Thursday, August 30, 2012

Live Blog: Mitt's Speech

Mitt Romney is kinda creepy. He's bad at making it look like he's not reading a teleprompter. Looking for something substantive, but feel like it's just talking points.

Mitt started Bain to help businesses. See Matt Taibbi's takedown of Bain—although inflammatory and liberal and crazy in all of the traditional ways, Taibbi is good at researching and his evidence for how Bain functions is solid. Take a look.

Mormons don't have a hell. Outer darkness. Blatant Protestant pandering. Mild but substantive annoyance regarding a figure of speech. Why doesn't Mitt celebrate his religion and its compelling take on the after-life?

Worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? Actually it was one of the better recoveries. I mean, there were a lot of things that happened that stifled the recovery—like people who wanted to deregulate and defund out of control finance industries.

Taking risk and striving. And about dreams. And the American Free Enterprise System. SYSTEM? Sounds awfully socialist. Guess Mitt doesn't believe we built that. Speaking of “we built it” I find it odd that the rallying cry of the Republicans this year is one, a response to the Democrats rather than a philosophical motto originating out of the GOP, and two, that it's based on a blatantly out of context quote that celebrates the same things that “we built it” supposedly refutes.

Better off four years ago line...hmmm...a little analysis shows that the quote is a mixed bag. Certainly many economic indicators show a “worse off” status, but what's important to remember is that legislation directly aimed at job creation—any legislation at all really—has been stifled in Congress and not at the level of the president. Least pieces of legislation passed and most partisan Congress unwilling to negotiate creates the circumstances we have now. Also, please read Winner Take All Politics for an analysis as to why these conditions are a decades long trend and not a four year one.

America needs jobs. Of course. But how?

I don't think any of Mitt's assertions about the pressures of the middle class are challenged. It's all about his approach. And his approach, while still fuzzy around the edges, does seem to indicate that many burdens would actually be pushed onto the middle and lower classes instead of the reverse.

Mitt, frankly there is no way that a small business will have more taxes to pay. This country continues to craft legislation that gives small businesses great advantages. Unless his definition of small business is actually the government definition of a medium to large business. In that case there are lots of loopholes etc that need to be looked at. Especially because these businesses often exploit dubious loopholes that are estimated to keep billions of taxes away from a government that sorely needs it. Especially if we are going to expand our military as Mitt suggests.

Can't type fast enough to keep up with the dubious claims. Suffice it to say that all I keep wondering is why does it feel like the attitude is not actually about crafting solutions but winning? I'm uncomfortable with a dichotomous mindset such as that where the only way to win is to defeat someone. It seems so archaic.

Energy independence is NOT going to happen by 2020. Markets would collapse if we did. How? Well, if we were to start drilling like there was no tomorrow and truly exploited enough resources to be energy independent then the price for those units of energy would drop to a point where businesses would no longer be profitable. Unless there were substantial subsidies and tax breaks, or even a nationalized energy company, energy independence in a 'free market' remains a mythology. Funny how economics only gets us so far.

Education sounds great, but don't we need government programs for economically disadvantaged children? If we don't how do you propose to help children from broken or near broken homes? Who or what organizations have the money, impetus, and ability to help all American children and not just those from stable middle and upper class homes? And why can't the government pay more for education? If it is the government that will be footing increased funding and more stringent programs, then how do you propose to pay for it while simultaneously cutting government size?

Better trade? Economic consequences via tariffs? Not sure where he's going with that. I understand that outsourcing jobs sucks, but what course of action can we take that wouldn't be a violation of our treaties or make us manipulators of markets? If the government is doing these things won't that require regulation and regulatory agencies?

What is wrong with China? Is it their human rights violations? Under a Romney presidency what concrete steps would the US take to address human rights concerns without affecting the American economy? Is war an option? If it is, how would we pay for war and what would be the consequences of going to war with a nuclear armed nation—it would be the first war in the history of man where the two sides had nuclear arms.

Balanced budget is great but you need to raise revenue period. How about taxing capital gains? If not, how is America going to balance its budget without increasing taxes and by following through on all the projects you propose?

Repeal and replace Obamacare? All indications of an alternative plan look strikingly similar to Obamacare as is. You'd replace it with the same stuff. If there are changes to be made wouldn't it be easier to legislate those instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water?

Mitt, you are a homophobe. Sorry. There's really no nice way of putting that. I don't mean to be so direct and inflammatory but there is no scenario where you are truly tolerant when you exclude so many people from your definition of family. Also, what about the many non-traditional families like single parents? What are you going to do for them?

Saving the planet obviously hurts families. The assertion that trying to stop sea levels from rising and curbing global warming are somehow hurting “families” is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention scientifically ignorant. I try really hard to be open about this but global warming is real and it's going to hurt the economy badly. By turning a blind eye we risk security of food, defense, and population.

Obama's international apology tour. WTF? There are no words for that one. Blatantly wrong and kind of ridiculous. Obama has shown himself to be a deft foreign policy president capable of taking down the most wanted man in America as well as repairing frayed ties with nations all while pulling us out of two quagmires created by the last presidency. International attitude polls show we are consistently better liked as well as respected. No apology tour could possibly do that. And if there were an apology tour and those were the results, what is there to be ashamed of. In the international sphere the US is consistently getting what it wants more often and without costing America more money, whatever Obama is doing he's getting excellent results.

The chants of USA don't really have much context.0

War and economy and productivity and family confidence and children! Not sure if any of that meant anything.

How do we care for the poor, sick, and elderly when you want to cut all those programs?

Livin' in America!

Apparently there are only white people in America. Seriously, where are the minorities in the crowd?