Category Archives: Romney

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.


Nearly-Incoherent-With-Rage Edition

What. Was. That.

I’m so angry after watching the first Presidential Debate live from Denver that I can barely form the words.

TranscriptVideo.  Arghhhhhh.

I screamed at the TV like a deranged maniac, causing my poor Grousey Cat to literally fall off the ottoman and retreat in a huff under the table while I worked myself into a livid fury.

Must. Calm. Self. Not. Good. for. Blood. Pressure.

But now the debate is over. My Grousey Cat has emerged to give me a tentative, calming, wet-nosed nudge, and my Editorial Cat has walked across my keyboard, promising to help edit, if I promise not to be scary anymore.

First off, can we please, PLEASE, PLEASE get a moderator with a fricking backbone?  Jim Lehrer was, in the words of my perceptive husband, “worthless.” Not only did Jim himself often interrupt Obama claiming time was up, he let Romney run roughshod over him, and demand extra time, natter on about whatever he wanted to talk about and interrupt the president as much as he pleased. He didn’t force either of them to stick to the topics or the time limits, and on top of that, his idiotic kickoff questions–“What is the difference between you and your opponent on fill-in-the-blank” was how he started every damn segment–were an embarrassment to the whole proceeding. Jim, that was not only useless, ineffectual, and pandering, it was damn lazy. It made it look like you spent no time at all preparing to moderate this debate.

I would like to also propose a system in which the candidates are locked in two soundproof booths, and unable to be heard unless their mike is turned on.

That or some kind of electronic muzzle. Or automatic pepper-spray spritzes in the face whenever they say something that is a lie.

I’m designing it in my head, and thinking it could be a big seller.

Because tonight’s offerings from Mitt Romney were RIDDLED with whoppers that have ALREADY BEEN PROVEN TO BE LIES! I hope the fact-checkers have a field day with this.

Here are a few that have already hit the boards:

  • 12 million jobs: Mr. Romney promised to create 12 million jobs over the next four years if he is elected president. That is actually about as many jobs as the economy is already expected to create, according to some economic forecasters.
  • “I did not propose a $5Trillion tax cut: It is true that Mr. Romney has proposed “revenue neutral” tax reform, meaning that he would not expand the deficit. However, he has proposed cutting all marginal tax rates by 20 percent — which would in and of itself cut tax revenue by $5 trillion.
  • $716 billion cut for Medicare: How long are we going to have to listen to this one? “These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program’s finances out longer than they would last otherwise.”

The sad truth is that it was a slick performance by Romney, who was aggressive and energetic. He was well-prepped, using coded keywords and appropriating Demo buzz phrases with a Tea Party twist– “trickle down government,” “economy tax.”  Aside from the actual ballsy outrageousness of his lies, his biggest misstep was saying he’d fire Big Bird and Jim Lehrer, although, personally, at this point, I’d fire Jim Lehrer too.

By contrast Obama’s performance was frankly lackluster.  I know some people will disagree and feel that his non-combativeness was more presidential, but it was also less inspiring, and looked indecisive and confused. When Romney claims that he just wants to help those Americans out there who are hurting, why didn’t Obama hit back with “but you mean not the 47% of them who support me?”

When Romney accuses him of pillaging $716 billion from Medicare, why doesn’t he say, “ask your running mate Paul Ryan how it works, since he proposed the same plan.” When Romney makes a crack about repeating something that’s not true so often til people think its true, why not come back at him and say, “Perhaps you know all about that since SuperPACS supporting you have had so much practice doing exactly that–LYING.” And when Romney has the utter GALL to say that Obama should have gotten Republican support to pass his health care plan, I want to choke him. How about giving him a tart reply that if the Republicans had not CATEGORICALLY decided that blocking Obama (not the welfare of the country) was their TOP political priority , bipartisanship would have been a possibility.

This really frosts me.  When Romney says, “But the right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across America, telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have,” why isn’t Obama retorting, “Oh, you mean the way you’d like to come between a doctor and a woman exercising her right to choose?”

And when Romney has the nerve to spout this little gem, “Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own plane, your own house, but not your own facts,” you need to hit back with, “Right, Mitt, you think only YOU are entitled to your own facts–that’s an ‘entitlement’ you take advantage of every day.”

Instead, Obama looks unpracticed–he stutters, seems to be looking down all the time during Romney’s responses, and generally comes across as unfocused and rambling.  It was a totally ennervated performance, that has me wondering where the Obama of 2004 or 2008 is?  There’s a hell of a difference between rising above the negativity to look presidential and just being plain old boring.  Word is that sparring with John Kerry was his debate prep. Well, sadly, he looked like John Kerry–and not that cool, fiery Kerry from this year’s DNC, but the fumbling dry, boring Kerry of 2004 who got SwiftBoated without even raising a peep about the lies told about him.

Joe Klein says: “Mitt Romney won this debate. Barack Obama lost it. I mean, he got his butt kicked. It was, in fact, one of the most inept performances I’ve ever seen by a sitting President. Romney–credit where it’s due–was calm, clear, convincing (even when he was totally full of it) and nearly human. The real mystery was Obama. Where on earth was he? Why was his debate strategy unilateral disarmament? Why did he never speak in plain English: “Mitt, you’re selling a fantasy. Bill Clinton proved it. He raised taxes on the wealthy and the economy boomed. George Bush lowered taxes drastically and the economy tanked. How’s your plan any different than Bush’s?”

Excellent point. Why did Obama never even MENTION Bush and hang the Shrubbery around Mitt Romney’s neck??

And Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast says, “Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.”

I don’t know what the polls are going to look like after this, but I fear it will not be good for Obama.

Is this whole exercise a canny way to shake all of us supporters out of our complacency and send us into a full-blown panic, lest we take this election for granted?  Mr. President, it’s not necessary to give us heart attacks.  Really. You can just ask us kindly to get out there and vote.

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GROUSEY CAT SEZ:

“Ow. I hurt myself when I fell of the ottoman. Don’t make me hurt myself again.”

GO VOTE NOW. 

In-person early voting has commenced in South Dakota, Idaho,  Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio.

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.

On Monday we here in California can begin early voting.


Blunderbuss edition

DEBATE PREP

Where to begin?

It’s debate season–one of my favorite parts of the election cycle. and with the first debate coming up tomorrow, I’m  feeling more than slightly revved up about the campaign.

In case you haven’t looked at the schedule, the first presidential debate, coming from Denver and starting at 9 pm ET (6pm PT), covers domestic policy–topics include the economy, the economy, the economy and health care.

The candidates are sequestered away prepping madly for the event, of course.

“Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August,” reports the New York Times.

Ezra Klein at WaPo offers this pro tip: “If your strategy to turn the presidential election around relies on Romney’s sense of comic timing, you might want to prepare a Plan B, as well.”

It’s been a while since my last rant, and I’ve been holding myself back, biting my fist, trying to contain that unbecoming tinge of schadenfreude that was coloring my cheeks–that smug smirk that crossed my lips whenever I heard about another Romney gaffe.

What can I say? It’s been an enlightening few weeks.

Let’s start with Libya and the horrifying violence that followed the YouTube video mocking Mohammed that was promoted by Terry Jones–not the Monty Python guy, I’m talking about the American pastor who wanted to burn Korans in 2010 and hanged (read “lynched”) Barack Obama in effigy  earlier this year. How is it the Secret Service is not ALL OVER this guy?

Anyway, after the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens at the hands of a mob/terrorists, Romney, with his steel-trap-like grasp of foreign events, decided to slam the president for sympathizing with the attackers.  Too bad that was completely and absurdly untrue and everyone knew it. If you like timelines the way I do, you can follow along in detail and see how Romney managed to respond before either Secretary of State Clinton or President Obama had made a statement.

Add to that that no one likes a political candidate scoring political points at a moment when national unity was called for–and on September 11 no less. “If the past week was Mitt Romney’s opportunity to show how he would handle a foreign crisis, the GOP nominee did not put his best foot forward as far as voters are concerned,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a press release.

At Slate, Fred Kaplan  pointed out: “No other prominent Republican, even those who have vigorously criticized Obama in the past, has spoken out against the president on this issue. Sens. John McCain and Mitch McConnell, as well as House Speaker John Boehner, have stepped before microphones to condemn the attacks, mourn the deaths, and assert American unity in seeking justice. These politicians know, as Romney apparently doesn’t, that in these sorts of crises, the proper thing to do is to rally around the flag. Ironically, it’s also the politically smart thing to do. Imagine if Romney had called President Obama, asked how he could be of assistance in this time of crisis, offered to appear at his side at a press conference to demonstrate that, when American lives are at risk, politics stop at the water’s edge—and then had his staff put out the word that he’d done these things, which would have made him look noble and might have made Obama look like the petty one if he’d waved away these offers.”

Then there was the delightfully candid remarks Romney made at a June fundraiser which surfaced in video from last week. Really?  47% of Americans “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…I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Hmmmm, maybe “entitlement” defines an arrogant rich guy who think he can dismiss half the country as freeloading peons who aren’t worth his consideration.

As Andrew Tanenbaum at Electoral Vote says, quite astutely, “The danger for Romney is that this story reinforces his image of wanting to be the President for the upper half. Gaffes only matter when they reinforce an existing stereotype and this one does.” Tanenbaum also points out that scooped up in Romney’s 47% are “government employees, soldiers, veterans, people on Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, people who have gotten Small Business Administration loans, people who work for government contractors or companies the government bailed out (like banks and GM) are at least somewhat dependent on government.”

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Polling that heartens...

Here’s the part I really like, though. I like to look at pretty polling graphs, and by pretty, I mean ones that point to a clear trend with sanity prevailing… Here is the state of the electoral vote, from electoral-vote.com, with handy markers for key events, and including the states that are considered swing states if they were to vote today. Notice the little blip around the 47% remark…

Here is the same graph but without the swing states included. See? Relatively the same curves, but with Obama just jogged over the all-important 270 line with the help of Romney’s 47% remark…

For reference, here is the graph from 2008, and you can see that actually McCain was in a better position than Romney at this point in the election–that is shortly after the McCain gaffe-fest started and certainly before the debates.

It’s also interesting to look at the volatility level of previous elections.  For instance the polling from the 2004 election (Kerry vs. Bush) makes this year’s election look positively serene. 

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GROUSEY CAT SEZ:

VOTE NOW!!!

I know in those swing states you’re probably buried under campaign ads and sick of even thinking about the election.  I have a solution: Early Voting.  Vote now and you’ll never have to think about it again.

Not sure when early voting starts in your state?  Check out this calendar.

Check in with your friends! 

In-personearly voting has commenced in South Dakota, Idaho,  Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio.

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.

On Monday we here in California can begin early voting.  Just do it!


In the Tank Edition

Clearly I am in the tank for Barack Obama.  It’s a nice tank. I like it a lot. I’ve installed a comfy couch in one corner of this tank and I’m planning to stay here.

Yep, it’s time for the Democratic Convention–and after managing to contain the rage (yes,that was contained) that the GOP convention elicited, I feel like I can finally enjoy politics for a brief shining moment. 

Everyone is a little shouty, except for Kathleen Sebelius, but they’re hitting the right notes. Tammy Duckworth and Lily Ledbetter are there, as is Rahm Emmanuel with some great observations about life in the Obama White House that make me long for the “West Wing.” He reveals that Obama reads ten letters from average Americans every night to ground him and remind him of what they were working for. Why do I doubt Mitt Romney would ever even entertain the thought of such a thing?

Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts gave a fabulous fiery wonderful speech–I especially loved his exhortation to Democrats to grow a backbone–did that offend people? It should, because it’s true and it’s been a problem for Dems for decades. Still, Deval reminds us of all the Obama has accomplished, “With a record and a vision like that, I will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office — and neither should you.” If you’re looking to get fired up, check his speech out.

Patrick’s not the keynote speaker though. That’s Julian Castro.  I’m still dreaming of a “West Wing” Matt Santos from Texas kind of situation. Castro’s TED talk was genial but not on fire.  In Charlotte though, he gets warmed up and he’s a great personable natural speaker, plus he gets a few great lines in there about Romney/Ryan: “Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks, we’ve heard that before. First they called it “trickle-down.” Then “supply-side.” Now it’s “Romney-Ryan.” Or is it “Ryan-Romney”? Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price.”

Castro also tosses off this line: “In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay.”  Yeah, that’s a gibe about Ryan’s fibs about his fabulous marathon time.

The star speaker of the evening though is Michelle Obama. Gotta love it when “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” is your theme music. Seriously, how much does this woman rock?

One can’t help contrasting Ann Romney’s speech with Michelle’s.  Ann got a lot of praise for her speech, but looked at next to Michelle’s, it pales–it comes across as inauthentic, nervous and and filled with non-specific generalities about life with Mitt.

I don’t doubt that Mitt and Ann started out in a basement apartment where they ate pasta and tuna on an ironing board, but she can’t carry the story through to say, “I understand your struggles,” because they don’t understand. There was a hollowness to Ann’s speech that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the time, but which seems obvious when I watch Michelle. Ann was trying to tell the story she had been tasked by the RNC with framing, but wasn’t ready to lie to put the story over.

By contrast, Michelle’s speech is both gracious, and yet peppered with details of her experience that ring true and move us. “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are,” she says, and that is so damn true. She gets all verklempt at the end, I’m all verklempt, the entire convention floor is on its feet, people are crying and cheering at the same time.

As Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast says, “As she describes the courage, wisdom, patience and grace of Barack Obama, I see them too. I make no apologies for admiring this president as much as anyone in public life, and seeing his sincerity and integrity and hearing this woman tell the truth about him after so many lies, it all comes as a huge and joyous relief.”

Yes. This.

I was going to wrap with a recap of the five best speeches Obama has ever given, but you know what? Michelle’s speech is too good.  Just go watch her speech.

Republican Wrap

In Huffpo’s “Lies and the lying liars who tell them,” Sean Carman says: “And so here is the takeaway from last week’s saturation-level political activity, revealed not by the carefully-staged theater we witnessed, but by the moments in which the actors went off-script and the truth was accidentally revealed: Mitt Romney is not a particularly great decision-maker, and Paul Ryan is a liar.”

ThinkProgress has compiled  the Ultimate Guide to Mitt’s Convention speech.  There’s good stuff in there, a lot of it reiterated elsewhere (not that I object to fact-checking the GOP convention over and over and over again) but this particular item on the list drew my attention, because it’s often repeated, and infrequently rebutted, “Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt.” [The Hill,6/28/2012] REALITY: According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare reduces the deficit by $124 billion over 10 years and even more after that. [Politifact, 6/28/2012]”

 

Let’s have a closer look at that graph from the CBPP:

In Salon, Robert Reich offered this view: “Every campaign is guilty of exaggerations, embellishments, distortions, and half-truths. But this is another thing altogether. I’ve been directly involved in seven presidential campaigns, and I don’t recall a presidential candidate lying with such audacity, over and over again. Why does he do it, and how can he get away with it? The obvious answer is such lies are effective. Polls show voters are starting to believe them, especially in swing states where they’re being repeated constantly in media spots financed by Romney’s super PAC or ancillary PACs and so-called “social welfare” organizations (political fronts disguised as charities, such as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have set up).”

Madeleine Albright: “It was appalling and disgusting,” she said. “But if I may say so, the things that he said in one form or another are in the Republican platform. So [while Republicans are] saying he is a nutcase and they have to move away from him, they did not move away from their platform.” Albright goes on to add this “I think there are some who believe they are actually protecting women, you know, and that it is better for women to be taken care of. I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important. And frankly, I don’t understand — I mean, I’m obviously a card-carrying Democrat — but I can’t understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.”

Also, the other invisible personalities at the GOP convention did not go unnoticed by Bill Maher, who says that the  GOP needs to admit the Bushes exist. Maher had this hilarious poke at Romney that I have to share–check out this money shot of Romney and colleagues at Bain Capital.  Kinda says it all…

And if you’re still wondering what the heck this company Romney worked for actually did,  Tony Soprano explains Bain Capital in easy-to-understand terms.

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GROUSY CAT SEZ: The voting shenanigans are multiplicitous.

Dems just won a victory with the recent ruling in Ohio that “ruled that Ohio made an “arbitrary” decision when it took away early-voting rights for most voters but carved out a special exemption for military and overseas voters.”

We need everyone to get out there and vote early. I’M NOT KIDDING HERE, PEOPLE!

Seth Masket at Mischiefs of Faction notes that the Obama camp has a clear advantage on the ground over Romney. Check out this graph. Obama has far more field offices in swing states than Romney.  Romney’s clearly betting on big ad buys, but, I have to wonder if that’s going to continue to help him or backfire when voters get fatigued and tired of seeing the endless meaningless ads.

Meantime, the development side of me thinks the knocking on doors, the social media, old fashioned person-to-person campaigning is going to be the way to go.


InvisibleObama Loves You Edition

Do you know what the definition of a straw man is? “A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.” Hmmmm…

The star of this convention clearly is not Mitt Romney, but the straw man we’ll call Invisible Obama, a guy who apparently hangs out with Clint Eastwood and wipes the drool off his chin–you know,  the guy the Republicans made up. I forgot about him.  He’s the guy who wasn’t born an American even though his mother was a US citizen. He’s the guy who apparently closed a GM plant in Janesville before he was inaugurated, “raided” Medicare, killed small business in America, stomps all over your right to self-determination, doesn’t care about women or children… He’s a despicable…oh wait, no that’s Republicans.

WHAT is the purpose of the Republican convention again?  Oh yeah, to make me so mad I could spit nails. Got it.

I’m gonna just set a baseline here. Let’s just say this right from the start and then I can just continue to reference this comment all…damn…night… From Day One of the Obama presidency, the Republican Party as a body decided it would not just obstruct but actively wage war against every single initiative and policy that Barack Obama proposed. So when Republicans rail against him for not getting something done, when Republicans deride him for not doing more for the economy, know that it was the REPUBLICAN Party and since the mid-terms in 2010, the Republican-led House that decided it would categorically refuse to do anything to help this country out of sheer spitefulness, like petulant toddlers. It was the Republican Party led by Boehner and bullied by the Tea Party that chose to drive this country into the ground simply because they hate Obama so much.

It’s Day Three of the RNC and we have to grit our teeth just to turn on the TV and tune into the convention coverage. It’s a fracking slog, if you must know, but I feel like I must at least try. It’s the responsible thing, yes? To listen to the other side spew lies and misinformation? Most of it is supremely uninteresting and simultaneously annoying. There’s Jane Evans touted as a Liberal Democrat up there shilling for Mitt, a parade of Olympic heroes– a move, it seems, designed simply to get the crowd chanting “USA! USA!”

The “surprise” mystery guest for tonight turns out to be Clint Eastwood and I’m sad to say, the guy sounds nearly incoherent.  Who thought this was a good idea–more like both bad and ugly.  Alex Massie at the Spectator tweeted, “Eastwood plainly giving the father of the bride speech at a wedding at which he dislikes the groom and doesn’t recognize his daughter.” Several faltering and unfortunate jokes later, I can only refer you to my comment on obstruction above. All these Republicans are whining and whinging about how Obama hasn’t done anything for the country and I want to say, 1) President Obama done a helluva a lot for this country IN SPITE of the GOP’s best efforts, and 2) see my comment about obstruction up above. People, check out the list of 244 of the President’s accomplishments.

Anyway,  Eastwood has a painfully long extended and very lame conversation with an InvisibleObama, leading to yet another hilarious Twitter meme in which “InvisibleObama” makes snarky remarks about Marco Rubio standing on his foot. In less than an hour, the Twitter account for InvisibleObama’s empty chair has 20,000 followers–can they all vote?

I’m only half tuning into what they’re saying now and occasionally blurting out retorts. Some guy says something about how in the dark days of the past, wealth used to be concentrated in the hands of just a few. Um,  that’s TODAY that you’re talking about.

I’m bored with the speakers. Looking around the convention floor, there are faces you just don’t see. No, I don’t mean that there are no minority faces, although that’s true too–their tent may be big, but it’s also empty. But I mean that certain prominent visages have not been asked to make a speech. No Bushes at all of course. As Milena astutely pointed out, no Dick Cheney? No Palin?

Ahhh Palin.  What fun THAT was (Sorry, is there not enough sarcasm in my tone? “What fun that was….*grimace*And by fun I mean torture.”) What HAS she been up to these days?  Aside from getting bumped off of the Fox News lineup that is…

Paul Ryan didn’t have the expensive wardrobe, but he sure has the faces down.  Paul West had a good analysis in his LA Times piece: “When Mitt Romney was searching for a ticket mate, Republicans pleaded: Don’t pick another Sarah Palin. So it may come as a surprise that, in at least one important way, he ended up doing precisely that with Paul D. Ryan….”

Frankly, I don’t think Ryan did himself any favors with his overblown, overstated claims yesterday–journos and bloggers and just about everyone is still raking him over the coals.  A trending hashtag on Twitter this morning is “#LyinRyan“– for you non-Twitterers, that’s NOT a good thing. And when someone says in a piece on FOX News “”to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech…” your cred has slipped…way down. Sally goes on to say, “Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many…”

Hilariously, Gawker has a list of seven things Paul Ryan said that were true, including: “There she is–my Mom, Betty” and “My Dad, a small town lawyer, was also named Paul.”

But at last, we have gotten to the man of the hour: Mittelschmerz Romney. I’m a little surprised to note that Romney’s acceptance speech, while irritating, doesn’t get me nearly as riled as I was when Condi Rice was onscreen. I’m not sputtering and incoherent like I am with some of the other speakers, but I think that’s because there’s just nothing to get excited about one way or another with Romney. He lacks charisma, lacks fire, and is just completely uninteresting. The one time I’m ready to spit nails is when the word “bipartisan” emerges from Mitt’s mouth. Don’t fracking even MENTION the word “bipartisan” to me–no one at this convention gets to say that word.

Aside from this though, I predict that the Mittelschmerz will continue to have image problems.  Back in early August, Pew Research Group released a poll noting that, “By a 52% to 37% margin, more voters say they have an unfavorable than favorable view of Mitt Romney. The poll, conducted prior to Romney’s recent overseas trip, represents the sixth consecutive survey over the past nine months in which his image has been in negative territory.” Frankly, I don’t see that shifting radically after this convention. I mean, he was trending down even before he famously staged three major gaffes in three countries,  condescending to the British, stomping all over delicate diplomatic ground with the Israelis and Palestinians, and  insulting journalists in Poland. Little foreign policy sumptin sumptin for everyone. Anyway, back to popularity (not that elections are like running for prom queen or anything) Romney’s popularity actually took a DIP before the convention…

Is he getting a convention bounce?  Yeah, 1-2 points, which is normal. But know what?  convention bounce, whatever,  Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight notes that going into the Republican convention, Obama leads in 12 of the fifteen national polls released at the end of August. “Enjoy this moment of polling clarity,” he says.

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As per usual it’s up to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to get me through the week with a shred of sanity. Jon’s got a wonderfully ridiculous Romney bio video narrated by Leonard Nimoy.  The video for 8/30 wasn’t up as of press time, but should be posted soon. PLUS his guest is  Michael Steele, who is surprisingly ready to dish on the Republican convention.  Can’t blame him for being bitter after the way Republicans blamed him for everything from the party’s debt (what was that about fiscal responsibility?) to picking storm-prone Tampa for the convention.

Apparently it’s Disgruntled Republicans Week on Comedy Central. Gov. Jon Huntsman, the last even semi-reasonable Republican — remember, the guy I might have been able to actually vote for? — was on Colbert and nailed it, “SuperPACS are destroying democracy. It’s an abomination.”  When it comes up on ColbertNation.com, watch it.  It will do your heart good. Favorite line, when Stephen asks Huntsman “Romney says he’s not going to be beholden to factcheckers. How important do you think the facts are to this campaign?” Huntsman also gives his opinion… in fluent Mandarin– Translations anyone?

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Once again, I will reiterate,  plan to vote early, and plan to get everyone you know to vote. I’m looking at you folks in the swing states especially. If you’re not already registered,register to vote now!

The deadlines to register for each state are here, and many states have a deadline to register of 30 days before the election. That means your registration must be postmarked October 8, but the alert among you will note that that is also Columbus Day. So some states have moved the deadline BACK to October 6. Check your local registration deadline carefully!

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GROUSY CAT SEZ:

Thank God it’s over.


Expletive Deleted Edition

Here is how it looks at our house:
My husband turns on the TV,
                                        *CLICK!*
And about 2.3 milliseconds later, I’m screaming at the screen: “MOTHER-<expletive deleted>– ASS –<expletive deleted>–!!!!  WHY DON’T YOU –<expletive deleted>–THE  –<expletive deleted>–  –<expletive deleted>– YOUR OWN BLOODY–<expletive deleted>–!!!! THAT WAS YOUR  –<expletive deleted>– FAULT THAT NOT A –<expletive deleted>– THING EVER GOT DONE IN THE LAST TWO YEARS!!! WHO IS THAT ON THE SCREEN? WHAT IS HIS NAME?  I WANT HIS NAME!!!!”
Know what this painting is called? It’s “Dohatsu Shoten,” by Korean artist Hyon Gyon and its title translates as  “the anger that makes one’s hair stand on end and reach up to the sky.
And that was just Rob Portman (senator from Ohio). I calmed down briefly during Tim Pawlenty’s diatribe, although after his reference to tattoos, I’m looking for mental bleach to eliminate the highly distressing image of Pawlenty with a tramp stamp.
Then there’s Huckabee nattering on. The Huckster trots out the Obama remark probably most frequently taken out of context during this convention: “You didn’t build it,” in reference to the interconnectedness and dependence even big business has on the rest of society. The GOP has been hammering that particular phrase all damn night.  Thank God for Elizabeth Warren, whose spot on rebuttal hits home.
“Last night, Chris Christie and the Republicans told the American people that we’re to blame for our broken economy. He told families to tighten their belts. He told seniors to live on less. He told teachers to stop fighting for fair pay.He never, ever mentioned how much more the richest have taken, and he had no mention that those who broke our economy still haven’t been held accountable.The Republicans believe in an America that is rigged for the big guys – giant corporations that can hire an army of lobbyists, ship jobs overseas, and take their profits to the Cayman Islands.That’s not who we are as a people – and that’s not the kind of country we want to be.We built America together, and that’s what makes America great.”

I so hope this woman has the keynote slot at the DNC. Just take one minute to watch Warren explain to those who think they built their empire all by their lonesomes, how they DIDN’T build that all on their own. It’ll make the rest of the night palatable.
Man, I had almost gotten my Temple of Positiv–MOTHERFRACKING HYPOCRITE!!!!!! YOU–<expletive deleted>—-<expletive deleted>—-<expletive deleted>–“
Eric is backing slowly away from me, because I’m gesticulating wildly and look extremely likely to throw the dinner plate at the television screen.
It’s Condoleezza Rice and barely five seconds into her speech, I am foaming at the mouth like I’ve been bitten by a raccoon with hydrophobia. HOW DARE YOU TROT OUT 9-11 when it was YOUR FAULT we didn’t prepare for an impending terrorist attack!!!!  How DARE you wrap yourself up in the flag when it was during your tenure that we lost countless lives whilst embroiled in the wrong war! How DARE you imply that Obama hasn’t shown “leadership” when it was on his watch that we finally ended the stupid war we never should have been involved in and actually got Osama bin Laden.
Yep, that’s me screaming at the television–did you hear me?  Even four states away?
I’m sorry, everyone, I had to turn it off. Seriously, my heart was racing, my head was hot. I didn’t need to see John McCain attempt the Elder Statesman pose. I got the general tenor of things from the transcript. Interesting though to note that with neither of the Bushes there to be the Party Elders, we’re looking at John McCain.  Yeah, four years later and STILL no one wants to be even remotely associated with GW Bush. “Many Republicans today would just as soon not dwell on the Bush presidency because it was a time of housing foreclosures that pulled the economy into recession, and Bush himself undertook some unpopular measures in response, including the creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.”
And then there’s the star of the hour, Paul Ryan, in whom our friend Todd hilariously sees Hannover Fiste from “Heavy Metal.” If only the truth would burst forth from him unfettered like it does from Fiste.
Blogging at WaPo, James Downey says “Yesterday, at an ABC News panel, Mitt Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said, ‘We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.’ Wednesday’s speech from Paul Ryan certainly took that disdain for truth to heart, as his address was filled with falsehoods from start to finish.” And he finishes with this: “With tonight’s speech, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have doubled down on their twin bets of 2012 — that journalists will sit back and name winners and losers without regard to who is telling the truth, and that voters are too ignorant to care about the truth. Do not let them be right.”
Having trouble holding onto your composure over Ryan?  This will make you feel better:
Okay, I’ve been told I need to get more sleep, so no more ranting til tomorrow.  Besides, I’m exhausted.
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GROUSY CAT SEZ:
    “I can bleep over your cussing for as long as you need….”

“Damned Lies 2012” Edition

Good evening, and welcome to the Republican National Convention…

Please relax, and enjoy. I’ll give you a moment while you center your Temple of Positivity.

Yep. That picture pretty much sums up my posture throughout Day One–or is it Day Two–of the RNC  Salute to Duplicity, Misinformation and Overblown Rhetoric.

I feel for the Republicans– really, I do. Poor old GOPpers–they need to convince the nation that Obama did nothing, and that they successfully obstructed him–but look at everything that got done for my state. They need to say that the economy sucks, but look at all the jobs I brought in. Things are awful because of Obama–except they’re great because of me. This takes more gymnastic maneuvers than we saw in two weeks of Olympics– and I’m talking rhythmic gymnastics here. And for the most part, in order to get where they want to be rhetorically, these guys have to…well…lie, to put it baldly.

“Conventions are always full of cheap applause lines and over-the-top attacks, but it was startling to hear how many speakers in Tampa considered it acceptable to make points that had no basis in reality,” was the comment in a NY Times editorial this evening. And as Bill Keller noted yesterday, “Why just rip things out of context when you can go the whole hog and make stuff up?”  (Thanks, Sandy, for pointing me to that!)

How well is it all playing?  BOR-ing. Thank heaven we’re on the West Coast so networks can air the obligatory twenty seconds of coverage before primetime and still not have to miss “NCIS.”

So we get a light rotation that includes conservative recall-survivor Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and — hey, where is celebrity of the moment, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri)?

Oh, and there’s Republican nutjob presidential wannabe Rick Santorum  totally using his children as cliches and applause lines. Santorum gives a shoutout to the amazing work that single mothers do — really? Oh yeah, that’s right, those are the women who had to have a baby due to a legitimate rape, but didn’t marry their rapist.  Hmmm, is that next?  Women who have been legitimately raped must marry their rapist to maintain core family values? Wait for it, it’s coming.

Interestingly Gwen Ifill noted something that became glaringly obvious throughout the evening.  The speeches were not so much pro-Romney as anti-Obama.  The man at the center of the convention remains a mystery. He’s hanging around Tampa someplace, not doing any public events, you understand, but just hanging about.  And my sense is that overall, this whole production isn’t going to make the man any more likable — possibly because he can’ be made more likable,  or perhaps because the Republicans don’t actually like him.

But back to our convention coverage. Are the governor of Wyoming Matt Mead and Kentucky congressional candidate Andy Barr really going to tout coal mines as a fabulous way to generate “new energy jobs”? COAL MINES, PEOPLE!!! These are COAL MINES– not those hot, sexy coal mines where chicks in wifebeaters gently wipe picturesque beads of sweat off their brows. I mean that place where you get black lung, where  people are poisoned by stinkdamp acid , where 8-year old children died a miserable death in the darkness. Are you freaking kidding me??

Okay, okay, Temple of Positivity. Let’s skip on to the only speaker of any interest, The woman who aspires to one day redecorate the White House.

Ann Romney’s opener, “This is going to be soooo exciting!!!! [Applause] Just to let you know, Hurricane Isaac has made landfall….”  Excuse me? Right. Anyway. The nervously cheerful Ann is here to humanize the Mittster, bless her soul. With a smile that is so wide it may better be defined as a grimace, she pours forth the heartwarming story about her profound love for the cipher that is Mitt. Love, love, love… are you catching the theme? The love she has for her husband, for her kids, the love we have for our brothers and sisters…she goes on so long about those brothers and sisters and how much she loves “you women,” it makes me wonder why she isn’t pro gay marriage. She is pro-mom, pro gals, frankly, it’s making me — a graduate from a politically active women’s college — feel a little uncomfortable, because she’s sounding really condescending to men.

Oh, and did I mention the part where Ann explains that she’s the daughter of a Welsh coal miner who was “determined that his children get out of the mines.”  Her Dad saw in America a chance to get out of poverty, because, you know, HE WORKED IN COAL MINES. Just sayin’.

Ann has stories about the days when Mitt knew the price of milk back in the 1970s, how he makes her laugh. But again, the talk is about Ann, her struggles, which have been considerable, but you know what? I still don’t have a sense of the man — and maybe I don’t want one. I am reminded of the adage “Show, don’t tell.”  Everyone is doing a lot of telling us Mitt would be great, would work hard, (hilariously, a glitch in the feed sent the screen to black right after Ann delivered this applause line). But it all rings of desperation because no one can seem to tell us anything more about him.

If you’re expecting Chris Christie to somehow seal some deal with his awesome keynote speech, O, Republicans. How hilarious you are. I think Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast got it right when commenting on Christie’s remark:

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth. Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.

Sullivan says snarkily, “So Christie is presumably for Obama.”

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Journalists being Journalist-y

Apparently, I was not the only one outraged by Mitt Romney’s non-funny remark about Obama’s birth certificate. Watch Chris Matthews rip RNC chairman Rence Priebus a new one over the “race card.”  It will warm the cockles of your heart.   As Andy Ostroy of Huffpo says, “Bravo to Matthews. His cross-examination of an obnoxious, defiant Priebus was unrelenting. Like O’Brien last week, he had the balls to challenge the lies and rebuke the liar.”

And if you’re wondering what Ostroy is talking about when he refers to the Soledad O’Brien smackdown  of John Sununu on Medicare, watch it here. Favorite part? When Soledad rides over Sununu’s insults and name-calling to skewer his claims on Medicare cuts with this: “There’s independent analysis, fact check.com, the CBO and CNN has already done its own independent analysis, and name calling to me and somehow acting as if by repeating a number of $716 billion that you can make that stick when that figure is being stolen from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.” Soledad, I love you.

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Superb Super PAC App

This one’s for you, Randi, since you asked me for something that cuts through all the BS of political ads.

Are you drowning under ads from Campaign for this, Americans United for That, Concerned Zombies for Freedom Fries?  Want to know who is RESPONSIBLE for all this idiocy? Well, there’s an app for that.  Seriously. It’s called Super PAC by Glassy Media, and it uses audio identification technology to quickly ID the ad, tell you who sponsored it, who they’re supporting and how much money they have raised and spent. They also let you drill down into the claims made by the ad, and link to factcheck.org to help you evaluate the truth or truthiness of each one.  Brilliant.

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GROUSY CAT SEZ: “O, Republicans!  I must to smite you with my left paw.”


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