Friday, June 29, 2012

Keeping Track of Willard's Lies

It's time for Willard's Lies of the week. Once again, I will point out the site on the blog roll: Romney The Liar: because there are Liars, Damn Liars, and then there's Mitt Romney. Steve Benen, now at The Maddow Blog:. Here's this week's entry of Chronicling Mitt's mendacity: The Opening:
Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXIV

By Steve Benen

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:07 PM EDT.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that came out this week included an interesting, open-ended question: "What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Mitt Romney as president?" Poll respondents weren't offered any choices; they could offer any response they wanted.

The results weren't especially surprising -- the most common answer noted Romney being very wealthy. There were also plenty of folks who mentioned Romney's conservatism, his Mormon faith, his controversial positions on women's rights, etc.

Down towards the bottom of the list, however, was one that jumped out me: "Dishonest." For at least some respondents -- not a lot, but some -- the first thing that came to mind when thinking about Romney was the candidate's willingness to say things that aren't true.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who's noticed. In fact, the public response should probably be far more common given how quickly the Republican's record of falsehoods is growing. Consider, for example, the 24th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. Following the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's anti-immigrant law, Romney said "we are still waiting" for President Obama "to present an immigration plan."

No, actually, we're not. Obama endorsed a comprehensive reform plan years ago, and presented his own detailed plan more than a year ago.

2. At a campaign event in Salem, Virginia, Romney said Obama had "all the support he needed" in Congress to pass immigration legislation during his first two years in office.

That's plainly false. There were Democratic majorities in both chambers, but not enough to overcome Republican filibusters.

3. At the same event, Romney said Obama "did not deal with immigration" policy.

Sure he did. Obama introduced a comprehensive immigration reform proposal; he increased deportations; he strengthened border security; and he used his prosecutorial discretion to implement the goals of the DREAM Act. Romney may not approve of these policies, but he should deny their existence.

4. Romney also argued that Obama "promised" to keep unemployment "below 8 percent" through the Recovery Act.

As Romney surely knows by now, that's simply not true.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CNN, Fox Flub Supreme Court Ruling on ACA

I expect something like this from Faux News.... a complete imitation of a legitimate news organization. But CNN? I had a feeling something like this was going to happen. Of course all the networks and their pundits assumed that the Affordable Care Act would go down in flames. They had their stories pre-made and ready to go before the ruling... and they went with what they had before reading the decision. The media had bought into the negative punditry so much that it was almost as if the networks wanted to see a ruling against the ACA. I guess this proves that Obama is the darling of the media. Oh wait....

How the Ruling Will Inspire Conservatives

Today’s landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare will go down as a bittersweet victory for progressives and the Obama administration. In upholding the individual mandate, the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional – as a tax.
This will become problematic in the 2012 election and beyond because Republicans will be able to effectively portray Obamacare as a tax increase in the billions of dollars.
Read the rest here.

The TRUTH about ' Fast and Furious'- nothing but a political witchhunt

The GOP controlled House is taking the unprecedented step of voting to hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt.

Led by an actual criminal, Darryl Issa, this is nothing but a political witch hunt. They can't get the President, so they're going after the Attorney General.

Fortune Magazine published a long article following their investigation of Fast and Furious.

Here is part of it:

The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

June 27, 2012: 5:00 AM ET

A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.

By Katherine Eban

In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth's ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico's vicious drug war.

Some call it the "parade of ants"; others the "river of iron." The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.

Voth, 39, was a good choice for a Sisyphean task. Strapping and sandy-haired, the former Marine is cool-headed and punctilious to a fault. In 2009 the ATF named him outstanding law-enforcement employee of the year for dismantling two violent street gangs in Minneapolis. He was the "hardest working federal agent I've come across," says John Biederman, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department. But as Voth left to become the group supervisor of Phoenix Group VII, a friend warned him: "You're destined to fail."

Voth's mandate was to stop gun traffickers in Arizona, the state ranked by the gun-control advocacy group Legal Community Against Violence as having the nation's "weakest gun violence prevention laws." Just 200 miles from Mexico, which prohibits gun sales, the Phoenix area is home to 853 federally licensed firearms dealers. Billboards advertise volume discounts for multiple purchases.

Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they're 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. "In Arizona," says Voth, "someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich."

By 2009 the Sinaloa drug cartel had made Phoenix its gun supermarket and recruited young Americans as its designated shoppers or straw purchasers. Voth and his agents began investigating a group of buyers, some not even old enough to buy beer, whose members were plunking down as much as $20,000 in cash to purchase up to 20 semiautomatics at a time, and then delivering the weapons to others.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who Says Negative Ads Don't Work?

A still from LBJ's 1964 "Daisy" campaign ad, widely considered the first negative television ad. Click to watch.

Although voters say they don't want negative ads, the fact is, such ads work. This doesn't mean candidates should revert to boogeyman campaign tactics - Democrats shouldn't stoop to GOP tactics by resorting to distortions, lies and half truths. A Daisy style ad today might be a bit much, even if it were a legitimate vision of where the Country might be in the future based on facts about a candidate. But telling the truth in an a matter-of-fact way can produce results. The fact that tough, "negative" ads work has been known to Republicans for years. It's the Democrats who haven't gotten the memo.

Team Dukakis Obama has been stuck on the idea (since 2007/08) that negative ads should be avoided and that voters only respond to positive "America is a shining city upon a hill" commercials..."negative ads don't work". Of course this is complete nonsense. This may have been true at one time....  but it definitely hasn't been the case for the past 4 or 5 election cycles. Obama & Co. also has a tendency not to pre-empt opponents on negative ads...and they fail to respond aggressively to such ads once they are put out, particularly those with false or misleading information. The takeaway message from an NPR report last week on negative ads, should be that you have to fight back. I hope someone in the Obama camp is paying attention. John Kerry didn't get the message. He fell hard for the "Americans want to see a nice, happy, positive campaign" nonsense. Gov. Dukakis also learned the hard way. No longer can you just sit around and allow misinformation to fester and spread... especially in the age of digital media. A death panel can go from a conspiracy theory to a fact (although completely can have the impact of a fact) in just a few days if left unanswered. This is what happened to the Affordable Care Act. The Democrats rolled it out without the proper preparations in place to defend it. Within a few months... the legislation was trashed by a huge negative ad campaign by the GOP and its allies. In the process, Republicans managed to successfully rebrand the legislation"Obamacare". If it takes negative ads to refute lies... then so be it. But you can't wait too long to respond. By the time Obama and the Democrats began to address the death panel nonsense... it was too late.

Whether team Obama plays the game or not.... they are going to be on the receiving end of negative GOP ads no matter what. And Romney & Co. will have an almost unlimited flow of cash to help them do it. The best way to deal with it is to fight back. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. I personally don't prefer a candidate to go the negative route. But on the same token, you have to play by the rules of the game that you find yourself in. This is the American system at the moment. In the absence of 'The Fairness Doctrine', which I believe should be brought back, you have to do what you have to do....and sometimes that means getting a little dirty (it's fine to get tough, as long as you are using fact based information). Obama will either have to play the game... or risk a real nail-biter, or perhaps an upset in November.

Obama Hung In Effigy Once Again - Not a Word From GOP

Racist Conservative Pastor Terry Jones took it upon himself to hang Obama in effigy on his church's front lawn a couple of weeks ago. I won't post the disgusting photo directly. Just follow the link.

What I found interesting is that Romney and the GOP seemed to do little to distance themselves from Jones. The same was the case during the protests against the Mosque on Manhattan a couple of years ago. In an effort to appeal to radical Republicans, Romney will often avoid denouncing these kinds of acts. The same radical right that was once the fringe has now found its way into the base of the Republican party. As a result the GOP has gone farther to the right.

If something like this happened on the left Republicans, with the help of media, would corner Obama and force him to denounce it and denounce those who support it. It's odd to me that Romney has no such burden.

And when will the Country stop with this nonsensical notion that Obama's race has nothing to do with anything? All these effigy hangings, racial symbols, racial jokes, and other incidents are just my imagination running wild then? So I should believe that all of this would be taking place if the man in the White House were caucasian? 

Dating While Black: My Experience With Online Matchmaking

Well, I just jumped back into the dating market this past month and I am finding that the options are few. Although I am not looking for any serious matches…. only activity partners, since I am not in any position to delve into a serious relationship. I have not dated in almost 10 years. In fact, I will be 39 next month, and to tell you the truth, I have never really dated for any meaningful length of time. I dated one person for about 2-3 weeks (2 dates). I didn’t go on my first date until I was 29 (the last time I dated). So I have never really dated. When I tell people that my life is crap (because they ask) and that I hate how my life turned out, they have no idea what I mean. But this is just one example. 

I have always hated dating. I chalk most of my social aversion to the fact that I am pretty much an introvert (although I was much more social growing up). Common social situations that are enjoyable to most people (dating, going to social gatherings, crowded places, events) are a pain in the ass for me. I get stressed when in social situations, especially in large groups and with people who I don’t know. So that makes it hard to get out and meet people. I have adequate social skills… there is a switch that I can turn on and off…. And I can navigate through situations just fine… it’s just laborious and taxing. It’s more like a shy actors ability to get through a scene. They can do it just fine, but it takes extra work to function outside of  their normal character. It’s the same for me… I’m not at ease in those situations.

I’m using the most popular online service available…. Basically a service that takes your money. But this time, having some experience with online dating, my expectations have been lowered. I already know that I will run into the same problems that I ran into before - see the commentary entitled "White Men Only". In fact, after being online for a week or so… I am already seeing some of those problems popping up again. The two main problems before were that #1). I hated my job and basically had inadequate employment/ income. Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed. #2). To put it bluntly, I am the wrong ethnic group. Being a Black male is a permanent pain in the ass. It was a problem the last time I tried to date, and obviously that is the kind of problem that will never go away. The ideal mate across the board (all ethnic groups of women) is still a white male, successful, earning 50k or more a year. I’m in the category between 25k and 35k and I’m not considered a viable match for a lot of women from a financial standpoint (which is why I am not looking for any serious dating relationships. Instead i‘m just trying to get to know more people). Being a Black male who wants to meet women from a variety of ethnic groups… puts me into a tough category. Most non-black women want to see higher earnings/more lucrative employment. They also primarily want white males. Some will go for a guy of color… but he has to offer something that compensates (There is a penalty fee that you have to pay when you are Black and male). In other words, if he is a physician, attorney, or an executive, or has some other job that would give him an acceptable income, he can usually do just fine. On the other hand, Black women… (if I can find one that can appreciate a decent guy, who has a temperament that I can tolerate, and who matches up in terms of values and culture) often have irrational expectations when it comes to income as well. I typically have no interest in dating Black women…and exclusively date interracially… but if I wanted to go that route, there are obstacles there too.  I find them to be the most demanding/superficial (not all of course). They focus on the most shallow, non-substantive factors as deal breakers… such as… he has to be a certain height, he has to earn 50k to 75k, etc. They rarely seek anything substantive. Happiness for them is quantified in terms of money/material possessions. What they seek often seems to be something commercially manufactured.

Then of course there is the fact that from a standpoint of values, physical appearance, worldview, and mannerisms I don’t fit what they are typically looking for. They want a Rap mogul or professional athlete… a brute or thug in a $1000 suit. I have heard of the term Tupac w/ a degree or in a suit to describe what many of them are interested in. Many claim they don’t want this… but 39 years on this planet observing people has shown me otherwise. Even the 5-10% of top notch Black women seem to find favor with certain aspects of this type of Black male. The fact that I like to watch National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, like photography, and would rather listen to Jeremy Davenport, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon or James Taylor than a Mary J. Blige album any day is probably a turn off. I’m about 96% reserved square…as in Alfonso Ribeiro or Bryant Gumble. I’m probably 4% street smart - the guy who can survive in just about any situation. Growing up in and near poverty in St. Louis in the 1970’s & 80’s taught me about survival…and how to be aware of my surroundings. But it’s that 96% that they find unattractive. Not exciting enough. So I have never been a match for Black women. We don’t typically match on any level. But if Halle Berry walked into my life, I wouldn’t turn her away. But I must be realistic.

This of course leaves me back at square one…. where I was before….where I left off a decade ago. And now a 3rd problem has cropped up -age. I am now too old to date most of the women in my desired age group (which is 24-36). Most women have a cut-off of 35. So I am past my prime years. I wasted all that time chasing that fairy tale called “The American Dream”. Just like Santa doesn’t exist… neither does the American Dream…. I just wish someone would have told me that sooner. I would have spent more time trying to live and enjoy the little time that we have on this planet instead of chasing money, career, material possessions just so that I could be viable and marketable to the opposite sex. It has all been a waste of time. I now realize that I wasted 20 years of my life on complete bullshit. Chasing absolutely nothing.

Another problem is that when I mention I don’t want a serious relationship… women run. They assume that I am a cheating husband…or I just want to get laid (not necessarily the case…. ). I simply want friends/activity partners because I don’t have the time and resources required for a relationship. Being able to market yourself as a viable man is expensive. Women have no idea. I want a better employment situation before dealing with a serious relationship. I also want the opportunity to meet more people before I settle and confine myself to one person. If they can’t have you exclusively, it usually means no dice. I would rather have a relationship develop naturally on its own from friends/dating partners. (isn’t that what women wanted at one time?). Today it seems as if they want you to be committed to them from the first date…which is ridiculous. But in order to meet someone… it looks like I will have to change that part of my dating profile. I hate being dishonest about what I’m looking for. Although I think that excuse (used by a couple of women so far) was actually just a cover for the real issue - race. Last time around I had to eventually remove my photos to increase my chances of success… (because of the race issue). I will probably do the same thing again, while leaving my ethnicity blank. There is no doubt in my mind that my photos hold me back. They certainly don’t help me. Whenever I remove my photo and leave my ethnicity unanswered… my connections mysteriously increase… and I have better correspondence.

I have recently started to come to the conclusion that meeting someone or even having a decent dating life may not be in the cards for me. The key for me will be finding decent employment (it always seems to come back to that). In the meantime, I plan to partake in fellowship at some area churches. I am looking to find a congregation to possibly join and will start attending potential churches this year. I am looking for Progressive, robust, unorthodox, innovative churches centered around service. Looking for congregations that have volunteer opportunities. I have reached an age where I have realized I have been running the wrong race….and need to start running a different one. Not really having a family bond of my own… I have to find “family” elsewhere (another revelation from this past year). So I have several reasons for seeking a church. This is something I would suggest for anyone in the same boat.

Monday, June 25, 2012

SCOTUS Gets One Right: Rules 5-4 Against Life in Prison for Juveniles

The Supreme Court got one right today with its 5-4 ruling that juveniles should not be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. To rule otherwise would essentially dictate that there is no difference between juvenile offenders and adult offenders.
This decision is consistent with Roper v. Simmons (2005) wherein the Court held that capital punishment for juveniles is unconstitutional.
Read the rest here

Friday, June 22, 2012

Keeping Track of Willard's Lies

It's time for Willard's Lies of the week.

Once again, I will point out the site on the blog roll: Romney The Liar: because there are Liars, Damn Liars, and then there's Mitt Romney.

Steve Benen, now at The Maddow Blog:. Here's last week's entry of Chronicling Mitt's mendacity:

The opening:

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXIII

By Steve Benen

Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:30 PM EDT.

For those who are watching the 2012 presidential race closely, Mitt Romney's penchant for falsehoods is hard to miss. Michael Cohen summarized the issue nicely this week in a piece for The Guardian:

Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it's pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.

Now, in general, those of us in the pundit class are really not supposed to accuse politicians of lying -- they mislead, they embellish, they mischaracterize, etc. Indeed, there is natural tendency for nominally objective reporters, in particular, to stay away from loaded terms such as lying. Which is precisely why Romney's repeated lies are so effective. In fact, lying is really the only appropriate word to use here, because, well, Romney lies a lot.

If there are any lingering doubts about the accuracy of this observation, consider the 23rd installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity. (I've been at this for several months now, and this week's list is the longest to date.)

1. In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Romney claimed it's fiscally responsible to eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act: "It saves $100 billion a year to get rid of it."

That's the opposite of the truth. According to the CBO and other nonpartisan budget estimates, killing the law would make the deficit go up, not down, and would cost, not save, the country hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years.

2. In the same interview, Romney said, "I think a lot of people forgetting is there is only one president in history that's cut Medicare by $500 billion and that is President Obama."

Romney says this a lot. He's not telling the truth.

3. Romney also said, "I see people holding up signs, 'Don't touch my Medicare.' It's like, hey, I'm not touching your Medicare."

Romney endorsed Paul Ryan's House Republican Budget plan, which ends the Medicare program and replaces it with a private voucher scheme.


4. In the same interview, Romney said President Obama has "never had the experience of working in the private sector."

Actually, that's not true. Obama worked at a private-sector law firm before entering public service.

Fred Luter: A Groundbreaking Selection by Southern Baptists

Let’s sit and think about it again: The Southern Baptist Convention has selected Reverend Fred Luter as its first African-American president. This is a stunning event for an organization founded in slavery and racism.
Luter, from New Orleans, has a reputation as a pastor who can build up congregations. He has done so with the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church and intends to improve the Southern Baptist Convention’s minority outreach efforts. He needs to.
Read the rest here

Why Skip? House Democrats Not Attending Their Own Convention?

CNN reports that a “growing list of Democrats in competitive districts and states will not attend this year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.” This strikes me as a manufactured controversy.

Read the rest here

Citizens United vs. Occupy, Sharpton: Do Marches Work in a World of Money Politics?

As I recently wrote in the New York Times, the Citizens United decision has led to an unprecedented saturation of money in politics. The effects of money in American politics was already quite pernicious, but this ill-considered decision released a flood of anonymous money which completely upends the ability of the non-elite 99% to have any meaningful say in politics.
Or, does it?

Read the rest here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Obama SWOT List for 2012

 Enjoyed doing this for 2008, so I am doing it again. More relevant this time around.

Obama SWOT Analysis for Election 2012


1. Considerable accomplishments in 4 years.

2. Helped to stop the free falling Bush economy…. Preventing an even bigger calamity.

3. Several months of positive job growth (including more net new jobs than the Bush Admin produced).

4. Likeable

5. He’s the incumbent - almost always a strength. He’s a known character now…although Republicans still want to highlight his non-white “otherness” through the spread of misinformation in order to create fear and uncertainty.

6. Supports a set of Progressive principles that are largely supported by the American public. When Progressive ideals are broken down into specific policy positions, those positions tend to have public support. When positions are explained clearly, without media distortions/misinformation, and when Progressives are able to get their message out, the public usually supports the Progressive view on most of the major issues and challenges facing the Country, from Healthcare (when taken piece by piece), on investing in education, on the need to invest in infrastructure, on taxes, on the approach to debt reduction, on energy, on supporting small businesses, on keeping jobs in the U.S., on women’s rights, on Medicare….Progressives win on just about every major issue.

7. He was able to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden under his watch. Obama has effectively neutralized perceived Republican strengths on national security.

8. Has, for the most part (until recently) been able to avoid the wedge issue trap….issues usually brought up by the GOP as a way to divide the electorate & divide the Country.

9. He has a strong grassroots network already in place.

10. Has the funds for a long political fight.

11. He is a strong charismatic campaigner.

12. Strong support from women and minorities.

13. More in touch with the average voter.


1. The U.S. economy has not turned around as quickly as he (and the rest of us) would have liked.

2. His otherness is still an issue for some voters (which is why the GOP devotes so much time to manufacturing & highlighting differences).

3. Losing support among college age voters (according to the Melissa Harris-Perry Program 6-17-2012). Romney is now leading or running neck in neck with this demographic (strange indeed).

4. Losing support among white voters overall.

5. Losing support among middle class independents according to the Gallup organization. (strange). Conversely… Romney now leads with this demographic. They believe the Wall Street candidate with save them from the problems created, in part, by Wall Street. (completely illogical).

6. Has PR & strategy teams in the White House and in the wider Democratic Party that are absolutely atrocious. They can’t even sell facts… so they definitely can’t sell an idea…. Not even if their lives depended on it. They don’t come close to matching Republicans in terms of effective strategy, communication and marketing of their ideas. This is why - despite the public supporting most Progressive positions - Progressives still often lose the public debate overall and have found themselves tied in polls with the perfect Wall Street poster boy, in a year when the public can’t stand Wall Street. The PR and strategy arms of the Obama machine have become famous for making boneheaded decisions & being slow to manage fallout once they stumble or for not doing enough to market Obama as a candidate.

Think of a company with a far superior product & brand… a brand that consumers actually prefer… Yet the company has a marketing department that is unable to sell the product. With a superior product…it is still losing market share. Seems crazy right? Companies with good established brands and products that are superior to the competition should easily be able to establish and maintain a competitive advantage over rivals. But the situation described is essentially what we have with the Democratic Party at the moment.

7. Lacks both corporate & grassroots media strength. This is closely related to #6. The lack of media infrastructure shows. Progressives do well when it comes to communicating with one another & preaching to the choir , but they (including POTUS) do a poor job of talking to/& making the case to the general public. Slow jamming with Jimmy Fallon isn’t going to cut it.

We have a Republican candidate who says he will basically dismantle Medicare & cut benefits. I should be seeing & hearing this in commercials every 15 minutes. At least we should see more effort in the battleground States. Romney and the Republicans have gifted the Democrats with a poison pill to use against them….not to mention all of the other Republican gifts. I can think of at least 7 or 8 commercials that should be running. Sure for some issues it makes sense to wait until Fall, but on most issues, they can hit the GOP right now. The idea should be to keep the GOP on their collective heels until election day. They should define Romney before Romney and the GOP can do so.

8. Cannot really control domestic or global economic outcomes in any significant way (towards the positive) in the short term, especially with obstructionist Republicans in Congress.

9. Lacks fighting spirit. Race/ethnicity plays some role in this. Obama, like many men of color, is hamstrung by his race (whether he knows it/admits it or not). Obama must always overcompensate when it comes to appearing patient and dignified (did you see him with that racist reporter Neil Munro who heckled him this week?…. It is clear that he had to restrain himself). When it comes to being strong & angry he can’t afford to be too much of either. Yet Americans overall like a little John Wayne in their political leaders.


1. Has the opportunity to define Romney.

2. Has the opportunity to take advantage of the fact that Romney is out of touch with average Americans.

3. Can paint Romney as wishy washy… and as someone who is willing to do or say just about anything to get elected.

4. Can highlight Team Romney's positions that are unpopular with the general public (there are plenty of these to choose from…. Unfortunately, Democrats aren’t doing it effectively…in many cases they aren’t doing this at all).

5. With a net worth of over $250 million dollars, including tons of money in offshore accounts (to avoid tax liability) Democrats have a chance to brand Romney as the Wall Street candidate...the candidate of the 1%. (although the window of opportunity to define Romney is closing by the day, while Democratic strategists do little to nothing).


1. The global economy, especially the European economy. Greece could do more today (their election day) to decide the 2012 election in the U.S. than anything Obama and the Democrats could do. The same goes for the rest of Europe over the next several weeks. And Obama & Co. has very little control over the situation.

2. Israel/Benjamin Netanyahu & their obsession with Iran. PM Netanyahu would love to see a Republican President in the U.S. In fact, seeing Romney elected & having a more hawkish U.S. President would be in their interest (from their delusional standpoint they see war as being in their interest…but actually war or even a more hawkish foreign policy would be bad for Israel). So it is possible that Netanyahu could be willing to spark a crisis that could have a negative impact on Obama’s re-election. It’s not only possible…but it is probably likely later in the Summer or in the Fall.

3. International events mostly outside of U.S. control, such as a flare up in a global hotspot (Middle East/Syria, N. Korea, Russia, South China Sea or elsewhere).

4. National media.

5. A scandal, real or manufactured.

6. House of Representatives. (They are already attempting to drum up a scandal).

7. Obama & Co’s own PR & strategy ineptness. It makes them a political liability for themselves.


It is going to be difficult for President Obama to win re-election this year. I'm not ready to throw in the towel and say it will be impossible... but it will be difficult. As I have stated many times.... this election will look more like the elections of 2000 and 2004. It will come down to 4, 5, or 6 States.

However, when you examine everything through an unbiased lens... just based on facts, this really shouldn't be all that close. On a roughly 8 to 2 margin, the American public sides with Progressives on the major issues and challenges facing the Country. Yet we have this stalemate. It is frustrating to watch.

I don't know if the current situation says more about the weakness & incompetence of Democratic Party strategists and advisers or about the fierceness  and creativity of those in the Romney camp.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Keeping Track of Willard's Lies

It's time for Willard's Lies of the week.

Once again, I will point out the site on the blog roll: Romney The Liar: because there are Liars, Damn Liars, and then there's Mitt Romney.

Steve Benen, now at The Maddow Blog:. Here's last week's entry of Chronicling Mitt's mendacity:

The opening:

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXII

By Steve Benen - Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:59 PM EDT.

A New York Times editorial this morning noted, almost in passing, that Mitt Romney's "entire campaign rests on a foundation of short, utterly false sound bites." That's true, but the fact that such observations have become commonplace is itself rather jarring.

It's equally jarring to appreciate why Romney does this. As Kevin Drum explained this week, the Republican presidential hopeful tells falsehoods because he knows he can get away with it.

Politicians have increasingly discovered over the past couple of decades that even on a national stage you can lie pretty blatantly and pay no price, since the mainstream media, trapped in its culture of objectivity, won't really call you on it, limiting themselves to fact checking pieces ... buried on an inside page. And because virtually nobody except political junkies ever see this stuff, it doesn't hurt their campaigns at all.

I agree, and yet, I feel compelled to make an effort anyway, hoping that accountability still plays some role in the American political discourse. With that in mind, consider the 22nd installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. Trying to clean up his own mess, Romney told Fox News, "[T]eachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn't pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen."

That's simply not true.

2. In Iowa, Romney blamed Obama for the fact that "the median income in America has dropped by 10 percent over the last four years."

That only makes sense if we count Obama's first year in office, which relies on a standard Romney believes is fundamentally unfair.

3. In the same Iowa speech, Romney claimed about the president, "[H]is answer for economic vitality by the way, was of course pushing aside the private sector."

There is no universe in which this is even remotely accurate.

4. Romney added that Obama has failed to "reduce the deficit."

Actually, Obama reduced the deficit in his first year in office by over $100 billion. What's more, the deficit is projected to shrink again this year.

The President's Speech on the Economy, where he presents a CHOICE for the American people

Watch President Obama's Ohio Speech on the Economy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday, Sasha Obama!!

Today is Natasha (Sasha) Obama's 11th Birthday!

She's growing up right in front of our eyes. She's going to be a beautiful woman just like her mother.


Thursday, June 07, 2012

Will the MSM continue to cover for Willard's LIES about the Vietnam War?

Earlier this week, AP released a story of Willard's time during the Vietnam era.

Romney's (non) military record faces new scrutiny

On a stage crowded with war heroes, Mitt Romney recently praised the sacrifice "of the great men and women of every generation who serve in our armed services."

It is a sacrifice the Republican presidential candidate did not make.

Though an early supporter of the Vietnam War, Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a "minister of religion" in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused. The country was cutting troop levels by the time he became eligible for the draft, and his lottery number was not called.

President Barack Obama, Romney's opponent in this year's campaign, did not serve in the military either. The Democrat, 50, was a child during the Vietnam conflict and did not enlist when he was older.

But because Romney, now 65, was of draft age during Vietnam, his military background — or, rather, his lack of one — is facing new scrutiny as he courts veterans and makes his case to the nation to be commander in chief. He's also intensified his criticism lately of Obama's plans to scale back the nation's military commitments abroad, suggesting that Romney would pursue an aggressive foreign policy as president that could involve U.S. troops.

A look at Romney's relationship with Vietnam offers a window into a 1960s world that allowed him to avoid combat as fighting peaked. His story also demonstrates his commitment to the Mormon Church, which he rarely discusses publicly but which helped shape his life.

Romney's recollection of his Vietnam-era decisions has evolved in the decades since, particularly as his presidential ambitions became clear.

He said in 2007 — his first White House bid under way — that he had "longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam." But his actions, Selective Service records and previous statements show little interest in joining a conflict that ultimately claimed more than 58,000 American lives.
How does one LONG to be in Vietnam, when one did whatever they could to AVOID serving in Vietnam. The religious deferments that Willard received were not automatic. Not every Mormon received one. He got one, of course, because of WHO is family is.

"He didn't have the courage to go. He didn't feel it was important enough to him to serve his country at a time of war," said Jon Soltz, who served two Army tours in Iraq and is the chairman of the left-leaning veterans group
Critics note that the candidate is among three generations of Romneys — including his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, and five sons — who were of military age during armed conflicts but did not serve.
I'll be honest, I still don't get it.....Pappy Bush and John F. Kennedy the heck did George Romney get out of serving in WWII?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Post-Wisconsin: Labor Unions Can’t Keep Up With Republicans

Last night, voters in Wisconsin sent a message: Labor Unions cannot keep up with Republican money.
The only real conclusion to draw from Wisconsin is that Walker’s ability to outspend Democrat Tom Barrett by a 7-to-1 margin made the difference. A quirky rule allowed Walker to raise money in bunches in a way off limit to the Democratic challenger.
In many ways this was predictable as polls consistently showed Scott Walker as the favorite.
Walker brought this upon himself because he created the budget crisis.
Read the rest here.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The War on Drugs the Cuomo Way

It was welcome news that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he will seek to end the thousands of arrests in New York City for low-level marijuana possession.
The measure still has to make its way through the legislature but there are plenty of advocates from City Hall to Albany that back this measure.
There are two problems Cuomo’s initiative will help fix. 
Read the rest here

FOX Should Have No Friends After Anti-Obama Cheap Shot

Fox News sunk to a new low this week with the airing on Fox and Friends of a 4-minute infomercial for the Republican Party.
Billed as an objective look at Obama’s first 3 and a half years in office, in reality it was a blatant cheap shot, an advertisement for the GOP mixed in with negative attacks on Obama’s 2008 campaign theme of hope and change.

Read the rest here

Friday, June 01, 2012

Keeping Track of Willard's Lies

It's time for Willard's Lies of the week.

Once again, I will point out the site on the blog roll: Romney The Liar: because there are Liars, Damn Liars, and then there's Mitt Romney.

Steve Benen, now at The Maddow Blog:. Here's this week's entry of Chronicling Mitt's mendacity:

The opening:

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XX

By Steve Benen - Fri Jun 1, 2012 2:36 PM EDT.

On last night's show, Rachel talked at some length about a subject I follow with great interest: Mitt Romney's habit of saying things that aren't true. Summarizing some of yesterday's big political headlines, Rachel explained, "Just like Mitt Romney lied in his very first ad, in a really blunt, schoolyard kind of way. They're now lying in the new ad that is about Solyndra and Mitt Romney is lying about it personally out of his face at his big campaign stunt today.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel concluded, "Even in this nuts day in American politics, don't you think that candidate telling a big, blatant lie in the middle of the news cycle deserves a little follow up?"

That was a rhetorical question, of course, but the answer is obviously yes, big, blatant lies from a major party presidential nominee do deserve some little follow up. It's one of the reasons I'm glad to present the 20th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. At a campaign stop in Craig, Colorado, this week, Romney argued, "The president, when he got elected, he said, look, 'I'm going to go out and borrow $787 billion and I'll keep unemployment below 8 percent.'"

Romney says this just about every day. It's not true.

2. In the same speech, Romney said Obama can't "blame Congress" for economic problems: "Remember that he had a supermajority in both the House and the Senate in his own party for his first two years."

Putting aside the fact that the current Congress is more relevant, the truth is Democrats did not have a supermajority for the vast majority of Obama's first two years.

3. Romney also argued, "That stimulus he put in place, it didn't help private sector jobs; it helped preserve government jobs."

That's the exact opposite of reality.