# The Obama File

Discussion in 'Politics' started by eyeswideshut, Oct 5, 2011.

1. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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The Big "O"

The Big "O"

I have previously suggested that Republicans came into their convention acting like they had something to prove, and Democrats came into theirs as if they were comfortable, confident, and conscious of a way forward.

Tonight's performances from Vice President Biden and President Obama only reinforced—no, reiterated—that argument.

Biden was Biden was Biden. While the Vice President is most (in)famous for shooting off his mouth, tonight he gave what can only be described as a hell of a speech, and bludgeoned Republicans with the blunt end of their own broken big stick.

President Obama delivered a speech that reminded Democratic supporters why they were so excited at the prospect of voting for him. Conservatives who suggest Obama won because he is black (or "not" black, such as the recent disowning of the one-drop rule has suggested) ought to take note. Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote recently, "The irony of Barack Obama is this: he has become the most successful black politician in American history by avoiding the radioactive racial issues of yesteryear, by being 'clean' ... and yet his indelible blackness irradiates everything he touches." More than Obama's blackness, though, the president's authenticity and charisma won the night.

It started, to be certain, on the first night of the convention. First Lady Michelle Obama simply tore the Charlotte convention to pieces. There was nothing at the GOP convention that even came close. Julian Castro's speech, as charmingly laden with political clichés as it was, still topped even Paul Ryan, who is supposed to be the more charismatic of the Republican ticket. And it is true that while Sandra Fluke and senate candidate Elizabeth Warren gave "merely" adequate speeches, they did the job, and the fact of the matter is that even they, being outshined by former president Bill Clinton, topped the best the RNC had to offer. The Bubba himself offered up a grand slam of convention speeches, destroying and very nearly erasing everything the trite and vicious Republican convention had to offer. It's no wonder that Matt Apuzzo and Tom Raum, of Associated Press had to reach back to Clinton's presidency in order to pretend to be fair to Republicans°

And then ... tonight.

Vice President Biden offered up his classic, "folksy" charm. An overdose, to be certain, for the cynics. But for the party faithful, it was very nearly walking on water. President Obama didn't bother with water; he took Republican vinegar and turned it back into Democratic wine. The back-to-back White House speeches at the Democratic National Convention tonight were the sort of performances that American politics lives and dies for. Succinct, charming, and even—gasp!—factual. These were top-shelf performances of such distinction that the GOP has nothing to compare.

I know, I know. Clinton called politics a blood sport. But I haven't cheered for blood sport with such passion as I found myself erupting with tonight.

Yeah, I know Obama is a let-down to leftists like me. But so was Clinton. I'm aware that I'm not getting what I want anytime soon during this lifetime. But the Democrats? Michelle, Bill, Joe, and Barack all reminded me of why I still take their side.

The Republicans have nothing to offer. And the Big O reminded us all of that fact tonight.
____________________

Notes:

° pretend to be fair to Republicans — Note the following from the AP's "fact-check" of Clinton's speech:

CLINTON: "Their campaign pollster said, 'We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.' Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself - I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad."

THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," Clinton told television viewers. Later, after he was forced to testify to a grand jury, Clinton said his statements were "legally accurate" but also allowed that he "misled people, including even my wife."

What the hell does Monica Lewinsky have to do with whether or not the Romney campaign will be constrained by facts?

Works Cited:

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. "Fear of a Black President". The Atlantic. September, 2012. TheAtlantic.com. September 6, 2012. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/fear-of-a-black-president/309064/

Apuzzo, Matt and Tom Raum. "Clinton claims of compromise a stretch". Associated Press. September 6, 2012. MSNBC.MSN.com. September 6, 2012. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48925337

3. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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Obviously, it goes to the credibility of Bill Clinton, especially with respect to the truth of statements made by politicians.

5. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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You lose that bet. It was 96,000, far below expectations some of which even were for the 150,000 needed just to break even with the growth of the potential labor force. So many workers gave up even trying to find a job that despite ~54,000 new workers joining the work force more than new jobs were added (which should have made the unemployment rate INCREASE) the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 from 8.3%. Also very sad is that of those who switched jobs, 58% had to accept lower pay and less benefits in the new job. No wonder average middle class purchasing power is down 7.2% since 2007.

These are very typical results for 6 or 7 years - ever since GWB gave tax relief to the very wealthy who used it to build new, more modern than US had factories in Asia. They, with both lower labor cost and better production facilities, forced now non-competitive US factories to close (or at least out-source much of their production, typically to Mexico, to avoid closing.)

Sadly those tax breaks which destroy US jobs are still available to the supper rich even those with only $250,000 annual incomes. The only thing that has changed with this destruction of US jobs is the new more modern factories are now being built in Indonesia & Vietnam as China no longer has their low cost labor. With typical complete denial or ignorance, most Republicans still speak of these tax breaks as being given to the "Job Creators" - with not understanding that the created jobs are in Asia, not the US where the net effect is to close US factories and DESTROY US JOBS. MadAnthony: What is your position on these facts? Are you a "typical Republican" supporter of extending the tax breaks for those (the "job creators") making more than$250,000 per year OR are you rational?

7. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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If total work force participation was the same now as when Obama took office, unemployment would be over 11%.

Nice phrasing of the question. Do you agree with me, or are you irrational. To answer your question: I support lowering taxes, cutting spending (a lot), less government regulation (way less), and free trade.

8. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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So much for that liberal media conspiracy

The basic question of the fact check is, "Did Neil Newhouse really say that?"

How does Monica Lewinsky change that fact?

Well, maybe if you're part of the so-called liberal media conspiracy that has been cutting Republicans these kinds of breaks for years.

And, look, this isn't like the media overplaying the "controversy" about global warming, or the question of whether evolution is "only a theory". There is no room for doubt that a Romney pollster named Neil Newhouse said, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers", in relation to a clearly dishonest campaign advert. Some in the media might give conservatives wiggle room in issues in which one can assert even the slightest pretense of controversy, but this is a clear-cut case of fact.

So, then, how does Lewinsky go to the credibility of Bill Clinton with respect to the truth of statements made by politicians?

Really, consider the whole, "We built that" bit Republicans tried. The fact check on that goes one of two ways: First, did President Obama speak those words? Yes. Second, what do they mean in their proper context? And therein lies the entire dispute.

What if the fact check was, "Mitt Romney says President Obama told business owners they didn't build their businesses, but the Republican nominee lied in his 1994 Senate campaign"?

Truth is truth. If Bill Clinton speaks a truth, does it suddenly become false simply because of Zippergate?

No, really. Does a fact become false just because Bill Clinton is among those who point it out?

9. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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And much higher if the base or "zero rate" were equally arbitrarily set to when GWB took office instead of June 2008. The text in your graph honestly states that they are only counting the discouraged workers who have ceased looking for work AFTER June 2008. If graph started with base zero when GWB took office, then many more who ceased looking for work when GWB was POTUS would be counted and that unemployed rate is more than twice that shown your posted graph with "zero unemployed" falsely set, for political reasons to about when Obama took office.

Would you lower taxes across the board equally? (That greatly increases the deficits.) or just go back to the rates that existed when Clinton balanced the budget. - That would raise the taxes on those who have > $250,000 and help both balance the budget as well as reduce the building of US job destroying factories in Asia. - The typical American tax payer making less than$250,000 does not have staff of legal experts to help get all the permits, pay the bribes, etc. needed to build a factory in say Indonesia or Vietnam, the current low labor cost leaders but multi-millionaires and corporations do and are still building these US job destroying / US factory closing Asian facilities.

I can only think of one area where Government spending can be significantly reduced - Military spending, which currently is greater than number 2, + #3 + #4 + #5 + #6 + #7 + #8 + #9´s TOTAL Military spending. Where do you think Federal Budget could be significantly cut?

Also what federal regulation would you kill? Perhaps the new stricter limits on CO2 release by coal fired power plants? If not that what are you speaking of (if any thing except vague but nice sounding words)?

I will admit my question was loaded but not the choice you claimed I was giving. I asked: "Are you a "typical Republican" supporter of extending the tax breaks for those (the "job creators") making more than \$250,000 per year OR are you rational?" Note the quetion´s alternative to "being rational" is not agreeing with Billy T but being a "typical Republican" and admittedly does let one infer from the question´s wording that they (not Billy T) are irrational.

10. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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22,910
LOL, you don't like the results so you just make stuff up - typical Republican.

11. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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It was within consensus. The consensus range was between 70k and 177k with a consensus of 125k jobs. And let’s remember that this number is subject to revisions and revisions can be quite dramatic. So the jury is still out.

http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar/

Additionally, how do you know that 150k new jobs are needed each month to keep pace with new entrants into the workforce? That number fails to account for the graying of the American workforce and the retirement of the Baby Boomers. When you account for Baby Boomers leaving the workforce that 150k looks more like 75k -100k. So the jobs created last month does cover new entrants into the workforce.

“That means on net that the labor force probably will not grow as quickly as it did in years past, and so fewer payroll jobs are needed to absorb new entrants to the labor force each month. Typically the figure economists cite as the minimum number of additional jobs needed to keep the unemployment rate flat is about 150,000 to 200,000.

But economists at Barclays Capital, who have been analyzing how the graying of America may affect employment trends, estimate that going forward 75,000 to 100,000 jobs added per month may be sufficient.

The bottom line is that the path back to full employment is going to be long and scary no matter what. But if you think Boomers are leaving the job market relatively quickly, that slog starts to look a little less painful.” – New York Times

When you exclude The Great Recession of 2007-2009 when 8 million jobs were lost and ignore the fact that the jobs created during the George Junior administration were the result of government expansion – government hiring and not private industry hiring – and the net jobs created since 2009 are the result of private industry hiring and government layoffs, then your statement makes sense.

Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
12. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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It's a matter of context. It's the pot calling the kettle black. You have the only president ever impeached for lying telling us to not trust the other guy because the other guy doesn't trust the self appointed fact checkers.

13. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Are you or are you not the guy who along with your fellow Republicans were extoling the virtues of said President Clinton just a few days ago before the conventions and before President Clinton’s endorsement of President Obama?

14. ### RhaedasValued Senior Member

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That was before Clinton helped boost Obama's poll numbers. Now he's bad again. Seriously, I had a Republican at work admit that he was going to vote for Obama, because of Clinton's speech. But he's an old school Republican, so that probably disqualifies him as "True" Republican these days.

15. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I know it disqualifies me. I am one of those old school Republicans too.

16. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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This and That

But that's not a fact check. It's politics.

And yes, I'm going to join the trend of coining words. In this case, it's not a fact check, but, rather, an apuzzo (past tense, apuzzoed; gerund, apuzzing). An apuzzo is a fake fact check.

For instance:

Fact Checking: Sen. McConnell said it was raining, but local weather stations recorded no precipitation, and no cloud cover.

Apuzzing: Sen. McConnell said it was raining, but it is important to remember that he once said defeating President Obama in 2012 was his first legislative priority.​

With the Clinton apuzzo, I'm not going to deny that one might chuckle at a sense of irony such as you've described, but it's not actually a fact check. Rather, Apuzzo and Raum chose to play politics. It's actually kind of sad; Matt Apuzzo is not a bad reporter, but apparently he doesn't want to be a reporter anymore.

The only effect of Apuzzo's alleged fact check on what Neil Newhouse said was to attempt to change—as you noted—the context of the discussion. It was a purely political sellout from one of the biggest organizations (AP) in the alleged liberal media conspiracy.

• • •​

We have to remember that the right-wing endorsement of Clinton was a component of the welfare lie. And that's an easy fact check. One need not apuzzo the point, since reality has of late been demonstrating its well-known liberal bias.

And, besides, it's pointless. Neil Newhouse didn't actually say anything we didn't already know. Republicans won't be constrained by facts. And look at their standard: If you tell a truth that happens to be bad for Republican public relations messaging, you're part of the liberal media conspiracy. If, however, you deliberately tank a fact-check for Republican benefit, you're being a proper journalist.

We should, to the other, take a moment to appreciate our neighbor's creativity; sure, you and I might find the argument completely laughable, but at least he's trying to come up with something. There's nothing we can do about hardline right-wingers' inability to be honest; perhaps, as liberals and progressives, we ought to demand ADA accommodation for our Republican neighbors: Their dishonesty seems pathological, and interferes with their ability to participate in a normal discussion; inhibition of or interference with mundane function is one of the criteria in determining whether certain deviant behavior is a mental illness; as a liberal, I consider a discussion of mental illness as disability viable and appropriate. If it turns out our conservative neighbors really cannot be honest, then yes, we need to view this behavior as a disability, and consider what constitutes reasonable accommodation thereof.

Although I admit, granting a "lie quota" as a reasonable accommodation wouldn't necessarily work. The wheelchair placard is a useful indicator when it comes to parking and such, but it would be counterproductive to accommodating pathological right-wing dishonesty in the sense of being a scarlet letter. If the point is to grant a lie quota in order to give our conservative neighbors a "fair" chance, then tattooing them as disabled in this specific context would actually undermine the accommodation. I mean, if the placard was known to include in its permissions a lie quota ... er ... right.

Meanwhile, I would point out that asking our Republican neighbors to recognize facts is just flat-out bigoted. How dare you, sir. Such callous, oppressive behavior is anti-progressive.

17. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Arn´t you forgetting Nixon, while being "technically correct" ? IMHO, most politicians lie to the public when trying to get elected. For example: "I have a plan for creating 12,000,000 jobs" (That is 250,000 every month for four years and will not happen.) Nixon resigned to avoid being formally charged (that is all impeachment is). Bill Clinton was technically correct when saying: "I did not have sex with that woman." but when the out of power party gets a clean shot at the POTUS, they take it - simple politics.

18. ### madanthonywayneMorning in AmericaRegistered Senior Member

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That has nothing at all to do with an analysis of the context of the "fact check" Tiassa was referring to. As to the relative merit of Clinton versus Obama, there's no question that Clinton was a far better president.

19. ### GrumpyCurmudgeon of LucidityValued Senior Member

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I disagree, it was Clinton that agreed to eliminate Glass-Stegal, the single most egregious mistake that allowed the 2008 "Too Big to Fail" disaster(second was the Bush tax cuts). Clinton was more a moderate Republican than he was a Democrat, at least in fiscal policy. Obama is a moderate Democrat, and the problem the Republicans have is they've let the Neandertal wing take over. I think Obama will do great things in his second term. He's already made the first steps toward a more sane healthcare system(every other industrialized country covers everyone for less than 2/3 what ours costs), reigning in greedy vulture capitalists and banksters, cutting our bloated military industrial complex, ending our useless and costly wars, fighting discrimination and prejudice against gays and stopping the Great Recession from becoming the Second Great Depression. He's had much better foreign policy than "What, Me Worry?" Bush and Osama IS dead(and GM is alive).

You know, it's got to really suck to be a Republican today. It's going to suck even more come November.

Grumpy

20. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Ok, so when it benefits Republicans, Clinton was a saint. When it doesn’t benefit the Republican Party line, Clinton was a untrustworthy scoundrel - got it.

21. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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That was very enjoyable and honest reading Tiassa. Thanks.

22. ### GrumpyCurmudgeon of LucidityValued Senior Member

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1,876
Tiassa

How 'bout, instead of a wheelchair placard, we give them bumper stickers that say, in big red letters, "Republican" and in smaller letters underneath "Don't confuse me with facts".

Grumpy

23. ### Aqueous Idflat Earth skepticValued Senior Member

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It's weird how they never seem to get out of the Pleistocene.

Go 'bama. And he'd have done twice as much if the low brows weren't incessantly throwing their flint chippers at him.

I think the Bush doctrine went something like this. Foreign policy is like size. It doesn't matter. I mean it matters. Heh heh heh heh heh.