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Author Topic: 2012 Presidential  (Read 117439 times)
bigdog
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« Reply #1650 on: June 22, 2012, 07:59:34 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/romneys-bain-capital-invested-in-companies-that-moved-jobs-overseas/2012/06/21/gJQAsD9ptV_story.html

Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.

During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1651 on: June 25, 2012, 08:31:11 AM »

June: Obama's Disastrous Month
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on June 25, 2012

Printer-Friendly Version
If Obama loses by the landslide I have been predicting -- and he will -- his undoing started in June.
 
At the end of 2011, Obama's approval ratings rarely rose above 45% and occasionally dropped as low as 40% in the daily tracking polls of both Gallup (registered voters) and Rasmussen (likely voters).  But, as 2012 dawned, his approval gradually rose to 49-50 percent on the strength of a perception of economic recovery.  Monthly job creation solidly above 200,000 and dropping first time unemployment claims fueled the heady sense that we were emerging from the Great Recession at last.
 
But, as we noted in Take Back America and Revolt!, debt implosion crises are often characterized by false dawns - periods where the data looks up and people come to believe the recovery is, at last, underway.  But the optimism fades as does the recovery.  The only way out is to cut spending and borrowing so the world's panic at the high levels of global indebtedness can be eased.
 
By April and May, it became clear that there was no recovery underway as the monthly total of new jobs dipped first below 200,000 and then below even 100,000.  Unemployment rose to 8.2% and the data from the first quarter indicated a growth rate of only 1.9 percent, well below the 3 percent pace at which the GDP had been growing in the last quarter of 2011.
 
Voters didn't need the statistics to remind them that the economy was not in recovery.  Foreclosures, layoffs, and long-term unemployment told the story in their own daily lives.
 
So, in June, Obama's job approval fell back to its 2011 levels of 45 percent or less.  Romney opened up a lead in Gallup's daily tracking of registered voters and his lead among Rasmussen's sample of likely voters grew to 48-43.
 
Obama's verbal gaffes ("the private sector is doing fine") and his ongoing battles with Congress which have led to the potential of a contempt citation helped spur his drop in the polls.  The Scott Walker victory in Wisconsin gave those who were watching with open minds a foretaste of the dimensions of the coming GOP landslide.
 
Now, Obama faces a double hit: a possible Congressional contempt citation for his Attorney-General and the looming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare.  And then will come June's likely dismal jobs report which will be released at the end of next week.
 
More disturbing for Obama is that his June swoon happened despite spending at least $50 million and likely much more on paid advertising during May and June.  He threw his best punch - an attack on Romney's record at Bain Capital - and got nothing for it.
 
Even conventional observers are now noting the chances for a Republican victory.  We'll see and hear more of that as the summer progresses.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1652 on: June 25, 2012, 02:12:35 PM »

http://www.dickmorris.com/polls-show-obama-crashing-romney-surging-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/
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bigdog
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« Reply #1653 on: June 26, 2012, 09:56:44 PM »

http://nationaljournal.com/politics/obama-and-convention-no-shows-divorce-or-amicable-separation--20120626

If historical precedent is a guide, President Obama should be worried about the recent spate of Democrats who have declared that they won’t attend their own party’s national convention. But the lawmakers’ decision to stay home doesn’t have other Democrats reaching for the panic button yet.

Such defections amounted to an early alarm bell as recently as 2008, when a deluge of Republicans steered clear of the Republican National Convention lest they be associated with a then-deeply unpopular GOP. Three months later, a Democratic wave swept the White House and congressional elections
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JDN
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« Reply #1654 on: June 27, 2012, 09:00:28 AM »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/27/marco-rubio-is-the-ideal-candidate-to-fill-out-the-second-spot-on-romney-s-ticket.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #1655 on: June 27, 2012, 09:10:59 AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/obama-romney-polls_n_1630085.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009&utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
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bigdog
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« Reply #1656 on: June 27, 2012, 09:12:22 AM »

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/latest-poll-shows-dead-heat/?smid=fb-share
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1657 on: July 09, 2012, 10:41:27 AM »

There is quite a contrast in polls out there, swing states and nationally.  Latest Rasmussen has Romney by 1% nationally, Gallup has Obama by 2%.

Intrade where people put money on their bet has Obama with 56% chance of winning at the moment.

Obama won 2008 by 7% nationally so Romney needs at least a 8-9% swing to be assured a victory.  One take is that Iowa is the dead center of the political nation.  Obama won Iowa by 9.54% in 2008.  Rasmussen had Romney up by 1 in late June, a 10.5% swing.

Another key state is Colorado, where 3 counties allegedly reflect the national swing in these elections: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/07/on-winning-colorado.php  http://www.denverpost.com/investigations/ci_21029334/census-registration-paint-picture-colorados-unaffiliated-voters?source=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dp-politics+%28Denver+Post%3A+Politics%3A+All+Political+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Jay Cost, now with Weekly Standard is one of the best analysts on polling and electoral politics.  He points out 4 factors running against Obama.  Cost maintains that Obama is 1) unpopular with approval consistently below 50%, 2) impressions are set, difficult to change. 3) The economy is hurting Obama, and 4) Romney still has plenty of time to define himself in a very positive sense.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-state-race-four-months-out_648277.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1658 on: July 09, 2012, 11:12:18 AM »

Finally, Morris returns to his area of expertise  cheesy

http://www.dickmorris.com/obamas-poll-blip-fades-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1659 on: July 12, 2012, 01:02:34 PM »

by SARA MURRAY
WSJ
Mitt Romney delivered his sharpest rebuke Thursday to claims that he outsourced jobs, as his campaign released an ad essentially calling the president a liar.

The television ad seeks to debunk claims from media outlets and President Barack Obama's campaign that Mr. Romney oversaw companies shipping jobs overseas when he was the head of investment firm Bain Capital.

"When a president doesn't tell the truth how can we trust him to lead?", the ad asks.

The ad is the campaign's clearest acknowledgment yet that it believes the president's outsourcing allegations have damaged Mr. Romney's standing among voters. Advisers to the Romney campaign attributed the damage to Mr. Obama outspending them in important swing states. In response, the Romney team has upped its ad buys following two months of blockbuster fundraising numbers that outpaced the president's.

The latest ad, called "No Evidence," is running in nearly every major swing state, hitting the airwaves in Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado.

It also claims the president lied about Hillary Clinton and flashes back to Mrs. Clinton in the midst of her bitter 2008 primary fight with Mr. Obama. In the clip, the now-secretary of state scolds him for an attack ad: "Shame on you, Barack Obama."

The likely Republican nominee has also sought to turn the outsourcing spotlight on the president. "If there's an outsourcer-in-chief, it's the president of the United States, not the guy who's running to replace him," Mr. Romney said at a recent campaign stop in Grand Junction, Colo.

By Mr. Romney's own estimation, the battle over outsourcing—and his campaign's new television ad—is a signal the Republican is losing the messaging war of late.

"I, of course, respond to the attacks that come," Mr. Romney said in a Fox Business News interview Wednesday. "But you know, they say in politics, if you're responding, you're losing."

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bigdog
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« Reply #1660 on: July 13, 2012, 08:06:17 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/237701-report-condoleezza-rice-emerges-as-frontrunner-for-romney-vp
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1661 on: July 13, 2012, 08:40:28 AM »

Oy vey.

Two-fer or not, the last thing Mitt needs is a direct tie to Bush like that.   rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes

Furhtermore she has never run for office, never held office, has no experience within our political system.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:12:17 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1662 on: July 13, 2012, 04:49:53 PM »

Meanwhile, Obama repeated his call for Romney to release further tax records. He told a New Hampshire TV station, "What's important if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you've done and that you're an open book." Good advice from the man who took three years to release his birth certificate, and who still refuses to produce his medical records, his college transcripts and papers, and his law school records. Indeed, Obama has been vague and dissembling about nearly every political and social affiliation he's ever had.

From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File

"[Mitt Romney's] father, George Romney, set the precedent that people running for president would file their tax returns, let everybody look at them. But Mitt Romney can't do that because he's basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years." --Harry Reid

Memo to Harry: Romney paid $3 million in taxes in both 2010 and 2011, the only years he has released information. He donated even more than that to charity. Is that "basically no taxes"?
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JDN
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« Reply #1663 on: July 13, 2012, 05:03:59 PM »

Meanwhile, Obama repeated his call for Romney to release further tax records. He told a New Hampshire TV station, "What's important if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you've done and that you're an open book." Good advice from the man who took three years to release his birth certificate, and who still refuses to produce his medical records, his college transcripts and papers, and his law school records. Indeed, Obama has been vague and dissembling about nearly every political and social affiliation he's ever had.

Come on Crafty; you've got to admit that tax returns are a LOT more important than college transcripts and school records. 

From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File

"[Mitt Romney's] father, George Romney, set the precedent that people running for president would file their tax returns, let everybody look at them. But Mitt Romney can't do that because he's basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years." --Harry Reid

I think he's referring to the percentage.  Nothing illegal, but it is/will be a talking point if Mitts paid very low taxes versus the average middle class working stiff.  That's just politics.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1664 on: July 13, 2012, 05:51:18 PM »

Well, no one made any noise about gigolo John Kerry when he was running being worth hundreds of millions  , , , but perhaps that was because he didn't earn it (unlike Mitt who made his own fortune)  he got it by marrying two widows (one at a time of course) each worth hundreds of millions , , ,

As for Baraq, I'd say his birth certificate was REAL fg important given the questions about his eligibility and given the general mystery about his life and the extreme paucity of provable facts about it, his college and law school records were of considerable relevance.  Did his college record justify his getting into Harvard, or was he affirmative action, or, as has been alleged, was he walked in through the back door.

Dunno why Mitt is limiting himself to two years, but quite unlike candidate Obama, the man has quite an extensive life of accomplishment in the public eye both in the private sector and the public.   Unlike candidate/President Obama, his closest relations, mentors, preachers, and friends are not a long list of revolutionary communists, socialists, bigots, anti-semites, anti-American globalists, and the like-- none of whom have any time or accomplishment in the private sector or the military.
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JDN
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« Reply #1665 on: July 13, 2012, 06:08:39 PM »

Well, no one made any noise about gigolo John Kerry when he was running being worth hundreds of millions  , , , but perhaps that was because he didn't earn it (unlike Mitt who made his own fortune)  he got it by marrying two widows (one at a time of course) each worth hundreds of millions , , ,

That's the point; Kerry made it the old fashioned way; he (indirectly) inherited it.  smiley  It's easy to understand the money.  AND he did file numerous tax returns.

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/04/17/466341/romney-lies-kerry-tax-returns/

Romney is different.  You understand that.  Smoke and mirrors are legal, but maybe not the best idea for a politician. 

Soon, they will be asking, "What is Romney hiding" if he doesn't soon release them.  Better to release them now; this is not going away.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1666 on: July 13, 2012, 06:17:14 PM »



Forgive the nitpick, but actually all the article you cite says is this:

"Kerry has claimed that he had already released the returns — in January of this year, he said, “I released all my tax returns for 20 years. I have never not released my tax returns throughout my political career.” But aside from releasing details from his 2002 taxes — which showed a total income of $144,091 — it is not clear that Kerry has ever made public his returns from 1999 or 2000 or 2001 before now."

There is no independent confirmation of Kerry's statement and the reporter responds by saying "is not clear that Kerry has ever made public his returns from 1999 or 2000 or 2001 before now" -- apparently taking Kerry's word as sufficient to make it "clear".

Still unchallenged is Baraq's lack of transparency.
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JDN
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« Reply #1667 on: July 13, 2012, 06:51:21 PM »

But don't you think that Mitts' tax returns, especially given his wealth and HOW he made his money, and the taxes he paid (or didn't) is a LOT more important than Obama's High School and College grades?  Kerry married rich; good for him - that's easy to track the money.  No one cares about that.  Most would say that's simply good luck. 

Mitts went to BYU, then transferred to Harvard.  Probably his Dad helped with that.  So what; I don't care nor does anyone else, but his tax records ARE important.

Or do you really think this will all blow away and that Mitts tax returns aren't fair game?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1668 on: July 13, 2012, 08:35:34 PM »

So, you acknowledge that the piece you cited didn't say what you said it did?  (presumably due to a careless read)

High school?  NO ONE HERE BROUGHT UP HIS HIGH SCHOOL RECORDS so why would you?

More relevant is that there seems to be no discernable record of BO's time at Columbia--or even memory of him except for his composite girlfriends  evil -- though curiously enough apparently he did spend a goodly amount of money making sure that his time there go unrevealed.   IMHO college records are relevant (for example John McCain revealed his mediocre record at Annapolis) There are reports of him being guided into Harvard, which would be disproved by a quality record at Columbia, but more to the point, particulary in the case of a cipher like BO, college record would seem important to the sincere and unhypocritical.

And your lack of reference to BO's law school records in your reply is an acknowledgement of their relevance?

Why the insinuation that dad helped MR with Harvard?  Any basis for that, or is it just a spontaneous smear on your part?

As for MR's tax returns, they don't really matter to me-- the man's life and accomplishments are a substantial matter of record.  But apart for noting the utter hypocrisy in the double standards being applied, I'll leave the political gamesmanship to others and to those who follow in thinking it important.
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JDN
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« Reply #1669 on: July 14, 2012, 09:13:01 AM »

So, you acknowledge that the piece you cited didn't say what you said it did?  (presumably due to a careless read)

No, I only said that Kerry filed numerous tax returns; he did.
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/was-romney-right-about-john-kerry/


High school?  NO ONE HERE BROUGHT UP HIS HIGH SCHOOL RECORDS so why would you?
Because people have brought up that Obama should disclose records relating to the absurd; my point is that it is equal to High School Records, i.e. irrelevant. 

More relevant is that there seems to be no discernable record of BO's time at Columbia--or even memory of him except for his composite girlfriends  evil -- though curiously enough apparently he did spend a goodly amount of money making sure that his time there go unrevealed.   IMHO college records are relevant (for example John McCain revealed his mediocre record at Annapolis) There are reports of him being guided into Harvard, which would be disproved by a quality record at Columbia, but more to the point, particulary in the case of a cipher like BO, college record would seem important to the sincere and unhypocritical.

College grades are not relevant.  At the time they ran for President, I don't care if John McCain was near the bottom of his class or if Bush got mostly "C's". I love your "there are reports", but no facts.....

And your lack of reference to BO's law school records in your reply is an acknowledgement of their relevance?
No, my lack of reference to BO's law school records is an acknowledgement of their irrelevance.  He was Editor of the Law Review at Harvard!  He was asked to be a Professor at University of Chicago. Not bad.   evil

Why the insinuation that dad helped MR with Harvard?  Any basis for that, or is it just a spontaneous smear on your part?
No more of a smear than your baseless "reports" of Obama.  Further, I acknowledged I don't care; lot's of people I know one way or another are getting help to get into the college of their choice.  At this point in their life, it's not relevant presuming it was legal.

As for MR's tax returns, they don't really matter to me-- the man's life and accomplishments are a substantial matter of record.  But apart for noting the utter hypocrisy in the double standards being applied, I'll leave the political gamesmanship to others and to those who follow in thinking it important.
Actually the whole point of my post was Romney's tax returns.  Numerous prominent Republicans are beginning to agree, yet Romney confirmed he will not release any more.  Yet, he gave 21 years to McCain for vetting (note McCain rejected him).  It is relevant, it is important; and you know it.  This issue will not go away.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1670 on: July 14, 2012, 11:07:40 AM »

Moving on.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1671 on: July 16, 2012, 10:24:49 AM »



http://www.dickmorris.com/single-women-switch-to-romney-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1672 on: July 16, 2012, 07:40:21 PM »

July panic for Obama — for good reason
By Jennifer Rubin
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/july-panic-for-obama--for-good-reason/2012/07/15/gJQARQFXmW_blog.html%22

Why has the Obama team been publicly wailing about losing out to Mitt Romney in the money race? Why would the president accuse his opponent of not merely being wrong or unqualified but criminal? After all, the polls are tied, so why so much worry in Obamaland?

Like a mystery novel, the answer is in front of our noses: The candidates are still tied in the polls. Let’s go step by step with the most logical explanation of the Obama campaign’s conduct.

The Obama team knew months ago that the economy would not sufficiently improve before Election Day to justify his reelection. Its polling showed simply blaming President George W. Bush wouldn’t be sufficient. The president and his political hacks concluded that it was too late and too risky to adopt a whole new second-term agenda. (It would risk offending either the base or centrists and reveal his first-term agenda to have been entirely inadequate.) So what to do?

Extend the Republican primary by running ads hitting Romney and encouraging Democrats to vote against Romney in Michigan and elsewhere. Then, before Romney could fully get his bearings, unload a barrage of negative attacks, scare mongering and thinly disguised oppo attacks through the mainstream media, taking advantage of many political reporters’ relative ignorance about the private equity field and their inclination to accept whole-hog President Obama’s version of “facts.”

The extent of that effort is only now becoming clear. The Associated Press reports: “President Barack Obama’s campaign has spent nearly $100 million on television commercials in selected battleground states so far, unleashing a sustained early barrage designed to create lasting, negative impressions of Republican Mitt Romney before he and his allies ramp up for the fall.” Think of it like the Confederacy’s artillery barrage on the third day of Gettysburg before Pickett’s charge — you have to in essence disable the other side before the charge begins or its curtains.

Virtually all of the ads were viciously negative, and judging from the number of Pinocchios they’ve racked up, continually and materially false.

But it didn’t work. Romney and Obama are still deadlocked. (The AP quoted Republican operative Carl Forti: “I don’t think . . . [Obama’s] got a choice. He has to try to change the dynamic now, but the polling indicates it’s not working. He doesn’t appear to be making any headway in the polls.”)

Few Democratic pundits are as sharp or as honest as William Galston, who concedes:

    On the one hand, the last round of Bain attacks has clearly rattled the Romney campaign, and a smattering of survey evidence suggests that the sustained ad campaign in swing states has scored some points. On the other hand, the Pew survey found no shift since May in swing-state voter preference.

    But it’s not too early to say that Obama’s vital signs look dicey. Over the past 33 months, his job approval has been lower than George W. Bush’s at a comparable time in his presidency for all but one week. Bush averaged above 50 percent in the quarter before his successful reelection campaign, while Obama has been stuck in the 46-48 percent range for months. And the famous “wrong track” measure now stands at 63 percent, versus 55 percent in the days preceding the vote in 2004. If these two numbers don’t improve for Obama, his presidency will be in jeopardy. And they probably won’t — unless the economy perks up noticeably.

So the Obama team has shot its wad. Its opponent has more ammo and more money now. Romney hasn’t been mortally wounded. And there isn’t money from Obama to keep up the 4-to-1 spending barrage. In fact without it, Obama might well have fallen behind in the race. So the Obama team pleads for money and turns up the volume of the attacks. (After calling Romney a criminal in July, what’s left for September and October?)

Obama is now committed to a strategy that isn’t working. He’s left to unleash his attack dogs and to pray for a miracle. Maybe the economy will rebound. Perhaps Romney will implode or pick a Sarah-Palin-type for vice president.

The reason, you see, that Obama’s camp has become so frantic in July is that its ineffectiveness in the summer subjects its side to grave risks. Having to defend his record, rely on his debate prowess and be evaluated on the economy over the last three years is as risky as, well, as sending thousands across a vast, empty field as enemy fire rains down upon them.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1673 on: July 17, 2012, 12:16:22 AM »

From her lips to God's ears!
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« Reply #1674 on: July 17, 2012, 05:22:23 AM »

POTH columnist captures an interesting notion

The Capitalism DebateBy DAVID BROOKS
Published: July 16, 2012

 
Let’s say you are president in a time of a sustained economic slowdown. You initiated a series of big policies that you thought were going to turn the economy around, but they didn’t work — either because they were insufficient or ineffective. How do you run for re-election under these circumstances?


Do you spend the entire campaign saying that things would have been even worse if you hadn’t acted the way you did? No. That would be pathetic. You go on the attack. Instead of defending your economic policies, you attack modern capitalism as it now exists. You blame the system for the economy. You do this with double ferocity if your opponent happens to be the embodiment of that system.

This is what the Obama campaign appears to have done in recent months. Instead of defending the policies of the last four years, the campaign has begun a series of attacks on the things people don’t like about modern capitalism.

They don’t like the way unsuccessful firms go bust. Obama hit that with ads about a steel plant closure a few months ago. They don’t like C.E.O. salaries. President Obama hits that regularly. They don’t like financial shenanigans. Obama hits that. They don’t like outsourcing and offshoring. This week, Obama has been hitting that.

The president is now running an ad showing Mitt Romney tunelessly singing “America the Beautiful,” while the text on screen blasts him for shipping jobs to China, India and Mexico.

The accuracy of the ad has been questioned by the various fact-checking outfits. That need not detain us. It’s safest to assume that all the ads you see this year will be at least somewhat inaccurate because the ad-makers now take dishonesty as a mark of their professional toughness.

What matters is the ideology behind the ad: the assumption that Bain Capital, the private-equity firm founded by Romney, should not have invested in companies that hired workers abroad; the assumption that hiring Mexican or Indian workers is unpatriotic; the assumption that no worthy person would do what most global business leaders have been doing for the past half-century.

This ad — and the rhetoric the campaign is using around it — challenges the entire logic of capitalism as it has existed over several decades. It’s part of a comprehensive attack on the economic system Romney personifies.

This shift of focus has been audacious. Over the years of his presidency, Obama has not been a critic of globalization. There’s no real evidence that, when he’s off the campaign trail, he has any problem with outsourcing and offshoring. He has lavishly praised people like Steve Jobs who were prominent practitioners. He has hired people like Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, whose company embodies the upsides of globalization. His economic advisers have generally touted the benefits of globalization even as they worked to help those who are hurt by its downsides.

But, politically, this aggressive tactic has worked. It has shifted the focus of the race from being about big government, which Obama represents, to being about capitalism, which Romney represents.

Just as Republicans spent years promising voters that they could have tax cuts forever, now the Democrats are promising voters that they can have all the benefits of capitalism without the downsides, like plant closures, rich C.E.O.’s and outsourcing. Just as Republicans used to force Democrats into the eat-your-spinach posture (you need to have high taxes if you want your programs), now Democrats are casting Republicans into the eat-your-spinach posture (you need to accept outsourcing and the pains of creative destruction if you want your prosperity).

The Romney campaign doesn’t seem to know how to respond. For centuries, business leaders have been inept when writers, intellectuals and politicians attacked capitalism, and, so far, the Romney campaign is continuing that streak.

One thing is for sure. As Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute has said again and again, it’s not enough to say that capitalism will make you money. You can’t fight what is essentially a moral critique with economics.

Romney is going to have to define a vision of modern capitalism. He’s going to have to separate his vision from the scandals and excesses we’ve seen over the last few years. He needs to define the kind of capitalist he is and why the country needs his virtues.

Let’s face it, he’s not a heroic entrepreneur. He’s an efficiency expert. It has been the business of his life to take companies that were mediocre and sclerotic and try to make them efficient and dynamic. It has been his job to be the corporate version of a personal trainer: take people who are puffy and self-indulgent and whip them into shape.

That’s his selling point: rigor and productivity. If he can build a capitalist vision around that, he’ll thrive. If not, he’s a punching bag.

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JDN
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« Reply #1675 on: July 17, 2012, 09:49:53 AM »

On ABC’s This Week (George) Will said that the campaign “must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

Dowd, who is also a commentator on ABC’s This Week, agreed.  “There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it,’” Dowd said Sunday.

“I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that [John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest,” said Will.

Appearing on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” last week, former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said he’d go further than the financial disclosures required by law – and further than Romney has gone in releasing his taxes.

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele and Alabama governor Robert Bentley have agreed with the small, but growing gaggle of Republicans urging Romney to action in releasing his taxes.

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Bentley said of Romney’s taxes at the National Governor’s Association last week.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/16/growing-conservative-voice-romney-should-release-taxes/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1676 on: July 17, 2012, 10:01:47 AM »

I would like to see JDN's tax returns posted here.  I know you're not running for President and not required to do so, but I would like to see them posted anyway.
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JDN
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« Reply #1677 on: July 17, 2012, 10:11:35 AM »

That's why I and frankly a few other people I know won't run for Office.   smiley

Once you do run, your private life becomes public; but then that's how it should be in my opinion.  So IF you run for public office, you better accept it.

Note, even a growing number of prominent conservative Republicans are saying the same; Romney should release his returns.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 10:28:28 AM by JDN » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1678 on: July 17, 2012, 10:57:07 AM »

"your private life becomes public"

No. Candidates pick and choose what they make public and what they don't, including FAST AND FURIOUS documents, don't they?  Why won't you post all your tax returns, what do you have to hide?

"Romney should release his returns."

He did and he will.  That's not enough.  What number of them is enough, exactly?  What number is required to run for public office?  

My understanding, please correct me if I'm wrong, is that you have to release your tax returns on a timely basis - to the IRS, and that's it.

When exactly did candidate Barack Obama release any information he didn't want to because of the clamoring?  And I don't mean 1040EZ tax returns for a guy who never ran a business.

If Romney releases all tax returns back to age 16, how will that change President Obama's job killing record?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 10:59:59 AM by DougMacG » Logged
JDN
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« Reply #1679 on: July 17, 2012, 11:28:21 AM »

Doug, perhaps because there is no defense, you seem to be merely trying to obfuscate the issue.  What does fast and furious have to do with personal tax returns?  Or the President's job record?  Or for that matter, my personal tax returns?  I'm not running for office; Romney is.  Let's get back to point.

Odd, Romney felt compelled and willing to release 21 years of tax returns to McCain when he was being vetted for VP and then was subsequently rejected by McCain, but now, for the public.....

Tax Returns ARE relevant.  It's not just me, or simply Democrats, but even prominent conservative Republicans say so. And more each day.

If this was Obama, you and everyone else on this forum would be clamoring for tax returns and insinuating that something is terribly possibly criminally wrong.  And you know it.

Frankly, as a politician it's indefensible that Romney won't release them especially given the 100's of millions of dollars he's made as a corporate raider.  Between Swiss Bank Accounts, the Cayman Islands, etc. he can probably move dollars around faster than you can hit a tennis ball. 

He's better off releasing everything now, face the ramifications if any for a few days, then move on.  This is a lot of money we are talking about, not his college grades or some other innocuous matter.  I don't think this issue will go away.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1680 on: July 17, 2012, 11:53:45 AM »

I'm sorry that as usual you missed my point and that the points you make are unresponsive to the questions I posed.  Another approach to an exchange would be to try to answer the questions posed and in doing so you might stumble into the point made.  Yes he will probably disclose more information.  The July 17 deadline is the shiny object.  It MUST be answered NOW because 3 more people are clamoring for it.  You already called his wealth filthy and in pure moderate partisanship you posted no objection I know of to the sitting Treasury Secretary's tax evasion.  Nothing in Romney's background indicates anything other than squeaky clean and he already disclosed that he was successful and paid all the taxes that he owes.  But still we need shiny objects.  Who would want to face ISSUES?

Romney's income is interesting because he was in business you say?  Well, Obama's academics are interesting because he was in academics.  One sided clamoring won't get that information out - ever.  In spite of you repeatedly repeatedly repeatedly saying otherwise, that is relevant.

They keep the storyline going that Barack Obama is smarter than all of us, yet serving in his current position, he is stuck on stupid, reduced to looking for shiny objects from his competitor.  He hasn't even told us what involvement he had in Fast and Furious that would require an executive privilege assertion to take the scandal IN HIS ADMINISTRATION past the election.  Why hasn't he fired his attorney general yet for not prosecuting his own contempt of congress citation and where is THAT clamoring?  The Sound of Silence: Hello Darkness my old friend...

Meanwhile, we must know, where does Mitt Romney bank anyway?
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ccp
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« Reply #1681 on: July 17, 2012, 04:59:06 PM »

"the sitting Treasury Secretary's tax evasion"

don't forget Charles Rangel.

I agree with
Mark Levin.  Mitt does not need to give the libs any more data they can manipulate to their spin.  Give *no* more tax records.

"Independents" or undecided's won't care. Libs have already made up their minds.

Bill Kristol and Haley Barber and both shcultzes should release their taxes first.
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JDN
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« Reply #1682 on: July 17, 2012, 05:19:45 PM »

"the sitting Treasury Secretary's tax evasion"

Good grief, Secretary Geithner made a mistake on his taxes.  He was neither charged nor convicted of any wrongdoing.
Further, he was approved by the Senate in a bipartisan vote of 60-34 for Secretary of the Treasury.

Also, I disagree.  I predict Independents and Undecideds will care if Romney continues to stonewall. 
Even a few respected conservatives like George Will already care and suggest full disclosure.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1683 on: July 17, 2012, 07:34:57 PM »

"Good grief, Secretary Geithner made a mistake on his taxes.  He was neither charged nor convicted of any wrongdoing."

For some of us the whiff of favoritism is in the air.  I forget the details but the way I remember it, it sure looked like more than an innocent mistake-- wasn't there something about his failing to report a couple of hundred thousand and/or taking deductions for his kids summer camp or something like that?   Too bad GM is on extended sabbatical-- he would nail this for us in a flash.

Anyway,  the larger point as I understand it is the double standard in what is required of Reps and Dems.

(BTW, whatever happened in Charlie Rangel's race?  I remember reading it was very close and that the results were not immediately available)
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1684 on: July 17, 2012, 07:52:30 PM »

Double standard etc, yes.  I jumped categories (cog diss of the left) to refresh memories.  Yes, how many Dem votes would a Republican tax cheat get on the committee? 

JDN, He didn't think he had to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years (source WSJ) because ...................................... .

a) diplomatic immunity
b) he gave at the office
c) dog ate his homework
d) by taxing the rich, I meant the other guy
e) hey, look at that shiny object - over THERE!!

Besides re-filing 6 other years when he found out he was entering new scrutiny...  Employing domestics formerly known as illegals, etc.

He made "a" mistake.

For Romney, all they want is more clarity on the "filthy" part of rich.

Meanwhile, more have gone on food stamps and disability under Obama than have found new jobs, and the blind enablers keep looking every time he says hey, shiny object.

Pathetic.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1685 on: July 18, 2012, 11:38:53 AM »

Mark Levin's answer to JDN

http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2012/07/17/mark-levin-is-right-on-romney-tax-returns/?singlepage=true
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JDN
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« Reply #1686 on: July 18, 2012, 12:50:33 PM »

Interesting, the very next article on your  pjmedia link showed this opposing logic.

Drumbeat Grows from Right for Romney to Release Returns

The National Review, the Weekly Standard, columnists like George Will, and several prominent GOP lawmakers have all called on Mitt Romney to release additional tax returns. Even “objective” reporters have gotten into the act and criticized the candidate for keeping his filings to himself.

As the National Review puts it:

Romney may feel impatience with requirements that the political culture imposes on a presidential candidate that he feels are pointless (and inconvenient). But he’s a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his current posture is probably unsustainable. In all likelihood, he won’t be able to maintain a position that looks secretive and is a departure from campaign conventions. The only question is whether he releases more returns now, or later — after playing more defense on the issue and sustaining more hits. There will surely be a press feeding frenzy over new returns, but better to weather it in the middle of July.


http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/07/18/drumbeat-grows-from-right-for-romney-to-release-returns/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1687 on: July 18, 2012, 01:02:24 PM »

Taking over from tax returns, "You didn't build that" seems to be the defining statement of the campaign.

If the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, etc. didn't build that, then why the hell are the rest of you, the unwashed, trying to build something?

Meanwhile we advertise with taxpayer dollars for more food stamp recipients: it's easy, it's healthy and it's fun!  And we add more to permanent disability than we add to full time employment.

It was really a Freudian slip for the 11 million dollar book writing President because we can say with certainty Mr. President: You didn't write that!

Punditry caught the President's new line and their collective jaw dropped.  It took a few days for it to really sink in.

John Podhoretz, Commentary magazine:  "The Biggest Mistake of Campaign 2012 is not Mitt Romney’s handling of Bain Capital, or anything Mitt Romney has done. The biggest mistake was the one made by Barack Obama on Friday, when what you might call his now-familiar “Declaration of Interdependence” went completely off the rails. Obama’s “we’re all in this together” bit has been a feature of his speeches during the past year, as he cites the government-led activities that have made this country better—land-grant colleges and infrastructure and the social safety net. It sounds kind of uplifting, which is why he likes to say it, and it fits his general message of a country in which government plays a central role for the good of all.  But when he extended it to personal and private endeavor, the president revealed the danger of this message—to him. ...This statement is a colossal opportunity for Mitt Romney and will prove a suppurating wound for the president, who revealed a degree not only of condescension but of contempt for the very people who are going to decide this election.  And if there’s one thing people recognize, it’s when they are being viewed with contempt."
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/17/the-biggest-mistake-of-campaign-2012/
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Rich Lowry, National Review:  Obama against the Self-Made Man

If Bartlett’s ever puts together a collection of insultingly deflating quotations, it should include President Barack Obama’s take on business success before a crowd in Virginia the other day: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.”

Obama was explaining — as is his wont — why the rich should pay more taxes. They might have had a great teacher. Or they drive on public roads and bridges. “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” the president explained, apparently in the serene confidence that he wasn’t speaking to an audience bristling with proud business owners. “Somebody else made that happen.”

The Obama theory of entrepreneurship is that behind every successful businessman, there is a successful government. Everyone is helpless without the state, the great protector, builder, and innovator. Everything is ultimately a collective enterprise. Individual initiative is only an ingredient in the more important work when “we do things together.”

The Obama riff is a direct steal from Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Senate candidate in Massachusetts who sent liberal hearts aflutter by throwing the same wet towel on the notion of individual success a few months ago. The Obama/Warren view is a warrant for socialization of the proceeds of success. Behind its faux sophistication is a faculty-lounge disdain for business, and all those who make more than tenured professors by excelling at it. Behind its smiley we’re-all-in-it-together façade is a frank demand: You owe us. ...
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/309606/obama-against-self-made-man-rich-lowry
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WSJ today:
The Presidential election has a long way to go, but the line of the year so far is President Obama's on Friday: "You didn't build that." Rarely do politicians so clearly reveal their core beliefs.

Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. Obama delivered another paean to the virtues of higher taxes on the people he believes deserve to pay even more to the government. "There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans," he observed, and many of them attribute their wealth and success to their own intelligence and hard work. But the self-made man is an illusion: "There are a lot of smart people out there," he explained. "Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of hard-working people out there.

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," he continued. "There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

This burst of ideological candor is already resonating like nothing else Mr. Obama's said in years. The Internet is awash with images of the President telling the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and other innovators they didn't build that. Kevin Costner's famous line in "Field of Dreams," as adapted for Mr. Obama: "If you build it, we'll still say you didn't really build it."

Beneath the satire is the serious point that Mr. Obama's homily is the soul of his campaign message. The President who says he wants to be transformational may be succeeding—and subordinating to government the individual enterprise and risk-taking that underlies prosperity. The question is whether this is the America that most Americans want to build.
---------------------

Paul Ryan:

    Every now and then, he pierces the veil. He’s usually pretty coy about his ideology, but he lets the veil slip from time to time. … His straw man argument is this ridiculous caricature where he’s trying to say if you want any security in life, you stick with me. If you go with these Republicans, they’re going to feed you to the wolves because they believe in some Hobbesian state of nature, and it’s one or the other which is complete bunk, absolutely ridiculous. But it seems to be the only way he thinks he can make his case. He’s deluded himself into thinking that his so-called enemies are these crazy individualists who believe in some dog-eat-dog society when what he’s really doing is basically attacking people like entrepreneurs and stacking up a list of scapegoats to blame for his failures.

    His comments seem to derive from a naive vision of a government-centered society and a government-directed economy. It stems from an idea that the nucleus of society and the economy is government not the people. … It is antithetical to the American idea. We believe in free communities, and this is a statist attack on free communities. … As all of his big government spending programs fail to restore jobs and growth, he seems to be retreating into a statist vision of government direction and control of a free society that looks backward to the failed ideologies of the 20th century.

    This is not a Bill Clinton Democrat. He’s got this very government-centric, old 20th century collectivist philosophy which negates the American experiment which is people living in communities, supporting one another, having government stick to its limits so it can do its job really well … Those of us who are conservative believe in government, we just believe government has limits. We want government to do what it does well and respect its limits so civil society and families can flourish on their own and do well and achieve their potential.

    How does building roads and bridge justify Obamacare? If you like the GI Bill therefore we must go along with socialized medicine. It’s a strange leap that he takes. … To me it’s the laziest form of a debate to affix views to your opponent that they do not have so you can demonize them and defeat them and win the debate by default

    I think he believes America was on the right path until Reagan came along, and Reagan got us going in the wrong direction. And and he wants to be as transformational as Reagan by undoing the entire Reagan revolution. … I think he sees himself as bringing about this wave of progressivism, and the only thing stopping him are these meddling conservatives who believe in these founding principles so he has to caricature them in the ugliest light possible to win the argument.

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/07/paul-ryan-rips-obamas-comment-that-if-youve-got-a-business-you-didnt-build-that-somebody-else-made-that-happen/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1688 on: July 18, 2012, 01:24:06 PM »

President Obama’s instantly infamous “You didn’t build that” speech is a major turning point of the 2012 election not because it was a gaffe but because it was an accurate and concise summary of core progressive fiscal dogma. It was also a political blunder of epic proportions because in his speech Obama unintentionally proved the conservatives’ case for limited government.

When Obama implied at the Roanoke, Virginia rally that some businessmen refuse to pay for public works from which they benefit, he presented a thesis which, like a three-legged stool, relies on three assumptions that must all be true for the argument to remain standing:

1. That the public programs he mentioned in his speech constitute a significant portion of the federal budget;
2. That business owners don’t already pay far more than their fair share of these expenses; and
3. That these specific public benefits are a federal issue, rather than a local issue.

If any of these legs fails, then the whole argument collapses.

For good measure, we won’t just kick out one, we’ll kick out all three.

“Small Government” Is Not the Same as “No Government”

Progressives critique the fiscal conservative/Tea Party/libertarian position by purposely misrepresenting it as anarchy. When fiscal conservatives say “We want smaller government,” progressives reply, “Oh, so you want no government?”

“Government” in this particular discussion is shorthand for “communal pooling of resources for mutual benefit.”

Fiscal conservatives have never called for no government — that’s the anarchist position, and contemporary anarchism is actually dominated by extreme leftists, not extreme conservatives. Instead, fiscal conservatives clearly and consistently call for limited government, or for smaller government — but not for the absence of government altogether.

So when President Obama and his mentor Elizabeth Warren justify their call for tax hikes by pointing out that all entrepreneurs benefit from communal infrastructure, they’re committing the classic Straw Man Fallacy by arguing against anarchy — a position that their opponents do not hold.

Here’s the shocking truth: President Obama and Elizabeth Warren are correct — we all benefit from certain taxpayer-funded collectivist government infrastructure projects and programs. And here’s the other shocking truth: Therefore, we should limit government expenditures to just those programs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1689 on: July 18, 2012, 03:47:14 PM »

I would add what for me is a central point, we the people created the government, it only has the powers granted by us to it in its founding charter, our beloved Constitution.  It is OUR work and productivity that pays the taxes that funded it.  It is dependent upon us, not we upon it!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1690 on: July 18, 2012, 06:27:37 PM »

Nicely put. That is exactly the question being called in Nov. now that the President so gracefully proclaimed that he is on the opposite side. 

Of the things that government does best (a short list), other than defending our shores shorter list yet), are there really $3-4 trillion worth of services that the federal government is uniquely able to perform and is authorized to do so in the constitution?  Do you want the decisions about road building around your home and business to go through Washington?  Really? Local schools, bridges and rail lines, that is federal and authorized in what article of the constitution, by what stretch of the imagination??  It is a complete straw argument to think you couldn't make cuts close to the immediate trillion a year Ron Paul was proposing and still have all those things that are both authorized in the constitution and are of value to all of us.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1691 on: July 18, 2012, 08:08:53 PM »

Let us remember a point upon which I think all of us (even JDN?) share agreement:

Discretionary spending is an insufficient target for serious deficit reduction.  Serious debt reduction requires going after the obligations defined by entitlements-- and in this race no on is talking about that.
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JDN
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« Reply #1692 on: July 18, 2012, 08:45:39 PM »

I definitely agree!  Discretionary is merely the tip of the iceberg. But sadly in my opinion,  it's a non sequitur until the election.  After that, regardless of who wins, I hope a bipartisan effort will be made. Simply increasing Social Security's age of retirement would make a big difference. Other issues of course exist.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1693 on: July 18, 2012, 08:50:46 PM »

and furthermore , , , some random thoughts

a)  One of the biggest tropes out there is "BO was dealt a bad hand".   So why is it that there is pretty much NO discussion as to what caused that bad hand , , , beyond some sort of vague OWS type of analysis?!?  The "bad hand" was a direct result of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Fed Govt and the Fed driving a housing bubble.  Right at the tip of this spear into the heart of the American economy (indeed, the world economy) was one Baraq Obama, who in a mere 18 months became the second largest all-time recipient of FM largess.  

b) I just don't get the Condi Rice for VP boomlet.  Is it anything more than the crudest of condescending political calculations-- "She's a two-fer!"? This would have to be one of the absolutely dumbest choices possible:
*tie MR to Bush
*relitigate Iraq and WMD
*choose someone with absolutely ZERO experience in running for office or pretty much any type of American politics  
*choose someone with absolutely ZERO background in economics
*choose someone with absolutely ZERO business experience
*choose someone with absolutely ZERO experience in domestic political issues
Dumb, dumber, and dumbest, all in one.

c) "Restarting welfare as we knew it":  Perhaps we were overwhelmed by the immensity of what goes wrong (understandable!) but it has hardly been commented here on Baraq's probably illegal new regulations vaporizing key standards for recipients of welfare under the Clinton-Gingrich "End of Welfare as we know it".    Why is that?  And is that correct thinking?

d) Charles Krauthammer suggested tonight that MR take up "Solyndra or Staples?" as his campaign slogan.

e) I think the crony capitalism meme that Romney has been using the last week or so is a good one.  He should keep hammering away on it.  There certainly are plenty of good examples to keep him in fresh supply for the duration of the campaign.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 09:00:46 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
objectivist1
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« Reply #1694 on: July 19, 2012, 09:52:32 AM »

"Former Navy SEAL Launches PAC To Fight Obama"
Politicker, July 17, 2012

Today, Ryan Zinke, an ex-Navy SEAL and Montana State Senator, announced the launch of Special Operations for America, a political action committee dedicated to “the election of Mitt Romney and like-minded candidates.”
“Navy SEAL’s, Special Operations Personnel and Veteran’s across America have been outraged since Barack Obama conveniently took credit for killing Osama Bin Laden for political gain,” a statement announcing the launch of SOFA said. “The active duty military has no voice as they are forbidden to publicly engage in the political campaign process and it is career suicide for senior military leaders to speak out against the President.”

Mr. Zinke, who has frequently slammed the president’s handling of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, reiterated his criticisms of the operation.

“The President has failed and he is jeopardizing the safety of our troops, their families and our National security for political gain. Obama has exposed the identity of special operations units, leaked classified information, and limited the rules of engagement of forces on the ground,” said Mr. Zinke. “For those who have taken an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, it is a call of duty to take back America from a Commander-in-Chief that is incapable of understanding the sacrifices that have been made for the values that have made America great.”

Mr. Zinke has served in the Montana State Senate since 2009. According to Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress, a political action committee dedicated to electing Republican vets, Mr. Zinke was a member of SEAL Team Six, the elite unit that killed Bin Laden, from 1990 until 1993 and from 1996 until 1999. He held several titles including Task Force Commander. In 2004, In 2004, was named “Deputy and acting Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM” in that capacity he “led a force of over 3500 Special Operations personnel in Iraq in the conduct of 360 combat patrols, 48 Direct Action missions, and hundreds of sensitive operations” and “was responsible for killing or capturing 72 known enemy insurgents and terrorists.”
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
DougMacG
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« Reply #1695 on: July 20, 2012, 10:05:50 AM »

Crafty:  "I just don't get the Condi Rice for VP boomlet"... (among other things) "absolutely ZERO background in economics"

John Podhoretz writes today: "The issue today is the economy. Not to mention the economy. Also, the economy." 
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/why_bam_losing_6hphTPplSqc4KPBJcKn4nO

For 8 years I tried to like the work product of Condi Rice and I struggled, kept thinking there is more going on behind the scenes than what we know.  If he wants, Romney can try to bring her back as Secretary of State, or keep Hillary Clinton for that matter to offset diplomatically a re-energized Defense department.  This election is the economy.  Rubio is the visionary and skilled orator who might make a great President someday and Paul Ryan is the current policy heavyweight.  We will see.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1696 on: July 20, 2012, 10:11:40 AM »

Crafty, a couple of days ago:  "Discretionary spending is an insufficient target for serious deficit reduction.  Serious debt reduction requires going after the obligations defined by entitlements-- and in this race no on is talking about that."

Yes.  Most of what we call government is not governing functions at all but transfer payments to individuals.  That isn't going to end but as competent economists have suggested, pass reforms that roll the costs back to 2007 levels, when this economy was last close to functional.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1697 on: July 20, 2012, 10:30:17 AM »

Obama's Vision Places Government, Not People, First

By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
 Posted 07/19/2012

"If you've got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Barack Obama, Roanoke, Va., July 13

And who might that somebody be? Government, says Obama. It built the roads you drive on. It provided the teacher who inspired you. It "created the Internet." It represents the embodiment of "we're in this together" social solidarity that, in his view, is the essential origin of individual and national achievement.

To say all individuals are embedded in and the product of society is banal. Obama rises above banality by means of fallacy: equating society with government, collectivity with the state.

Of course we are shaped by our milieu. But the most formative, most important influence on the individual is not government. It's civil society, those elements of the collectivity that lie outside government: family, neighborhood, church, Rotary Club, PTA, the voluntary associations that Tocqueville saw as the genius of America and source of its energy and freedom.

Moreover, the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing Leviathan state and those like Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective.

Obama compounds the fallacy by declaring the state to be the font of entrepreneurial success. It created the infrastructure — roads, bridges, schools, Internet — off which we all thrive.

Absurd. We don't credit the Swiss postal service with the Special Theory of Relativity because it transmitted Einstein's manuscript to the Annalen der Physik. Everyone drives the roads, goes to school, uses the mails. So did Steve Jobs. Yet only he conceived and built the Mac and the iPad.

Obama's infrastructure argument is easily refuted by what is essentially a controlled social experiment. Roads and schools are the constant. What's variable is the energy, enterprise, risk-taking, hard work and genius of the individual. It is therefore precisely those individual characteristics, not the communal utilities, that account for the different outcomes.

But the ultimate Obama fallacy is the conceit that belief in the value of infrastructure, and willingness to invest in its creation and maintenance, is what divides liberals from conservatives.

More nonsense. Infrastructure is not a liberal idea, nor is it particularly new. The Via Appia was built 2,300 years ago. The Romans built aqueducts too. And sewers. Since forever, infrastructure has been understood to be a core function of government.

The argument between left and right is about what you do beyond infrastructure. It's about transfer payments and redistributionist taxation, about geometrically expanding entitlements, about tax breaks and subsidies to induce actions pleasing to planners.

It's about free contraceptives for privileged students and welfare without work — the latest Obama entitlement-by-decree that would fatally undermine the great bipartisan welfare reform of 1996. It's about endless government handouts that, ironically, are crowding out necessary spending on, yes, infrastructure.

What divides liberals and conservatives is not roads and bridges but Julia's world, an Obama campaign creation that may be the most self-revealing parody of liberalism ever.

It's a series of cartoon illustrations in which a fictional Julia is swaddled and subsidized throughout her life by an all-giving government of bottomless pockets and "Queen for a Day" magnanimity. At every stage, the state is there to provide — preschool classes and cut-rate college loans, birth control and maternity care, business loans and retirement. The only time she's on her own is at her gravesite.

Julia's world is totally atomized. It contains no friends, no community and, of course, no spouse. Who needs one? She's married to the provider state. Or to put it slightly differently, the "Life of Julia" represents the paradigmatic Obama political philosophy: citizen as orphan child. For the conservative, providing for every need is the duty that government owes to actual orphan children. Not to supposedly autonomous adults.

Beyond infrastructure, the conservative sees the proper role of government as providing not European-style universal entitlements but a firm safety net, meaning Julia-like treatment for those who really cannot make it on their own — those too young or too old, too mentally or physically impaired, to provide for themselves.

Limited government so conceived has two indispensable advantages. It avoids inexorable European-style national insolvency. And it avoids breeding debilitating individual dependence. It encourages and celebrates character, independence, energy and hard work as the foundations of a free society and a thriving economy — precisely the virtues Obama discounts and devalues in his accounting.
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ccp
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Posts: 3974


« Reply #1698 on: July 21, 2012, 06:51:42 PM »

Abe Lincoln:

"and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Brockster:

"and that people of the government, by the government, for the government, shall not perish from the earth because of the government".

ccp,

"Your no Lincoln!"

 
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DougMacG
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Posts: 5827


« Reply #1699 on: July 21, 2012, 07:56:32 PM »

Abe Lincoln:
"and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Brockster:
"and that people of the government, by the government, for the government, shall not perish from the earth because of the government".

ccp, "Your no Lincoln!"

Great line CCP!  Isn't that the truth.
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