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3 years, 2 months ago
  • The Washington Post had some contentious phrasing this morning on the subject of the debt ceiling. They asserted that Obama “wanted to end Congress’s power to determine the size of the debt.” I wrote a letter pointing out that this is absurd: Congress, by its power to tax and spend, always has that power. The administration is tying to end their power to unilaterally default on our sovereign debt.

    Good for me.

  • brendanx commented on the blog post Vice Presidential Debate Liveblogging

    2012-10-11 18:56:23View | Delete

    Haven’t read all the comments, but am I the only one to perceive that Ryan purposely brought up the car crash to try to throw Biden? Just doing his job, nothing personal.

    Another thing: the Raddatz Catholic question was an insulting reduction of Catholicism.

    As I expected, Biden killed him. But Ryan was pretty good, for someone playing a pretty weak hand: his policies are unpopular and he knows it.

  • brendanx commented on the blog post Pew: Romney Surges After Debate

    2012-10-09 09:13:16View | Delete

    For me, it’s worse. Obama just doesn’t care much.

    Romney and Ryan are my enemy. I’m in the age cohort they’ll steal the most Medicare and Social Security from. I’m in the 53%, but they still despise me for being a middle class job taker, not a job creator. I hate these people and it’s Obama’s job to hate them, too. He doesn’t. He’s not on my side.

    To reiterate, the Social Security thing, giving his stamp of approval to Romney, was an outright stab in the back. You simply say, “Republicans can’t be trusted with Social Security. They tried to privatize it under their president, George Bush. Who was the point man in Congress? My opponent’s running mate. Mitt Romney’s words may not mean much, but his actions do: he chose someone set on voucherizing Medicare and privatizing Social Security.”

    Obama didn’t defend Social Security because he didn’t wish to.

  • brendanx commented on the blog post Pew: Romney Surges After Debate

    2012-10-09 09:03:07View | Delete

    Being a politician is part of his job. Think of a debate as a major paper or presentation in the workaday world. You don’t just blow it off.

  • brendanx commented on the blog post Pew: Romney Surges After Debate

    2012-10-09 09:02:03View | Delete

    I have to agree. I’m not expecting better from Obama (I expect Biden to positively humiliate Ryan, on the other hand). This is genuinely suprising to me, because I actually thought he was underrated as a debater. He demolished McCain with barely an effort. But maybe that was more McCain dashing himself to pieces on the implacable Obama.

    In the foreign policy debate Obama can’t play this passive role again. He can’t rest on his CinC laurels and look “presidential”. The mystique has evaporated. He really needs to attack Romney and have some kind of brutal retort, like “I’ve had to command, while you’ve been on the campaign trail for six years cheerleading for more wars and being brave with other people’s blood. You’re a chickenhawk.” He needs to have something very harsh ready when Romney attacks him on Libya, something that mentions Romney’s opposition or ambivalence to the intervention as well as a stern rebuke for his 9-11 Libya comments. Something about him standing on a pile of bodies to score cheap political points.

    And when Israel-Iran comes up he really has to frame this as another case of Iraq, that Romney is going to rush us into a war like Bush did. That is the only way to avoid making excuses for not kissing up to Israel like Romney is demanding he do. Responding to the Israel jibes directly will not be a winner for various reasons: kissing Israel’s ass more than already does will only make him look weaker than he already does, while substantively talking about Israel as a different country with different interests obviously cannot be a winner with our press. Avoid the question about Israel as much as possible and make it a question of us being unable to trust Romney and his neocon retreads, to make it clear Romney will stumble into a war, that Romney weakens us because no one trusts his word.

    On Afghanistan: he inherited a mess. He’s trying to wind it down responsibly, like he did in Iraq.

    Most importantly, he really has to crow about killing bin Laden and bring up Romney’s quote about “heaven and earth.” Say it’s luck Romney has never been in charge of anything more important than a six-year presidential campaign and that his decisions don’t have any consequences in the real world. He needs to expressly say Too bad he hasn’t already established this theme by bring up Romney’s desire to see Detroit go bankrupt.

  • brendanx commented on the blog post Pew: Romney Surges After Debate

    2012-10-09 08:43:09View | Delete

    “Pacing himself.”


  • brendanx commented on the blog post Pew: Romney Surges After Debate

    2012-10-09 08:42:09View | Delete

    Not a good sign when you’re complaining the other side is bullying you. That’s the kind of thing the Romney campaign was mewling about a couple weeks ago.

    And Big Bird ads are supposed to make him look like less of a sad sack?

  • brendanx commented on the blog post Pew: Romney Surges After Debate

    2012-10-09 08:34:28View | Delete

    Obama’s performance was an unmitigated disaster. It was demoralizing to have a candidate who won’t fight for me in the face of these Republicans, who want to steal my Medicare and Social Security. Worse, Obama tipped his hand that he’ll cut Social Security when he gave Romney his endorsement of it.

    Who cares if Romney lied? The debate is not a measure of who commands more facts (and even on this point Obama was listless and dilatory): it really is a test of strength. If someone lies to your face, like Romney did, you have to put him down. Obama didn’t and it was all the more humiliating to hear his comebacks on the campaign trail the next day. All he had to say was, “You’ve been running for President for, what, six years now, you’ve put a lot of your money into this, and you’ll say anything to get elected, anything. You’re word means nothing.”

    Allowing Romney to present himself as some born-again moderate was gross incompetence. Romney was like a general marching across his enemy’s front, exposing his flank. One attack would have routed him. Now Romney’s made it to safety.

    One punch was all Obama needed! Instead, he went to the clinch right away. I wouldn’t honor his performance by calling it rope-a-dope; it was straight up “dope”. The campaign excuse that 47% didn’t come up was pathetically transparent. You make it come up in a debate! You also mention Detroit, many times.

    When Romney mentioned “your money is where your heart is” you come back with: Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Chinese sweat shops and say that while Romney has gotten rich betting against America Obama has doubled down on Detroit and American industry.

    When Romney mocked Obama for picking losers you come back with: “With all due respect, I did pick one winner: the American auto industry. You told it to go bankrupt. But bankruptcy never bothered you — you got rich on the companies you took over whether you bankrupted them or not. You’ve been betting against America all your life…”

    The task was to finish Romney as a candidate, to hold him up as a lying laughingstock. Fail.

  • You are, in fact, numerically illiterate.

    I cannot talk slowly or loudly enough to help you through this.

    I’ll try anyway. Let’s posit a hypothetical country — let’s call it Romneystan — with a hundred citizens. The bottom forty each make $1.00 a year. The top %1, one really rich guy, makes $100 million. Since the bottom forty are moochers they only get taxed 10% and contribute a total of $4.00. The top earner is taxed at 35% percent and therefore contributes $35 million. The tax rates aren’t fair! We need to make them fair! So lets tax everyone a fair 20%.

    Hey, it’s still not fair! Those bottom 40 only contribute $8.00 and Mitt Romney is still paying $20 million!

    How do we make them pay the “same”? Hmm, we could tax Mitt – I mean the 1% – at .000004% so that he pays a total of $40.00 — and tax those 40 losers 50% for a total of $20.00.

    But it’s still not fair! That 1% is still paying a higher percentage of total taxes! How do we get those moochers to pay their fair share without outright enslaving them? Oh wait a second…

  • That data you just offered does not show what you think it shows.

    You need to think harder about the implication of those figures, and proceed to examine the corollary data that addresses the questions these figures beg.

    I will give you a few minutes to think about it…

    (Jeopardy music playing)

    …But you seem numerically illiterate.

    Think, think…

  • guy would have to pay $3,000,000 in his “other taxes”,

    This response is worse than the ones before. You do realize we’re talking about percentages, don’t you? Or do you think if Romney paid $20,000 in taxes last year he’s paid “more” taxes than the other guy?

    Alas, it’s not a rhetorical question. You people will never fail to surprise me with the way you think.

  • Forgive me, but I’m going to enjoy the moment, and the election, before succumbing to that kind of fatalism.

  • To be fair, point to where I want to raise taxes for that 47%.

    You do see why I would jump to that conclusion, don’t you? It’s that much worse for Romney/Ryan, who definitely want to raise taxes on that 47% and have now let the cat out of the bag.

    As for slanting, who slanted worse — the commenters here, or Romney with his culture-of-dependency-they’ll-never-vote-for-me insults? Don’t take my word for it — you can find plenty of refutations of his repellent comments on the right, even from Romney apologists.

  • Nice try. I think you’re the one who needs to get more specific, though. After all, you’re the one who wants to raise taxes for that 47%. Which ones?

    We’re not the ones who want to raises their taxes.

  • Typo: meant to say “more in taxes” (federal and other) generally. For lack of any evidence to the contrary — (you know, like tax returns) — it’s plausible that somebody who doesn’t pay any federal taxes pays more in taxes overall than Mitt. I mean, a little bird told me he’s paid zero ;-)

    I think you’ll admit that your response as to what his marginal federal income tax rate is obviously irrelevant here, because that’s not how his mountains of money are taxed. But I’ll pass it on to Mitt. Maybe he can try that 35% line. (By the way, it’s long Republican practice to wilfully get people to confuse “taxes”, generally, with “federal income taxes” because it gives the rich the chance to complain about that 35% rate. Please don’t try it on me again.)

    I appreciate the respectful response, but I can’t really reciprocate — you do see the absurdity of your speculating about what Romney might have paid, don’t you? It kind of begs the question of what he’s hiding and we’re back full circle.

  • This isn’t merely a “political cycle” thing.

    Romney’s now implied that half the country, the less well-of half, need to pay more taxes. Meanwhile, the non-partisan analyses recently indicate Romney/Ryan will, indeed, raise the tax burden on everyone middle class and below. I suspect that the Obama campaign will now be able to successfully convince a few percent of uncommitted voters that this smirking, plutocrat creep Romney really will raise their taxes to give himself another tax break.

    They’re going to kill him.

  • “…the only solution is to eliminate all the loopholes”

    Excuse me, but I’ve got to get back to planet Earth now, Dwayne.

  • I’d prefer we fashion the loopholes into nooses.

  • You’re knocking down a straw man.

    If someone here is arguing that the 47% figure is wrong, then they’re wrong. If that were as far as he went, the claim would be accurate.

    I’m sorry to break it to you, though, but he didn’t stop there.

    After this week, you’ve got a bright future getting in on the ground floor as a Romney apologist.

  • cregan,

    Like most Republicans, you’re muffing your propaganda points when you say “the 47% who pay nothing” — that’s a lie meant for intra-Republican consumption. When you talk to a broader public you have to accurately qualify that. What you mean is “…who pay no income tax.” Not a minor distinction. You can investigate why; I can’t do your thinking for you.

    How much does Romney pay, by the way?…(crickets)

    A wild guess, but I’d guess that most of the 47% who pay no federal income taxes pay a higher rate than Romney.

    Don’t bother to argue with me. I’m just the messenger. The voters will be making a more lapidary and forceful argument soon.

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