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Friday, September 14, 2012

Romney won't raise taxes on middle class because he says so...

Fact checking is great, but one I saw recently had me wondering...

Fact checkers judged Julian Castro's  statement that Mitt Romney will raise taxes on the middle class as misleading because Romney said he wouldn't and there's not enough details out on his economic plan to really verify that. The RNC Convention had a ton of vague "big ideas" but no actual numbers or details.

CNN fact check on this taxes on the middle class business

Fact check of Romney saying Obama raised taxes on middle class

Romney is now saying five studies back him up that he can cut taxes, bring in the same revenue. Two are editorials, one is by an adviser to the Romney campaign, and one is AEI, the conservative think tank. The fact check says this is - mostly false.

Obama proves he is qualified; Romney flails

Let's get some statements, then sort out the timeline ;)

Romney:  "When our grounds are being attacked, and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. And apology for America's values is never the right course," he said, slamming the Obama administration for "sympathiz[ing] with those who waged the attacks."

Obama:  Romney "seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later."  and here are his remarks that embody true leadership and strength rather than threats and accusations based on bungled facts.

Clinton:  “Violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith, and as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace” and “a free and stable Libya is still in America’s interest and security.”

Politicians on social media...(monumentally bad idea):

Reince Priebus:   “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic."

Allen West (R-FL, Tea Party):  Repeats weakness, apology, Jimmy Carter talking points, accuses media of protecting President when Romney should be cross examined because he made incorrect statements and is running for president, advocates bringing diplomats home, and unbelievably repeats the incorrect timeline of the Embassy condemnation of the video (confused with White House statement) as a response to the Libya attack.

Jim DeMint (R-SC):  “Governor Romney is absolutely right, there is no justification for these deadly attacks and we should never apologize for American freedom,”

Sarah Palin- Classic Palin: crude, factually incorrect and includes debunked Republican talking points. On Facebook...

Donald Rumsfeld:  The attacks on our embassies & diplomats are a result of perceived American weakness. Mitt Romney is right to point that out.


On September 11 of this year, our ambassador to Libya died, along with 3 employees. The timeline generally starts at one showing of an anti-Islam movie which barely anyone attended and the trailer for it which, rather, may have been the thing that circulated widely. The film details are sketchy, the funding and producer's details are not known, but an Egyptian Christian ex-con could be involved and the Florida Quran burning pastor had much praise for it. When picked up by Arabic news, this inflamed tensions in the Middle East because wild rumor had it that it was supported by our government (as films must be there) and viewed widely in America, neither of which is true. 

It is widely thought to be an event that extremists used to their advantage and not necessarily the cause of the Cairo protest that turned angry and the tragic Libya embassy attack. It appears to be a well planned attack in the case of Libya. I'll be watching to see if the timing video is coincidence, if the ex-con suspected to be involved with the video was giving info to extremists, or if by chance both the video makers and the extremists wanted to use 9/11 to broadcast their hateful messages.

This is usually a time for putting politics aside and for expressing sympathy for victims' families together as Americans (or humans). Instead, Romney got his facts out of order and used that mistake to try and prop up the long debunked "apology tour" talking point to say Obama is not a leader and we need Romney to provide that leadership in Washington. Misguided is an understatement.

There are several things wrong, here. All pretty much lead one to conclude Romney shouldn't be anywhere close to an office that informs American foreign policy. He would be a disaster. GWB certainly made bad choices in foreign policy and advisers, but Romney is gunning for war and alienating allies well before we vote on who will make the best decisions in cases like these! 

1. He got the facts wrong.
*Obama did not apologize;
*the Twitter statement of tolerance was not an apology and came one guy from the embassy, not the White House;
*and the embassy statement was made BEFORE the attack to cool tensions ignited by an anti-Islam video.

2. He shamefully used the deaths of 4 Americans for political gain, along with Ryan and RNC chair Preibus.

3. It appears that he wasn't moved to make a statement condemning violence or expressing condolences or urging Americans to come together in crisis- his aides urged him to make a political statement separating him from Obama and dividing the nation.

4. Romney, Ryan also tried to tie in the "no leadership" talking point, and in the process proved Obama is the one you want in a crisis, without a doubt.

One of the tired Republican talking points seems to be that Obama lacks leadership, but ironically, this is the very thing in which Romney keeps displaying his profound lack of understanding and leadership. Just as McCain jumped the gun and made a spectacle of himself when the bottom dropped out of the economy (wanting to stop the campaign and debates to appear to be doing something), Romney with his gaffe ridden European tour, irresponsible Libya comments and criticism of Obama's careful diplomacy in favor of Romeny and Ryan's guns blazing, sabre rattling "American strength" does not inspire confidence the way a leader should in times of trouble. In fact, it goes beyond not inspiring confidence, though-  his way is bellicose and coarse, his approach is belligerent, undiplomatic and he is unqualified for the presidency.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jerusalem is given to Israel; both parties clueless

The historic vote on Jerusalem being given to Israel. Final status negotiations? We don't need 'em. We already wrote the outcome. Go through the motions, meet with Palestinians, take the vote, but you know what the outcome is. Ask Israel. We are working off of their paper.

What a spectacular show that DNC convention was! For most of the speeches, that is sincere. For one part in particular, this is extremely sarcastic. 

The passing of motions, two thirds vote, etc verbally- I've got to say that's the worst way to make a decision, especially when you've got a coliseum full of participants. Are they judging a dance contest? Are they on Sabado Gigante?? I couldn't tell. Shouldn't this be taken more seriously? 

 And what about leaving out the Palestinians in this whole charade? This impacts them more than it does us. What are we doing saying anything about this?? And where were they in this decision?

And third- I didn't know I had this many- what are Democrats doing letting Republicans write their platform? Stand up for peace, diplomacy; don't cave to extremists.

How many times did it take to get the "right" answer? I didn't know you could keep calling for a vote until it came out they way you wanted. Maybe Congress should operate this way. And by right, I mean the one the teleprompter already had on there. It was already decided. This voting garbage is just theater. (Hmm... a metaphor for our electoral process?)  On the third try, I definitely wouldn't call that two thirds! He must have just got tired of standing up there or something. Or he didn't know what to do if it didn't pass. After 3 times, all very close noise-wise, should they not take an actual vote?? Ridiculous! Who orchestrated that "voting" display of solidarity and door mattery for Israel, the far right- I'm not sure who they were trying to please, here.

RNC Convention fun and facts and fun with facts

Several superstar Romney fans have made news... what to say, what to say...


Chuck Norris's Romney endorsement video
1000 years of darkness if Obama is elected? Wow! :)

Hank Williams Jr is now. insisting Obama's a Muslim who hates farming, military, and the US. Last year he apparently compared him to Hitler. Nice.

Clint Eastwood talked to an empty chair at the RNC convention.

The whole RNC Convention in Tampa, or maybe it was just the first night?, was based on a misinterpreted antecedent. What's that about? President Obama said "you didn't build that," referring to roads and bridges, the original American system of government- we came together to build it, but Republicans took the opportunity to drop the context and say that Obama's saying you didn't build your business, he did.

A great Comedy Central sketch narrated by Leonard Nimoy that highlights how silly the out of context remark is and how ridiculous the "I built that" thing is when taken to extremes:
Mitt Romney: A Human Being Who Built That

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  --President Obama

The cropping context out of the picture strategy is kind of a theme...

Ryan and his Janesville plant-  just wrong in the assumptions prior to the convention. He ended up getting Obama's quote right for the convention, but misled by leaving out some context.

Ryan said Obama did nothing with the Simpson- Bowles commission on deficit reduction- forgot to mention he voted against it himself. I don't know if Romney has made the accusation against Obama, but he claims his plan is similar to the commission's.

Ryan essentially said S & P downgrade is Obama's fault- left out that a reason for the downgrade was the Congress impasse (Ryan led the charge to politicize) and the threat that Republicans wouldn't raise taxes.

Ryan, Romney, their ads, and various others accused Obama of funneling money from Medicare ($716 million or some such), but forgot to mention his Ryan plan does the same.

Both sides do it, but there are some glaring instances in the Republican convention where when the context is revealed, you feel a little embarrassed for them.

Ryan said don't forget speech is about big ideas when confronted with various misstatements. :)

Ryan, however, appears to have made the calculation that the misleading won't hurt him with voters. He might be right. CNN's David Gergen, while acknowledging some "misstatements" in Ryan's address, suggested that pundits focus elsewhere. "But let's not forget that this was a speech about big ideas," he told his audience.  --

Romney said he wasn't going to let fact checkers run the campaign. That's the understatement of the year!

Big on "ideas" sparse on details- also a theme- that with the shifting position one and some say these things weren't resolved on the last night of the convention, his opportunity to shine.

Here's the Guardian live blogging the Republican convention like a woman scorned ;) Funny stuff.

Romney said Americans come together after elections, but 8 days after Obama was elected, he was on a talk show saying his policies failed- or that he wanted them to?!  And, Republicans (more than a few fringe people) made it known they would oppose everything Obama tried to do. That seems unprecedented to me. I thought Americans tended to come together after elections as well.

Romney for his part, has a few misstatements as well. Even after the European gaffe tour and the apology/diplomacy tour gaffe...

He's going to create 12 million jobs, which would be created no matter who is president...

Washington Post fact check
Politifact Mitt Romney file
Fact Check .org

And more stuff to look for:
*He says he/Bain was responsible for the IN mill, Steel Dynamics
*$716 Medicare thing again
*Accuses of and criticizes military cuts
*Claimed Obama would raise taxes on middle class via Obamacare (implied)- fact check sided with Romney when Obama accused Romney of raising taxes on the middle class because Romney said he wouldn't do it and there aren't any details in his plan to prove.
* He claims incomes are down, gas prices double and that it's Obama's fault.

After the Republican convention, it seems the message is still fuzzy, They use things like lead, reapply, we'll get it done, in contrast to Bill Clinton's numerous numbers and specifics. Not to snub Obama, but Clinton's was a whopping 50 minutes. Wow. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Elephant in the Room

An old months-old post.... I've since written something on values voting that essentially says the same thing.

I used this phrase before, but didn't realize it's double meaning until someone pointed it out. :) So, yes, pun intended (this time).

People who are members of the Lord's body the church of Christ) are going to know more about what I'm talking about, but many things will be relevant to all who think about religion.

It's election time again and Christians are talking (in and out of the church building) about abortion and gay marriage and being a Christian in and out of the voting booth. It doesn't help that we've just passed an amendment to the state constitution here to ban gay marriage, so there's even more... ideas being exchanged, shall we say. There is a long held belief that being a Christian in the voting booth means voting Republican, with the implication that voting Democrat is sinful or nearly so (or agreeing with one or several ideas associated with Democrats means you support abortion and homosexuality and hence think it is not sin). These specifics are never really stated, but hinted at with the vote your values language and "be a Christian in and out of the voting booth" types of things, hence the elephant in the room.

I personally think this logic goes farther than scripture.

Why only these two issues to determine our morals?

Why choose two sins to determine morality by law that most Christians don't struggle with as opposed to more common ones?

Why must we have these things banned in law to be acceptable to God? And why not the other sins- are we ranking them? Have these two, abortion and homosexuality, been politicized? (Think how politically viable banning alcohol and divorce (except in the case of infidelity) and remarriage (except in the case of death and infidelity- for the one party) would be...)

A president governs the country, why not choose him based on qualifications for the job rather than his stance on banning two sins in particular above all others? We aren't electing an elder to the state church, after all.

Should we be more concerned with enacting laws to ban sin or teaching individuals? I ask this because of Jesus' approach, not necessarily as an actual choice. He commanded the gospel to be taught, not Rome to be toppled and replaced by the church or a democracy that enacted laws that banned sin.

A problem I see is that sometimes we speak in terms of putting God first as a nation, but we will be judged individually. There is no national salvation.

Another problem comes from the best of intentions. We are to stand up for Christ and rightly divide the word and not compromise on truth because it comes from a perfect authority. It seems that sometimes this same uncompromising approach seeps into the political beliefs (which involve fallible men and definitely imperfect doctrine) as well- for example, voting Republican= godly; voting Democrat= sin.  I agree that there aren't many paths to heaven; there is one. I don't think we can say the same about politics. There are many different issues and each one you can approach in a godly or ungodly way. Christians are going to disagree on which issues are important for governing and how much government should be in which things.

I imagine there are a ton of smart people who will have an answer for every one of my points, but what I'm saying is let's make sure the line in the sand we draw is scriptural and not political. With all due respect to many good people, I think it goes beyond scripture to say one party is a Godly choice or that you are not putting God first if you choose this or that party or that you will go to hell if you vote for this or that candidate.

Election 2012, foreign policy and Republicans... oh my

(I've combined 2 drafts, so I put the dates to make it a little less of a mess.)

September 5, 2012: A common talking point for Romney, Ryan and maybe others is the apology tour Obama supposedly went on- when Romney will go on a jobs tour. Ha ha! Except he confused apology with diplomacy. Oops!

Spetember 9, 2012:  He had a run-in with NASCAR before this weekend, but apparently, it went more smoothly than last time when he replied to the question of are you a fan with:

“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

And on Osama bin Laden, Romney said that of course he would have done the same (even Jimmy Carter would have- it (the Carter comparison effort) started earlier than the conventions), so it's really no big deal that this happened while Obama was in office. Hmm... After seeing Romney's lack of knowledge and skills in the foreign policy arena, I'm thinking that no he couldn't do what Obama did in killing Osama bin Laden. That took leadership,  cooperation and diplomacy as well as military skill- and Romney just doesn't have that in him what with calling diplomacy apology and that "shambolic" European tour.

A draft from May 28, 2012:

Just watched on CNN, Romney and McCain doing a Memorial Day event. Rep. Issa interestingly says we have a responsibility to step in when lives and human rights are at stake, especially in the region with Israel, Jordan and he listed others. Israel and human rights...that's another story...

He claims a Romney admin would jump right in and save the day in Syria by arming the opposition groups, preferably with NATO, rather than our own troops. It's pretty easy to keep such a hard line when you're not sacrificing your own people, I guess. Not to mention, with Romney's Bush foreign policy team, intervention in the Middle East would be disasterous. Maybe they wouldn't need lies of WMD to start something and get in there to install a US friendly Western style democracy with the barrel of a gun that doesn't have a hope of surviving due to the lack of consideration for the people the government is supposed to serve.

They should stick with the economy because I'm NOT buying Romney with no foreign policy experience and a background that doesn't inspire confidence (like Obama's did for me) and a Bush foreign policy team is going to fix all the hot spots of the day, finish bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan (if that's the plan- maybe he wants to keep them there?? Who knows?? Has he said?), and spend a ton on the military.

Romney is promising big spending on military because a strong military supposedly prevents wars...  Has he heard:
“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” --Albert Einstein

This is from March when Romney wasn't advocating military action in Syria, but McCain, his supporter that he's using to boost his foreign policy cred, would:

September 5, 2012:

I was right to be worried about this guy Romney and foreign policy. His European listen and learn tour took a rather crazy right turn and became tell everyone what to do and offend everyone you speak to tour- except Israel to whom he gave free reign to make our policy, move capitals when the mood strikes us, and we promise to execute it. Even if  they USS Liberty us again, we'll be right there killing whoever they want, giving them whatever money and weapons they think they need to fight the ever growing "demographic threat."

London- Romney criticized them for not being prepared for the 2012 Olympics. He not only appeared to criticize the leadership, but the British people, saying there are 3 keys to success and he wasn't sure the British public was up to creating the buzz. Ouch. Not long ago, Romney's campaign executed another gaffe about Obama not understanding Britain's and our Anglo Saxon ties...but he really doesn't know how to do diplomacy with an ally- and that's scary. What will he say to someone we consider hostile that we try and make peace with?? Us good. You bad. We bomb. ???

The British were ready with the rebuttal- the American Borat, shambolic visit, it's easy to put on an Olympics in the middle of nowhere. :) All spot on. :)

Poland- He's accused of trying to restart the cold war here. Whoa. And his aide cussed out a reporter I think. 

Israel- Possibly the biggest issue was that he said that the Jewish culture is the reason Jews make more money than occupied Palestinians. Really?? So, being occupied, having money confiscated, infrastructure bulldozed has nothing to do with it. Oh. 

Romney wished Jews and happy fasting holiday and never mentions Ramadan, the month long Muslim fasting holiday, not to mention ignoring Palestinian leadership when it came time for scheduling meetings.

He complimented Israel on their socialized medicine?!?! I'm confused. Isn't he (or his supporters) supposed to be calling Obama a socialist and saying how bad that is? This is the Republican line, but when in Israel, you praise everything they do- they can do no wrong. And with Romneycare in Massachusetts, what does this guy believe is the right way with regards to healthcare? He talks a Republican game, but enacts and endorses what Rebublicans call socialism.

He promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem and called this the capital of Israel??? I know this is a favorite lip service line to woo Jewish voters, but this is an issue for Israel and the Palestinians to decide and negotiate when they decide if they are going to live in one or two states with freedom and equal rights- not the US and DEFINITELY not a mere candidate for president! Coming from a Republican, you can consider it proof positive he'll ignore Palestinians and do whatever Israel wants- whether it is good for us of not. 

And- he essentially told Israel we'll back them up if they want to attack Iran. President Obama has said something to that effect, but urges restraint, diplomacy, caution. This goes beyond US policy and what should be said by a candidate on a listen and learn tour. Romney really needs to do more listening.