Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter, either, but conflating Romney with Reagan is just laughable even without examining the other side of the coin.

But enough of this frippery, let's get on with the show.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Speaking of football... two weeks ago in this column we highlighted the efforts of Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Klewe for jumping on (and wrestling violently to the ground in a superb metaphorical flying tackle filled with profanity) the anti-gay-marriage (and anti-First Amendment) idiocy spewing from a Democratic politician in Baltimore. Klewe is back in the news for challenging a Republican anti-gay-marriage politician to debate the subject. Now that would be a debate worth watching! For his outspoken campaign for equality, Chris Klewe is hereby awarded an Honorable Mention.

Speaking of profanity... yes, we're going to speak of profanity some more, and actually use some of it in the text. So if you're easily offended by that sort of thing, then just skip to the next section, or cover the children's eyes or whatever. You have been warned.

This week, the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes out to two people and an organization. The organization is the Jewish Council for Education and Research, and the two people are Adam Mansbach and Samuel L. Jackson.

Mansbach is, famously, the author of the parody of a children's book (which is for adults, obviously) Go The Fuck To Sleep. This book was a sensation when released, even more so when Samuel L. Jackson did the audio version (who else, really, could have done it?). The J.C.E.R. folks, earlier this year, contacted the author because they wanted to do a pro-Obama parody of the book as a political ad, and were kind enough to ask the author's permission to do so. The author's reaction was: "Forget about permission, I need to write this." With Mansbach on board, the book was rewritten as "Wake The Fuck Up," and the final piece fell into place when Jackson got on board to act and narrate the video.

The result is quite possibly the funniest political advertisement I have ever seen in my life. But then, I do have an awfully juvenile and vulgar sense of humor at times, so watch it for yourselves and make your own minds up (needless to say, the video is "not safe for work").

Mansbach isn't too worried about a backlash. When asked, his response was:

Of course there will be backlash; this is a political ad. Shit, there was a backlash when I published a fake children's book, you know? People sent me hate mail telling me, "I would never read this to a child!" Like, "Yeah, no shit. It says 'fuck' in the title!" So inevitably, I'm sure I'll get some hate mail. It will probably be very poorly written and badly spelled. Yeah, I have no doubt. But I also don’t give a fuck.

Which is why our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes out to Adam Mansbach, Samuel L. Jackson, and the intrepid folks who came up with the idea at the Jewish Council for Education and Research.

Funniest. Political ad. Ever.

[Congratulate the Jewish Council for Education and Research on their contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Democrats, on the whole, have done a pretty good job putting up candidates for Congress this time around. With a few exceptions, of course.

One of these came to light this week, with the news that Brian Banks, candidate for the House of Representatives in Michigan, has been convicted of eight felonies in the past fifteen years, including writing bad checks and credit card fraud.

Not a whole lot needs to be added to that, really. Brian Banks is our walkaway Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week, for obvious reasons.

[The only contact information we could find for Brian Banks was his campaign website, which we do not link to as a general rule here, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 228 (9/28/12)

We're going to do something different today. We're going to get a jump on next week's big political story, the first presidential debate. The following are questions I would ask the two candidates if I were the moderator of a presidential debate. These aren't the most important questions, but are rather random. To be fair, I've included two each for each candidate alone, and three to ask to both candidates.

If you'd like to play along in the comments, feel free to propose your own debate questions for the candidates.

 

1
   Refereeing collective bargaining

To both Governor Romney and President Obama:

"Did you support the professional referees' right to strike and collectively bargain with the National Football League? Do you support other unions' rights -- teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses -- when it comes to such bargaining?"

 

2
   Droning on

To President Obama:

"It seems that the United States is preparing for an explosive growth in the use of unmanned drone aircraft in America's skies, including by police forces. What would you say to those citizens with privacy concerns about this new air traffic designed to spy on them? Do you think any new privacy laws will be needed to regulate the use of drone aircraft by police forces, or is this somehow not a valid concern? And please explain why you think so."

 

3
   The "average guy" gotcha

To Governor Romney:

"What is the price of the average college textbook these days? Or, how about: if you were forced to get a new set of tires for an American car which was ten years old, because the second steel belt was already showing through where the tread used to be, roughly how much should you expect to pay?"

 

4
   Money money money money...

To both Governor Romney and President Obama:

"This is the first presidential election which has happened after the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. The amount of unlimited money being spent right now has reached unbelievable heights. Would you, as president, make it a priority to push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United which stated simply that 'corporations are not persons' under the law? Why or why not?"

 

5
   Back in the alley again

To Governor Romney:

"When you first started your career in politics, you gave an answer in a debate with Senator Teddy Kennedy that I'd like to read to you. These are your words, sir, on the subject of abortion: 'Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.' Since that time, you have changed from being pro-choice to wanting to outlaw elective abortions for all women in this country. If you had your way, and the only legal abortions were allowed in cases of rape, incest, or the mother's life being in danger, then exactly how many American women per year would you expect to die as your close family relative did, from back alley or illegal abortions?"

 

6
   States' rights, anyone?

To President Obama:

"Three states -- Oregon, Washington, and Colorado -- have measures on their ballot this year which could legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults. Since you have admitted being a marijuana user in the past, and since your life seems to have turned out OK since you were never caught or sent to prison for doing so, how will your thinking on the marijuana question 'evolve' if one or more of these states legalizes it for the recreational use you enjoyed as a teenager? What will your personal reaction be, say, if Colorado legalizes marijuana? More to the point, what will your administration's official policy response be from your Justice Department?"

 

7
   Where are the specifics?

To President Obama and Governor Romney:

"Both of you have, quite rightfully, been attacked for not providing more specifics on what you would do for the American economy in the next four years. But America faces a crisis that is coming a lot sooner than 2016 -- at the end of this year, Congress will have to somehow fix the 'fiscal cliff' with some sort of agreement on taxes and spending. Assuming these negotiations take place through next spring (seeing as how the lame duck Congress will likely kick this can down the road for the next Congress to deal with), what will be your bargaining position in these talks? What -- very specifically -- will be 'red lines' for you which would cause you to reach for the veto pen? What things would you absolutely not agree to in these negotiations, and why? America deserves the answers to these questions, since it will likely be the first and biggest crisis the next president will face."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

39 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [228] -- Debate Questions I'd Ask”

  1. [1] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Chris,

    I'm old and isolated in Dogpatch, B.C., but like the NHL dispute, the NFL referee situation was a LOCKOUT. Like the NHL, the refs WERE NOT STRIKING; the Romneyish owners in both cases decided to try to squeeze more money from the serfs. Just saying.

  2. [2] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Yep, poor slip-disenfranchised William Marriott's tale of his friend Mitt helping out was simply precious. With friends like these, who needs Democrats? The thumping sound is the campaign's collective palm being slapped into their collective face.

    It reminded me of a classic Sunday Doonesbury during the Bush-Clinton election days. It had George and Barbara coming home and G. listening to the phone messages. The first was from the working poor, asking for a little help with child care. The second was from the middle class, asking for a little help in college expenses. The third was from the Kennibunkport yacht basin, calling with the news that the repair work on the yacht's deck was finished.

    Barbara asks if there were any messages, to which George replies, "Yeah, the boat's ready."

    The questions are great. Particularly, "how much for a set of tires?" Given father George's business, it would really have legs if he blew it.

    As I posted earlier, I don't agree on the "wake up" video, because of the little girl using the phrase at the end. We're going to see it on Fox. And it's not going to help in the middle.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kevin -

    Really? Wow, I guess I blew it. I hadn't been paying much attention to the details, I fully admit, just the fact that the games were sucking big time. I watched the Ravens/Patriots, and MAN that was some bad reffing (refing? reffing looks better).

    Anyway, mea culpa, I should have checked.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LeaningBlue -

    Funny story!

    I dunno. It's a web-only ad, so I doubt anyone'll get too annoyed. I could be wrong, but maybe it'll even help among the blue collar vote...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i think the replacement referees were ultimately a good thing. they demonstrated in incredibly clear terms why laying off experienced professionals and replacing them with enthusiastic novices is not a good idea.

    if rahm emanuel and the chicago schools had done the same, there would likely have been similarly dramatic results. for the sake of the students, i'm glad it didn't come to that.

    ~joshua

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter, either,

    Many in the middle would disagree with that assessment.. :D

    Funniest. Political ad. Ever.

    Yea.. Having a pre-teen girl scream obscenities at voters.. Funny. :^/

    Are Democrats TRYING to lose the Independent/NPA vote???

    Because that's the effect this ad will have...

    That's it for now... Michale buzzy buzzy makin' money.. :D

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Funniest. Political ad. Ever.

    I am also constrained to point out that Jackson is on the record as saying he voted for Obama because Obama was black...

    Is that REALLY the kind of racist role-model that Democrats want to present to the American people??

    Even if it's Nick Fury... :D

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I posted earlier, I don't agree on the "wake up" video, because of the little girl using the phrase at the end. We're going to see it on Fox. And it's not going to help in the middle.

    This is the kind of honest non-partisan assessment that has been sorely missed around here. At least missed by me.. :D

    CW,

    I dunno. It's a web-only ad, so I doubt anyone'll get too annoyed. I could be wrong, but maybe it'll even help among the blue collar vote...

    If it were to stay on the Web, I would agree with you.

    But, as LB points out, Fox and Drudge are going to make sure it goes mainstream..

    And it's not going to help one iota with the Independent/NPA vote...

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama administration tells contractors again: Don’t issue layoff notices

    But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/industry/259305-omb-tells-contractors-once-again-dont-issue-layoff-notices

    Another indication of how desperate Team Obama is..

    Michale....

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama administration tells contractors again: Don’t issue layoff notices

    Just another example of Team Obama putting politics and his re-election above the law...

    What would ya'all have said if Bush tried this kind of carp???

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW
    One can't help but wish that there were "professional referees" in the world of politics, as there now are in the National Football League (once again).

    Saw a funny cartoon regarding this: http://blogs.ajc.com/mike-luckovich/files/2012/09/mike092812.jpg

    The only teensy problem with this fantasy is that Mitt Romney -- to put it mildly -- is no Ronald Reagan

    Or for the economy to drop into a -2% recession and start shedding jobs. Although Republicans have at least tried their hardest to make this happen...

    Otherwise good article, the deficit cliff specifics would be a fantastic question I think it'd be graet to get Romney on record (again) saying he wouldn't agree to a tax increase even if accompanied with 10-1 cuts. Serious about cutting the deficit my ass.

  12. [12] 
    LewDan wrote:

    CW,

    I have to take exception to your last one, "Where are the specifics?" The last thing this country needs is more drawing of rd-lines.--Especially with regard to sequestration negotiations. Are you trying to ensure like the tea-party, that we plummet headfirst over that fiscal-cliff?

    I also think the media, in general, and political pundits, in particular, do this nation a grave disservice promoting the notion that voters have a right to micro-mange government. We elect representatives to make decisions in our name not to carry-out our policies.

    Few of us are informed enough to make policy decisions, many of us pay little attention to anything but a couple months campaign ads, and we all have our special interests, which is why we're supposed to be electing representative who, while bearing our interests and concerns in mind, make decisions for the greater good off all.

    The belief that we should determine policy and that we will not compromise is why we have a nonfunctional government leading us national seppuku.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Completely apropos of nothing...

    Anyone catch the series premiere of LAST RESORT?

    It was pretty intense... :D

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "Obama administration tells contractors again: Don’t issue layoff notices

    Just another example of Team Obama putting politics and his re-election above the law..."

    Looks like Obama, one again, actually trying to do something about joblessness, as opposed to the Republican's, all talk and no action, approach, to me.

    Sounds reasonable and fair to me. But then, I'm not opposed to Obama doing anything reasonable and fair. If the only reason they're laying off is to "protect themselves" in case sequestration causes sudden contract terminations later. What's the problem with the President telling them don't lay people off, we'll indemnify you from any additional risks?

    How is it illegal? He's simply taking them at their word and addressing, what they say, are their concerns.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    How is it illegal? He's simply taking them at their word and addressing, what they say, are their concerns.

    Because the LAW says that employers MUST give workers 120 Days notice if there is a possibility of being laid off..

    The possibility of layoffs exist..

    Ergo, employers MUST give notice..

    THAT's the law..

    But Obama doesn't want employers to obey the law, as it will threaten his re-election.

    So, he is willing to promise the employers that, if they are sued, Obama will use TAXPAYER money to cover the employers expenses...

    Now, you agree with that??

    Of course you do.. How silly of me.. :D

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I think I may be wrong about MR's likability (steady in the low 30's) being the single largest thing that will take him down. Michael Tomasky drilled down into a _Times_ poll of last week - the first which put the President strongly up in Ohio, and found this: The breakdown of the question on who MR's economic policies will favor (rich, middle, poor, everyone equal):

    OH: 58, 9, 1, 29.
    PA: 59, 9, 0, 29.
    FL: 56, 8, 0, 31.

    If fewer than one in ten voters feel MR's economic policies will favor the interests of the rich over their own, the current state of the economy is meaningless against the feeling that any improvement would flow primarily to someone else.

  17. [17] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I meant of course, "If fewer than one in ten voters feel MR's economic policies will favor their interests over those of the rich ...

    Duh.

  18. [18] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    By the way, just for the he11 of it, I pulled the C-SPAN tape of the Dayton rally. Here it is:

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/Romney-Ryan-Launch-Ohio-Bus-Tour/10737434301/

    At 27:00 in is the start of the issue. Ryan finishes his speech, MR says "what a guy" and some in the crowd clearly begin chanting "Ryan," as they would.

    The problem is MR's response to that, not the chant itself. A good stump politician would have let it flow, and would naturally segue that into the Team, and run with the enthusiasm.

    MR's response reminds me of the reaction when you have two dogs, and you begin to pay attention to one: the other instinctively jumps in with "what about me?!?" That's what the MSNBC editors caught.

    But the way it's being spun: there's no story here.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't know which commentary it was on, but it really summed up things and brought things into crystal clear focus...

    LD said something like the economic crisis is "ALL THE REPUBLICANS FAULT" and not one single person even QUESTIONED such a completely and blindly partisan statement.

    It's like the orgasmic spending of the Democrats and Obama didn't matter at all..

    It's clear to me that things here have nothing to do with reality any more..

    In this "reality" ya'all have created, everything bad is the fault of the Republicans and everything good, proper and pure is totally the result of his lordship and emperor, Barack The First...

    I'm done..

    Things here used to be fun, when we all had a COMMON frame of reference and could discuss and debate from THAT starting point.

    These days, the starting point is that Obama can do no wrong and anyone who is against Obama can do no right and, "NOW we can discuss things"..

    That's simply not how I roll...

    I can no longer reconcile ya'alls reality with the REAL world that I actually live in.. And, to be perfectly honest, I am tired of trying.

    Thanx for all the fish, but I'm done....

    Enjoy your echo chamber...

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    MR's response reminds me of the reaction when you have two dogs, and you begin to pay attention to one: the other instinctively jumps in with "what about me?!?" That's what the MSNBC editors caught.

    MSNBC didn't catch shit. MSNBC *created* shit.... It's Trayvon Martin all over again....

    This is EXACTLY what I am talking about..

    Absolute NO DISREGARD for the facts...

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/29/msnbc-caught-in-another-big-video-gaffe/

    Nobody here even QUESTIONS what are obvious fabrications...

    As long as it's slamming the Right, slamming Romney, who gives a shit about facts!!!

    "Oh how the mighty have fallen.."
    -Guinan, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, True Q

    What is really galling is not the obvious partisan bent that has gotten more pronounced around here..

    It's that absolutely NO ONE sees it...

    Like I said, ya'all have created your own little reality that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the real world..

    I didn't want to bail until I provided an example of the problem...

    Of course, no one will acknowledge the bias.... It's OK... The koolaid is just too damn good to resist....

    Michale......

  21. [21] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    RE: "...
    Absolute NO DISREGARD for the facts...

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/29/msnbc-caught-in-another-big-video-gaffe/

    Nobody here even QUESTIONS what are obvious fabrications...
    "

    That's exactly why I went to look at C-SPAN. Somebody was spinning this counter-factually, and I was curious which it was.

    There was no fabrication by MSNBC; at worst, it was, in its editing, the visual equivalent of taking a quote out of context.

    The issue with MSNBC that I have is Scarbourgh's reaction. And in that, we don't even know what he was reacting to; it may have been MR's stopping to "correct" instead of reinforcing the crowd's reaction, rather than the fact they began, as anyone should have expected, to chant "Ryan" _in support of what MR had just said_.

    We won't know; all we know is that Scarbourgh will fire back with the C-SPAN tape, and then (a) there goes the allegation of MSNBC manipulating or editing the sound, and (b) there goes the allegation that the crowd was in fact _not_ chanting "Ryan."

    It's a tempest in a tea pot, but at this stage, anything that takes the Romney campaign, or its advocates, off message is something they can't afford. But, of course, the good news is this is just an inside the beltway pissing contest fought to a draw.

  22. [22] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale

    What is really galling is not the obvious partisan bent that has gotten more pronounced around here..
    It's that absolutely NO ONE sees it...
    Like I said, ya'all have created your own little reality that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the real world..

    So you've finally looked in the mirror eh ;)

    Don't get me wrong it is fun to see on here what nonsense you've cooked up.

    But by far the most partisan person on this entire site is you. It is you who has openly stated many times he hates Obama so much he'd vote for Romney regardless of his policies. This is partisanship and bias at it's most basic definition. When you start from this viewpoint (Obama = an evil usurper) it is literally impossible to have an intelligent debate about anything.

  23. [23] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "Because the LAW says that employers MUST give workers 120 Days notice if there is a possibility of being laid off..

    The possibility of layoffs exist..

    Ergo, employers MUST give notice..

    THAT's the law.."

    Michale,

    And Obama is saying don't lay-off now and if it turns out you have to lay-off later the U.S. government will absorb the costs of meeting legal requirements like 120-day notice rules. What Obama is saying is that the government will pick-up the tab for salaries up to 120-days (more realistically up to 90-days) if necessary.

    Sure, its electioneering, of a sorts. Its also doing what the President is supposed to do. And its doing what Republicans swore was their No. 1 priority, jobs, jobs, jobs. And yes, at taxpayer expense. Just as taxpayers have been demanding and politicians (Democrat and Republican,) have been promising, for years. To do something constructive about unemployment and jobs.

    Also, what I said about the economy was:
    "The economy and unemployment are the result of the "no new tax" pledges and deregulation championed by conservatives, particularly Republicans, since Reagan. The deficit is due to the proliferate spending of the last Republican President and Congress, as is two-thirds of the national debt, without bothering about how to pay for it."

    I never said the economy was all the Republicans fault. I said it was all the conservatives fault. That includes Democratic conservatives. The deficit is the Republicans fault. That is simply the fact, whether you like it or not. There was no deficit before Bush.

    Your problem with this site is that it isn't the "echo chamber" you want.

  24. [24] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "It's like the orgasmic spending of the Democrats and Obama didn't matter at all.."

    Michale,

    If you'd get your head out of your rear, and Fox News, you'd know there has been no "orgasmic spending of the Democrats and Obama." Only Congress has the "power of the purse." Republicans have filibustered over one-hundred-thirty times.

    The Democrats and Obama can't even get routine spending bills, like increasing the debt ceiling, passed, let alone "orgasmic spending!"

    Even out out power the fiscal irresponsibility of Republicans, (by stalling debt ceiling bills,) has cost us billions more in debt, due to the reduction in our credit rating. And threatens to cost us, God only knows, how much, because of the "fiscal cliff" they've created!

  25. [25] 
    michty6 wrote:

    If you'd get your head out of your rear, and Fox News, you'd know there has been no "orgasmic spending of the Democrats and Obama." Only Congress has the "power of the purse." Republicans have filibustered over one-hundred-thirty times.

    Or that Bush took Federal Government spending from the 19.5% of GDP he inherited to 27.3% of GDP when he left; it is down to around 24% under Obama. Apparently decreasing Federal Government spending is an "orgasmic spending" spree in Fox/Michale world.

    Or that Government jobs have decreased during Obama's first term. Must be part of his 'orgasmic' increase in the size of Government!

    Imagine what he would've been able to do if he'd actually been allowed to raise taxes and take meaningful steps to decrease the deficit/create jobs and not been blocked at every path...

    But we're preaching to the bigoted, Michale is far down the rabbit hole and doesn't listen to facts. It is much easier to just keep repeating rhetoric: 'socialist', 'big spender', 'handouts', 'Government dependence', 'apologises' and all the similar tea-party far-right crap.

  26. [26] 
    ninjaf wrote:

    You guys, quit picking on Michale! He has said time and again that his bias is personal. President Obama LIED to him PERSONALLY (somehow...he has never said when he spoke to then-Candidate Obama in person) and said he would change the culture of Washington. He didn't, so now he must pay the price.

    Don't you see? ALL of this animus between Congress and the Executive branch is President Obama's fault. He didn't stroke the egos of the Republicans in control of Congress enough to make them work with him — therefore, he has failed Michale, personally. And he can never be forgiven for that. Never. Ever.

    Michale,
    Perhaps if that is how you really feel about us here, maybe you should take a break from politics for a while. Come back after the elections. You really do sound frantic in your posts, and not in a good way. Take a break. Take a deep breath.

    I am not saying to go away permanently. I am saying that you seem a little too caught up in the political discourse and maybe a break here would do you some good? Come back after a bit away, and maybe you will regain your sense of humor about it all?

    You may see this as an echo chamber, but it is not. Do most of us come with a left leaning frame of reference? Yes. But so does CW. That's why we like to congregate here. But a left leaning frame of reference does not mean we ignore facts, nor that we live in an echo chamber.

    Of late, I have read (and even participated in) discussion after discussion here where someone shows you facts from independent sources and you refuse to believe them or even look at them, citing partisan bias. And because there are no sources you are willing to accept — including an eye-witness account from our host, CW — and only present your case with blatant partisan references, there is no productive discussion to be had.

    If you (or anyone) can't accept unbiased facts, there is no discussion that can follow. It becomes like a snake eating its own tail.

  27. [27] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Good article: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/what-presidential-debates-wont-tell-you

    Basically a discussion of 5 things that won't be discussed during the debates but should be which are:
    1. Immediate deficit reduction will wipe out any hope of economic recovery
    2. Taxes are at their lowest point in more than half a century, preventing investment in and the maintenance of America's most basic resources
    3. Neither the status quo nor a voucher system will protect Medicare (or any other kind of health care) in the long run
    4. The US military is outrageously expensive and yet poorly tailored to the actual threats to US national security
    5. The education system is what made this country prosperous in the twentieth century—but no longer

    Although I'd think there would be some light discussion of (1) or (2) given Romney's economic plans...

  28. [28] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Awwww, Mom! He started it!

  29. [29] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michty6,

    Until republicans are once again ready to act responsibly and participate in government, instead of demanding to dictate to government, there is no such thing a meaningful debate. The words of Republican candidates have proven meaningless, as they simply do not act in good faith.

    The issues you've mentioned definitely need to be addressed, but its time this country stopped pretending the Republican party was participating in the democratic process; what they're doing is gaming the system in order to profit personally. We do ourselves a disservice by continuing to grant them credibility.

  30. [30] 
    michty6 wrote:

    LD

    I largely agree. Even the more sensible Republicans have lost their minds/been primaried and replaced. I disagree with his policies, but I like McCain and even he has gone extreme (eg. 2008 - DREAM Act is great! 2010 - votes against the DREAM act because anything Obama does is evil).

    Their response to Obama has to go full tilt crazy, throwing reason and rationale out the window. Heck even Romney had a moderate background but couldn't run on it for fear of a backlash from his party!

    I can tell you from an non-USA perspective that electing the current GOP would be an embarrassment to your country.

  31. [31] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "By the end of these six years with a Democratic-controlled Senate, Republicans will have used the filibuster to block legislation more than 400 times, annually double any of the previous 12 years under GOP control."
    http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/564775/GOP-uses-filibusters-to-obstruct-Obama--Democrats.html?nav=18

    If this guy's right—Boy! Have I been wrong! I knew the numbers were unprecedented, and I thought there were 137 this term—But I'd no idea there were over 400 filibusters since Democrats gained the Senate!

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:

    LD, I could be wrong because its late and Im too lazy to bother Googling for once, but I think the 137 you are referring to is just 2009-2010...

  33. [33] 
    michty6 wrote:

    It is indeed over 400 since Democrats took the Senate.

    07-08 = 139
    09-10 = 137
    11-12 = 109 (unfinished!)

    Considered there had never, ever been a term with over 100 (the previous record is 82) this is pretty amazing.

    Filibuster has been used more in the last 5 years than the previous 10 added together!

    http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/cloture_motions/clotureCounts.htm

  34. [34] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hey folks-
    Sorry this is a bit off topic, but wanted to share the best piece of debate advice I've seen so far for Obama.

    And it came from a conservative who works for the American Enterprise Institute.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/opinion/sunday/why-obamacare-is-a-conservatives-dream.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    It can be summed up in this quote from the article:

    "The architecture of the Affordable Care Act is based on conservative, not liberal, ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces" - J. D. Kleinke, AEI

    This is how you defend the ACA in the debate. Because you know it's going to come up.

    -David

    p.s. And for the record, this is also why I believe there were better alternatives. The free market has shown that giant healthcare companies do little more than act as a middle man between those who pay and the hospitals. In a situation where the "free market" is not adding value and not innovating, it makes much more sense to have this run by the government, where the profit incentive wouldn't conflict with the care incentive.

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. Holy crap, LewDan ... 400 filibusters?!!!

    Now this should be the headline in every newspaper in the country (too bad we don't have a more liberal press)

  36. [36] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michty6 [11] -

    My paper ran that cartoon as well. Funny!

    Michale [13] -

    Was that the rogue sub thing? Seemed a lot like that rogue sub movie to me, but then I wasn't really paying attention to it, was just in the same room while it was on and missed most of it.

    On filibusters, I've long said the Dems should beat this drum more often. The GOP has filibustered more than all previous Senates combined, I believe, in the past few years. Make it an issue!

    -CW

  37. [37] 
    michty6 wrote:

    David

    the profit incentive wouldn't conflict with the care incentive.

    This is actually the biggest reason why the idea of a 'free market' is completely stupid for almost every market. Social factors, which the free market is free to ignore, should always take precedence over making money. It is also why deregulation (moving more toward a free market) is a flawed concept nowadays. You'd think when people saw first hand the kind of damage free markets can do resulting in the Great Recession of 2008-2009 (or many other previous cases, but this was particularly damaging) they'd acknowledge this. But people have selective memory problems.

    Of course when you are dealing with healthcare social factors are very high in any decision which is why leaving decisions down to the 'free market' is a silly idea. It'd be like putting a robot in charge of our healthcare and expecting the robot to understand human emotions and social issues! (You could substitute the word 'robot' with Mitt in this sentence too!)

  38. [38] 
    LewDan wrote:

    The ACA only passed because it is basically a Republican plan. Sure there are lots of better ways to address health care, but none that stood a chance of being enacted, with Republicans stonewalling. ACA was simply the best deal we could make at the time.

    I guess even Republicans couldn't trash ACA while they still owned it. They allowed passage, made sure Obama took "ownership," and then started trashing it; without, of course, ever referring to, or offering, any of those better alternatives progressives had proposed.

  39. [39] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The ACA only passed because it is basically a Republican plan

    This is why this current election is so stupid. You've got a Republican candidate not just running against a Republican plan, but running against a Republican plan that he himself implemented in his own State! It's just amazing that Americans are so blind they can't see such blatant partisanship when it's right in front of their eyes. Or maybe I'm not giving them credit and they do see it, hence why Obama is winning...

    I can think of no finer an example of blatant partisanship and being against something for no reason other than it is Obama doing it, than ACA. The unanimous Republican vote against it perfectly sums up the Republican party of 2012.

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