[Our lack of posts recently was a result of completely underestimating how absolutely filthy we’d feel submerging ourselves in politics for the last few weeks of the election cycle.]
As you may have heard Barack Obama is still president of the United States. In what comes as no surprise this didn’t please his opponent, Mitt Romney. Here is a brief retrospective of how several news (and some entertainment) outlets handled his feelings.
We’ll leave with the very sad (and bitter) words of Romney himself, who blames his loss primarily on the “gifts” that the Democrats bestowed upon young and minority voters:
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”
“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity – I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”
With that we say a fond farewell to Mister Romney.
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.
In “Report says 15 percent of Mitt Romney Twitter followers are paid fakes” Ars Technica summarizes a new report that estimates that more than 15% of Mitt Romney’s Twitter followers have been generated by paid services. The report from Barracuda Labs points specifically to July 21st when Romney’s fan base jumped by 116,922 new followers.
These new followers represented a single-day 17% spike in followers for Romney. Fully 25% of the accounts were less than four days old and over 23% had never issued a tweet. Interestingly over 10% of the accounts were later suspended without comment by Twitter.
The study explored the shady grey market of purchasing followers by opening test accounts and purchasing followers for them for an average of $18 per 1000 follows. They then collected metrics about the fake accounts and applied them to Twitter accounts at large. The practice of selling accounts is against Twitter’s terms of service but the firm seems to do little about it.
We must be clear that the Romney campaign has yet to comment and the report’s evidence can only reasonably considered circumstantial. However the evidence is also very convincing. Having taken into account the minimal potential impact we still feel that this kind of store-bought deception earns the Romney campaign a charge of Douchebaggery in the Third Degree. In addition we also give the campaign an additional charge of Misdemeanor Dumbassery just for the plain egotistic silliness spending any money at all on fake Twitter followers.
We are willing to suspend these charges should it come to light that the campaign did not, indeed, purchase the followers in question.
Mitt Romney, valiantly fighting an uphill battle, was booed while speaking at the 103rd NAACP Convention in Houston on July 11th. Reportedly the harshest round of booing came when he reiterated his goal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This made him sad:
Image by NICHOLAS KAMM / Getty
To his credit however he both finished the speech and garnered sporadic applause and even a reserved ovation. At a later speech in Montana he responded to additional heckling honestly with, “[I] want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine.”
Full reports available at the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Several televisions spots produced by the Obama campaign focus on his record as an outsourcer of jobs while he managed Bain Capital. As both the Washington Post Fact Checker and FactCheck.org review in-depth there is no reasonable evidence to support this claim.
Here’s one of the ads in question:
As an aside: while the focus of this has been on his time at Bain the ad also claims that he outsourced jobs as governor of Massachusetts. This is also more complex that presented and is covered well in the FactCheck.org piece.
The Obama campaign is leaning heavily on official (but unconvincing) SEC filings to support their claims. Even if correct they provide only the most tenuous of connections leading us to consider an initial finding of Felony Douchebaggery.
However, in response to criticism, they are scrambling to provide any compelling proof for the claims but are still running the ads without that proof making this a clear case of Dickory in the First Degree.