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Sometimes I just want to smack Rachel Maddow for being so darn good at her job. I recorded the season finale on Major Crimes on TNT, while I watched The Rachel Maddow Show live. The idea was I would watch Major Crimes immediately after, and then get a good night's sleep so I can get an early start making telephone calls for OFA. Darn that Rachel. She went and produced an awesome opening segment that just has to be shared far and wide.

Rachel started the segment by talking about absentee voting and early voting, and the fantastic news that here in Florida the Democrats have reduced the Republicans usual advantage in absentee voting. This was reported earlier here in distraught's diary, Florida Dems rocking the absentee vote: Republicans "nervous", "not good news", but I was excited to hear the news again from Rachel, since I've been working the phones at my local OFA office since Friday, and intend to do it every day from now until the election. This just motivates me even more to call as many people as possible and make sure the get to the polls and vote for President Obama.

There was then a review of the current state of the presidential race and recent polling, culminating in a closer look at the details of the new ABC News/Washington Post poll which shows that voters trust President Obama more on issue except one and that one is the deficit, where voters said that they trusted Mitt Romney when it came to handling the deficit.

Why is that the one issue in which Mitt Romney is seen as being better than President Obama? It's because of the thing that lost President Obama the first presidential debate two weeks ago, which was him trying to explain how Mitt Romney can't be trusted on the deficit by trying to do the math for everyone, live on TV.
After factually stating that President Obama was correct that the math in Mitt Romney's plan doesn't add up, she pointed out that when he tried to explain it during the debate he lost people by assuming that America would just understand what he was talking about.
But instead of making up punchy, memorable arguments that made him the more likeable and effective of the two debaters, President Obama instead tried to prove that thing about the math. President Obama tried in that debate setting to explain what's so wrong with thinking that Mitt Romney is a guy who should be taken seriously on the deficit. He was trying to explain that without a white board, without sound track, without a narrative way to make it into a story that people would remember.
How many times have you heard someone say, "This isn't your father's Republican Party?" I thought about all the times I've heard that when Rachel wondered why so many people have been brainwashed by the myth that it is Republicans that are good about reducing the deficit. How many times have you heard that the Republican Party is fiscally conservative? It's time we put that myth to death, and help explain to the rest of the country that may have possibly been true fifty years ago, but hasn't been true for a very long time.

How many times have you heard the Republican claim that President Obama has run up the hugest deficit in our nation's history. It's supposedly so huge that it's bigger than all the deficits of all the previous presidents combined. Not true. President Obama has actually reduced the deficit. This is the point in the segment that you will want to pay close attention because Rachel explains it all in such a way that will make it is easy for you to share with others, with pretty graphs and everything.

There is a certain happy-go-luckiness by the Republicans when they are talking about this issue. They do not get too stressed out about this issue because they know that politically, it really doesn't matter what they say. They trust that no matter what they are proposing and how it gets debunked or fact checked or whatever, they know politically they will just seem like they are going to be good on the deficit. No matter what they propose. This is the most persistent myth in the modern politics of American money.

Budget DeficitThis idea that Republicans, Republican presidents in particular, are good on the deficit. When, in fact, the exact opposite is our modern history. On Friday we learned for example the U.S. budget deficit topped a trillion dollars for the fourth year in a row [See Budget deficit tops $1 trillion for fourth straight year, Reuters, 12 October 2012]. And while that is a gianormous number, here's the context for that. Here's our budget deficit in 2012; just over a trillion dollars. And here's what it was last year. President Obama actually cut the deficit by more than $200 billion from the year before. Here's the budget deficit that President Obama was handed when he walked in the door. Your eyes are not deceiving you. You keep hearing the Republicans talk about how President Obama increased the deficit? President Obama has cut the deficit during his four years in office. The great Steve Benen put this graph together at The Maddow Blog today going through the raw data. And as Steve notes today quote over the last four decades, only two presidents have reduced the deficit this much, this quickly. And those two presidents are Bill Clinton and Barack Obama [See The wrong issue for the wrong candidate by Steve Benen The Maddow Blog, 15 October 2012]. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, now what do they have in common? Both Democrats. Historically, the Democratic Party has actually been the better of the two parties when it comes to the deficit.

Change to DeficitOver the last 40 years, it's Democratic presidents who have been the most fiscally responsible when it comes to the deficit. And it's Republican presidents have been the most fiscally reckless. Somehow in the face of this persistent history, Republicans have successfully cultivated this myth that they're the ones you should trust if you're worried about the debt and the deficit. And so even though voters trust Barack Obama on every other issue, they still inexplicably trust Mitt Romney more when it comes to the deficit. They have great faith in Mitt Romney's deficit hawkishness. Even if all his six the studies are just stuff written on a bathroom wall.

Options for Base Defense BudgetIt's factually hilarious given that Mitt Romney really is proposing this in terms of what we spend on the military. You ready? These are current levels of military spending [blue line]; our biggest discretionary spending. That [red line] is what Mitt Romney is proposing to do. he's proposing to do adding to our biggest pile of discretionary spending. He is proposing adding two trillion extra dollars in spending just on the military. And he is proposing bringing in five trillion fewer dollars in revenue in order to pay for that [See About Mitt Romney's $5 Trillion Tax Cut, Forbes, 4 October 2012]. Barack Obama is right. The math does not work. The math might be boring, but the math doesn't work. This is like if you're living paycheck to paycheck right now, and you decide you're going to quit your job and then buy a new car at the same time. So you have less money coming in and lots more money going out. What does that make you? It makes you psyched because you got a new car and you don't have to work; plenty of time to drive it around until it runs out of gas and then what? But a decision like this, less money coming in, lots more money going out; a decision like that puts you in deep, deep, deep, debt. And if you do that at the national level, you are a lot of things but you are not good on the deficit. Except apparently, people think that you're great on the deficit. And that distance in perception; distance between the perception and reality of Mitt Romney is a political problem. If you are that bad on an issue like this and people think you're great on the issue that means something in our politics isn't working right. Someone is not doing their political job at making people understand the reality here and making you face the political consequences for it. Why is that? Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs joins us next.

I hope President Obama was paying attention to this. Rachel even provided a great parable about quitting your job and buying a car. This is something President Obama can use in the debate tonight to explain why Mitt Romney's math doesn't add up. Okay, we all know that President Obama doesn't watch Cable News, and probably missed the segment. However, the good news is that waiting in the wings was President Obama's campaign adviser Robert Gibbs who Rachel interviewed during the next segment. Surely he will go back to the President and tell him how easily Rachel explained why Romney's math doesn't add up. She made it so simply that even a 5th grader could understand it.

The video of the entire segment with transcript is below the fleur-de-orange. I've also embedded the Robert Gibbs interview also, but am too tired to transcribe it.


Direct link to video for those using an iPad or other device that prevents you from watching embedded videos.
Michelle Obama Early VotingElection Day is 22 days away. Three weeks from tomorrow. But today was Election Day for at least one resident of the great state of Illinois. First Lady Michelle Obama posing with her absentee ballot, which she mailed into the state of Illinois today. Shortly before posting this photo, the First Lady tweeted,

What Michelle Obama is doing here, mailing in her absentee ballot, a form of voting that is typically more popular among Republicans.
PhotobucketFor example, In Florida in 2008, Republicans enjoyed a 17-point edge among people who chose to vote by mail with an absentee ballot; 17 points. This year one of the early signs in this election that Democrats are excited about is that, at least in Florida, Democrats seem to be closing the gap with absentee ballot mail-in voters. Democrats were still able to win remember in 2008 in Florida even though the lost absentee ballot voters by 17 points. But this year in Florida, Democrats have shrunk down the Republican advantage on absentee ballot voters; they've shrunk it down from 17 points to just 4 points. And remember they were still able to win with the 17-point gap last time around. So this has Democrats very excited, and it has the First Lady doing her big voter photo-op today.

Now the other way to vote ahead of Election Day is not to mail in your absentee ballot, but rather to vote early in person. And while Michelle Obama announced she was voting by mail, President Obama announced today that he is going to be voting early and in person. President Obama's going to be voting on October 25th, which would be next Thursday.


That form of voting, in person early voting, has traditionally leaned more Democratic. And this year it appears to be following that trend again, only with an exclamationi point. Look at this headline from yesterday. Obama grabs wide lead among those who have already voted [See Obama grabs wide lead among those who have already voted: Reuters/Ipsos poll, Reuters, 14 October 2012]. But the numbers are amazing. This new Reuters poll finds that President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 28 points among early voters [59% to 31%]. Now it should be noted that ever since this poll came out yesterday, the Romney campaign has been complaining about it and trying to discredit it. Today Mitt Romney's political director released a hair on fire memo attacking the methodology of this Reuters poll of early voters calling this flawed and untrue [See MEMO: Who Is Early Voting And What It Means For The Presidential Campaign, Mitt Romney Blog, 15 October 2012]. And you know, nobody complains about the methodology when they're ahead. Right? The Romney folks have only recently stopped complaining about the methodology of all of the polling being done. Their complaining only stopped once Mr. Romney started doing better in all of those the polls as of a couple weeks ago.

Swing State PollsIn terms of the key swing states, here's how things look right now in the race. In Pennsylvania it's President Obama now with a 4-point lead; the President down three points in that poll in just the span of a couple weeks. In Ohio President Obama up by 5 points in a poll released over the weekend. In Florida it's Mitt Romney up by 1 point. In North Carolina, it's Mitt Romney by two points; in Virginia, Mr. Romney leading by 1 point. In Iowa, the latest poll in Iowa shows the race there to be tied. A new USA TodayGallup poll of just the swing states that was released tonight shows Mitt Romney with an overall 4-point lead in the swing states combined [See USA Today/Gallup: Romney Has 4-Point Edge In Swing States, Talking Points Memo, 15 October 2012]. And just as the Romney campaign is complaining about the methodology of the poll of early voters that shows President Obama with a nearly 30-point margin among early voters, now it's the Obama campaign's turn to complain for the first time about the methodology in this new swing state poll. The Obama campaign's chief pollster releasing a memo earlier tonight attacking this USA Today / Gallup poll as unsound [See Latest Gallup/USA Today Numbers (PDF), Benenson Strategy Group, 15 October 2012]. And whatever you think about the methodology, you can see why the Obama campaign would be worried about a poll like this. I mean if other polls bare out this kind of margin in swing states specifically, that would imply there's been a change in the race in Mr. Romney's favor. Right now, though, that poll does sort of stick out. It's sort of an outlier in terms of being much more favorable to Mr. Romney than everything else that is happening with polls like this at the national level and at the combined state level.

Today's PollsAll of the national polls released today show the race is essentially a dead heat. Gallup Daily Tracking shows Mr. Romney up by 2. The right leaning Rasmussen poll has Mr. Romney up by 1. Investors Business Daily has the race at a tie. A new Politico/George Washington University poll has President Obama up by 1. And the new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Mr. Obama up by 3. And here's where it gets interesting. We get a ton of polling stuff every day now. Right? You can look at swing states, you can look at national numbers; you can look at trends. Every day there's at least one super interesting and illuminating thing in the polling.

Who Would Do A Better Job?And right now the thing that is most important, I think most intriguing in the data, out of all the snapshots of the race you can do right now is this. This right here is probably the most interesting thing. Look, it's when ABC news and Washington post polled voters. They didn't just ask them who do they like in terms of who they're going to vote for. They asked voters which candidate would be better on a series of issues. And here's what they found. On the issue of dealing with the economy, it's President Obama by 4; dealing with taxes, President Obama by 5; handling health care, Obama by 6; handling international affairs, Obama by 10; handling an unexpected major crisis, Obama by 12; handling Medicare, Obama by 15. The only issue in the ABC news/Washington post where the president loses is this one: the issue of dealing with the deficit where it is Mitt Romney holding a 3-point lead over President Obama; the president leading on every other issue except the deficit.

Why is that the one issue in which Mitt Romney is seen as being better than President Obama? It's because of the thing that lost President Obama the first presidential debate two weeks ago, which was him trying to explain how Mitt Romney can't be trusted on the deficit by trying to do the math for everyone, live on TV. Saying something that sounded in translation essentially like See you have a very large number with a trillion in it, and then some smaller amalgamation of some other trillions that when you add them up, then subtract them from the 5 trillion, you get a number that's in appropriately negative or positive. Do you follow me? President Obama during that first debate was trying to do the math over and over and over again as a way of explaining that what Mr. Romney is proposing economically would be a recipe for massive deficits. And really there is no way mathematically that you can do the things Mr. Romney says he's going to do without running up massive deficits. But instead of making up punchy, memorable arguments that made him the more likeable and effective of the two debaters, President Obama instead tried to prove that thing about the math. President Obama tried in that debate setting to explain what's so wrong with thinking that Mitt Romney is a guy who should be taken seriously on the deficit. He was trying to explain that without a white board, without sound track, without a narrative way to make it into a story that people would remember. He just listed these very large numbers over and over again, assuming that people could do the arithmetic and get the punch line. And Mitt Romney did not do that. Mitt Romney, instead of trying to rebut President Obama point by point, simply made the reasonable sounding assertion that, Well, never mind all your numbers, I've got six studies that back me up.

Video of Mitt Romney at 1st Debate: I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle income families. I will lower taxes on middle income families. Now you cite a study. There's six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it's completely wrong.
I have six studies that say actually I'm great on the deficit issue. No worries. All this mumbo jumbo giant numbers stuff you're getting from this president guy doesn't make any sense to me either. Look! Here's a small number; six. I've got six studies that say I'm fine. Those six studies for the record are not actually studies. Two are blog posts by a conservative think tank. One is a report by a conservative think tank. One is a paper by a former George W. Bush advisor, and the fifth and six are a blog post and a Wall Street Journal op-ed by a Mitt Romney adviser [See Romney’s Unraveling Claim That Six Studies Validate His Tax Plan, Talking Points Memo, 15 October 2012]. Calling those things studies is like calling me the homecoming queen. It's very flattering, but come on; come on. The Romney campaign has been trying to wish away the math with this six studies magical incantation. They've been trying to use this six studies thing for so long that even the Sunday morning show on Fox is now calling bull pucky on it.
Ed Gillespie: Six different studies have said this is entirely doable ...

Chris Wallace: Those are very questionable. Some of them are blogs. Some of them are from the AEI, which is hardly an independent group.

Ed Gillespie: These are very credible sources.

Chris Wallace: One is from a guy who is; from a blog from a guy who was a top adviser to George W. Bush. These are hardly non-partisan studies.

See how Ed Gillespie doesn't look worried there? He's like waiting for the interviewer to stop talking. He's just kind of waiting. I'm just going to go back to my talking points as soon as you're done.

There is a certain happy-go-luckiness by the Republicans when they are talking about this issue. They do not get too stressed out about this issue because they know that politically, it really doesn't matter what they say. They trust that no matter what they are proposing and how it gets debunked or fact checked or whatever, they know politically they will just seem like they are going to be good on the deficit. No matter what they propose. This is the most persistent myth in the modern politics of American money.

Budget DeficitThis idea that Republicans, Republican presidents in particular, are good on the deficit. When, in fact, the exact opposite is our modern history. On Friday we learned for example the U.S. budget deficit topped a trillion dollars for the fourth year in a row [See Budget deficit tops $1 trillion for fourth straight year, Reuters, 12 October 2012]. And while that is a gianormous number, here's the context for that. Here's our budget deficit in 2012; just over a trillion dollars. And here's what it was last year. President Obama actually cut the deficit by more than $200 billion from the year before. Here's the budget deficit that President Obama was handed when he walked in the door. Your eyes are not deceiving you. You keep hearing the Republicans talk about how President Obama increased the deficit? President Obama has cut the deficit during his four years in office. The great Steve Benen put this graph together at The Maddow Blog today going through the raw data. And as Steve notes today quote over the last four decades, only two presidents have reduced the deficit this much, this quickly. And those two presidents are Bill Clinton and Barack Obama [See The wrong issue for the wrong candidate by Steve Benen The Maddow Blog, 15 October 2012]. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, now what do they have in common? Both Democrats. Historically, the Democratic Party has actually been the better of the two parties when it comes to the deficit.

Change to DeficitOver the last 40 years, it's Democratic presidents who have been the most fiscally responsible when it comes to the deficit. And it's Republican presidents have been the most fiscally reckless. Somehow in the face of this persistent history, Republicans have successfully cultivated this myth that they're the ones you should trust if you're worried about the debt and the deficit. And so even though voters trust Barack Obama on every other issue, they still inexplicably trust Mitt Romney more when it comes to the deficit. They have great faith in Mitt Romney's deficit hawkishness. Even if all his six the studies are just stuff written on a bathroom wall.

Options for Base Defense BudgetIt's factually hilarious given that Mitt Romney really is proposing this in terms of what we spend on the military. You ready? These are current levels of military spending [blue line]; our biggest discretionary spending. That [red line] is what Mitt Romney is proposing to do. he's proposing to do adding to our biggest pile of discretionary spending. He is proposing adding two trillion extra dollars in spending just on the military. And he is proposing bringing in five trillion fewer dollars in revenue in order to pay for that [See About Mitt Romney's $5 Trillion Tax Cut, Forbes, 4 October 2012]. Barack Obama is right. The math does not work. The math might be boring, but the math doesn't work. This is like if you're living paycheck to paycheck right now, and you decide you're going to quit your job and then buy a new car at the same time. So you have less money coming in and lots more money going out. What does that make you? It makes you psyched because you got a new car and you don't have to work; plenty of time to drive it around until it runs out of gas and then what? But a decision like this, less money coming in, lots more money going out; a decision like that puts you in deep, deep, deep, debt. And if you do that at the national level, you are a lot of things but you are not good on the deficit. Except apparently, people think that you're great on the deficit. And that distance in perception; distance between the perception and reality of Mitt Romney is a political problem. If you are that bad on an issue like this and people think you're great on the issue that means something in our politics isn't working right. Someone is not doing their political job at making people understand the reality here and making you face the political consequences for it. Why is that? Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs joins us next.

Direct link to video for those using an iPad or other device that prevents you from watching embedded videos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (183+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3, here4tehbeer, radarlady, Pam from Calif, Dutch Doctor, KroneckerD, retLT, WakeUpNeo, ichibon, uciguy30, SmartRat, shypuffadder, MartyM, Pluto, AnnetteK, carpunder, estreya, Diana in NoVa, Dobber, dle2GA, Cintimcmomma, billlaurelMD, concernedamerican, sodalis, Oliver Tiger, VictorLaszlo, 42, skyounkin, Cedwyn, NomadDem, Gareth, eeff, zesty grapher, WhizKid331, notrouble, MKHector, mama jo, Creosote, Foundmyvoice, Illinibeatle, kevinwparker, kfred, Actbriniel, palantir, MizKit, jamess, lostinamerica, Temmoku, Flint, Only Needs a Beat, prettygirlxoxoxo, sawgrass727, No one gets out alive, tapestry, Blu Gal in DE, Siri, PBen, JayC, justintime, reddbierd, Smoh, Onomastic, redlum jak, FindingMyVoice, TracieLynn, Gorette, wintergreen8694, J M F, Liberal Thinking, zozie, kerflooey, Ageing Hippie, futilitismo, UniC, Cronesense, CwV, chicating, Wendy Slammo, millwood, gramofsam1, Empower Ink, ARS, Xtatic, Matt Z, dotsright, artmartin, JayBat, Odysseus, LNK, MKSinSA, simaramis, Ricochet67, congenitalefty, TBug, IndieGuy, democracy inaction, qofdisks, remembrance, Gemina13, Shockwave, MJ via Chicago, legendmn, Phil N DeBlanc, FiredUpInCA, sostos, skod, greengemini, 88kathy, Sylv, Subterranean, My Spin, paradise50, MinistryOfTruth, Ironic Chef, MeToo, avsp, hummingbird4015, multilee, indybend, Sun Tzu, JClarkPDX, Sapere aude, Gowrie Gal, surfbird007, tytalus, spaceshot, Loge, bnasley, JanetT in MD, Involuntary Exile, ZZZzzz, dwahzon, anna shane, alrdouglas, sebastianguy99, StrayCat, slowbutsure, angelino, mikeconwell, Ryvr, walkshills, peteri2, CoolOnion, TexDem, nominalize, DMentalist, trumpeter, California06, KayCeSF, ColoTim, HappyinNM, Libby Shaw, ThirtyFiveUp, Lefty Coaster, Angie in WA State, james321, SadieSue, archidem, skybluewater, a2nite, Eddie L, Jim R, high uintas, elwior, Youffraita, Edmund Xu, vahana, Guadalupe59, I give in to sin, wayoutinthestix, DSPS owl, blueoasis, linkage, Wife of Bath, Sychotic1, cwsmoke, Ann B FLAW, Just Bob, Larsstephens, glitterscale, Oh Mary Oh, billso, slampros

    “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

    by hungrycoyote on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:14:15 AM PDT

  •  About the Romney Math (42+ / 0-)

    Someone on MSNBC explained it in such a way that even an arithmetic idget like me can understand.

    Okay, I'm paraphrasing:

    Imagine you're in the drive-thru at McDonalds with a date who opens his nearly empty wallet and pulls out two crisp one dollar bills.  

    He then proceeds to order a Big Mac, Large Fries, a Strawberry Milk Shake, a Double Filet of Fish, Small Fries and a large coffee. Oh, and an Apple Pie.

    You and the cashier look at him like he's crazy when he hands her the two dollars.  Meanwhile, he insists that will cover it.  She asks for coupons.  He doesn't have any.  She asks if this a joke, and he just looks at her like she should know better.

    Well, that's basically Mitt Romney's number's problem.   It's mathematically impossible.

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    by WFBMM on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:53:26 AM PDT

    •  Robert Gibbs scared me a bit (26+ / 0-)

      He didn't seem to be buying into the argument that the math should be easy to understand. I hope that Obama finds a much better way of presenting the idea that Romney's math doesn't work -- and that analogy works better than 5.1 trillion cut with 2.5 trillion more in defense...

      It's interesting to me that in those polls, the one where they asked "who do you trust" on lots of issues gives Obama the greatest lead. It's like they almost made people consider their votes. It makes it hard to say "Romney" after stating time after time, Obama is better for the country.

      But why doesn't Obama have a 10 point lead in that poll -- on all but one measure, Obama has a clear and often significant advantage... Weird.

      “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “My ultimate Ayn Rand Porn.”

      by theKgirls on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:56:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was wondering the same thing (9+ / 0-)

        I think this might be another small piece (of many) that race is playing a role in this election.

        "Mitt Romney has more positions than the Kama Sutra." -- me "Social justice is love, made public." -- Cornel West

        by billlaurelMD on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:02:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I.e. some people would rather have their (8+ / 0-)

          pockets picked by the strong-seeming white guy than helped by the scary black dude with the terrorist name. But wouldn't they have been in the Romney camp from the start? I doubt that undecideds are that racist.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:52:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are people that are unconscious racists (11+ / 0-)

            Call it latent racism. In places where there are few to none people of color, the subject doesn't come up. And since it's unfashionable to be overtly racist, people convince themselves that they aren't. Until they run into a situation where they are faced with it.
            They may not even be cognizant of the racial element of their choice and if picked at will build up a wall of denial, but it's there and it's working.
            Obviously, race isn't the ONLY factor and for most people, not even a prominent factor, but it's there and significant in enough that it can turn a close election.
            Or make an election like this one, that should be a landslide, into a squeaker.

            •  I think you're talking about (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hungrycoyote, a2nite, elwior

              people who were likely going to vote for Romney (or whoever the GOP candidate was) all along but pretended to themselves that they were undecided because they think that being "independant" is a sign of being "serious"--or were unhappy with Romney and so held out till the end. Whether this is out of racism or something else, I don't know, but they were never likely to vote for Obama.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:34:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've seen this with people (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hungrycoyote, elwior, caliblue

                who voted for Obama in 08 because they really couldn't stand McShame. Who've convinced themselves that that proves that they aren't racist. I've seen it in dyed-in-the-wool-Democrats, particularly some of the Hillary-ites, making up all kinds of reasons why they hate Obama, none of which hold water.

          •  the point though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DMentalist, elwior

            was that Obama led Romney in all categories but the deficit (Romney by 3%) in that poll (and the deficit isn't the highest concern of voters now if I remember that correctly ....), but he only leads overall by 3% in the same poll.  In some of the other items where Obama was preferred, like foreign policy, it was something on the order of 10-15%!  None were less than about 5% favoring Obama.  So how to you get those numbers and have only 3% advantage to Obama as to for whom they plan to vote?

            "Mitt Romney has more positions than the Kama Sutra." -- me "Social justice is love, made public." -- Cornel West

            by billlaurelMD on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:15:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Since it's only a 3 point advantage I wonder.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hungrycoyote, elwior

                 ...If when people are polled on these questions, they think:

               "Well, Geez, I've given higher marks to Obama on EVERYTHING....I really ought to give the other guy SOMETHING.  Deficit?  OK, sure, why not?"
                  Sort of like an elementary school teacher writing a report card:
              "F in Math, F in Reading, F in Science, F in History...Gotta put something positive in there...How about an A in Citizenship (whatever that means)?  Let the poor kid have at least a shred of self-esteem and dignity..."
                  Although with only a 3 point advantage, that's not really like getting an A.  More like a C-Minus.
            •  For the same reason that many more Americans (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hungrycoyote, elwior

              call themselves conservative vs. liberal compared to the number who claim to prefer specific conservative vs. liberal policies on issues such as Social Security or public education. People tend to give one opinion in the abstract ("Yeah, I guess I'd call myself conservative") and another often contradictory opinion on specifics ("But I do like my Social Security!"). It's quite baffling.

              I think that there's a significant group of people who can't tell their asses from their noses and give correspondingly perplexing responses, and that they skew the polls in these ways. It's one thing for a base Repub voter to side with Romney on the deficit since they're going to vote for him and other Repubs anyway. They may be wrong on his deficit policy, but at least their wrongness is consistent. But it's another thing for an Obama leaner to prefer Romney on the deficit.

              These are not people who give a lot of thought to the details. But in their gut, they sense that Obama's the better candidate.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:46:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, Gibbs doesn't get it. It's Romney's character (8+ / 0-)

        He immediately started throwing all kinds of numbers out there without going after Romney's character.   Trying to quote studies and commentators, and doing the math isn't going to work.

        Obama has to use examples from Romney's past to show he simply can't be trusted.

        Also, soon after the Gibbs interview she had a clip from Ann Romney about how the Democrats were slandering the good name of her husband.

        It's all about Romney's character from here to election day.

      •  Well think it this way (8+ / 0-)

        If you already have decent critical thinking skills and follow the news, you know Romney's plan is a sham.  If you vote tribally or on superficial resentments, budget arguments won't sway you.

        Obama has to fine-tune his pitch to those who are only marginally paying attention and probably don't feel the presidential outcome will affect them much one way or the other.  Too wonkish and people turn out.  Too abstract and people won't understand.  Oversimplify, and no only might you end up showing contempt for the undecided voter, but the other side can easily counterpunch with their own BS buzzphrases.

        Notice how no Republican tried to take on Clinton's speech directly.  That's a sign he hit exactly the right balance.

      •  he kept evading her question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        that annoyed the crap out of me.  she tried to stress her point several times and Gibbs never answered directly.  he kept doing the math.  Rachel said she understood the math but that,

        "nobody else, broadly speaking, in the country is getting the math.  People really think the Republican will be better on this.  So what's the distance between what they're trying to do and what people believe about what they are trying to do?"
        Rachel didn't understand "why Romney gets credit for being the guy who would be better at handling the deficit."

        she had made it clear that Democrats are better at deficit reduction and inquired as to why the Obama campaign and Democrats are not emphasizing that reality.  she finally gave up with humored frustration and said,

        I think you will convince people--you will get rid of the Romney advantage on the issue of handling the deficit if you start talking about the Republican presidential record in modern history about running up the debt in a way that Democrats just never have.  But what do I know?  I'm just a TV person.

        I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

        by blue drop on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:25:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes but, the ordinary individual, the household, (21+ / 0-)

      and the states are not like our federal government. They don't issue their own money. Our federal government does. In fact, it issues all the IOUs that we all use to keep track of all our obligations. And, the more obligations we keep track of, the less we expect to get for free and without getting anything in return, the more money we need to use. Republicans are cavalier about the deficit because they don't worry about honoring their obligations. In the long run the deficit does not matter. If the federal government issues more money than flows back in a given year, it doesn't matter as long as our currency is honored because we have a reputation for doing what we promise.
      Republicans use the deficit as an excuse not to do what they don't want to do -- meet their obligations to provide for the general welfare. For aggression and causing damage they always have enough money. For the friends who keep them in office, they always have enough money. For the friends who want to live on easy street clipping bond coupons and eating bonbons, they issue bonds as a guaranteed stream of income.
      This is how it works. First they give friends exclusive access to free natural resources which they take to market and sell for profit. Then, instead of taxing that profit to pay for the resource depletion and the infrastructure used to deliver it to market and protect it from thieves, they have our various public bodies borrow the profit in the form of bonds, which we pay back with a premium. So, the friends of Republican office holders benefit three times (free resources, no tax, dividends on loans). Or, you could say that the friends of Republicans have three things to resent about Democrats:

      1. Resource protection and restoration
      2. Taxes to pay for public services
      3. Pay go and direct grants to the states

      What we need to keep in mind is that there are people who want something for nothing. The promise of something for nothing entices them to be Republicans. That only a small percentage of the population can actually be kept without them resorting to parasitism and predation doesn't occur to them for the simple reason that they don't make the connection. Their whole existence strikes them as something for which there is no explanation. They don't know how they got here, where they are going or what they are doing. They don't know. They feel.
      "no taxes" sounds good to people who don't know what being taxed (tasked) is.
      Being assigned tasks tends to be resisted by people who don't know how to carry them out, people who didn't like home work for the same reason. Likely, it's because these are people incapable of remembering the necessary sequence of steps to complete the task on their own. These are people who need to be minutely directed until the activity becomes ingrained as a habit and they don't need to think about it.
      There are such people in both parties, btw. The difference is one of attitude. Democrats are generous; Republicans are stingy and some are even mean. They're the mingles and they recognize Willard as one of their own. They know, for example, why Willard doesn't know how many horses Ann has. They know in their gut that he's not good with numbers. Which is why they also know that, like them, he's not going to worry about it.
      In case I wasn't clear, from the perspective of our leisure class, the deficit is a good thing because it lets them collect unearned income. So, they support politicians who promise them that. Beyond that, Republicans don't want to tax the children, but they as sure as hell want them to work for them.
      My mother spent a life time (98 years) insisting she didn't want to be a burden, but had a child so she could have someone to love and look after her. It didn't cost her and being told she wasn't a burden was all it took to satisfy her concern. She had no idea what a burden actually is. The only cross she had to bear was that her younger brother died in the war and couldn't look after her.
      The mistake Democrats make is taking Republican concerns seriously. The deficit is a hoax.

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:15:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Romney know's it doesn't make sense (17+ / 0-)

      What he doesn't say is that he expects YOU to cover the difference. The only thing that gives him a bigger thrill than saving money is having other people cover his bills. He's not just a cheapskate, he's a moocher and a leach.

      That's literally how he got rich, by taking what's not his.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Turn off the sound and watch Romney these days, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, elwior

        there is something wrong with him.  His eyes blink a mile a minute and his mouth moves just as fast.  It is a strange thing to watch.....if I did not know better I would say the guy is drinking too much coffee or something stronger.

      •  What Romney says is that his magical job (6+ / 0-)

        creating policies will create enough jobs, and in turn, enough taxes from those working folk, to cover his enormous military spending spree.

        If he actually believes this, he's insane.

        Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

        by Pescadero Bill on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:14:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I doubt he believes it (5+ / 0-)

          I doubt he cares. He's on an ego trip to his Swiss bank account.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:30:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Trust me (4+ / 0-)
          What Romney says is that his magical job creating policies will create enough jobs, and in turn, enough taxes from those working folk, to cover his enormous military spending spree.
          He has an answer for how he's going to cut all federal taxes by 20% and still raise enough money to spend $2 trillion on the military.
          MR. ROMNEY: Number two, let's look at history. My plan is not like anything that's been tried before. My plan is to bring down rates but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in, but that we bring down rates to get more people working.
          http://www.npr.org/...

          His answer is: trust me.

          The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

          by FiredUpInCA on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:58:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not convinced Romney (4+ / 0-)

        has the political courage to cut middle-class deductions.  He'll just put it on the credit card and blame the seventies-era Housing act or some other BS for the ballooning deficit.  He'll just make things a bit worse for his successor, just like every other Republican president.

        Recall that in Massachussetts he faced a legislature with a veto-proof majority, so he couldn't really be blamed for not facing them down at every turn.  He compromised and got some things done because otherwise they would have done it without him.

        •  This is exactly right (0+ / 0-)

          Norman Goldman (radio) says the exact same thing.  They will cut the rates, eliminate the Cap Gains/Inheritance Tax and then "Ask Congress" to determine which loopholes, deductions, credits and exemption to get rid of.

          But Congresspeople, being Congresspeople want to get re-elected, so they are NOT about to take the hatchet to those tax preference items.  And if they don't . . . . deep cuts to all other spending.

          Congressman Ryan, as Chairman of the House Budget Committee with ALL the other Rs that voted in favor of his budget, already have the means to give us the details, but they aren't because they don't want to . . . and probably won't.

    •  K.I.S.S. version of this diary, PLEASE! (5+ / 0-)

      I need some help here. . . . .

      The most persistent Republican myth is ____

      and the truth is _________.

      I have poor eyesight and can't read the whole diary....plus I'm busy contacting voters to GOTV and would love a quick sentence. Seven words or less.

      NOTE: it is dangerous to repeat Republican myths, even to counter them, because of how the human brain works.
      I'd love to have new, improved talking points about our values.

      (Emphasis is mine)

      "What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics"
      Edited by ANDRÁS SZÁNTÓ

      "As Lakoff tells us,


      'A few words in political language can activate large portions of the brain: War on Terror, tax relief, illegal immigration, entitlements (turned to conservative use by Ronald Reagan), death tax, property rights, abortion on demand, cut and run, flip-flop, school choice, intelligent design, spending programs, partial birth abortion, surge, spreading freedom, private accounts, individual responsibility, energy independence.

      When they are repeated every day, extensive areas of the brain are activated over and over, and this leads to brain change. Unerasable brain change…. And every time the words are repeated, all the frames and metaphors and worldview structures are activated again and strengthened -- because recurring activation strengthens neural connections. Negation doesn't help. "I'm against the War on Terror" just activates the War on Terror metaphor and strengthens what you're against. Accepting the language of issue and arguing the other side just hurts your own cause.'

      Drew Westen, a psychology professor and political consultant, supports Lakoff's statements as well as his contention that in America these techniques have been exploited far more intelligently by the political right than by the center and left, which are hampered by what Soros calls "the Enlightenment fallacy" -- that is, the fallacious assumption (dating from the 18th century) that freedom of thought and speech will ensure that reason will prevail. The media and the Democratic leadership, Westen says, are unwittingly "smuggling Trojan horses into popular discourse" by parroting terminology created by those in power, "essentially advertising the 'product line' of the Republican party and selling its 'brand.' "

      From Barnes & Noble book review by Brooke Allen:
      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...

      George Lakoff, an author and professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley who calls himself a "cognitive activist," says this: "One of the fundamental findings of cognitive science is that people think in terms of frames and metaphors – conceptual structures. The frames are in the synapses of our brains – physically present in the form of neural circuitry. When the facts don't fit the frames, the frames are kept and the facts ignored."
      In other words, forget winning on the facts or the science. It's all about the story. And once stories take hold, they're hard to dislodge. "
      http://www.alternet.org/...

      "It goes against our nature; but the left has to start asserting its own values"
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      SNIPPET:
      . . . . . Common Cause, written by Tom Crompton of the environment group WWF, examines a series of fascinating recent advances in the field of psychology. It offers, I believe, a remedy to the blight that now afflicts every good cause from welfare to climate change.

      Progressives, he shows, have been suckers for a myth of human cognition he labels the enlightenment model. This holds that people make rational decisions by assessing facts. All that has to be done to persuade people is to lay out the data: they will then use it to decide which options best support their interests and desires.

      A host of psychological experiments demonstrate that it doesn't work like this. Instead of performing a rational cost-benefit analysis, we accept information that confirms our identity and values, and reject information that conflicts with them. We mould our thinking around our social identity, protecting it from serious challenge. Confronting people with inconvenient facts is likely only to harden their resistance to change.

  •  For as long as I have been alive (45+ / 0-)

    the Democratic Party has had this faith, this almost religious belief, in the idea that some things are so obvious, so surely refuted by common sense, that you don't have to debunk, discredit, or attack them.

    The self-refuting argument.

    Movement Conservatism being pure extremist epic fail bullshit sold with lies and fairy tales so obvious that just listening to them is an argument for the other side. A refutation of their schtick.

    I call it "the Magic Reagan Defense".

    When I was a kid, my union carpenter dad and union school teacher mom hung out with a lot of fellow travelers.

    I remember as a kid a lot of my parents friends being overjoyed that Ronald Reagan was the GOP nominee. They couldn't believe our luck. Reagan. Wow. This is going to lead to a new age in Democratic dominance. Once people get a look at this guy, they will flock to vote against him.

    "We are going to crush him, we have the facts on our side."
    "He's a crazy, it's so obvious he practically guarantees a win."
    "Crazy Reagan and his extremist ideas, his own peers call his ideas 'Voodoo Economics'."

    Even after 1980, this crap still lingered on, I remember the 1984 election and the same things came out of the mouths of adults who, shellshocked from 1980, should have learned their lesson.

    Don't assume anything but that you have to assume you have to refute every bit of nonsense that comes out of the Right's mouthpiece.

    Listening to Rachel Maddow tonight, talking about Romney and the Deficit, and marvelling at how easy it is for the GOP to keep winning arguments they have no business to win. Both by virtue of the media being castrated, yes, absolutely, but also because there is only one other party in our two party system, the Democrats, who can tear down Movement Conservatism and make sure that the lies are always pointed out.

    Attacking Movement Conservatism as a failed ideology is the key to Movement Conservatism not coming back and coming aback like Jason Vorhees.

    Right now, as we speak, how many Democrats are out there in this nation who sincerely think, with every fiber of their beings, that the Iraq War has been so obviously bad, so thoroughly exposed as sold on nonsense and bullshit, so costly in blood and treasure, that it can't happen again.

    If Mitt Romney is elected President, John Bolton and Liz Cheney will be up for either Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. Book it. And the Iran War will be the highest foreign policy goal on their agenda for our military. They need to sell the 2 Trillion dollar boost in unneeded defense spending they are going to put forward, and to do that, they need a new war.

    Which would lead us right back to Neocon bullshit, a compliant media, a public to be scared shitless, and a Democratic Party to face down all the pressure in the beltway press and punditry class to stand up to the war drums and not shit themselves thinking about 2014 being a disaster if they get painted as "weak" on national security.

    I am a proud Democrat. I really am. I know that sometimes I don't sound like this is the case, but I am.

    It infuriates me that in 2012, after the Clinton years, after Vince Foster was Murdered to the Arkansas Project to the Impeachment, to the mugging of Al Gore, to the pimping and aggrandizing of George W. Bush, to the mugging of Obama and the rise of the Teahad, we still in many, many ways have an entirely faith-based strategy for dealing with beating Movement Conservatism.

    Romney, God forbid, will add 8 to 12 Trillion dollars to our national debt if he is our next President, and it's not a secret. Even with that, he is favored over Obama on who is serious about the Deficit as per Rachel Maddow's show tonight. That's not insane, what that is a failure, a big one, evidence of fundamental political malpractice, on all of our parts as the opposition to Movement Conservatism.

    As somebody who believes that Obama will still be re-elected despite the panic and fear so many felt over the fallout of that first debate, I say this:

    this nation is still one hiccup one scare or one faux scandal that sticks away from a 50-50 election.

    After everything the GOP has done to destroy the economy, our military, our environment, our schools, our courts, and our roads and bridges.

    Mitt Romney could still win and rob tens of millions of people without health insurance of the ACA before they even get to understand what it would mean for them. Millions of elderly people could wake up in a world with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security destroyed by votes made under reconciliation in the Senate after passing a Teahadi House.

    1992-2012 was a referendum finding a Third Way, an alternative to the Democratic Party making a strong ideologically-based and partisan argument against the Right and it's memes, frames, and lies.

    The Democratic Party should be the most dominant political force in the country based on the two parties track records on policy alone. I can't name a single economic policy of the Rightwing that has worked as they said it would. Not one.

    But I can think of dozens of examples of how liberals have been right time and time and time again in the last 20 years about policy and about how to not get screwed for the same Lucy Vs. The Football shit that keeps on working even now.

    The Democratic Party wins when it beats the shit out of the Republicans without giving the concern trolls and bad faith operators any heed. It works. From Terry Schaivo to the Komen fight to passing the ACA.

    Going forward, no Democrat should ever assume the political press will do its job, that both parties will be held to the same standards by the media elites or even the beltway political establishment itself, or that the public will just 'get' that something that is pure bullshit is bullshit. Ever.

    Fundamentally it's the great demographic changes in our endangered nation that is what is truly killing the Right and making it a rump party. If this were 1988, Obama would be probably on his way out with the campaign that Romney has run.

    We have to become the aggressors in both the culture wars and the class warfare fights to truly beat, and then roll back, the Right.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:08:40 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary, hungrycoyote (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the Rachel recap!  I didn't see the show but I'm glad to have it summarized.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:45:51 AM PDT

  •  Robert Gibbs didn't seem to be listening to Rachel (22+ / 0-)

    I was getting SO frustrated watching this segment last night.

    Gibbs could use some feedback from 'regular Americans' on how he came across last night, but I couldn't find any contact info for him online.

    Rachel gave him so many chances to make it clear that he understood what she was trying to explain to him -- that average voters don't get the math, they turn off to it, and Dems need to keep it simple.  Show the charts!

    Yet Gibbs kept going on an on with his talking points.

    Obama campaign needs to run an add simply showing the pretty red and blue charts with presidential pics that Rachel showed.  It makes it very clear who is better on the deficit... Democrats.

    Gibbs needs to get his head out of the Washington sand and look around at what people in the rest of the country are seeing.  He should've listened to Rachel, but I don't think he did.  SO frustrating.

    "My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right." -- Marcelas Owens

    by Mad Mary on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:08:27 AM PDT

    •  Gibbs is a former press secretary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      distraught, hungrycoyote, elwior

      Sound bites are his currency. He's only really good when he's facing an opponent, as he was during post-debate shows in '08.

      "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

      by Oliver Tiger on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:23:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree... (7+ / 0-)

      ...it was painful listening to Gibbs. I kept saying "Shut up," to the TV (talking to Gibbs) because he was rambling on and on missing the point and simplicity of Rachel's argument.

      He clearly didn't get it at all.

    •  Exactly right. Gibbs was clueless. (5+ / 0-)

      Rachel mapped how exactly how Obama can refute the Romney lies about deficit reduction, and Gibbs just was not listening. He kept reiterating the same "Romney's numbers don't add up" analysis which - while correct -  failed for the President in the first debate.
        Clinton and Obama are the only recent Presidents who have reduced the deficit. That's a record to be proud of, and it's a record that CAN be communicated successfully. If the President is listening to Gibbs, things will not end well tonght.

      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

      by Blue Boomer on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:17:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  DITTO, DITTO "SO frustrating" (4+ / 0-)

      I had the same reaction:

      He should've listened to Rachel, but I don't think he did.  SO frustrating.
      I think that there should be something like the old E.F. Hutton slogan which would apply to Rachel Maddow:
      When Rachel Maddow speaks, people should listen.
      And like hungrycoyote:
      ...... I just want to smack Rachel Maddow for being so darn good at her job.
  •  "Bull pucky!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicating, hungrycoyote, elwior

    I love it! You go, Rachel! Tell the truth, since they obviously can't!

    "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

    by Oliver Tiger on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:17:55 AM PDT

  •  But welfare queens in Cadillacs! I seen 'em (7+ / 0-)

    with my own two eyes! They vote for Democrats for the free handouts! Romney won't give MY money to lazy good-for-nothings! Then maybe we won't have to borrow more money from China!

    [/typical fact-free GOP rant]

    Paul Ryan has risen to prominence because he thinks that poor people should suffer and he doesn't mind saying so.

    by VictorLaszlo on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:25:07 AM PDT

  •  Why are we talking about deficits? (11+ / 0-)

    When demand is low, capacity vastly underutilized, unemployment at double historical norms, concerns over federal deficits are worse than silly, they are dangerous.

    Study the chart on this page to understand the interplay between the public and private sector monetary flows. The problem should become obvious.

    •  And there's the problem (6+ / 0-)

      You're trying to make sense, which is not how to appeal to swing voters. They need to be hit in the gut and smacked on the head to win them over.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:03:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  With effective sound bites (4+ / 0-)

          No need to lie, but definitely a need to dumb down.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:30:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that's not what we're doing (4+ / 0-)

            It's all about how we're going bankrupt and burdening our children with debt. That's why we're approaching the "fiscal cliff" which will suck something like a $Trillion per year out of the productive private economy and allow trillions more to flow from productive to financial assets. That is all the result of the false narrative encapsulated in effective sound bites - dumbed-down, inaccurate, but effective sound bites aimed at frightening the people and steering more and more of the nation's wealth into the coffers of the rich.

            •  That's RW framing (7+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about dumbed-down progressive framing, like how infrastructure spending boosts the economy and pays for itself through increased tax revenue. How the rich needs to pay their fair share again. How we can't afford and don't need more wars or massive defense spending.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:46:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's Obama's RW Framing (6+ / 0-)

                He has bought into it entirely. Why else would he have put the cat food commission together? What was it's mandate? My recollection is that it was charged with deficit reduction. Even Bernie Sanders buys into this framing which is something progressives should totally disparage. We need to build our framing around the concept that societies build their futures and commonwealth out of the real resources they possess, not out of money.  Money is only a tool, and it is the simplest and most inexpensive tool we can make. Debt and deficit fear-mongering embraces the exact antithesis of this.

                •  I'm no fan of Obama & Dems' framing either (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  qofdisks, Egg, hungrycoyote, elwior, DSPS owl

                  and it's not what I'm advocating. I'm talking genuinely reality-based progressive framing, but "dumbed down" so that even swing voters can understand it.

                  Btw, the deficit IS a long-term problem and it's not RW to say so. What's RW is to say that it's an immediate crisis-level problem or that cutting spending (let alone taxes) is the way to bring it down, both of which are false.

                  Only a more progressive tax system that forces the rich to pay their fair share, targeted spending on needed and useful programs that will boost the economy both now and long-term, and spending cuts in unnecessary and pointless things like many defense programs, can do that. And it's progressive to say so.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:35:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am interested to know why (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    hungrycoyote, elwior
                    the deficit IS a long-term problem and it's not RW to say so
                    What is your theory of the long-term damage of the deficit in an economy based on a sovereign non-convertible currency?  
                    •  More to the point, what is Paul Krugman's theory (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      hungrycoyote

                      and that of other actual economists? My understanding that is if left unaddressed, it will lead to runaway inflation and/or severe spending cuts, both of which will hurt the non-rich hard. If you disagree with Krugman et al, please explain.

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:56:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The point is that IS what actual economists (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hungrycoyote

                        theorize. I offered Stephanie Kelton in my original post but we can add L Randall Wray, Scott Fullwiler, James Kenneth Galbraith, and many others. The neoliberal economic theory under which we have operated since the 70's is falling apart because it's based on a fundamental flaw of reasoning and a misunderstanding of the nature of money. Every so often one of the so-called bright lights of mainstream economists begins to grasp this. Perhaps Bernie Sander's economic "Dream Team" will begin to spread that understanding.

                        As for inflation, it is not the result of deficits. The US Gov issues debt to support interest rates, not to back spending. Inflation happens due to inadequate supplies, or demand in excess of capacity. It has nothing to do with Fed. spending unless the federal government overpays relative to the private economy. Without getting to the point where "too many dollars are chasing too few products" you don't get inflation.

                        •  Krugman is ok with long-term deficits? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          hungrycoyote

                          News to me. When did he "theorize" this?

                          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                          by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:54:24 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Really, that's what you read??? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            hungrycoyote

                            That is certainly not what I wrote. Too bad, I was enjoying this conversation. I am sorry to see us begin talking passed one another.  

                            I believe you raised the question about real economic theory vis a vis real economists. That's what I offered. You may follow Krugman with religious fervor, I merely take his words as enjoyable, thoughtful, and generally well measured. But I do note that he didn't make the cut for Bernie's group, nor for any position of influence in any recent administration.

                            But, if you are a Krugman acolyte, then can you explain the inexorable path from deficit to inflation in his terms. He makes mention of this in a column on March 25, 2011 where he begins:

                            Right now, deficits don’t matter — a point borne out by all the evidence. But there’s a school of thought — the modern monetary theory people — who say that deficits never matter, as long as you have your own currency.
                            This immediately throws up a straw man argument which Krugman then follows to it logical conclusion. Easy when you start with a false premise. However, contrary to Krugman's assertion, MMT says deficits are critically important, they always matter, they are almost always necessary, and they must be carefully calibrated. Aside from that, Krugman got it right.

                            I'm done. If you want to get educated on the subject go to New Economic Perspectives or even go to the Money and Public Purpose group here at DK.

                          •  Why don't we resume this discussion (0+ / 0-)

                            when we both receive our Nobels. Mine should arrive any day now...

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:36:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah, yes, (0+ / 0-)

                            Of course, we’re aware that its really called the Memorial Prize in Economics, but c’mon — it sounds so much more prestigious to call it the Nobel.

                          •  See you in Stockholm (0+ / 0-)

                            Don't forget the tux.

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:12:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We'll have a Brännvin (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kovie

                            I'll buy!

    •  This comment helps explain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, elwior

      why Republicans have more trust than Dems on the deficit/debt issue.  For the past several decades Republicans talk about balancing the budget and the evils of deficit spending (what "we" do is an entirely different matter, of course).  Dems on the other hand never seem to be worried about deficits.

      But believe me, I do get your point that deficits are not the overriding problem at this point in time.  I'm ok with short term deficit spending in this time of slow economic recovery but we (Dems/Repubs, liberals/conservatives) need to come to some sort of agreement about whether or not we are going to pay for the government that we want or if we are going to pass the costs off to future generations.

      I favor a balanced budget amendment that would require budgets to be balanced on perhaps a three year rolling period.  We have shown that we are politically incapable of being responsible about the deficit and if we are going to behave like children perhaps we should be forced to do the right thing through an artificial rule such as a balanced budget amendment.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes deficits are necessary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, elwior

        Like in a recession or during wartime.  A balanced budget amendment would have devastating consequences in a poor economy.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:29:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are correct. You don't want to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hungrycoyote, elwior

          balance the budget in a recession.  That's why I would favor some type of mechanism where we are forced to balance the budget over a rolling period.  Recessions tend to be relatively short in duration and if you were required to balance the budget over the course of a 3 or 4 year rolling period that would seem to be reasonable.

          So if in year 1 you have a budget surplus of lets say 100 billion dollars, you then enter a recession and your deficit is 250 billion dollars.  In the next two years you would then have to develop a budget surplus of 150 billion dollars if you had a rolling 4 year period where at the end of each 4 year period you had to balance the budget.  

          I'm not beholden to the 4 year period.  That may be too artificially short.  But if you do it over a rolling period then it greatly reduces the very valid point that you raised in your comment.

          Hey, but let's "look on the bright side, there's always suicide" if that doesn't work.  (Based on your sig line I think you would appreciate that last comment because I never met a wise man (but) if so he's a woman.)

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:58:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We have 200 years of deficits (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            because we are a wealthy industrial powerhouse, and, by accounting identity, you cannot have sustained private sector surpluses without either trade surpluses or federal deficits to balance the equation. Think of riding a bicycle. Every so often you have to pedal a little, sometimes you come to favorable terrain and you don't need to pedal at all. What you can't do is recapture those pedal pushes back into your legs. Once they're spent, they're spent, just like when the government spends NEW money into existence.

            We are a nation with sovereign money. Our society builds its future and commonwealth out of the real resources we possess, not out of money.  Money is only a tool, and it is the simplestand most inexpensive tool we can make. 

            This is a fundamental strength of America. The eurozone lacks this fundamental strength as each nation has relinquished monetary sovereignty to the ECB. They are currency users. America is a currency issuer.

      •  Republicans talk about deficits (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, elwior

        when Democrats are in power, to rein them in. They do not talk about deficits when Republicans are in power. Who was it that said 'deficits don't matter'? Dick Cheney. Any trust Republicans have on this issue is based on lies.

        “Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.” -- Steven Wright

        by tytalus on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:53:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As a lifelong Republican this is one of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hungrycoyote, elwior

          many, many, many reasons why I'm supporting the "other" team for the foreseeable future.  Deficits do (eventually) matter.  Shoot, what are we currently paying on interest on the debt?  Isn't it somewhere in the $500 to $600 billion a year figure?

          Can you think of other programs to support that would be better for society than spending $500 billion a year on interest payments?  I sure can.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:12:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  On that, I think we agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hungrycoyote, elwior

            I'm considering what arguments Democrats will need, the next time they balance the budget and Republicans come back with tax cuts for the rich to fix that surplus problem.

            “Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.” -- Steven Wright

            by tytalus on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:25:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Average swing voter: Me no likee do teh math (9+ / 0-)

    Me head hurt real bad when dat happen. Me likee strong tough Mitt Romney, no likee girly-man Obama. He give me money to welfare bums.

    Ok, maybe not average, and maybe just a slight exaggeration. But I've met people who "think" like this (if one can dignify it by calling it thinking), and for Obama to win them over, he needs a simpler and harder-hitting message:

    Mitt Romney will take your money and give it to rich people like himself. I'll let you keep your money and make rich people like Mitt Romney pay their fair share again. I'm not going to balance the budget on your dime.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:48:05 AM PDT

  •  God I Hope Obama Uses That Analogy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, hungrycoyote, elwior

    Brilliant, simple, memorable

    Mitt Romney - Big Bird = Republican Foreign Policy

    by Therapy on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:19:27 AM PDT

  •  Gibbs was terrible (9+ / 0-)

    I played this clip hoping to hear a preview of how Obama will make this point tonight, but Gibbs did a terrible job of making the argument.  He kept repeating the same lines over and over that are clearly not working.  Rachel even told him - look.... that argument isn't working.  You don't need to use so many words to make this argument.  And you can't keep repeating the same cliches that voters are now tuning out - including this partisan voter.

    Rachel made a great point at the end.  Remind voters of history.  The deficits exploded under Reagen, Bush I and especially Bush II.  They were cut under Clinton and now under President Obama.  That Republicans are somehow the party that cares about the deficit is the biggest single myth in American politics.  Why isn't the Obama campaign making this very easy case????!!!!

    Forward thinking!

    by TheC on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:28:39 AM PDT

  •  Paul Krugman used to reference this document (4+ / 0-)

    to illustrate how fiscally responsible the so called "tax and spend" Hippies were during the liberal age of "New Deal Socialism.  http://www.census.gov/...

    If you look at the next to last column, the ratio of the National Debt to GDP falls from 121 % in 1946 to only 32.5 % in fiscal year 1981, and then with the advent of Reaganomics and the new conservative age we see the ratio begin to climb when the G.O.P. is in power and decline when the Dems are in power.

    The benefit for this strategy for the Republicans is that they redistribute wealth upward with their profligate policies, and then they benefit when out of power since the democrats have "no choice" but to reject New Deal and Great Society politics and programs.

    Look no farther than the upcoming "Grand Bargain," where Barack Obama will "tweak" Social Security in the name of fiscal responsibility.

    If you've got the time check out David Dayen's analysis (and click the links within) of a great post by political science professor Corey Robin.  http://news.firedoglake.com/...

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:34:51 AM PDT

  •  You can't make them believe facts (7+ / 0-)

    Truthiness is all that counts these days. If we could win on pure facts then no race would be up for grabs. I can tell my right-wing friend that deficits exploded under the GOP and she will tell me THAT'S NOT TRUE. I can bombard her facts, figures and charts but as a true believer she will tell me THAT'S NOT TRUE.

    You see, Bill and Sean and Rush have told her otherwise.

    And as Barack Obama found out the hard way in the last debate, there is no way to argue against truthiness.

    And to be completely cynical -- when one guy is offering reason and the other promises unicorns and rainbows...

    •  I'm running into the same problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, DSPS owl

      They either believe the lies, period, and/or when you try to explain the numbers, their eyes glaze over and they want to change the subject.  

      You can lead a horse to water, but....

      It's very frustrating.

      I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

      by KayCeSF on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:57:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh well (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, lgmcp, hungrycoyote, elwior, DSPS owl

    As we know the President doesn't watch cable news. People who think being correct is something that matters are deluded, as I think Rachel is acknowledging.

    When Katrina hit and the Bush people realized they had a problem they hadn't planned for, they hilariously tried to get him up to speed by showing him a DVD of excerpted television news reports about current events. What I wouldn't give for one person on Obama's team, just one, to be pushing for a compendium of Rachel's best comments to be shown to Barack.

    Instead we have a sandbagging awaiting the President today, and he's going to be hard pressed to keep things on his terms. Hostile opponent, hostile moderator, audience questions selected by hostile polling organization presumably to amplify the hostility. It could be a long night folks.

  •  Republicans Don't Know Money (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, hungrycoyote, elwior, DSPS owl

    This is the message I've tried to get out for the last year. Rachel's clip just adds fuel to my argument.

    Over and over Republicans try to convince us they should be given the public reins. But when we do they always run us into more debt and usually crash the economy in the process. They have no conceivable idea what they're doing.

    It's time that we simply stopped buying their arguments. Democrats often get it wrong, but not with such tenacity and single-minded drive to fail.

    It's simple: Republicans don't know money. Don't trust them with yours.

  •  I got to change my voting registration (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, My Spin, hungrycoyote

    from NY to OH without physically moving.  No no, nothing fraudulent.  Overseas citizens who have never lived in the US vote where their parents last resided, and my folks moved to Columbus in 2009.

    So now there's maybe a one in a hundred million chance my vote could swing the presidential!  Still better odds than getting Boardwalk in that stupid McDonalds Monopoly.

    Many of us "lifelong expats" aren't even aware that we're eligible to vote in presidentials.  We lean heavily Democratic, but few of us have permanent addresses in swing states.  Toronto and London are the big organized hubs of overseas meetups, but even Montreal has a good number.

  •  Ok, I'm a Republican (in name only now) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, elwior

    and I still consider myself a fiscal conservative.   I understand the point Rachel is making but there is a reason why Republicans are more trusted on the deficit/debt issue.  Republicans give it lip service and Democrats, by and large, do not.

    Now, actions do matter more than words and the record of the Republicans is pretty abysmal.  But while Rachel wants to tout the Democrats record (well Obama's and Clinton's) on the deficit, it's pretty crappy as well.  

    Another way to put it, I'm 41, I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old.  Here is the future I see that we are handing my kids.... we have burnt through all the cheap oil and are about to start burning through the hard to get oil and the unconventional oil.  In the process of that, we have put our kids on course with drastic climate change.  On top of that we have burdened them with 16 trillion worth of debt and entitlement programs that favor my generation and the older generations at my kids expense.

    Rachel and progressives want to point the finger at Republicans.  Republicans point their finger at the Dems.  I just want us to deal with these issues in a serious and sober fashion and what that means is that there are things that I need to be willing to give up.  I'm willing to sacrifice to solve these problems.  Even though I'm a conservative I'll accept higher taxes on me and my family (I'm well below the top 10 percent in earners FWIW).  And I'm willing to cut some of my promised benefits (ie SS and Medicare).  What are YOU willing to give up to solve these problems?  That is the question each of us has to answer but no politician is asking anything of us.  We all want others to sacrifice and pay for our "sins".

    Where are the grown ups?

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:44:13 AM PDT

    •  Well, this is so your children will have SS when (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, elwior, Sychotic1

      they get old.  It is a multidimensional social insurance program.  Everyone that works pays in fairly unless you are super rich.

      On top of that we have burdened them with 16 trillion worth of debt and entitlement programs that favor my generation and the older generations at my kids expense.
      It is not SS or other social safety nets that have created the deficit.  It is Bushes two wars and Medicare part D that were put on the credit card.  Also, wages are the source of funding our social safety nets.  Wages have been going down while profits and productivity have gone up for the last 30 years.  Last year, less than the top 1% soaked up 93% of the wealth created in this country.  That is what is putting us in the hole.
      •  That is multi-generational SS program. (0+ / 0-)

        not multi-dimensional.

      •  Even though I'm conservative I too want (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, elwior, qofdisks

        SS and Medicare for my generation and my kids and their kids, etc.  So we are in agreement there.  The other thing that I want is for each generation to receive a fair deal.    We all have different notions of fair but I would argue by way of analogy on how we could possibly define fair.

        If we had a pie in front of us and you and I were to share that pie a "fair" way to go about splitting it would be for one person to cut the pie and the other person choose what portion they want.  Well, we have allocated the costs of SS and Medicare and we have historical data on what the benefits have been and what they are expected to be in the future.  We could come up with a number of what each generation is expected to contribute and what each generation is expected to take out of the system.  So that each generation would have a number that says for every dollar contributed you can be expected to receive x dollars in benefits.

        If you did this calculation for the "Greatest generation", the boomers, Gen X and the kids of today what do you think the math would tell you?    And how much of a deviation would you allow in order to be considered "fair"?  I think I have a rough idea of how that pie was cut up and I think I know what slice I would choose and what I believe is that very few of us would change places with the way the pie is being cut up for today's kids.

        That's not in my value system but very few of us are willing to do much to stop it and, truth be told, I have done far too little as well.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:46:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you want to talk about deferred gratification (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, elwior

      and investing in our long-term future, then you certainly can't talk to Republicans.  Though they claim to fetishize investment, what they really care about it profits, and short-term ones at that.  

      Obama has an excellent vision for the long term, IMO.  But he has to keep relatively quiet about shared sacrifice and deferred gratification, because the electorate is less prudent.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:42:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've already given enough (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, elwior, Sychotic1

      I am 50.  I have seen the delinking of wages with productivity.  Americans are twice as productive today as during the 1970s but median wages have been flat.  Somebody has gotten all the benefits of that productivity.  You know the top one percent, the ones who post pics of their $100,000 bar tabs on the Rich kids of Instagram.  See http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/   See how the other half lives.

      It wasn't that long ago we had a surplus and the national debt was on path to extinction by 2010, but George W. and Alan Greenspan and Dems with no spine pissed it away on tax cuts for the wealthy and two unfunded wars.

      You expect me to put up with half my pay being taken by the top one percent, deficits run up by the rich and for the rich, AND you want to cut my Social Security benefits, and Medicare.  Let's see my 401 (k) took a hit the last four years, I  have never had a defined benefit pension plan.  Every year I get my employer health benefits cut since my health costs are a liability.  My state cuts funding for higher education so I pay $30,000 a year (and rising) per kid in an attempt to buy them the credentials to stay in the precarious middle class.Why don't don't you just get rid of my Veteran's benefits, too.

      "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

      by Illinibeatle on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:45:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think I hear what you are saying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote

        regarding the wealthiest among us.  But I would argue that the math that says that if we just took nearly all the wealth from the top 1 percent we could balance the budget and eliminate the debt is as erroneous as the math that says that you can cut tax rates 20%, increase military spending and, through some loophole eliminations, you can have a revenue neutral tax cut.

        As a military brat I honor your service and thank you for it.  But, no offense intended, it seems that your attitude that you have given enough is pretty pervasive in our country.  Increase other people's taxes but not mine.  Cut other people's benefits but not mine.  We all want a free lunch and when we don't get it we force our kids to pick up the tab by putting it on the national credit card.

        You are sacrificing for your kids and that's great and very responsible.  I think we need more sacrificing for our kids collectively because IMHO we really are giving them the short end of the stick.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:27:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would be happy to pay more taxes (0+ / 0-)

          but not until I see the richest among us (the 1 percent and the corporations) pay their fair share.  Not until I see wallstreet reform and the end of too big to fail.  Once the biggest offenders have taken their (rightful) hit, I will pony up my piece.

          "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

          by Sychotic1 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:28:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have my absentee ballot (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    distraught, KayCeSF, hungrycoyote, elwior

    I LIKE to do early voting, I LIKE standing in line and talking to people, but with the ridiculous length of our ballot this year and the shortened early voting period, I figured I'd better vote by mail.  

    I'm nervous about actually mailing it though, I may just drive down to the SoE's office and deliver it in person, if they will let me.  

    I filled out all my candidate races, our retention of judges and am working my way through the constitutional amendments (everything I've been able to research is telling me to vote NO on all of them), and I have a few local races to make a decision on (I don't necessarily vote a straight party ticket for things like Sheriff, county commission, town council, mayor and stuff like that - sometimes there are two crooks running and I won't vote for either of them!)  

    But the day it came in the mail, I opened it and filled in Obama / Biden right away :)  

    "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

    by Ricochet67 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:57:25 AM PDT

    •  FWIW I was told that The League of Women (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      Voters recommends voting no on all of the Amendments. The only one I wondered about was the one about lowering property taxes for Veterans. When I mentioned this to my husband he said, "It's probably a good idea, but we don't need a constitutional amendment to do it."

      The legislature can give Veterans the break on property taxes via a bill. So, I'm voting NO on all the Amendments.

      I'm also voting yes to retain all three Supreme Court justices. The last thing we need is Rick Scott appointing severely conservative judges to the Florida Supreme Court.

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:59:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup, I'm KEEPING our SC justices, too! (0+ / 0-)

        And after reading everything about the Amendments, I'm voting NO on all of them - all the reports are saying it's too piecemeal and if we want to change any of the real estate tax structure, it shouldn't be piecemeal, it should be thoughtfully put together based on input from every county.  

        "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

        by Ricochet67 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:13:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even Gibbs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, elwior

    gives Republicans too much credit.  He talked about how Republicans want to give massive tax cuts to the wealthy "and hope that it trickles down" to everyone else.  That couldn't be more wrong.  Republicans don't hope that the middle class benefits from anything, that's just what they say because they have to appear to care about the middle class of they won't get more than 1% of the vote.  Republicans don't care at all about the middle class.  They're not dumb, they know that "trickle-down" is total BS.  It's all about appearing to not be the greedy assholes they are and trying to make the middle class think that they really are trying to do something for them.  But they couldn't care less if the entire middle class because destitute, which is clear by watching what they do rather than listening to what they say.  Their policies are designed to increase the wealth gap in this country, not decrease it.

    It's not even that they don't want the middle class to do better, it is that they don't care about the middle class and whether or not they do better.  They myopically only care about the 1%.  Period.  If the middle class turned out to actually do better under their policies (which they won't), it would be entirely beside the point, they're not in it for the middle class, they're in it for the 1% and only the 1%.  Everything they say about doing things to benefit the middle class are just window dressing in order to get those votes and they don't even believe the crap their trying to sell to the middle class because again, they're not dumb.  They can't be honest about their agenda of they wouldn't get those votes.  They have to create a ruse that illustrates that they do care about the middle class when they most certainly do not or they'd never get elected to do the bidding of the 1%.  The 1% supports them financially because they are in on the ruse, just re-watch Romney's closed door fundraiser video where he talks about the 47% and assures them in so many words that his campaign talk about the middle class is just a ruse if you have any doubts.

    That's why Republicans have closed-door fundraisers, if they were open to the public, the public might figure out the ruse.  Those fund-raisers are all about assuring the GOP's 1% donors that they're really in it just for them and that they shouldn't take seriously the things they say outside of those closed doors about trying to help the middle class.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:28:59 AM PDT

  •  I agree Rachel Rocked this issue last night (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, KayCeSF, hungrycoyote, elwior

    I also think the Gibbs interview was fabulous -- if he doesn't go back and talk to the president and pass this on he's not doing his job.  This segment was easy to  understand even for low information voters -- really easy to read chart and easy to understand language.

    She really rocked this issue last night.

    Thank you so much for putting it all in this diary.

    Tipped and reccd -- let's get this one to the top of the rec list so the campaign will see it.

  •  Jennifer Granholm explained exactly what Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, hungrycoyote, elwior, msdrown

    needs to say:
    http://current.com/...
    [note: 30-second ad] better than I have heard it explained by anyone else. You don't win by being a policy wonk on-camera.  You win by explaining the stark choice between two visions of the American future, the "I've got mine, you're on your own" America espoused Romney and the GOP, and an America in which we take care of each other as well as ourselves.

    Granholm was born in Canada, but if she were running for president it wouldn't be close.

  •  Makes me really wonder if (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, DMentalist, elwior, DSPS owl

    Repugs are purposely wreaking havoc in the deficit so they can bankrupt the government that they hate so much. They don't really seem to grasp the inherent connection of "government" and its citizens.

  •  Gibbs and perhaps even President Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, elwior, DSPS owl

    don't understand that when they start talking, as Gibbs did in the interview with Rachel, -- when they talk about numbers the average American's eyes glaze over.  Most people do not understand the details they are trying to explain to compare what Obama would do (has done) vs. Romney.  And I'm not even sure Gibbs got what Rachel was saying needs to be said, because he kept on with the detailed mathematical explanation, even while he may have thought he was simplifying his own remarks.  Nuh uh.

    It's very frustrating to me, because I know just in talking about this issue alone, the deficit, people's eyes glaze over.

    Rachel obviously gets it that this needs to be simplified.  She did a great job last night, but I was amused because I was thinking, "how many people aren't even concentrating on what she's saying?"  That's how dumbed down this nation has become.  Voters want quick soundbites, and if it "sounds" good, oh well, then that must be right. Unfortunately, it seems Romney is convincing more just by 'simply' lying.

    I feel for our President.  Everyone send him a whole lot of positive energy, tonight!

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:38:27 AM PDT

  •  Remember: There wouldn't *be* studies if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    Romney actually said what he'd do.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:00:02 AM PDT

  •  Attributed to Vladimir Lenin: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, DSPS owl

    "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."

  •  I can't believe this country is so stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, elwior

    After watching 8 years of Republican policies blow up the deficit, common sense dictates that this myth would die the same death that the "Republicans being strong on terror" myth sort of did.

    •  one would think, huh. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, elwior, DSPS owl

      I'm getting tired of waiting for people to wake up.  Too many decades, I guess, of watching the stupid in this country continue down the same wrong road.  

      Having said that, we have a lot on our side, a fabulous man leading this country, and I believe he's going to win this election!!!!!

      I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

      by KayCeSF on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:32:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm voting early and often. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote
  •  She wasn't so 'darn good' at her job (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote

    when she, Schultz and Mathews got hysterical and decided to go after Obama like he was well Mitt Romney after the first debate.  That was definitely an embarrassing spectacle.

    You don't over the top trash the person who brought you to the dance.

  •  Don't smack her! (0+ / 0-)

    An understated terrorist fist bump will do the trick.

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 12:07:42 PM PDT

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