Aside from the obvious comparisons between Romney and Bush, it will be nice to hear an actual agenda — did we get anything remotely like an agenda or a path forward or a plan from Romney last week? No. Romney’s agenda is being treated like his tax returns — he’s given you people all you’re going to get before the election.
TPM: Tying Romney To President Bush: “What you’re going to hear this week in Charlotte is a president who is going to present a clear agenda for the future that talks about how we build a sound economy and lift the middle class in this country,” Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday.” But Republicans’ ideas, he continued, “are derivative of what we did in the last decade, that brought our economy to its knees.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was among numerous Obama surrogates who laid out the same argument. “[Romney’s] basically laid out the policy for Groundhog Day, which is we’re going to go back to the very things that led to a recession,” Emanuel told David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” referencing the 1993 film in which the main character wakes up every morning on the same day. “All Romney has to offer, David, is actually to go back to the very policies that got us into the rut we were in when the president was sworn in office.”
Though President Obama was chided by Republicans this week for blaming his predecessor and failing to take responsibility, Democrats will continue to place much of the blame for the economic downturn on the Bush administration.
“Voters understand it took us years and years of tremendously bad decisions, by running up huge debts and providing huge tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires that didn’t create jobs,” Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And they understand it’s going to take us while to get out of that mess. And I think that’s essentially what the choice is and I think that’s what the choice is that you’ll see presented in Charlotte.”
The Romney campaign is already trying to distance Romney from the Bush. The former president was barely mentioned at the GOP convention in Tampa, where Republicans paid tentative tribute to his character but avoided mentioning his policies. Continue…
But we’re learning that there’s a lot of things you won’t hear from Lyin’ Paul Ryan or his dishonest running mate, Mitt Romney:
ABC News: GREEN BAY, Wis. — Vice President Joe Biden launched a new attack on Rep. Paul Ryan in his home state of Wisconsin today, criticizing the Republican vice presidential candidate for not admitting in his convention speech that he was a member of the bipartisan deficit commission he railed against Wednesday evening.
“What he didn’t tell you is he sat on that commission,” Biden said at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. “He sat on that commission, and were he and his house Republican friends that he leads, had they voted with the commission, it would have been voted on, but he voted no. He would not let it go to the floor. He walked away.”
During his convention speech Wednesday, Ryan criticized the way President Obama initiated and handled the commission, but the Wisconsin congressman failed to mention his own role on it.
“[Obama] created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing,” Ryan said in Tampa.
Ryan was one of eight Republicans on the 18-member commission and was among three Republicans on the panel who voted against the commission’s recommendations, which failed to be adopted.
Biden also highlighted how the commission recommended $3 in spending cuts for every dollar raised in tax revenue, a proposal Romney and Ryan oppose. “Congressman Ryan failed to mention any of that — a convenient omission I’d say,” Biden said. Continue…
Rick Ungar at Forbes asks, “Who is the smallest government spender since Eisenhower? Would you believe it’s Barack Obama?
Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Who knew? Check out the chart –
So, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole “Obama as big spender” narrative?
It might have something to do with the first year of the Obama presidency where the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9% —going from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. I’ll bet you think that this is the result of the Obama sponsored stimulus plan that is so frequently vilified by the conservatives… but you would be wrong.
The first year of any incoming president term is saddled—for better or for worse—with the budget set by the president whom immediately precedes the new occupant of the White House. Indeed, not only was the 2009 budget the property of George W. Bush—and passed by the 2008 Congress—it was in effect four months before Barack Obama took the oath of office.
MarketWatch: Over Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%. There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear. Why do people think Obama has spent like a drunken sailor? It’s in part because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the federal budget.
This is a good article to forward to those teapublican friends and relatives who may not have gone over the edge completely (although they’re few and far between, to be sure). And, as a special bonus, the comments to this article are actually informative as well: the usual rightwing counter-spin posters deliver their Fox-approved, memorized arguments, with the author of the article responding to each one specifically.
As usual, this election is going to be between low-information, propaganda eating voters vs. voters who seek out facts — the ‘Mericants vs. the Americans.
firstfamily: President Barack Obama bids farewell to Gen. Lloyd Austin III at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, August 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“But understand, over the next two months the other side is going to spend more money than we’ve ever seen in our lives, with an avalanche of attack ads and insults and making stuff up, just making stuff up. And they’ll be supported by $10 million checks that are being written by wealthy donors who are trying to protect things just as they are.
And what they’re counting on is that you get so discouraged by this, that at a certain point you just say, ‘you know what, I’m going to leave it up to somebody else. I’m going to let big oil write the energy bills, and I’m going to let insurance companies decide when to cover somebody, and we’re going to let politicians dictate what a woman can or can’t do when it comes to her own health.’
They’re counting on you to accept their version of the things the way they ought to be. And I’m counting on something different. I’m counting on you.
You’ve always had powerful forces in this country who benefit from the status quo, and they bet against the American people. And I’ve always bet on you. I don’t believe you’re cynical. I don’t believe in your complacency. Those other guys, they always lose the bet over the long term. And they’re going to lose the bet this time as well.”
— President Barack Obama (via: demnewswire)
…and why you have to work two $9/hour jobs today — jobs you have IF YOU’RE LUCKY.
Matt Taibbi: The line that astonished me most from Mitt’s speech was this one, where he talked about the changes Americans “deserved” and should have gotten during Obama’s presidency:
You deserved it because you worked harder than ever before during these years. You deserved it because, when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out moving lights, and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour, benefits, you took two jobs at $9 an hour…
Are you kidding? Mitt Romney was the guy that fired you from that $22.50 an hour job, and helped you replace it with two $9 an hour jobs! He was a pioneer in the area of eliminating the well-paying job with benefits and replacing it with the McJob that offered no benefits at all. One of the things that killed him in the Senate race against Ted Kennedy were Kennedy ads that reminded voters that Mitt’s takeovers resulted in slashed wages and lost benefits. He was exactly the guy that eliminated that classic $22.50 manufacturing job, like in the case of GST Steel, where Bain took over with an initial investment of $8 million, paid itself a $36 million dividend, ended up walking away with $50 million, and left GST saddled with over $500 million in debt. 750 of those well-paying jobs were lost.
What kinds of jobs were left for those fired workers to look for? Well, in the best-case scenario, you might have found one at Ampad, another Bain takeover target, where workers had their pay slashed from $10.22 to $7.88 an hour, tripled co-pays, and eliminated the retirement plan.
So a guy who eliminated hundreds of $22 an hour jobs and slashed hundreds more jobs to below $9 an hour blasts Barack Obama for not giving you the better life you deserved, after you lost your $22/hour job and had to take two $9/hour jobs. Are we all high or something? Did that really just happen?
I don’t know if we’re all high, but I’m beginning to suspect the entire GOP, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and every one of their supporters. It’s as if Romney is having some fun at the expense of The Help, like he’s saying, “Look what I did to all of you — and your Obama cannot fix it! [insert creepy robo-laugh here]“
communism-kills: Meanwhile at Romney campaign headquarters:
images: comeatmebro (Real Time with Bill Maher 08.31.2012)
ABC News: A video mash-up of speakers from last week’s Republican National Convention does not include an appearance from the “mystery RNC speaker,” Clint Eastwood. The two-and-a-half minute video posted today to the Romney campaign’s YouTube account features former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, VP nominee Paul Ryan and of course, Romney himself, but it leaves out Eastwood’s controversial speech.
And Obama responded yesterday to Eastwood’s empty chair routine:
USA Today: “I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan. He is a great actor, and an even better director,” the president said in an interview with USA TODAY aboard Air Force One, on his way to campaign rallies in Iowa Saturday. “I think the last few movies that he’s made have been terrific.” [...] Was he offended? “One thing about being president or running for president — if you’re easily offended, you should probably choose another profession.” Obama said with a smile. He said there would be no effort to counter with a similar stunt at the Democratic National Convention, which opens in Charlotte Tuesday. “I think we’ll be playing this pretty straight,” he said.
Juan Cole thinks it’s important that you think further back than the Romney campaign’s dumb question “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Instead, ask yourself if you’re better off now than you were in 1970:
See, in general, Who Rules America? The rich in this country now see an opportunity to take us back to the age of the robber barons– and get rid of all government programs for the middle classes and the workers and make us wait to age 70 (when most people will be more decrepit than they expect) to retire. Because the more of the national income they take home every year, the more politicians they can buy, and the more they can cut their taxes and shift the burden of road-building and other government services to the middle classes and workers.
It is a ratcheting process that is leaving the US an increasingly unequal society, and one in which hopes of upward mobility for ordinary people are increasingly crushed. Indeed, Europe (the “Old World”) now offers more opportunities for upward mobility and getting ahead than the United States.
The way to reverse this crisis of income stagnation is to restore rights to unionize and collectively bargain and to make the rich pay their fare share for government-provided infrastructure and for educating the work force they exploit. Guess who will do the opposite if they win in November?
And you’re tasting the Bain Capital success model, Mitt Romney’s business experience, and his ideas about American “job creation.”
In 2010, a year after the last round of Hertz layoffs, Carlyle teamed up with Bain to take $500 million out of another takeover target: the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. Dunkin’ had to take out a $1.25 billion loan to pay a dividend to its new private equity owners. So think of this the next time you go to Dunkin’ Donuts for a cup of coffee: A small cup of joe costs about $1.69 in most outlets, which means that for years to come, Dunkin’ Donuts will have to sell about 2,011,834 small coffees every month – about $3.4 million – just to meet the interest payments on the loan it took out to pay Bain and Carlyle their little one-time dividend. And that doesn’t include the principal on the loan, or the additional millions in debt that Dunkin’ has to pay every year to get out from under the $2.4 billion in debt it’s now saddled with after having the privilege of being taken over – with borrowed money – by the firm that Romney built.
Bain Capital: helping the CEOs in America’s private sector redistribute their companies’ profits away from unnecessary expenditures (like employees with living wages) and over to Bain Capital’s management fees and loan interest debt.
So don’t ever wonder what happened to America’s jobs. Bain Capital and Mitt Romney happened to America’s jobs.
Related: Greed and debt
Political Wire reports Romney got no bounce in Florida from RNC: A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds President Obama leads Mitt Romney, 48% to 47%, exactly as he did five weeks ago. Key findings: “The Republican convention being held in Tampa appears to have been a wash. 33% of voters say it made them more likely to vote for Republicans, 33% said it made them less likely to vote for Republicans, and 34% said it didn’t make a difference to them either way.”
Gallup reports Romney’s speech got lowest ratings of any Gallup has measured since 1996: PRINCETON, NJ — Last week’s Republican National Convention had a minimal impact on Americans’ self-reported voting intentions, with just about as many saying the convention made them less likely to vote for Mitt Romney as say it made them more likely to vote for him.
Politico notes the historically low impact that Romney’s speech had: Following the Republican National Convention in Tampa, 40 percent of voters said that they were more likely to support Mitt Romney for president, compared with 38 percent who were less likely — a net impact of 2. [...] This is lowest net impact for a convention going back to 1984. By comparison, the 2008 GOP convention featuring Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was 5, and that year’s Democratic convention nominating Barack Obama was 14.
Romney-Ryan 2012: feel the excitement.