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zuul's Journal
zuul's Journal
October 17, 2012

More funny tweets from the debate last night:

Andy Borowitz -- Romney: "Jeremy, if you are illegal, you can get a job working at my house." #debate

Samantha Bee -- When Obama is talking, Romney makes the same face my Catholic grandmother would make at a Wiccan wedding. #debate

Patton Oswalt -- "Binders Full of Women" is my favorite Motley Crue album. #debate

Adam Sternbergh -- "Binders full of women" is what they find in a serial killer's apartment.

Elise Foley -- Oh god, I just realized that now people will dress as binders for Halloween.

Bilge Ebiri -- Obama: "I passed a law allowing women to get equal pay." Romney: "I hired women once." #debate

David Weinberger -- Well, there goes the gangbanger vote! Nice job, Mr. President! #debate

Feministing -- Guns don't kill people. Single mothers kill people.

more at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/17/tech/social-media/funniest-second-debate-tweets/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
October 17, 2012

Romney’s Seven Biggest Debate Lies

by George Zornic, posted on The Nation, on October 17, 2012

Perhaps the most famous moment to come out of Tuesday night’s presidential town-hall style debate in Hempstead, New York, was when moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked Mitt Romney on the spot on Libya.

But that isn’t the only time the Republican candidate said something completely false—it was perhaps just the most obvious. Here are the seven biggest lies Romney told:

ROMNEY: “We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office.”

This is flatly false. The Bureau of Labor statistics just revised estimates from March 2011 to March 2012 upwards by 386,000 jobs—meaning that Obama crossed the magic imaginary barrier of net job creation for his term, and has actually created a net positive 125,000 jobs. This is a simple fact. And there have been 868,000 jobs created in the private sector during this time, which have been offset by public sector job losses—something Mitt Romney would like to see continue.

Moreover, this is an awful tough metric to judge Obama on in the first place. As he’s fond of mentioning, the economy was hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs a month when he took office—so holding him to a net job creation standard means he has to make up for those massive losses that were out of his control entirely. But he’s still done it.

ROMNEY: “I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.”

Recall back in March, when Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri introduced a bill that would allow employers to deny contraceptive coverage to employees.

Mitt Romney said: “Of course I support the Blunt amendment…. Of course Roy Blunt, who is my liaison to the Senate, is someone I support and of course I support that amendment. I clearly want to have religious exemption from Obamacare…. I really think all Americans should be allowed to get around this religious exemption.”

This one is pretty simple.

ROMNEY: “I am not going to have people at the high end pay less than they’re paying now. The top 5 percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent of the income tax the nation collects. So that’ll stay the same. Middle-income people are going to get a tax break.”

A Center for American Progress examination of Romney’s tax plan concluded that the top 10 percent of income earners would reap half of the plan’s benefits, and the top 1 percent would reap one-third of the benefits.

Romney tries to dodge this unassailable fact by saying he’ll cut deductions for the wealthy—but he refuses to say which ones. He’s also ruled out raising the tax breaks the wealthy get on capital gains and dividends. This lead the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center to conclude that Romney would have to end up cutting deductions used by the middle class to make his math work—thus raising their taxes.

ROMNEY: “As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land.”

Obama immediately challenged this point, leading to the first of many back-and-forths between the president and Romney. But Obama was right. It’s true that drilling on public lands dropped 14 percent in 2011, but it went up 15 percent the year before. Overall oil production on federal lands is up under Obama—and Romney is being extremely dishonest in singling out the one year that it dropped.

We must pause here to note that—since the oil drilled on federal land in the United States has zero impact on global gas prices, since it’s such a trivial amount—it’s not such a hot idea, and not one Obama should be particularly proud of increasing. But he did increase it.

Also, it should be noted that Romney plainly said later in the debate that “coal jobs are not up.” In fact, 1,500 jobs in the coal industry have been created since Obama took office.

ROMNEY: “And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that…[Massachusetts] had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.”

First of all, that effort was spearheaded by a nonpartisan coalition of women’s groups, not Romney. Second, the number of women in high-level appointed positions declined 27.6 during his tenure as governor.

Also, there were no binders full of women at Bain Capital—there were no female partners at that firm during the 1980s and 1990s, according to The Boston Globe. Today, only four of forty-nine of the firm’s managing directors are women.

More importantly, as my colleague Ben Adler notes, Romney has opposed pay equity for women in much more substantive policy ways beyond these anecdotes—opposing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

ROMNEY: “I want to make sure we keep our Pell Grant program growing.”

This is simply not true. Romney and his running mate would cut Pell Grants—Romney has been vague on the issue, using ominous budgetspeak that he wants to “refocus” Pell Grant dollars to “place the program on a responsible long-term path,” but Paul Ryan has been far more specific—his budget would cut Pell Grants for up to 1 million students.

ROMNEY: “We’re going to bring that pipeline in from Canada. How in the world the president said no to that pipeline? I will never know. This is about bringing good jobs back for the middle class of America, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Romney is joining many other members of the Republican party in saying the Keystone Pipeline is a job-creation engine. It’s not. The Cornell Global Labor Institute says it would create only 2,500 to 4,650 short-term construction jobs while it was being built—and the State Department found similar numbers in its environmental review of the project. That’s not enough to impact the unemployment rate, and is notably far, far less than the millions of jobs independent analysts say would be created by Obama’s American Jobs Act, which focuses on many infrastructure projects and increased hiring of teachers and public safety workers.

October 17, 2012

Tight race? Avoid tea party label on stump

By Kate Nocero, posted on Politico,10/16/12 11:44 PM EDT

After fending off a tea party challenge in 2010, Rep. Denny Rehberg quickly decided to sign up for the movement: He joined the Tea Party Caucus as soon as he returned to the House.

But two years later, Rehberg wants a Senate seat, and in the 2012 version of Montana politics, Rehberg is Mr. Bipartisan. He touts his vote against the Paul Ryan budget; talks up his work with a New England liberal, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.); and has embraced expansion of a children’s health program.

He doesn’t mention his tea party membership.

Rehberg isn’t unique in looking for some distance from the diminished tea party brand. In close Senate and House races across the country, lawmakers who ran toward the movement in 2010 won’t ascribe the “tea party” label to themselves or, like Rehberg, avoid talking about it all together.

That’s not to say grass-roots tea party supporters have disappeared; they are still there ready to work for Republican candidates. And the movement remains a strong force in Republican primary politics, forcing many candidates rightward in their positions. Still, some activists acknowledge that some candidates can’t be quite as open about their tea party connections in tight races this year.

Eric Olsen, the co-founder of one of Montana’s leading tea party groups, Montana Shrugged, said they still know Rehberg is “on their side,” but they also realize Montana’s sole congressman has to appeal to independents and some Democrats to win a Senate seat that could determine control of the upper chamber.

“We talk with Denny often, and he still supports us; he still appreciates us; he’s completely changed the way he’s voted since we started working with him,” Olsen said. “He’s much more conservative now. We have a good voting bloc in the state but not enough to ensure him a win, so we get that he’s doing what he needs to do to win others over.”

The tea party had a profound impact on House races around the country in 2010 and helped sweep in 87 freshmen who ran on an uncompromising platform to change the way Washington does business. But now in 2012, with the congressional approval rating hovering around 10 percent, members in competitive races aren’t exactly touting their support from tea party groups.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82496.html#ixzz29ZUKWLNl
October 17, 2012

Why Mitt Can't Blame Us Single Parents for Gun Violence

by Wendy Fontaine, Writer, Mother and Graduate Student, posted on The Huffington Post, 10/17/2012 8:35 am

I was annoyed during most of last night's presidential debate, but when Mitt Romney insinuated that single-parent families are to blame for gun violence in America, my blood pressure shot through the roof.

I'm a single mother. A proud one. And Romney's remarks are ignorant, insulting and based on stereotypes that degrade the hard work single parents do every day.

When a member of the audience at Tuesday night's debate asked what each candidate would do to keep assault weapons off the streets, Romney launched a baseless diatribe about making sure we have more two-parent families in this country, therefore equating gun violence with single parenthood.

May I remind him that the shooter in the assault on Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the alleged shooter in the Colorado movie theater attack were both single men with no children? Can I point out that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the boys who massacred their classmates at Columbine High School in 1999, had parents who were married? Can anyone show me one instance of a single mother caught packing an AK-47 in her diaper bag?

This is not the first time we've heard a Republican candidate for president blaming solo parents for society's ills. Last March, it was Rick Santorum, who said on the record that single mothers were ruining the fabric of our country by "breeding more criminals."

Well, my little "criminal" just turned six-years-old. Her name is Angie, and she's learning how to count money and tell time. She was student of the month at her school and the top reader in the library's summer reading program. She's becoming a pretty good soccer player, too. Last week, she scored two goals in one game.

I've been a single mother to her since she was two-years-old -- not because I had her before I was married but because her father, after twelve years of marriage, decided he was in love with someone else and wanted a divorce. It happens. Life goes on.

Things get pretty hectic around our house, but Angie and I still find time to bake, read and do crafts together. That's what single parents do. We don't plot ways to break the law or riot in the streets with our pistols and semi-automatics (as a matter of fact, I had to Google "types of guns" just to write this). No, what we do is get our children off to school on time. We help them with their homework. We go to our jobs and our night classes, to our kids' parent-teacher conferences and band practices. And we watch presidential debates so we'll know who to vote for, who will have our best interests in mind.

I'm sick of the cliche that single parents, especially mothers, are lazy, society-sucking welfare cases, and that their children are growing up to be delinquents. The truth is 79 percent of single mothers and 92 percent of single fathers have jobs. Many live off low incomes, but most receive no public assistance. More than half are raising only one child. The majority of us are responsible people, and we are raising our children to be responsible, to be kind, to value education and pursue their talents. To assume otherwise is to feed the stereotype, to perpetuate the myth.

Ask President Obama. His own mother was a single mom, and she raised him to become president.

Perhaps Romney apologized for his ridiculous comments regarding single parents and gun violence in his closing remarks last night. I missed the tail end of the debate, after all. I had to turn off the television and put my daughter to bed -- because that's what real single parents do.

October 17, 2012

Obama leading CNN Debate Poll at 65% . . . DU this poll . . .

Quick voteWho do you think fared better in the second presidential debate?

Obama: 65%
Romney: 35%

Total votes: 32189


October 17, 2012

DU the CNN poll

DU the CNN poll . . . scroll down and it's on the right.


October 17, 2012

Great . . . debate audio sucks!

Not a good sign!

October 16, 2012

My prediction for tonight's debate (transcript included) . . .

My prediction for tonight's debate (transcript included):

Creepy Crawley: Blah, blah, blah the first question from our first 'undecided' voter (winks at Robme).

'Undecided' Voter #1: Both candidates, please explain what you will do to get Amurkins back to work, and Mr. Romney, please address the President's failed economic policies in detail.

Robme: Lie, lie, lie, lie (pauses for condescending smile), lie, lie, lie, lie, (points at POTUS while smirking), lie, lie, lie (for another 4 minutes), and let me close by lying some more.

POTUS: Mr. Romney, that's not what you said 2 weeks ago at . . .

Creepy: I'm sorry Mr. President, but your 5 minutes are up.

POTUS: But I have 4 minutes and 55 seconds left . . .

Creepy: Not on my show, pal. NEXT!!! (smiles coquettishly at Robme).

'Undecided' Voter #2: Both candidates, please explain your positions on contraception and abortion, and specifically, Mr. Obama, tell us why you like to kill babies.

POTUS: Well, first let me say that, while I personally believe . . .

Creepy: TIME!!! Your response, Mr. Romney.

POTUS: Wait a minute, Ms. Creepy . . .

Creepy: Keep it up and I'll turn your mic off! (Blows Robme a kiss). Your turn, Mr. Romney, and please feel free to take all the time you need since the President keeps interrupting.

Robme: Although the President DOES indeed like to kill babies, let me assure you . . .lie, lie, lie, flip-flop, flop-flip, (does back handspring), lie, lie, lie and (10 minutes later) let me leave you with one additional lie.

'Undecided' Voter #3: Mr. Romney, why do you let the Democrats continue to take credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden, when it's very clear from many reports on Fox News that you and Mr. Ryan, at your own personal expense, orchestrated the entire operation that raided the Bin Laden compound, and that you personally fired the shot that took him out?

Robme: You are absolutely correct and lie, lie, lie, (blinks madly like crackhead), lie, lie, lie, (sweats profusely), lie, lie, lie, (consults the cheat sheet he smuggled into the hall in his magic underwear), lie, lie, lie, and let me finish by saying that I love poor people, and our military heroes, and social security grandmas, and the trees that are the right height, and God bless Kolob, I mean America!

Creepy: Mr. Romney, we are going to forego any more questions from the audience, shut off the President's mic, and let you use the remaining time to talk about the President's failed policies, while I lick your feet.

At this point the President walks across the stage, takes Creepy's mic, walks to Robme, shoves said mic down his throat, takes Robme's mic, turns to the audience and proceeds to explain his ideas to move the country forward.

Creepy continues to lick Robme's feet, Robme starts talking out of the other side of his mouth, Biden walks on stage, pummels Robme repeatedly about the face and neck to shut his lie-hole, while the President continues to lay fact upon fact on the audience and explain why his policies are better than those of Robme-Lyin Ryan.

MSNBC pundits in post-debate meltdown: WTF is wrong with the President? We're going to lose this election! The sky is falling! I am a traitorous dickhead! Blah, blah, blah . . .

October 16, 2012

It's Time to Debate Bain Capitalism

by John Nichols, posted on TheNation.com on October 16, 2012

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the veteran Democratic leader who mentored a young Barack Obama and remains one of the president’s closest allies, was not planning to be at Obama’s side for today’s final round of debate preparation.

Rather, Durban was headed back home to Illinois for a meeting with workers at the Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, where 170 employees are slated to lose their jobs to outsourcing before the end of the year.

Sensata, which for decades has produced state-of-the-art sensors and controls for Ford and General Motors, is precisely the sort of high-tech operation that a country looking to compete in the global economy of the twenty-first century would want to maintain as a domestic manufacturer. So why are the jobs moving to China?

Because Bain Capital owns the company, and Bain is committed to the industrial development of Chinese provinces—not to states like Illinois. That’s not what most Americans would identify as a smart choice for the nation’s future—let alone “economic patriotism.”

But that is how Bain, which got its operating ethos from former CEO Mitt Romney, operates. Romney still profits mightily from his Bain connection—as The New York Times and numerous business journals have well documented—and he remains closely tied to current Bain executives. So if anyone could get Bain to rethink the outsourcing of the Sensata jobs, it’s Mitt Romney.

At least, that’s what Illinoisans think.

In July, the Freeport City Council voted unanimously to ask Romney to come to Freeport, meet the workers and intervene with Bain on their behalf. Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp even offered to host a debate between Romney and President Obama at the local historic site where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas once debated.

In September, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn visited Freeport and issued a similar call.

Now, on the day of the critical second debate between the presidential candidates (in Hempostead, New York, rather than Freeport), Durbin is headed to the community workers have dubbed “Bainport.”

And rightly so.

What’s happening in Freeport is a small piece of a big story: that of outsourcing technology jobs—the high-tech positions that should be powering America’s economic renewal—from the United States to China. And that issue ought to be on the agenda for Tuesday’s debate.

As Paul Gaulrapp, a thirty-three-year employee at the factory that was once honorably operated by Honeywell, says: “It’s time to draw a line in the sand on the outsourcing of good, American jobs.”

Moderator Candy Crowley, a savvy CNN correspondent who cannot be unaware of the Freeport fight, should raise the issue.

If she does not, President Obama can and should put it in the mix. Obama does not need to abandon his medium-cool persona to define the direction of tonight’s debate. He just has to raise the right issues. He can do that by putting a human face on the issue of outsourcing—and Bain Capitalism.

Few stories are more instructive with regard to America’s outsourcing crisis—Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing says the US has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, overwhelmingly to China, as 50,000 factories have closed—than that of the Sensata workers in Freeport. And none does more to highlight the Republican presidential nominee’s record of promoting job growth… in China.

Indeed, as the United Steelworkers union illustrates with a dramatic new video on the outsourcing fight: “Mitt Romney and Bain Capital are profiting by selling out American workers [and] shipping US jobs to China.”

Romney should be confronted on this issue. He should have to answer questions and provide explanations. But he won’t do that in Freeport. Indeed, he has studiously avoided the town—even when a June bus trip across southern Wisconsin put him in close proximity to the northern Illinois community.

Mitt Romney’s “Every Town Counts” bus tour scrupulously avoided towns where Romney’s Bain Capital continues to put the hurt on American workers.

When Romney stopped in Paul Ryan’s Janesville, Wisconsin, and then traveled to Dubuque, Iowa, on Monday, June 18, he was just up the road from Freeport.

But Romney did not stop in Freeport, a town that like Janesville and Dubuque has been hard hit by trade and fiscal policies that encourage corporations to shutter US factories and ship jobs overseas—and that has been even harder hit by speculators who buy up factories, strip the assets and close them.

On the day Romney was busing across the region, Sensata workers gathered in front of the factory with handmade signs that read:

“Romney! Stop Bain Outsourcing to China”

“Mitt Romney Save Our Jobs”

“Romney: Instead of talking about JOBS, just don’t ship MINE to China”

The workers had every reason to be upset with Bain—and with Romney.

Their plant has always been innovative and productive. It was owned for decades by Texas Instruments, and then by Honeywell, before being sold in 2010 to Sensata Technologies Holding, N.V, a firm based in the Netherlands but majority-owned by Bain Capital.

The workers at the plant pleaded with Romney to make a slight detour on his bus trip and take a look at the devastation being caused by Bain’s machinations at a plant where many of them had been employed for more than thirty years.

Even then, the plant’s operations were rapidly shrinking as crews removed safety equipment from machines that were being prepared for shipment from Illinois to China.

“This used to be a very high-volume plant and now it’s pretty much a ghost town… and by the end of the year it will be a ghost town”, Sensata employee Cheryl Randecker told local reporters.

Had Romney come to Freeport, he would have heard how much Bain’s approach has harmed not just the Sensata workers but Freeport and counties along the Illinois-Wisconsin stateline that have suffered more than their share of plant closings.

“Sensata is moving forward with the process of relocating jobs from their operations in Freeport to China,” explains John Blum, the chairman of the Stephenson County Board.

In addition to the “significant human toll on the more than 140 families that will be affected by this loss of jobs and financial security,” says Blum, “The loss of these jobs will have a tremendous impact on our regional economy.”

That’s a story Mitt Romney definitely does not want to focus attention on.

So his bus didn’t stop in Freeport.

Romney will not go near Freeport.

But that does not mean he can or should be able to avoid the issues raised Bain’s outsourcing of the Sensata jobs.

He should be asked a simple question in tonight’s debate, and on the campaign trail going forward:

"Is talk about renewing the American economy credible coming from a man who continues to profit from the plant closings, the layoffs and the outsourcing practices that are crude byproducts of Bain Capitalism?"


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