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Monday, October 22, 2012

Big Bird, Binders, and Bayonettes

After the third and final debate tonight, one thing is very clear. One cannot stand for nothing, and win the position of POTUS. That is to say, Romney can not stand for everything and nothing and try to occupy the same space at the same time. Can't be done.

So quick and dirty, here are some of our favorite quotes from tonight:

Really? lol.
(Seattle Globalist, 2012)
"We're going to have to see if soulless shape-shifting has a cost." ~~ Rachel Maddow/MSNBC

"Forceful Obama bests defensive Romney in foreign policy debate." ~~ Tom Cohen/CNN

"Barack Obama wins third debate decisively; Mitt Romney passes on big chances." ~~ Lane Filler, Newsday

"The Third Debate:  Obama Wins on Style and Substance" ~~ Joe Klein, TIME Magazine

"Syria is Iran's route to the sea." ~~ Mitt Romney 10/22/2012 3rd Debate

"Obama Wins the Third Presidential Debate 52-48 over Romney" ~~ TJ Walker, Forbes Magazine.

One thing I've learned as President, "you’ve got to be clear, both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand and what you mean." ~~ Barack Obama 10/22/2012 3rd Debate

"Obama Gains 2 Points On Intrade After The First Hour Of The Debate" ~~ Henry Blodget, Business Insider  At the same time, reports say that Romney went down by 1 point on Intrade after the debate.

(Democratic Party, 2012)
"But, Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s." ~~ Barack Obama 10/22/2012 3rd Debate

"CBS Poll: Obama Wins Third Debate By Landslide" ~~ Jordan Zakarin, Hollywood Reporter

"I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You — you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets — (laughter) — because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines." ~~ Barack Obama 10/22/2012 3rd Debate

At the time of this posting, Fox News Insider's poll of WHO WON THE THIRD DEBATE has Obama with 61.2%  and Romney at 38.8% ~~ Fox News Insider

In conclusion, no one thought Romney won the debate, many undecided have finally fallen into the Obama camp, and Romney has again left us with some really stupid sound bites.

The Policy Geek

Here's a link to the entire transcript as posted by the New York Times if you missed it: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/us/politics/transcript-of-the-third-presidential-debate-in-boca-raton-fla.html?pagewanted=all

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Please Proceed Governor...

per The Daily Kos, enjoy our President's 'Ninja Moment'..

ROMNEY: Yes, I — I...

CROWLEY: ... quickly to this please.

ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That's what I said.

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.

It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed governor. (that was a ninja moment for Barack!)

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror. (Governor proceeding to put foot in mouth....)

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror...

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror.

The crowd which had been very quiet and serious up until that moment, chuckled.

The Policy Geek

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

OCCASSIONAL REPOST: We're On The Right Track

www.groundup.com (2012)
With permission from out new friends at Ground Up, reposting.
We're On The Right Track

I’ve been quiet lately about Mr. Romney and his running mate. That’s because this pair has been so awful, they stole my thunder in trash talking about them. All is not lost. We had the first debate and a marvelous jobs report and here’s my take.

The First Presidential Debate. Or, more aptly titled, “The Ghost of Reagan Past.” Is it just me or did anyone notice that Romney’s new hair cut looks just like former Pres. Ronald Reagan? Romney even mimicked some of Reagan’s body language. And he made a rather awkward attempt at Reagan-style bluster. I’ll bet the preparation Romney did was primarily focused on watching old Reagan speeches and debates, mimicking the former President as best he could.

It wasn’t good. At times, it was painful to watch because clearly, Romney was not comfortable with his new persona. He fluctuated between anger and frustration, coupled with feeble attempts of being compassionate but then rather animated and a bit jerky. It was like watching a white guy with two left feet trying to perform hip-hop at the Apollo Theater on Amateur Night. The only item missing was the long hook to remove Romney off the stage. Had he something of value to say, we would have forgiven his rather odd new look and stance. Instead, none of what he said had any substance or truth to it. He lied, over and over again.

I went to a local restaurant to watch the debate. Some of the people there were Independents and conservative Democrats. They came because they were undecided on who to vote for and felt that perhaps the debate would help them to come to a decision. It did. They were disgusted with Romney’s performance — especially what they saw as blatant lies about everything. As they left, they said, “we’re voting for Obama.”

The Jobs Report. 7.8 percent, 144,000 jobs: I have one suggestion to anyone who wants to pooh-pooh the latest jobs report. Complain to the people who found a job this time around and listen to what they have to say. Moreover, that folks are still getting jobs — not losing them — is profound encouragement; it says we’re moving in the right direction.

Just think about where we are. In just four years President Obama, despite unfathomable odds, has managed to keep us from total free fall and gain back the half the jobs we lost. We truly are in the green column. Were Romney President, he would have “let the auto industry fail” and the “housing market go bankrupt,” both of which would have benefited companies like Bain Capital. No wonder he and his supporters are doing their best to water down the American people’s positive results. This is no time to turn the country over to someone who doesn’t care about the middle class. Remember this:


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Empire Of Philip Anschutz

Let's talk for a moment about money. Capitalism. Geek style.

See Promo
Fierce Debate
Saturday night attended the well-publicized Rumble 2012 Debate between Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly. It took place on the George Washington Campus in DC. One and a half hours of pure wonk heaven. They were both amazing. Stewart and O'Reilly discussed immigration, taxes, welfare, disability, social security, socialism, The Olympics, helping the least of us, the troops, jobs bills, Congress, FDR, the deficit, housing subsidies, the GI Bill, and even quoted the bible.

Yes, of course, I thought Stewart won, but one of the best takeaways of the night was when O'Reilly said, "Capitalism is our biggest problem." Now he was making a broader point about how people love to hear outrage, so money is thrown at producing shows promoting fear and anger, ergo anger/fear mongers in all arenas get paid a pretty penny to say things they don't even believe themselves. Yes, he said that too.

Following The Money
Starting with Capitalism, and assuming Papa Bear is spot on, it would naturally follow (into the rabbit hole) that in the game of Capitalism, whoever has the most money wins. N'est pas? A search through the top donors behind Republicans this election cycle leads to Longtime Republican Party Financial Backer brother Anschutz, that is to say, the Multi-Billionaire Phillip Anschutz.

Anschutz (UPI, 2012)
Who is Philip Anschutz? Forbes says, : "[Philip bought dad's drilling company out in 1961, and moved into stocks, real estate, and railroads. A regular Monopoly player.

Tulsa World says, "The Anschutz Co., now encompasses the empire of billionaire Philip Anschutz and includes oil and gas drilling, railroads, telecom communications, entertainment, professional sports and publishing.[9/16/11 emphasis added]

Part of the Anschutz portfolio includes AEG Holdings which owns and operates, among other things, venues like The STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), The O2 (London, UK), Best Buy Theater (Times Square, New York), Sprint Center, (Kansas City), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Allphones Arena (Sydney, Australia) and the Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden). Need more? Cause we could go on...and on....and on. 

In 2010 Forbes rated him the #123 wealthiest man in the world at $6B and now, in 2012, rates him #84 in the world. This guy's movin' on up. Just in case you think this was all just great luck, be it known that Anschutz was named "The Greediest Executive of 2002" in Fortune Magazine.

Anschutz (Slate, 2012)
Mr. Anschutz has donated massive amounts of money to the RNC through his companies' pockets this election cycle, and who knows how much more he has donated to the Super Pacs supporting the GOP candidates. It must hurt to wake up every day and see the percentages on all the polls showing Obama in the lead. How far will a man go to protect his investment? When you are Phillip Anschutz, that's pretty far.

Again, there's the money. Entwined in most of Anschutz's holdings is MBNA Bank. There are so many listings, one signed deal after another, on google, that they are too many to list here. The simplest example we can post is the relationship between Randy Lerner, Chairman of MBNA Corporation, and Anschutz. Together they own the MLS, domestic soccer league. Just the two of them. 

MBNA is a worldwide Bank (2012)
MBNA Worldwide
There are literally hundreds of other business connections between MBNA, Anschutz Holdings, and the GOP. In '93 Lerner joined MBNA. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Lerner to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Now Lerner (estimated worth at $1 Billion) runs MBNA. In Anschutz's ledger, MBNA financed this, supported that, helped set up this, and executives from MBNA and Anschutz Holdings have been jumping back and forth for over a decade. They both play the sports ownership game that Romney refers to when he says, he has "a lot of good friends who are owners of the NFL and Nascar teams."

Single largest campaign donor to Bush? MBNA Bank.  Single largest corporate donor to Romney this campaign? MBNA Bank.

(PoliticsUSA, 2012)
On Top Of Bullshit Mountain
Philip Anschutz also owns The Examiner franchise and dozens of other newspapers. These publications have consistently been called out for printing outright lies on issues before state legislators and Congress, only taking positions that support GOP ideals...more money in oil and all that goes with it.

Here's a great piece on how The Examiner and its franchised papers have been distorting the truth on fracking to help out the oil holdings of the parent company:http://mediamatters.org/tags/philip-anschutz.  No one can do it like Media Matters. You should always make them a stop on your daily journeys through the cloud.

Now how can we possibly wrap up this long and diverse set of facts we've been laying down into one coherent rant? According to O'Reilly, money drives our problems in the form of distortions and sometimes in the form of fear mongering:
We know it's a stretch, but bear with us.

(Civicus. 2012)
The Examiner, in addition to running articles about how Obama wants to take away every one's guns, recently spread the rumor that hollow points are being bought up by Homeland Security. Be afraid. Be very afraid. After the story broke in The Examiner, it was picked up and quoted on all the underground fearful sites, those who tend to be interested in 9/11 theories, etc. Now, it's supposedly the truth. Obama is buying up 'cop killers' just before the election. Big scary Obama is going to take us all down. Does that sound like reality to you? Or does it sound, as Stewart put it Saturday night, like more manure from bullshit mountain? 

Following the Examiner's stories, which we don't recommend anyone do, you will find a trail of misinformation designed to get Romney elected and that trail leads directly to Anschutz. It's such a shame that anyone feels they need to lie to get into office, but even more sad because this is our American system of government for sale.

Remember, an informed voter is a better voter. Do your own research!  After all, this is why Gore invented the Internet.

The Policy Geek

[Update 10/9/12: After this flurry of email activity and FB noise about the end of the world, in the last 48 hours, Romney has taken the lead in most polls across the U.S. In addition, today, The San Francisco Examiner, now under new ownership,  just endorsed Obama. In 2008 they endorsed McCain.]

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tweets From The Dark Side

As a policy wonk is apt to do, we were following some fun tweets during the first Presidential Debate of 2012 between Romney and Obama this evening. Social media creations are often lively and informative. Here's some of the flotsam and jetsam:

Boone Pickens TWEET:
is happy Romney's #1 worry is energy independence. #Debate
Geek Translation:
That means more money for oil companies like BP.

A fun Karl Rove TWEET: 
Who woulda thunk Obama would suggest Lehrer move on to another topic after Mitt pounds home tax reform? #Debate
Geek Thought:
Now there's a sound bite you can sell, Rove. Not!

Obama when discussing Medicare and Medicaid, said that 'the name lends one to think of people who are dependent, but in reality the money comes from people who have worked hard, hard all their lives, and paid into Medicare/Medicaid.'
Geek Reflection:
Lovely soft comment Mr. President, but in 90 minutes there were so many more important things the lefties would have loved for you to have hammered home.

In an effort to bring down Medicare costs, $716 Billion was saved in the costs of the Medicare program by no longer overpaying for things.  This resulted in a $600 average drop in prescription costs to seniors on their medications each year.
Geek Timeline Note:
Lots of trending comments about how Romney is interrupting and bullying Lehrer at this point.

Romney says, "I love Big Bird" as he notes he would cut PBS subsidies to address national debt.
Wonkathon Finds:
This post going viral on Facebook and Twitter...

Neal deGrasse Tyson @nealtyson TWEET:
Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room for a 500Gig hard drive.
Geek Reflection:
Said as only Neal deGrasse Tyson could phrase it.  Gotta love facts and brains.

Twitter Government TWEET and *FUN FACT Combo:
17,000 Tweets per minute for "Big Bird" and 10,000 Tweets per minute for "PBS".

Here's a video clip of that moment courtesy of ABCNews and You Tube:

Nuff said.

Moving on, Romney says that: 50% of doctors say they won't take any medicare patients.
Geek Note To Self:
We have to do a #FactCheck on that one.

 Romney proposes voucher program which eliminates the collective buying power of Federal Medicare and Medicaid as it determines costs and co-pay amounts. During his flashy vouchery-states-rights talk, Romney interrupts POTUS a few times and bullies Lehrer.  Oh yeah, and when Mitt No-Apologies Romney apologized to the President for saying "Obamacare," he also dropped a "bro" in there, as in "Ok, bro."  Seriously.

Jenny Johnson TWEETS:
Y'all stop making fun of Jim Lehrer, this is his Make-A-Wish.

Chris RockOz TWEETS:
I wish Mitt Romney could figure out how to smile without looking like he's at his mother-in-laws house for xmas dinner.
and later
Obama is waiting for the right moment to pull out Bin Laden's skull from behind the podium. Wait for it. Wait for it. 
Geek Fun Fact:
This Chris Rock "Bin Laden's Skull" #debate joke was retweeted over 7770 times & faved 1400 times in first hour, according to a tweet from Mark Silva. There is also a discussion on whether or not this is even Chris Rock's twitter account.

@Imagination TWEETS:
"As President, I will sit down on day one" -- Mitt Romney, man of leisure.

PoliticsUSA.com tells us which top 5 lies Romney drops in the first half of the debate: "Mitt Romney is telling so many lies at the first presidential debate with Barack Obama that we had to take a half time break." www.politicsusa.com

The Washington Post TWEETS:
[Romney's] math on green energy does not add up.

Andy Borowitz ‏@BorowitzReport TWEETS
Paul Ryan on Romney's performance: "I was proud of him. He said all the things I wanted to lie."

CNN's Gergem TWEETS:
Romney was "sort of flat out lying."
HuffPost Politics‏@HuffPostPolTWEETS:
No mention of #47percent remarks. Why?
Romney tonight:  "I have five boys, I know what it's like to have a lie told to me over and over hoping I believe it's the truth."

@AngryBlackLady (who we love) TWEETS:
#Debates: Ultimately, It’s Not Good News for Mitt Romney. At her site, she adds, "The media has been building up this debate as if it was going to be a game-changer. Folks expected Romney’s debate performance to be as much of a clusterfuck as his campaign is. It wasn’t. Romney stood up on two feet, with a weird grin that made him look like he was in gastrointestinal distress, and he lied. HE LIED. He exuded confidence when he did it, which, hooray!, I guess. But he lied."

Our general takeaway?  This policy geek thinks the main problem was that POTUS looked down sometimes, didn't call Romney out on bending the debate rules, and didn't call Romney out on ANY of his lies really.  We couldn't see the President's hands during the debate so  most viewers didn't realize he was taking notes to respond.  Lastly, we want sound bites.  Loud, angry, I-welcome-their-hatred type of speech regardless of what Romney says.  Romney's not debating.  His dropping propaganda nonsense and campaigning still.  POTUS should be angrily and dismissively defending his legacy of legislation, and look and sound like he's out there campaigning.  This isn't a final exam.  It's an American election, by golly!!
 Here's a video of the whole debate, so you can watch it yourselves.  Let's just hope Potus gets sharper and angrier and fights more in the next ones. Mentions the filibuster abuse, mentions the blocked legislation list (not even allowed to come to the floor for debate let alone a vote). 'Cause the main consensus on the evening is, "Wah?"

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The Policy Geek