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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2nd Presidential Debate

Again in progess... maybe I'll finish this time? Who knows.

Obama was definitely more on top of things this time around, though both talked over the moderator at times and were tough on each other.

Conservatives say Obama danced around the questions. I, like progressives, thought Romney seemed to care about coming back to "you had 4 years, I can do better" rather than answering with specifics on his plans- or dancing around the question. The slow recovery thing is a bad argument, but one they try and push- I mean, we're recovering, not free falling- why should I believe Romney would make us recover faster (after Obama recued us from the abyss (yes, I know, that's overdramatic)) because he says so?

I am a little tired of people saying turn off the sound or only listen to the audio to figure out who REALLY won. In a debate where both people are not totally making fools of themselves or at least both making points and making rebuttals, each party is going to see what they want, and ignore the other stuff. And now I will tell you what I see :)

Jeremy: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. Can — what can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?

R:  1.Make it easier to afford college and 2. create jobs for when you get out. Answered the question yes I can assure you, but lacking on HOW. As usual. 
Brought up Mass. top quarter of class gets John and Abigail Adams scholarship for 4 yrs tuition free- didn't promise that or say who pays for it. He said he would grow Pell Grant program, but there has been back and forth on details- plan would or wouldn't grow it? Brought up 4 yrs of middle class squeeze and blamed it all on Obama, as though the recession didn't start before he took office. Instead of details on how to create jobs, he keeps saying he "has what it takes," is a businessman, etc. Kind of a non-answer. Don't even have to fact check that!

O: Cites 5 million jobs created. That's one of those things that is true, he's a net job creator, but we have lost a lot of jobs to the recession, so it's not a number to brag about. But he didn't cause the recession...
Brought up Romney and his let Detroit go bankrupt op ed. Good point.
Education- talks about record on student loans
Energy- invest in the current natural gas and also the future- solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars
Deficit- Make wealthy pay more,  invest war money into infrastructure and education... that money is borrowed, though.

*Both candidates mention poor Jeremy in the questions to come. He's the new stump speech example of "I care"! A little funny.

Crowley: Let me ask you for a more immediate answer, beginning with Mr. Romley

R: Obama's policies haven't put Americans back to work, fewer Americans working (jobs numbers spun the other way) . Says his 5 point plan will make 12 million new jobs...The problem is that people have said 12 million will be created even if Obama stays in office and things stay the same...And 5 point plan seems to be 5 more generalities/goals rather than actual specifics, though saying you have 5 points sounds better than - I have what it takes. He tried to refute teh Detroit thing saying the President did what he actually suggested in his op ed and it worked- bankrupt them... except the President helped them back up again and Romney would not have and the necessary loans wouldn't have been there and the companies would have been sold piece by piece.

O: Rightly refuted Romney's Detroit response. Called out his 5 point plan as favoring wealthy...not sure...I think it's just too general. Equated Romney's plans with Bush's that got us into the recession.

Romney tries to talk over Crowley with more on Detroit...

Phillip: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it's not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?

 Neither of them really answer the question, but I don't know that the question's answer is related all that much to the election, so I guess the candidates made it relevant in not answering it directly.

O: Production is up, coal production and employment up. Continue drilling, but tweak/ regulate for efficiency and also focus on future, clean energy equally.

Crowley: Governor, on the subject of gas prices.

R: Brings up that production is down on federal land, up on private in ND, but forgets to tell the whole story - what about the 2010 oil spill- had to shut things down, really no choice.

When the president ran for office, he said, if you build a coal plant, you can go ahead, but you'll go bankrupt. (Did he and what does it mean?)

Claims Obama isn't Mr. Oil, Mr. Gas, Mr. Coal, wants clean energy, but claims Obama is holding us back. 

Promises energy independence, but again doesn't say how.

They're already beginning to come back because of our abundant energy.
(If manuf jobs are coming back under Obama, why do we need you?)

Crowley: Mr. President, let me just see if I can move you to the gist of this question, which is are we looking at the new normal? I can tell you that tomorrow morning, a lot of people in Hempstead will wake up and fill up, and they will find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. Is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down, or are we looking at the new normal?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

VP Debate

In progress... but here it is...

There is a lot of talk about Biden smirking and laughing, what is so funny, it's disrespectful, look how respectful Ryan was, etc. Some of Ryan's answers were funny. The centrifuges spinning faster? C'mon. Totally funny.

1. Libya. Pre planned, not video /protest driven. Intel failure?

didn't give the best answer initially, but did bring up the wider security issues:
Iraq- Romney wanted to leave troops, Obama ended it.
Afghanistan- Obama set a date to get out, Romney leaves that very ambiguous
Bin Laden- Obama's highest priority from day one, Romney "wouldn't move heaven and earth" to get him, the 9/11 perp, the reason we are in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last statement was that we didn't need more wars, could have brought up the Euro tour in which Romney fumbled his way through... another indicator of the opposite of clear vision, steady hand.

Of course
Ryan siezed on the "was it protest, was it planned" confusion and says (with the benefit of hindsight) that they'll call it what it was- a terrorist attack. Hard to believe when the first thing Romney did was call that press conference condemning Obama for apologizing and in the process getting his own facts totally wrong!
He claims to have had the same position as Obama on getting out of Iraq, but wanted Status of Forces which Obama didn't get (Biden addresses later that Republicans blocked it?)
Threw a random comment about veterans in and there- and Biden's son- I guess to try and make him seem like he's being magnanimous,, which I don't think Biden took the opportunity to attack...
Calls the 2014 deadline projecting weakness ??? even though his ticket agrees with it.

Tired and oft repeated line about "unraveling of Obama foreign policy" (the new apology line replacement?)

2. Raddatz: to Ryan- is the apology thing appropriate in the middle of the crisis?
said Obama had same position as Romney and disavowed their Cairo statement, repeating the fact confusion Romney was called out for at the time.
Should have supported Iran 2009 Green Revolution sooner (just time wise, or with force, what does he mean)

Should not have called Assad a reformer when he used Russian guns on his own (Russia opening as to why to proceed with caution on Syria...not taken I think)- I agree he's no reformer, but Clinton was talking about some in Congress thinking that, not in talking about White House love for him.
Should not be making defense cuts
Tries to spin the weakness in foreign policy line again... he will keep trying, but never comes up with anything good to support that very emphatic point of his.

Biden got to make a few points, referred to the $300 million in embassy cuts (fact check is inconclusive on being that specific ,but lack of details on what cuts also doesn't help RR), the Libya response and Romney's bungled facts, and countered the weakness argument with the facts of the difference Obama made in the world's trust and confidence being repaired, getting Russia and China on board for the most crippling sanctions on Iran.

3. Raddatz:
Back to Libya. Good moderating-bringing them back. When were you told? Why talk about protesters if it was planned, not spontaneous. Why did it go on for weeks.

Biden tried to say they announced things as info was made available by intel community. Then Raddatz tried to ask about the request for more embassy security again. Repeated that they said what they knew, we'll get to the bottom of it, supposed to pull together in an attack, not call press conference attacking president, that's not leadership. (good point, esp since Romney didn't have facts straight and used tragedy for political gain right away)

(The Libya thing seems to be blown out of proportion a bit in that the embassy just wanted a few guards to stay on longer, they weren't asking for a large marine contingent for a big threat they had been telling Washington about for months or anything. Eric Nordstrom at the House probe said the attack was not like anything they'd seen or expected and the few guards they wanted probably wouldn't have made a difference. So teh effort to prove this was like Bush and 9/11 kind of falls flat, but Biden didn't grab that opportunity, so it will be seen as a win for Ryan.

The request was handled at the State Department, so the President and Vice President probably didn't know. And the request was for Tripoli, not so much for Benghazi.

4. Raddatz tries hard to ask Ryan about the apology theme, the book entitled No Apologies (  :)  ), should we apologize for burning Qurans and urinating of corpses?

on corpses- "of course!"- Raddatz interrupts and asks about Qurans- Ryan totally what does he think about that one? Is it fine to burn Qurans?
He again tries to say we
=shouldn't apologize for our values (implying that we did??), - either referring to the tired debunked apology tour or Romney's criticism of the Cairo embassy tweet sent to calm tensions, not authorized by White House
=shouldn't call Mubarak good one day and call for ouster the next,
=appears to reference the 1982 marine barrack attack, but then shifts it back to the Benghazi embassy security and quotes the unraveling of fp talking point again.

Ryan begins on Iran and
Raddatz directs it firmly to Iran. Both agree Iran must not get nuke weapon and will use force if necessary. Gates says attack on facility would be catastrophic, haunting us for generations.
5. Both- how effective is a military strike on Iran?

Ryan was quite comical on this one and begins with the lie that Iran had enough fissile material for one and under Obama, now has enough for five ??? (Biden points out that they don't have a weapon to put it in, so they are not close, but he forgot to say 5 is a big stretch of the truth and they don't have that much enriched enough to make the weapons- so there are many reasons to support Iran being far from a weapon.

Romney supported sanctions since 2007, Ryan since 2009- admin blocked them every step of the way (?)
(Obama actually was slow at first in order to build a coalition, something I elected him specifically for (diplomacy, no cowboy go it alone antics), and stepped it up after the EU joined. The crippling sanctions would have hurt allies, so we had to work that out, too.),0,1293383.story

Some of the repetitive, well-debunked or funny points he made:
*racing toward a nuke
*four years closer to a nuke
*stepping up terrorist attacks (Saudi ambassador)
*wants to change minds of ayatollahs ???

Biden makes a point about Republican Congress not being able to get support of Russia and China for sanctions and on not doing enough- suggests they want war.
says we want to prevent war
Biden effectively refutes the fissile material claim and says we could deal a military blow to Iran, but since they aren't close to a bomb, that's not the course of action now.

continues the watered down sanctions claim, adds a criticism of space/snub with Israel and not meeting publicly with Netanyahu (Bibi, as both insist on calling him to prove familiarity), and actually criticizes the admin for not threatening war more it seems (walked back all options talk).

asks about how Ryan will "change their mind" on the nuke in the time Netanyahu has set for spring with his red line.

Ryan bumbles around and ends up with- we'll debate a timeline and -you have to have credibility- we have it, they don't ... again.

pretty well establishes that sanctions are working and they have credibility and hits back on the distance with Israel, pointing out (that it is possible to be close even if you don't so teh photo op) that they talked beforehand and are in close contact even if they didn't hang out after the UN in NY.

Biden says stuff and malarkey, is called out by Raddatz, and goes on to make a great point about war being on the table, but not in view because they don't have a weapon, which is our goal (to keep it from happening), sanctions are working, they are more isolated than when they took office.

addresses Ryan, he interrupts, saying thank goodness we have the sanctions despite Obama admin opposition...  (again with that distortion)
Ryan: repeats 4 yrs closer to a nuke / Biden says no  in the back and forth

accuses Biden of meaning that Iran doesn't want a weapon. I think that was wrong of her. Maybe she's trying extra hard to please the right who thinks she's in Obama's pocket because she wants to help her ex-husband's friends he attended her wedding in the 90s before he even knew Biden. He's been saying the uranium's not enriched to the proper level, Ryan exaggerated with 5 bombs, and there's no weapon to put any material in- hardly saying Iran doesn't want one. And he brings up the necessity of diplomacy, bringing everyone together against the bomb, for sanctions.

asks Ryan about Gates statement that an attack on the nuke facility could be catastrophic.
Ryan: Tries not so well to make a credibility point about walking back again- his statement makes Iran think they can get a bomb (what do we do, threaten war all the time?), precondition statement, silent 9 days on Green Rev, space between Israel, Russia watered down sanctions

tries to respond, but Raddatz asks a question she tried to ask earlier- which is worse another war in Mid East or Iran with nuke?

Ryan: nuclear armed Iran that triggers arms race, then adds they want to wipe out Israel and call us the Great Satan
: war is last resort, sanctions are working and we are working with Israel, to refute that Israel at arm's length point, and throws in a flip flop comment about Romney

Raddatz: Can you get unemployment to under 6 percent, and how long will it take?
Biden says they can, but don't know how long. Rightly points out where we started- free fall, hits on helping middle class, rescue of GM (Romney- let Detroit go bankrupt), 47%, RR won't give middle class a cut unless wealthy get it too.
Ryan compares Scranton and Janesville, has that exchange with Biden about Scranton's unemployment and says the nations unemployment is also going way up. Biden rightly laughs and corrects him since the recent numbers were actually down. Ryan: Admits the free fall situation inherited, but says we are going in wrong direction (after providing nothing else but the assertion that unemployment is up, contradicting facts) and tries to push the slow recovery idea, which seems to be a bad argument seeing as how we are talking about a recovery and not worse. Mentions 5 point plan (supposedly adding detail to ideas..., but need details on each point- shady still). Makes the car guy comment. Wow! Big opening. Then goes into how charitable Romney is personally. ??? Relevance? And an opening to Biden's tragic history...  Claims the Detroit quote is misquote, and digs at Biden about gaffes-" I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way." Then mentions opportunity and upward mobility as RR admin goal.

reinforces that Romney's 47% was different than Biden's little slips, then takes that opening to tell of his own tragedy. Took on Ryan's car guy comment again, this time mentioning two wars on credit, jobs bill opposition, tax cuts, Obama saved jobs, prescription drugs on credit. He does mix up how he voted I think... Does note irony of doing all that while emphasizing the debt reduction priority.

: Obama came in with Congress control and just did stimulus. RAddatz asks him again if he could get it lower than 6%. He generalizes about growing economy and creating 12 million jobs. Mentions stimulus and DOE corruption charges.

points out that Ryan's colleague started the investigation that didn't find any corruption. And pointedly notes that Ryan sent 2 letters asking for stimulus funds. Bam. He admits it.

After the gotcha that really got him, he throws out electric cars in Finland, windmills in China, borrowing from China.

comes back with a defense for the green jobs- 4% failed, that's better than investment bankers 40% loss.

Raddatz keeps things going with "Will benefits for Americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive, Mr. Ryan?"

Romney Ryan tax plan: