The fine folks at FactCheck.org have put together an excellent series on the standard stump speeches from each 2012 candidate. Some highlights:
- He tells us that number of manufacturing jobs have gone up by more than half a million from the lowest point. He doesn’t mention that the number is still less than half the total lost in his first term.
- He says that Romney will raise taxes by $2,000 on middle-income taxpayers. Romney has responded clearly that he has no plans do that.
- He also attacks Romney and the Republicans for running a negative complain when independent reviews show that 69% of the president’s own ads are also negative.
- Romney references an uncontrolled, online, opt-in survey to defend his position that small business owners will refrain from hiring because of the Affordable Care Act.
- Romney continues to play heavily on Obama’s out-of-context “you didn’t build that” quote despite repeated, public attempts to correct him.
- Romney exaggerates several claims regarding annual income, health care costs and gasoline prices.
What become clear is that neither candidate is sticking solely to the facts. Instead, as we’ve come expect, a good soundbite continues to trump the truth every time and from all the players.
Rick Santorum is another Republican that’s in the business of defining sides. In this speech was he was quite clear that a group of people NOT on his side were those awful, snooty “smart people”.
We don’t have a verdict on this one, folks. We have, however, logged this incident in anticipation of a Santorum competency hearing.
Comedy Centrals Indecision 2012 has a wonderful photo collection, Paul Ryan Is Sad. Apparently the sad hobo look is kind of his “thing”. My favorite:
If you see him on the campaign trail, maybe you could offer him a hug?
As reported initially reported by Mother Jones and later NBC News and others Mitt Romney was secretly recorded at a private fund-raiser held at the home of a major supporter and his message was slightly … “different from those made in front of the cameras. One of the most controversial has been the following:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.”
As to the 47 percent figure Romney is technically correct (the very best kind of correct). As clarified by The Washington Post Fact Checker and FactCheck.org about a quarter of those people are seniors who receive less than $25,000 a year. About half of them earn so little that after standard deductions there is no income to tax – but they still pay a significant amount in payroll taxes and of course pay excise taxes, local and state taxes and others.
We must give credit to Romney. While he danced, equivocated and rationalized he never did completely back down from his statements when they came to light. At the same time, however, the statements were pretty damn stupid and we’re unconvinced that Romney truly believes the underlying meaning.
As the factual statements were, technically, true we can only deliver a verdict of Misdemeanor Douchebaggery. Based on the misleading and insulting nature of the non-factual comments we feel justified in adding an additional charge of Misdemeanor Dickory as well.
Why spend time with facts or thought? Just use these instead! (If you’re more right-minded you’ll want these instead.)
At least the last they’ll need for this election. (If you’re more left-leaning you you’ll want these.)
Even discounting the audience chanting the phrase “we built it” has become the mantra of the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida. The phrase is adapted from a quote made by president Obama in July.
When quoted by conservative sources the quote is relayed as: “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.” This has been used repeatedly and vitriolically to demonstrate that the president has no respect for small business owners. However the complete quote, in context, is:
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. 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. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
More importantly the president has continuously clarified that the “built that” portion of the speech was referring to “roads and bridges”, or infrastructure. Concerning the ads (which often edit the speech to highlight the statement further) leveraging the statement “They’re flat-out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses.”
The usual political hypocrisy of ignoring an opponent’s explanation while enjoying a long history of lambasting them for doing the same is here in spades. However making such a clearly forced and deceptive interpretation the centerpiece of the entire convention is a unprecendented case of Mass Douchebaggery. In addition we’d like to bestow all the leaders of the Republican convention involved in this decision a shiny new asshat.
As reported by NBCNews, The NY Times, the Christian Science Monitor and many others, Rep. Todd Akin said a very stupid thing. While being interviewed during his campaign to unseat the Democratic incumbent Akin was asked his opinion about abortion in the case of rape. He did not answer well:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Perhaps Rep. Akin needs to find some smarter doctors.
He later apologized for the word “legitimate” in his remarks. We’ll grant grant the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn’t mean to imply that any woman who became pregnant after a rape was raped incorrectly. Disturbingly however we’ve found no evidence that he actually corrected his thinking on the subject.
As the Washington Post Reports studies conclude that as many as 30,000 pregnancies a year are the result of rape with as many as six percent of fertile victims becoming pregnant. There simply is no “automatic” defense against pregnancy in cases of rape.
In fact the entire argument that women can “shut that whole thing down” seems to have been invented completely from whole-cloth by Republican Stephen Freind when he was defending his own anti-abortion bill in the 80’s.
Considering his apology and the unscripted nature of the statement we slap Rep. Akin with a reduced charge of Dickory in the Third Degree. However we recommend that continuing to propagate this groundless myth will be seen as clear malicious intent to deceive.
The Washington Blade reports that, in a statement released by the Whitehouse upon request, White House spokesperson Shin Inouye relayed:
“The President believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century. He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”
We applaud this clear-and-direct statement from the White House on such a divisive issue, especially coming as it does in a very touch election cycle. (We also assume that the President’s feelings also include atheists, another group that the Boy Scouts discriminate against.) Unfortunately the President didn’t take the obvious next step and reject his traditional, honorary position as President of the Boy Scouts of America so we can only call this baby-steps; but at least they’re steps in the right direction.
As reported by The Huffington Post, National Public Radio and CNN Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has recently decided that dirty politics are just fine for him. While the issue of Romney’s past tax returns and his refusal to release them may be a valid talking point but Reid stepped over the line by reporting random heresy.
He claims that a former Bain Capital investor called his office and said of Romney, “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years!” As if saying something unsubstantiated made it something worth expanding on he continued in what can only be termed a rant:
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain. But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look? You guys have said his wealth is $250 million. Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”
Dragging his comments even lower into the muck Reid concluded with, “His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son.” That’s just plain low and outside.
Reid’s statements would be distasteful if they came from your average ass-hat pundit; from the Senate Majority Leader however they’re despicable. Reid is therefore given one of the most deserved sentences of First Degree Dickory that we’ve seen.