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1  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Why Obama lost the debate (Doug Henwood) on: October 08, 2012, 01:43:03 pm
Yeah, Colbert and Stewart are just hilarious...until you realize that America is burning while the 21st Century Nero fiddles with his teleprompter. If we do not change course soon, if we do not end this economic malaise and restore the beacon of light on the hill, America will burn to the ground. These modern day court jesters could care less. Heck, maybe they enjoy watching America burn? Either way, shame on them. Shame on all liberals, whose ideology is rotting America from within.

Well if you look at history, it teaches us a few things.  Most people dont realize that belt-tightening by the federal government after the crash of 1929 caused another recession in 1936 and lengthened the recovery by up to a decade.  It was the WRONG policy.  I believe the stimulus, temporary propping of key banks and business like General Motors, and infrastructure projects are the right policies, even if the debt balloons for a while.  The debt is scary to me also, but it the lesser of the evils IMO.  99% of economists agree on this.  The US is fortunately still in a good position of world economic power, so the effects of large debt are not catastrophic to us right now.  The reality is that the debt is mostly due to policies by the previous administration, and 2 wars.  The stimulus by Obamas administration only accounts for a small fraction of the debt that has been accumulated.  If we were Greece, then maybe these would be bad policies.  However even Greece, France and England are now suffering low GNPs and replacing their administrations with anti-austerity leaders that dont cut government spending and welfare programs.  They are realizing that they will NEVER recover with this kind of austerity in the goverment.  If you knew how many US citizens were employed by the government, you would be concerned about austerity measures too.  Under Romney, the unemployment rolls will undoubtedly increase due to this.

I look at this like a corporation who has great products, but the market for their products is just cratering for temporary economic reasons.  When things get better, they will be in a position to excel.  Is it better to let the corporation fold and then have to spend all of the money and time to rebuild the product line in another corporation, or maybe allow foreign companies to own the market?  I dont think so.  Its a waste of money when the capability and products are already there.  This is why it was the right thing to bail-out General Motors. 

We already made this mistake with robotics over the last decade, which the Japanese own.  Just try to buy an industrial robot from anyone else.

It is important to protect our industries or they may be lost forever.

The US government defunding hundreds of critical programs and leaving this up to the states will be a disaster IMO.  The states can barely handle medicaid now.

Think about this:  Is is smarter and more efficient to consolidate a process like health care in one bureau with resident experts and management or have it duplicated and distributed 50 times?

Based on the performance of states like Florida, who cannot even execute the simplest tasks, like administering a voting process, I believe many states will be in real trouble taking on much of what the federal government does now.  They just dont have the resident experts and management, and they cannot afford them even if they did.

Big government is one of the things that makes a country great.  Without it, we would not have the best higher education system in the world.  We would not have the clean-power hydroelectric system we have.  We would not have a 99% cure for childhood Leukemia.  We would not have many of the modern conveniences and advances that were developed during the ramp-up to WWII.  It is WWII and goverment spending that finally lifted us out of the depression and following recession.  After WWII, the following prosperity and growth of the middle class was fueled by the spending of the federal government, including the GI bill and other great programs.

A free country is great, but freedom means little if there are no opportunities.  Left to the greed of the free market, opportunities decline.  Its only a level playing field that enables opportunity.  This country has a large population of immigrants now, much like just before and after WWII.  We need these immigrants to get educated and have opportunities to succeed so that when we are ready to retire, the system can give us security.  The population of this country is aging and the burden on the medical system will continue to grow larger, maybe even exponentially due to the obesity problem in this country.  We need these young people to be successful in order to insure our own survival and longevity.
2  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Why Obama lost the debate (Doug Henwood) on: October 07, 2012, 11:54:18 pm
It's a math thing? Oh, get real. The entire debate, which Romney won for stylistic reasons, consisted of Romney running from every position he's taken for the last 18 months. Shaking an etch-a-sketch is not an exercise in math.

Speaking of etch-a-sketch, you should look up the Colbert Report.  It's a good belly laugh.
3  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Why Obama lost the debate (Doug Henwood) on: October 07, 2012, 04:38:49 pm
People are really very stupid when you get down to it. We are very influenced by appearances and superficialities, plus we follow the herd mentality. ....

By superficially appearing to be more "confident" (kind of like a "confidence man" or "con man"?), Romney activated that part in the viewing audience's primitive brains that desires to be led by the "alpha male". Up until this point, Romney, in spite of his massive wealth and (somewhat) handsome appearance, had not been able to establish his "alpha status". I suspect that this came across much stronger on high-definition TVs than it did on grainy internet feeds like the one that I used to watch the debate.

I agree.  Even though I'm an educated and informed voter, even I was impressed by the agressiveness of Romney.  This is like a boxing match and the TKO went to Romney.  It really does not matter what he said, it is how he said it.

The unfortunate thing is that the masses of the electorate, according to what I have witnessed in news interviews, make their decision based on whether they "like" the candidate or whether he looks "presidential", or whether they believe the candidate can get their job back for them.  They dont watch the news, at least unbiased news.  They dont give a rip about the rest of the country or the infrastructure decaying or whether we all perish under the weight of Global Warming.  They mostly think local and only care about their own situation.

This is why big government is important.  It holds the fabric of our society together and accomplishes things that no free market would ever consider, such as the cure for 90% of childhood Leukemia, or the best higher education system in the world.  No free market at work there.  If any Republicans out there have a child that is cured from childhood Leukemia, you can thank big government.

The last few studies of the happiest place on earth reveal that Denmark and Sweden are at the top, and not because of the freedom to do anything they want anytime.  It's because all of the stressors and concerns are removed by big government.  You dont have to worry about starving, crime or losing your job.  You can enjoy a beautiful, clean environment with safe food and water.  People behave.

Lets not forget about the pursuit of happiness in our quest for the American Dream.  It IS the dream after all.

But I digress...
4  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Why Obama lost the debate (Doug Henwood) on: October 07, 2012, 04:16:21 pm
This is garbage.  Nobody really thinks like this.   If you're reading into his performance like this, you're just proving yourself to be as susceptible to magic tricks as the most uneducated swing voter.  You probably also read too many bad old novels about the evil rich Lords of the state.

Obama lost because he spoke in longer sentences than one would like on national television. I doubt there was any psychotic disdain going on. I doubt under the pressure of formulating responses either candidate had time to think or feel anything.

If you are so cynical, why vote at all?
5  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Why Obama lost the debate (Doug Henwood) on: October 07, 2012, 01:52:53 pm
IMO Obama looked tired and all of his responses seemed canned and rehearsed rather than spontaneous.  Rather than responding directly to Lehrers questions, he regurgitated a laundry list of his accomplishments or Romneys previous policy shortcomings.  I say "previous", because everything seemed to change at this debate for Romney.  He definitely moved more to the center, magically now supporting the bulk of Dodd-Frank, Obama-Care and other legislation that he previously wanted to eliminate.  Rather than debunking the untruths that Romney said immediately, Obama kept coming back to the 5 trillion and giving the rich tax breaks etc..  He should have focused on Romney being a flip-flopper and debunked the untruths.  He should havegone into mre detail on the "math" of Romneys tax reform that doesn't make sense.  For instance, ask:  "how do the revenues stay flat in your tax plan if the rich pay the same, the middle-class pay the same and the small and large business pay less taxes?  Who makes up the difference?"

I think Obama, because of his rehearsed canned responses and preconceived ideas about Romneys stance on the issues, was taken by surprise by Romneys move to the center.  He was not expecting this and could not think on his feet, for whatever reason.  He may have just had a bad nights rest the night before, or maybe he is just not capable of thinking on his feet, or maybe he was a bit intimidated, who knows?  Seems to me that he did a pretty good job in debates of the last election.  Maybe the energy levels are just too low after being beaten-up for 4 years....

Having worked in large corporate America for 30 years, I can tell you that the CEO personality is what Romney has.  He can appear to be a nice guy, but leaves dead bodies in his path.  Its lonely at the top for a reason.  Romney claims to be a problem solver, but at the same time wants to delegate everything, including the vision and ideas.  At least Obama has his own crisp vision and sticks to it.  Unlike Romney, Obama is a true problem solver.  It think he may have a little engineer blood in him.  Engineers often have trouble thinking on their feet.  They need think time.  This is why they often resort to email rather than talking on the phone.  Maybe this is why Obama speeches are so good.  Lots of think time.

Okay, lets get back to the untruths that Romney said.  I got this from another forum so I cannot take credit.  I am new, so I cannot post the link, but here is some of the content from Democracyforums.com:

1. An ‘Unelected Board’ Controlling Your Health Care

Despite President Obama trying to push back on this lie, Romney made this claim a few times last night. Obamacare, according to Romney, “puts in place an unelected board that's going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.” In reality, as the Associated Press points out, the board that is tasked with bringing down Medicare costs is prohibited from “rationing care, shifting costs to retirees, restricting benefits or raising the Medicare eligibility age. So the board doesn't have the power to dictate to doctors what treatments they can prescribe.” This Romney claim also hearkened back to Sarah Palin’s lie that Obamacare created “death panels,” which was a straight up lie.

2. A Bipartisan Record

Romney referred to his alleged “bipartisan” record in Massachusetts as governor during the debate. But what’s the real story on this? ABC News calls the claim “not quite factual.” Indeed: Romney’s health care plan was enacted with the help of a Democratic legislature. But in general, the body was “frustrated” with Romney “because he wanted to govern like a ‘CEO’ and ‘didn’t pay heed to the legislature and they resented that,’” according to the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation’s Michael Widmer.

3. Dodd-Frank Labels Banks as ‘Too Big to Fail’

One contrast between the candidates that emerged during the debate was over Dodd-Frank, the weak Wall Street reforms and regulations passed after the 2008 financial collapse. Romney wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, and part of the reason why is his claim that the bill designates banks as “too big to fail” and therefore gives them “a blank check.” But as ThinkProgress notes, this is far from the truth: “the law merely says that the biggest, systemically risky banks need to abide by more stringent regulations. If those banks fail, they will be unwound by a new process in the Dodd-Frank law that protects taxpayers from having to pony up for a bailout.”

4. Obamacare Leads to Loss of Healthcare

Governor Romney claimed that the passage of the Affordable Care Act will lead to 20 million people losing health insurance. He based this claim on a Congressional Budget Office report. But according to PolitiFact, Romney “cherry picked” the CBO report and mislead viewers on why people would “lose” coverage.

PolitiFact’s final verdict on the claim is: “That number is cherry-picked, and he’s wrong to describe it as only including people who ‘like’ their coverage, since many of those 20 million will be leaving employer coverage voluntarily for better options. Romney also ignores that under the status quo, many more people today ‘lose’ coverage than even the highest, cherry-picked CBO estimate. We rate his statement False.”

5. The Failure of the Obama Economy

Romney hammered Obama on the economy’s performance over the past four years. One claim Romney made was this: “[We have] 23 million people out of work...The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can't find work.”

But here’s the AP breakdown of the facts on this claim: “The number of unemployed is 12.5 million, not 23 million. Romney was also counting 8 million people who are working part time but would like a full-time job and 2.6 million who have stopped looking for work, either because they are discouraged or because they are going back to school or for other reasons.”

And on the college graduate claim, Romney was also wrong. Back to the AP: “A Northeastern University analysis for The Associated Press found that a quarter of graduates were probably unemployed and another quarter were underemployed, which means working in jobs that didn't make full use of their skills or experience.”

6. Obamacare Cuts Billions From Medicare

This was one of Romney’s favorite attack lines last night: the notion that the Affordable Care Act is siphoning off funds from Medicare. The specific claim is that $716 billion was cut from Medicare because of the Affordable Care Act. In reality, this claim is highly misleading. What the number refers to is money that is saved “primarily through reducing over-payments to insurance companies under Medicare Advantage, not payments to beneficiaries. Paul Ryan’s budget plan keeps those same cuts, but directs them toward tax cuts for the rich and deficit reduction,” ThinkProgress notes.

7. Gas Prices Increase

Romney said that “gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric rates are up.” This is true--but to blame it on the president is highly misleading. Gasoline prices have little to do with individual policies carried out by a president. Instead, as the Associated Press states, “Gasoline prices are set on financial exchanges around the world and are based on a host of factors, most importantly the price of crude oil used to make gasoline, the amount of finished gasoline ready to be shipped and the capacity of refiners to make enough to meet market demand.”

The AP also skewers Romney’s claim on electric rates going up: “Retail electricity prices have risen since Obama took office — barely. They've grown by an average of less than 1 percent per year, less than the rate of inflation and slower than the historical growth in electricity prices. The unexpectedly modest rise in electricity prices is because of the plummeting cost of natural gas, which is used to generate electricity.”
8. Health Care Costs Rising Under Obama

Romney’s made this statement on the campaign trail--and if it was wrong then, it’s wrong now. Last night, Romney claimed that “health care costs have gone up by $2500 a family.”

But FactCheck.org was on this false claim back when Romney used it on the campaign trail in September. Their take: “Romney says health insurance premiums have gone up $2,500 under Obama. The actual increase has been $1,700, most of which was absorbed by employers and only a small part of which is attributable to the health care law.”

9. Oil and Gas Production Increases Only on Private Land

The former Massachusetts governor said last night that “all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land...Your Administration has cut the numbers of permit and licenses in half.”

But ABC News says Romney is playing loose with the facts. Data from the Bureau of Land Management shows that “the number of drilling permits on federal lands approved during the fiscal years President Obama has been in office has decreased somewhere between 20 and 37 percent compared to the years before he became president - not the 50 percent Romney claimed.”

10. No Tax Cuts for the Rich

To fend off the perception that he’s only concerned about the wealthy, Romney made sure to emphasize that his economic plan would not lower tax rates on rich people.

Think Progress has the details on that claim: “If Romney were to actually implement his plan to reduce tax rates by 20 percent while eliminating tax deductions in order to pay for it, taxpayers with more than $200,000 would certainly see a tax cut. But everyone else — 95 percent of Americans —will see their taxes increase.”

I am dissappointed in Obamas performance in the debate to say the least.  I had come-backs for most all of Romneys statements, but Obama missed all of them.....
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