Tag Archives: debate

Who cares about “Binders”?

I can’t believe I’m doing this, but…I’m going to partially defend Mitt Romney, regarding his “binder” comment that seemingly took over Twitter and half the blogs in the universe last night.  I say “partially” defend Romney, because as this opinion piece notes, his awkward use of the term did convey how out of touch he seems to be.  To me the use of the term shows what he thinks of employees, of workers….he thinks of them as a commodity, something to be used as a tool. 

However…is the media so unimaginative, so unable to talk about the substance of the debate, that seemingly 3/4ths of all stories today are focused on “Binders”? I had the same problem with the Biden debate.  For 3 days after the debate, most of the stories weren’t on the substance of the debate itself, they were about “Smiling Joe” or “Laughing Joe”, discussing not what Biden said during the debate, but instead focusing on his demeanor.

For as out-of-touch and awkward that Romney’s “binder” comment was…it was one phrase, one word in the debate. He was obviously trying to personalize his response to the question about women’s pay equality, was obviously ad-libbing something that he didn’t have a prepared answer for, and he ended up saying something rather awkward.  Who cares?  Who cares about how much Joe Biden smiled during his debate?

It would be nice to have more of a focus on the substance of these debates.  But in this “twitter” world, where debate “success” seemed to be measured by how blogs and tweets react to a debate, that’s too much to ask. People are too used to “news” being delivered to them in concise little sound bites, so the entire debate gets summed up by “Binder”, just as the whole VP debate evidently could be summed up by “Laughing Joe”.

Perusin’ and Musin’

Perusing and MusingSome random thoughts from perusing the web…

Gay Teen Denied Eagle Scout - Ryan Andresen did everything he needed to do to earn Eagle Scout.  However, the Scoutmaster of his troop refused to sign off on his paperwork.  Andresen’s issue?  He’s gay, and in the twisted, ass-backwards world of the Boy Scouts, that’s a sin punishable by…well…punishable by not getting Eagle Scout.  This has been a topic of conversation at our house lately, as our young son has asked about cub scouts.  It’s hard to relate to a 9-year old that we don’t want him in Boy Scouts because THEY ARE A BUNCH OF  HYPOCRITICAL BIGOTS.  Teach a boy about what’s “right” in life…and yet teaching kids to discriminate against gays?  Sorry Scouts…you’re just lucky the Boy Scouts in general didn’t win my “Scum of the Week” award.

Biden Too “Mean” for Voters - As noted in my last blog post…typical America.  Future of the country’s direction at stake in an election, and all people talk about is the style of Biden, content be damned.  This story talks about Biden and if his style was too “mean” for Iowa voters.  Hey, Iowa voters…what do you want?  An upfront, HONEST discussion of substance?  Or the more polite, complete POS liar?  Are there REALLY scads of stupid Iowans, running around saying “OH MY GOD! I’m pro-choice, care about the environment, and care about the middle class, but I’m voting for Ryan!  Biden is too mean!”  GMAFB.  People in general are as dumb as a stick, but I hope to god they’re not THIS stupid.

Why Wasn’t Climate Change a Big Topic at the Presidential Debate? – Some have wondered why climate change wasn’t discussed at all during the first Obama/Romney debate.  Simple…it doesn’t matter to most Americans. Sure, most of the stuff talked about during the debates doesn’t matter to most Americans, given that (again) style seems to matter more than content.  But despite the “controversy” (ha) over climate change, it’s just not that important to most people, because, for now, it doesn’t affect them.  It won’t be until there are massive economic consequences of climate change (not that far off!) that people will care.  And by then, it will be too late.

Nobel Peace Prize Given to E.U. - And…individuals in the press have fallen all over themselves today criticizing the award.  I hate the focus on the negative in the media.  Negative stories must “sell” more than stories that celebrate accomplishment, because it doesn’t matter what the topic it is, it seems the media focuses on the negative side, or creates an artificial negative side.  Why not celebrate the accomplishments of the E.U.?  Why not discuss what they’ve accomplished, rather than splashing a front page story on CNN about why it was the “wrong” choice?  And people wonder why people are so polarized in this country, on practically every issue?

“That’s a bunch of Malarky”

Wonderful job from Biden, with the signature line of the entire debate from either side…

“That’s a bunch of Malarky”.

Amen, Joe.  Leave it to you to sum up the Romney/Ryan ticket in one succinct sentence.

One thing I really hate about American politics though is the focus on style over substance.  Maybe that’s to be expected, given the incredibly shallow understanding most Americans have of the issues.  In an America where “reality” TV “stars” are more well-known than the people we vote for, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that so many people focus on the personality of a politician, rather than what he stands for.  I AM disappointed though that the same focus on style seems to have infiltrated media coverage of politics. 

Who freakin’ CARES about how many times Biden smiled or laughed?  Who freakin’ cares about the “body language” of the two?  Shouldn’t people, and the media, be a little more focused on what was actually said?  Or what was NOT said…in the case of Ryan, when asked about any policy details?  How long can Romney/Ryan get away with just stating vague generalizations about policy? 

I guess as long as you continue to lie with “style”, it’s enough to potentially win you the presidency nowadays.

Who will choke?

Romney and Obama

One of these 2 men is going to be remembered for one of the worst losses ever in a presidential race.

It’s rather interesting what can happen in the span of a week!! I’ve been gone with my family to Yellowstone for a little vacation, and haven’t had internet or TV.  We left the day of the debate, which I missed, so my comments are based on second-hand reports of the debate.  However, it’s pretty amazing how different the race is now, compared to before we left!  InTrade had Obama at 80% chance of re-election.  How, it’s down to 62%, and many of the polls are now too close to call.

I’m a sports fan, but I’ve never liked the term “choke”.  Teams lose, individuals lose.  However, that’s not often enough for some “fans”, who seem very quick to add the title “choke” to the loss.

However, I think it may very well apply to the loser of the presidential race. Romney? By all historical measures, this should be a cakewalk for him.  But the only reason he’s competitive at the moment is that he’s “not Obama”.  He certainly hasn’t won over many hearts with his campaign, or his personality.

Obama?  This race was his, until his debate performance.  How, we basically have a toss-up.  Before the debates, it was noted that debates rarely change the dynamic of a race.  With Obama’s lackluster performance though, this debate certainly has changed the dynamic.
One of these 2 men will forever be mentioned for losing a race they shouldn’t have lost.

Romney calls OBAMA a liar???

Romney and Obama

Given the campaign over the last several months...which of these two men do YOU think is more likely to lie?

I couldn’t let this story go by without talking about it.  In an interview on Good Morning America, Mitt Romney was asked about the upcoming debates.  Romney stated that one of his “challenges” he’ll have in the debates “is that the president  tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true.”

Are you KIDDING me?  The ROMNEY campaign, coming out on a popular morning TV show and saying THEY are worried about the lies of their opponent?   Is this part of a new Romney strategy?  Romney and Ryan have both been caught in blatant lies throughout the campaign.  Is this their way of getting the heat off their backs for their own lies, by trying to convince folks that it’s the OTHER candidate who is the liar??

Given that Romney’s campaign seems to have adopted the strategy of “say it enough, and people will think it’s true”…maybe they think if they call Obama a liar enough, it will stick enough that people will just think both sides are playing politics as usual, and lying through their teeth all the time.

It sure has the stench of a very desperate Romney campaign though.  After the debacle of Romney’s completely outrageous criticism of the Obama administration regarding the Embassy attacks, the odds makers have sharply increased the odds of an Obama reelection, with InTrade moving Obama’s chances up by nearly 10% this week, to over 66%.  Given that Romney appears completely incapable of actually discussing what he’ll DO if he’s elected, he’s been relegated to attacking Obama.

Pretty damned daring of him to straight out call Obama a liar though, given the free flowing garbage that’s come from the Romney campaign for the last few months.

Immigration in Reverse

Immigration Trends since 1990

Immigration from Mexico has declined sharply in recent years, yet Republicans have still tried to make anti-immigration rhetoric a key part of the campaign. Graphic from the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post article referenced here.

I wonder how right-wing nutjobs are going to spin this.  For the first time since the Great Depression, there’s actually an OUTFLOW of Mexican immigrants from the U.S., as immigration into the U.S. is at about 1/4th of what it was in 2000, and half as much as it was when Obama took office, while more people are moving from the U.S. to Mexico.

Mitt Romney, as well as most of the former Republican field, all have tried to woo “conservative” (OK, let’s be honest and just say ”bigoted”) voters with very strong anti-immigration rhetoric.  Just think back a few months during the debates, when you had Repub candidates falling all over themselves talking about which one of them would build the biggest wall or would beef up border security the most.  Republicans have attacked the Obama administration, stating that ridiculous tough anti-immigration laws like those passed in Arizona and Alabama are necessary, because the Federal government supposedly wasn’t doing its job.  Yet the analysts who provided the immigration report note it was a tougher deportation stance under Obama that is partially responsible for the change in the immigration trend.

I find the entire immigration debate rather distasteful.   I think it’s quite obvious that simple racism is the true motivation behind many folks’ very strong anti-immigration views.  When you see a Romney or other pol pandering to the anti-immigration crowd, I think they’re mostly playing off people’s underlying racism for their own political game.  God knows Republicans have made an art form out of subtly (or not so subtly) using race to their political advantage, be it the immigration debate, or the quite transparent voter “fraud” laws that do little to combat fraud (what little there IS in the United States), but do a lot to ensure a weaker minority voting bloc. 

In an ideal world, this report would make Republicans think twice about using anti-immigration rhetoric for political gain.  However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and I have no doubt that we STILL will hear anti-immigration rhetoric from the right, particularly as the Arizona and Alabama laws continued to be publicly and legally debated.

Romney says 99% are just Envious

Romney laughing

Romney is a happy man. Why not? He pays the same tax rate as the old lady who took your order at Burger King today.

Last week, when questioned about the growing income inequality between rich and poor in the U.S., Mitt Romney said that people worried about inequality just suffer from “envy”.  Gee, Mitt, I wonder why that could be?  I wonder why the poor would be envious of the way America treats the rich?  Perhaps, Mitt, you should have thought about your “envy” statement before talking about your own personal tax rate today.

At the debate last night, Mitt Romney was questioned about releasing his tax returns, an exchange that had Romney looking uncharacteristically flustered.  Today, Romney said that his tax rate is “around 15%“.    Hmmm.  15%!?!?   A very rich, American politician says his tax rate is around 15%.  Is it any wonder people concerned with income inequality are envious?    A single person making $9,000 a year pays that same 15% tax rate.   A full-time McDonald’s employee making $6.00 an hour pays the SAME RATE as one of the richest men in America. 

Envious, Mitt?  You’re damned straight people are envious of the way the rich are treated in the U.S.  You’re damned straight people are envious of the tax loopholes the rich can exploit.  You’red damned straight people are envious of the political puppets the rich have at their disposal.  

The media panned Romney over his “envy” remark last week, but sadly, Romney was correct.

Romney Laughing All the Way to the Nomination

Laughing Mitt Romney

Romney may not show his humorous side that often, but given his opponent's penchant for self-destruction, he probably feels pretty jolly on the inside.

If I’m Mitt Romney, I’m feeling pretty good about now.  He doesn’t even really need to campaign.  All he has to do is watch the embarrassingly pitiful remainder of the GOP field self-destruct.  Michele Bachmann…the embarassment of Herman Cain…and, yet again, Rick Perry chose to self-destruct in a debate today.  In an attempt to bolster his conservative credentials, Perry said:

  • “I’ll tell you what,  it’s three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, education and, the –uh — what’s the third one there? Commerce, education and the uh, the uh…The third agency of government I would do away with — education, the, uh, commerce, and let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”

Wow, Gov. Perry.  You’ve got a talking point that you were obviously rehearsing for this debate, and you can’t even remember the three agencies you were going to cut?  I can’t wait until Saturday Night Live this week to see how they skewer Perry again over a debate performance.

Herman Cain’s performance?  He got a lot of applause when he first took on the controversy facing him. He tried to move the discussion away from all the sexual harassment allegations towards issues.  Yeah, good luck with that, Herm, especially after you chose to call Nancy Pelosi “Princess Nancy” later in the debate…a phrase that drew audible groans from the audience.  Not a smart phrase to use for a slimeball being accused of sexually harassing 78% of all women he’s ever met. 

Michele Bachmann already has countless websites devoted to her verbal gaffes.  Ron Paul is considered a genius by a sizable portion of the GOP voting base…and a complete loon by most of America.  Newt Gingrich continues to sound like the most intelligent and knowledgable GOP candidate…something which of course immediately disqualifies him from consideration (that, and the fact that he’s a conceited jackass).  John Huntsman also seems intelligent and knowledgable, and unlike Gingrich, he also seems rather likable, but the press seems to completely dismiss him as a credible candidate.

Meanwhile, Romney just sits back and enjoys the bumbling, stumbling, self-destructive behavior of his rivals.  He even was offered a golden chance in the debate tonight to attack Cain over all the recent accusations, and declined to do so.  He doesn’t need to.  With no credible “anti-Romney” candidate seemingly able to keep a foot out of their mouth, Romney’s best strategy right now is to simply kick back and enjoy the ride, all the way to the nomination.

Rick Perry IS Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin and Rick Perry

Sarah Palin and Rick Perry, two peas in a pod. Both dumber than a stick, and both blaming the media when their own inadequacies are exposed.

I had a revelation today when reading the headlines.   Rick Perry, 2011 IS Sarah Palin, 2008.  Remember back to 2008, when Palin made a complete fool of herself in an interview with Katie Couric?   An obviously embarrassed Palin immediately started to blame Couric, and then the media in general, when the embarrassments continued to pile up for her.

Now flash back to the present.  Today, in an interview on Fox News, Rick Perry said the one thing he regretted most is “ever doing one of the debates“.   Perry’s reasoning (aka, excuse) was that “all they’re interested in is stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people.”  Translating from Perry-speak into basic English, Perry’s statement reads as “I made a complete fool of myself during the debates, and wish I never had to embarrass myself again”.  

It’s the classic Republican response when the heat gets turned up.  For a Perry or a Palin, it’s NEVER about your own pitiful inadequacies.   No, of course it’s some media conspiracy or bias that is causing you to look like a complete idiot.  For a guy who was hoping to turn his fading campaign around this week with his announcement of a flat-tax plan, Perry is certainly sticking his foot in his mouth a lot this week.

GOP – Home of Bigoted SOBs

Rep. Peter King

Rep. Peter King holding "hearings" on the place for Islam in America. Illegal immigration, gay rights, Islam and other non-Christian faiths...the GOP seems to have all their bases covered in terms of appealing to the underlying bigotry in their voting base.

Well, I KNEW there would be a lot of material from Thursday night’s debate that would make me mad.  I KNEW there would be exchanges between the GOP candidates that would provide plenty of fodder for a blog post.  But once again, as with the previous debate, it’s a reaction of some of those in the crowd that is the most sickening.  In the previous debate, we had the crowd shouting YES when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul if an uninsured dying man should just be allowed to die.  This time, a few

members of the crowd actively booed active Army soldier Stephen Hill when he asked a question.  Hill is gay, and asked a question regarding don’t-ask-don’t-tell.  

I realize the entire Republican party aren’t bigoted SOBs.  Well, I’m PRETTY sure they’re not all bigoted SOBs.  But given the GOP’s stance on a number of important issues, and given Republican candidates statements on these issues over the last year, there is NO way you can convince me that outright BIGOTRY isn’t behind many of the views of some of those in the GOP.  For the candidates themselves…sometimes I swear they’re all trying to see who can appear to be the whitest, most conservative SOB possible.  During the last debate, Mitt Romney ripped into Rick Perry for (GASP!) allowing all Texas residents to get in-state tuition rates.  Romney lashed out at Perry for what amounts to providing a $22,000 break on total tuition to undocumented immigrants.   WHY!?!?!?  WHO CARES!?!?!?  Why would the audience also BOO providing people with more reasonable tuition rates?  What POSSIBLE harm does this do to ANYONE?!?!!?   Why would such a seemingly minor issue become a major part of a debate of Republican presidential candidates!??!

The answer is simple…the GOP is VERY good at playing to the underlying bigotry of their voting base.  Oh, they won’t come out and say that.  But look at the issue of immigration, and GOP stance in these debates.  Perry, arguably the most conservative of all the main GOP candidates, is lustily booed for his immigration stances, for DARING to say you don’t have a heart if you want to take away this tuition rate.  Perry (OMG, am I defending Perry yet again?) also was ripped for not wanting to build a 10-foot fence all along the Mexican border.   The GOP candidates all seem to try to trip over themselves to see who can sound like the biggest BIGOT on the issue of immigration.  That’s what their voting base demands, and they play right into it. 

I find Republicans views on immigration very disgusting, as it often seems like they talk about the issue as if they’re trying to stem a flow of cockroaches, rats, or other vermin, instead of talking about immigrants as PEOPLE.  I find Republican views equally disgusting on gay rights issues, as shown by the booing of Hill at the debate.   Every major candidate in the field supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, save for Ron Paul, who opposes it basically because of his libertarian views of keeping the government out of private issues.   How could you call it anything BUT bigotry, if the mainstream Republican view is that we should specifically amend our Constitution to discriminate against one group of Americans?? 

I could keep going.  The mainstream Republican stance seems to be to support more integration of religion into society, including government.  Well, more integration of religion, as long as it’s Christianity!   Republicans will fight like hell to support public displays that refer to God, bible passages, etc.  But they’ll fight equally hard AGAINST things like some supposed attempt to integrate Shariah law into our society.   It’s politically popular for local and state politicians to introduce legislation against Shariah law…despite NO evidence whatsoever that there is ANY push by the American Muslim community to expand the role of Shariah law in America.  And now at the federal level, we have had Rep. Peter King holding “hearings” on Islam in the U.S., hearings he said he’d like to continue.  

I’m a white male with a Christian upbringing.  I’m heterosexual with a wonderful wife and little boy.  And I think sometimes my demographic is the ONLY group the GOP seems to be targeting.