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On the 11th anniversary of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, Kurt Eichenwald's account in The New York Times of classified security briefings leading up to those attacks reminds us of the gross incompetence and recklessness of George W. Bush and his administration:

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it. [...]

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert.

Meanwhile, The New York Times editorial board takes Camp Romney to task for deliberately trying to confuse voters about policy positions:
On issue after issue raised in the first weekend of interviews after the conventions, Romney and Ryan actively tried to obscure their positions, as if a clear understanding of their beliefs about taxes, health care or spending would scare away anyone who was listening. Aware that President Obama’s policies in these areas are quite popular once people learn about them, the Republicans are simply sowing confusion.
Matt Miller in The Washington Post writes writes about the modern GOP philosophy of wealth worship and argues that the aftermath of 9/11 put this culture of greed on full display:
[S]omething snapped in the Republican mind after 9/11.  We’ve now put a trillion dollars of war on our kids’ credit card, with Republicans leading the charge for tax cuts for the top the entire time.

In a saner era, the big 2001 Bush tax cuts enacted a few months before September 11 would have been immediately revisited, because we were now a nation at war. [...] And in a saner era, a Republican presidential candidate worth $250 million who paid taxes at the rate of 13.9 percent on $20 million in income would never make further tax cuts for the top the centerpiece of his agenda when we still have nearly 80,000 troops in Afghanistan. He’d see it as unseemly. [...]

What were Republicans thinking? What is Mitt Romney thinking now? Only they know for sure, but what’s clear is that Republican leaders see no moral disconnect between the sacrifices borne by the tiny fraction of Americans who serve in the military (and their families), and repeated tax windfalls showered on a relative handful of well-to-do families at the same time.

In a bad sign for Romney, even conservatives like Michael Gerson at The Washington Post see the writing on the wall and are pointing out the failure of Mitt Romney's campaign strategy:
With less than two months until the election, Romney is left with dwindling opportunities to reshape the dynamic of the race. This places extraordinary pressure on him in the presidential debates that commence on Oct. 3. He was an able debater during the Republican primaries. Obama is a weaker debater than his reputation — often professorial and elliptical. But Romney has the harder task. He must do more than hold his own. He will need to shake and shift public attitudes. And it is not easy to be aggressive during a debate without appearing overbearing or desperate.

This analysis requires an admission. Obama’s political strategy has generally worked.

In Chicago, tens of thousands of teachers are on strike demanding fair working conditions and better schools. Chris Rhomberg at CNN points out that we need more strikes to hold employers accountable:
During the 1970s, an average of 289 major work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers occurred annually in the United States. By the 1990s, that had fallen to about 35 per year. And in 2009, there were no more than five.

The decline in strikes cannot be explained solely by declining union membership. According to a study by sociologist Jake Rosenfeld, unionization among private-sector full-time employees fell by 40% between 1984 and 2002. But the drop in total strike frequency was even greater, falling by more than two-thirds. [...] For some, the disappearance of strikes may seem like a good thing, an end to the disruptions and occasional inconvenience they may cause. But there are more serious consequences to the loss of workers' rights to organize and to strike.

The decline of unionization has contributed to the rise of economic inequality in the U.S. over the past several decades. More than that, it also signals a historic de-democratization of the institutions that traditionally served to hold corporations accountable and govern our working life, from the scope of collective bargaining on the job to the protection for workers' rights under the law. [...] For the sake of our economic and political future, however, America would be better off if we had more strikes.

Finally, The Philadelphia Inquirer takes on Mitt Romney's health care policy twist:
In a move widely interpreted as a bid for undecided, middle-of-the-road voters, the GOP presidential nominee on Sunday said he'd retain provisions that assure young adults coverage on their parents' health plans, as well as the pivotal rule that people with preexisting conditions cannot be denied coverage.

Even so, Romney hasn't offered much reason to believe that he's become a man of deeply held convictions on health reform or any other policy question.

If anything, the Romney course-change on health care only amplifies the problem voters have had in trying to grasp where the candidate stands on many issues, whether it's tax cuts for the wealthy, balancing the budget, abortion, or the future of Medicare. After all, it was a Romney campaign aide who once compared his likely policy adjustments to fiddling with an Etch A Sketch.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Eugene Robinson: "Romney's health-care dither" (12+ / 0-)

    an examination of a Wash Post op ed which takes the Republican apart

    I invite you to read this post in which I explore the column

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:34:32 AM PDT

  •  Feigned Concern for Children Grates on Me (24+ / 0-)

    OMG!

    Striking teachers destroy the lives of 30,000 children!

    A few weeks' strike by teachers will have far less impact on children than the push to dismantle free, universal public education.

    Both parties want to take down our public education system, which is one of our nation's most crucial pieces of infrastructure.

    All to distribute a few more hundreds of millions of dollars to the 1% who hope to profit from privatization schemes.

    I applaud the teachers for standing up and taking a strong position on their demands. Teachers who are competitively paid and have the protection of union membership and tenure are better teachers.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:34:37 AM PDT

    •  the Kochs and their running dog lackies (8+ / 0-)

      are busy in NC.  For some information on the efforts there to dismantle the public school system, there is this (most egregious were the efforts of a school board chairman to re-segregate public schools while he was a member of the board of a private company which set up charter and other private schools)
      http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/...
      http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/...
      http://teriyamada.wordpress.com/...

      •  Thank You for the NC Update (5+ / 0-)

        This isn't about kids -- it's about what adults want, mostly to take the money that is going into public education and put it in private pockets.

        But I also don't doubt that some people are hoping to achieve various types of social engineering -- for example, to keep Black and Hispanic students away from their kids.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:48:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it is the same in SC and other Southern states (5+ / 0-)

          In SC, the Koch brothers are funding several university departments with the proviso that the professors have to toe the corporate line and teach what the Kochs want taught.  In SC it was Clemson that was infiltrated by the Koch's operatives but other universities in NC, GA and FL have also succumbed to the siren song of unrestricted funding

          •  Ugh (9+ / 0-)

            I think that this is part of that same idea:

            http://www.bloomberg.com/...

            Allison’s crusade to counter what he considers the anti- capitalist orthodoxy at universities has produced results -- and controversy. Some 60 schools, including at least four campuses of the University of North Carolina, began teaching Rand’s book after getting the foundation money. Faculty at several schools that have accepted Allison’s terms are protesting, saying donors shouldn’t have the power to set the curriculum to pursue their political agendas, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its June issue.

            "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

            by bink on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:55:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yep and the faculty can look for a Night of the (4+ / 0-)

              Long Knives or Kristal Nacht, as if they do protest, they will see the faculty board emasculated, departments reorganized and protesting profs fired.

              For a model, I suggest the Southeast Baptist Seminary or Erskine College where professors who refused to sign a statement that they believed the Bible is literally true and the Word of God were fired.  One English prof with over 20 years of teaching experience was fired over this and the Seminary fired all teachers who refused to accept the Bible literally.  Look for similar actions in business schools and economic depts

          •  The sequestration of dollars is not a happenstance (5+ / 0-)

            The object is to use currency as a tool to dominate the population. Instead of being used as a traditional weapon to threaten to inflict physical harm, if orders are not complied with, currency is being used as a negative threat to withhold sustenance and necessary social services from individuals who do not comply with directives. While the sword can be defended against, there is no defense against deprivation when all natural resources have been rendered exclusives, spoiled or prohibited to public access via money.

            We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:27:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is a defence (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Heart of the Rockies, hannah

              And we're seeing part of it in Chicago right now.  Mutual aid is the other part.

              The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:54:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Indeed, once we identify the process, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                entlord, AoT

                we can interdict it. The currency is, after all, ours. Congress has been at asked with managing it. Their preference for managing people, rather than the money tells us they are bad stewards. Like the "unjust steward" in the bible, they are doling the master's assets out to someone else.
                THat is frauds. It is not outright theft because they aren't helping themvelves directly.
                Conservatives are all about
                Indirection
                Triangulation
                Ulterior motives
                Deception

                These are very primitive traits, exhibited by lots of animal species. Perhaps, rather than conservative, they should be considered as throw-backs.

                We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

                by hannah on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:28:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  As public support for schools declines, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            entlord, Dretutz

            they look for funds elsewhere.  And this undermines the independence and fairness of the system.

            As a retired faculty member from a large public university, I can attest to the fact that private industry, via all sorts of monetary incentives, has been undermining the independence and intellectual integrity of university faculty for decades.  I am in one of the hard sciences, so we felt the influence of bio tech companies, land developers, geology and hydrology firms, energy companies (alternative and traditional) and so on down the line.

            In the first half of the 20th century there was a countrywide move to provide free or inexpensive public services:  libraries, parks, schools, transportation, etc.  Beginning in the 80's, we've had a trend towards privatizing everything.  Leeches and parasites have taken over our society.

            •  yep and educators remain fractured (0+ / 0-)

              We see very little support for public school teacher strikes from university professors.  Years ago in grad school, I remember a prof explaining to us that a teacher had a job but that a professor had a career, in explaining the difference in professionalism between a teacher and university prof.  Until educators can unite under a single rubric, they are doomed to failure, even if, during that time, they do achieve some victories, they will find the victories to be Pyrrhic victories  

              •  More to the point, I think, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dretutz

                is that university careers (beginning but not ending with attainment of tenure) depend on extra-mural funding for research which can lead to publications and employment of students.  Especially in the sciences, where research these days can cost really big bucks and often requires whole teams of workers.  So faculty and departments cannot afford, quite literally, to bite the hands that feed them.

                •  we are coming from different disciplines (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Heart of the Rockies

                  but research and publish or perish is especially strong in your area, as my daughter is working on her advanced degree in Marine Biology and even as a grad student she is acutely aware of the process of attaining funding

                  I remember when Jim Dickey hit it big with "Deliverance" though some of his colleagues such as Bruccoli and others who viewed the money as somehow tainted.  But yeh, you are right about profs not being able to bite the hand that feeds them, literally

                  •  I'd be curious to know (0+ / 0-)

                    with whom and where your daughter is studying.  I have numerous connections in her field.  You can kos mail me, if you wish.

                    •  She is currently at Stony Brook University (0+ / 0-)

                      completing  her Masters.  She is undecided as to where to do her PhD work though she has been invited to present a paper at a conference next month (sorry to not be more specific but the message was filtered through a couple of siblings who always have their own spin on matters)

                      Thank you for your interest.

        •  A voucher plan to transfer tax money to (6+ / 0-)

          flat-earth religious schools nearly passed this summer in NC and will if we don't have a magical election in Nov.

          "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

          by smiley7 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:00:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yep, the segregationist school board chair (5+ / 0-)

            lost out but it was a narrow victory and had it not been a Southern state still under DOJ supervision, it may have been implemented.  I note that those states still under the DOJ for past egregious behavior are now trying to have that aspect of the Civil Rights Act thrown out.  TX recently tried this with the ploy that while TX had a racist history, there was currently no racism in the state so the DOJ's job was done    

          •  I wonder if this push to defund (5+ / 0-)

            public education has anything to do with the subject of the David Brooks column today, a review of Hanna Rosin's book The End of Men.  

            Brooks begins his article with a discussion of why boys are falling behind in educational achievement and how this is affecting their ability to keep pace with women in earning college and post-graduate degrees and future job possibilities.

            In elementary and high school, male academic performance is lagging. Boys earn three-quarters of the D’s and F’s. By college, men are clearly behind. Only 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees go to men, along with 40 percent of master’s degrees.

            Thanks to their lower skills, men are dropping out of the labor force. In 1954, 96 percent of the American men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. Today, that number is down to 80 percent. In Friday’s jobs report, male labor force participation reached an all-time low.

            He then discusses Rosin's take on the situation
            But, in her fascinating new book, “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin posits a different theory. It has to do with adaptability. Women, Rosin argues, are like immigrants who have moved to a new country. They see a new social context, and they flexibly adapt to new circumstances. Men are like immigrants who have physically moved to a new country but who have kept their minds in the old one. They speak the old language. They follow the old mores. Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.

            This theory has less to do with innate traits and more to do with social position. When there’s big social change, the people who were on the top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.

            The article is an excellent discussion of what is happening to the educational attainment of males in our society and how this is changing the face both of academia and the workplace.  Unlike the usual Brooks's indefensible political ramblings, the article is actually worth the time it takes to read it.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:39:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You are so right about ALEC in NC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

        by smiley7 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:55:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rahmbo: Union-Buster backed by Chicago Tribune (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bink, AoT

      with their idiot headlines.

      80 % of success is showing up

      Corporate is not the solution to our problem

      Corporate is the problem

      by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:43:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Teachers strike CONSTANTLY in Europe, and the kids (5+ / 0-)

      are alright. Hell, when I was studying in France the students would strike with the teachers and vice versa.

      •  Did it seem like their educations were better? (0+ / 0-)

        If so, why?

        Just curious.

        Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

        by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:28:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I dont know if I would be qualified to say they (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lurkyloo

          were better or not, but there is different mentality about education there. When you are a student, your job is to be a student. It's not to squeeze a few classes in when you can between shifts at McDonalds and Starbucks in a vain attempt to pay off half of your tuition. And teachers are union & there is no question that they are entitled to fair wages and work conditions. But if they don't get it, they strike, and the people support them.

    •  Human husbandry, having exploited adult (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bink, Heart of the Rockies

      Education is now moving into the elementary field. The attractant is always the same -- a captive population. Children are additionally ideal targets because they have no rights.
      Many people don't want to hear that. But, legally speaking, children are the property of their parents and parents are supposed to be grateful that they are permitted to have them. That children belong to themselves is not appreciated by authoritarians who've to have someone to lord it over.

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:16:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  11 years ago this morning (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Churchill, JoCoDem, wishingwell

    is the title of this post which is a combination of looking back and considering the present.

    I invite you to read.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:35:59 AM PDT

  •  Are you better off than you were eleven years ago? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Churchill, One Opinion
    •  Guess I was a Repub sympathizer. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      Bush's unnecessary and fiscally unwise tax cuts threw some doubt in mind, and Iraq finished the job.

      It wasn't just that Bush was an idiot -- I knew that from the beginning -- it was that everybody who said "wait a minute! Is this the right way to go?" was tarred as a "big spending lib" or "unamerican."

      To my mind, that's when Teabaggerism first raised its ugly head though, I guess, Rush's "ditto-heads" were probably the first modern manifestation of the movement, which has its roots in the country's earliest days.

      Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

      by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:53:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Condi: bin Laden determined to strike within U.S. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:41:46 AM PDT

    •  from some of the documents captured when (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      he was killed, bin Laden was planning on striking the train system.  It appears that 9/11 more or less shot al Qaeda's wad as they sacrificed their brightest and best in the planes; they sacrificed the most committed and most valuable members.  al Qaeda could not replicate the planes again, so it appears bin Laden decided to attack our rail system.

      It appears that bin Laden never visited the US himself and in 9/11, he lost those members who had the most first hand experience in the US.  In addition, his jihad also cost him several advisers so there is a question of how much intelligence he had regarding the US and how accurate it was.  For that reason, it seems some of his plans for strikes in the US heartland were a bit odd.

  •  Memories of 9/11 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, smiley7, wishingwell, alrdouglas

    Here is an article I wrote last year

    and here is a poem

  •  Paul Ryan Agrees with Rahm Emanuel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fishboots, Heart of the Rockies

    re: the Chicago teachers strike.

    Months ago here I stated Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was about to pick the wrong fight in Chicago.

    What is wrong with this picture?

    Paul Ryan = union buster (probably getting campaign money from the Koch Bros). Rahm Emanuel = union buster? he is on record stating "F*** the unions", while Chief of Staff in the Obama administation.

    This is weak. A democrat being anti-union in Chicago doesn't cut it.

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:44:03 AM PDT

    •  What is he trying to do, parlay this into the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole

      governor's mansion? It's easy to beat up on the teacher's union because you can just stand there are feign horror about little Timmy being left on the street. "WHO WILL THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!". Apparently not Rahm Emmanuel, if he thinks the best way to help the children is to fuck over the people that teach and guide them on a daily basis.

      It's harder to fuck over the police and firefighters, but they'll try. They just need a reason.

      •  I Believe that is the case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRobDC, smiley7

        re: parlay this into something larger for himself.

        was the teacher's strike diared on here at all yesterday? i looked at diff points during the day and saw nothing.

        for those who assume this is all about pay for the teachers-- it's not. there are much, much larger issues here.. i.e. are we going to stand by and watch our public school system totally privatized?

        I'll be diaring on this shortly.

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:56:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This started when he pushed for longer schooldays. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        It's been downhill between him and the union ever since.

        Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

        by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:31:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama, Duncan and Emanuel (0+ / 0-)

        were all pals prior to Obama's election, weren't they?

        I consider Duncan and Emanuel to be two among many terrible appointments by Obama. Trying not to think about all my substantive gripes or linger long on what I fear will come about in a second term because Romney and Ryan would be so much worse.  I've just put my anger and fears in a lock box for the time being.

        Yes, I will vote for Obama and also gave his campaign a sizeable
        donation.  But my eyes are wide open.  And this time I have little hope.

  •  Pimping a 1:00pm Post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7

    I would like to get as many eyeballs for this unrelated 9-11 post I have in the Que.

    Thanks for any & all support

    RIP  9-11

  •  40 Pres Daily Brief warned bout bin Laden b/f 9/11 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, CoExistNow, fishboots

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:45:40 AM PDT

    •  but that means someone was in charge (3+ / 0-)

      supposedly, when GWB was a baseball executive, his idea of a board meeting was his interrupting whoever was speaking and telling his latest fart joke.

      Supposedly, other members took exception to his clowning so they offered him a raise if he would agree to not attend board meetings.

      GWB took this management style to the WH and implemented it there, as seen by his actions following Katrina

  •  Mitt and Ryan will be hard to debate. (3+ / 0-)

    Their jello-like positions will be hard for Obama and Biden to nail down.

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:46:09 AM PDT

    •  Mitt/AynRyan will be destroyed in debates (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, skillet

      because they have no specifics.  aynRyan will be exposed for being not a real policy wonk.  His workishness is just a bunch of GOP talking points.

      80 % of success is showing up

      Corporate is not the solution to our problem

      Corporate is the problem

      by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:50:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Specifics don't matter in debates. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson

        These aren't real debates, you know, they're the political version of American Idol.

        Still, I don't think the debates will make a huge difference either way, unless somebody really screws up.

        Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

        by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:59:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  GOP convention did not produce a bounce for Mitt (0+ / 0-)

          or if it did, it was a negative bounce in several strategic states.  If the convention cannot produce some sort of bounce, to hope for the debates to produce a significant bounce is wishful thinking

          •  As I said: I don't think the debates will make... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            ....a huge difference unless there's a major meltdown.

            I'm just pointing out the problems the dems will have in debating a shape-shifter like Romney.

            Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

            by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:17:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Mitt and Ryan: 'These are the questions we DON'T (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      want you to ask.....Thank you very much.'

      •  The strategy is just to ignore the question... (4+ / 0-)

        ....and respond with your talking points.

        Even Palin got away with that trick, because the moderators suck and the agreed-upon format encourages that strategy.

        Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

        by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:00:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Romney's going to HAVE TO stake out policy (0+ / 0-)

          positions before the first debate. 'Obama Sux' just ain't gonna cut it.......Also, he should release his fwiggin tax returns.

          •  It should be clear by now that he has no intention (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            ...of releasing anything specific regarding his proposed policies or taxes before the election.

            Obama will have to come up with a better debate strategy than trying to nail jello to the wall, because that's a sure loser.

            Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

            by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:15:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Even when Ryan was challenged in an (0+ / 0-)

              interview about having secret plans he dodged the question.  Did he sound dodgy?  Of course, but he still didn't come up with any kind of answer and I think when interviewers press, some people feel sorry for the interviewee.  Sigh!

    •  we will see as it appears they will repeat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle

      the same GOP talking points they are clinging to now.  These talking points have been totally debunked.  
      For Mitt to embrace these falsehoods would be as foolhardy as comparing himself to JFK during the debate

    •  uh-uh. mitt and paul are too easy to punk. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      the sheer number of digs possible combined with the fact that neither have anything to actually say will mean a massacre.

      A simple line like: "Is that your position today?" by the president. Or: "That sounds nice. Too bad it doesn't actually say anything. the american people deserve some specifics. Here's what we're going to do."

      Are you kidding me?

      cakewalk

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:02:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'll see. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies, Stude Dude

        I guarantee you Mitt will fuzz every position he has and the moderators will let him.

        What's more, because Obama already has specific proposals and legislation on record, Mitt will use that specificity against Obama.

        Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

        by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:09:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they haven't been allowing the fuzz so far. (0+ / 0-)

          not even the GOP.

          it's an odd thing.

          But consider this: there are ways that Obama can go around the mods.

          For example: mitt gives a fuzz answer. mod doesn't ask for specifics. then obama gets the question.

          easy to start out with: "Sure. I;m going to give specifics in my answer because the american people deserve to know, as much as possible, what anyone who is asking to be elected president is proposing. So here's my plan..."

          Remember also, Mitt can try to use these plans to attack Obama but the reality is Obama's plans are POPULAR. Even southern white folks LIKE the provision of "obamacare" once you stop using the language they've been taught to have knee-jerk reactions against.

          I;m not worried. I;m really not. I don;t believe this president or his team are slouches or that they expect the moderators and media to do any heavy lifting. I just don't. If we can see how stupid they are, sure he does.

          For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

          by mdmslle on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:05:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  On one of the MSNBC programs last night (0+ / 0-)

      the topic of moderators was discussed.  Weak moderators are going to be a real problem, as they always have been.

  •  Able debater? (8+ / 0-)
    He [Romney] was an able debater during the Republican primaries.
    If you understand this as continually flipflopping, telling that you're not concerned about the very poor and making 10.000 dollar bets, then you are right. Also, Romney might be looking a stronger debater than he actually is, due too the weakness of his primary opponents, who also made plenty of gaffes.

    BTW: I wouldn't exactly call or insinuate Obama to be a weak debater either. In 2008 he easlily thrice trumped McCain and often got the better of Clinton & co in the primaries as well.

    Obama-Biden in 2012!

    by Frederik on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:46:19 AM PDT

    •  Able Debater using the same metric applied to Ryan (0+ / 0-)

      Can Speak in complete sentences.

      The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

      by JML9999 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:48:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Put some lipstick on that pig. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999
    •  Obama's debate problem is that he isn't good at (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, Heart of the Rockies

      the one-liner soundbites that today's media requires. He is more of a traditional debater, scoring points but not worrying about the knockout. And he does turn very professorial when discussing policy. I don't think that's a bad thing, but in a country where book lernin' is a political liability, it is a weakness.

      •  The last debate I recall him having was when he (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, AoT

        went to that GOP 'gathering' early in his term and wiped the floor with them.

      •  i think we might see a nice combination of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        both these coming debates. I think there has to be a balance between substance and zingers. I'm hoping they're planning to prep him with a few really good ones.

        For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

        by mdmslle on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:05:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll agree with that. (0+ / 0-)

        Also, I think Hillary had him fighting fit by the time he met McCain.

        Now, he's been out of practice for four years.

        Will it show?

        Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

        by Bush Bites on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:11:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are very negative today.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          One Opinion

          wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

          If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

          by Outraged Mom on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 06:10:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have rec'd and supported BB's comments, (0+ / 0-)

            because I think a lot of the hopeful ones are not based in reality and we could be in for some big surprises.  Debates are not Obama's best medium.  The moderators will be no help at all.  Quite the reverse.  A strong debater can generate sympathy for the weaker one.

            I hope that Obama does well and assume BB does as, too.  But my approach is cautious based on past debates.  Spouse and I have seen all of them, beginning with those in 1960. There have been surprises.  So, I am not going to predict that anyone will "wipe the floor" with his opponent.  I am going to watch and then make my judgment.

      •  Neither is Romney (0+ / 0-)

        Neither is Romney good at launching memorable one-liners, except for unintended negative soundbites like his "bet" or "poor" remark which are in fact self-immolation.

        Obama-Biden in 2012!

        by Frederik on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:56:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  On confusing voters: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Penguins Are Cool, AoT

    If Romney and Ryan keep trying to have it both ways; doesn't that make voters rather go with the guy they know? If they try to have multiple positions they end up with none and there is Pres. Obama still telling America what he sees for tomorrow.

    As with all things Romney, another bad reactive strategy.

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:46:34 AM PDT

    •  That's what I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texdude50

      Not a winning strategy to unseat a sitting Pres.  Clinton was successful because he gave specifics, and HW was being attacked by members of his own party for raising taxes, hence, Perot third-party.  Clinton was able to unseat the devil that you know as it were.

  •  Bush admin ignored 40 bin Laden warnings b/f 9/11 (4+ / 0-)

    according to ahe information in the 9/11 "whitewash" commission.  Hard to believe they warned about this and nothing was done, nothing at all.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:47:17 AM PDT

  •  Bush's failures (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Heart of the Rockies

    THe lasting political and national security legacy of the September 11 attacks will forever be the failures and missteps made by an in-over-his-head president and his administration in refusing to take the necessary steps to protect America. The blame for that tragic day lies nowhere other than at the feet of George W. Bush and the GOP foreign policy strategy that took our eyes off of the ball that was the threat of terrorism. When Republicans complain about blaming Bush for 9/11, all you have to is to imagine if an attack had happened on Clinton or Obama's watch and the subsequent reaction from the right wing. A Democrat would have been impeached for the failures of Dubya and his sorry crew. And now Mitt Romney wants to replicate those dark days all over again. Never.  -  principled progressive

  •  Transparency (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    entlord, Heart of the Rockies

    I am simply baffled by the Romney campaign. The constant and blatant "up is down" flip flopping and arrogant disregard of transparency on policy positions (assuming one can nail down such a moving target) is unprecedented.  Both Romney and Ryan, and especially Ryan, looked like utter fools Sunday trying to dodge and weave giving any specifics.  I truly believe the press will push harder because they realize they are being played for fools. I have never been more convinced than now that he will lose and may lose fairly big.

  •  rre: Bush failures pre-9/11 (3+ / 0-)

    Little remembered is that the neocons who set the Bush foreign policy (and their predecessor cold warriors like Jeanne Kirkpatrick) were devestated by the loss of the Soviet Union as the enemy. They did not consider small-bore opponents like jihadists to be worthy opponents or important enough to justify the robust role they wanted the US to play in the world. Condi, the Russian scholar and incompetent "national security advisor", was right there with that.  Bush massively downgraded the anti-terrorism effort and refused to allow the Hart-Rudman report to go to Congress in the spring of 2001.

    It took them a while to pivot to making the case that minor tinpot dictators like Hussein were as dangerous as the defunct Soviet Union and to absurdly tie him into the el Queda movement.  So, they totally missed the real threat (as minor as it was compared to the Soviet Union), but came back with a vengeance when they saw they could use it.

    And you think they (i.e., "we") have learned the lesson?  I give you Iran.

  •  Strikes are simply a way of telling self-centered (0+ / 0-)

    Demanding people "no." We should recognize that the party of no is made up od people who have no self-restraint and need to be told no when they over-reach.
    The one percent have been spoiled by a too forgiving and too generous citizenry.
    Just because some of them do not know what no means, is not a reason to let them have their way.
    Willard's addiction to money is really unseemly.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:08:30 AM PDT

  •  pre-existing conditions - Romney position (3+ / 0-)

    Romney and Ryan are misleading voters about their new-found support for protecting people with pre-existing conditions.  Romney's interview by of all people Jay Leno shows that Romney is talking about maybe a rule (maybe not) that a person could not be dropped from a current medical insurance policy due to a medical condition.  Of course, the person is still at great risk under the Romney plan - if he or she loses a job, or the employer cuts costs and drops medical coverage or the family reaches the policy's dollar limit, etc., etc.   Romney specifically said someone could not buy medical insurance and expect it to cover a pre-existing condition.  Romney refers to that as someone gaming the system.  What a cold-hearted greedy person Mitt Romney is.

  •  Wealth worship...I like that. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Outraged Mom, One Opinion

    It's a theme I need to incorporate into my personal contemplations.

    I have lately been trying to describe these people who call themselves conservatives, but who are, in fact, something else entirely.

    I am an unabashed conservative and by no means a "moderate" -- whatever that may mean.  I believe in small government, free markets.

    I also believe in the vision of our founders, so beautifully articulated in the Declaration of Independence -- all mean created equal, inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    For all some of these people seem to think that the government should do nothing more than provide an army, I note that the Constitution -- a more practical and compromised document than the declaration -- begins "We the people" and , still in that very first sentence,  include an obligation to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for Amercans and their descendants.

    Those are the goals and obligations of a great nation.  They are worth cheering and defending.

    Compare that to the rantings of the new -- what to call them? Tories? Neo-Royalists? New colonialists? Wealthites?

    Do they hold any value higher than fracking the crap out of the countryside so that British Petroleum can make more money along with a handful of wealthy investors?  Did the founders really believe that the country's resources should be depleted so that more Chinese could drive cars?

    They fought a war to throw off the shackles of colonialism. How shameful that their descendants would work so hard to re-forge them.

    Sigh.
    Rant over.
    For now.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 05:47:16 AM PDT

  •  BOATLIFT: the untold tale of 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:22:08 AM PDT

  •  Why don't "opinion makers" talk straight? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    From the quote from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

    If anything, the Romney course-change on health care only amplifies the problem voters have had in trying to grasp where the candidate stands on many issues
    The problem lies not with the voters who can't "grasp where the candidate stands." The problem is that Romney lies. Either he lied to the Republican voters during the primaries, or he is lying to the general voters now. All this talk about "Etch-a-Sketches" and "remaking himself" and "course changes" are just nicey-nice ways of saying he was, is, and will continue to be a liar.

    Someone who is a sociopathic liar should not be elected President. That, and not his policy positions, such as they are, is the underlying problem with Romney. That is what writers and commentators should be pointing out, not this tripe about voters being "confused."

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