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Democratic Convention Kicks Off

We’re in Charlotte with the Democrats, raising the curtain on the 2012 convention and Obama’s bid for a second term.

People wait outside a campaign field office in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 to receive credentials for President Barak Obama's acceptance speech during Charlotte's Democratic Convention. (AP)

People wait outside a campaign field office in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 to receive credentials for President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech during Charlotte’s Democratic Convention. (AP)

Now it’s show time for the Democrats.  Sixty-two days to Election Day.  Republicans howling all last week that President Obama’s got to go.  A neck and neck race for the presidency, with everything on the line – White House, House and Senate.

In 2008, this week was electric for the Democrats and their Rocky Mountain high in Denver.  Thrilling history.  But that is history now.  And President Obama now has to make his case that he’s the one for the next four years.

This hour, On Point: we’re in Charlotte, raising the curtain on the Democratic convention, and President Obama’s challenge.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democrat from Maryland’s 8th district.

Bryan Monroe, editor of CNNPolitics.com.

Margaret Talev, White House Correspondent for Bloomberg News.

Howard Fineman, editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

Highlights

The curtain goes up on the Democratic convention today and theatrics in Charlotte are aimed at answering the question posed by all electoral challengers: Are you better off? “Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are counting on collective amnesia,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen. He said the Obama administration had made progress to stop the economic downturn and return the country to fiscal health.

Obama would lay out that argument, he said, while contrasting with a more critical GOP line. “The messages from the GOP [convention last week] were all negative. They were just attacking President Obama. They really don’t want to tell the American people about the Romney/Ryan plan,” said Van Hollen. “It provides another round of tax breaks for people like Mitt Romney, while taking away from everyone else.”

 

So, what do the Democrats need to do to win votes? “[Obama] has to change the tone of the debate,” said CNN’s Bryan Monroe. “The American people are eager for someone to reframe the debate into something more positive.”

“[Obama has to articulate what the next four years are going to look like,” Monroe said

“In 2008, [Obama] had a narrative,” said the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, “He needs a new narrative; he needs to say and explain how his vision of how the economy works – which is different from the Republicans’– works.”

“Obama has to explain how his vision of the economy helps Americans and their children,” Fineman said. “He has to get specific.”

But don’t expect and round of “Hope and Change” rhetoric, panelists warned. Watch for less the dream, more the reality, said Margaret Talev, who covers the White House for Bloomberg.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today “Four years ago, Obama overcame the once seemingly inevitable Hillary Rodham Clinton and held back John McCain by promising hope and change to a nation hobbled by recession and war.”

Washington Examiner “The latest ABC/Washington Post poll, for example, reported that when asked which of the two candidates was more likable, 61 percent picked Obama and only 27 percent said Romney. That looks like a huge advantage.”

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  • Coastghost

    Let me tell you, inquiring minds want to know: is there any
    chance at all that the California Democratic Party official, any chance at all
    that his views (innocuously held, to hear the media silence during the Labor
    Day lull), any chance at all that his views attributing Goebbels-style propaganda
    tactics to Republican messaging could be construed as the least bit hyperbolic
    or, let us say, over the top? Beginning with President Obama himself, what kind
    of fraternal embrace or explicit repudiation of such rude, inflammatory, incendiary,
    irresponsible, outlandish remarks can we expect will be forthcoming bright and
    early Tuesday (before noon, let us say)? Without having to stop and reflect, I
    can think of dozens or scores of living WWII veterans (and their offspring),
    who just happen to be Republicans, who would resent mightily this buffoon’s
    characterization of their chosen political party in such terms, given what they
    or their parents went through or witnessed in their service in Europe. This oaf’s
    crude comments are offensive in the extreme, and I speak as someone who is
    neither a registered Republican nor a WWII veteran (this California clown’s
    malodorous bombast is illustrative, sadly, of some of the crude cartoonery that
    has shown up on this very forum of late coming from Obama devotees, some of
    whom plainly do not know what they speak of since they confine their reading to
    dictionaries without deigning to consult original source material). –or is
    there any chance at all that this anti-social and purely divisive sophistry
    smacks of anything less than cringing desperation?  Can hardly wait to hear how it plays in the
    hour’s program . . . .  

    • NewtonWhale

      Sometimes a resemblance is just so uncanny that ya gotta point it out.

      Republicans have no right to complain because their lies were pointed out and then, when confronted with their lies, they defended them, refused to correct them, repeated them, and built an entire campaign theme around them:

      Mitt Romney Defends Ad Quoting Obama Out Of Context

      The ad which began airing in New Hampshire Tuesday uses audio of then-Sen. Obama campaigning in the state in 2008, saying: “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.The ad omits any acknowledgement that Obama was quoting the campaign of his opponent, 2008 GOP nominee John McCain. Instead, the ad leaves the impression that it is Obama who does not want to discuss the economy.PolitiFact, a non-partisan campaign watchdog, referred to the ad’s use of Obama’s past comment as “ridiculously misleading,” and noted the campaign could have conveyed the point that the tables had turned on Obama “without distorting Obama’s words.” 

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/23/mitt-romney-obama-ad_n_1110884.html 

      Romney Defends Bogus Obama Welfare Ads, Dismissing Fact-Checkers

      Even in the face of repeated  debunkings by journalists, Romney’s presidential campaign has continued to produce new ads falsely claiming that President Barack Obama ended the requirement that people on welfare, formally known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, engage in work.

      On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register confronted Romney  about his false ads: “Iowans who consider you an honest man are asking why you would keep repeating something that isn’t true,” a reporter said during an interview with the Republican candidate.In response, Romney argued that the Obama administration lacks the authority to waive welfare work requirements — a separate issue from the allegation in Romney’s TV spots, which simply claim that the work requirements have been dropped. The Des Moines Register pointed out that fact-checkers have said that has not actually happened.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/romney-obama-welfare-ads_n_1823462.html 

      Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words

      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. On this measure, while it was  Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

      The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.

      http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/08/30/paul-ryans-speech-in-three-words/#ixzz25UtVKDM4

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t know.  Stephen Colbert told me last week that it was Obama who said that a lie told often enough becomes the truth.  We can change it. Also, love the kitler.

        • sickofthechit

           Yes Obama said that, but he does not practice it.  That is the Repugnicans baliwick.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            (See the Colbert video. Ray’s meaning, and deadpan reflection that “Colbert says it was Obama who said…” will become hilariously apparent.)

          • Ray in VT

            Thanks. That is what I was citing.  Colbert and the Daily Show were awesome last week, and I’m really looking forward to this week’s coverage.  I don’t know how Colbert keeps a straight face.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are two of the few reasons I regret not watching television. Thank goodness for the internet!

          • Mike_Card

            He’s a pro.

      • Coastghost

        I fill my ears with as few sources as I am able to manage, life being so ephemeral and all. (I find myself relying on NPR as a credible news source less and less all the time, and I have been listening for decades.) You say PolitFart is non-partisan; but who across our vast media landscape checks out PF’s veracity? who “says” PF is “non-partisan”? is this self-advertisement on PF’s part, or is this designation assigned to them by media outlets who make no credible claims themselves about their partisanship or avoidance thereof? I concede Republicans lie all the time. I concede Democrats lie all the time. Some lies are odious to some ears and not to others; this lamebrain from California’s lie is odious (to my ears) not only because of the slur it casts upon SOME honest Americans who also happen to be members of the Republican Party but also because of its very diversionary quality (which you SAY you deplore when practiced by Republicans), the unspoken assumption of which is that Democrats can be trusted as arbiters of truth. But I know already that Democrats lie and that the economy IS an issue Obama is not keen to address given his promise to keep unemployment below 8%. So in terms of the economy that Obama is NOT ignoring (accord. to you), was Obama naive to think that his policies could in fact keep the posted unemployment rate below 8% (which Dems often say is closer to 15%), or is it more simply the case that his policies have failed?

        • NewtonWhale

          The characterization of PolitiFact was not mine. The passage was a quote from the article, which is why I put a link to the article immediately below it.

          Nevertheless, it does appear that you and PolitiFact have serious issues:

          John Boehner:

          “Our unemployment rate has been higher than 8 percent for more than two-and-a-half years, far above what the Obama Administration promised with the ‘stimulus.’ ”

          PolitiFact:

          “As we have ruled for others who have made this claim, we rate Boehner’s statement Mostly False.” 

          http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2011/oct/13/john-boehner/john-boehner-says-obama-promised-stimulus-would-ke/ 

          BTW, you can use the RETURN key to create entirely new paragraphs.That helps keep posts from looking like unintelligible ramblings.

          Then again, it’s not a guarantee.

        • Don_B1

          First, it is not necessary to violate Godwin’s Law (though there ARE times when it doea not apply) to show that Republicans ARE practicing the BIG LIE. The Romney pollster Neil Newsome when asked about Ryan’s speech, said : “We’re not going to let our champaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” The additional thing that NewtonWhale does not need to say, is that ALL the fact checkers derided Ryan for his obvious, beyond-the-pale distortions and lies in his acceptance speech.

          But it is clear that the Republicans and their defenders, as they always do, just cite a few much less offensive statements from the other side and use that to claim equivalent offenses, counting on people, apparently like you, to not examine the exact statements to determine that it is a false equivalence.

          See:

          http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/were-not-going-to-let-our-campaign-be-dictated-by-fact-checkers/261674/

          for a discussion of why the Romney campaign thinks it can get away with outright lying. And it works! I have a high-school and college friend who lives in relatively rural California and has become a devotee plus of Glenn Beck and when I emailed him the Sally Kohn post on Fox News, replied:

          “So I read Sally’s Fox News article  and clearly she is not believable…………..he gave a rousing speech that was all it needed to be.  Sally’s article may have gone viral but doesn’t make it worthy of anything.”

          Basically he no longer cares what means are used to attain an end he wants, and he will brook NO argument that he might not be happy with the result.

          Romney has made the judgment that his “base” is so brainwashed that it will disregard any attack on him and in fact it will rally his base to support him even more. Whether you are an enrolled Republican Party member or not, you, Coastghost, appear to be close to my friend from school.

          It is the same rallying that will be in effect if the U.S. with or in support of Israel attacks Iran. There will be few Iranians who will not rally to their government’s defense even though many despise that government.

          • Coastghost

            Then don’t rely on appearances. I am no Glenn Beck aficianado, I am no Fox News devotee, I do not have time to read (or, in the case of NPR, to hear or listen to) every editorialization that comes from every “news” source. When I vote in November, I will not be voting FOR Romney. I plan to vote AGAINST Obama, because I see him as an ineffectual US President and because I see him not as a socialist but as an avid statist, which befits his status as leader of the Democratic Party. Our mixed economy can no longer sustain the Federal appetite for taxation and revenue expenditure that has made Federal debt and deficits the threat to US economic performance that Bernanke & Co. have warned can give us a fresh NEW recession ff. the election unless the hard work of CUTTING Federal spending ensues. Obama has already had four years to diagnose the problems and come up with an alternative to Simpson-Bowles or to Ryan’s proposal: that he has committed to NOTHING up to this point tells me he has no business occupying the Oval Office after Jan 2013.  

          • Mike_Card

            LMFAO!  “We’re not going to let our champaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”   I’m sure you meant “campaign,” as in the original!  :-)))

          • Don_B1

            I seem to have caught some irony (more than just funny?) along with proving that haste makes errors if not waste.

          • Mike_Card

            If only it had read “fart-checkers!”  Technology is making all of us stupid!

    • Shag_Wevera

      Almost as difficult to read and comprehend as an essay by Kierkegaard or a novel by HP Lovecraft.  Maybe I should have a second cup of coffee and read it again. 

    • Joseph_Wisconsin

       
      If you want to get away from the poor
      formatting here is the trick. Whatever software you use for typing
      your content when you are done first copy and paste that into
      Notepad. Then copy your content out of Notepad into the text box
      form. Also paragraphs are your friend.

      • Coastghost

        In this specific case, thank our friends at DISQUS(T), whose eminently serviceable software devoured my originial post to this effect in its entirety. I next reassembled the content in the safety of MS Word and was obliged to paste it in. If you are aware that DISQUS postings are capable of the kind of editing that permits satisfactory formatting, let me know. Otherwise, I assign credit to WBUR for adopting the “service” and I blame DISQUS for offering software that is no more reliable than it is. 

        • DrewInGeorgia

          His suggestion about using Notepad will help (most of the time). The only way to ensure proper formatting is to manually edit posts when Disqus goes bad. That shouldn’t be a problem for you, based on your posts you’re all about personal responsibility, right?

    • Acnestes

      While there is no indication that the GOP is advocating for the annexation of the Sudetenland or the relocation of undesirables, “to the East”, there is also no doubt that much of their campaign strategy could have, and maybe did, come straight out of Little Joe’s playbook.  Use of The Big Lie doesn’t make one a Nazi, but it doesn’t reflect well on it’s practitioners either.

      • Ray in VT

        Are you sure that there isn’t some lebensraum platform somewhere?  That is a joke everyone, not me attempting to disparage the GOP party platform unfairly, after all, I think that there is plenty there to disparage itself.

        • Acnestes

          They wouldn’t put it in writing so as not to provide any ammunition for a charge of conspiracy to wage aggressive war further down the road.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          All of us are just stealing from 1992:

          “It sounded better in the original German,” Saint Molly, on Pat Buchanan’s diatribe.

          • J__o__h__n

            Pat’s extremist speech from 1992 sounds mainstream Republican now.

          • Acnestes

            Bless her heart!  Would that she could be here now.

  • JGC

    To Gregg Smith:  I made replies to you in Week in the News last night, but for some reason my friends at Disqus flagged them for further review before posting. (What!?)  Anyway, as you can guess, they were interesting ripostes to your comments on the military, and I am sure I was just on the verge of converting you to vote a straight Democratic ticket in November! ;)  If they don’t appear some time today, I will restate my arguments. Have no fear…

    • Shag_Wevera

      You’d have better luck convincing him that the “boogey man” is at his polling place, waiting to get him when he votes…

    • Gregg Smith

      I had many comments disappear too.

      • J__o__h__n

        They disappear without a trace too.  Unlike npr.org (which is a far worse censor), there isn’t even a record that it was censored.  They just disappear like Stalin was behind it.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Black Bagging comes to mind. If they’re going to piss on the First Amendment it’d be nice if they would at least leave a “This comment has been removed” tag.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Thank goodness unwarranted censorship isn’t a problem here at OP. There is constant encouragement from Tom to “participate in the discussion” online, wonder why he never mentions the ‘so long as we find the discussion agreeable’ qualifier?

  • Shag_Wevera

    I hope the Democrats are very plain spoken about the differences in the candidates and the party platforms.  Much of the electorate isn’t very bright, so simple choices are best.  Democrats can even use individual selfishness to their advantage.

    1.  Medicare or vouchers and private insurance.
    2.  Social security or 401k
    3.  Less war or more.
    4.  Tax cuts for 98% or for the 1%
    5.  Build infrastructure or unrestricted globalization
    6.  Protect or dismantle reproductive rights.
    7.  Grover Norquist as kingmaker.

    I’d love to see all these issues decided by universal national referenda, but our system doesn’t work that way.  So democrats, keep it simple and obvious and you should win.

    • Coastghost

      Do not hold your breath: in the 8:30 ET newsbreak, NPR dutifully reported how the Dems were just bursting to tell America how their Party supports abortion rights and GBLT empowerment. Id est, they elevated your #6 to #1 or #2, filled out the top two slots with another topic of the Party’s choice, and ignored all your other recommendations.

  • Mouse_2012

    “Don’t drone tank me Bro”

  • JGC

    Who should be the “surprise mystery guest speaker” at the Democratic Convention? 

    • NewtonWhale

      I nominate Ron Reagan:

      “Since the civil rights era, the Republican Party has been a haven for bigots.” 

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2012/05/03/his-dad-msnbc-hypes-ron-reagan-trash-gop-haven-bigots#ixzz25VFW2T9K 

      Son Says Reagan Would See Today’s GOP as ‘Mean-Spirited and Stupid’

      http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/02/son-ron-says-ronald-reagan-would-see-todays-gop-as-mean-spirit/ 

    • Coastghost

      Would have to be a Hollywood type for Clintwood equivalency, but it would also have to be a woman to project Dem sensibility and sensitivity. Someone sassy like Whoppi Goldberg would probably do, and someone with that kind of credibility. I’m sure no shortage would be found at the stage door when the audition is held.

      • MrNutso

        Tyne Daly, Clint’s partner in the “Enforcer”.

      • Don_B1

        There is an Internet campaign out there to request the DNC have Betty White speak.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I’d like to see Common Sense make an appearance at the convention, it’s obviously been nowhere to be found during this Campaign Cycle.

      • Ray in VT

        Good luck with that, Drew.  Common Sense is often difficult to find.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          No kidding. Lately it seems like it has gone the way of the dinosaur.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, Common Sense, much like dinosaurs, did live during the same time as humans.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Michael Moore.

      • J__o__h__n

        The Democrats tend to run from him.  They don’t suck up to him like the Republicans do to Rush. 

    • Mike_Card

      Sarah Palin.  She could describe how she woke up, just as Bobby came out of the shower; it would explain a lot.

  • Mouse_2012

    I read that both the Republicans and Democrats got 50 million of our Tax $$$ each to hold each convention. Also the DNC is going to use some of the same tactics and equipment that the RNC used, such as “Free Speech Zones” “Drone Tanks” (look it up) “Militarized Zones” New laws that supersede the first amendment.

    The police state will be on display in the DNC much like it was at the RNC. Of course one has to go to other news souces since the MSM wouldn’t be covering that part. 

    • Coastghost

      If Charlotte were to erupt like the Dems’ favorite convention in Chicago 1968, none of us will fail to hear about it. Mayor Emanuel, I hear, is staying away from Charlotte to (attempt to) head off a public teachers’ union strike, and who knows whether Chicago in 2012 may not vie for attention with Charlotte before the week is out? 

  • Mouse_2012

    Since facts no longer matter(thank you RNC) I’m sure the RNC wouldn’t rely on those “Fact Checkers” when the DNC does?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The faux fact checkers that have been thoroughly debunked.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         You have been listening to too much Rush.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           No I actually read the ‘fact’ check articles and then did my own research.  I didn’t listen to Rush last week.

      • jimino

        Maybe you could enlighten us with one of the “loopholes” the RR budget plan proposes be closed to allow for the reduction of tax rates, which is the heart of the so-called plan.  Or is that not possible to fact check?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           No.  It is fair to state they have disclosed the details.  However, it is not fair to say that they will cut the rates by raising taxes on the middle class by $4K.  That is made up out of thin air.  The TPC center report admitted up front that they don’t have enough information to do the analysis yet their ‘conclusions’ are taken as gospel.

          The assumptions they used were incomplete and inaccurate and that is the flaw in their hypotheticals.

        • Don_B1

          Romney has made so many commitments to the radical far right, he is trying to preserve a few things that he will need to avoid plunging the country into the GREATEST RECESSION ever, at least until the citizens rise up and recall all the Tea/Republican legislators who will bring that on with a failure to compromise on the Fiscal Cliff that awaits us all with Sequestration and Bush Tax Cut expiration. Then add in the Tea/Republicans’ determination to use the debt ceiling to extract further spending cuts.

          Romney said in an interview with Mark Halperin of Time that those first two items will cause a 5% drop in GDP. Then add in further cuts? I think most economists would say that would be a GREAT DEPRESSION initiator.

          But MAYBE (???) that would wake up the centrist voters that they ignore voting because “both parties are equally bad” at their real peril. The Democrats are not angels, far from it, but the Republicans are sure trying to make them appear to be.

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    I expect that the Democrats will stick to their talking points every bit as much as the Republicans did.  Probably some truth bending out of the Democrats as well, but nothing to match the Republicans in that respect.  Betty White is bound to be better and more comprehensible than Eastwood was rambling at an empty chair.  Democrats and Obama will try and put the best face they can on the current state of the economy, fairly assigning some of the blame to Republican obstructionism and the Republican’s main goal over the last four years to win this election.  There will be a lot of complaints from the right wing that the Democrats don’t talk much about what the Republican’s see, fairly or not, as Obama’s failure over the last four years.  Fair enough for progressives here to complain that according to the Republican’s in their just completed convention GW Bush and his eight years in office never happened.  Understandable that the Republicans and Romney did not want to talk about that as everything Romney has proposed is just more tax cuts for the wealthy and more deregulation, GW Bush redux.

    Despite Republican efforts to cast Obama as some sort of un-American socialist [Kenyan Muslim not born in the US] the real Obama is somewhere to the right of every President from FDR through Carter.  The important point is that the arguments put forth by Obama and the Democrats are minor tweeks to Reaganism, not a real look at how much our current economic-political system is not at all a “free market” but one designed to transfer wealth upward. 

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/books/the-end-of-loser-liberalism

    • William

      Has the tone of the DNC been set by John Burton, the CA Democratic Party chairman? He compared the Republicans to Nazi’s. Are there going to be calls for Burton to resign or at least not show up at the DNC?

      • Shag_Wevera

        Ever see the Obama “Hope” poster altered with a Hitler moustache?  I have (many times).  Pretty cool!

        • Ray in VT

          My “favorite” one is the Don’t Re-nig in 2012 bumped stickers.  I haven’t seen one in person, but my brother’s neighbor said it a while ago.

        • Ray in VT

          I wonder if it has occurred to anyone who has worked up or sported an Obama Hitler poster/sign how pissed off such a sign must make the Fuhrer’s contemporary fans.  It’s pretty funny to think about it from that perspective.  It must really piss off the Neo Nazis to see it.

    • Coastghost

      True, Betty White would be a match with Clint because of her age but might be perceived as “just as risky”. Clint, to his credit (as cited by expert Bill Maher), did a creditable job; too many people seem to’ve forgotten his talent for jazz rifting, his spontaneity was on full display, granted, he’s older now, but why hold that specifically against him?
      BTW, I’m one of those who does not believe that Obama is Kenyan, but I’d prefer he were one, to make full use of his actual Luo ancestry. 

      • Joseph_Wisconsin

         Actually I thought Clint did have one very good point.  Why are we still in Afghanistan?  There is not much hope for a quick withdrawal there if Romney is elected.  If anything he seems interested in upping military spending beyond its current bloated levels and is itching to get the US into another war.  

        What is it with Republicans being so bellicose in foreign policy, yet so fascinated with draft dodgers and celluloid heroes & tough guys?  Ronald Reagan, John Wayne. Mitt Romney, Clint Eastwood?

        It would not bother me if Obama was a Muslim, as it would be pretty obvious that he was a pragmatic enlightened one.  Much better than all the true believer Christians that populate elected Republicans.  The Christian Taliban that differs very little from its Islamic counterpart.  The only real difference is the view of a couple of prophets.  In Islam Jesus was just another [mortal man] prophet, with Mohammed being the final prophet.  Christians on the other hand of course give no significance to Mohammed, but turn Jesus into a magic performing zombie.  On issues such as gay rights, rights of women, prayer in school, the place of religion in society and government, science, and its our way only, Christian right == Muslim Taliban.  Then there is the odd Mormon business, was Joseph Smith another  final word prophet (as Mohammed for Islam) or what?

        • Ray in VT

          I think that Smith was supposed to be the final word, but he didn’t claim to have written the Book of Mormon.  He had the gold tablets revealed to him somewhere near Utica, and he said that he just translated them.

      • J__o__h__n

        Unlike the old man yelling at the chair, Betty White is actually funny.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Show of hands: Who else thought “angry old white man yelling at an Obama only Republicans can see” before that was said by anyone on TV?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Grasping at straws with the Clint Eastwood thing, eh?

        Quit while you’re behind.

  • Dab200

    What a sorry lot this current Republican party has shown itself to be, as in their convention, where their robotalking Pooh Bahs regaled us with their usual, and irrelevant, patriotic pablum on how much they loved this country, and gave us the good tidings that when Batman Romney and his sidekick Ryan burst upon the scene in November, they will clean up the mess left behind by that rascal, Obama, and bring back all those tried and true Republican policies we’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of. Like, let’s see, cause a recession if not a depression, give more tax cuts to the rich, get rid of those useless government agencies like, education, energy, EPA, and who knows what else, clamp down on women’s health issues, return prayer to the classroom while getting rid of the false sciences, evolution and global warming, trash the environment, strip the social safety net, defund NPR and Planned Parenthood, and oh yes before I forget, start a war or two. Hooray! Happy days will be here again! Or NOT – it’s up to us not to allow that to happen – go and vote.

    • Don_B1

      The old dictum, that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel was never more appropriate than for today’s Republican Party and its radical leadership.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        The hilarious thing is that they think they are being Patriotic. Patriotic? No. Nationalistic? Absolutely.

    • Don_B1

      Is it interesting how the Republicans can give Obama the power to create high unemployment even before he was inaugurated (it was 7.8% in January 2009, rising like a volcano erupting, already at 8.3% in February 2009, when any normal president could not have affected it that quickly) but don’t think he wants to lower the unemployment rate so he won’t get reelected (otherwise he would invoke his magic powers — of the “other”) to reduce unemployment?

      What is impressive is the number of people who don’t think beyond what their “leaders” tell them to think, and those who don’t follow much news do not have the information to realize how the Republicans have obstructed every plan put forward by Obama to get the economy moving.

      As an example of that obstruction, consider the delay the Republicans managed on the American Jobs bill Obama submitted a year ago to build infrastructure that both Republicans and Democrats have ALWAYS supported. It only passed in early June, when its effects will not be felt until early 2013, when Republicans think a Republican president will benefit from it and take false credit for it.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    and the saga continues…

  • http://twitter.com/ipswichjonesy jonesp

    I’m a Democrat but I’d like to see some Republicans on your panel today Tom. Let’s keep everyone honest with balanced discussion… hoping you can do that today.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Guess you’ve missed the past several weeks of On Point.

    • J__o__h__n

      Last week the Republicans were featured as it was their convention.  The same rules should apply this week. 

      • Ray in VT

        Agreed.  There will probably be a little commentary from the right, but most of the commentators are likely to be Democratically aligned.

        Also, as per one of your replies over the weekend, No Control was a great album, with I Want To Conquer the World being one of my favorite Bad Religion songs, and American Jesus from Recipe for Hate is awesome too.  I saw them a decade ago in Montreal and they were awesome.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Yes Tom had some Democrats last week but he limited their time.

      • Ray in VT

        You’re right.  I think that there was some criticism here of having Robert Reich for only 5 minutes or something.  I think that some limited push back from the other side is appropriate, but, I suppose, that these are the couple of weeks for the parties and their messages, so let them have their say while knowing full well that there’s going to be a lot of hyperbole, rhetoric, spin and feel good stories.

        • Don_B1

          There will also be callers with the usual Republican talking points, so the “right” will not be unrepresented.

  • Prairie_W

    I won’t be able to listen to the show today, but hope very much that this discussion includes plenty of recognition of (and rallying for) Democratic members of Congress who are up for reelection and many of who are victims of the flood of PAC and other monies (some un-sourced) coming from the right.

    Reelecting Obama but leaving him to the mercy of a Republican sweep in Congress is… um … careless, to say the least! 

    • MrNutso

      I have not voted for a Republican for Congress or Senate, since 1994.  Even those who claim the moderate mantle, cannot be trusted to not abandon their own personal beliefs and vote the party line.  The reason as you pointed out is PAC’s targeting transgressors and spending as much as it takes to get them unelected.

      • Don_B1

        Those with moderate leanings know that they will be “primaried” the first time they stick their toe in the water outside the “reservation.”

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Can’t wait until Bill Cinton’s speech. Will he offer a full throated defense of Obama’s ‘stirling’ record of governance? Will he talk about the folly of raising taxes during times of economic strife?

    Perhaps he will declare “Barack is likeable — enough”.

    • Mike_Card

      Define ‘stirling?’

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         It’s Clarisse to you.

        • Mike_Card

          I’ll decide what it is to me, thank you very much.

  • Guest

    Hey Tom, love the show – welcome to Charlotte!

    Will you be meeting listeners this week?

    - Jack in Charlotte

  • sickofthechit

    Check your Registration
    Make sure you have Transportation
    Then Vote!

    I don’t care for what party or candidate, I just want to not be ashamed by another weak (63%) turnout.  Australia had 98% turnout in their last general election. Shame on us.

    Repeat after me, “Register, Transport, Vote”, “Register, Transport, Vote”, “Register, Transport, Vote”, “Register, Transport, Vote”, “Register, Transport, Vote”, “Register, Transport, Vote”,  Now, spread the word to your friends and families.

    Charles A. Bowsher

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I hope you’re likewise encouraged by the court rulings last week against new voter suppression laws. Funny that that’s not getting a lot of coverage on my teevee.

    • Don_B1

      Those who have a vehicle and the time, should call a group, such at the League of Women Voters, which runs registration drives and volunteer to help. This is most needed in those states where Republican legislators and governors have erected barriers to registering and voting in a voter suppression campaign that could be more effective than the Southern Jim Crow laws instituting poll taxes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584989777 Brian P. Kasso Gaidry

    Obama’s best move to swing any remaining undecided Independents his way is talk about getting corporate money out of elections and politics.

    • sickofthechit

       He’s been hinting at it, I saw a blurb on the banner on FAUX News a couple of days ago that said he is speaking about a Constitutional Convention that addresses the wrongs caused by The Citizens United Deception, I mean Decision.

      I want to see one that abolishes the Electoral College.

    • Don_B1

      While there is a revulsion among the electorate to the ads they see on TV, I’m not sure that the electorate has connected the dots and feels the need to totally change the campaign finance laws to go to public financing, which is the only way to make elections more fair by reducing the false charges and also free up the time that office holders feel required to spend raising money, some 20 to 30 hours on the phone each week of their terms. This time could be much better spent determining the real issues and voting to make life better for everyone rather than just their biggest contributors.

  • Thinkin5

    I bet if you ask Paul Ryan and Mitt if they are better off today than they were 4 yrs ago they would have to say YES! All the wealthy and corporations and Wall Street have been making record profits.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    One thing the President and his campaign need to emphasize that the Democrat’s “Pro choice” stance does not mean they think abortion should be a “first choice” method of birth control. Re-emphasize the alternatives. Re-emphasize the importance of education before an unintended pregnancy occurs so more will be prevented. 

    • Ray in VT

      Good point.  They should push the idea that pro choice doesn’t mean pro abortion.  I don’t know anyone who actually promotes abortion for it’s own sake, rather, they want it to be an option that women have should they deem it to be the appropriate action for them at that time.  I think that it would be great if we had zero unintended pregnancies, but that isn’t going to happen.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        It’s still an uphill fight against a mainstream press which is “evenhanded” on the subject by conceding to the right wing that details about abortion and contraception are “icky” sometimes, and doesn’t get pissed over every man (and I do mean man) of the cloth which weighs in on it.

        This is where we’ve gotten the whole “midnight cab ride” solution and the “fake pharamacists” deciding which woman is deserving of her doctor’s prescriptions. These are “compromises” to the corporate press.

        On the other hand, Will Saletan of Slate (three star general in the cause of finding “common ground” between pro-choice and the right) has fallen out of love with Paul Ryan. (He literally wrote that.)

        So there may be some hope.

        • Don_B1

          The biggest reason he “fell out of love with” Paul Ryan was over Ryan’s lies about his budget proposal, with huge tax cuts and “magic asterisk” social safety net spending cuts and tax expenditure (loopholes) cuts. But Ryan’s support for absolutely no exceptions allowing for abortion is not within his or most American thoughts.

      • sickofthechit

         I am Pro-Life and I am Pro-Choice.  That is my choice. 

        • Ray in VT

          I like that position.  My wife takes that view.  She doesn’t think that she could ever bring herself to have one, but she doesn’t want to make that choice for someone else.

  • Coastghost

    Not exactly, Rep. Van Hollen: keeping tax cuts in place will help starve the bloated Federal state. Obama may be no socialist but he and his Democratic Party remain avid statists: in their view, the US economy exists to support an overweening Federal state, whose scale of inefficiency and mismanagement has not been credibly broached in their principled analysis.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

     That will be a tough one given the Supreme Courts error in deciding that corporations are voters too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I was in Denver in ’08 and honestly I still have the hope. Am I happy with everything President Obama has accomplished? Not entirely. Do I still think he has the best plan (at least as compared to Mitt Romney’s) to move America forward and continue the comeback? Yes, yes I do. Obstructionist Republicans be damned.

  • Coastghost

    Promote multi-culturalism: abolish public education. While we’re at it, pull the plug on the CPB, too, and let PBS and NPR EARN their “independence”.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Hmm, I’d be back to 24/7 listening to BBC, with a sprinkling of Al-Jazeera.  What is wrong with this picture?

      • Coastghost

        What’s wrong with the picture, of course, is that you pose a false dilemma: even were NPR to die the death (which I concede is most unlikely), we would none of us be in any danger of “media starvation”. Points I make elsewhere about NPR consist of noting exactly how reliant its “news” programming has become on commercial media mouthpieces (NYT, WaPo, etc.). I don’t highly esteem having a domestic government “news source” that cannot help but provide some kind of editorial slant/tilt, both in terms of specific stories and in terms of overall “total effect”. Nor frankly am I enamored of the continuing charade that public education has become, and I credit the poor in the US with exercising the good sense to abandon its hapless performance overall. –But don’t tell this to the geniuses at Harvard University, who continue to insist that public education can eventually be redeemed from its manifest failures. 

    • Don_B1

      Since NPR gets less than 7% of its funding from the federal government, they pretty much DO earn their independence.

      • Coastghost

        Insure that their independence is whole and entire, then, and abolish the CPB itself, which will eliminate Federal subsidization of PBS, NPR, PRI, APM, altogether. Let NPR anchors & hosts earn six-figure salaries entirely on the basis of corporate philanthropy and listener support (ONLY 26 million Americans listen to NPR weekly: has anyone even thought of performing a cost-benefit analysis? CPB’s annual Federal budget in FY 2012 is pegged at $445.2 million, per Wikipedia). 

  • Rex Henry

    I really hope this convention touts all the things that this administration has done but has not made the headlines.

    • StilllHere

      Like invoking states secret privilege more than anybody
      Like drone killings of civilians
      Like pay to play

      • Mike_Card

        That’s sick.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    If Romney is elected and repeals the Affordable Care Act, my daughter will be going on Social Security Disability because she would no longer be eligible to be on my medical insurance.

    Good way to save taxpayer money Mr. Romney 

    • Don_B1

      But the Romney/Ryan budget plans to “severely” cut Medicaid and probably will go at SSD shortly after.

      And without PPACA, Vermont’s moves toward single payer will probably end up in the trash also?

  • OnpointListener
  • rvl1

    How will Obama deal with an intractable Republican Congress? The Elephant in the room blocking any way out.  No matter what he proposes for the future he’ll still have to deal with that problem.

    • sickofthechit

       Register, Transport, Vote!

    • Don_B1

      He will have to do what he so far has been mostly unwilling to do, appeal directly to the voters over the Tea/Republicans’ heads. His reluctance so far probably came from his unwillingness to recognize the outright hostility from the Republican Party in Congress. He will have to go to each of the (currently) 80+ Tea/Republicans, explaining the consequences of what they are doing, and also call out such ex-officio obstructionists as Grover Norquist.

      The hardest task will be to counter the Republican-pushed view of the government as economically “just like your household budget.” This has been a terribly destructive metaphor,  but found useful by the wealthy who are operating as “rent-seekers,” an economic term for those who wish to maximize their income without taking any risks, which is the opposite of “job-creators.”

  • sickofthechit

    I first coined the term “Repugnicans”
    (Copyright 2010, Charles A. Bowsher) in response to Republican
    Politicians tendency to go to the ugly side, to block legislation
    that would have sped the recovery for fear President Obama might
    succeed. Their tendency to use innuendo to cast doubt, their
    complete refusal to face the truth of the failure of their policies.

    Earlier than that I began asking the question via a Bumper Sticker;

                       
    “ REPUBLICANS; Hypocrites? or
                            Schyzophrenic Hypocrites?”

    (Copyright 2009, Charles A. Bowsher)

    There are countless examples, one need
    only recall the recent Republican Convention.

  • Ellen Dibble

    There are so many things wrong, but I think we have a clearer view of it than in 2008.  Do people remember the decade before that, when virtually all the talking heads on TV said that the national debt was immaterial, was somehow useful to our prosperity?  And the representatives of banks were saying the same thing, buy this house, you can always churn it; buy whatever you want, the loan rates are cheap; pay no attention to the small print.  
        Some of us could see that the reliability of this was questionable.  Jobs were going overseas.  Paper profits that were allowing people to retire at 50 had had a chance to collapse in the collapse of about a decade earlier.  Health care costs were causing the affordability of life to shrink each year.
        We seemed to be living in Alice’s Wonderland.  You had to plan for coming back to earth at some point, but you did wonder what sort of extraterrestrials were pulling the strings, and what they would do next.  Now, we have a much better understanding of what’s going on.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I’m neither better off nor worse off with regard to anything that a president can affect, mostly.  I’ve yet to see any results from healthcare reform.  My job status remains tenuous.  One thing I do note is that Obama continued the violation of privacy that the Bush administration committed with the “War on Terror.”

    My assessment of Obama’s performance?  Myeh.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I’ll go Myeh+.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I don’t know about Clint Eastwood, but as someone minimally familiar with seder celebrations, my take on the empty chair was instantaneously that Elijah would come, and a child would open the door, and in he would come, and announce the coming of the Messiah.  With that resonant idea, I did drift into unconscious sleep, and remained so until the balloons began floating down.  Balloons, right?

  • Coastghost

    Let’s disagree with the conclusions of Obama’s empaneled Simpson-Bowles Commission (which Obama saw fit simply to walk away from), let’s also dismiss Rep. Ryan’s budget proposal, since neither as constituted has any realistic chance of implementation. BUT WHAT ALTERNATIVE IS OBAMA PROPOSING? Everyone in DC knows that the axe will be falling on Federal spending in coming years, our commentariat knows that the axe will be falling because the rate of Federal spending is UNSUSTAINABLE. –so tell us, Obama and Co.: exactly what DO you propose to do to deal with the problem? Expand statist responsibilities and ambitions further? or reduce Federal participation in the mix of our mixed economy? All I hear Democrats say is “tax tax tax” and “spend spend spend”. Obama’s status quo cannot sustain itself, but he’s offered nothing comparable either to Simpson-Bowles or to Rep. Ryan’s plan.

    • sickofthechit

       Obama charged the Simpson Bowles Commission with the task of coming up with a plan that 14 of the members agreed with.  Paul Ryan was one of those members, he voted no, he walked away from his duty.  Apparently he like Boehner, is unable to say compromise or do it.

      • Coastghost

        So what plan does Obama offer in place of Rep. Ryan’s or in place of Simpson-Bowles? Enlarge statist responsibilites and ambitions further? or propose the significant cuts that HAVE TO COME and ARE COMING. The Federal Reserve has put DC on notice that Obama’s status quo will not long survive this election, regardless of whether Obama is re-elected.

    • jimino

      Although there never was a final plan, any one that would have been approved by the commission would have called for raising taxes (which is why Ryan opposed the proposed one) and would therefore have been opposed by every Republican in Congress as a violation of their sacred oath to Grover Norquist.

      • Coastghost

        –would have called for raising taxes AND reducing spending. Pentagon spending cuts were part of Ryan’s objection to S-B, is that correct?
        Opposition to INCREASING Federal spending remains a sound approach at this historic juncture: the scope and scale of Federal debt and deficits demand it, arguably, but Obama has not told us in his first term how he would manage reductions in Federal spending.

  • Mike_Card

    What position did Romney play on the football team?

    • Ray in VT

      I think that he played under an iron man system.  That way he could work both sides of the same play.

      • Mike_Card

        Sounds about right.  Whatever it was, I’d bet it didn’t involve actually suiting up and risking getting tackled or stepped on; I’d double down that he doesn’t know sh!t about how to turn around a team that’s down on its luck.

  • spudoo

    The caller right now stating that the Recovery Act DID help…YES.  There needs to be more stated loud and clear about this.  I too – as have many people in fields that rely heavily upon public support (e.g., public education, municipal services, infrastructure construction, etc.) have benefited.  The fact that the benefit has not been even wider spread does not mean that what has been done was without merit. 

    The fact is that more would have come from the stimulus if the Republicans had not set out with a public relations campaign that was determined to deny that the stimulus – indeed this president – had any impact BEFORE IT/HE EVEN STARTED.  In this way of thinking, there is absolutely no way that anything this administration could have done that would have succeeded…as “success” was/is defined as starting with no Obama. 

    • MrNutso

      The need for bi-partisanship strangled the stimulus with too much tax cuts and not enough hard spending.

  • Cary Bradley

    Recovery
    Act helped us keep COBRA after losing 30-year job and helped us insure
    our family of 4 until we got new jobs with insurance. Also my niece was
    able to buy 1st home with $8000 First Time Buyer grant in a not
    attractive Southern California market, and now she is happy homeowner
    and taxpayer! ACA allowed us to insure our 23-yo job hunter, and now
    she has found great job with benefits! Long live Obama/Biden! America
    Hooray!!!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    “Let loose the bulls of free enterprise” to fix the economy.

    Tom, you have an extra “s” in that phrase.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller, the collective exists solely to make life better for individuals.  The collective has no value and no rights in itself.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone with time to read it, I understand this is the book to explain the $787 stimulus, its amazing passage, and its still undone effects; from the Daily Beast, review by Matthew Zeitlin.  The book is The New New Deal by — “Michael Grunwald, a national correspondent for Time, with his new doorstop of a book,The New New Deal. Grunwald tells the story of the stimulus from Obama’s meetings with his economic team before the election all the way to the stimulus’s still-ongoing projects today. The book is not only a comprehensive chronicle of what’s in the bill and what it’s done, but it’s also full of revelations of how the bill was written, passed, and then implemented. Here are some of the biggest scoops:”  
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/15/six-revelations-from-michael-grunwald-s-the-new-new-deal.html 

  • Rex Henry

    Romney’s comments on the environment shows that he’s not worried about our future. If we ignore the environment now, we will be spending more to fix it later.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hoffman.79677 Chris Hoffman

    I’m sorry folks, but we’re all being taken for fools with both parties over the past 30 years.  Electing a president is more celebrity than policy.

    I voted for President Obama in 08 and will again this year, but it doesn’t matter.

    Our Congress has all of the power (or lack of).  Of the 200+ laws Congress passed in 2011, HALF of them were to rename Post Offices!  That is how little they are actually helping any of us. 

    Until we term-limit our Senators and Representatives,
    We The People are going to be pawns in a futile and fruitless game.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       We have term limits.  They’re called elections.  What we have to do is get people to vote for parties other than the Republicrats.

      • Ellen Dibble

        We have to get people to RUN, to campaign, WITHOUT the underwriting of big funders.  Without the backing of party honchos who know where the deep pockets are.  We have to hunt for the $99 candidate, the guy who loves the people, loves schmoozing, and is a total wonk when it comes to Brown’s Rules of Order or whatever they use on the Hill, and actually revels in wonkiness to the extent he can run circles around the lobbyists and wow the Congress to the extent that congresspeople actually come to the floor to listen.  Wow.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          And then you’ll have to find people who are rational enough to support them, media outlets that will provide them air time, and corporations and lobbyists that will stand idly by while someone pushes something other than The Big Boy’s interests. That’s a pretty tall order on a $99 budget.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I know, but it’s being done here.  And the internet is allowing it.  It requires a lot of interactivity, and a track record of interactivity on the part of the candidate, and a willingness to get a bit vicious rather than “taking it,” because lies are thrown, if mud doesn’t stick.  But we’ve got one live one here, and I rejoice.

      • Steve__T

         Wow twice we agree

  • http://twitter.com/Jtaylorvt John Taylor

    Apparently all the Republicans remember from the Reagan years is ‘just
    say no.’ So anything Obama has brought up, from health care to getting
    out of Iraq and Afganistan, to repealing tax cuts for the wealthy to
    working our way out of the deficit – they stand, arms folded and simply
    say “NO!” I can only hope that the Dems will point this out and hammer
    it home to viewers this week.

    Is there hope for change? Only without GOP obstructionism.

    • hennorama

      Yes, and they got even more practice during the latter part of Romney’s speech, with all his lines prompting delegates to scream “NO!!”  Not the smartest thing to reinforce this impression of Republicans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Tom, did your call screener go out for a smoke or something?

  • J__o__h__n

    How did the Reverand Fred Phelps get by the screeners?

    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, what was that?

  • http://openid.aol.com/tombarlow1 tom

    Dems must Continue the turning the page from Ronald Reagan and trickle-down.The President has to re-affirm that government can help and has helped. Im proud of our government: the stimulus helped, the bailout prevented catastrophe, our government launched Armstrong to the Moon and got Bin Laden 

    • Brandstad

      Sure, thebailout prevented catastrophe once, but it also made it more likely that we will have a catastrophe in the near future since it didn’t address the problems of big banks being to big to fail, and a financial system that is too intertwined internationally.

  • Ellen Dibble

    My memory is that the concept of corporate raiding came from overseas.  Henry Ford didn’t devise it, but that was coming into being under Reagan, , and has come to fruition to the point we are in awe of it, in the investment banks, on Wall Street.  Maybe accountants understand it, but most of us think others understand it, finance the campaigns, and must know what they’re doing.  We bow down and  sort of worship it.  No, we’re not jealous.  No, we’re not envious.  Do you think we could spin such magic?  No way.

  • Jerry R. Hobbs

    simply put…most Americans have typically punished politicians who repeatedly lie, especially under oath (recall Nixon, Clinton), and most Americans have mistrusted/confronted bullies (recall GOP actions/platforms toward women). Spread the economic remedy frosting around this two-layer cake, and you have a dessert most voters (Democratic or Independent or Undecided) will line up for again and again.

  • Thinkin5

    Private business can definitely be affected by drought, fires, floods, hurricanes, heat waves, etc. All these incidents of extreme weather can affect their bottom lines in a big way. Coal miners health and lives can be adversely affected when the work place safety rules aren’t enforced. The president’s policies protect business and workers. Republicans just try to pretend these things don’t happen and don’t hurt business.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Multiculturalism is fine, but those of us who live in the south and the west, who practice a religion, who own guns, who enjoy time in the wilds more than time in the city, and so forth would appreciate the multiculturalists accepting what we have as a culture.  We get tired of their attitude that we have the only culture that doesn’t have to be respected.  I value other cultures, but I want the same from them.

    • Steve__T

       We rarely agree but this is one I’m  with you on.

    • Ellen Dibble

      My impression is that there is a culture out west where the idea is that their culture should be imposed on the rest of the country — guns on cities where the police are located down the block, and gun violence is costly to law enforcement and jails and tax payers, not to mention lives.  And the particular religion has the idea that the religion of others is lesser, that people who make their own choices, ahem, do not bring into the world children whose abilities are radically unlike those of most of us for instance.  Now, wait just a sec.  From what I know, they dare to do so, and they do.  And their families are strong, their jobs are passionately engaged in, and their convictions and social cohesion are admirable.  And yet they aren’t thrusting their values on the southwest, as you depict it.  They just don’t want the particular values of the southwest thrust upon them.  We will revere your culture and religion, but it is yours, not ours, for all the similarities.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         My point is that control freaks of all stripes want to impose their vision of a perfect world on the rest of us.  My political philosophy is strongly libertarian.  You do what you want, but leave me to do what I want.

  • cryptomorph

    I agree federal spending is unsustainable. But the Right wingers here want to sweep the political context under the carpet.

    Bush promised to preserve the Clinton Surplus and pay down debt. Instead, he passed round after round of irresponsible tax cuts and spent like a drunken sailor even as the surplus had long ago disappeared.

    Why such fiscal insanity? It was all to “starve the beast”, to undermine those safety net programs the far Right has always opposed but a platform they could never openly run on and win ANY election. If the GOP had not sabotaged the fiscal health of the government adding 5 trillion in new debt just during the Bush2 years, we might have been in better shape to withstand the economic disaster their policies caused.

    The far Right might pretend they are interested in fiscal responsibility but this is the fiscal mess they’ve spent 30 years engineering. Now they’re going in for the kill. But now they’ve realized it’s much better to privatize Social Security and Medicare than abolish it. They can use the taxing authority of government to deliver Medicare monies to parasites in the health insurance industry and Social Security monies to the predators on Wall St.

    THIS is the conservative Nirvana!

    • cryptomorph

      BTW, nothing I wrote above should suggest I support Obama’s fiscal policies. He’s finally decided to play the class warfare card the GOP has been playing for 30 years… all the time denying it. If we never could afford the Bush tax cuts when we were 6 trillion in debt… we certainly can not afford them now with 16 trillion in debt. Yet Obama wants to preserve them for all but the rich. This is just gross fiscal irresponsibility.
       

      And just what is that debt? We’ve run up 15 trillion of that 16 trillion spending money on ourselves WE DIDN’T HAVE… and we refused to tax ourselves for it. It’s the biggest theft in history… an intergenerational theft… our generation stealing from our kids and grandkids so we could party. But then future voters can’t vote now… can they! How goddamn noble of us!

      It’s time OUR generation pay OUR bills… yet neither Romney nor Obama favor that.

    • Brandstad

      You are clueless if you think Bush was a conservative.  Obama has increased spending over Bush’s bad levels, thus no one named Bush or Obama deserves to be in office!

      • cryptomorph

        There are no more true fiscal conservatives in the GOP. Not even Ryan.

        They’ve been pushed out by radical Starve the Beasters. They use the same language as old-style fiscal conservatives…. but their goal is to run up debt to undermine the fiscal health of the government. So in that light, YES, Bush was a new-style “conservative”. 

      • J__o__h__n

        Bush delivered more to the conservatives than Reagan did.  Don’t try to distance yourself now that he is unpopular. 

    • William

       But Obama took 716 billion out of Medicare not the Republicans. Obama said he would work on entitlement reform and has done nothing. The Wyden/Ryan plan is a good first start and open for change. Obama-care is a sweet heart deal for the insurance companies and delivered 30 some million new customers to them via the IRS.

      • cryptomorph

        So expecting savings from more efficiencies in hospitals and cutting waste, fraud, and abuse, is the same as “raiding” Medicare? Isn’t it actually RYAN who wants to raid Medicare? After all… his plan is nothing but cost shifting to seniors.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Link to Bill Moyers on Moyers and Company talking with Mike Lofgren about his book:   How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted:.  
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/11304-the-party-is-over

  • burroak

         President Obama, unlike his rival Governor Romney has many ideas and plans to strengthen the economy. When voters ask who, why, where, when, what, about the ecomony, President Obama has valid responses; he gives answeres to questions. Governor Romney and Ryan say they are going to create millions of jobs, strengthen the economy; my question to them is: how? where? who? why?…. what are their concrete blueprints and valid ideas for a vigorous economy?
         Last week on the program Science Friday, the discussion was about the nations bridges and how 8,000 of our country’s bridges are “Fractured Critical”: which they are in great need of repair and replacement. The guest said that the funds are available in Washington D.C to employ a “million” construction workers to begin the much overdue, decades-long projects. But the guest said this will not happen because the elected officials do not want to spend the funds. My question is why? Why do you not want to employ a million Americans for many years?
         If this great nation can send a man to the moon, a lander, to Mars, help create and construct the international space station, create artificial limbs, hearts, and face implants, why can’t we use that creative energy and spirits to employ our citizens. Currently many small towns and big cities are suffering the effects of companies packing up and moving oversees. That is not the answer because when some Americans are badly affected, all Americans are to some degree are. And this country is too great a nation to be in and out of depression. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507593666 Josh DeYoung

    Kill the Electoral College! Make MY VOTE COUNT!
    1 for 1
    when can we remove this antiquated system, I am tiered of living in a red state and having my vote mean nothing!

    • Ellen Dibble

      Red is Republican, right?  I heard a whole lot of wonky reporters talking last night about how the electoral college is likely to give a huge advantage to Obama.  I hear you about having a vote that means nothing.  I live in a blue state, and my vote similarly means next to nothing.  But if everyone felt that way, we’d have something close to what we have anyway, a nation of mostly non-voters.  Voting should be like pulling on your shoes, what you do on that particular day, because we are a democracy.  You can skip any other holiday, but not that.

      • sickofthechit

         Living in Kentucky under the current system we never even get a Democratic Presidential campaign visit. That sucks.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Aw, shucks.
          You probably have gotten robo calls though.  Maybe the campaign will read your post and take, um, pity?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      There are many reasons for keeping the electoral college.

      There is also a practical one.  Imagine a national recount in a close election.  FL on steroids.  It would be a disaster.

      • cryptomorph

        So to prevent a recount, you prefer a system that gives some citizens a 1000x bigger vote than others? That’s what happened in 2000. Each vote in Bush’s 530 vote Florida lead weighed 1000x times that of any vote in Gore’s national lead in determining the outcome. So much for civic equality! The EC is nothing but a vote weighting/dilution scheme ILLEGAL on all other levels of government.  

      • cryptomorph

        Florida was a mess in 2000 for two reasons… one being those damn punch card ballots. The second was the GOP sent paid thugs to create a phony media scene of “angry voters”.

        Nationally there’s little chance that ALL states would have such a close race… and if recounts are needed to insure a fair election… SO BE IT!!!

        What can NEVER be fair is the current system that gives some citizens bigger voters than others based on their choice of state residence.

        But apologists for our defective political/electoral systems refuse to think of such simple moral issues.

      • Mike_Card

        There are “many” reasons, but the best one is to avoid a recount in Florida?  That sounds like the best reason to ABOLISH the electoral college.

    • Brandstad

      The electorial college prevents a few large states from deciding every election.  Our founders had a good reason for using our system.

      • Mike_Card

        Yup.  A few large states containing A LOT OF PEOPLE!  The Constitution DOES say by, of, and for the PEOPLE–not the cattle or sagebrushes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.parker.9634340 Julie Parker

    Pres. Obama:  Steer comments to the profound issues, like the massive shift our world is going through as we move from nation focus to global focus..and how you are moving us bravely forward into a world the past would not recognize.  Can’t you talk about how you are inching us forward ethically into this emerging globalism rather than clinging to “America’s former greatness”?  (Bravo for your joke about the Republicans ’3 days of past century black and white tv’ convention)   Lack of jobs is part of this great shift….Talk about the deep transformation going on, the ‘rise of the rest’ not the sinking of the U.S.  Embrace a vision like James Martin’s The Meaning of the 21st Century that gives a little comfort in these singularitiy/nanotechnology times.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I like that, Julie.  I thought I heard something similar early in the show (maybe BBC World, however) to the effect that it is no longer going to work to have an exclusory approach.  The internet makes it necessary and inevitable to start with maximum inclusiveness, rather than an us-and-them approach.  The role of privacy and of secrecy is inevitably going to change, probably organically, as it happens to us, as inevitably as a pregnancy.  But there are values to be cherished that have never had a chance to shine, not since the age of hunter-gatherers, when competition and survival meant defining an “evil empire” and going after it.  We seem to have a chance at being able to (climate-wise, ecologically speaking, “have to”) see ourselves as one, not us and them.  Maybe language and grammar should begin to shift to reflect that.  Not “we hope for this,” but “people hope.”  At least that should be one option.

  • Brandstad

    Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? 

    June Foodstamp Recipients Hit All Time High As Three Times As Many Americans Enter Poverty As Find Jobs

    • cryptomorph

      So your complaint is there’s a safety net there to sustain people when Dems can’t clean up fast enough the disaster YOUR irresponsible far right policies created?

      Why didn’t you just say so!

      • Brandstad

        What Republican policies are you talking about?  If there were bad republican policies from the Bush administration, why didn’t the Democrats change them when they had control of all branches of government for 2 years!  If the Dems didn’t change them durring their period of full control, what makes you think they would change the policies you don’t like in the next four years when they might control part of the government if Obama is reelected?

        • cryptomorph

          Hey, I didn’t vote for Obama. I think many of his policies are irresponsible. I have no use for the Democratic Party or Obama EXCEPT as the lesser of the evils. What I also know is right wing policies YOU support HAVE PROVEN TO BE A DISASTER. The real question here is why do YOU want a repeat of that disaster?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             What policies are those?

            The ones that will lead to 12M new jobs?

          • cryptomorph

            “…will lead to 12m new jobs”?

            WILL?
             
            ROTF… Reagan said in Jan 81 he’d create 13 million new jobs by 1986 and instead the net increase was about 8.4… about 1.5 million LESS than Reagan claimed would be created under Carter’s policies. Sorry the True believers on the Right have never heard of empty promises.  

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             OK, if Romney creates only 11M, we’ll take it.

            If he creates 13M we’ll take it.

            It is better than the alternative.

            Speaking of promises:
            - close Gitmo
            -cut the deficit in half
            -turn the economy around in 3 years
            -get unemployment below 6% in 3 years

            It isn’t just the promises.  It is his reaction when they didn’t work.  He change exactly — NOTHING.  No pivot.

            Voters would cut Obama if he tried and then adjusted.  There was ZERO adjustment.

    • MrNutso

      I guess since I’m not getting food stamps I’m not better off.

    • sickofthechit

       Speaking as one who could have gone on food stamps, but for reasons of stupid pride has not, the reason participation is at an all time high is because the economy (trashed by Repulican policies) has been struggling for an unprecedented period thanks to republican refusal to act like adults.  It is no fun living at the bottom, thank God these programs exist, which have the added benefit of helping farmers sell their crops.  Now the republicans want to return to the policies that put us in the deepest ditch since the great depression.  Won’t you ever learn?

      • Brandstad

        What Republican policies are you talking about? 

        If there were bad republican policies from the Bush administration, why didn’t the Democrats change them when they had control of all branches of government for 2 years!  If the Dems didn’t change them durring their period of full control, what makes you think they would change the policies you don’t like in the next four years when they might control part of the government if Obama is reelected?

        • Potter

          I am so sick of this argument. There was no “full control”.. if you consider the difficulty of getting centrist Democrats on board and the filibuster threat which makes the minority act like it’s a majority.
          Obama should have taken his case more forcefully to the people. Instead he was too interested in compromise. We needed a much stronger stimulus. Now he is faced with having to go forward but with a record of not having the balls to deal with the opposition.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             And I’m sick of the lack of leadership from Obama.

             He really hasn’t governed since the shellacking he received in the 2010 election.  His administration admitted they will stop governing and officially started campaigning last Labor Day.

            However, the first two years of leadership weren’t that good either.  Even if you believe in the goals, Obamacare is a horrible piece of legislation.  The same is true of Dodd-Frank.  The stimulus received mixed reviews — at best.

            Let’s face it; Obama never ran a thing prior to his election.  It shows — big time.

          • cryptomorph

            Bush2 was governor of Texas… and you’re saying that executive experience served the nation well?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            W was also soooooo successful as a businessman. lol

          • cryptomorph

            That’s right… that’s how he made his millions. No, wait… that was because his baseball team increased in value after the PUBLIC built them a new stadium. Yup… that’s the conservative Nirvana… feeding off the public troth while decrying the safety net!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Who is defending Bush?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             There are always counter examples to both sides of the argument.  Lincoln was a great leader without executive experience.

            However, we have Obama’s record of ‘attempted’ leadership.

            Much is made of Obama’s running on ‘Hope and Change’.  However, much of his campaign was the ‘anti- Bush’.

          • Mike_Card

            Thanks to the passage of “Obamacare,” you can be treated for that sickness.

          • StilllHere

            You cannot be serious.  Obama’s answer to pleas for compromise was “I won.”  He didn’t even try to get his own party members on board with his budget.  He went to the WH with no experience at governing, only Chicago-style arm-twisting, and we’re all paying the price.

          • Mike_Card

            Oh.  OK, you win.  I am bowled over by your towering intellect.  Obama only did what he did to piss you off.  Does that make it all better?

        • Samuel Walworth

           Exactly, why didnt they turn around the Largest Economy in the world in last 4 years where the President and the Congress see Eye to Eye only as if they are some Sumo Fighters..

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       New poll out has only 40% of voters saying Obama deserves reelection. Source — “The Hill”  Poll by Opinion Research.

    • Thinkin5

       Corporate America is rolling in the profits. So maybe, we need to look at retraining workers for the new job market.

  • bob169

    Wow, please don’t think that the “Iowa City guy” in the last half of the show complaining about gay men in women’s bathrooms is at all indicative of Iowa citizens. Being from Iowa myself, I am embarrassed and want to apologize for this homophobic hall monitor.
    With everything else to think about in this election year, I hope that people can choose a candidate based on some WORTHY element. If not, we are in SERIOUS trouble.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I didn’t pay too much attention, but where did the Iowa City guy think that homosexuals used to go to the bathroom before we became more tolerant?  Actually, do they wear stars upon thars, as Dr. Seuss would put it, announcing I am a homosexual using the bathroom?  Or I am a this or a that?  I slept in a bed with bedbugs last night and am likely to be shedding them, sorry?

    • Mike_Card

      No personal reflection on you, but Steve King IS a representative in congress.  People like that are out there, and they’re allowed to vote.

      • bob169

        Yeah, I’m embarrassed about him, too, but at least I’m in a different district so maybe not DIRECTLY responsible for him. He is a serious hate-monger.

  • Potter

    Howard Fineman and Rep. Chris Van Hollen were excellent.

    The case, if it would be made well, is a no brainer win for the Democrats. It should not be a close race. I just can’t understand why people vote against their own interests and I conclude there is a lot of  willful or non-willful ignorance.

    The Boston Herald today is still cranking away at the stupid Cherokee thing- unbelievable.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I agree.  I should be a no brainer.

      4 years with no budget while running up $5.3T in new debt is criminal.

      New poll has only 40% of likely voters saying Obama deserves a second term.  I’m surprised it is that high.
      Who knew he had so many friends and family.
       

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Editing suggestion.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Thanks

          • DrewInGeorgia

            No problem.

      • Potter

        Your points are a good exhibit A to mine. 

        The stimulus should have been bigger. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Where is Obama’s Hoover Dam?  $878B and what did we get?  Solyndra?

          Even if you believe in stimulus you have to admit that it was poorly constructed and executed.

          However, Obama could have recovered from this failure if he had reacted properly and pivoted to pro growth policies.

          • bob169

            I believe it’s called “Chrysler” and “GM”.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            That wasn’t the stimulus.

            Btw the net cost to the taxpayer is currently pegged at $40B (out of $80B total).  I’d be interested in a ROI analysis and what could have been achieved for that investment if it was done properly.

          • bob169

            Wow, more Republican history revision—OK, I give up, what do you and Rush want to call it —this week???

          • Potter

            you know there are NOT NO complaints about the last 4 years and there are a lot of coulda and shoulda’s from us in the peanut gallery BUT the alternative has only offered lies and misrepresentation of the facts, bad mouthing and race baiting and (unbelievably) whining and pandering that beats anything coming out of Obama’s side. What about the disorganization of the campaign itself? What about the tone deafness to what concerns the down and out?

          • modavations

            Fiat bought Chrysler

          • hennorama

            Revisionist history again?  Using the Hoover Dam as an example is not close to appropriate.  The dam was authorized in 1928, 10 months BEFORE the Great Depression, and was built from 1931 to 1936, starting about 18 months after the beginning of the Great Depression, and taking nearly 5 YEARS.

            Should Pres. Obama have used a time machine to go back to 2007, to convince GeeDub to approve some massive construction project to begin in 2010 which would last until 2015?

          • Potter

             “worriesforthecountry” worries me about the country if he/she is representative of those that make this race close.

  • Bruce94

    While job creation, not global warming, will be Obama’s campaign priority, Romney’s remark is indicative of the GOP disonnect from reality in general and the impact of climate change in particular.  By mocking efforts to mitigate or avoid damage from anthropogenic global warming, Romney clearly endorses the irrational deniers within his Party–an anti-science, anti-empirical, anti-intellectual cabal of conspiracy theorists & religious wingnuts who view AGW as a distraction or plot by climate scientists representing the interests of such Left-wing front organizations as the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin., National Academy of Sciences, and National Center for Science Education.

    In the alternate reality occupied by the climate change & evolution deniers to whom Romney appealed, there is no place for facts and little grasp of the scientific method.  Notice also the contempt shown by the Right-wing ideologues on display last week to accpeted journalistic standards and the vast majority of media “fact checking” services that found one of the biggest casualties at the GOP Convention was the truth. 

    With the exception of Jon Huntsman, none of the party hacks and poseurs who vied for the GOP nomination seemed willing to acknowledge the impact of AWG and other forms of man-made pollution.  But the Orwellian character of this extremist iteration of the GOP is not confined to environmental issues; it can also be discerned in their back-to-the-future approach to the economy & debt reduction.  No one with an ounce of common sense now takes their debt reduction plan seriously–a plan that excludes two necessary ingredients, revenue increases & defense budget cuts.

    Moreover, the Republican’ts seem to be counting on a collective, historical amnesia when they selected a V-P candidate who supported 90% of the deficit spending under W. Bush AND voted against all the proposals of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, choosing to join those Tea Party cretins who wanted to “stick it to the President.”

    I look forward to the Dem Convention and a dose of reality.  It shouldn’t be too hard for the Dems to convince any independent observer that Obama offers the only coherent way forward and to expose the Right-wing populism advocated by the GOP as dangerous and out-of-touch. 

    That Right-wing ideology is captured succinctly by the name of Romney’s super-pack, “Restore the Future,” an oxymoron that in reality means “Restore the Past,” some yearned-for (often imaginary) old order that in this case amounts to unregulated, rapacious laissez-faire capitalism complete with the Boy-Wonder from Wisconsin, John Galt. 

    In addition, the Dems should have no problem revealing the GOP strategy for ushering in this conservative Nirvana, which is first, to divide the middle-class & working class, then to pit unionized against non-unionized workers, public against private-sector employees, older employees with a stake in SS & Medicare against younger workers, and lastly to scapegoat the poor.

    Almost any message coming out of Charlotte is bound to be more positive, inclusive, unifying and rational than what we heard last week from the Republican’ts.

    • Joseph_Wisconsin

       Thanks for providing a ready opportunity to post a link I wanted to post here.  

      “Candidates readily debate jobs and the economy even though they are not economists; they debate foreign policy and military intervention even though they are not diplomats or generals; they debate faith and values even though they are not priests or pastors. We call on the candidates for President to also debate these Top American Science Questions that affect all voters’ lives.”

      http://www.sciencedebate.org/debate12/

      This is an important comparison between the two candidates.  Not just on how much we can hope that their policies will be guided by actual science, but it also illustrates profoundly differing views of the world and how important science questions such as pollution, resource depletion, species extinction, etc. weigh relative to economic growth.  It will take a while to read through it all as a lot of the answers given are long winded, often full of political spin, and sometimes straying from the point.  Romney especially often needs quite a bit convoluted reasoning in order to manage to turn the answer for every problem or issue into tax cuts for the wealthy and removal of any government restraint on corporate actions.  

      I especially like this part of Romney’s response to the first question ( Innovation and the Economy. Science and technology have been responsible for over half of the growth of the U.S. economy since WWII, when the federal government first prioritized peacetime science mobilization. But several recent reports question America’s continued leadership in these vital areas. What policies will best ensure that America remains a world leader in innovation? ):

      “We must open new markets for American businesses and workers. I will create a Reagan Economic Zone encompassing nations committed to the principles of free enterprise. At the same time, I will confront nations like China that steal intellectual property from American innovators while closing off American access to their markets.”

      I have to wonder what countries Romney has in mind to populate the  Reagan Economic Zone?  Not China.  Surely not socialist Europe or Canada?  Oops there go most almost all of America’s currently most important trading partners. 

      • Mike_Card

        “Tell them you are from France.”  Romney almost understands French, but he never heard of Dan Akroyd.

  • hennorama

    OK OK OK so the economy during Pres. Obama’s tenure is not perfect, but it’s sure one heck of a lot better than where we were at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009.  Apparently Republicans forget what was happening 4 years ago, when the US banking system was on the edge of collapse, threatening to take everything down with it.

    Remember also and consider that the alternative to this was John (“the fundamentals of our economy are strong”) McCain’s plan which proposed:

    -Buying up bad mortgages and other loans to sell at a profit “when the market improves”
    -Tax cuts for corporations and other businesses
    -Eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax costing about $60 billion/yr
    -Extending Bush II tax cuts
    -INCREASING troop levels in Iraq
    -Partial privatization of Social Security and Medicare
    -Eliminating “earmarks, waste and fraud” from the budget in order to pay for his tax cuts, using a line item veto
    -More nuclear power
    -More free trade agreements

    Note that McCain’s stimulus ideas were limited to cutting the corporate tax rate, allowing 100% expensing of business purchases of equipment and technology, and adding a tax credit of 10% of R&D wages.

    That was it.

    • William

       If tax cuts are the wrong answer why did Obama extend the Bush tax cuts and enact his own?

      • hennorama

        My point is that one should consider the alternatives when one criticizes outcomes.

        Tax cuts alone are not the answer, and they certainly do NOT create jobs.  Spending cuts DEFINITELY do not stimulate the economy.  Romney himself acknowledged that in 2008 when he was criticizing McCain’s deficit hawk stance, saying “That’s not stimulative.”

        You may not recall, but the ARRA (the stimulus bill) included abroad array of spending on infrastrucure, health care, energy, education, housing, research, food aid, tax cuts, extended unemployment, and job creation.  This program generally was in direct contrast to Bush II’s TARP plan, which was directed at big business.

        Not all of it worked perfectly, but it surely stopped the economic collapse and returned the economy to growth.  Obviously, there is no magic wand that can improve the economy or increase employment.  If there were, it would have been waived long ago.

        Republicans would have you believe that tax cuts ARE somehow magical.  They want you to believe that employers will all wake up one day, thinking “Wow!  My taxes are lower, so today I’ll hire that employee who I didn’t need and couldn’t profit from yesterday! Finally!”

        If you believe that this is what tax cuts alone will do, then there’s a Nigerian prince who wants to talk to you.

        • William

           The Democrats have cried about the Bush tax cuts for nearly a decade. These tax cuts drove us into a ditch despite the fact the majority of the tax cuts went to the Middle Class and below, yet, they are the reason the economy died. Then, when Obama, the great one, is in office, what does he do? he extends the tax cuts and puts a new tax cut of his own in place. So, what is it? tax cuts are bad or good? You can’t have it both ways which is what Obama and the Democrats wanted.

          Look to the past and see, lower taxes, smaller government, less government spending and interference builds a strong economy and brings a economy out of recession very quickly.

  • cryptomorph

    Are we better off today than 4 years ago? Here’s Bush speaking to the nation September 23, 2008:

    Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration.We’ve seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action.We boosted confidence in money market mutual funds and acted to prevent major investors from intentionally driving down stocks for their own personal gain.Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets.Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the house decline, and the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger.So I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending.

    • http://twitter.com/BocaRatso Boca Ratso

      And here’s Romney Jan. 20, 2012 on Laura Ingraham radio show:

      INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of
      improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the
      president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general
      election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

      ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery. […]

      INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying,
      like, OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try
      to turn the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote
      against him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark
      enough contrast?

      ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.

  • Brandstad

    Democrats attempt to suppress their own delegates by requiring photo ID at the DNC Convention!

    • Gregg Smith

      By their rules, isn’t that racist?

      • J__o__h__n

        If the Republicans required delegates to show IDs, it wouldn’t have been.  The only minorities there were on the stage not in the seats. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           And they were good.  Very good.

        • jefe68

          and having peanuts thrown at them.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          Not true, they made sure they captured all six of them on camera during the Invention…err, I mean Convention. Heck, as Romney began his Red Carpet stroll, one of his ‘aides’ made repeated gestures to make sure he shook the hand of a black lady who just happened to be right up against the velvet rope. See, there were minorities there!

          ;’)

    • jefe68

      Are you an really so beyond the pale or what?
      All convention attendees from both conventions have ID’s issued. Try harder, I know it’s hurting your brain to do so. I know you’re really having issues with coming up with some witty or not so witty asides, but at least make an effort.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Still crying about the courts ruling against voter suppression last week in several states?

  • Gregg Smith

    The big wildcard is Bill Clinton. Obama had to turn to him because he’s desperate. Never mind having a serial abuser of women as their keynote speaker while ranting about Republican’s so called “war on women”. We know there is no love lost between the two. Bill Clinton told Ted Kennedy Obama should be carrying their bags. He called Obama’s agenda a joke. He said Obama played the race card on him. Obama gutted welfare reform, one of Clinton’s signature achievements,  with an EO. Clinton’s says don’t raise taxes on the top rate in this economy. 

    Clinton has not shown anyone his speech.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Clinton won’t stray in his speech.  However, he might say something controversial in a post speech interview.

      Apparently the Clinton team leaked to the New Yorker this weekend that some of Clinton’s closest advisers are voting for Romney.

    • J__o__h__n

      I don’t think Clinton will yell at an empty chair.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         No need –drum roll — he can simply turn to the empty suit.

        • StilllHere

          Well done!

    • bob169

      Well, Gregg, since you don’t even know who the DNC Keynote speaker really IS (it’s Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio), it really casts a doubt on the rest of your rant. You should probably go read some more before posting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    To bad the call screener is not better on picking up paid campaign callers. The first two calls are professionals who I have heard on the Brian Leher show verbatim.

  • modavations

    The interest on the debt for this year alone is 457 Billion.The Post Office was bankrupted over 6 Billion and NASA over 11 billion.Again,we will spend 457 billion on interest this year alone.
            Were I Pres.Obama I would tell the Nation we are in for some short term pain.I intend to let all Bush Tax Cuts lapse and will put every cent up against the Debt.I would also suggest Pres.Obama let the Sequester be enacted.The Solons will not make the cuts.The Sequester leaves everyone blameless.

  • modavations

    My cousin called from Bologna.He said the Clint Eastwood skit was played everywhere.He said in Italy,they love Clint.I personally think they should have ended the Convention then and there.How does one top a virtuso ouvre like that.

    • modavations

      oeuvre

    • Thinkin5

       I’ve seen Italian tv. Beyond foolish, beyond childish. No wonder they loved Clint.

      • modavations

        Were it not for European T.V. I could live there.Up till 5 yrs.ago they had topless Games shows on Italian T.V…Vanna Whites spinning wheels while topless.A veces no hay justicia

      • jefe68

        Well he did make all those spaghetti westerns.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I love the sghetti’s. In addition to several of his other films I greatly respect Mr. Eastwood’s work and that’s why I refuse to diss him. What happened was the RNC taking advantage of a man that is obviously having cognizance trouble and noting more. I also hooked the idiot box back up to watch the DNC this evening and saw a commercial for an upcoming movie in which Mr. Eastwood is playing an elderly man apparently struggling with the effects of aging.

    • jefe68

      You and Clint have something in common.
      Incoherent ranting.

    • Gregg Smith

      Clint was awesome!

  • modavations

    I don’t know what happened to Axelrod,but the new lady Stephanie Cutter(?) was on the NBC Morning News yesterday.She said ,”of course were better off then 4 years ago,the proletariat is just too dumb to realize it(my interpretation)”.Pres.Obama,don’t let her anywhere near the Convention.

  • modavations

    The Rep.Convention was masterful.Did you see all those sophisticated women?Women Mayors,Women Governors,Women Titanettes of Industry.And all those savy Latinos and Latinas.How cool was the Gov.of Puerto Rico.Bienvenidos a todas los latinos!!!!
             And the Democrats offer us Dinosaurs…Barney Frank,Maxine Waters,John Kerry,Debbie Wasserman….Mon Dieu

    • Other Chris

      I know, right??? Ann Romney says “I love WOMEEEEEENNNNNNN”, so it must be true! They shipped in some blacks and latinos, so the GOP must be a progressive, forward-thinking party! I love being pandered to, and I never recognize when it’s happening!!!!!

  • modavations

    SATs Pres.Romney 1600(a perfect score)
    SATs Bush and Hillary 1200
    SATs Bill Clinton(je ne sais pas)
    SATs Kerry and Gore 1125-1150
    SATs Pres.Obama 1020

    • http://twitter.com/BocaRatso Boca Ratso

       SATS? Skilled in Avoiding Taxes??

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

        it is the American Dream… or the American way,… ie. Cut corners

    • jefe68

      Former President Bill Clinton was Rhodes Scholar.
      Romney is not president yet smart guy.
      Romney is smart on one level, very good at hiring the best accountants money can buy to avoid paying taxes.

      He’s also the only person running for president in recent history with off shore tax avoidance accounts. That sends a real nice message to the average persons out there.

      • modavations

        My favorite Presidents were Ronaldus Magnus,JFK-LBJ,Bill Clinton,Poppa Bush

        • jefe68

          hmmmm, three out five are Democrats.

          LBJ was one hell of a politician. He did ruin Hubert Humphrey, which was a shame as he was one hell of a statesman.

      • modavations

        I’d hazard a guess and say that half of Congress has off shore accounts

  • modavations

    Pres.Obama don’t mention GM.Since you Nationalized GM sales have cratered 44% and the stock has crashed from 32 to 20ish.We have the best bankruptcy laws in the world.The courts were the proper venue

    • hennorama

      Yeahright.  In theory, perhaps.  One MINOR problem – there was NO ONE willing or able to finance GM to the tune of over $1 BILLION PER MONTH, which is what they were losing at the time.  No banks, no hedge funds, no merger partners, no Bain Capital, NO ONE.

      In the height of hypocracy, Romney wanted bankruptcy reorganization, with private financing GUARANTEED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.  You can have all the guarantees you want, but if no bank has any capital they can lend, which was the case at the time, it’s kinda moot, no?

      • modavations

        There is always a buyer when the price is right and conditions met

        • Mike_Card

          Yup.  Romney was trying to jawbone the price down so Bain could go bottom-fishing.  That’s what Romney knows:  vulture capitalism.

          Of course, you’d rather the company had been sold to China.

          • modavations

            Fiat bought Chrysler

          • Mike_Card

            Neither Fiat nor Chrysler is GM.

  • jefe68

    Wow, they let modavations back on the forum.
    Watch as he lowers into the depths of the desperate.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      :’(

      Guess the respite is over, I sure was enjoying the Modacation (Modavations Vacation).

    • ulTRAX2

      Interesting… and it’s on the same day they banned cryptomorph! Hell, I thought he’s been pretty well behaved as of late compared to some of the right wingers here who have not been banned.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I don’t believe in coincidence, just the appearance of coincidence. How about you?

  • StopUsingHelium

    If only the rule was public financing of elections to remove the “bank”, international corporate, union, and billionaire influences.  If only the large media houses allowed third parties to receive equal time. And if only the politicians would have some backbone and state loudly and clearly why society needs to accept the taxation of Wall Street microsecond gambling transactions and acknowledge the fiscal efficiency of social programs. 

    We cannot afford the people’s government to be destroyed by neglect only to have a fascist military takeover with an ultimately oligarchic run robot army crushing the masses.

  • carnus72

    Mitts father was CEO of AMC.  He moved AMC to wisconson from michigan.  Thats NASH, Studebaker, AMC heard of it?  Right its been gone a long, long time.  fleeced and pocketed. its a family tradition.

  • harverdphd

    I don’t care what the president or his idiot wife or the idiot DNC chair have to say, but I do want to hear Joe Biden’s speech in his fake black accent. Anybody got the schedule?

    • jefe68

      Don’t watch it. Grow up, your inane mendacity is very childish.

      • Gregg Smith

        Biden’s overt racism will be a rerun.

        • Mouse_2012

          that’s sick

        • jefe68

          Your comment about Hilary Clinton is very offensive.

          When you are called out on your bullcrap you whine like a little boy who has had his toys taken away. Typical right wing zealot who is always acting like the victim. It’s pathetic.

          • Gregg Smith

            Offensive? She said it, not me.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGDm4jkDbGQ

            Joe Biden tells a black crowd Republicans are going to put them back in chains. These are your people. This is your racism.

    • Gregg Smith

      Hillary does a good oppressed black slave woman as well. Maybe she draws from her experience as a scorned wife of a serial abuser of women.

      “I ain’t in no ways tired…”

      • Steve__T

         Gregg your sheet is showing.

  • harverdphd

     Like Obama they were weak and had to go.  Unlike you, he knew how to make money off the inevitable.

  • harverdphd

       Like Obama they were weak and had to go.  Unlike you, he knew how to make money off the inevitable.

    Edit Reply

  • carnus72

    funny. like bush, money doesnt make the man.  a crook is a crook. the criteria of weakness may vary from fool to fool but the end results are the same.  bully (in the know) and 10s of thousands of workers an dtheir families scrambling and rambling because of false promises and rugs being pulled out from underneath thier dreams for profits of few.

  • carnus72

    and if you knew what I do or what I make it might make you ashamed of your continual assumptions.

  • modavations

    Nancy Pelosi advised her colleagues to stay home and Campaign.I made it half way through Harry Reid’s speech and reached for the remote.I intend to watch “Attack of The Ice Spiders”on SyFy

    • J__o__h__n

      That was last week.

  • carnus72

    fantasy must be more attractive than the reality of loss and the remorse of a failed right wing conspiracy once again

  • modavations

    Pres.Obama should hire Bain.They are experts at rescuing floundering enterprises.They have a 90% success rate.

    • Gregg Smith

      You haven’t lost a step, good to see you.

      • modavations

        General,what Up!

  • carnus72

    sounds like you should.

  • carnus72

    and success” like weakness is a variable with varied and “focused criteria.  Thirty individuals each making a million from deconstructing any potentially viable enterprise vs. 10s of thousands of families seeing theyre aims and ends meet is success to some, to most its piracy.  You are not the majority mr. 13%

  • Gregg Smith

    Rahm Emanuel is framing the auto bailout like most dems, it was either a bailout or bankruptcy meaning all the jobs would be lost. He even had the gall to say Obama said GM wouldn’t go bankrupt, “Not on my watch”. He said they were “Thriving”.

    What a liar! And to think many eat it up as gospel. Unbelievable.

  • Gregg Smith

    It was funny hearing the show and the belly-aching about Republican opposition. Leave aside the fact Obama had both houses for nearly 2 years. Did Democrats rally behind Bush? Or the other Bush? Or Reagan? Did Republicans work with Clinton?… Okay, I’ll give you that one, but Clinton was a great leader. What about Romney as Governor, did he have opposition and lead his way through it? Chris Christie had no opposition to his success in NJ, right? What about Scott Walker? Dems opposed him through the courts and recall, still he led and turned the State around. Obama had it easy, an iota of pragmatism would have gone a long way.

  • Gregg Smith

    So, the party that accuses Republicans of waging a war on women does a dedication to Ted Kennedy and has Bill Clinton giving the keynote. Terrific.

    • jefe68

      You have to be kidding. Truly pathetic comment based on such desperation to find fault. There is a huge difference in men who are philanderers and a entire party platform that seeks to use government to control the health care of women while whining about to much government.

      • Gregg Smith

        The only war on women is being waged by Democrats.

        … seeks to use government to control the health care of women…”

        Do you ever think about what you write?

        • Mike_Card

          Ever hear of Todd Akin or Steve King?

  • Modavations

    I’m a European traveler  and know of what I speak.Do you speak from experience or second hand info?Even the Canadian Premier of New Foundland ran to Miami for a heart operation.Fidel ran to Spain and they flew in Brits!!!!~!!!

    • modavations

      A strange Post.This could have been me,but it’s an imposter.Ultrax no doubt.Check the profile

  • carnus72

    if your filabuster continues, the progress of america will be further limited with every word of your misguided rhetoric.

      you are the socialists. The two of you imagine FDR more conservative than Stalin. 

    Healthcare as in Europe, weather their surgeons trained in the US decide to return home to spain or france or canada is more effective in preventitive care. 

     As youve travelled the world you understand that many communities in the US resemble third world countries whether primier surgeons are available to the highest bidder or not.

  • carnus72

    No one trusts a republican congress, in that there is no doubt.

    • Steve__T

       I don’t trust any of them, their first point of business will be to give themselves a raise.

  • carnus72

    YOu want to point the finger at a single individual for the woes or resemblences of the third world in our own nation? To blame and scrutinize one minority elected official for more than a decades culmination of squeeze and global guns and butter deficit is more than misguided its equivilantly a criminal act.  Just as those whom preceded the current peoples representive were the greater criminals and sqeeze artists whose aim was only self interest at the cost of our personal freedoms and potential at home and for all of those abroad.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Forget about Partisanship. Forget about the Racism that so many seem able to delude themselves into thinking they don’t posses. Forget about the obstructionist mentality that has unnecessarily prolonged the suffering many have had to endure these past four years.
    Forget all of that.

    If you watched the RNC and the first night of the DNC, please answer me this: If you truly try to look at the speeches of First Lady Obama and Mrs. Romney objectively, in which do you find the greater degree of sincerity? In which do you find professed aspirations and values that more accurately reflect those of the majority of Americans? In which do you find a straightforward look at how far we have come as a Nation, and how far we still have to go to realize The American Dream?

    I don’t know about anyone else but the one that spoke to me did not ride in on a white horse wearing shiny armor while brandishing The Standard of Nationalism. Thank you Mrs. Obama, you couldn’t have been more On Point.

    • Gregg Smith

      I confess to not having watched the entire speech… yet, but I  did hear this highlight:  “… his prized possession was a coffee table he’d found in a Dumpster”. 
      Prized possession? I can relate to dumpster diving in my youth but I wasn’t proud about it. The chicks didn’t dig it.

    • William

      Who do you trust? A woman, Mrs. Obama’s who hates this country, or Mrs. Romney who loves this country? I’ll take Mrs. Romney hands down!

      • jefe68

        It’s clear that you are a man with little or no imagination and very little ability to parse comments beyond the dogma that clouds your every political thought.

        Obama could rebuild your house after a flood and a fire with his bare hands and you would still find some fault in the man. Why do you bother?
        I get it, you don’t like the Obama’s.
         

    • jefe68

      It was clear to me that the one huge difference was the amount of diversity on the hall of the DNC convention compared to the RNC. 

      The two speeches were night and day. Ann Romney’s came across as a bit forced and fake. The First Lady’s was at times a bit corny, but it was one hell of a good speech and she did speak from the heart. Something I found lacking in all the GOP speakers. Except Paul Ryan, I do believe he is very much into and passionate about his regressive right wing agenda. Romney could change his entire platform next week and not bat an eye.

      • modavations

        Diversity is not color.

        • jefe68

          Who said it was?
          Nor is it something the GOP embraces.

          • Gregg Smith

            Laura Bush, Condi Rice, Christie Todd Whitman (to name a few) are pro-choice. Who is pro-life in the Obama administration?

      • Gregg Smith

        There is no diversity at the DNC. The are all radical liberals. This isn’t you father’s Democrat party. 

        • jefe68

          Stop whining already.

    • Gregg Smith

      These baseless charges of racism are shallow and sick.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Charges of Racism? I think you must have replied to the wrong comment.

        Methinks Thou doth protest too much.

        • Gregg Smith

          “Forget about the Racism that so many seem able to delude themselves into thinking they don’t posses.”

      • Steve__T

         Do you own or have ever owned a Union Jack?
        Or how many of your friends do?

        I somewhat feel I won’t get a truthful answer if I get one at all.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          None at all, he refuses to even admit that he’s a Republican.

    • modavations

      Mrs. Obamas speech was great,it’s the philosphy I reject.Govt.this,govt.that,govt.this govt that..There are two types in this world those who succor at the teat 
       of Govt. and those who trust the individual.Those who demand intact families as a Safety Net and those who accept  Govt. as their Daddies.Ayn Rand-Adam Smithvs.
      Karl Marx

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Government this and Government that, which speech were you listening to? As for those who demand intact families, who has consistently made efforts in the past to dismantle families who do not meet their ‘criteria’?

        I would ask what you think “objectively” means but there’s no point. Funny that I began by saying forget the BS, yet you and Gregg Smith immediately start pounding your empty marching drums. You should consider going back on vacation, evidently you could use some more rest and self-contemplation. So could we.

        • modavations

          Opening Day son.In fact one line went…”We all belong to Government”.Those are fighting words to Free Men!!

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I am not your son, if I were I’d disown you. Was that line in First Lady Obama’s speech? Didn’t think so. I didn’t say anything about the opening video or anyone other than Mrs. Obama.

            Keep spinning. Here’s some relevant lyrics for ya’ Dr.

            “Yo, put the needle on the record, here we go again It’s the brand new funk for real Mass appeal, it’s everlasting asking you forecasting direction Insurrection is served on a twelve inch platter Mostly incorrect data, over matter.”

            *From The Chemical Brothers song Get Yourself High.

      • jason keedy

        So government shouldn’t invest in the education and infrastructure that will allow this country to maintain an upward trajectory? Will the rich be the only one’s to afford college? You are only reinforcing the Republican image of yearning to live back in the 1800′s….the whole “state’s rights” argument and all.

  • jason keedy

    I agree with Drew 100%. 
    So far I have been so inspired by the speakers at the DNC. I appreciate their enthusiasm and see their ideas as fitting in much more closely with the values that have made this country great. My spirits have been lifted and I have no doubt that there is a clear difference between the two candidates. I will wholeheartedly support the ebullient pragmatism of Obama over the cynical, hyper-capitalist Romney.Romney/Ryan will take us back to the 1800′s; Obama/Biden will lead us towards a new and productive era.
     

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