Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Election 2012 Prediction

The debates are over, and we're two weeks away from the finish line.  I've decided to post my predictions. (Thanks to Real Clear Politics for the handy create your own map tool!)

This is how I see it actually playing out.  Organized labor in Wisconsin is going to have a huge impact on this election.  I think they'll win/steal the election for Obama, thereby giving him another four years.  Same scenario in Ohio.  I don't see Romney surging enough to pull Pennsylvania either, despite it being coal country.  Nevada and Iowa aren't game changers, but I think the SEIU will help Obama win in Nevada and Iowa's increasing liberalism will help tip the scales in the president's favor.  Also, the tanking stock market seems to indicate an Obama reelection.
However, despite all of this.  I don't see the president pulling over 50% of the vote.  In fact, there's a chance that we have a repeat of the 2000 election, where Romney could win the popular vote - as all the polls currently point to - but lose the electoral college.  Either way, I'm calling the election for Obama. 
There's still a chance that Romney could pull this one off.  Wisconsin is crucial.  If people will wake up and smell the fermenting economy, Romney could win this.  He can win without Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada.  I don't see Nevada swinging into Romney's territory.  If the people were stupid enough to elect Harry Reid again, I doubt they'll smarten up and elect Romney.  Wisconsin, however, has showed clear promise.  The recall election of Governor Scott Walker proved that the union powers can be fought.  So if Wisconsin goes to Romney, I see Ohio going to him as well.  Iowa is kind of a 50/50 shot.  I also find it intriguing that the polls are heavily skewed towards Democrats.  So, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Obama doesn't pull the numbers the polls suggest he will.  I'm hopeful that this is the scenario that plays out on election night, but if it does, just prepare yourself to party like it's 2000.  You know Ohio and Wisconsin will be teeming with DNC lawyers if Romney pulls off a victory in both states. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Presidential Debate, Round 3

I don’t really have a lot in terms of pre-debate.  Let’s just get this over with. 
This is a foreign policy debate, which normally would be a higher stakes debate, but with the economy in shambles, this is playing second fiddle.  However, I think Romney has a chance to seal the deal here…

Bob Schieffer is moderating, and this is an all parties seated debate.  I don’t like this format either. 

And here they are.  Why do they have to wear red/blue ties?  Is it because people are that stupid?

Segment 1, Question 1: Libya.  Intelligence failure, policy failure?  Unraveling in the Middle East?

R: Okay, he’s not coming out the gate well.  He’s stuttering a little.   However, he’s hitting the high points.  He totally just stole Obama’s thunder on Osama bin Laden (OBL), by congratulating him, but he said we can’t “kill our way out of this.”

O:  And now, the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DWS) talking points: ending the war in Iraq, setting an exit in Afghanistan.  And now he’s jumping on Libya.  He’s basically saying that he freed Libya.  What he doesn’t realize is that if they were free, they wouldn’t have attacked our embassy.  Now he’s saying Romney is untrustworthy on foreign policy – and he can’t keep direct eye contact for more than a second or two.

R:  Coordinating foreign aid, education, gender equality…”a region in tumult.” 

O:  Now he’s blaming Romney for saying Russia is our biggest geopolitical threat.  Lots of putting words in his mouth, saying his opinions are wrong, despite not being able to enact foreign policy.  Why don’t you tout your credentials?  Fail.  Oh, Romney sends mixed messages to our allies?  You’ve got to be kidding me. 

R:  Whoa.  He’s keeping eye contact.  “Attacking me is not an agenda.”  Preach.  YES YES YES.   This is great.  Oh, yes!  The flexibility with Putin comment.  Grr.  Don’t ask him questions.  It gives him a chance to talk. 

Back and forth…Romney is owning this one, Obama is trying to cut him off.  And now Schieffer is cutting in to help Obama.

O:  Saying he’s Israel’s friend.  He sounds testy.  Oh, so you’ve figured out the plan strategy.

Segment 1, Question 2: Syria.  30,000 dead.  Should we reassess our policy…influence there?

O:  Sanctions.  Humanitarian assistance.  Touting assistance from Israel and Turkey, but saying it’s the Syrians problem.  Now he’s saying we’re not involved because we don’t know who we’re helping.  Kind of like Egypt? 

R:  Tying Syria to Iran.  Nice.  No military involvement.  He’s talking about not letting arms get into the wrong hand.  How I would love if he just made a Fast & Furious quip there.  Critical opportunity.  Now he’s tying the president to the UN, and showing that it’s been a massive fail.

O:  Oh, so we’re on a Syria question, but you want to talk about Libya.  Oh, that’s why.  Because he wants to blame Romney.  “Ghadaffi had more American blood on his hands than anyone except for Osama bin Laden.”  WHAT?!

R:  Back to Syria.  You know, on topic.  Not, “Look!  Something shiny!” 

O:  “[H]e doesn’t have different ideas.”  Yet, you still want to knock him on them.  So, basically, you’re knocking your own policy? 

BS:  Regrets about how things transpired in Egypt?

O:  Touting democratically elected government.  Oh, you mean the one run by the Muslim Brotherhood?  Oh…the “red line for us” quip.  That was sly.  Try to tie yourself to Benjamin Netanyahu.  Fail.  How about you worry about the people at home and our economy before you worry about Egypt’s?!   I’m so bored with this man.  “We’ve neglected building our economy…education…”  Or you’ve wrecked them?  Ever think of that?

R:  Basically has the same opinion as Obama.  Who wants to bet that Obama says something to the effect of “Nuh-uh”?  Now he’s propping up a future without war, but saying that we’ve got to be strong – at home.  Bring it back to the economy, as a foreign policy issue.  Now prop up the military, and talk about how spending cuts hurt our strength.  Allies. 

Segment 2, Question 1:  What is America’s role in the world?

R:  Defend freedom, human rights, free enterprise…elections…  “In order to fulfill our role in the world, America must be strong.”  Oh, yeah.  Now he’s talking about how awful the economy is, saying that it’s imperative for it to be strong for us to lead.  Now he’s saying he won’t cut the military budget, and that backing Israel is paramount.  Oh, nice.  He’s hitting Obama for silence pertaining to the Iranian protestors.

O:  Ending the war.  Oh, “alliances that have been neglected for a decade”.  Why don’t you just hold up a picture of Bush, point to it and say, “He did it!”  Now he’s just hitting the DWS talking points to talk up the economy.  Now he’s on to energy and deficit.  And naturally, he’s on to making the wealthy pay more.  I’m so bored with this man.  Have I mentioned this?  Oh, he just called out Bush and Cheney by name.

R:  “I’ve got a policy for the future, and an agenda for the future…What we’ve seen over the last four years is not what I want to see over the next four.”  Now he’s on to the 5-point plan.  Kind of beating a dead horse, but at least he has a plan.  Knock the teacher’s unions.  Yes.   Says we’re becoming Greece, if we don’t get the deficit under control.  Like I was saying earlier, this is a foreign policy debate, but it’s the economy, stupid.

O:  Blah, blah, blah.  DWS talking points.  Education.  “hire more teachers”  Yeah, so they can pay their union dues to the DNC.   Can’t.  Look.  Him.  In.  The.  Eye.  Seriously.

R:  Touting education in Massachusetts.  And Obama is cutting in. 

BS:  Defense spending.

R:  Cut the discretionary budget 5%, excluding the military.  Cut ObamaCare.  Get rid of programs we don’t have to have.  Keep Medicaid, but give it to the states.  Balanced budget in 8-10 years. 

O:  $5 trillion in tax cuts.  $2 trillion in military spending “that they’re not asking for.”  “The math simply doesn’t work.”  Says the guy who hired a treasury secretary who can’t even pay his taxes.  “keep the American people safe”

R:  Balancing budgets.  “The president hasn’t balanced a budget yet.  I look forward for a chance to do that.”  Me too.  Now he’s back to defense spending.  “I will not cut our military budget.”

O:  Wow.  You condescending [feminine product].   

Segment 3(?):  Red lines with Israel and Iran.  An attack on Israel is an attack on the US? 

O:  “Israel is a true friend...greatest ally in the region.”  “As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran won’t have a nuclear weapon.”  He’s saying their economy is in shambles.  And now he’s saying that the world will unite against Iran.  Um…pretty sure Russia will stand with them.  You know, the guys you said you’d be more flexible with after the election?

R:  Sanctions do work.  Tighten them.  Diplomatic isolation.  Indict Ackmadenijahad (or however the deuce you spell that rat’s name – and, no, I’m not taking the time to Google it). 

O:  Oh, he made it to four seconds, looking him in the eye.  So proud.  Now he’s saying that Russia and China need to participate.  Why don’t you go tell their diplomats at the UN.  Oh, wait.  You already did that.  Another fail.  He’s droning on and on.

R:  Iran sees weakness in this administration.  Totally calling him out on wanting to sit down with Chavez and his ilk, as well as his apology tour and inaction with Iranian protestors.  Now on to the “daylight between the US and Israel” comment.  “It’s essential for a president to show strength.”  Preach. 

O:  Nuh-uh.  Not true…blah, blah, blah.  “When I came into office, the world was divided.”  Oh, and you fixed that? 

R:  “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran.”  Oh, that was good.  Totally called him on the apology tour.

O:  But, but, but.  He’s testy.  “Who’s going to be credible to all parties involved?”  You have no credibility when Israel is involved.

BS:  Israel is sending bombers to Iran.  What do you say?

R:  Let’s not assume that scenario would play out.  We’d talk about it before it happens.  Nice.  “I see our influence receding.”  Preach. 

O:  Calling him a flip-flopper.  Again.  Broken record.  And no record to run on.  OBL reference.  I’m bored.  9/11 reference.  Says that getting OBL gave closure, and that Romney wouldn’t have done it. 

Segment (?): Afghanistan, what happens if the Afghans can’t handle it?

R:  We’re on schedule to leave in 2014.  Pakistan is important, due to their nukes.  Conditional aid to Pakistan. 

O:  End the war in Iraq, surge to Afghanistan.  Time to do nation building at home.  With what money?  You keep saying that the wars are on a credit card?  So now you’re going to put our roads and bridges on?  Your Bank of America credit card?  Now he’s on to putting veterans back to work.  How about all of the 23 million people looking for work?!

BS:  Pretty sure he just said “Obama’s bin Laden”.  Not sure if that was intentional, but I found it humorous.  Anyhoo…is it time to “divorce” Pakistan?

R:  No.  Pakistan falling apart would be dangerous, because they have nukes.  Getting OBL was the right thing to do, but we need to work with them now.  We can’t walk away, but our support to them needs to have conditions. 

BS:  What’s your position on the use of drones?

R:  He supports drone strikes.  We need to move the world away from terrorism and Islamic extremism?  “We’ve not seen the progress we need to have.” 

O:  Ugh.  I hate how he says “Pah-key-stahn”.  It annoys me.  Though, his voice in general is annoying, but that word is a particular offender.  He’s propping up the alleged alliances he’s helped forge with Tunisia, Yemen, etc. 

Segment (?):  The rise of China.  What’s the greatest national security threat?

O:  Greatest threat: terrorists.  Make  China play by the same rules.  Trade task force.  Is that like your jobs task force that hasn’t met in, like, six months? 

R:  “It’s not government that makes business successful.”  Greatest threat:  a nuclear Iran.  China:  be a partner, if they’re responsible.  They see as a weak.  “If I’m president, America will be very strong.”  “On day one, I’ll label them a currency manipulator.”

BS:  Trade war?

R:  We don’t want a trade war.  Trade imbalance.  We buy more from them than they buy from us.  Counterfeiting our goods, manipulating currency, stealing intellectual property – this can’t go on. 

O:  He shipped jobs overseas!  I bet on American workers (at least the ones that belong to unions)!  Sorry…I’m reading his mind, not quoting him.  Invest in education and clean energy technology.  How’s that worked out for you so far?  I didn’t really follow any of what he just said. 

R:  Obama said he wanted to see us driving foreign cars, he’s refuting that statement.  Obama is talking over him.  So annoying, and disrespectful.  I get that Obama is the president, but that doesn’t give him a right to be a jerk.  Government investment in companies doesn’t work.  Constant talk-over.

Back and forth. 

O:  Auto industry.  Blah, blah, blah.  Education.  How did we get here?  Back to the military spending.  Is he malfunctioning?  “After a decade…”  Again, blaming Bush.  “The same policies…”  Doesn’t he realize that the Democrats ran the show when he came into office?

R:  He wants to not go back to the policies of the last four years.  Wisconsin and Pennsylvania shout-outs.  They’re actually hold each others gaze.  I’m impressed. 

BS:  Closing statements

O:  Right into the camera.  Trying to play the humor card, but now he’s right on to blaming Romney, class warfare, and the general DWS talking points.  Broken record.  Point that finger.  Taking points from Biden.  Back to the roads and bridges.  Oh, and he’s wearing the breast cancer awareness bracelet.  Realizes his poll numbers with women is hanging in the balance.

R:  Right into the camera as well.  We have a chance for real leadership.  Re-elect him, we’ll be $20 trillion in the hole by 2016.  Jobs.  Working across the aisle.  “This nation is the hope of the earth.”  Good wrap-up.

Okay.  That was a little more civil, but Romney won.  Three in a row.  It was sort of close in some points, because there weren’t huge differences on several issues.  However, where there were disagreements on domestic policy, Romney was the clear winner.  Actually, overall, it’s obvious that Romney is the real winner.  Anyone with half a brain could see it – even someone who doesn’t really care, or isn’t biased, like me.  Continually saying that Romney is a flip-flopper is not a good strategy.  He has no record to run on. 
I’m done commentating.  This was a low-scoring “game”.
Obama 12, Romney 22

Let’s get this election over with.  More on my thoughts as to how it will pan out coming soon…  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presidential Debate, Round 2

For the past two days, we’ve been hearing about how we should expect a much different performance tonight from President Obama.  Like, he’ll be more aggressive and that town halls are his element.  All this means is that no matter what transpires – and I have every expectation that Obama will do much better tonight – the media will declare him the winner, much the same as they declared Joe Biden the winner of last week’s debate in spite of his overly-aggressive, somewhat mean-spirited performance.  So, expect fawning reviews of the president in the morning and unstopping hype saying that this is the turning point.  I expect Mitt Romney to do very well, as well.  People say that he’s uncaring, cold, or un-personable.  I disagree 100%, and I think people will realize that tonight.  Though, I’m pretty sure the deck is stacked against him, as is usually the case with Republicans. 
Would I be surprised if Obama crashed and burned tonight (again)?  A little, given how he should expect Romney to bring it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the expectations for him are not met.  He has no record to run on, and scare tactics only go so far.  Romney has some serious momentum.  I still think Obama’s got a good chance of winning again, but Romney has got a real shot here if he can keep it going.  Let’s face it, the swing states (particularly Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) are the real prize here.  Romney is within striking distance in all of them, but he’s got to win tonight and next week to completely shift the momentum in his favor.  Though, you can’t discount the machine that is behind Obama.  I’m trying to remain cautiously optimistic, but I’m also a realist. 
Candy Crowley of CNN is tonight’s moderator, and she’s already gone on record basically saying she won’t be sticking to the rules.  You know, like most Democrats.  Oh, was I supposed to assume that she’s unbiased?  Yeah right.  She works for CNN.  That’s just a half a step up from the pathetic Obama campaign surrogates at [P]MSNBC.  So, you understand how low my expectations are for her. 

Okay…now that we’ve got my pre-coverage commentary out of the way, it’s now 8:00, and time for the real deal.  Let’s get this over with.

Hello, Shepard Smith.  Once again.  Have I mentioned that I don’t really care for this type of debate?  It’s a domestic and foreign policy debate.  And so it begins…

CC:  “My goal is to…get questions answered…” 

And here they are. 

CC:  First question from a college student, how will he support himself after graduation?

R:  Pell grants, etc.  “I want you to be able to get a job.” 

O:  “Your future is bright.”  Really?  “the 5 million jobs we’ve created in the last 23 months…”  Um…okay?  He’s pointing his finger, Biden-esque.  Student loans.  “the jobs of the future”  Huh?  And now he’s on to energy.  Where did he get here from?  Reduce our deficit, fair share.   Come on!  The Debbie Wasserman-Shultz talking points are already free-floaing.

CC:  “What about the long-term unemployed?”

R:  “The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years, and they haven’t worked.”  Nice.  He called out the real unemployment number: 10.7%  And now he’s calling out Obama on Detroit.  The president is actually looking him in the eye tonight.

O:  “What Governor Romney says just isn’t true.”  Aggressive, he’s trying to be.  Now he’s on to class warfare.  “go back to the same policies to just got us here”  Blame Bush.

Next question:  Gas prices, and Secretary Chu’s statements on not lowering gas prices.

O:  Touting his administration’s alleged energy record.  Mileage standards, green energy.  Blah, blah, blah. 

R:  “I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our nuclear…”  North American energy independence is brilliant.  Not going to lie.  The Keystone pipeline.  “How in the world the president said no to the pipeline, I’ll never know.”  Love it!

CC:  “…are we looking at the new normal?”

O:  “Very much of what Gov. Romney just said is not true.”  “…the last president is an oil man.”  He’s trying to label Romney as anti-coal.  Is there a plank in his eye?  “What I try to do, is be consistent.” 

Ooo…a back and forth.  Obama is trying to spout facts, and I think he’s getting testy when Romney is throwing facts at him and he can’t rebut them with his own.

R:  “The truth is what you’re paying at the pump.”  “If the president’s energy policies are working, you’d see them working.”  Again, the Keystone pipeline. 

O:  And he’s blaming gas prices on Bush.  Typical.  The DWS talking points.  “I’m all for pipelines.”  Wow.  I can’t believe this.  I mean, it’s typical for him to lie through his teeth, but he’s so obviously lying. 

Okay, Candy.  You’re obviously trying to save Obama’s [posterior].  It’s too obvious.  Ugh. 

Next question:  Reducing tax rates.  Eliminating deductions.

R:  This is good stuff.  Prices are up, incomes are down.  “I am not going to have people on the high end paying less than they are now.”  No taxes on interests, dividends, and capital gains.  Preach.  “The president’s spending, the president’s borrowing will [cause higher taxes]…I’ll get us on track to a balanced budget.”

O:  “My philosophy on taxes has been simple.”  Yep.  Class warfare.  “If we’re serious about reducing the deficit…the wealth [need to] do a little more.”  And now we blame Congress and tout the Clinton years.  Come on.  You have nothing to run on.  Now we’re on to fairness. 

R:  “For me, this is about jobs.”  Simple.  The Five Point Plan.  What could be more simple?  This is the distinction between the governor and the president.  The governor has a plan, the president has a speech. 

O:  Estate tax.  What’s wrong with eliminating that?  What’s wrong with funding the military?  This guy is a joker.  Why would anyone vote for him?  “The math doesn’t add up.”  “Either…this blows up the deficit…or you’re going to be paying for it.”  “Nobody that’s looked at it that’s serious [says it will work].” 

R:  “I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced budgets…the Olympics….as governor…”  “We have his own record…he said he’d cut the deficit in half.  He doubled it.”  “I know what it takes to balance budgets.  I’ve done it my entire life.” 

Next question

O:  “Looking forward to it.”  Yeah, because you can’t win in this arena.

Question:  Inequality in the workplace. 
This is a plant question.  This is about the only “success” of the Obama administration. 

O:  Typical response.  Lilly Leadbetter Act.  Talking points.  Again, this is CC saving his [posterior]. 

R:  He’s propping his successes nominating women to his cabinet.  “I know what it takes to get an economy that works…an economy with 7.8% unemployment isn’t one that works.”

O:  What a pompous [donkey].  And now we’re on to the faux war on women.  “This is not just a health issue, it’s an economic issue.”  Contraceptives are an economic issue?  Now he’s defending Planned Parenthood, claiming they’re all about mammograms and cancer screenings, as opposed to the chief promoters of infanticide that the facts point to. 

Next question:  The Bush administration’s failures.  Really?  “What’s the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush…?”  Are you [fracking] kidding me?  Another plant question.

R:  He totally just squashed Obama’s claims from the last question.  The five point plan.   Promoting small businesses and jobs. 

O:  This is just a chance for him to rail on Bush.  What he’s been doing for the last four years!  Come on.  “Governor, you’re the last person who’s going to get tough on China.”  Are you kidding me?  This aggressive strategy is failing, but I bet Chris Matthews has got a thrill down his leg.  Now we’re on to somewhat propping up Bush’s immigration policies. 

Next question:  What have you (Obama) done to make me vote for you, even though I’m not as optimistic as I was in 2008?  This is a joke.

O:  Shut up.  All you’re spewing is the DWS talking points.  “The commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept.  And those I haven’t kept…”  Such a contradiction.  Blah, blah, blah.  Go away. 

R:  “I think you know better.  I think you know the last four years haven’t been [that good].”  No commentary necessary.  Pointing out the failed promises of this president.  Oh, and the failed policies.  Touting Reagan.  Look, I love Reagan, but you can’t relive the past.  “Median incomes down $4300…23 million people out of work.  That’s what this question is about.”

Next question:  Immigrants without green cards.

R:  “We welcome legal immigrants into this country.”  “We should make sure that our legal system work…We need to stop illegal immigration.”  No amnesty.  Nice.  Pathway to permanent residency. 

O:  “We’re also a nation of laws…”  Oh, is that why you issued an executive order to gain votes, er, um, fix immigration?  So bored with his answer.  Heard it all before.  He’s a robot.  Now he’s ripping on Arizona – you know, one of the few states that’s actually trying to fix the broken immigration system.  And now he’s blaming Congress.  Again.  Broken record.  Literally.

R:  He just slapped back, before answering CC’s question on self deportation.  Oh, and the president wants to cut in. 

O:  “I haven’t looked at my pension.  It’s not as big as yours.”  Come on.  I’ll give him credit for getting back on topic, but he’s still ripping on Arizona.  Lame.  And there you go on ripping Congress.  Yet again. 

Next question:  Libya.  Who denied the security?  Another plant question.  He’ll defer blame to Hillary.

O:  “Nobody’s more concerned about their safety than I am.”  “Investigate exactly what happened.”  Is that why you blamed it on a YouTube video for a week instead of telling the truth?!  Come on!  Now he’s saying that Romney was just trying to score political points.  “You don’t turn national security into a political issue.”  Hypocrite.  And there it is: Osama bin Laden.  Shut the [front door].  I’m surprised that he didn’t blame Hillary.

R:  “It was a terrorist attack.”  “Whether there was some misleading…”  Now he’s calling Obama out for fundraising while the feces was hitting the fan. “This calls into question the president’s policy in the Middle East.”  Obama looks like a cat perched on his stool. 

CC:  Hillary took blame. 

O:  “She works for me.”  “I said this was an act of terror.”  No you didn’t.  You blamed a YouTube video.  Oh, now he’s offended that the governor inferred that they played politics. 

R:  Totally calling the Obama out.  Okay, not his best answer, but he’s right.

Next question:  Gun control.  Again with the [fracking] plant question.

O:  Oh, and there’s Aurora.  This is a joke.  What does this have to do with banning assault weapons?  “We’ve got more to do.”  “Weapons that were designed for soldiers…don’t belong on our streets.” 

R:  “I’m not in favor of new pieces of legislation…taking guns away.”  “…enforce the gun laws that we have and change the culture of violence.”  He’s propping up a two-parent family to help curb the culture of violence.  Yes!  Bring up Fast and Furious.  “It’s one of the great tragedies…under this administration…executive privilege…” 

O:  Ugh.  Now he’s knocking the NRA.  Bad move.  “Governor Romney was for an assault weapon ban before he was against it.”  Yawn.  Heard it all before.  Oh, so you want to make sure the time keepers are doing their job, unless you’re talking.  He’s talking over CC.  Ugh.  What a douche.

Next question: Outsourcing.  Yet another plant question.

R:  China.  “We have made it less attractive for enterprises to stay here.”  “It’s not by trickle down government…[it’s] never worked here.”  Chinese manipulation of currency.  “What’s key to bringing back jobs here…make America the most attractive place for jobs…”  “We have to be competitive, if we’re going to create more jobs here.”  Regulations.  Comparing Canadian business tax at 15% to ours at 35%.  Knocking ObamaCare as a job-killer. 

O:  “We need to create jobs here.”  Now he’s saying Romney wants to expand tax incentives for companies who ship jobs overseas.  Again, scare people into voting for you. 

CC:  Bringing manufacturing home.

R:  Play by the rules.  Make America attractive.

O:  “There are some jobs that aren’t going to come back. … I want high skill, high wage jobs.”  How about jobs, period?!  Come on. 

R:  “Government does not create jobs.  Government does not create jobs.”

Next question:  Biggest misconception about you as a man.

R:  “I care about 100% of the American people.”  Way to get ahead of the inevitable 47% comment.  “We don’t have to settle for what we’re going through…gas at $4/gal…47 million people on food stamps…” 

O:  “I believe the free enterprise system is…the greatest the world has ever known.”  Did it give you physical pain to say that?  Fairness.  Blah, blah, blah.  And there’s the 47% comment.  Predictable.  “I want to fight for them.”  I’m sure you do, because they’re about the only people who are willing to vote for you now. 

Ended about the way I expected to.  At worst this was a draw.  Romney won though.  I know I’m biased, but this debate was a joke.  It was almost as if the questions were handpicked for Obama.  Unsurprising.  CC is like Rachel Maddow-lite.  However, I don’t think this will shift momentum.  The Democrat machine will do everything in its power to spin this as a decisive Obama victory.  It was not.  At least he showed up to this debate.  He got a couple decent digs/answers in, but he’s a broken record.  In fact, he’s not even that.  He has no record to run on.  Romney didn’t just go on the offense all night.  He held his own against Obama’s best shots.  For such a hostile environment, Romney did quite well.  I could elaborate further, but I need to cool off.
Obama 17, Romney 30
Let’s get the next one out of the way, so I don’t have to watch another Obama robot show.  I really hope said robot is shutting down in exactly three weeks…

In Theaters 12.05


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vice Presidential Debate

Yes, I’m that guy.  I just left my Bible study early, so I could write.  It’s okay.  We got through Hosea 8 and 9.  It’s kind of amazing how that book is kind of an allegory for the state of America today.  But that’s another topic.

“X Factor” is now over.  It’s really too bad someone like Simon Cowell couldn’t moderate this thing.

Hello, Shepard Smith.  Again.  From Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, this time.  I really don’t like the format of this debate, as far as having both candidates seated.  It’s a domestic and foreign policy debate, and I have every expectation that Biden will bring his A-game.  However, his A-game is nothing compared to Paul Ryan.

Anyone else think the hubbub over Martha Raddatz was a little bit of a stretch.  Is it that surprising that Obama attended her wedding a few years ago?  She’s a “journalist”.  They’re his bread and butter. 

And here they are.  Interesting.  She has two mics.

MR: First question: Libya.  Was it a massive intelligence failure?

B:  Ooo.  Point that finger, Joe.  That means you’re serious.  And he shifted right into ending the war in Iraq and Osama bin Laden (henceforth to be known as OBL).  There he goes pointing that finger again.  “[The president has] led with a steady hand and a clear vision.”  Wow.  Really?

R:  “If we’re hit by terrorists, we’re going to call it like it is: a terrorist attack.”  Ooo…nice.  He totally called out Biden on failing in negotiations with the Iraqis – a task given to him by the president.  Biden is actually looking at Ryan while he’s talking.  Clearly that was a note taken after last week’s abysmal performance by the empty chair. 

B: “That’s a bunch of malarkey.”  Way to keep it PG, Joe.  “repaired our alliances”  Really?  Ooo…a little stutter.  “These guys bet against America all the time.”  Ryan’s expression was perfect.  He’s talking in circles.  Blaming the intelligence community.  Holding a press conference is “not presidential”.  Really?  Coming from the number two to the Teleprompter in Chief?

R:  “We should never apologize about standing up for our values.” 

MR: Iran.  “How effective would a military strike be [on Iran]?”

R:  He’s explaining that bi-partisan support in Congress is the only way sanctions against Iran were made possible, in spite of the administration.

B:  Wow…he just tried to pull the “it’s classified” card.  “There is no weapon that the Iranians have…what are you talking about?” 

R:  He basically said that we need to convince the Ayatollahs to change their mind and that our relationship is suffering.

B:  He’s saying sanctions work, and our relationship with Israel is great.   “Facts matter.”  But they’re such inconvenient things for you and your party, Mr. Vice President.

R:  He basically says that Iran is encouraged by this administrations inaction.

B:  “[Romney] changes his mind so often, I could be wrong….This president doesn’t bluff.”  Really?

MR: Economy.  Can you get unemployment under 6%?

B:  “Let’s look at the facts.”  Again.  Inconvenient things for you and your party.  Ryan is chomping at the bit.  He’s gabbing on about GM and foreclosures.  Oh, and there’s the 47% reference.  What does this have to do with unemployment? 

R:  He’s turning the facts around on Biden.  No commentary necessary.  “This is not what a recovery looks like.”  Okay…someone just text me a few minute ago to tell me that Biden’s laugh and smile is creepy.  I’m starting to agree.  “I think the Vice President knows that the words don’t always come out of your mouth right [in reference to the 47% comment].” 

B:  Now he’s pulling the sympathy card to try to counter Ryan’s story about Romney.  “[Romney] said let [the auto industry] go bankrupt.”  IT DID GO BANKRUPT!  “Just get out of the way.  Stop talking about how you care about people.”  Oh, and there’s the DWS talking points.  “Two wars on a credit card.”

R:  Oh, yes.  “One party control” and look where we are.  Specifics now, on growing the economy. 

B:  “I love my friend here.”  I don’t think they’re friends.  “Less than 0.4% waste [in the stimulus].” 

R:  “Where are the 4 million green jobs that were promised?”

MR:  Medicare. 

R:  “If you reform these programs for my generation…you can guarantee that they’ll be solvent for the generation close to retirement.”  He’s getting ahead of Biden’s talking points about vouchers.  “Choice and competition.”  Preach.

B:  “I heard that death panel argument from Sarah Palin.”  Really?  Oh, there’s the AMA and AARP shout out.  Oh, yes, Joe.  Talk directly to the camera, because that allegedly polled well.  “Folks follow your instincts on this one.”  Okay.  I’m voting for the other guy.  “Their ideas are bad.”

R:  “Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress trying to make up for lost ground, [but stop interrupting me].”  Classic.  Biden is getting catty. 

B:  Ripping vouchers and privatization of social security.

R:  He’s trying to talk and Biden keeps interrupting.

B:  “The bottom line is…”  Really?  You don’t know what a bottom line is.  “Folks, use your common sense.”  Again, I will.  Thereby, I’ll be voting for the other guy.

MR:  “Who will pay more in taxes, and who will pay less?”

B:  Bush tax cuts.  Wealthy pay more.  “They’re holding hostage the middle class tax cut.” 

R:  I love when this man talks numbers.  “Watch out middle class, the tax bill is coming to you.” 

B:  “Let me translate.”  “Not mathematically possible.”  “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy.”

Arguing back and forth. 

R:  “[Reagan] didn’t demonize [Democrats], he didn’t demagogue them.”  Perfect allegory.

B:  “97% of small businesses…”  Over and over.

MR:  Defense spending.

R:  “If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest since World War I.” 

B:  Nuh-uh.  He’s like a belligerent child. 

MR:  Afghanistan.  “Why not leave now? … Is it worth more American lives?”

R:  “What we don’t want to do is lose the goals we’ve gotten.” 

B:  “Martha, let’s keep our eye on the ball.”  Oh, boy.  There’s the OBL reference.  “We are leaving.  We are leaving in 2014.  Period.” 

MR:  “What conditions could justify staying[?]”

R:  Paraphrase: We want to come home in 2014, but only as long as we’re successful.  “the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy”  Preach.  “We don’t want to broadcast to our enemies, put a date on your calendar.”  Word. 

MR: Is the Taliban taking advantage of the timeline?

B:  “Step up.”  I don’t disagree, but he doesn’t sound genuine.  Again, with the finger pointing. 

R:  He’s throwing out a bunch town/region names.  He’s clearly educated on Afghanistan.

MR:  Syria.

B:  “If it blows up and the wrong people gain power…”  Didn’t that happen already?  There he goes with the “friend” reference.  “my friend, Governor Romney”  So confused.  He’s blaming Romney, while saying that Romney would do the same thing as Obama.

R:  “Nobody is proposing to send troops to Syria.”  Ooo…Russia reset.  Pointing out the foreign policy fails of this administration.  Propping up alliances, ripping the UN’s response. 

B:  “He never answers the question.”  Ryan says we wouldn't go through the UN.  Biden says they didn't. 

MR:  “What happens if Assad does not fall?”

R:  “Iran keeps their closest ally in the region.”  “We should not have called Bashar Assad a ‘reformer’.” “[Intervention] has to be in the national security interests of the American people.”

MR:  What role has your religion played in your views on abortion?

R:  “I don’t see how a person can separate their public life and their private life.”  “I believe that life begins at conception.”  “Look at what they’re doing through ObamaCare.”  “Our church should not have to sue the federal government.” 

B:  “My religion defines who I am.”  An idiot?  “I accept the churches view…I refuse to impose it…”  Wow.  So tacky.  Oh, there’s the Georgetown shout out.  I’m surprised he didn’t mention Sandra Fluke by name. 

R:  “It’s a distinction without a difference.”  “We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision.” 

B:  He’s saying Roe v. Wade is in jeopardy of being overturned.  “We picked [open minded] judges…didn’t come with an agenda.”  Wow.  Really?

MR:  Are you embarrassed by the tone of the campaign?

B:  Oh, come on!  Back to saying that soldiers are part of the 47%.  Really?  And now he’s ripping on super PACs.  Hypocrite. 

R:  Ripping Obama on running on hope and change but running this time on attack and distract.  Ripping him on other broken promises – cutting deficit, especially.  “The president likes to say he has a plan.  He gave a speech.  …  We can’t estimate speeches.”  His bladder must be made of steel.  I’m pretty sure he’s drank three glasses of water.

B:  And here are the scare tactics again.  Exactly what Ryan has been ripping him all night on:  If you can’t run on ideas, make your opponent scary. 

MR:  If you were elected, what could you give to this country that no one else could?

R:  “There are plenty of great people who could lead this country.”  Word. 

B:  Wow.  Another time excuse.  Level the playing field.  Way to get that DWS point in there. 

Closing statements:

B:  “we inherited a god-awful circumstance”  Blame Bush.  47% comment.  Level the playing field. 

R:  Yes.  Talk right to the camera.  I love this guy.  “President Obama had his chance. … It’s not working. … This is not what a real recovery looks like.”  Amen.  “Wouldn't it be nice to have a job creator in the White House?”  Preach.  “We will not blame others for the next four years.” 

Okay.  It didn’t pan out exactly like I predicted or hoped, but Ryan still won.  Biden was clearly  on the defensive all night, doing exactly what Ryan kept accusing the Obama-Biden campaign of: trying to scare people out of voting for Romney-Ryan because the Obama-Biden ticket has no record to run on and no ideas.  Ryan did very well, considering this was his first national debate, but he was trying way too hard to cram as much information into two to four minutes as possible.  Substantive, yes, but not always 100% time-effective.  Biden, however, was, as a friend put it, “just rude and disrespectful.”  So true.  That, and his impertinent smile/chuckle was just as awful as it was annoying.  To be fair – or as fair as I can be to that blithering excuse for a vice president – he did much better than his boss did last week.  Kind of echoed the DNC, actually.  His speech was better than his boss’s.  That said, his condescending tone throughout tonight’s debate was annoying, as was his persistent finger pointing and fear mongering. 
Really, that’s about all my thoughts on the issue.  At least the two looked at each other from time to time for more than two to four seconds.  This was more like two people were debating, instead of a former governor debating an empty chair.
Still calling this one with football scores:  Biden 13, Ryan 27

Friday, October 5, 2012

'Skyfall' Trailer 3

I meant to post a trailer for this sooner, but after hearing Adele's theme for the film, then seeing this newly cut version; I'm glad I waited. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate, Round 1

I’m not really looking forward to this.  Don’t get me wrong, I think that Romney’s got this one in the bag.  Obama is a robot, and he’s got nothing to run on, and Romney is a good speaker and debater.  The media will declare Obama the winner and say that he overcame obstacles and a tough debater like Romney, but that Romney is out of touch and too wooden or something.  It’s so predictable.  And I’m watching this on my local Fox station, for the record.  It’s 8:00, let’s get this over with.  Oh, and the format is a work in progress…

Hello, Shepard Smith.   Obligatory intro.  Obama won the coin toss.  This one is going to be on domestic policy – where Obama is clearly weak.  Jim Laher is moderating, and now giving the other obligatory intro.  He’s kind of a dinosaur, and most likely part of the liberal color guard.

And now here are the candidates. 

The Economy: Segment 1, Jobs
What are the major differences between the two, and how would they go about creating jobs?

O: Obligatory well wishes to Michelle, since it’s their 20th anniversary.  And right into the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (henceforth to be known as “DWS”) talking points.  Light attack on Romney, and back to the talking points.  He’s talking a lot faster than usual.  No teleprompter. 

R: Obligatory congratulations to the president on his anniversary, and light joke.  A little shout out to Ohio.  Energy independence, trade, education, balanced budget, small business.  “Trickle down government.”  Nice. 

JL: Respond to “trickle down government”.

O: Specifics.  Education.  Hiring teachers.  Oh, yes, more union dues to the DNC.  Energy independence, but invest in wind and solar.  Yes, more Solyndras.  Tax cuts. 

R: “Middle income families are being crushed.”  I really can’t commentate on this.  This guy is nailing it.  “I’ll get that pipeline in from Canada.”  “No tax cut that adds to the deficit.  Underline that.”  I don’t think he stuttered or said “uh” once.

O: He’s been talking taxes for about 18 seconds, and he’s said “uh” three times.  Oratory extraordinaire.  Seriously, I have trouble not counting the “uhs”.  I’m not speaking professional, but for the love of goat, where do these people get off on the idea that he’s God’s gift to the speaking world?  And why does he keep driving this idea that it’s bad to give the military $2 trillion? 

R: “Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate.”  “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high income Americans.”  He’s addressing the president directly.  The president really has yet to look at the governor while speaking to/about him.  “For me, this is about jobs.” 

O: “It’s math, it’s arithmetic.”  Really?!  You clearly failed that.  Ugh.  DWS talking points.  He’s a robot.  “We should go back to the rates we had when Bill Clinton was president…”  Wow.  Can’t run on your record, so you dig up the past.  “Donald Trump is a small business.”  Really?  Where is this guy coming up with this [malarkey]?  Now he’s moved on to education.

R: Now he’s throwing facts at him.  You can’t handle the truth!

O:  I can’t listen to this guy any more.  Now he’s back to Clinton.  This is your election, not his!  Disaster, at best.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly delusional. 

R:  Okay, I like that he’s kind of taking the gloves off, but he’s a little annoying with the butting in.  Granted, he’s right.  I’ll allow it, because he’s still throwing out facts.

JL:  Question 2: “What are the differences…how would you go about tackling the debt in this country?”

R:  “I want to lower spending…I’ll eliminate all programs that borrow money from China to pay for.”  “The president said he’d cut the deficit in half…unfortunately, he doubled it.” 

O:  Now the DWS talking points on debt – “two wars on a credit card”, “emergency measures to avoid a Great Depression”.  Blah, blah, blah.  He’s trying to establish a record, but it’s sounding more like excuses.  Bowles-Simpson Commission – whose advice you still haven’t taken.  “…to move forward.”  Way to throw in that catch phrase.

R:  “You’ve been president for four years.”  “I don’t want to raise taxes on people.”  “You raise taxes, you kill jobs.” 

JL: “In order to reduce the deficit, you have to have revenue.”

O:  “The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare.”  Yes, make big oil the villain.   How did he go from tax cuts to education?  Now Medicade?  Stay on topic!  Is your chip malfunctioning?!

R:  Oh, snap.  He just called him on the array of topics.  Totally called him out on the oil industry subsidies versus the subsidies the president poured into green energy.  “I’ve been in business for 25 years.  I have no idea what you’re talking about [as far as getting a tax break for opening a factory overseas].”  “Medicade. I don’t know how you got to that.”  “Let states do this.” 

JL: Segment 3: Entitlements “Do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?”

O: And he wants to shift focus to Medicare.  “My grandmother died three days before I was elected president.”  What does this have anything to do with the topic?!  The question was on social security, not Medicare.  Infuriating. 

R: Oh, yeah.  Totally call the president out on Medicare.  Am I the only one that thinks that the president is afraid to look at the governor while he’s speaking? 

O: Turning Medicare into a voucher program.  I fail to see the problem here.  Oh, yes vilify the insurance companies.  “health care economists” “my grandmother” “AARP”  I’m so confused.  Now he’s propping up ObamaCare, saying the insurance companies will benefit and seniors will suffer. 

R:  $716 billion from Medicare.  I’m so glad he keeps hitting him on this.  “We’ve got to make sure the program is there for the long term.”  “I believe in competition.”

O: Now he’s back to propping up AARP. 

R: “Could we stay on Medicare?”

JL:  Regulations.

R:  “Regulation is essential.”  “Regulation can be excessive…out of date.”  Dodd-Frank.  I think the president is getting testy. 

O:  Blames “reckless behaviors”, then says he fixed Wall Street.  Now he’s rambling on and on…

R: “I wouldn’t designate five banks as too big to fail.” 

JL: New segment, health care.  “Governor Romney, you want ObamaCare repealed.  Why?”

R:  Another shout out to a swing state.  Not a big fan of him doing this, but I know why he’s doing it.  I can’t commentate.  Facts.  “It has killed jobs.”  “Craft a plan at the state level.” 

O: Talking points we’ve been hearing for the last four years.  I’m so bored with you.  “I had five seconds before you interrupted me.” 

JL: “Your five seconds went away a long time ago.”

R: “We didn’t raise taxes…we didn’t cut Medicare…we didn’t create board to tell people what treatments they could get…the CBO says 20 million people will lose their insurance.”  Again, facts.  Such inconvenient things…for Democrats. 

O:  Wow.  He’s trying to blame ObamaCare on Romney.  Really?  Oh, there he goes.  Shout out to Cleveland Clinic.  Giving Ohio love.  What is he talking about?  Oh, the board.  Sorry, he lost me with all the blah, blah, blah.  “Health care costs have gone up, it’s true.”  So, you lied? 

R: “The government is not effective at bringing down the cost of anything.”  This is fascinating.  Sorry…I’m really fixated on how Obama can’t look Romney in the eye.  Two second maximum.  He either looks down or looks at the moderator.  I know.  This is my something shiny moment, and it’s detracting from what Romney is talking about – which is dead-on, as far as the government board not being ideal – but it says a lot about a man who can’t look his opponent in the eyes.  The eyes are a window to the soul.  What should I infer here?

O:  He’s talking, but he’s not saying anything. 

R: “What we did in Massachusetts is a model for the nation, state by state.”

JL: New segment, the role of government: “Do you believe there’s a fundamental difference in the way you view the mission of the federal government?”

O:  Blah, blah, blah.  Oh, shout out to Abe Lincoln.  He’s basically saying that Lincoln was a big government guy.  Really?!  Education.  “Let’s hire another 100,000 math and science teachers.”  Again, shout out to your union buddies. 

R:  “Every school district, every state should make their own decisions.”  Wow…I’m loving this.  He’s totally invoking the Constitution.  Great stuff.  “The path we’re taking is not working.  It’s time for a new path.”

O: Am I supposed to take a shot every time he says “Democrats and Republicans”?  Did you really just say, “This is where budgets matter.”??????  Really?!  Your Senate buddies haven’t passed a budget in what is tantamount to eons.  The budget that you presented didn’t get a single vote in Congress.  You live outside reality.  Oh, I’m supposed to take a shot when he says, “One of the things I did, as president…”  Right. 

R:  “Mr. President, as president you’re entitled to your own house and your own airplane, but not your own facts.”  Zing!  Pretty sure that was lost on him.  Come on.  Stare the governor in the eye for five whole seconds, Mr. President.  I dare you. 

JL: “Many of the legislative functions of the government are in paralysis due to partisan gridlock…what would you do about it?” 

R:  “…not because we’re going to compromise our principles…”  Democrats don’t know about principles.

O:  “I will take ideas from anyone…”  NO YOU WON’T.  Period.  End. Of. Story.  “You have to have a plan.”  What’s yours?  Just stop.  I’m done with you.  Not that I was ever not done with you, but I’m done with being civil.  Stop talking.  Now.  I’m going to type something that I’ll regret.

JL: Closing statements, Romney won the toss, he chose to go last.  Smart. 

O:  Oh, there’s the multiple state shout outs (North Carolina, Minnesota, and Ohio).  Oh, there’s the DWS talking points.  “I’d fight every single day for the American people…I’ve kept that promise.”  Well, hopefully the American people will relieve you of duty in a few weeks.

R:  No real commentary necessary.  Basically he’s saying, don’t reelect the president unless you’ve loved the last four years. 

I’m not going to commentate on the after proceedings.  I don’t really want to elaborate any further.  I’m going to call this one like I would a football game.  Speculate however you want.
Obama 6, Romney 34