Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you enjoy today, and join in the discussion here at 3CHICS.

Remember tonight is First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to the DNC.

A blast from the past…her speech in 2008:

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34 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    September 04, 2012
    The right is reduced to issuing threats

    National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, writing for Bloomberg View, responds to President Obama’s anticipation of a more rational 113th Congress with his own anticipation of yet more determined entrenchment.

    “If Obama wins re-election, the Republican Party will react by moving right, not left,” predicts Ponnuru. “It will become less likely to compromise with Obama, not more.” Although his qualifier “less likely” posits an impossible, further deterioration of Republican republicanism, Ponnuru’s message is received loud and clear: It’s always possible for vile fanatics to become even viler.

    Ponnuru concludes in a breezy, extortionate bustle:

    The choice before [the American] people is looking more and more like one between Romney and a unified Republican government, or Obama and four more years that look a lot like the last two.

    At the characteristic core of this far-right conceit there is of course no choice at all. There’s only an ultimatum: it’s their way, or it’s their way. They’ll brook no compromise and entertain no association with the impure. They are the pious, the righteously puritanical who shall cast the wicked antinomians out. They are party–pure party. And the most remarkable incongruity in their twisted political theology is that they deem their absolutism as directly descendant from the Founders–the Founders, they who despised party and feared faction more than any other potential threats to enlightened government.

  2. rikyrah says:

    The sudden disappearance of the welfare lie
    By Steve Benen – Tue Sep 4, 2012 9:50 AM EDT.

    It began on August 7. The Romney campaign launched a major offensive on welfare policy, accusing President Obama of “gutting” existing law and “dropping work requirements.”

    The attack was as obvious a lie as has ever been spoken by a presidential candidate. Mitt Romney had made this up, but proceeded to repeat the lie in every stump speech, and in five separate ads released over the course of two weeks. This one, racially-charged, entirely-made-up claim had quickly become the centerpiece of the entire Republican campaign.

    And then something interesting happened. It disappeared.

  3. rikyrah says:

    September 04, 2012
    The Hill is alive with mumbo-jumbo

    Still reaching for the Platonic ideal of journalistic mush, The Hill reports on Paul Ryan’s perpetual defense of his indefensible convention speech. Regarding, specifically, the Janesville lie:

    Critics of the speech … noted that the plant effectively closed on December 23, 2008, after Obama’s election, but before he took office.

    In other words, for critics, but only for critics, the plant closed in 2008. For non-critics, the plant may have closed some other time. Other than the fact that the plant definitely, indisputably, unquestionably closed in 2008, no independent assessment of its actual closing is possible.

    So we’re left with a profound mystery, whose resolution is properly left to partisan mudwrestling.

  4. rikyrah says:

    A new directive
    By Kay September 4th, 2012

    Boy, oh boy, it must be very important for Republicans to bar early voting those last three days prior to the election:

    >DIRECTIVE 2012-40

    September 4, 2012

    To: All County Boards of Elections

    Directors, Deputy Directors, and Board Members
    Re: Obama Decision: Voting Hours

    On August 31, 2012, a federal court struck the portion of Ohio Revised Code 3509.03 that ends inperson absentee voting the Friday before the election at 6:00 p.m. Obama v. Husted Case No 12-cv-636. The decision is being appealed.

    Announcing new hours before the court case reaches final resolution will only serve to confuse voters and conflict with the standard of uniformity sought in Directive 2012-35. Therefore, there is no valid reason for my office or the county boards of elections to set hours for in-person absentee voting the last three days before the election at this time. If the appellate courts ultimately reverse the trial court’s decision, in-person absentee voting for non-UOCAVA voters will end the Friday before the election. If however, the appellate courts uphold the trial court’s decision, I will be required to issue a consistent uniform schedule for statewide in-person voting hours for the last three days before the election. I am confident there will be sufficient time after the conclusion of the appeal process to set uniform hours across the state.

    Let me again emphasize, the constitutionality of the statute setting in-person absentee voting hours is still subject to court review and it would further confuse voters to set hours now that the court may change later. As such, this Directive strictly prohibits county boards of elections from determining hours for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday before the election.

    Recall: the early voting law in Ohio was passed by a bipartisan majority as a response to the incompetent administration of the 2004 presidential election by Republican Ken Blackwell, who is now some sort of pundit-lobbyist-think tank director. We saw long lines and general chaos in 2004.

    Early voting is an option ALL voters in Ohio had until Republicans restricted it in 2011. Early voting works. It’s convenient for voters and it takes pressure off polling places on election day. Voters love it. Yet Republicans are working very, very hard to rescind early voting. I’m confident we’ll be able to work around the barriers they’re throwing up, and Husted’s response isn’t shocking to anyone who has been paying attention since 2000, but it’s a battle every single damn day. They set up a barrier, we knock it down, they set up another one.

  5. rikyrah says:

    The bloom falls from Ryan’s rose
    By Steve Benen – Tue Sep 4, 2012 10:30 AM EDT.

    Given recent developments, Paul Ryan really ought to be on his best behavior when it comes to honesty. He’s been caught lying repeatedly, about matters large and small, over the last several days, and given the increased scrutiny, Ryan will have to be more cautious.

    Or maybe not.

    Mr. Ryan also cited bankruptcy numbers to make the point that failing businesses mean fewer jobs. “In 1980 under Jimmy Carter, 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy,” he said. “Last year, under President Obama’s failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy.”

    At a certain level, the comparison itself is idiotic — there was no global economic crash in 1980 or the years leading up to it. But just as important is the fact that Ryan’s figures are simply wrong.

    The Republican vice presidential candidate told voters 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy. The actual number is 47,806 — a number that happens to be steadily improving as the economy continues to slowly recover

  6. rikyrah says:

    Obama Has the Momentum
    by BooMan
    Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:45:21 PM EST

    We can talk about polling bounces all we want, but what we should be seeing in today’s polls is a bit of distortion in favor of Romney because he just held a three-day convention and the Democrats have not yet responded with their own convention. In other words, we should expect Romney’s current polling numbers to be artificially inflated.
    We do see that Romney got a little bounce out of his convention which is reflected in both state and national polls, and which also is seen in measures of approval and likability. But if you look at other metrics, like’s Electoral College and popular vote projections, or Romney’s chance of winning (see sidebar on right), his numbers have been going in the wrong direction since roughly the moment the Republicans convened in Tampa. In fact, Romney is currently in his weakest position under those metrics since at least the beginning of June.

    The highest plot on the Electoral College distribution probability chart is now north of 350 votes. Part of this is because Nate Silver takes account of economic data, and there has been some modestly good news lately on that front. Yet, for whatever the reasons, Obama’s numbers are trending up in the aftermath of the Republican convention.

    Let’s take a look at where Romney stood on August 27th, when the RNC convened and where he stands eight days later.

    Chance of Winning
    August 27: Obama 69.3% Romney 30.7%
    September 4: Obama 74.8% Romney 25.2%

    Electoral College Projection
    August 27: Obama 299 Romney 239
    September 4: Obama 308.2 Romney 229.8

    Popular Vote
    August 27: Obama 50.6% Romney 48.2%
    September 4: Obama 51.1% Romney 47.8%

    Obviously, Nate Silver isn’t infallible. But his model is pretty robust. I didn’t expect Romney to lose ground in those key metrics after his convention. I expected the opposite. And I’m an optimist.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Bold Prediction
    by BooMan
    Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:27:18 PM EST

    I still think this campaign is like an arm-wrestling match where Romney is expending everything he has to try to move Obama into a defensive position, but he just can’t budge him. But we know how that works. You fight and fight and fight and then, finally, your strength is gone and your arm is pinned back decisively. When I read articles about the Obama campaign’s cautious optimism, I’m still skeptical that it amounts to anything more than not wanting to curse themselves with overconfidence. At some point, maybe during the debates, Romney will expend the last measure of his strength, and his support will collapse. I still do not believe that this election will be closer than the last one. This thing is going to break decisively one way or the other. And my money is on it breaking toward the incumbent.

  8. rikyrah says:

    September 04, 2012
    Is GOP sanity just around the corner?
    Ed Kilgore also reacts to the Ponnuru column–which is practically a RICO violation disguised as political persuasion–with a dubious assumption:

    [W]hatever they say, conservatives will have to accept [in the wake of Obama’s reelection] that the Great Counter-Revolution they saw on the near horizon after 2010, which they’ve been pursuing since 1964, has receded into the distance once again.

    Staying with the theme of organized crime, it was Michael Corleone who once wisely said that “If history has taught us anything, it’s that conservatives will have to accept nothing.” Well, he didn’t exactly say that, but it’s close enough. We’re going for the Corleone spirit, and not the letter, of corruption.

    But really, after November 2008–after conservatives had blithely ramped up the debt, provoked an insanely bizarre war, thrown millions out of work and ushered in the nation’s most severe financial crisis since 1929–after all the conservative chaos and clearly identifiable blame, every rational observer thought that conservatives would huddle and emerge reasonably rational themselves. Yet as we now know, their playbook instead called for precisely the opposite–for a doubling down on the chaos and jaw-dropping pivots from any accountability whatsoever.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Polls: Obama Leads In Colorado, Michigan
    Kyle Leighton September 4, 2012, 8:03 AM

    Obama leads in two major swing states, according to new polls.

    The president leads by 3 points in Colorado and by 7 points in Michigan, according to polls from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

    Obama leads Mitt Romney 49 percent to 46 percent in the Rocky Mountain State, which he won by 7 points in 2008 and will be crucial to his effort in 2012. “Barack Obama continues to lead in Colorado but the state is getting closer,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP, in a statement. “If Mitt Romney can open up a wider lead with whites and men he might have a chance at moving it into his column.”

    Romney only holds a 3-point edge with men in the Colorado poll, a core constituency for the former governor. Obama wins women 52 percent to 44 percent in the state, and takes independent voters 44 percent to 36 percent. Colorado is one of the rare swing states in which Republicans have a registration advantage, outpacing Democrats by about 110,000 voters.

    The PollTracker Average of all public polling in Colorado shows Obama with a 4.1 percent advantage, 49.2 percent to 45.1 percent.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Labeling ‘Vouchercare’
    By Steve Benen – Tue Sep 4, 2012 11:25 AM EDT.

    The Romney-Ryan ticket quickly went on the offensive on Medicare last month, hoping to overcome the unpopularity of the Republican policy. The strategy wasn’t complicated — attack President Obama for finding savings in the Medicare system, strengthening its finances, and expanding seniors’ benefits — and by most accounts, the GOP effort was effective.

    But the strategy was still little more than a distraction, because Romney/Ryan can’t and won’t discuss their Medicare plan in any detail. Indeed, it’d be a disaster — the American mainstream hates the idea of ending Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system.

    The challenge for Democrats, then, is to broaden the debate — defending the Obama administration’s policy while bringing attention to the Republican plan.

    Campaigning in Wisconsin the other day, Vice President Biden summarized this pretty well. For those who can’t watch clips online, Biden said, “My mother, god love her, who lived till 93 — we lost her a couple years ago — she was at the last convention with me. My mom was a smart woman. But, my mom, I can’t picture handing her a voucher at age 80 and saying — you go out in the insurance market and you figure out what’s best for you. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s just that simple. We are for Medicare, they are for Vouchercare. It’s basic.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Romney Schedules Major Address To Hispanic Group
    Evan McMorris-Santoro- September 4, 2012, 1:04 PM

    CHARLOTTE — Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign signaled last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that it will make a major push for the Hispanic vote in the sprint to November.

    On Tuesday, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced Romney will address their national convention, taking time off from the final weeks of campaigning to reach out to an electorate polls show is not on board with the Romney-Ryan ticket.

    Romney will speak at the USHCC’s national convention in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, the group announced Tuesday.

    Every presidential election cycle, we invite the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to address our national convention,” Javier Palomarez, USHCC president and CEO, said in a statement. “Gov. Romney’s attendance demonstrates the important role that Hispanic business plays in our national political conversation.”

    The USHCC said Obama has been invited to address the group as well, and has not yet responded. He last spoke before the group in 2009.

    Romney has struggled to connect with Hispanic voters during the 2012 campaign. The PollTracker Average shows him trailing President Obama among Hispanic voters by 30 points

  12. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 09/04/2012
    Romney’s problem: The economy is, in fact, improving
    By Jamelle Bouie

    In North Carolina yesterday, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan continued to hit President Obama on the question of whether Americans are better of now than when Obama took office —“He can’t tell you that you’re better off…Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are now.”

    Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that the economy isn’t as bad as it was in 1980, there’s a problem with Ryan’s rhetoric—his running mate doesn’t agree. Earlier this year, in an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Mitt Romney agreed that the economy was in fact getting better:

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:17 PM ET, 09/04/2012
    Why the Obama campaign is cautiously confident in victory
    By Greg Sargent

    The Romney campaign makes a strong case that he may well prevail in November. As Mark Halperin summarized: “Team Romney remains convinced that voters crave a more concrete form of hope and change, and that the anemic economy and the President’s failure to crack the 50% mark in most polls means he is destined to lose, maybe big, in November.”

    Nevertheless, the Obama team remains cautiously confident that they are on track to win reelection for the President. As David Plouffe put it in an interview with me, while Obama advisers fully expect the race to be extremely close until the end, as long as he maintains a small but persistent lead in the battleground states, “we’re right on the cusp of victory.”

    Here’s a partial list of reasons the Obama team is cautiously confident:

    1) Romney cannot win over true undecided voters in the lopsided numbers he needs if he remains two to three points behind in the key battleground states. The Obama team thinks far more about state polling than national surveys, and right now, according to Nate Silver’s projections, Obama has at least a three point lead in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and Wisconsin, and nearly as big a lead in Virginia. The Obama team believes it holds leads in these battlegrounds; Dems think Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota are out of Romney’s reach

  14. rikyrah says:

    NewsPosted: 5:31 a.m. Monday, Sept. 3, 2012

    Despite voter ID law, minority turnout up in Georgia

    By Shannon McCaffrey

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    When Georgia became one of the first states in the nation to demand a photo ID at the ballot box, both sides served up dire predictions. Opponents labeled it a Jim Crow-era tactic that would suppress the minority vote. Supporters insisted it was needed to combat fraud that imperiled the integrity of the elections process.

    But both claims were overblown, according to a review of by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of statewide voting patterns in the five years since the law took effect.

    Turnout among black and Hispanic voters increased from 2006 to 2010, dramatically outpacing population growth for those groups over the same period.

    On the other hand, Georgia’s top elections official could not point to a single case of ballot fraud the voter ID law had prevented.

    “I think the rhetoric on both sides has been overstated,” said Edward Foley, executive director of an election law center at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law.

    “It hasn’t had the voter-suppressing effect that some people feared,” Foley said. Conversely, he said, rhetoric about voter fraud has largely proven to be a “scare tactic” with little basis in fact.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Barbour can’t help himself
    By Steve Benen – Tue Sep 4, 2012 2:00 PM EDT.

    Last week, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), despite a deeply controversial background on racial issues, felt comfortable complaining that Democrats are playing the “race card.”

    A few days later, Barbour managed to be even more provocative speaking at a fundraiser organized by Karl Rove.

    Barbour offered a brief assessment of the Republican National Convention. “While I would love for [Chris] Christie to put a hot poker to Obama’s butt,” said Barbour of the RNC keynote speaker, “I thought he did what he was supposed to do.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Planned Parenthood Launches ‘Yes, We Plan’ Effort At DNC

    You see them everywhere on the streets surrounding the Democratic National Convention here: legions of women sporting bright pink “Yes, We Plan” T-shirts, featuring an image of a pack of birth control pills.

    It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that Planned Parenthood is here in a big, big way.

    Once an area of political agreement among many members of both parties, Planned Parenthood has emerged as one of the defining partisan divides of the 2012 cycle. Both sides have aggressively courted the female vote. Republicans want to strip Planned Parenthood of all government support, reasoning that federal money is a government endorsement of abortion (though abortions represent a mere fraction of the group’s health services). Democrats and women’s health advocates say that eliminating the government dollars that go to the group as part of programs aimed at increasing access to mammograms and other women’s health issues will severely restrict preventative care for women, especially among the poor.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Express Chair: Pres. Obama doesn’t “love America the way we do”
    Live from the CNN Grill in Charlotte Tea Party Express Chair Amy Kremer tells Soledad O’Brien and the Starting Point panel that President Obama does not love America as much as others in the country do.

    Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:19 PM ET, 09/04/2012
    Clyburn to Dems: ‘Stop worrying about money’
    By Jonathan Capehart

    The Democratic National Convention kicks off tonight with one of its wise men stepping into the spotlight. Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) will take the podium at the Time Warner Cable Arena around 8:30 p.m. When I caught up with him on College Street in Charlotte, I asked him what three things he hopes to leave with the American people.

    “First of all, I want people to know that this president has gotten this country moving in the right direction,” Clyburn said. “I want people to know that the gloom and doom they heard last week down there in Tampa, Florida, is all that — gloom and doom. And we ought not be governed by their foolishness.

    “I also want people to know that it will take energy to win this election. Not money, but energy. And what we’ve got to do is stop worrying about the money and create the energy.”

    That last point I found curious because if there is one thing Democrats flooding Charlotte have already that Republicans didn’t in Tampa, it’s energy. Did Clyburn’s concern about energy mean that he didn’t think people would show up in November?

    “Oh, I don’t think that at all. I think if we don’t do our jobs here that could be the case. But I have every confidence that we will do our job,” said Clyburn. It should be pointed out that he is the only Democrat from the Palmetto State in Congress.

  19. That’s what I wish most of the politicians in Washington DC would do, take the A Train, none stop, out of Washington, back to their home towns. Ironic you show Ike with his quote. The last time budget of the United States was balanced, with a surplus, was 55 years ago while Eisenhower was president. If you’re so disposed, go to my WordPress website to find out why these “politicians” should leave. Read my articles 55 YEARS IS LONG ENOUGH… and WHY CAN’T CONGRESS WORK 50 WEEKS A YEAR LIKE THE REST OF AMERICA? And, for the record, Bill Clinton did not have a balanced budget, with a surplus. Love the Duke Ellington video. I’m a big band jazz fan ! Big Band Jazz always makes you feel good, even when politicians are around.

  20. rikyrah says:

    I’m Gonna Go to Slidell and Look for My Joy
    By mistermix September 4th, 2012Poor, poor Chuck Todd (via):

    If there is one narrative to anchor what often feels like a plotless 2012 campaign, it is media disillusionment. Reporters feel like both campaigns have decided to run out the clock with limited press avails, distractions, and negative attacks, rather than run confident campaigns with bold policy platforms or lofty notions of hope and change — leaving the media with little to do but grind along covering the latest shallow, sensational item of the day.

    “Until the candidates restore joy, it’s impossible for us to be joyful,” NBC News senior White House correspondent Chuck Todd told POLITICO. “The campaigns are trying so hard to manipulate us, to work the refs, to withhold access. If these candidates were comfortable, the campaign might be joyful to cover.”

    Todd also bemoans the fact that the campaigns aren’t talking about the economy, so the press corps can’t either.

    I say horseshit to all that. My diagnosis of Todd’s existential ennui is based on a couple of factors. First, he’s sad because the Republican lying shows that they have absolutely no respect for the press, and it’s Republican respect that the DC press has always craved. Second, the limited access to actual live candidates makes it clear the stenographic nature of the Chuck Todds of the world. It really does hurt deep down when some reporter from the NBC affiliate in Toledo or Wilmington is more likely to sit down with Romney or Obama than the senior White House correspondent. Hopefully this little Politico piece, and maybe a good cry into his softest pillow, will get Chuck back on track and he can do his fucking job without further whining.

    • rikyrah says:

      Why I can’t join in the applause for Condoleezza Rice’s ‘grievance’ speech
      by Joy-Ann Reid | September 3, 2012 at 8:34 AM
      It’s official. I am one of the only people in America who didn’t love the Condoleezza Rice RNC speech.

      Indeed, Rice’s address on the third day of the Republican National Convention Wednesday received a rapturous reception from the assembled delegates, and from pundits. In fact, but for some grousing about a bit of lipstick on her teeth, I’ve heard nothing but praise for the former secretary of state’s presentation.

      On the upside, the speech was beautifully written and well delivered (even if the opening lines were a painful reminder of the part Rice played in an administration that missed the blatant signals preceding the 9/11 terror attacks — I think the presidential daily brief was titled, “Bin Laden Determined To Attack the United States?..”) But it was on the subjects of race, segregation, and the new favorite Republican buzzwords, “envy” and “grievance,” that Rice’s words truly left me cold.

      The nation’s first black female national security adviser and secretary of state made soaring references to what really is the genius of America: the fact that what “really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.” On that, I join the “Amen” chorus.

      She revisited her statement that the country overcame the “birth defect of slavery and segregation” — which, when she made it years ago, caused conservatives to erupt in anger. But not this time — this time, they roared in approval.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The Koch brothers’ Canadian confusion
    By Steve Benen – Tue Sep 4, 2012 7:59 AM EDT

    .The Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity has decided to go on the offensive attacking the Affordable Care Act, investing over $6 million to air this ad in 11 battleground states.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, the ad features a Canadian woman named Shona Holmes, who said she came to the United States for medical care when, according to the story, there was a dangerously long wait to see a brain specialist in Canada. The American system, Holmes says in the ad, “was there for me when I needed it.”

    Now, I don’t know anything about Holmes or her plight, but let’s say for the sake of argument that every word of this is 100% accurate. Let’s assume that she needed a brain specialist, faced a long wait in her native country, and was able to receive life-saving care here in the U.S. I have a hunch there’s more to this, but just for conversation, let’s accept the claims on faith.

    The follow-up to this is pretty straightforward: what in the world does this have to do with President Obama and the Affordable Care Act? And why do the Koch brothers think we’re dumb?


    Under the logic of the Kochs’ attack ad, if a health care system didn’t work for someone, it’s proof that health care system is a broken model to be avoided. But if that’s true, can we talk about the Americans who died because they lacked basic access to affordable care? Or for that matter, the Canadians who lived because they received treatment that lower-income Americans wouldn’t have received?

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama

    ….On Jan. 27, 2009, House Republican leader John Boehner opened his weekly conference meeting with an announcement: Obama would make his first visit to the Capitol around noon, to meet exclusively with Republicans about his economic-recovery plan. “We’re looking forward to the President’s visit,” Boehner said.

    The niceties ended there, as Boehner turned to the $815 billion stimulus bill that House Democrats had just unveiled. Boehner complained that it would spend too much, too late, on too many Democratic goodies. He urged his members to trash it on cable, on YouTube, on the House floor: “It’s another run-of-the-mill, undisciplined, cumbersome, wasteful Washington spending bill … I hope everyone here will join me in voting no!”

    Cantor’s whip staff had been planning a “walk-back” strategy in which they would start leaking that 50 Republicans might vote yes, then that they were down to 30 problem children, then that they might lose 20 or so. The idea was to convey momentum. “You want the members to feel like, Oh, the herd is moving. I’ve got to move with the herd,” explains Rob Collins, Cantor’s chief of staff at the time. That way, even if a dozen Republicans ultimately defected, it would look as if Obama failed to meet expectations.

    But when he addressed the conference, Cantor adopted a different strategy. “We’re not going to lose any Republicans,” he declared. His staff was stunned.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Obama Wants to Win. That’s a Problem?
    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:25:33 PM EST

    Jodi Kantor’s piece on the president probably is not intended to be helpful, but since her audience is the New York Times’ readership, I don’t think it will do any harm. If the worst you can say about the president is that he is absolutely self-confident and driven to succeed in every area of his life, I don’t think too many of our intellectual elites are going to be turned off by a bit of arrogance. And who besides our intellectual elites read the New York Times?
    The same piece by the Associated Press might do some damage.

    I did like this bit:

    This February, in an otherwise placid meeting with Democratic governors — routine policy questions, routine presidential replies — Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana asked Mr. Obama if he had what it took to win the 2012 race.
    For a moment Mr. Obama looked annoyed, a White House aide said, as if he thought Mr. Schweitzer was underestimating him. Then he came alive. “Holy mackerel, he lit up,” Mr. Schweitzer said in an interview. “It was like a light switch coming on.”

    No matter what moves Mr. Romney made, the president said, he and his team were going to cut him off and block him at every turn. “We’re the Miami Heat, and he’s Jeremy Lin,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Obama visits diner, speaks at Scott High

    President Obama campaigned in Toledo Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. Mr. Obama took in breakfast with local auto workers at Rick’s City Diner in West Toledo before heading to Scott High School to speak. CLICK ANY IMAGE TO VIEW FULL PHOTO, START SLIDE SHOW.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: The GOP convention was a dud. Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to woo undecided voters — by telling them the truth about what Romney-Ryan will do if they win.

    …. To begin with, Obama can certainly make the case that the country overall is better off than it was four years ago. The month he took office, the country lost 818,000 jobs. The next few months were similar. On the day he took office, the Dow Jones average stood at 7,950. It’s now above 13,000. That means a lot of retirement plans have come back to where they once were and then some. Of course there’s the auto bailout, which is relevant to all of us, but especially relevant in key states. And there are the positive effects of the stimulus…

    …. This convention must be merciless on what the Republicans are going to do to this country economically … [they] have to … paint a lucid, stark, but completely fair and accurate picture of an opposing campaign that wants to be George W. Bush on steroids….

    When Democrats talk details, they win. Because the facts are on their side. When the conversation takes place at the level of banal generalities — Big government! Low taxes! — that’s when Republicans win. People — moderate people — agree with Republican slogans, but once you explain to them what those slogans are going to mean in practice, you peel a sizeable number of them away.

    …. But the Democrats can get two or three points out of this week, which may be all they need, and, unlike the Republicans, all they have to do is tell the truth.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Once the mockery starts…
    By Steve Benen – Mon Sep 3, 2012 4:44 PM EDT.13

    Paul Ryan’s credibility took a hit last week with his deeply mendacious convention speech, which even drew rebukes from the right. It got worse over the weekend, with revelations Ryan doesn’t even tell the truth about his athletic exploits.

    The threat for the Republican vice presidential hopeful isn’t just that the media will start to notice his dishonesty, but also that he’ll become the subject of mockery. Andy Borowitz had this satirical gem today.

    In a dramatic narrative that could upstage this week’s Democratic National Convention, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) gave reporters today a detailed account of the fateful day he killed Osama bin Laden.

    Mr. Ryan said that he was revealing his role as the triggerman who felled the al-Qaeda leader to “set the record straight,” explaining that he had remained silent about his mission until now, because “I don’t like to brag.”

    The Republican Vice-Presidential nominee painted a portrait of a Paul Ryan few know, a man who trained for missions with SEAL Team Six while somehow finding time to cut key provisions of Medicare. […]

    “Osama got one look at me and he ran like a bat out of hell,” he said. “It’s times like that that I’m glad I can run a hundred meters in 9.58 seconds.”

    It goes on from there, and it’s extremely funny, but the larger point is the significance of Borowitz’s piece itself — Ryan is quickly developing a reputation, at least among some, that dramatically contradicts everything the media generally likes to say about the guy.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 09/03/2012
    Why ‘Are you better off?’ is the wrong question for 2012
    By Jamelle Bouie

    “Are you better off today than when Obama took office?”

    That was the central question of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech last Thursday, and obviously, the Republican presidential nominee answered it in the negative. Romney’s case for the presidency depends on voters abandoning President Obama because his response to the economic crisis has “failed.”

    Because it’s a classic and seemingly crucial question, the press has run with it as a way to evaluate Obama ahead of the Democratic National Convention. Indeed, reports have all but adopted the GOP’s frame for the race. There’s no doubt that Team Romney is pleased with this development, especially since the Obama campaign and its surrogates spent yesterday stumbling over the issue.

    White House senior advisor David Plouffe deflected the question, “I think everyone understands we were this close to a Great Depression. Because of the leadership of this president, we staved that off. We’re beginning to recover.” And Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley gave a muddled answer that sounded a little too close to “no.” “The question, without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recession, the Bush deficits, the series of desert wars — charged for the first time to credit cards, the national credit cards,” he said.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:12 PM ET, 09/03/2012
    Romney campaign hoping bad economic news will overshadow Dem convention
    By Greg Sargent

    On Friday, a day after the Democratic convention is set to end with Obama’s speech, the monthly jobs numbers are set to come out. According to Politico, the Romney campaign is already salivating at the chance to use bad economic news to overshadow the message and enthusiasm coming out of the convention.

    The Romney camp will do this by citing the “net” jobs lost on Obama’s watch, to portray the President’s tenure as a job-destroying one:

    Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said the campaign will use the jobs numbers to remind voters of Obama’s economic record, including the August 2011 jobs report, which counted zero new jobs.
    “Barack Obama is the first president in modern history to preside over a net job loss, and we intend to highlight the failure of his economic policies during and after the convention,” Williams said.

    Politico let this pass with no comment or context, so let me supply some.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:10 PM ET, 09/03/2012
    The rhetorical trap Romney has set for Obama
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    Did you notice the rhetorical trap that Mitt Romney’s campaign is setting for Barack Obama?

    On the one hand, the big thrust of the Romney campaign over the last few days is that the campaign should be centered on the old Reagan question: are you better off than you were four years ago? But as Greg and Jamelle have been pointing out, the answer may not be quite as horrible as Team Romney assumes — and besides, it’s not clear that people will blame Obama for the economy, anyway (see also a nice post on this by Steve Kornacki).

    Ah, but that’s where the second half of the trap comes in. At the same time that they’ve been pushing the “are you better off?” question, Republicans have also opened up a personal, character-based attack on Obama: claiming he ducks responsibility for his own time in office by constantly blaming George W. Bush for everything.

    Got that? Obama is being asked to compare the economy now to what it was like before he took office — but if he says anything bad about how things were four years ago, it’s evidence of a character deficit

    • rikyrah says:

      Tea Party Leader To McKalip: “We All Have Your Back My Friend!”
      Zachary Roth- July 24, 2009, 2:53 PM

      The national coordinator of the American Tea Party movement is standing behind David McKalip and has pledged her help as he struggles with the fallout over the racist email he sent showing President Obama dressed as a witch doctor.

      In an email exchange on the Tea Party listserv, obtained by TPMmuckraker, Amy Kremer wrote:

      Robin, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
      David, we all support you fully and are here for you. I can assure you of one thing and that is we will protect our own. We all have your back my friend!

      Let me know what I can do to help. I am here for you if you need me David.

      Kramer was referring to Robin Stublen, another Tea Partier, who in response to McKalip’s apology had written that what McKalip had done in sending the email was “no different than what liberals did for eight years with Bush cartoons” and “no different than the passing of Jib Jab videos that we all have shared.” Stublen also charged that “radical members of the left” had tried to “silence” him, and called McKalip a “victim,” and a “great man fighting for a great cause.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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