Tag Archives: Jim Lehrer

Obama wins Round Two (but the media will call it a draw)

U.S. President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Romney debate during the second U.S. presidential debate in Hempstead

Republican presidential nominee Romney and U.S. President Obama speak directly to each other during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead

US President Obama speaks next to Republican presidential candidate Romney during second US presidential campaign debate in Hempstead

U.S. President Obama answers a questiion as Republican presidential nominee Romney listens during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead

Republican presidential nominee Romney and U.S. President Obama shake hands at the conclusion of the second U.S. presidential debate in Hempstead

Reuters photos

The up-close-and-personal town-hall format of tonight’s presidential debate, and the criticism that President Barack Obama received for not having called out Mittens Romney on his string of blatant lies during the first 2012 presidential debate, resulted in a fiercer second debate performance by Obama tonight. And moderator Candy Crowley proved herself to be no Jim Lehrer, also to Mittens’ disadvantage.

That’s just anticipatory, my prediction* for tonight’s second presidential debate, which, as I post this, begins in less than a half-hour. (I am watching the debate live online and of course will write about it here, in this same post, later tonight.)

What I’m really looking for in tonight’s debate is to see if Mittens Romney repeats Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s execrable attempt during last week’s vice presidential debate to make a mountain of political hay over the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11.

At the time of Mittens’ initial politicizing of the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in the American consulate in Libya, I saw an editorial cartoon depicting Mittens slapping his presidential bumper sticker on Stevens’ headstone. It was quite apropros.

I can’t find that ’toon now, but while searching for it I did find a couple of others:

Romney Political Posturing

 Libya Tragedy

Beyond the shamelessness of using the attack on the American consulate in Libya for political gain, it’s a fucking laugh that it is the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who are going to keep us safe.

Four Americans died in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, but more than four fucking thousand Americans** died preventable deaths during the watch of the unelected “President” George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, and in late August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states.

There had been plenty of warning that both Osama bin Laden and Hurricane Katrina would strike the U.S., but the Vacationer in Chief George W. Bush couldn’t be bothered to do anything about either threat.

Whether or not the attack on the American consulate in Libya could have been prevented or not — it seems to me that it’s quite difficult to keep an American consulate in any Middle Eastern nation safe — the way to respond to such an incident is first to examine what went wrong and then to do things differently.

Putting another right-wing, swaggering, plutocratic chickenhawk in the White House is not doing things differently, and under a President Mittens, I believe, we’d see a lot more American deaths than we have under President Barack Obama.

We’ve seen already how well Mittens is received on the world stage — a Mittens presidency would be reminiscent of that of George W. Bush. Making the world hate us makes us less safe, not safer, and Repugnican presidents have a way of making the world hate us.

For all of Obama’s shortcomings, we (those of us who inhabit the reality-based world, that is) can’t say that he hasn’t kept the nation safe. Yet that is what I expect Mittens insanely to do tonight.

Update:

I found that cartoon:

Bill Schorr - Cagle Cartoons - Romney Libya Comments - English - Mitt Romney,Libya,Chris Stevens,politics,

Update: Fifteen minutes in, I’d say it’s a draw-leaning-toward-Obama. Mittens makes pledges, such as regarding job creation, but surreally, he offers no specifics. His first prickish attempt to steamroll moderator Candy Crowley of CNN failed.

Update: Obama, apparently having learned from Round One, freely states that Mittens isn’t telling the truth, and we’re seeing a fairly feisty Obama tonight.

This debate on oil, coal and alternative energy production is way too reminiscent of the 2008 debates. The wingnutty mantra of “Drill, baby, drill!” hasn’t changed. Indicative, I believe, of how the right wing does its damnedest to prevent progress.

Update: I don’t for a nanosecond believe Mittens’ claim that he won’t give the rich and super-rich tax breaks and that he wuvs the middle class (um, aren’t we the 47 percent he was disowning just back in May?). I believe that his plan is to give them tax breaks right away, and his “five-point plan” sounds like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan…

I believe Obama’s assertion that Mittens’ plan is to give the plutocrats their tax cuts and spend even more on the military-corporate complex, bloating the federal budget deficit even further — just like George W. Bush did.

Update: Mittens’ attempts to run over Candy Crowley aren’t going nearly as well for him as they did during the first debate, and I think that Mittens’ aggressive, steamrolling behavior is indicative of his character.

On the topic of women’s issues (specifically, women in the workforce), Mittens claims that as governor of Massachusetts he essentially engaged in affirmative action where women are concerned. Um, aren’t the wingnuts against that?

Meh. I look at the patriarchal Mormon cult that Mittens supports and women’s status within the Mormon cult that Mittens supports. That fact, I believe, is a much better barometer of the truth than are Mittens’ words in his post-Etch-A-Sketch-shaking phase.

Update: A great question from an audience member (who said that she is “undecided” but seems to lean toward Obama) for Mittens was how he is different from George W. Bush (a.k.a. He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned). Mittens first lied that he “appreciate[d]” the question that mentioned He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned and then blathered about how he wants to focus on small businesses, whereas the Bush regime focused on Big Business, and how he wants to focus on jobs.

Obama retorted, correctly, that just as Gee Dubya did, Mittens would only give tax breaks to the rich and otherwise support the plutocrats.

Update: Mittens brought up Ronald Reagan, which I guess was meant to neutralize the mention of George W. Bush.

It strikes me that this presidential election isn’t entirely unlike the 2000 election: We are to believe that vulture capitalist multi-millionaire Mittens Romney, whose religion is all about elevating the right-wing, “Christian” white man over the rest of us, is a “compassionate conservative,” which is what George W. Bush claimed he is, and we know how well George W. Bush worked out.

It’s interesting when liars like Mittens actually promise to govern progressively. They’re lying through their fangs, of course, but the fact that they are lying that they will be progressive is proof that progressivism is superior to what the wingnuts actually stand for.

Update: Mittens just used the term “illegals” in the discussion of immigration. Wow. I wonder if they’ll be talking about that tomorrow. “Illegals” is a charged word that reveals, I believe, how Mittens regards those who are in the nation without documentation.

Update: The attack in Benghazi finally came up. Mittens claimed that Obama didn’t take the situation seriously enough, which is interesting, given that when George W. Bush received the August 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” Bush was on vacation in Crawford, Texas, and on August 29, 2005, the day that Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, George W. Bush was celebrating John McCain’s birthday in Arizona.

It’s sickening that the Benghazi incident is being used by Team Mittens as a political football, and it’s sickening that the back-and-forth on the Benghazi incident is the only topic thus far that has caused the studio-audience members (in violation of the rules…) to applaud first for Obama and then for Mittens.

Update: Mittens has used the topic of gun violence to try to bring up another anti-Obama pseudo-scandal, “Fast and Furious.” I get it that it’s his role to tarnish Obama, but — Oh, cool: Moderator Candy Crowley has redirected Mittens back on topic. Clearly, Mittens was too comfortable with the Jim Lehrer treatment.

As I was saying, I get it that Mittens wants to tarnish Obama, but I don’t think that the anti-Obama pseudo-scandals from which the members of the right-wing blogosphere get their rocks off are going to appeal to a general audience.

Update: So according to Mittens, China is our big economic enemy, and we must stop sending our jobs overseas. Nevermind that Mittens made his millions via corporations whose profits skyrocketed through cheap labor overseas. Wow.

Again, Mittens is lying that he’d stop the flow of jobs overseas, but in his lie, he admits that sending jobs overseas (which he actually supports) is the wrong thing to do.

Update: It’s winding down. Mittens says that the biggest misperception of him is that he doesn’t care about “100 percent of the people.” Well, um, he was video-recorded in May saying that he has written off 47 percent of us.

He has used the phrase “100 percent” at least three times now, which underscores what a gaffe his “47 percent” remark was. (A “gaffe” as in he wouldn’t have said it had he known he was being video-recorded, not a “gaffe” as in that he “misspoke” or put it “inelegantly.” He knew exactly what he was saying and he meant exactly what he was saying.)

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!: Obama saved the best for last, reminding us, finally, of Mittens “47 percent” remark.

Obama got the last word in the debate, and my impression now, now that the debate is over, is pretty much what it was early in the debate: That Obama won the debate, but that he didn’t deliver a knock-out punch.

I expect the corporately owned and controlled mass media to call the debate a draw.

Whatever, but if Obama continues his trajectory, he will deliver the knock-out blow next week.

Obama is a smoother debater than is Mittens. Obama can deliver a blow smoothly and without apparent arrogance, whereas Mittens practically salivates all over himself when, in his mind, he has delivered a body blow, such as his bullshit on Benghazi and his bullshit on “Fast and Furious.”

If you take all of Mittens’ “blows” tonight combined, they don’t add up to that one “47 percent” remark of his that he made, as, Obama put it tonight, “behind closed doors” not even a full six months ago, and while the incident in Benghazi and “Fast and Furious” haven’t touched you or me personally, being categorized as half of the American people whom Mittens Romney doesn’t give a shit about: That is personal. That does affect us.

And that is the central (albeit secretly video-recorded) campaign promise that Mittens Romney, as president, would fulfill: That he would ignore at least 47 percent of the nation.

*My initial title of this post was “Obama wins!” Then I changed it to “Obama wins Round Two!” and then I changed it to its current title, once it seemed clear to me that Obama won but probably wouldn’t get credit for having won.

**Per Wikipedia, 2,977 were killed by the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001, and more than 1,830 were killed by Hurricane Katrina.

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‘Mean’ Uncle Joe beats the Boy Scout at the starting line

U.S. Vice President Biden listens as Republican vice-presidential nominee Ryan speaks during the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville

Reuters photo

Vice President Joe Biden smiles dismissively at a boyishly overeager liar Paul Ryan during tonight’s vice presidential debate, which was easy to call for Biden not even a full 15 minutes in.

It’s not even a full 15 minutes into the vice presidential debate as I type this sentence, but already Paul Ryan is coming off as a juvenile. It’s that boyish, whiny voice and those boyish expressions — Ryan comes off as a fucking Boy Scout – which might work for him in our youth-worshipping nation if the topic weren’t as serious and mature as foreign policy.

Joe Biden, coming off as experienced and smiling dismissively as Ryan lies, is kicking Ryan’s ass, and there probably is nothing else that I’ll need to write.

Ryan needed to show that we could trust him as president of the United States if it came to him becoming the president of the United States.

Not even a full 2o minutes now into the debate, Ryan has failed to do that.

I do find it interesting how the female moderator, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, is doing a much better job than PBS’s Jim Lehrer did.

Is she just more assertive than Lehrer? Or are Ryan and Biden unwilling to steamroll over a female moderator? Or is it some combo of the two?

At any rate, she’s doing what she should be doing, which is not letting Paul Ryan get off the hook with his bullshit the way that Lehrer allowed Mittens Romney to do when he debated President Barack Obama last week.

Update: As I type this sentence, Joe Biden is addressing a final topic, that of abortion. Wow. Biden — whose response is that he accepts his Catholic church’s pro-life doctrine but could never himself “impose” that view on a woman, who has the right to make decisions regarding her own body — blew Ryan (whose stated stance is that abortion should be allowed only in the cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger because of the pregnancy) out of the water, and there goes the women’s vote that dumbass pundits claimed was swaying toward the Mittens/Pretty Boy ticket.

Update: The debate is over. Kudos to Martha Raddatz for a job well done, and I have to wonder if the topic of women’s rights would have come up at all had a male moderated.

Joe Biden probably didn’t have to be quite as aggressive as he was, but if aggression was such a fucking bonus for Mittens Romney, then why would it be such a liability for Joe Biden?

Is it that right-wingers are allowed to be aggressive, but left-wingers aren’t allowed to be? That there is a double fucking standard there? (A: Yes, there is.)

Finally, again, Paul Ryan just isn’t presidential. Not with that whiny, adolescent voice, his fakey-fake, wide-eyed expressions, his over-practiced, memorized (and thus insincere-sounding) rhetoric, and really, I see twentysomethings walking around with that duck’s-ass hairdo that the fortysomething Paul Ryan wears. (No offense, twentysomethings, but I don’t want you sitting in the Oval Office, not even the most precocious among you. There is so much to be said for life experience, especially in the so-called leader of the so-called free world…)

Call me shallow, but it seems to me that, for better or for worse, it is these impressions — certainly not tedious policy details — that sway the American voters, and thus it seems to me that Joe Biden accomplished his mission of halting Team Mittens’ post-first-presidential-debate momentum.

P.S. Here is the Reuters photo that already has become iconic of the 2012 vice presidential debate:

U.S. Vice President Biden makes a point in front of Republican vice presidential nominee Ryan and moderator Raddatz during the vice presidential debate in Danville

Reuters photo

Again, I expect to hear all day tomorrow how “mean” Old Uncle Joe was to poor widdle Paulie Ryan, even though Mittens Romney’s flat-out prickish debate behavior was called a strength. And this from the corporately owned and controlled mass media that supposedly have a left-wing bias.

Let me be clear, though: Joe Biden won the debate not because he can talk over people, but because he demonstrated that he is fit to assume the presidency if it came to that, and he demonstrated — with plenty of help from Paul Ryan — that the himbo/he-Palin Paul Ryan is not.

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Mittens’ Etch A Sketch is at full tilt

Etch A Sketch art

Unfortunately, in the United States of Amnesia, you pretty much can “shake it up and … start all over again”* — and to a stunning degree, get away with it.

I watched last night’s presidential debate online as it unfolded live.

While everyone is declaring Mittens Romney the “winner,” I don’t see it.

It’s obvious that the multi-millionaire Mormon Mittens has shifted his message abruptly to the center in order to appeal to the so-called “swing voters” (a.k.a. “undecideds,” “independents,” etc.). It wasn’t nearly long ago enough (it was in May) that Mittens told his fat-cat donors that 47 percent of us Americans can go fuck ourselves that we now can believe Mittens’ claim of last night that he just wuvs every last one of us.

I believe the Mittens of May, not the Mittens of October.

Only when we reduce the presidential debates to pure theater, in which truthfulness doesn’t matter (theater is, after all, fiction), only when we view the presidential debates as entertainment, like a wrestling event, can we say that Mittens “won” last night’s debate.

Mittens lied every time his lips moved — contrary to his claims, a Mittens presidency would look like much the illegitimate George W. Bush presidency did, but we wouldn’t even have Big Bird — but hey, Mittens steamrolled all over senior-citizen moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS (whom Mittens badly wants to fire)! What a bad-ass alpha male Mittens is!

Frighteningly, it apparently is the “swing voters” who (at least largely) decide presidential elections these days, and if you are one of them, you just now are paying attention to the presidential race and you have no idea that just the day before yesterday, Mittens was singing a hard-right tune. If you just first tuned in last night and you believe everything that you are told, indeed, Mittens, from his debate performance — and, like it is with theater, it was a performance — might not strike you as that bad a guy.

Luckily, we need look only to the presidential debates of 2004 — in which John Kerry clearly cleaned dipshit George W. Bush’s clock, yet Bush “won” “re”-election nonetheless — to remind ourselves that a real (in Bush’s case) or imagined (in Barack Obama’s case) poor performance in the presidential debates certainly doesn’t spell certain doom for an incumbent president’s election (real or imagined) to a second term.

I expect Mittens to gain a percent or two in the nationwide polls over the next week, but I don’t expect that boost to last, and I still expect Barack Obama to win re-election. I expect that Obama will have learned from the chatter after his first debate with Mittens and will adjust his game accordingly.

The question remains, however, as to how easily the New and Improved! Mittens can dupe the “swing voters” who just now are paying attention.

*The infamous Etch A Sketch quote, recall, was that of (former?) senior Mittens campaign operative Eric Fehrnstrom, who in March told CNN, “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

When you shake up an actual Etch A Sketch, everything disappears without a trace. Real life, however, isn’t that neat and tidy, yet Team Mittens apparently is going forward with the Etch-A-Sketch plan nonetheless. Indeed, according to the Mittens playbook, we’re even to just erase already the infamous “47 percent” remark that Mittens uttered just back in May.

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