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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   2501. GregD Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4273686)
Flip
   2502. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4273688)
I'm a still-undecided voter, and no I'm not uninformed, and the vibe in here still strikes me as two or more of the creepiest echo-chambers on earth.

Odder still is the number of dedicated, dispassionate baseball-minded folks who in a 30-day analysis might well celebrate a new finding.

Off a Presidential debate or even an entire Presidential campaign, not so much.

Most boring of all is the "undecided voter" meme.
The last acceptable stereotype, I guess.

The warring parties have assembled all their soldiers.
Start up the funeral pyre for the dregs.
We both need kindling.


   2503. madvillain Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4273690)
I'm a still-undecided voter, and no I'm not uninformed, and the vibe in here still strikes me as two or more of the creepiest echo-chambers on earth.


Welcome to the Internet! Debates are great political theatre, that's about it. If you're an undecided voter and making your decisions off what's said in the debates I'd prefer you just don't vote. Not that you're that undecided voter.
   2504. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4273693)

You buried the lead, and rightly so.

Pass.
   2505. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4273694)
The Washington Post's Fact Checker stated several weeks ago that there is "a world of difference" between "acts of terror" and "terrorism" in this context:

Post Fact Checker

"[W]e added this statement to the timeline after Josh Gerstein of Politico asserted that the phrasing “acts of terror” showed Obama acknowledged “terrorism” was behind the attack. From our many years of covering diplomacy we would say there is a world of difference, but readers can draw their own conclusions."

I don't think I've commented in this thread before, but it seems Bob Schieffer is supposed to be the moderator for the foreign policy debate? I think they will get to the bottom of this, and that the President's re-election is in very deep trouble.
   2506. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4273704)
Most boring of all is the "undecided voter" meme.

Replacing it with the above-it-all-mien meme won't lead to change I can believe in.
   2507. madvillain Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:49 AM (#4273713)
You buried the lead, and rightly so.

Pass.


Well, you're an undecided voter at this point, so I'll just call you a waffling idiot. Still wanna pass? Seriously, how the #### do you not have your mind made up yet? You've only had, I dunno, the last 50 years of US political discourse to pick a ####### side.

This isn't your local state senate race in the Bronx where there is a legit choice between the grass roots upstart 3rd party candidate or the entrenched but "brings home the bacon" incumbent. -- it's the US Presidency, there is only the head Democrat or the head Republican. Pick a side.
   2508. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4273721)
Well, you're an undecided voter at this point, so I'll just call you a waffling idiot. Still wanna pass? Seriously, how the #### do you not have your mind made up yet? You've only had, I dunno, the last 50 years of US political discourse to pick a ####### side.

A buddy of mine and me watched the debate together this evening, and we agreed on this point. A well-informed voter who can't decide between these alternatives at this point in the proceedings is beyond ridiculous. Therefore one must be exceedingly skeptical about claims of "well-informed," or perhaps of the authenticity of the "undecided" claim, but both cannot plausibly be true.
   2509. GregD Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:01 AM (#4273722)
In the trivial category, the Boston Phoenix's Politics blog calls BS on the binder story. Short story: Bipartisan women's effort to collect candidates before the gubernatorial election was then presented to Mitt, but his story that he asked for a collection effort is false. He appointed a strong number of women his first year but ended his term with fewer women in high positions than were in place in the previous administration. Phoenix politics blog
   2510. rr Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4273724)
I'm a still-undecided voter, and no I'm not uninformed, and the vibe in here still strikes me as two or more of the creepiest echo-chambers on earth.


Nah. It's partisan in here, but it isn't RedState and DailyKos. It is pretty snarky sometimes, but that is just BTF.

Odder still is the number of dedicated, dispassionate baseball-minded folks who in a 30-day analysis might well celebrate a new finding.


Not sure what this means, exactly, but I will say that the political discourse here very much reflects the demographic. A lot of Libertarians, a lot of technocratic FiCons, a lot of academia-type degreed-up Liberals (like me), and a lot of above-it-all guys of various stripes. Bill James has always handled politics that way--everybody is full of shitt except for me, I am dead center, I just want intelligent solutions with no partisan bullshitt, etc. Some people are into the debates for the same reasons they watch the LCS--to see who comes out on top when all the cameras are on.

As to your personal situation, Romney and Obama are, obviously, both big-time pols with a lot in common in the macrosense. There are, however, some very basic policy differences between the two parties, so there is definitely something on which to base a choice. As to the guys themselves, in terms of thumbnails, Obama is basically a pontificating professor and Romney is basically a cold-blooded CEO. Both of them are smart, competitive guys and both appear to be self-disciplined, relatively quiet-living family men when the cameras are off. There are other differences, of course, which have been discussed at length here and in the media.

If you are fed up with the whole two-party system, there is no shortage of guys here who will be happy to explain to you why you should vote for Gary Johnson, and you might even find someone who will tell you why you should vote Green.

   2511. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 17, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4273726)
Hey, take it easy on Howie. As an NYC-area guy, he might be giving Trump every opportunity to jump into the race.
   2512. BurlyBuehrle Posted: October 17, 2012 at 04:23 AM (#4273732)
You could always try one of the countless internet quizzes out there designed to tell you who your views align you with. They aren't perfect, but they're a decent start. http://www.isidewith.com/presidential-election-quiz

When are we, as a nation, going to quit with the supply-side garbage? The economy will recover when DEMAND for products and services increases. Has either candidate acknowledged this fundamental point? Demand increases when poor and middle class folks have some bucks in their pockets to spend - which doesn't happen until we address income stagnation and stop pretending that it is okay that the top 1% have captured the lion's share of all GDP growth in the past 30 years.

With interest rates this low, the deficit nonsense is a short-term bogeyman. The government should be spending and borrowing - to stimulate job creation. The low interest rates virtually guarantee that the ROI will be multiples of the spending, particularly if the spending is tailored to traditionally high-yield areas. Of course, in both candidates' race to the right, neither even intimated that government spending could be part of the solution.
   2513. Portia Stanke Posted: October 17, 2012 at 05:47 AM (#4273735)
   2514. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:47 AM (#4273747)
I don't think I've commented in this thread before, but it seems Bob Schieffer is supposed to be the moderator for the foreign policy debate? I think they will get to the bottom of this, and that the President's re-election is in very deep trouble.

Yeah, the distinction between "acts of terror" and "terrorism" has the potential to be the greatest election game changer since Nixon spent most of his third debate with Kennedy claiming that Kennedy would let the Chinese Communists take over the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. The audience rolled its eyes and snickered at Nixon's strange obsession, and if any votes were changed they were changed in Kennedy's direction.

Seriously, this whole inane line of attack is nothing but one more volley in the endless "the Democrat Party is soft on...." line that excites the neocons and virtually no one else.

P.S. Those islands remained in Taiwan's hands long after Kennedy went to his reward.
   2515. bobm Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4273753)
There are, however, some very basic policy differences between the two parties, so there is definitely something on which to base a choice. 

Also the incumbent's four-year track record.

The audience rolled its eyes and snickered at Nixon's strange obsession, and if any votes were changed they were changed in Kennedy's direction

The (VP) incumbent trying to tar the challenger with scary stories?

This reminds me of how Obama is still trying to present himself as a bulwark against Romney ultraconservatism, rather than running on a record of actual accomplishment. Romney still looks to voters like a plausible alternative.
   2516. McCoy Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4273758)
Except that Candy Crowley just admitted she was wrong and Romney was right.


You really do get your marching orders from conservative blogs.
   2517. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4273768)
As to the guys themselves, in terms of thumbnails, Obama is basically a pontificating professor and Romney is basically a cold-blooded CEO. Both of them are smart, competitive guys and both appear to be self-disciplined, relatively quiet-living family men when the cameras are off.


Wrong. Mitt Romney snorts coke off of Ann's ass while being blown by illegal immigrant house cleaners.

If you are fed up with the whole two-party system, there is no shortage of guys here who will be happy to explain to you why you should vote for Gary Johnson, and you might even find someone who will tell you why you should vote Green.


I'm not sure the best way to approach a conversation with a self-identified undecided voter is to tell them they're idiots for not having decided yet. I mean, if you're interested in advancing a dialogue. If you're just throwing stones, sure. But I was under the impression that that was what I was here for.
   2518. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4273772)
In unrelated news, the Taliban is upset that they are getting bad press coverage in Pakistan after attempting to murder a 14 year old girl. They do not deny that they attempted to murder a 14 year old girl, rather they claim that press coverage that so much as implies that attempting to murder a 14 year old girl may be a bad thing is BIASED...

   2519. bunyon Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4273773)
I can see how someone would be undecided pretty easily: Obama's economics sucks and Romney's social issue/religious love affair with the far religious right sucks.

I would like a job and a growing 401K but I'm not sure I want my gay friend's door kicked in. Which is more important to you? If you decide to take the money, have you sold out good people? If you vote for social issues, how will you eat?

Okay, that's over the top; but, you all correctly point out that there are clear differences on the issues between Romney and Obama and Democrats and Republicans. But there are a lot more than one issue. Which is most important to you, which can you stomach? If we had a system in which the two sides worked together, you could vote for the best manager and hope it all gets sorted out, but we are increasingly at a point that you get all of one side's package or all of the other's.

That is, it isn't being undecided between Romney and Obama, per se, but undecided as to which issues are the most important at this point in time.

Which sucks.
   2520. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4273775)
Now I am even more confident that Obama won the debate and Romney's Benghazi attack hurt him badly.


Yep. The point where Snapper started seancing in Reagan was the point where you knew who was winning handily. Joe's just providing confirmation post-fact.
   2521. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4273780)
In unrelated news, the Taliban is upset that they are getting bad press coverage in Pakistan after attempting to murder a 14 year old girl. They do not deny that they attempted to murder a 14 year old girl, rather they claim that press coverage that so much as implies that attempting to murder a 14 year old girl may be a bad thing is BIASED...


They need to start their own fair and balanced news organization.
   2522. McCoy Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4273782)
There are differences but i don't think it takes six months or more to come to a decision. Neither candidate has said anything new in the last four years.

Romney is still the same guy who couldn't beat mccain.
   2523. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4273787)
You have to look at the bigger picture. The faults of the Democratic Party pale in comparison to the Republican Party's. Remember, this is the party that has tried on several occasions in recent years to subvert elections and the Constitution (Clinton Impeachment, Gore v. Bush, Terri Schiavo, at least), and it seeks more opportunity to do the same. It's driven by an irrational mindset that is anti-evolution, anti-science, and anti-reason really. The Democrat Party's faults in comparison seem picayune. Yes, they are the party of wusses, but they do not relish and revel in evil, and it's telling that this wussery only serves to ratchet up the Republican sadism. Being a birther, and being an apologist for birthers, is a whole 'nuther smoke. Let's bring back the right to torment the fags in the library during free period--Jesus would have wanted it that way--makes being a reactionary a whole different order of being. Death penalties for disobedient children and claiming that women who get pregnant after being raped means they weren't really raped is not that far from shooting 14-year old children or beating women in the streets with sticks.
   2524. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4273788)
There are differences but i don't think it takes six months or more to come to a decision. Neither candidate has said anything new in the last four years.


I agree with this critique; it's not like the GOP or Dems have radically changed their platforms on much of anything recently. Everything else is window dressing.

With that said, if I could figure out how "undecideds" manage to tune out the constant, unending drone of 24-hour, constant, 4-year campaigning that goes on these days and ignore politics for like, 3.5 years at a time... Yeah, I'd probably take that drug.
   2525. DA Baracus Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4273789)
Oh man, "binders of women" is a lie too...

What actually happened was that in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I've checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I've just presented it is correct -- and that Romney's claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

I will write more about this later, but for tonight let me just make a few quick additional points. First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn't care about -- and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about -- budget, business development, etc. -- went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney's story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn't know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?
   2526. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4273794)
The audience rolled its eyes and snickered at Nixon's strange obsession, and if any votes were changed they were changed in Kennedy's direction

The (VP) incumbent trying to tar the challenger with scary stories?


No, just the same old "the Democrat Party is soft on...." line that the GOP has been peddling for the last 60 years. In Nixon's case it was communism, in the neocons' case it's terrorism.
   2527. zonk Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4273798)
Benghazi is Rudy "a noun, a verb, and 9/11" all over again -- remember Rudy criticizing the Democrats in 2008 because they didn't say the word "9/11" often enough?

It's the world's dumbest gotcha - let's imagine for a moment that Obama hadn't said what Romney seemed to have believed he hadn't said - Romney's entire point seems to be that Obama didn't use some secret decoder word in the right sequence or often enough to I don't know... what... get the bat terror signal so the neocon superfriends could start stomping around like a pissed off 5 year old?

We tried bellicosity and bluster as the primary underpinnings on foreign policy... All it got us were thousands of dead soldiers in the sands of Iraq, 10s of thousands injured - some permanently, damaged relations with our allies, distrust from nations that are neither friend nor foe -- and hella good talking points for nations that were truly our enemies. Meanwhile, the people that actually DID attack us became an afterthought, the nation from which they were primarily based was a sideways afterthought.

I mean, WTF cares about secret magic words in the appropriate proportion and sequence? Yes - those things matter when it comes nation-to-nation diplomacy, but what.... you think people willing to strap bombs to themselves and blow up markets or planes or buildings with civilians, even women and children are going to somehow respond differently to bluster and belligerence?

   2528. Kurt Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4273801)
Is "undecided voter" a term of art restricted to "definitely voting for the Republican or the Democrat, not sure which?" Because I would think the majority of undecided voters are either choosing between their preferred R/D candidate and their favored minor candidate (Green, Libertarian, whatever), or choosing between their preferred R/D candidate and staying home.
   2529. GregD Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4273804)
To try to comprehend the Romney team's decision to pile on Libya, I think you have to think about where they stand. For the time in generations the Democrats poll better on national security. Their primary line of attack on this front has been Iran, but pushing that apparently hasn't worked or creates fear of another war, because they've softened this, so they don't have much to work with. Because their main difference is Iran; otherwise, the candidates don't differ on other aspects of foreign policy. When you're behind on an issue, you throw it long and hope it lands in your guy's hands, but it's going to be an interception. But it did play to all of Mitt's weaknesses and none of his strengths.

The final debate is going to be interesting as Mitt hasn't done well on foreign policy all along and could easily get caught in bluster there. But he's going to be well enough prepared that I'd guess it will come out about like this one, a perceptible but not gigantic win for Obama.
   2530. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4273806)
Is "undecided voter" a term of art restricted to "definitely voting for the Republican or the Democrat, not sure which?" Because I would think the majority of undecided voters are either choosing between their preferred R/D candidate and their favored minor candidate (Green, Libertarian, whatever), or choosing between their preferred R/D candidate and staying home.


Exactly. A choice between R and D is no choice at all.

And an aside, does Romney drink stem cell smoothies or something? I had not idea the man was 65 until yesterday.
   2531. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4273808)
Romney did look like he held his age well, last night he looked like he had aged five years since he officially started his run.
   2532. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4273809)
Anyone who thinks there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats definitely needs to go in for an overhaul.
   2533. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4273815)
Anyone who thinks there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats definitely needs to go in for an overhaul.


Of course there are differences. There were differences between the Buick LeSabre and the Oldsmobile 88, that doesn't mean they aren't essentially the same car.

   2534. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4273818)
That's wrong, too. Read 2523.
   2535. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4273826)
To try to comprehend the Romney team's decision to pile on Libya, I think you have to think about where they stand. For the time in generations the Democrats poll better on national security. Their primary line of attack on this front has been Iran, but pushing that apparently hasn't worked or creates fear of another war, because they've softened this, so they don't have much to work with.


Romney also brought up Syria, which baffles me, I mean Syria? I would think that the average person on the street's response to Romney is, "What? You want us to go into Syria??? Syria? no effing way"

There was some administration dissembling in the wake of the Libyan consulate attack (nothing like some of Bush's Iraq whoppers though)- but Romney's tactics in response are just so awkward that he's blown whatever advantage he may have hoped to gain, and he's still digging.

   2536. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4273834)
All of your points in 2523 are correct, for the most part. And while the Dems "do not relish and revel in evil" as a party to the extent the Repubs do, Obama certainly does. If anyone has contempt for the Constitution, its Obama. He has a ####### kill list for ##### sake.

In truth, most of these issues are trivial when you look at the overall picture. Is gay marriage in and of itself trivial? No, of course not. But if you told someone, "Hey, you can marry your boyfriend, but we're going to run this economy into the ground so you have no hope of retiring until you die, and your income will never keep pace with inflation, and we reserve the right to grope your nuts every time you want to fly somewhere" etc. ad nauseum, what do you think the person would choose?

Both parties support policies and mindsets that are destroying the US. When one in five children live in poverty in the richest country the world has ever known, when you are subject to indefinite detention and execution on the mere suspicion of a crime, when entire cities are declaring bankruptcy, when Wall St. fraudsters can pillage with impunity, do you really, seriously believe that the right of a man to marry a man should be top of ####### mind? You guys are way too smart for this.



   2537. bunyon Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4273838)
Not drinking alcohol and not drinking caffeine and leading a generally pure and wholesome life has its advantages.

Not enough to make me want to try it or anything, but advantages.
   2538. rr Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4273840)
I'm not sure the best way to approach a conversation with a self-identified undecided voter is to tell them they're idiots for not having decided yet.


A couple of other guys did that; I didn't, though, or at least did not intend to. I would add that the reverse is true, in that "undecided" doesn't mean "intellectually superior and bias-free."
   2539. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4273841)
Romney also brought up Syria, which baffles me, I mean Syria? I would think that the average person on the street's response to Romney is, "What? You want us to go into Syria??? Syria? no effing way"


He started preaching to the choir again, and he lost independent voters again. Go fig.

And this #bindersofwomen thing is getting a *lot* of play today. It has the potential to be Palin-esque in the comedy circles.
   2540. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4273846)
cold

i am firm believer in bankruptcy as an effective means of resolving an ongoing financial situation. so while it should be the last versus the first choice it should still be a choice be the entity a person, a company or even a government (city, state, country)

bankruptcy is far more organized than just defaulting on one's obligations

i understand that this post will likely be perceived as me advocating for bankruptcies which is not the case. i just think bankruptcy as a 'tool of last resort' should be afforded to all organizations that accrue excessive debt obligations.

   2541. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4273854)
Is "undecided voter" a term of art restricted to "definitely voting for the Republican or the Democrat, not sure which?" Because I would think the majority of undecided voters are either choosing between their preferred R/D candidate and their favored minor candidate (Green, Libertarian, whatever), or choosing between their preferred R/D candidate and staying home.


I have certain relations who, sadly, perfectly fit the stereotype of the entirely clueless undecided voter. I was speaking with one of them the other day, and he wants a candidate who will fix the budget, lower his taxes, increase his medical care coverage, beat the terrorists, and bring our boys back home. He calls himself a conservative, but generally just votes for whoever is leading the polls.

EDIT: I should say that I'm technically undecided, as I'm not sure if I'll vote for Obama or some third party. But I live in Illinois; if I lived in Ohio I'd definitely be voting for Obama.
   2542. rr Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4273855)
Mitt Romney snorts coke off of Ann's ass while being blown by illegal immigrant house cleaners.


Well, if you have proof of these things, that is a game-changer and moves me to "undecided" and to giving Romney a serious look.
   2543. zonk Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4273863)
There was some administration dissembling in the wake of the Libyan consulate attack (nothing like some of Bush's Iraq whoppers though)- but Romney's tactics in response are just so awkward that he's blown whatever advantage he may have hoped to gain, and he's still digging.


I don't think it was dissembling as much as it was simply the fact it happened in the heart of a campaign -- rather than outside of that... If you look back at the significant foreign attacks that have occurred in our nation's history, it's really, really, really hard to find anything that happened weeks before an election...

9/11, both attacks in Lebanon under Reagan, the hostage seizing in Iran, heck - even Pearl Harbor...

These things - largely just by random chance - occurred without there being another candidate even existing looking to make hay out of it.

So an administration - any administration - is suddenly dealing with NOT just the foreign policy implications and the verdict on the specifics of what occurred and how to react, but the fact that the 24 news cycle is also running full tilt because it's election season.


I think it's interesting to compare the two attacks in Lebanon to this one --

Recall, there was an embassy bombing in the spring of 1983 that killed about a dozen Americans, followed by the Beirut barracks attack that killed more than 200 Americans (and about 50 French). I'm pretty sure that to this day, we STILL don't know the precise composition of the attackers of the embassy bombing -- but following the Beirut bombing, there was strong suspicion that it was a militant Shia faction (part of what would become/was at the time but still shadowy Hezbollah) that was directly supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Reagan's cabinet was split - I might have it backwards, but I think SecDef Weinberger didn't think we could be sure (I do know he was against going into Lebanon to begin with) and advised against retaliatory action, while others -- mostly the Haig faction leftovers who never liked Weinberger -- wanted to hit suspected Rev guard positions hard.

...and in a weird bit of irony given the way the last decade has gone regarding France and the US --- Reagan ultimately went more cautious (the US just responded with some naval bombardments and eventually disengaged), while it was actually France that retaliated with directed airstrikes in the Bekaa Valley.
   2544. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4273869)
i understand that this post will likely be perceived as me advocating for bankruptcies which is not the case. i just think bankruptcy as a 'tool of last resort' should be afforded to all organizations that accrue excessive debt obligations.


I think bankruptcies are an important economic tool too, but what I was hoping for was that someone might question why entire cities were going bankrupt, when the country is leaving pervasive fraud on Wall St. unprosecuted, and spending five times more on their military than the next closest country. How a campaign can carry on without these questions being asked by the media should be a smack upside the head for anyone with a brain. I can understand the idiots who think accumulating free cell phones from the government is a good way to spend your time being incurious, but you guys should know better.
   2545. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4273882)
And while the Dems "do not relish and revel in evil" as a party to the extent the Repubs do, Obama certainly does. If anyone has contempt for the Constitution, its Obama. He has a ####### kill list for ##### sake.


I'm not sure that kill-list are evil, if the alternative is a Bushian cluster #### war that drains the economy and demoralizes the body politic. Certainly, I have no problem with killing those who make war on my country. A war, and making war, is different from domestic policy. Who are these people who are citizens and reside in the United States who are on Obama's kill list?

   2546. tshipman Posted: October 17, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4273883)
I can see how someone would be undecided pretty easily: Obama's economics sucks and Romney's social issue/religious love affair with the far religious right sucks.


I really hate this line of criticism. You really think that the candidate who proposes mathematically impossible tax plans should have an advantage on the economy?

If you want to criticize the way the admin has handled the recession, what is your counterfactual? What would you have done differently? Paul Krugman's answer is more stimulus and more activity on housing by replacing DeMarco. Those things would have helped, but we'd still be looking at 6%+ unemployment.

What do you think Obama should have done that would result in full employment (or at least below 7%), a lower deficit and continued low inflation?
   2547. GregD Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4273891)
In terms of the similarities between the parties, I think most people could agree on two issues:
1) Electing one party over another increases the odds of certain marginal differences becoming policy, either through Congress or executive order or appointment
2) Electing one party over another does not measurably increase the odds of radical, transformative social change

Some people emphasize radical, transformative social change so much that they are willing to work hard for it and to embrace the likelihood that, if it comes, it will be stabilizing to personal safety and property ownership. I personally don't think it's very likely, think if it happened it would be more likely to lead to bloodshed and confiscation than to measurable improvement, and so don't support it, even if I too have a utopia in my head where I'd rather live. But I wouldn't fault anyone for reaching different judgments and acting upon them.

Some other people act not at all but prefer the vision of utopia in their head to having to face the moral complexities of supporting marginal, but imperfect, differences, and so enjoy casting a pox on both parties. That's politics as aesthetics, a pose and a means of identity construction that puts no cost on the constructor and does put costs on everyone else, and for that I have no respect at all.
   2548. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4273905)
I think bankruptcies are an important economic tool too, but what I was hoping for was that someone might question why entire cities were going bankrupt, when the country is leaving pervasive fraud on Wall St. unprosecuted, and spending five times more on their military than the next closest country. How a campaign can carry on without these questions being asked by the media should be a smack upside the head for anyone with a brain. I can understand the idiots who think accumulating free cell phones from the government is a good way to spend your time being incurious, but you guys should know better.


As a bankruptcy lawyer, I can answer this. Municipalities go bankrupt because the cost of incurring long-term liabilities are misaligned with the benefits of doing so. Issuing bonds to build things or taking on onerous employee benefits wins votes; that they make the city insolvent doesn't show up till years, really, decades later. This is why nearly every major city is balance-sheet insolvent. What caused the mini-rush of municipal banruptcies is that the collapse in revenue created liquidity crises at already insolvent municipalities.

In this way, it's actually very similar to the Wall Street banks - the misalignment of incentives lead to the employees acting in their own interests, rather than the long term interests of the bank and its shareholders, and left an balance-sheet insolvent entity that collapsed as soon as it got a tiny liquidity push.

What's a scary thought is that municipalities may easily turn into airlines. Airlines are never really "solvent"; essentially they exist in perpetual bankruptcy. They go into bankruptcy, shed the onerous labor contracts that put them there, come out, are more competitive than the other airlines who have been out of bankruptcy for longer, are profitable for a couple of years, enter back into labor contracts that they know will render the company insolvent unless growth is in the 80th percentile of projections, start losing money again, then a few years later, file, reject the contracts, rinse wash repeat.
   2549. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4273906)
In truth, most of these issues are trivial when you look at the overall picture.


Being the anti-science party is not trivial. Believing that government is the problem, not the solution, is not trivial (in most places, at most times it is even ahistorical). The legislative body of this country passing a resolution instructing the judiciary to decide a case a certain way is not trivial. Attempting to overthrow an election by the bogus use of the impeachment process is not trivial. Birtherism is no joke. The idea government that will not give you what you want is illegitimate and deserves to be frustrated corrodes the process and has been for thirty years at least. The idea that the rich can never be too rich, and thus too powerful, is demented. Much of the problems we have is because some people have too much money. That leaves only other people with too much money to combat them. We've become too comfortable with being a plutocratic kakistocracy, where the only thing that matters is ratings and polls (which are ratings).
   2550. Ron J2 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4273907)
Because the large majority who wants to ditch it cares far less deeply than the small well organized lobbyisted-up minority who benefits from it and wants it kept at all costs


See also the US and sugar.
   2551. Ron J2 Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4273911)
Wal-Mart is also not unionized, that isn't proof that the workers wouldn't like to be operating in a union.


Walmart has made their stance on this crystal clear -- closing the first store that opted to unionize.
   2552. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4273914)
Post #2547 is really good. I agree.
   2553. bobm Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4273916)
I'm not sure that kill-list are evil, if the alternative is a Bushian cluster #### war that drains the economy and demoralizes the body politic. Certainly, I have no problem with killing those who make war on my country. A war, and making war, is different from domestic policy

Obama has continued and accelerated Bush's reprehensible drone warfare. Who among Bush's critics is faulting the Nobel Peace laureate for killing and terrorizing civilians and then labeling them enemy combatants on policy not evidence? This is going to only breed more animosity towards the US.
   2554. zonk Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4273930)
Obama has continued and accelerated Bush's reprehensible drone warfare. Who among Bush's critics is faulting the Nobel Peace laureate for killing and terrorizing civilians and then labeling them enemy combatants on policy not evidence? This is going to only breed more animosity towards the US.


What's the alternative though (to 'reprehensible drone warfare')?

Bombers? Wet squads or special forces? Cruise Missiles?

I'm not saying that I don't recognize and appreciate the civilian deaths and the terrorizing of said civilians -- just that the alternatives seem to be more prone to even more of that.

As I've said previously, my only concern with 'drone warfare' is the all-too-greyish command-and-control of the strikes and as a proxy to that, the fact that it's the security apparatus (CIA/NSA/whatever) rather than the military than decides when to pull triggers... My take is that the military has much clearer rules regarding the dangers to civilians... I suspect they probably 'shoot less' - probably killer both fewer actual and legitimate targets, but also fewer civilians - but I'd prefer that trade.

Have the security apparatus solely feed intel and targets to the military, but the military decides whether the target fits within the confines of a strike or not.
   2555. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4273931)
2) Electing one party over another does not measurably increase the odds of radical, transformative social change


I think the path of certain social issues (abortion, gay rights, immigration) can definitely have their trajectory changed by choosing one party over another. While the enactment of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was by Democrat president, I don't think there is any chance that a Republican president would have struck it down in the next 2 or 3 terms of office.

And if you don't get rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", you can't really progress much farther down the gay rights path.
   2556. DA Baracus Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4273934)
New housing starts surge 15% in September -- best level since '08

New residential construction starts surged 15% in September to their highest annual rate in more than four years, as the housing sector continued to show signs of a burgeoning rebound.

The number of new privately owned housing units that began construction was up for the third straight month, and rose in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The figures surpassed economists' expectations of about a 770,000 annual rate.

September had the best monthly performance since July 2008, when housing starts were on an annual pace of 923,000. Compared with last September, new housing starts are up 34.8%, the Commerce Department said.
   2557. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4273936)
Obama has continued and accelerated Bush's reprehensible drone warfare. Who among Bush's critics is faulting the Nobel Peace laureate for killing and terrorizing civilians and then labeling them enemy combatants on policy not evidence? This is going to only breed more animosity towards the US.

Is the administration conducting drone attacks on US citizens in the United States?

Is the United States in a war?

Are wars to be fought strictly according to a judicial process?

If drone attacks are prohibited, what would not be?

   2558. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4273942)
I thought the debate last night was pretty even. If you are a fanboy of one and want to claim that your guy won, I won't argue either way. Perhaps one of them did win, from an unbiased view. It may have even been Obama. But it was close.
   2559. Morty Causa Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4273945)
I think the path of certain social issues (abortion, gay rights, immigration) can definitely have their trajectory changed by choosing one party over another. While the enactment of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was by Democrat president, I don't think there is any chance that a Republican president would have struck it down in the next 2 or 3 terms of office.


Yes, and it can work in the reverse. The idea introduced by Reagan that went viral--that government is the problem, not the solution--has degraded over the last 30 years to an idea that if government won't do what you want you have the right to frustrate and undermine it. There is no game. If you lose, you just seek to prevail by other means--and never acknowledge the legitimacy of an outcome you don't approve of.
   2560. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4273950)
Obama has continued and accelerated Bush's reprehensible drone warfare. Who among Bush's critics is faulting the Nobel Peace laureate for killing and terrorizing civilians and then labeling them enemy combatants on policy not evidence? This is going to only breed more animosity towards the US.


I agree with bobm, I think the Drone nonsense is wrong (and have said so before). So there is at least one rodent faulting Obama on this. And I agree even if it is a good short term security thing to do (and I don't even think that) it is a terrible long term method that hurts our future security.

What's the alternative though (to 'reprehensible drone warfare')?


Not doing it. If your assumption that killing people right now in this far away place is needed then drone attacks are perhaps on the table as a lesser evil. How about no evil though. the object lesson - don't attack the US directly or allow safe haven to those who will, or the US will invade your country has been pretty well laid out there (whether this is the right object lesson is a different discussion), what purpose are we serving by staying?

Using every possible method of war (including drone attacks) we are not going to kill everyone who hates the US unless we kill everyone there. So what are we accomplishing?
   2561. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4273954)
As to the format: it sucked. Why bother with questions from the audience, especially when the news teams vets them and makes sure all major topics are covered anyway? Why have only 2 minutes for the answers? Why limit the debate to 90 minutes? Why not have a free exchange where the candidates can go back and forth without being worried that the other is cutting into his time? Why ask silly questions like assault weapons questions?
   2562. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4273957)
And really the candidates have basically the same flowchart for their answers:

1. Figure out which topic the question relates to.
2. Give your stock answer on that topic.
3. Criticize your opponent while giving the stock answer.
4. Pay lip service to the specific question.
5. Cite some statistics that make you look smart and informed.
6. Talk about energy and education no matter the question if you are Barack Obama.
7. Talk about Obamacare and Libya no matter the question if you are Mitt Romney.

   2563. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4273958)
What do you think Obama should have done that would result in full employment (or at least below 7%), a lower deficit and continued low inflation?


Not let the Repubs take over the House and so many Statehouses
I'm serious, it's been Republican policies that have slowed the recovery and worsened unemployment, of course Obama had little ability to prevent or ameliorate 2010's Teaper spasm...
   2564. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4273964)
he wants a candidate who will fix the budget, lower his taxes, increase his medical care coverage, beat the terrorists, and bring our boys back home.


That doesn't just describe undecideds, it describes just about everyone
   2565. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4273968)
Crowley shouldn't have inserted herself into the argument they were having on Libya, especially when she was wrong and at best it's a nuanced issue.
   2566. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4273972)
The idea introduced by Reagan that went viral--that government is the problem, not the solution--has degraded over the last 30 years to an idea that if government won't do what you want you have the right to frustrate and undermine it. There is no game. If you lose, you just seek to prevail by other means--and never acknowledge the legitimacy of an outcome you don't approve of.

Agreed. This is the worrisome -- chilling, really -- new strain of ideology-over-anything-else zealotry that has pervaded the far right since the early 1990s, and has consequently had a profound change on the manner in which Republican officeholders govern. It's a very big deal. The notion that there is no important distinction between the way in which the two major parties wield responsibility is naive at best.
   2567. zonk Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4273976)
What's the alternative though (to 'reprehensible drone warfare')?




Not doing it. If your assumption that killing people right now in this far away place is needed then drone attacks are perhaps on the table as a lesser evil. How about no evil though. the object lesson - don't attack the US directly or allow safe haven to those who will, or the US will invade your country has been pretty well laid out there (whether this is the right object lesson is a different discussion), what purpose are we serving by staying?

Using every possible method of war (including drone attacks) we are not going to kill everyone who hates the US unless we kill everyone there. So what are we accomplishing?


I'm all for no evil --

But what you seem to be at least tacitly approving is the neocon way -- harbor for any reason; you lack the will, ability, or whatever to deal with those you harbor -- and we're gonna invade and replace you with someone who will.

To me, that way lies madness...

Dealing with terrorism occupies a new space in between crime and war - and I do think the idea of limited engagement is tailored to a drone program run right (and do note, as I said, I DO have issues with the way the current program is run).
   2568. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4273981)
does anyone think that other than a few political junkies folks would sit through the 5 odd hours of a lincoln-douglas type debate?

and those guys also insulted one another by the way.
   2569. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4273982)
The issue at hand is whether the attacks in Benghazi themselves were referred to as acts of terror within 14 days. That last sentence doesn't do that.


Ahem.

Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week -- we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya. Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed. And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.

And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important. We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make. And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare. (Applause.)

So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. (Applause.) I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.) -Obama, per "Remarks by the President in Golden, CO", delivered on 9/13/12 (i.e. the day after the Rose Garden speech)
   2570. zonk Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4273987)
does anyone think that other than a few political junkies folks would sit through the 5 odd hours of a lincoln-douglas type debate?


People with their minds made up solely... but yeah - I agree... People want simple answers and as much I'm not against the two party system, it lends itself to ideological divides on issues that are pretty apparent.
   2571. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4273990)
That doesn't just describe undecideds, it describes just about everyone


So when people on the right snark and snip about Obama not being "the Messiah" (which very few people on the left ever claimed to be the case) what they really mean is "we want our Messiah who will make everything all better again, just like Mommy kissing the boo-boo better?"

Okay. Weird, but, whatevs.
   2572. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4273991)
I'm guessing most undecideds want a mythical candidate who agrees with them on every single issue, and is not an egomaniacal jerk who runs negative ads and plays petty politics. No such person exists.
   2573. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4273992)
What's the alternative though (to 'reprehensible drone warfare')?


A more isolationist foreign policy?

Ha, just kidding! Nobody with those beliefs will ever be allowed within 30 feet of a microphone!

=====

Drone war is bad, and a black mark on Obama's record, but as with the War on Drugs, anyone who thinks the Republicans would be any better on the issue is nuts.
   2574. GregD Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4273994)
HW, I agree, both that no one would sit through 5 hours today. It isn't the candidates or the media who are denying this to us. It's us, the people, and our preference for TV and internet chat rooms!

And on name calling, I agree even louder. You could take every awful thing said by every newspaper and political candidate about Obama/Bush 2/Clinton and add it all together and it wouldn't match a good week's worth of personal invective directed at a presidential candidate from the 1880s. They were n-lovers and traitors and pimps and bastard children of Frenchmen, not in chat rooms but in newspaper coverage.

Politics is conflict. Conflict becomes personal. It's not my personal preference, but it's not going to go away, unless people themselves not responding to it. Politicians don't do it because they enjoy it; they do it because it works. And again, that's on us, as a people.
   2575. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4273997)
Drone war is bad, and a black mark on Obama's record, but as with the War on Drugs, anyone who thinks the Republicans would be any better on the issue is nuts


Yep. It's not a question of voting for the perfect candidate, but of avoiding the really, really, ####### terrible party. Anyone who claims to be for "liberty" but votes with the GOP/right coalition is just full of #### entirely.
   2576. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4273998)
The issue at hand is whether the attacks in Benghazi themselves were referred to as acts of terror within 14 days. That last sentence doesn't do that.

Ahem.


I've re read that sentence/paragraphs a few times and the those claiming that it does not refer to the Libya attack as terrorism are delusional.

There were of course mixed signals being put out by the administration (being charitable to the administration) you could say that the Admin was equivocating, saying it was terrorism on one hand, and on the other saying it was a riot/demonstration that got out of hand- but insisting that the admin did not refer to it as terrorism for more than 14 days is a significantly worse act of dissembling than what the Admin did on that front.
   2577. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4273999)
Being the anti-science party is not trivial. Believing that government is the problem, not the solution, is not trivial (in most places, at most times it is even ahistorical). The legislative body of this country passing a resolution instructing the judiciary to decide a case a certain way is not trivial. Attempting to overthrow an election by the bogus use of the impeachment process is not trivial. Birtherism is no joke. The idea government that will not give you what you want is illegitimate and deserves to be frustrated corrodes the process and has been for thirty years at least. The idea that the rich can never be too rich, and thus too powerful, is demented. Much of the problems we have is because some people have too much money. That leaves only other people with too much money to combat them. We've become too comfortable with being a plutocratic kakistocracy, where the only thing that matters is ratings and polls (which are ratings).

Good summary, Morty, but just for the hell of it, let's try to take these points from the opposite POV.

Being the anti-science party is not trivial.

Being the party that wages war against religion isn't trivial.

Believing that government is the problem, not the solution, is not trivial (in most places, at most times it is even ahistorical).

Look at Europe, where you have to wait for months or years to see a doctor.

The legislative body of this country passing a resolution instructing the judiciary to decide a case a certain way is not trivial.

Unelected judges need to be guided by the will of the people.

Attempting to overthrow an election by the bogus use of the impeachment process is not trivial.

Perjury by a president is an legitimately impeachable offense, not trivial in the least.

Birtherism is no joke.

Strawman. Only a minority of Republicans are Birthers. But then nobody ever needs to ask Romney where he was born.

The idea government that will not give you what you want is illegitimate and deserves to be frustrated corrodes the process and has been for thirty years at least.

Tell that to our Founding Fathers when they overthrew the British.

The idea that the rich can never be too rich, and thus too powerful, is demented. Much of the problems we have is because some people have too much money. That leaves only other people with too much money to combat them.

That's straight out of The Communist Manifesto. Why am I not surprised?

Now obviously on one of these issues (the government's role in the economy) there's a lot of middle ground for gradations of emphasis, though even there there's a clear demarcation line between the party of Obamacare and the party that would repeal it. But I honestly can't see the idea that the sum of these chasms should be overridden by the use of drone missiles (by the left) or the by acquiescence in rent-seeking on the part of Republican special interests (by the right). Once again the complete absence of a sense of proportion by the fringes never ceases to amaze me.


   2578. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4274000)
Drone war is bad, and a black mark on Obama's record, but as with the War on Drugs, anyone who thinks the Republicans would be any better on the issue is nuts.

This.
   2579. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4274001)
Ha, just kidding! Nobody with those beliefs will ever be allowed within 30 feet of a microphone!


No, they are allowed near the mike, they're even allowed to touch it- if the power is off.

   2580. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4274003)
does anyone think that other than a few political junkies folks would sit through the 5 odd hours of a lincoln-douglas type debate?


Five hours? God, no. I certainly wouldn't sit through that. But 90 minutes, which is how long last night's debate was, or two hours and do away with the 30 minutes of "analysis" afterward? I agree with Ray. I think it would be more instructive to remove the audience and the two-minute time limits and just let the two candidates give dueling speeches / have a conversation on an agreed-upon topic. "Your topic is the economy: Governor Romney gets the first word, President Obama gets the last word. Go."

For that matter, they could even do it like Jon Stewart does his interviews: when they run too long to fit onto his show, he throws them up on the Internet for anybody who's interested. If Obama and Romney want to keep talking for five hours, go ahead and let them, just with the understanding that they're not going to have nearly the audience that they had for the first 60 or 90 minutes.
   2581. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4274004)
Drone war is bad, and a black mark on Obama's record, but as with the War on Drugs, anyone who thinks the Republicans would be any better on the issue is nuts.

This.


Gary Johnson 2012

   2582. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4274007)
Agreed. This is the worrisome -- chilling, really -- new strain of ideology-over-anything-else zealotry that has pervaded the far right since the early 1990s, and has consequently had a profound change on the manner in which Republican officeholders govern. It's a very big deal. The notion that there is no important distinction between the way in which the two major parties wield responsibility is naive at best.

But you were OK with it when the Dems went that same route in the 1970's?
   2583. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4274009)
the president was backed into a corner on drone warfare by his own party and outside forces. his party wants guantanamo to go away and the president is drawing down that population but he also cannot be oblivious to the resident bad guys working to make evil.

again and again i write you can shut yourself in but you cannot shut the world out

   2584. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4274010)
Gary Johnson 2012

Good luck with that.
   2585. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4274011)
The constant personal stories from people Obama and Romney met on the campaign trail - even assuming they're not fictional - are also silly. It's a small sample size of one, and basically amounts to proclaiming that Eduardo Nunez is better than ARod because he homered off of Verlander last night.
   2586. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4274014)
But you were OK with it when the Dems went that same route in the 1970's?

Swing and a miss, snapper. There is no equivalence on this as a matter of historical fact. And even if hypothetically there were, it would not rationalize the current-day far-right zealotry that continues to drive the GOP base ever-rightward.
   2587. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4274015)
Crowley shouldn't have inserted herself into the argument they were having on Libya, especially when she was wrong and at best it's a nuanced issue.

She was neither wrong nor out of place, and in fact one** of the main reasons that last night's debate was infinitely superior to the first one is that Crowley, like Martha Raddatz, defined her job seriously and didn't let one of the candidates pre-empt assume her role.

**emphasis added, in case anyone thinks I'm pretending that the more significant difference wasn't that this time both candidates were visibly awake
   2588. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4274018)
But you were OK with it when the Dems went that same route in the 1970's?


I'm completely unfamiliar with the Dems going this route in the 70s (the McGovern nomination?), but when I could vote I voted for Reagan...
   2589. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4274020)
The constant personal stories from people Obama and Romney met on the campaign trail - even assuming they're not fictional - are also silly. It's a small sample size of one, and basically amounts to proclaiming that Eduardo Nunez is better than ARod because he homered off of Verlander last night

Yes, if only they'd been able to locate that guy you know who could quantify the number of welfare takers getting free big screen TVs from the government, the debate would have been conducted on a much higher level.
   2590. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4274022)
She was wrong for doing it, Andy. If the correction wasn't 2+2=4 not 5 she shouldn't have involved herself to side with her preferred candidate.
   2591. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4274023)
no act of terror will go unpunished....No act of violence shakes the resolve....


Is an "act of terror" the same as an "act of violence"? If no, then the President did not label the Benghazi raid an act of terror -- he merely left that as a possibility as against some other act of violence. As I quoted at the top of this page, the Washington Post's diplomatic staff noted this lack of specificity in September.
   2592. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4274024)
The constant personal stories from people Obama and Romney met on the campaign trail - even assuming they're not fictional - are also silly. It's a small sample size of one, and basically amounts to proclaiming that Eduardo Nunez is better than ARod because he homered off of Verlander last night.


Hey, I agree with Ray on something...

   2593. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4274025)
Is an "act of terror" the same as an "act of violence"? If no, then the President did not label the Benghazi raid an act of terror -- he merely left that as a possibility as against some other act of violence.


You guys are priceless, absolutely priceless...

and by that I mean absolutely shameless
   2594. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4274026)
a candidate, no a person, relays interactions with others to distill a topic onto a personal level

it's called communicating

   2595. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4274029)
Airlines are never really "solvent"; essentially they exist in perpetual bankruptcy. They go into bankruptcy, shed the onerous labor contracts that put them there, come out, are more competitive than the other airlines who have been out of bankruptcy for longer, are profitable for a couple of years, enter back into labor contracts that they know will render the company insolvent unless growth is in the 80th percentile of projections, start losing money again, then a few years later, file, reject the contracts, rinse wash repeat.


This is nonsense. SWA has an industry leading compensation package for their unionized employees, has never been in bankruptcy, and is the most profitable airline in history.

American Airlines is not in bankruptcy because of onerous labor contracts. Every union employee could be paid minimum wage with no benefits and they would still be losing money. Prior to bankruptcy, American's unionized employees were among the lowest compensated among major airlines.American is in bankruptcy because of unsustainable levels of debt, much of it stemming from and extremely ill advised takeover of TWA just prior to 9/11. All that's left from that boondoggle is a handful of employees on the wrong side of 50, and billions in debt.
   2596. GregD Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4274038)
Jolly Old St Nick, I think your responses are mostly reasonable. When I say I see reasons for choosing my marginal preferences for one party, I fully believe most people who pick the other party also do so not because they think it's utopia but for their own set of reasons of marginal preference. I don't agree with them, but I think they're acting responsibly on a different set of priorities and judgments than I am.

On voting for Gary Johnson or someone else, I think that also is responsible (though obviously not my choice) as long as it is understood the same level of moral weight as voting for one of the two major parties, i.e. a willingness to assume partial responsibility for the outcome. So I will vote for Obama not because I admire all his policies--I don't--but because I am willing to bear the responsibility of some of his wrong-headed and even murderous ones in order to avoid the real threat of a far-worse party which will continue those same policies. And I bear that responsibility in part because I don't think a third party can or will win, and I find that responsibility preferable to bearing the responsibility of helping elect Romney.

People who vote for third parties because they say there's no difference between the two parties are just being silly. Of course there are differences. Voting for a third party believing that it absolves you of any culpability for the messiness of the world, though, is a pose, not a politics.

But people who vote for a third party because they judge the chance of eventual third-party success differently than I do, and are therefore willing to bear their share of the responsibility of electing their least-preferred major party (whichever that is), I have full respect for that. It isn't my judgment, but it's a judgment.

If, say, drugs are your main issue, and you vote for Johnson, then you have to start by asking what specifically a president could accomplish without a party base in Congress--something but not everything as presidents aren't dictators. And to make judgments about what else would likely come out of a Johnson presidency. And then to balance the odds of Johnson winning or of building a future viable party against the marginal difference of electing one's own least-preferred major party candidate to President with a constituency in Congress. I and someone with similar views on drug policy might walk those decisions in different ways. As we are both acting freely, we are both responsible, morally, for our choices. As none of us are prophets, neither of us can be sure we're right!
   2597. McCoy Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4274040)
7. Talk about Obamacare and Libya jobs and unemployment no matter the question if you are Mitt Romney.

FTFY
   2598. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4274044)
But you were OK with it when the Dems went that same route in the 1970's?


Next, could you give us your hackeneyed views on how to solve for stagflation? Then we can talk about getting the Iranian hostages home.
   2599. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4274048)
#2596, great post. Fully agreed.
   2600. Steve Treder Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4274049)
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