Category Archives: Obama

Morning in America: Democratic Convention Day 2 & 3

 The birds are singing, a glow seeps over the eastern horizon, and kitten-cats lie contentedly across my feet. I stretch and smile, and want to break into a chorus of “This is my fight song/Take back my life song/Prove I’m alright song/My power’s turned on/Starting right now I’ll be strong/I’ll play my fight song/And I don’t really care if nobody else believes…”

Am I enjoying the Democratic convention? You betcha!

Finally, we get a little bit of an exhale after slogging through so much muck for weeks. Two straight days filled with some really stellar moments. On the one hand, I’m ecstatic. On the other, I keep thinking “102 days more of this campaign after the balloons drop…”  (Seriously, we’ve been at this since March 2015 when Ted Cruz declared he was running for president. We have got to limit these campaigns. Even elephants only have a gestation period of 22 months. )

Anyway, soak it all in, folks, because it gets uglier and uglier, and for those who have said, “it can’t get worse…” I promise you, it can always get worse.

But right now enjoy the sanity and the relief. Enjoy the nice coherent messaging from reasonable people making logical arguments.

So, side note: I apologize for not posting yesterday. I took a day off, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t fab things that happened on Day 2 of the Convention.

Calling All Delegates

Roll call was not the hot mess it might have been and thankfully no floor fights broke out. Indeed, we got the symbolic Bernie moment in which he halted the roll call in favor of Hillary, as she did eight years ago for Obama. I even teared up a little at the sight of Sanders getting verklempt when his brother referenced their parents as he cast the votes for Democrats Abroad.

My Man Bill

And then Bill. Giving not the kind of policy wonk speech that we have come to love him for, but the perfect First Lady speech where he extols the virtues of his spouse, and humanizes her with anecdotes about her work ethic and family life. He’s an ex-President with a sharp mind and a lot to say, who could have talked about himself for an hour, but he chose not to. (Take a moment to watch Bill’s ad libs for which he is justly renowned–a writer for Gawker filmed the TelePrompTer screen while he was speaking so you can see him go delightfully off-script.) As Rebecca Traister says in The Cut:

It was notable that Bill mentioned Michelle Obama so enthusiastically in his speech; in many ways, he was taking his cues from her, and he now hopes to share a category with her, a category once also occupied by his own wife — that of the brilliant and hugely overqualified presidential helpmate.

Also, have a chuckle over this assessment of Bill Clinton’s style from Jenni Avins–he wore a fetching pantsuit, clearly in tribute to his wife. Hey, the Times reported on Michelle Obama’s Christian Siriano gown and Melania Trump’s Roksanda Ilincic outfit. Fair is fair.

The best part of Bill’s speech though, was his instantly hashtag-ready refrain of “the real one.”

How did this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can’t. One is real, the other is made up.

People were getting all caught up in it and hash tagging #TheRealOne with tweets like, “I haven’t been this emotional since the ‘Fault in Our Stars.'” (Translation for us old folks: “I feel like I just watched ‘Beaches.'”) It’s good to know that he reached both millennials and Gen Xers.

So by the end of Day 2, things were feeling a little bit more on track. Could Day 3 get better? I’m so glad you asked.

Uncle Joe
JoeBiden-smOh, Joe. I love you. Having watched this man through years of ups and downs, through losses and successes, gaffes and heartfelt moments, I couldn’t listen to his speech without feeling an upswell of emotion:

As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, the world breaks everyone, and afterwards many are strong at the broken places. I’ve been made strong at the broken places, by my love Jill, by my heart, my son Hunter and the love of my life, my Ashley.

And by all of you, and I mean this sincerely, those of you that have been through this, you know I mean what I say. By all of you, you’re love, your prayers, your support, but you know what, we talk about, we think about the countless thousands of other people, who suffered so much more than we have, with so much less support.

So much less reason to go on. But they get up, every morning, everyday. They put one foot in front of the other. They keep going. That’s the unbreakable spirit of the people of America. That’s who we are.

In new cycle after news cycle, it’s been all about The Donald, but Joe offered a tribute to Hillary that was in a way almost as touching as Bill’s.

Hillary understands that college loan is about a lot more than getting a qualified student education. It’s about saving the mom and dad from the indignity of having to look at their talented child and say sorry, honey, I’m so sorry. The bank wouldn’t lend me the money. I can’t help you to get to school. I know that about Hillary.

Hillary understood that for years, millions of people went to bed staring at the ceiling, thinking oh my God what if I get breast cancer, or he has a heart attack. I will lose everything, what will we do then? I know about Hillary Clinton.

There’s only one person in this race who will be there, who has always been there for you, and that’s Hillary Clinton’s life story. It’s not just who she is, it’s her life story.

The Kaine-maker

Tim KaineLast night also saw the national spotlight debut of Tim Kaine, Hillary’s veep pick and he did a great job coming after a tough act like Joe. Kaine has an easy manner about him and like Joe, he comes across as very down-to-earth and practical.

He was absolutely on point with his attacks and FINALLY mentioned Trump’s tax returns with a Trump impersonation that made me giggle.  I hope that also gains some traction.

Hey, Donald, what are you hiding? And yet, Donald still says, believe me. Believe me.

Believe me? Believe me? I mean, here’s the thing, most people when they run for president, they don’t just say, believe me, they respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done.

I also hope that “Hillary es lista” catches on.  I’d like to see that on some posters.

I like Tim. He’s a fiscal conservative social progressive mix and I can live with that because he’s got the priorities I like, plus it seems like he’s a good guy. He’s making inroads with the “Couldja have a beer with him?” crowd, and I was amused by this piece on his Dad-cred:

Tim Kaine knows he probably won’t need the extended warranty, but he appreciated the salesperson’s candor and wanted to make sure they got a nice commission.

Tim Kaine could easily have afforded the next trim level up. But it didn’t add any benefit, and he doesn’t do “flashy.”

Tim Kaine secretly supercharged the minivan, but not before modifying the filtration system and full cat-back exhaust to prevent an increase in emissions.

Tim Kaine keeps a swear jar for everything above “darn” and empties it once in a while to take everyone out for ice cream.

Tim Kaine will always stop to help someone with a dead battery, and healways pretends to electrocute himself with the jumper cables.

Tim Kaine thought about getting Sirius, but then how would he be able to play all of his old Beach Boys tapes?

Bloomberg News

The Conservative Party Annual Conference Concludes With The Prime Minister's Keynote Speech

I was also pleasantly surprised by Michael Bloomberg’s speech. As one might guess, I wasn’t Hizzoner’s biggest  fan while he was New York City Mayor.  I found him to be opportunistic (you changed from lifelong Democrat to Republican just to get Rudy Giuliani’s endorsement?), tone-deaf (you bought yourself a third term by paying off Ronald Lauder so he wouldn’t block City Council from changing term limits laws?) and out of touch. Still, he didn’t wreck the city during his tenure. And he had some reasonable points to make last night.

Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.

I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!

Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He’s wrong on both counts.

Still an Obama-Girl

barack-obama-dnc-convention-july-27-2016-large-169The star of last night, justifiably, though, was the President.  Damn, that guy is good.

Like the trickle of a stream headed to the ocean, Obama’s speech was informal and funny to start “Don’t boo–vote!”, sweeping into a thundering roar as it gathered steam. Loved every minute of it.

You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy. He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.

Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice?

One of my favorite lines came midway through– and it got applause and laughs from Bill Clinton up in the boxes):

I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman—not me, not Bill, nobody—more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.

I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man.

But getting to the meat of things logically is the Obama style — make the case, lay out the argument and bring it home:

Look, Hillary has got her share of critics. She has been caricatured by the right and by some on the left. She has been accused of everything you can imagine—and some things that you cannot. But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows that sometimes during those 40 years she’s made mistakes—just like I have; just like we all do. That’s what happens when we try. That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described—not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone “who is actually in the arena…who strives valiantly; who errs…but who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.”

Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She’s been there for us—even if we haven’t always noticed. And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about “yes, he will.” It’s about “yes, we can.” And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands.

Yes, we can. Not “yes, she can.” Not “yes, I can.” “Yes, we can.”

IMG_6565It was a great speech. When Clinton walked out and joined him on the stage at the end of the speech, I wanted him to pull out an Olympic-style torch and hand it off to her.

I’ll be singing this all day:

hillary's fight song

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In the City of Brotherly Love: Day 1 of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia

sanders-clinton-handshakeOur theme today is “United Together.” I’ll pause while we all take a deep breath and live in the hope that today’s Democratic Convention opening doesn’t look like last week’s RNC disaster.

Will Bernie Sanders go all Ted Cruz and refuse to endorse Hillary? Will the Feel the Bern-ers (who are still chalking “Vote for Bernie” on sidewalks in the Fillmore) take over the spotlight to cause a ruckus? Bernie has promised a special moment for his supporters for today, which sounds ominous…

michelle-obamaOn the other hand, Michelle Obama is also slated to speak tonight. Personally, I’d love it if she cribbed a phrase from Melania Trump, but she’s too gracious for that kind of thing.

We will see if the Dems can get their act together. That dull thunk you hear is the sound of Debbie Wasserman Schultz falling on her sword, which may not mollify the Sanders supporters, but oy, can we please at least get the  dirty laundry aired and dry cleaned before we start this party? I am so tired of watching supposed adults acting like they are five year-olds on a playgroundfive year-olds on a playground.  Come to think of it, I know better behaved five-year olds.

Party Rules

Real estate developer Donald Trump, gestures during a news conference with the PGA in New YorkSo, I know I promised this earlier in the week. It took a while for my stomach to settle down enough so I could read the Republican Party platform. Not that you’d know it from the four days of absurdly rollicking disunity and disorganization we just witnessed ( which Politico called “The most chaotic, messy and perhaps memorable political convention in decades“), but there is a written plan that theoretically outlines the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of the GOP.

2It’s 66 pages of eye-roll inducing bloviation that starts out by declaring for American exceptionalism, which to me is like starting out by stating that the sun, moon, and stars all revolve around the earth. It just ain’t true, folks–we are as exceptional as any other nation, which is to say, not at all. It also kind of hilariously flies in the face of Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.” If we are so exceptional and guided by divine right, why do we need to make ourselves great…again?

Here are some other lowlights, but I encourage you to read it yourself, particularly to friends who need encouragement to get out to vote in November. It’s scary, folks.

In no particular order, let’s start with  denial about climate change. The GOP is putting their chips formally behind fossil fuels and coal, which seems so ludicrous as to be insane. Do you really need the votes from coal miners in West Virginia so badly?

Hilariously, the platform notes that:

The central fact of any sensible environmental policy is that, year by year, the environment is improving. Our air and waterways are much healthier than they were a few decades ago. As a nation, we have drastically reduced pollution, mainstreamed recycling, educated the public, and avoided ecological degradation.

Seriously? And just who do you think was responsible for the REGULATIONS that brought about that improving? Because it was Republicans and it didn’t just happen spontaneously.

Republicans are, of course, vehemently pro life and would like to pass an amendment declaring every egg and sperm is sacred.

We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Notorious R.B.G. At work. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Along with that, the platform formally declares their desire to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood and condemns the Supreme  Court decision that allows women’s health clinics to continue to operate in Texas without undue restriction.

 

Also on the Culture War front, the platform also promises pro-life justices– enjoy this shoutout to Antonin Scalia:

Only a Republican president will appoint judges who respect the rule of law expressed within the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, including the inalienable right to life and the laws of nature and nature’s God, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Speaking of Scalia, the GOP is also looking to roll back marriage equality gains:

Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia,
was a “judicial Putsch” — full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.” In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Check that out. That’s Republicans claiming that they were robbed of the right to disenfranchise other citizens of their rights.

PP-Casting-Out-the-MOney-Changers-by-Carl-Heinrich-Bloch-1834-1890

Hey, moneychangers: Get out.

And speaking of rights….the GOP also whines that the freedom of religion is under attack because certain institutions who don’t believe that gay marriage should be a right can’t get government grants and might lose their tax exempt status. Uh, by the way, you’re still FREE to practice your religion–you just don’t get money and tax breaks for failing to recognize the rights of others.

Other miscellany: the GOP is against gun restrictions. Of course. High capacity magazines (154 shots in 5 minutes) are a great idea especially for school shootings.

We oppose ill-conceived laws that would restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle.

They’d like to roll back banking reform –what little there was of that–from 2008, because darnitalltoheck those pesky restrictions keep crazy people from inventing new investment schemes that can tank the economy.

What else? They’re against stem cell research, natch, and against GMO labeling, but for proof of citizenship to vote. (Hey, what if everyone had to name the nine –well eight–justices of the Supreme Court in order to qualify? Then only recently-minted American immigrants will be able to vote.)

keystone-xl-pipeline-tar-sands-cartoon-1024x701Republicans are for fracking, more oil and gas drilling (hello, Keystone XL pipeline) and against food stamps. They want to break down Obamacare and build a wall on the Mexican border. They want to penalize cities that give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, but pass a law allowing bible study in public schools. Affirm the right to life while restoring the death penalty. Oh, and this:

Quite simply, the Republican Party is committed to rebuilding the U.S. military into the strongest on earth, with vast superiority over any other nation or group of nations in the world.

KKKristian-690x460

I don’t think these people live in Seville, Spain.

You’ve got the idea. Basically they’d like to give lip service to Christian values, while standing against all the things Christ actually represented like helping the poor, forgiving sins, renouncing violence and worldly goods, and unconditional love for your enemies.

 

Happier Thoughts

Anyway, in prep for tonight’s extravaganza, I offer you a few things that made me happy from last week, in hopes that this will set the tone for this week.


Election Night Live-Blog Edition

Good evening and welcome to the Political Rant Live-Blog of Election Night 2012!

I’ve never done this before, can you tell?  But here’s the plan:  As the mood strikes me, minute by minute, I’ll be adding to this single post, so go ahead and bookmark it for tonight.  If you’re not seeing my updates, please hit refresh on your browser (usually a little circular arrow icon) in order to see the latest.  Newest comments will be added at the top of the post with the time.

11:02 pm PST: It’s done.  Obama is the President for four more years. We can go to sleep feeling so much more secure and relieved without even worrying what will happen in Florida, Virginia or Nevada.  Thanks everyone for tuning in and thanks for all your kind words this election season.  Yes, we did.

10:40 pm PST: Obama: “Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in a very long line –By the way we have to fix that.” No kidding. Let’s not do THAT again. I think maybe some people in Florida are still in line…

10:38 pm PST: Andrew Sullivan at Daily Beast says, “This election, to my mind, is immensely more important than the breakthrough of 2008, after the catastrophe of Bush-Cheney. What it has done is rip open the complete epistemic closure on the Republican right about what America now is. It has revealed that Fox News, Drudge, and the rest have been engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to create an alternative reality and get the rest of us to go along.”

10:36 pm PST: Obama and his family take the stage to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

10:14 pm PST: Waiting for Obama’s speech. In the mean time:

9:57 pm PST:Romney, “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle…” I think he needs to reiterate that to the Republicans in the House.

9:55 pm PST: Romney is onstage.

9:49 pm PST: CNN calls Virginia for Obama. With Nevada in Obama’s column, he has 303 electoral votes, rendering Romney’s Ohio challenge moot.

9:37 pm PST: Tammy Duckworth wins over Joe Walsh!!  And we pick up a couple of Florida seats.

9:31 pm PST: Here are the results I have for right now:

9:25 pm PST:So Romney only wrote an acceptance speech, not a concession speech. And that about sums up the arrogance of this creep.

9:19 pm PST: And Washington also voted to legalize marijuana and Maryland voted to legalize gay marriage!  It’s a good night!!

9:10 pm PST: Colorado goes to OBAMA!!!  yes!!  (Oh and Karl Rove, you’re an idiot.)

9:06 pm PST: And the ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage in Maine passed!!

9:01 pm PST: Is it possible this is true? Colorado legalized marijuana? Also via HuffPo: “Fox News had what can only be described as an insane argument with itself over whether or not President Obama had won Ohio, and the presidency.The network seemed quite confident in its projections at first, but suddenly, pundit Karl Rove — who, as leader of a huge conservative Super PAC has something of an interest in the outcome of the race — began to pour cold water on the call.”

8:52 pm PST: President leading in Virginia, Florida and yet Romney will not concede Ohio. In fact Rove is trying to get Fox news to rescind the Ohio call.  Unbelievable.

Grousy Cat and the Magic Shirt celebrate

8:29 pm PST: Is it unseemly if I whip my Magic Shirt off and wave it wildly in the air???

8:21 pm PST: And it’s called by CNN, MSNBC, NPR and FOX. OBAMA WINS!!!!!!

8:17 pm PST: CNN is far behind MSNBC in making the call, but Fox News apparently projects Ohio for Obama and when you do that, it’s all over.

8:14 pm PST: Oh Great Magic Shirt… Thank you for mitigating the ulcer in my stomach with a win in Ohio!  I now no longer care about Virginia or Florida or anything else!!!

8:12 pm PST: Oregon also goes to Obama.  AND OBAMA TAKES OHIO!!!  with remarkably little fanfare!

8:10 pm PST: Iowa called for Obama!  That brings our man to 250!!

8:02 pm PST: With the polls closing in the West, magically, instantaneously those states can be called — for Obama of course. Here’s how things look right now:

7:56 pm PST: Tim Kaine beats George “Macaca Blast from the Past” Allen in Virginia!

7:48 pm PST: How did I miss that Tammy Baldwin won in Wisconsin?? First openly gay woman to serve in the US Senate.  Missouri goes to Romney.

7:44 pm PST: Lots of blather before the polls close in the west… Come on, California.  Minnesota, BTW goes to Obama according to MSNBC.  Romney campaign still quiet…

7:37 pm PST:“Romney campaign has gone radio silent…”  according to Howard Fineman on MSNBC.

7:34 pm PST: Romney projected to take Arizona. Again, not a surprise…

7:24 pm PST: Okay, so MSNBC just said exactly what I did at 6:55 pm.  There’s lots of ways for Obama to take this thing, but very few scenarios in which Romney can do it without getting all the swing states… Looks like things won’t change with the House of Representatives. Republicans will hold there.

7:17 pm PST: As expected, the Demos lost the Ben Nelson seat in Nebraska.  But with two pickups in Republican seats –Love you, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Donnelly!– I’m not too upset.

7:09 pm PST: Here’s how the Senate is shaping up.  Chris Murphy in CT. in his victory speech says it’s not by the measure of your wallet…

7:07 pm PST: Claire McCaskill takes down Mr. Legitimate Rape Todd Akin in Missouri!!!

7:02 pm PST: So MSNBC is a little more loosey-goosey about calling states than CNN, but I don’t disagree with any of their projections.

7:00 pm PST: I have a knot in my stomach, but I swear it’s because of that stupid PANIC music they play whenever they’re reporting results.

6:55 pm PST: Let’s just talk about this for a second, folks. With all the states going the directions we thought they would, Obama would have 253 votes to Romney’s 189. To get over 270, Obama needs only to carry Ohio. Romney needs to carry just about everything else plus Ohio.  Hoe likely is this scenario?  Not very….

6:50 pm PST: okay, it’s falling into place folks.  keep it coming…. here’s the update:

6;42 pm PST: YES!! Elizabeth Warren takes the Massachusetts Senate seat and Richard (Rape Master) Mourdock went down in flames to Joe Donnelly in Indiana!

6:31 pm PST:Wolf Blitzer is going to pitch a fit over Florida, where they say Romney is only ahead by 636 votes…

6:25 pm  PST: Thanks Jon for posting this — I’m putting it up here so folks don’t miss it in the comments!

6:14 pm PST: Anyone else wishing that CNN would just quit reporting on Ohio and Florida until there’s SOMETHING to report?

5:56 pm PST: My Dad says everyone should watch Obama’s final campaign speech in Des Moines, Iowa. I am instructed to post it here…:)

5:52 pm PST: I hope you all have dinner ready…

5:43 pm PST: Takes soooo long to count votes… Sigh… Alabama called for Romney. I’ve got a different tally number for the candidates than CNN. Not a big surprise there either. Hah!  And my tally worksheet so far looks like this:

5:30 pm PST: They’re calling Arkansas for Romney — If I could roll my eyes I would…

5:04 pm PST: Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Missisippi is being called by MSNBC for Romney, Mean while, we have Connecticut , Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware , DC, Illinois (CNN) for Obama–again no surprises.

In case you’d like to play along at home, below is my worksheet for following the Senate races, with handicapping based on the most recent polls. Candidates in bold are incumbents, those in blue are likely Dem, those in tan are likely GOP. The ones in yellow are the key races to watch, and I’ve highlighted the person I think will carry the day. If I’m right, the Dems may lose two seats (Nebraska and Mrs farmer of the Year North Dakota, but I’m hopeful that they’ll pick up Massachusetts, Arizona and maybe Indiana where crazy rape guy Richard Mourdock has been fading in polls.

4:48 pm PST: South Carolina has been called for Romney. nobody panic though, this is still very early and so far there are no real surprises…

4:36 pm PST: Okay, the music MSNBC is using when they announce a call is probably going to drive me batty before this night is over.

4:30 pm PST: Polls have closed in North Carolina, which is still too close, but they have called West Virginia for Romney.

4:07 pm PST: And we’re off!  Polls have closed in the East Coast and  pundits are calling Vermont for Obama, with Indiana and Kentucky called for Romney, no surprises there.  Virginia is still too close to call.  In case you’re looking for a refresher on the key battlegrounds, they are (in order of the poll closures) Virginia (4 pm PST), North Carolina and Ohio (4:30 pm PST), Florida and New Hampshire (5 pm PST), Colorado (6 pm PST), Iowa and Nevada (7 pm PST). California and the western states won’t close til 8 pm PST, and they’re unlikely to call anyone a winner before well after that, perhaps around 9 pm.

1:39 pm PST: First polls will close at 7 pm EST.  CNN.com will begin posting their results here. NYTimes here. MSNBC results here.

1:00 pm PST: Wanna know when CNN will start calling it?  Probably too early! LOL

12:30 pm PST: An early voting watch list from the NY Times as a helpful guide.


Bulldog Edition

And here we are.  Bet you didn’t think Election Day could EVER get here fast enough.

For those of you who voted early, for those of you who are voting tomorrow, for those of you who will stand in line for four hours just to spite Rick Scott, let us take a moment to bite our nails together.

First and foremost, before you read the rest of this post, you voted, YES? If you didn’t, are you armed with a cheat sheet for all your down-ticket choices, and propositions and ballot measures and what not?  (Californians, I’ll just reiterate that if you want to know our humble opinions on the nonsense that are ballot measures, just email me…)

Anyway, I digress. Go do that first. Stop looking at blogs, stop checking the Gallup polls. The only thing you’re allowed to check is your polling location.  Go get yourself ready.  Those of you who have voted, you may continue reading.

FivethirtyEight polling

If it’s any consolation–and it should be– Nate Silver has Obama’s chances of winning at a very healthy 92.2%.  Will he take Ohio? Probably. Will he get Colorado? Possibly. Will he win Virginia? Yes, he just might. I’m even holding out hope for Florida –though not much, given the swath of newspaper endorsements for Romney– if only because I’d love to see it thrown in Rick Scott’s face.

In early voting, Obama holds a key lead already, and I can only hope that this is a result of a superior ground game.

But the fact is, this election has, pure and simple, exhausted me.  I am seriously considering running for Congress myself with the sole purpose of introducing legislation designed to limit presidential campaign duration to two weeks and campaign spending to $30. Anyone with me?

JACKASS ROUNDUP

In the mean time, I thought it might be fun to take a little trip down memory lane with some of Mitt’s greatest hits. Point is, folks, Romney is at heart, a snotty jackass and a creep. It comes out in little ways, but it’s there, the incivility, the insulting jokes that only he thinks are funny, the barely veiled condescension, the say-anything do-anything, lie your way out of a tight spot bully. You know this guy…and you think he’s a jerk.

August 2011

Mitt tells Daniel Simmons at the Iowa County Fair: “Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets. Human beings, my friend.”

December 2011

In a debate with Gov. Rick Perry, Romney offered Perry a $10,000 bet during an argument over health care.

January 2012

I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say, ‘I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.’”

February 2012

In an attempt to show he’s just one of the NASCAR lovin’, red-blooded Americans, when asked if he follows NASCAR, Mitt says: “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.

“[My wife] drives a couple of Cadillacs.”

And then there is the mystifying: I love this state. The trees are the right height.”

April 2012

“We have a president, who I think is is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps,” says the man with two degrees from Harvard, versus Obama’s one. And since when was an education a disqualification for becoming president?

Jerk alert: “I’m not sure about these cookies. They don’t look like you made them. No, no. They came from the local 7/11 bakery, or whatever.”

May 2012

No list would be complete without the infamous: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That, that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax.” This wasn’t released until September of course….

Man has a mind like a steel trap …(full of dead mice). Here’s a gem of decisiveness: I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said. Whatever it was.”

June 2012

On a tour apparently designed to sever ties with any of our allies, Mitt attempts to alienate Great Britain by criticizing the London Olympics before they happen: It’s hard to know just how well (the 2012 London Olympics) will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

August 2012

An announcing the arrival onstage of his running mate: “Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan.”

In Commerce, MI, Mitt unearths the birther crap again, implying Obama isn’t American with this snide remark:No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

 

September 2012

Mitt defines what he believes to be middle class, hitting a mark most Americans only dream of getting to: Middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.”

Clint Eastwood steals the show at the Republican National Convention by speaking to an empty chair.

October 2012

“I went to a number of women’s groups and said ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.” Hey Mitt, better check those binders and see if any of the women would vote for you….
Let us also note that Mitt never withdrew his endorsement of Richard Mourdock, candidate for Senate in Indiana, after he said, “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
And lest we forget, Paul Ryan also staged a wonderfully inauthentic photo op in a soup kitchen  this month as well.
Like any good Christian, Ryan of course can always be found serving the poor once a week. Oh wait, no that was disenfranchising the poor. Right. I always get those two mixed up.
When making your considered choice for President, please keep the foregoing  in mind.
And just one more time because I can’t resist, Mitt Romney Style:
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Tomorrow, I plan to don my famous Magic Shirt (Hey, it helped the Giants sweep the Tigers to win the World Series–you thought that gently rolling bunt in Game 2 was a coincidence?), turn on my twenty-three screens and Steve Jobs e-devices, and attempt my first live blogging event with cross posting on Facebook. If you’d like to play along at home (AFTER YOU’VE VOTED, of course), join me here at https://mespoliticalrant.wordpress.com, starting at 4 pm PST.
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GROUSY CAT SEZ:
For the love of all the is HOLY, GO OUT AND VOTE!!
Need to find your polling place? Check here.

Horses & Bayonets Edition

Well, SOMEBODY’s been practicing his zingers…

Last debate before the election (chews nails nervously) and I don’t care what the spinroom says, that was a clear win for Obama. I also don’t care how badly my shirt smells, I’ll be preserving its magic right through the World Series and through Election Day.

Debate transcript (will make for some fascinating reading) and video here.

Foreign policy was the topic of this debate, although really foreign policy meaning mainly Middle East politics with a faint nod to China. The rest of the world apparently has no impact on your presidential aspirations.  Congrats to Bob Schieffer for spanking Romney at least once, although frankly I think he could have been a little sterner about Romney’s penchant for flouting time limits and being a blowhard. Schieffer was competent, although he was no Martha Raddatz, which is a shame, because someone needed to call out Romney on his inability to answer a question on foreign policy directly.

But happily, Obama was on fire tonight, getting the best zingers of the night and calling out the Romney lies.

Some of my favourite Obama lines of the night (lines I’m sure he practiced ahead of time):

You were asked, what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia — not al-Qaida, you said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years. 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.


But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets — (laughter) — because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s what are our capabilities.

Bob, let me just respond. Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign, and every fact-checker and every reporter’s looked at it. The governor has said this is not true.

Now, I hasten to add, that while those were lines I loved, the truth that every Obama supporter has to come to terms with is that NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS, there are people who will never accept that Romney has lied about Obama. Case in point, the apology tour.  This is a fiction promulgated by the GOP political machine since Obama left for Cairo.  There was nothing apologetic about it, but I have ex-friends (whom I had to unfriend on Facebook) who railed about how they knew Obama had gone on an apology tour and that it was a disgrace. No amount of logic or facts is ever going to dislodge her sad opinion.  Some people do not want to be confused by facts.  Romney’s poor performance will make as little difference to them as Obama’s poor performances in the first debate did for me. I understand that.  I can only hope there are slightly more sane people out there than insane people.

I also must mention the blinking.  With the candidates on split screen, I noticed Romneys blinking FAR more than I have at the previous debates.  Here’s what About.com says about that particular piece of body language, “People often blink more rapidly when they are feeling distressed or uncomfortable.”

Curiously, besides the blinking, one of the takeaways of the night was that Romney apparently agrees with most everything Obama has done, revealing either an amazing lack of imagination, or an underlying truth that all along Obama has been doing what a commander-in-chief should be doing.

Of course not every pundit felt it was a clear Obama win. But at the Political Wire, Taegan Goddard says:

The third and final presidential debate was President Obama’s best moment in the campaign so far. He was prepared on every issue and knew Mitt Romney’s record of past statements just as well… As the debate went on, Romney tried many times to move the international affairs discussion back to the economy where he was more comfortable. It was as if he had only 30 minutes of foreign policy talking points for a 90 minute debate. As a result he seemed to string together random thoughts which often made him sound incoherent.

TalkingPointsMemo concludes: “Romney began to falter as Obama became more direct, organized and declarative. Romney seemed increasingly lost. Obama seemed comfortable, happy. The visuals told the story.”

It was a good night.

==========================

Paul Ryan Repairs the World

And while Romney is out debating the future of the world, his pal Paul Ryan has been out doing good deeds, like cleaning Mount Rushmore:

Cleaning Mother Teresa:

and cleaning Brad Pitt’s abs:

Ah, the things one can do with Photoshop…

And sometimes I don’t need to Photoshop anything at all:

===========================

I have a theory.

By Ann Elk.

Stay with me here. I know this is going to sound like I’m a nut job, but, here goes. Clearly from these last two debates, we can see that Debate #2 and Debate #3 Obama is so much more practiced, so much smarter and quicker than Debate #1 Obama. And I’m not the first one to wonder what the heck happened in that first debate.

Here’s my crazy theory. What if Obama lost that first debate with strategy in mind?

Pshaw, I hear you say, what a thought! Why would he do that? Well, folks, this election is a different animal mainly due to the sudden rise of SuperPACS, quasi-political organizations that we all knew were stockpiling cash to make a hit on Democrats running for Senate, particularly in the final weeks leading up to the election. In early October, Obama had only a small lead in polls in popular vote, but the likelihood was that he would carry most of the swing states in the electoral college race.

I think he also knew that if it looked like Romney was going down in flames (which he was after the 47% remark) the conservative SuperPACS would pull their money from the Romney campaign and abandon Mitt to focus on the Senate and House races.  With Obama on a slide, GOP superPACS have earmarked more cash for pro-Romney ad buys in swing states and moved away from the Senate races. Savvy?

Think of it like that final act of Lord of the Rings. Aragorn proposes a crazy house call on Sauron’s front gate to draw the Eye away from the hobbits scrambling up Mount Doom.  Yeah, yeah, go ahead and tell me I’m crazy, because who would throw away an only slightly-greater-than-nothing lead?

It would be an incredible game of brinksmanship, I concede, but come on, this man is President of the United States. You have to have some nerves of steel to get the job.

Anyway, my point is, yes, he took a dip in the polls–perhaps more than might have even been anticipated. But still, Romney has never been able to create volatility in the polling, not like back in 2004.

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VOTE NOW

Have I mentioned early voting?  Very much worthwhile.  It means that once you’ve voted you can ignore the myriad political ads and paraphernalia invading your inbox…

In-person early voting has commenced in South Dakota, Idaho,  Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Indiana,  California, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, Hawaii,

You can vote by absentee ballot already most states. Check Reed’s calendar for more info.

==============================

GROUSY CAT SEZ:

That was a good night.


Pwned Edition

Well, Hallelujah!

Welcome to Presidential Debate Number Two and a fine, fine Obama win. Debate video and transcript here.

Hopefully this little dog and pony show puts the Obama campaign back on track and makes people stop and think, really think for a moment about who this Romney jerk is.

So here’s what we learned today. Mitt Romney is a kneejerk bully who can’t let anyone else have the last word and believes that rules, even debate rules, are for someone else.

But this time, Obama doesn’t just roll over and let Mitt the Arrogant run roughshod over him. ‘Bout damn time. I have a brief flash to that story of Romney’s “Lord of the Flies” style attack on his presumed gay classmate, you know, where he held down and cut the hair of another kid just because he was “different.”  This is the same Mitt Romney we’re looking at today, folks. This is how that kid grew up, from an insolent, overprivileged cocky little brat who thought he could do whatever he wanted, to a pompous swaggering braggart who thinks he can say whatever he wants.

Pssst…Mr. President….there’s a crazy person behind you…

But I’m glad to say that Obama is not a little kid, and he’s not taking it lying down, thank god. At times, it looks like an episode of the Bickersons, with the two of them doing a “No, you don’t,” “Yes, I do,” “No, you don’t” “Yes, I do” kinda useless exchange. And to her credit moderator Candy Crowley tolerates it only for a moment before shutting it down. She has obviously taken heed of the ghost of Jim Lehrer, and I give her credit for cutting through the brawling going on on the stage. In fact, Candy more than earned her stripes when Romney tried to shove down everyone’s craw a particularly silly little bit about Obama’s response to the Libya attacks.

“You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror?” Romney eye-rolled, adding obnoxiously, “I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”

“Get the transcript,” Mr. Obama replied. With such firm, unsmiling authority, that it sent a million bloggers to Google to find the transcript, which took all of .0000002 seconds.

Candy actually live fact-checked–LIKE ANYONE WITH A BRAIN WOULD– and said, “He did in fact, sir.”

To which the president added, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”

Yeah, here, Candy, let me do it.  HE SAID: “NO ACTS OF TERROR WILL EVER SHAKE THE RESOLVE OF THIS GREAT NATION, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

It was a stupid move by Romney because winning a semantic point like that really doesn’t prove anything, but losing the point makes him look like a bully and a condescending jerk who doesn’t know enough to stop lying when he’s been exposed. Didn’t someone say “I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it….” Oh YEAH, that was YOU Governor Romney, back in Debate Number 1, at time 21:16:44.

one does not simply fill binders with women

I think Obama’s feistiness and the fact that Crowley was indeed going to call him on BS must have rattled Romney, because his voice actually took on a different tone and he had a few weird little worms come out of his mouth. Something garbled about how on Day One as president he would “label China a currency manipulator.” But one of the fastest growing memes in the seconds after it emerged from his mouth was “binders full of women.” Uh, yuck.

Mitt was trying to show off how wonderfully openminded he is and how he did his darndest to locate some kind of qualified dames to hire  for his cabinet.

Actually, as it turns out, this idea that he ASKED for the binder full of women is another Romney lie/exaggeration. From David Bernstein at Talking Politics:

Hey, I know about that binder! And guess what — Mitt Romney was lying about it… What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

Here’s what Emma Keller at the UK Guardian had to say about it, “Why did the phrase resonate? Because it was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration – that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back.”

Romney is, according to him the kind of open-minded guy that lets his Chief of Staff leave at 5 pm so she can go home and make dinner for the kids. I can only presume that Romney is talking about Karl Rove protege Beth Myers, who manages his campaign and owns a share of that famous Romney horse, Rafalca. Of COURSE, Romney will let her leave at 5  make dinner, because we wouldn’t DREAM of asking Beth’s husband to do that. [Rolls eyes.]

If Romney was hoping to make an impact on women with his caring compassion for the struggles of a working mom, he needed to dial up his “I am a human” setting a few more notches and maybe turn on a space heater to warm him up. Ugh.

Anyway, as I was saying… Romney got pwned by Obama tonight. I figure if the conservatives are saying it was an Obama win, it was clearly a knockout… LOL.

The NY Times noted:

“George Will said, ‘Barack Obama not only gained ground that he had lost, he cauterized some wounds that he inflicted on himself by seeming too distant and disengaged.’

On CNN, the longtime analyst David Gergen said “the night goes to Barack Obama.” On MSNBC, the Rev. Al Sharpton credited Mr. Obama with his “best performance of his career as a debater.”

“Tonight Mitt Romney was up against a different man,” said the MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who added that “Democrats will be thrilled.”

I will now breathe a little more easily, take off my lucky Giants T- Shirt (It is SOOOO working) and ignore the polls until the post debate swing happens.

==========================

“Look at how sparkly someone else already made them…”

Nice Christian Attitude Department

And, no, I just can’t pass over that Paul Ryan photo op in the homeless shelter in which he showed up in a 15-minute stop ON HIS WAY TO THE AIRPORT, after the breakfast was over, (conveniently missing any actual contact with homeless people, who are, as we all know in the 30% of Americans who are “takers), “ramrodded” his way into the kitchen (yep, that’s what the charity’s president said) and proceeded to clean pots and pans that were already clean (lest he soil his pretty hands with kitchen schmutz.)  All to get the picture you see on the left.That is one cynical photo op.

I mean really, it’s just so difficult being Romney-Ryan.  They deride the takers, the 47% who just won’t take responsibility for their lives,saying we should cut out entitlements and get rid of handouts.  But, they also want us to think they’re good Christians, so they should at least look like they’re serving, but they should not actually hand any free food to those freeloading “takers.” But they don’t want to be viewed as cold  and unfeeling, but they also only have fifteen minutes to make this op look good, so “Liza, do NOT get grease on your hands, we don’t have time to clean it off, we have a plane to catch!”

Marie Lee of Salon says this: “This staged emptiness is such a glaring metaphor for the oxymoronic “compassionate conservatism” that a novelist would reject it as too obvious…This is exactly what the GOP is all about. They need to pretend to care about the poor and disenfranchised so they don’t come off as total monsters, but in practice, they’d be horrified to confront a food scrap that may have been touched by a 47 percenter.”

=========================

The news that George McGovern is entering hospice gave me a sobering moment today.  I couldn’t help but think, is this the end of an era for Liberals, or can we make this the passing of a torch.  Well, okay, I know Barack Obama isn’t the Liberal I wanted, but he’s liberal enough for right now.  I wasn’t there in 1972, but I have to imagine that this election is a lot different from Nixon vs. McGovern.

==========================

I’m trying not to get too depressed by polling.  Really, truly, with everyone and his aunt out there polling “likely voters”  the noise is unbearable and those poll lines are guaranteed to fluctuate a lot in the next three weeks. When I want to feel good about life, I look at Electoral-Vote.com’s Senate map.

In more heartening news, Obama is leading Romney 59-31% among early voters, according to a new Ipsos/Reuters poll.

The online poll is another sign that early voting is likely to play a bigger role this year than in 2008, when roughly one in three voters cast a ballot before Election Day. Voting is already under way in some form in at least 40 states.

And in even more heartening news, “The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a last-gasp appeal by Ohio Republicans and approved early voting for Ohio residents on the weekend before Election Day.”

====================

And if you REALLY need a laugh, check out this Gangnam style parody, “Mitt Romney Style.”  I almost fell off my chair when I first saw this.

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GROUSY CAT SEZ:

Booyah.


Fine Fillet Edition

So I have always suspected this: far from being the addle-pated old fool that people like to portray him as, Biden is a shrewd, savvy politician who knows how to play the “gaffe-prone” guy in order to advance a bigger objective.

It is with modified glee, that I point to tonight’s debate performances as evidence. It was a fine filleting of Rep. Paul Ryan, and sent a sigh of relief rolling through the ranks of Demos riled by Romney’s lies and Obama’s apparent indifference  to them in the last week’s debate.

But even before tonight, I had my suspicions about Joe.  Take his so-called gaffe on gay marriage.  Supposedly he just blurted out his support for gay marriage and irritated the president, putting the Obama administration in an awkward position. Know what? I think you don’t get to be a veteran politician with 40 years experience by shooting off your mouth unless it’s calculated. I see Joe in a meeting with the president saying, “Hey, let me just go out there and take the temperature of the water.  If it’s a horrible idea, it’ll just be crazy old Joe shooting off his mouth, but if it’s the right time, then you’ll find out.”

And when Obama’s gay marriage support speech rolled out,  I knew for sure that Joe is one helluva smart political strategist whose greatest advantage is that he doesn’t care what people think about him personally.

But back to the debate at hand. First off, props to Martha Raddatz.  She’s feisty right from the start, “I would like to begin with Libya.”  Whoa, Nellie! No softball question? No inane “what is the difference” queries?  Just, “Good evening, gentlemen, let me set a breakneck pace here by asking you about libyan terrorists assassinating a US Ambassador.” Yeah. I love it. In a tweetshell, as Vanity Fair put it: “Yo, Jim Lehrer, This Is What Killing It Looks Like.”

The NY Times’ Alessandra Stanley observes:

For Mr. Biden especially, the night was his chance to relive past debates and unleash his inner barroom brawler. He had to be contained and courteous when he debated Sarah Palin four years ago, lest he look like a bully. This time he let loose. And unlike the courtly Mr. Bentsen in 1988, Mr. Biden turned his temperature up, singeing the young man across the table with patronizing grins, but mostly withering retorts. His interruptive barrage was as relentless as his silent mugging for the camera.

Mr. Ryan held his own, but did look abashed when Mr. Biden mocked him for opposing the Obama stimulus, yet asking for government funds for his own district. “On two occasions, we — we — we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants,” Mr. Ryan said stiffly.

“I love that. I love that,” Mr. Biden said. “This was such a bad program, and he writes me a letter saying — writes the Department of Energy a letter saying, the reason we need this stimulus — it will create growth and jobs.”

And if Biden looked authoritative and no-nonsense, Ryan often seemed rattled, like a punky, arrogant little kid who’s just been called out on blatant lies and is desperately trying to keep his cool and bluster his way through. His little “heh-heh” chuckle creepily reminds me of GWShrub’s grating little trademark snigger.

Oh, and by the way, these are real photos of Paul Ryan– he posed for Time Magazine, when he was the 2011 runner up for Person of the Year (???). Don’t ask.
But before I leave the topic of Ryan’s appearance, I’m going to say again… Hannover Fiste.  Remarkable. (Thanks, Todd, now I can’t see anything else…)

Anyway, pundits on the right will claim that Biden was unhinged because they can’t refute what he said, and those on the left will  rejoice that FINALLY someone is starting to call out the Romney-Ryan lie machine.

They get to Medicare entitlements and Ryan tries to drag his mom into the discussion. In his response, Biden offhandedly reminds us that he filleted Sarah Palin on the death panel debate and can fillet Ryan just as neatly.

Some favorite Biden lines:

  • “That is a bunch of malarkey!”
  • “Go on our Web site. He sent me two letters saying by the way, ‘Can you send me stimulus money? It will create growth and jobs. Those are his words. And now, he’s sitting here looking at me?”
  • “By the way, any letter you send me, I’ll entertain it.”
  • “Oh so now you’re Jack Kennedy…”

And one of my favorite Biden responses managed to wrap the 47% remark, the GM bailout,  and Romney’s veteran policies neatly into a response on unemployment figures:

Let’s look at the — let’s take a look at the facts. Let’s look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in free fall. We had — the Great Recession hit. Nine million people lost their job, 1.7 — $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, in retirement accounts from the middle class.

We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. And in addition to that, when that — and when that occurred, what did Romney do? Romney said, no, let Detroit go bankrupt. We moved in and helped people refinance their homes. Governor Romney said, no, let foreclosures hit the bottom.

But it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. My friend recently, in a speech in Washington, said 30% of the American people are takers. These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Governor Romney pays in his federal income tax. They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are, quote, not paying any taxes.

I’ve had it up to here with this notion that 47 percent — it’s about time they take some responsibility here. And instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we’re going to level the playing field. We’re going to give you a fair shot again.

Says Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast: “Biden’s affect is the most important thing tonight. He seems like the elder statesman but also a pitbull.”

And at the Economist, reaction was: “Joe Biden was easily the more memorable debater in every way; he was louder, more emotional, lucid, detailed, garrulous, grinning, teary-eyed and just Joe Biden. He sank some real barbs into Romney-Ryan. The Biden that Mr Obama hired in 2008 to excite lower-middle-class types from Scranton showed up and did his job. Ryan was cool, impressively calm given his unpredictable opponent, and detailed, but seemed reactive much of the night. He could have put Obama-Biden on the spot for their deficit failures more effectively; as it was, more time was spent on how Mr Romney’s numbers don’t add up (a potential future deficit) than the actual deficit itself.”

Sam Youngman of Reuters on PBS: Joe’s message was “Hey, welcome to my turf, rookie.”

And I won’t deny that Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker pretty much gets it right: “In a poll of Democratic voters taken immediately following Thursday night’s Vice-Presidential debate, a wide majority said they wanted Vice-President Joe Biden to appear in all remaining 2012 debates,” adding, “Obama should crush a little bit of Joe Biden into a joint and smoke it.”

So, how did Joe do? If you must know my opinion, he cleanly filleted Ryan before the guy even knew what was going on, and  then he packaged him up with a wine sauce to cover that off-flavor of hypocrisy and put a few nice clean chives on the top.

============================
So early voting began in California last Tuesday, and we realized that in order to vote at this juncture, we would have to wade through our positions on nearly a dozen ballot measures and another handful of local propositions. So, Californians, we are now prepared to reveal our recommendations on everything from gross receipt taxes to GMO labeling to the human trafficking.  Interested?  Send me a message and I’ll be happy to share our snarky take on this year’s props.  And when you know which way you want to vote on your local and state props,

GO VOTE. 

In-person early voting has commenced in South Dakota, Idaho,  Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Indiana,  California, and beginning today, Arizona.

You can vote by absentee ballot already in Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas,Maryland, South Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Mississipi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas,Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, North Dakota, Illinois, Washington DC, New York and Florida.

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GROUSEY CAT SEZ: 
 “Sometimes I leave malarkey in the litterbox…
and sometimes I leave malarkey on the carpet…”

 


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