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Obama should strike this deal with Republicans:  Give up the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% and in return Democrats will agree to cut health care expenditures by 20-30%.

How can he do this?  By agreeing to modify Obamacare by putting in the "public option" which eliminates the useless insurance "middleman" and its 20-30% of the cost of health care.   Obama gets his tax revenue increases, and Obamacare is "modified" and improved by the public option, and its attendant savings.

And we -- the ones who voted for Obama -- will need to step up big time to put pressure on Congress to adopt the public option.

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:10 PM PST

A Haiku

by hummingbird4015

Why would anyone assume
     that being Bush's Brain
 would make Karl Rove a genius


We all remember Ann Romney's September 20 rant wherein she stated:

"it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country,"
Yesterday, David Corn on MSNBC talked about how Romney expected the electorate to greet him as the White Knight coming in to "rescue" an ailing nation and just didn't seem to be prepared to actually "earn" our trust and votes.  David Corn's analysis seemed spot on to me.
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We have a window right now, because of the Akin firestorm, to RE-FRAME the debate on an issue that we won back in the 60s, when women talked about CHOICE, and we lost in the last decades, as the right re-framed the debate by calling themselves  PRO-LIFE and branding the Dems as being PRO-ABORTION.

We have to re-frame the debate:  It's PRO-CHOICE versus ANTI-CHOICE.

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Today my local paper carried a letter to the editor that just repeated the Republican talking points regarding how to run away from the Ryan plan  

"It was something he proposed as a Congressman and was turned down by Congress; therefore it no longer exists."
 Emphasis mine

The letter ended:

And remember, it was Obama who is taking $716 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare, so just who is "gutting Medicare"?
So, though I'm desperately preparing for a three-week trip, I JUST CAN'T let this one go. I know I won't change the letter writer's mind on this, but maybe someone else, who is confused but not antipathetic, will not be fooled into accepting the lie.

Luckily, the past few weeks have seen several DK diaries on this subject, so I riffled through my mental files and prepared my response, which took two hours of editing to fit into the 200-word limit for a letter to the editor.

If there are any inaccuracies, please let me know.  I can't change too much because every word added needs to have another word deleted, and I just don't have time. But if there is an inaccuracy, I will correct.

If anyone wants to use any or all of what I wrote in their own effort to respond to this lie, which is being spread by Republican spinmeisters, use or change as best suits your needs to address local voices in your area.  

So here, in 200 words is the (reasonably short) answer to the "so Obama is the one who is gutting Medicare" lie.

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I can't stand to hear one more Democratic operative on MSNBC stumble through a well-meaning but confusing analysis of how to differentiate between the 700B cuts Team Obama has made to CUT WASTE in order to INCREASE BENEFITS and the Ryan/Romney $700B in BENEFIT CUTS, TO FUND TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH.  We need a SHORT message.  It's not that hard:

Repeat after me:

Obama Cuts 700B in waste to fund INCREASED BENEFITS (e.g., preventive screenings)

Ryan/Romney's plan cuts 700B in BENEFITS to fund MORE TAX CUTS FOR THEMSELVES and other rich people.

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We need a sort, pithy way to frame the Medicare issue, and we haven't yet done it.  The "framing war" is being waged big time by Ryan, whom I just saw on some news program talking about how his plan "strengthens and saves" Medicare for the future.

Those words track the talking points Republicans have issued. According to MSNBC's coverage, Republicans have been directed to avoid the words "privatize" and "entitlements" and instead push their program as

 "preserving, securing, saving" Medicare for the future etc. etc.  

Democrats cannot let Republicans frame the Medicare debate.  Yes, we have the facts and the arguments and the high ground, but if we lose the framing we risk losing even on our strongest issue.

Last night on The Last Word Lawrence O'Donnell asked the Democratic surrogate what the "short" pithy way to make the case was for the Dems, and instead got a thoughtful but complicated response as to which $700B cuts were which and why blah blah blah.  

That won't cut it!  According to Rachel Maddow,  

Romney has hired the PR people BP brought on board after the oil spill, and the group of "crisis managers" that whitewashed dictators and bad actors, and they are masters of framing.  Adding PR skills to a Romney campaign that already has embraced lies and distortions intensifies our need to WIN THE FRAMING WAR NOW! Framing happens early in the debate, and determines "home field advantage."

This diary is a test run for such a framing "slogan."  Based on helpful comments to my previous  diary about framing, the best I can come up with is:


But someone else out there may have a better idea, so please submit your comments and VOTE in the POLL


Vote on your favorite Medicare Frame

51%22 votes
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| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM PDT

It's the Framing, Stupid!

by hummingbird4015

Whoever frames the issue wins the debate.  Period. End of Story.  In the past Democrats have allowed Republicans to frame the issues (e.g., health care debate, debts and deficits, etc.) and have lost the narrative.  Finally, Team Obama has aggressively promoted positive framing for Democratic principles, and we are starting to win the messaging wars.

But Republicans are masters of framing, and the Paul Ryan pick, while it gives Democrats a great opportunity to saddle Romney with all of Ryan's unpopular proposals, is by no means a "slam dunk".  Why?  Because Republicans are already out there LYING about the Democratic positions on Medicare, and unless we succeed in FRAMING THE MEDICARE DEBATE on our terms, lower-information voters may be taken in.  

The Framing War has already started.  We need to win it.

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I know many are saying Ryan was forced upon Romney, but I have a somewhat different take.  Watching Romney with Ryan during the roll-out (and in earlier appearances) it seemed to me that Romney and Ryan connected.

And then it struck me:  Romney picked his "Mini-Me" -- the Republican's golden boy du jour.

Maybe he reminded Romney of his younger self, when everything he touched turned to gold and people bowed deferentially before him, much as the right bows to Ryan's allegedly superior intellect (without the bitter edge Newt displays).  I think Romney was ready to embrace Ryan -- not just to appease the right, but because he saw him as the only possible game changer with any chance of helping him survive the carnage his campaign had become.  (Whether it is Ryan or Romney himself who is actually the "mini-me" is a subject for another diary.)

Watching the newly energized Romney during the VP roll out I saw a Romney who felt buoyed by his new "wing-man." I could almost see the Romney thought bubbles  "gosh, he's just the right height (not too tall) and just the right age (could be one of my boys) and gosh darned it just so disarmingly harmless looking no one would believe he's a shark like me!"

Understandably, Democrats celebrated the VP pick because it hung the Ryan budget around Mitt's neck.  But it's not time for us to do a happy dance yet.  If we know anything, it's that the Republicans have in the past outplayed the Democrats in FRAMING THE ISSUES.  If we want to win, we can't let them frame the Medicare debate.   And they are already trying to do that.  

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:33 PM PDT

Romney as Dorian Gray

by hummingbird4015

I look at all the bald-faced, flat-out no-doubt-about-it lies Romney has told, and I just can't believe they don't show on his face.

Saw this picture of Romney addressing a crowd a moment ago on HuffPo  (see link below)

 Saw this picture and I instantly thought Wow -- part of the problem is some  people who are seeking easy salvation rather than messy democracy look at Romney and  think "how can such a good looking face be telling lies?  He must be telling the truth and those gullible Democrats are just caught up in some sort of mass hypnosis caused by Obama."  

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Kathleen Parker's column from the Orlando Sentinel was also published in my local paper today.  Parker attacks the Obama campaign for what she charges are "over the top politics" for, as she claims, "recent attempts to paint Mitt Romney as a felon."

Link to the Orlando Sentinel Column:

Here's my letter to the editor of my local paper below the fold.  If anyone else is inclined to use any part of it for their own letters responding to the Parker column, feel free.  It's important for us to respond, and keep the heat on Romney.  Obama needs us to counteract the spending and media advantage Romney has.


Is Obama Suggesting Romney is a Felon or a Liar?

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I've never before posted a "Breaking" title because I know it is overused, but I just picked this up at TPM, which picked it up off Politico

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