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Monday, October 8, 2012

29 Days & Counting

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

I'm glad it's Monday because I had a trifecta of disappointment last week. First, there was Monday night where Tony Romo and the Cowboys stunk up the place. Then, there was the debate where President Obama didn't show up and then Saturday night, my Longhorns failed to make an open field tackle when they needed to. It's a brand new beautiful day. The temperature is 54° so it's time to turn those three pages and prepare for the next 29 days.

Before I move on, I want to give my take on Daniel Ellis's letter to the editor last week. It was a rare Obama complementary letter which I knew, would be attacked. I can't get angry because the letter got contradictory remarks because that would be hypocritical, so I'll try, to sum up, the points used by his detractors.

In Mr. Ellison's three short paragraphs, the  letter writer stated that he liked President Obama’s Christian like approach in handling problems, his humble beginnings contrary to Mitt Romney's and a plea for patience to complete the job.

I believe Mr. Romney, and President Obama are both God- fearing men but that's not for me to say because I can't see into their hearts, and neither can anyone else. Some will continue to use a single DVD that was shown on a continuous loop on Fox, to judge Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his parishioners as radical racists, and they will associate the president with them. That issue was settled in 2008, and 69 million people chose Barack Obama to be the 44th president of the United States. It would take a vivid imagination and a consumption of loads of propaganda to convince  even the  most guidable people that the president and Michelle didn't come from humble beginnings.

I agree with Mr. Ellis final assessment . Consumer confidence is up, and people are aware that we have a long way to go, so it's no time to start all over.

I started my weekly watching of the Sunday talk shows with a very spirited debate moderated by George Stephanopoulos on ABC Sunday. Peggy Noonan can write an excellent speech and a decent column, but she's no match for Paul Krugman when it comes to economics’, and it showed. Mary Matalin is also great using scripted talking points, but she was stunned when a panelist said that consumer confidence was up. Mary Matalin had to resort to rolling her eyes in obvious disgust. She even stooped to name calling, telling Paul Krugman " "You're hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar" when he said that Mitt Romney's incredible performance was theatrical and based on lies.

I noticed a pattern that's been used by Republicans. Mitt Romney cited the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) as his source for saying that we would lose 700,000 jobs by taxing the wealthy. First of all, NFIB, is an ultra- conservative think- tank that’s to the right of the United States Chamber of Commerce, so the fact that they are independent businesses is laughable. Every Republican surrogate will try to use the NFIB numbers and dismiss the Tax Policy Center as a left wing source, when the Obama team says that Mitt Romney has a $5 trillion dollar tax plan that's geared to the wealthy. Mitt Romney will often cite six supporting economists who agree that he can give a 20% tax cut across the board without raising the deficit. The economists he cited, like the American people and President Obama's team, have not been told the deductions that Romney will cut, to remain revenue neutral.

I think the onus is on the Romney team to repeat a stellar performance Thursday night and the rest of the debates. I also think that Joe Biden will get the ball rolling Thursday night, and it's going to be interesting to see if Paul Ryan does a complete 180°on his views because he has actually put out two budgets that failed to pass the senate. Is Paul Ryan going to say, that his ideological views were wrong, and they are now going with a more moderate point of view? Mitt Romney has effectively killed the Ryan budget because Mitt Romney said he would restore the $716 billion Ryan used in his budget proposal. Romney has also said that he will not increase the budget with tax cuts, so what happens to the Bush tax cuts and defense spending Ryan wants? It is surprising to see those who were criticizing Romney not being fazed with his moderate stances he is now taking.

I don't know if facts matter anymore because the waters have been muddied so much that people think that the Dept. of Labor and Bureau Statistics, and the Federal Reserve can be manipulated by the White House. Liberals don't have any confidence in the Supreme Court, and we all seem to be playing a zero-sum game. It's been that way for while; did anyone believe the color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale? Many thought it automatically went up to orange when President Bush approval numbers started dropping.

I still believe that this election will be about the role of government. I heard a good line, this weekend that went something like this “we the people made this government and we the people can fix what's wrong." That statement was supported with a good example of how a small  private startup company came together and built an app that helped the city of Philadelphia with their bureaucracy. It seems that Philadelphia was trying to get input from its citizens who use their children's park to see what they could do to make it better. Typically, they had a city council meeting were 150 people showed up on a weekday night. They would get about 10 ideas and then they would go through the bureaucracy of setting up committees for approval. By using a text-messaging system, the start-up received over 750 responses with new ideas that didn't require a weekly meeting. To make a long story, short, the app saves the city two million dollars and was implemented in two days. After that success, the start-up company received many more requests from cities across the nation. It goes to show that people want effective government.

I hope this election is not about sound bites, quotes taken out of context, 30 second ads or anything but well informed opinions. I hope we don't allow ourselves to think that the 3/10 of 1% job numbers drop are rigged for election purposes. We shouldn't let the politics of Big Bird confuse or influence us; that program costs $450 million or as I like to say, 6 hours of Pentagon spending. Mitt Romney did a wonderful job of mudding the waters on green jobs. That $90 billion for green jobs was just a proposal figure that never materialized.  Not even half of that has been spent because Congress only allocated $34 billion of it.  Mitt Romney said half of the green companies went bankrupt but that is not true.  Only three of the companies went bankrupt.  Check out the facts because if a candidate will lie about something that can be Goggled in 5 minutes; what else could he be lying about?


born2Bme said...

Isn't it odd how people think that because a candidate has one good debate, it changes the whole thing? Does he actually think it works like that? I hope he (Romney) has the big head now and over plays it in the next debate.
Wonder if that was President Obama's aim all along?
I really think that President Obama is more comfortable coming from behind and I don't think he wanted to be so far ahead when the voting started. Some of his voters might have skipped the election if they thought he was way out in front.

Mike said...

It is odd because a Pew Research poll that just came out has Romney ahead by four points. Romney is strutting his stuff on the campaign trail because he got away with a fast one... As a pundit said this morning, I wonder what was going through Romney's mind as he kept attacking but didn't get any real counter punches from Obama.

Who knows you may be right, that might be the Obama strategy but it's a risky one.. About 70 million people watched that debate; I still say it was a lost opportunity to put Romney away before he could get any momentum. Romney strong showing united his party and so he left no doubt that he is their leader.

It's really hard to say how much damage the debate caused because the Obama campaign received a record amount of contributions, yet the pundits are saying the enthusiasm gap is with the republicans.

born2Bme said...

I think it just stunned people, but if Obama can do really well on the next 2, it should be better for him.
I just cannot forget those few times he smiled, and shook his head while he looked down. It just seemed that he was surprised, but getting a little laugh out of it a few times.
I don't know about you, but that is something I do when I trick someone into doing something I hoped they would do, against all odds.
I guess we'll see pretty soon.

Mike said...

I think Democrats need to listen to Samuel L. Jackson's message or this election is going to get away from us....We need to take a gift horse (today's  Romney's foreign   policy speech ) and use it against him.

I read where the president was frustrated in his pre-debate prep because things are not going well in the MIddle East....Obama admitted he had a bad performance but he was stunned that Romney backed off his tax plan,supported regulations and the need for more teachers....Bottom line,you can't prepare for a complete make over and bogus data.