Friday, October 26, 2012

Don’t Get Caught Up in Debates and Polls

The third “foreign policy” debate had plenty of memorable lines, but in the end I do not believe this debate, or any of the others will prove decisive.
That is because there are really just two types of viewers watching debates.
First, and the most numerous, are partisans who already know which candidate they will support. These people watch the debates to confirm their own biases. Dems watched last night as much to hear Obama tout his accomplishments as they watched to see if Obama could land a few memorable zingers.
And, Republicans watched to see if Romney could successfully label the president as weak on foreign policy.
The second type of viewer is...Read the rest here

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Education: Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney

President Obama has instituted Race to the Top. This series of reforms allows states to submit to the Department of Education a series of reforms and apply for funds from a $4.35 billion pool dedicated to education reform. The Romney campaign mischaracterizes these reforms as aiding teachers’ unions but the evidence does not support that claim. Read the rest here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Last Presidential Debate for the 2012 Election

hat tip debate videos-3CHICS:

The best quote of last night's debate:

PBO: "But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s."

Friday, October 19, 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:

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXIX

By Steve Benen

Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:50 PM EDT

President Obama and his campaign team have been increasingly assertive of late in accusing Mitt Romney of dishonesty, but the president is still cautious in how he makes the charge.

In this week's debate, for example, Obama was willing to go so far as to say, "Not true, governor," when the president heard something obviously false. The problem, of course, is that the Republican challenger strayed from the truth with unfortunate frequency -- leading Obama to repeat the words "not true" a half-dozen times.

I suspect the president was probably annoyed, both with Romney's dishonesty and with the challenge of coming up with alternative ways to let the audience know the Republican was repeating falsehoods. I know the feeling -- this is, after all, the 39th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. At a speech in Chesapeake, Virginia, Romney boasted, "If I become president ... we finally get America on track to a balanced budget."

No we don't. Romney's plan slashes tax rates (which makes the deficit worse, not better), increases defense and entitlement spending (which makes the deficit worse, not better), and every independent analysis reaches the same conclusion: Romney's numbers don't add up.

2. In the same speech, Romney said Obama only filed "one" action "against China."

That's not even close to being true.

3. In this week's town-hall debate, Romney claimed, "I want to make sure we keep our Pell Grant program growing. We're also going to have our loan program so that people are able to afford school."

We know this isn't true, because he vowed to do the exact opposite in March. What's more, Romney also endorsed Paul Ryan's budget plan, which cuts Pell Grants.

4. Romney also argued, "We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office."

No matter when we start the clock, there's a net jobs increase under Obama, both overall and in the private sector.

5. Romney added, "If the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent when he took office. It's 7.8 percent now. But if you calculated that unemployment rate taking back the people who dropped out of the workforce, it would be 10.7 percent."

That's ridiculously untrue.

Are Pundits the Problem?

In a lecture last week, I explained to 200 college freshman about opinion leaders and the two-step flow of information. This is the process by which well-informed opinion leaders shape the political views of less informed Americans. These opinion leaders can be found all over the place. In fact, the Internet has made it that much easier for wannabe political elites to bullhorn their views to the public. Read the rest here

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Vice Presidential Debate

The Entire Vice-Presidential Debate:

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. XXXVIII

By Steve Benen

Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:20 PM EDT

The broader concerns about Mitt Romney's comfort with dishonesty reached a milestone this week -- it got The Onion treatment. (Remember, this is satire. The quotes in this excerpt are not actual quotes.)

For weeks many Beltway insiders had written off the Romney campaign as dead, saying the candidate had dug himself into too deep a hole with too little time to recover. However, with a month to go before ballots are cast, Romney has pulled even with President Obama, and the former Massachusetts governor credits his rejuvenated campaign to one, singular tactic: lying a lot.

"I'm lying a lot more, and my lies are far more egregious than they've ever been," a smiling Romney told reporters while sitting in the back of his campaign bus, adding that when faced with a choice to either lie or tell the truth, he will more than likely lie. "It's a strategy that works because when I lie, I'm essentially telling people what they want to hear, and people really like hearing things they want to hear. Even if they sort of know that nothing I'm saying is true."

"It's a freeing strategy, really, because I don't have to worry about facts or being accurate or having any concrete positions of any kind," Romney added.

The satirical report added that Romney has vowed to continue to "just openly lie [his] ass off" until Election Day. It also "quoted" the Republican's campaign manager saying, "It's late in the game, but this campaign has finally found its groove. And that groove is lying. Bald-faced, make-no-apologies, dirty, filthy lying."

Behind all great satire, of course, is a degree of truth -- or in this case, more than a degree. Consider, for example, the 38th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity. (This is the second longest list of the year -- and the quotes below are entirely real, not satire.)

1. At a town-hall forum in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Romney said of President Obama, "He said he was going to cut the deficit in half; he's doubled it."

Romney is still having trouble with the definition of "double." The deficit on Obama's first day was $1.3 trillion. Last year, it was also $1.3 trillion. This year, it's projected to be $1.1 trillion. When he says the president "doubled" the deficit, as he has many times, Romney's lying.

2. At the same event, condemning the Affordable Care Act, Romney said, "We'll let people choose the plans they want, as opposed to the plan that the president thinks he and the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., are going to impose on the American people."

As Romney surely knows -- his state-based policy works the same way -- the whole point of the Affordable Care Act is to provide consumers with choices of private plans, made available through regulated exchanges. Giving people choices in place and "imposing" a plan are opposites.

3. Romney added, "[W]hen I went to the Olympics and helped guide the Olympics, I learned as well you got to balance the budget here or we'll be in real trouble."

In context, Romney made it sound as if he balanced the Olympics' books through skill. In reality, he balanced his budget at the Olympics thanks to a taxpayer bailout.

4. In an interview with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, Romney argued, "I know the Obama people are excited about trying to find a way to say, 'Oh, you're going to raise taxes on middle-income people,' and I keep pointing out, 'No, no.'"

Yes, yes.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Debating Obama: Why the Media Hyperventilates Over Every Misstep

Ever since last week’s poor debate performance, Democratic partisans have been in “agony,” nervous angry and despondent over Barack Obama’s chances. They believe that one bad night in Denver will ruin his chance at reelection. Obama’s listless performance, they said, was a sign that he was incapable of finishing off the Romney campaign once and for all. Obama just doesn’t have the killer instinct and now he’s let Romney back into the race.
Yet, just a few weeks ago, many Republicans felt the same way. After Romney’s infamous“47%” comment, it became clear, his partisans believed, that Romney is just another overmatched candidate running an ineffectual campaign just as John McCain did four year earlier.
Read the rest here.

Isn't it interesting that the Unemployment Numbers Suddenly Don't Matter?

FOR well over a year, we had Willard, with the assistance of the MSM, lying about that the President said that he promised the unemployment rate would be below 8% during his first term.

1. He never said it. It was in some policy paper put out by an economist.

2. The MSM never checked Willard for the lie. Steven Benen did, in his weekly column about Willard's lies , but the MSM never did.

A funny thing happened on Friday.

The unemployment rate went to 7.8%.

Whaddya Know.

Under 8%.

It would seem to me that that would be a story to celebrate. Americans finding employment in these still sorta bad times. Not what they were, unlike the MSM, my memory is longer than a gnat's and I remember the time when this country was shedding 750,000 jobs A MONTH.

So, wouldn't you think that this wonderful bit of information would be spread high and low by the media. That they would be praising the new lowered unemployment rate.

But, that's not what has happened. Sure, there were the initial reports of it, and then, they allowed those crazy ass conspiracy theorists to run amok on tv - to allow them to sully the good news that the American people had received and cast 'doubt' on it.

Of course, the MSM didn't question Willard about the lowering of the unemployment rate and how a meme he's had - based upon a lie - has been just blown out of the water.

It's been basically crickets from the MSM on the unemployment rate. Watch the Sunday Shows, and it's like the Unemployment Rate lowering never happened.

Interesting, isn't it?

If it weren't so obvious and pathetic.

Sunday, October 07, 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. XXXVII

By Steve Benen - Fri Oct 5, 2012 2:45 PM EDT.

Joe Conason watched the presidential candidates' debate this week, and had a reaction I could relate to.

"'It's not easy to debate a liar,' complained an email from one observer of the first presidential debate -- and there was no question about which candidate he meant. Prevarication, falsification, fabrication are all familiar tactics that have been employed by Mitt Romney without much consequence to him ever since he entered public life," Conason wrote.

Concerns along these lines were not uncommon yesterday. In fact, note David Gergen's take from Wednesday night:

I think [President Obana] was so surprised, he thought Romney was just flat-out lying," Gergen said. And if the president was thinking that, he had good reason to.

Consider, for example, the 38th installment of my weekly series -- easily the longest of 2012 -- chronicling Mitt's mendacity.

1. In reference to the unemployment rate, Romney said, "The reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work."

That's not true.

2. On Fox News last night, Romney said in reference to the president, "[W]hat I find so offensive about his tax plan is by raising taxes on small business, as he does, he will kill jobs."

In reality, Obama has repeatedly cut taxes on small businesses -- by some counts, 18 times -- and if given a second term, his tax plan would have no effect on 97% of small businesses.

3. Speaking yesterday at the Colorado Conservative Political Action Committee Conference, Romney said, "this sequestration idea ... came out of the White House."

No, it didn't. This sequestration idea emanated from House Republicans.

4. In the same speech, Romney said Obama "spending more and more, borrowing more and more, putting us on a road to Greece."

That's painfully untrue.

5. In Wednesday night's debate, Romney said, "I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about."

Independent analysts determined the proposed across-the-board rate cut would cost $5 trillion.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Debates: What to Watch For

At this stage in the presidential campaign, expect Mitt Romney to come out swinging against Obama. Despite the stalled economic recovery, Americans, at the moment, seem willing to provide Obama one more term to enact his agenda. Obama’s messaging that the economy has achieved 30-straight months of positive private sector job growth resonates with voters.
This is why Mitt Romney will come out on the offensive at the first debate, to be held Wednesday, October 3 at the University of Denver.
Read the rest at The Village Celebration.