Friday, August 31, 2012

The Republican convention

Let's see now.

1.  Tropical storm Isaac cancelled out the first day, leaving The Donald and others on the cutting room floor.

2.  According to some, Ann Romney rocked the hall with her 'humanizing Mitt' speech.  But a (liberal) friend of mine said it was embarrassingly superficial, that she came across looking like a silly school girl.  So take your pick.

3.  Chris Christie, the designated keynote speaker, reportedly said "I" 37 times and "Romney" barely 6 times.   Consensus seems to be he came across as a self-promoting braggard, probably an embarrassment for the Republicans.

4.  Ryan's big moment has been marred by the widespread criticism of his "lies and distortions," enumerated by the Fox News columnist Sally Kohn, among others, and excerpted in my previous post.

5.  And tonight, the big buildup over the "mystery speaker" turned out to be a coup best not couped.   They had snagged Clint Eastwood to give a bit of excitement to the crowd.  Instead, it was a cringe-inducing bad choice.   He went off script, rambled, had a mock conversation with Barack Obama (aka an empty chair), and made a couple of big gaffes (criticized Obama for the plan to draw down troops in Afghanistan, a timetable endorsed by Romney;  and said he thought it wasn't a good idea for lawyers to be president (supposedly meaning Obama) -- but Romney is a lawyer himself -- a Harvard Law School grad, just like Obama.

Rachel Carson said, live on TV, "that was the wierdest thing I have seen at a political convention in my entire life."

And an Obama campaign spokesman tweeted:  "Referring all questions on this to Salvadore Dali."

Well, I didn't watch any of this.   And I am not watching Romney's speech, which is going on as I write this.   Just didn't have the stomach to watch thousands of people eating up all this blather and distortion, not to mention the outright lies.


PS:  Just read this dog-whistle from The Speech.   At least the way it was quoted in the internet, Romney said "I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want American to succeed."   Then later, and I'm not sure how much gap there was in between, but he then said:
"When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American."
Is that a coded, covert way of saying Obama is not an American?

Of course not, they will say.   But we all know there are ways of saying things directly, and there are ways of saying things that the listener will hear, even if you didn't actually say them.  This is one of those.  That's why we call it a dog whistle -- too high pitched to make a sound, but loud and clear to those whose ears are attuned.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Even a Fox News columnist trashes Ryan's speech

Paul Ryan's acceptance speech at last night's convention is coming under a barrage of criticism for the lies and distortions he blatantly put out there.

Even a Fox News columnist has joined more liberal media in saying that Ryan's speech last night was "full of lies and misleading assertions."  Of course, the Fox pundits on tv had a lot of praise to heap on him, but they did not address the discrepancies and distortions.

So here's part of what Sally Kohn, the Fox News columnist wrote:

"To anyone watching Ryan’s speech who hasn’t been paying much attention to the ins and outs and accusations of the campaign, I suspect Ryan came across as a smart, passionate and all-around nice guy — the sort of guy you can imagine having a friendly chat with while watching your kids play soccer together. And for a lot of voters, what matters isn’t what candidates have done or what they promise to do —it’s personality. On this measure, Mitt Romney has been catastrophically struggling and with his speech, Ryan humanized himself and presumably by extension, the top of the ticket. . . .

"On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech . . . .
 "Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling. 

"Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush.  Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

"Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn't what the president said. Period. 

"Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

"Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many."
That's pretty clear and to the point.  And from one who we'd ordinarily expect to be on his side.

Remember also that these were not some inadvertant distortions slipped into a speech at a campaign rally.  This was a carefully scripted, multiply-vetted speech in the spotlight of a national convention to accept the nomination for Vice President.

Mitch McConnell defended Ryan against the criticism over what he said about Obama not embracing the Bowles-Simpson plan when Ryan himself voted against it.  McConnell made the following outrageous assertion:
"Divided government has frequently done very big things, and had an opportunity to last year.  We gave [Obama] every chance to get out from under his desk and to do something big for the country. . . . They didn't want a fix.  We stepped over all kinds of trip wires . . . to try to get them to deal with the big problem, which is making the entitlement programs fit the demographics of our country. And they didn't do it. So the president has not led. There's no question about that."
A Democratic spokesman countered by saying that McConnell "has a PhD in revisionist history."  This is the same McConnell who said three years ago that the Republicans' aim was "to ensure that Obama is a one-term president" -- and then proceeded to put up every imaginable roadblock to thwart his every effort to lead and to provide for the needs of the country.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A chuckle

A cartoon in The New Yorker shows a group of men, obviously the Founding Fathers, sitting around a table with drafts of the constitution spread out before them.

One says, "Now, should we add something at the end about how wise we are and therefore nothing in here should ever be changed?"

Please take note, Justices Scalia and Thomas !!!

I love it !!


Politics . . . first and always

Can there be any doubt that political opposition to the Affordable Care Act and to President Obama is the main factor?

Governor Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia will not be participating in the part of the health care reform that was made optional for states in light of the Supreme Court decision.

This particular provision would make 650,000 more Georgians eligible for Medicaid health care.   The federal government would pay 100% of the cost for the first three years and 90% thereafter.

Gov. Dean says Georgia can't afford it because of decreased revenue in these times.   Which is kind of understandable when they've been laying off teachers and law enforcement people.

But it would cost the state nothing for three years.

And only 10% beyond three years to give 650,000 more people health care.

That sounds like a great bargain.  So why not participate?

Two reasons:  (1) to defeat President Obama and (2) Republicans think we should be cutting things like Medicaid, not expanding it.

Am I surprised?



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Isaac bad timing for GOP

It's bad enough that tropical storm/hurricane Isaac is raining on the Republican parade in Tampa, leading to cancelling the first day of their convention and scrambling to include some of those speakers on other days.

But Isaac is bad news for them in another, perhaps worse way -- and the Obama-friendly Progressive Change  Committee already has an ad running on Florida computer screens to drive the point home.

The Republican budget, created by Paul Ryan's House Budget Committee, praised by Mitt Romney, and passed by the House but not by the Senate, proposed cutting $500 million from the department that funds disaster relief programs.

How about that for bad timing !!!


PS:  Cancelling Monday night was not all bad.   One speaker who had to be dropped was Donald Trump and whatever extravagant "surprise" he had in store for the convention delegates.

Monday, August 27, 2012

God's wrath . . . at the GOP?

Pat Robertson, who is getting more and more irrational in his dotage, has never lacked for a divine explanation for why bad things happen to those Pat disapproves of.   And of course he knows that the disapproval really comes from God, who sends the natural disasters and terrorists to punish the sinners.

Forest fires about to consume Orlando?   It's because the city displayed banners for Gay Days at Disneyworld.  (PS -- the fires later changed direction and spared Orlando).

The 9/11 attacks on the world trade center?   This country's acceptance of homosexuals.

Losses in Afghanistan and Iraq?   The repeal of DADT. . . .   Well, I don't know that he actually said the last one, but it fits his pattern.

So, now Rev. Robertson, please tell us why Tropical Storm Isaac is about to turn into a hurricane down there near Tampa and force the GOP to change its multi-million dollar staged extravaganza.

Have the Republicans done something to displease you and God?