Saturday, October 27, 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser

In the 3rd and final (thank goodness) Presidential Debate, the insta-pundits and the snap polls all gave the nod narrowly to Obama, saying he won "on points".  Except, of course, for the CBS poll.  They gave Obama a ridiculously huge win; they've been an outlier from the beginning, showing results way outside what anyone else was reporting.

I gave it to Romney.  This wasn't a high school or college debate, where points are awarded for the forcefulness of the argument and for the lack of a significant riposte from your opponent; where a false charge, left unanswered, still wins points.  I gave it to Romney based on the substance of his arguments, as well as his conduct and demeanor during the debate.

Again, Gov. Romney kept his composure in the face of repeatedly being call a liar by the President.  The same as in the 2nd debate.  He tried to portray Romney as a liar and a flip-flopper on his decisions.  He trotted out the discredited claim that Romney wanted to "let Detroit go bankrupt".  By the way, that title for his op-ed in the New York Times was not written by Mr. Romney, but by an editor.  The President claimed that Romney would have let the auto makers go through liquidation and collapse.  When Romney pointed out that in his column he favored government-backed financial aid for the companies to continue operating after going through bankruptcy and shedding unproductive costs and to assure car owners that their warranties would be honored, Obama said "That's just not true."  Actually, it is.  At the end of his opinion piece he did, in fact, argue for government assistance and loan guarantees for GM and Chrysler after they had gone through the bankruptcy process and shed crippling debt and unsustainable obligations and become more efficient.

The President's behavior was, in a word, un-Presidential.  He was derisive.  He was condescending.  He was snide.  He was snarky. He was profoundly discourteous and unprofessional.  In the debate over the question of national defense and the military, when Romney pointed out that further cuts to the military would affect readiness and the ability to respond to problems around the world, pointing out that we would have fewer ships in the Navy than we did in 1916, Obama responded that we "also have fewer bayonets, and fewer horses.  We have these things called aircraft carriers, that planes can land on; we have boats that can go under water, called nuclear submarines." 

Really, Mr. President?  That's your idea of a proper response?  Aside from being unnecessarily rude, you were also wrong.  The Army has and uses more bayonets now than in WWI and fighting tactics for bayonets are still taught to our military personnel.  We also train personnel on horseback, for deployment in terrain unsuited for motorized transportation (like Afghanistan & Pakistan, for example).  Also, the Navy is crucial to the ability of America to both project strength and to respond to emergencies around the world.  How else to you expect the military to transport men and material to the war zone?  How else could America transport aid to hurricane/earthquake/flood victims in third-world countries?  His response(s) to Mr. Romney's arguments is(are) further and continuing indication(s) of Obama's shallowness of thought and refusal to consider any information that doesn't already align to his preconceptions.

He has now compounded the lowering of the prestige of his office by going on tour promoting "Romnesia" and "getting tough on Big Bird" as reasons not to vote for his opponent.  This is the Presidential election of the United States, not amateur night at the Chuckle Hut.  With almost every public appearance, Obama is making himself and his arguments (and the Office of the President) smaller and smaller; making Gov. Romney much the bigger man.

Many Republican pundits bemoaned the fact that Gov. Romney didn't really get into it with Obama.  That he didn't hammer home the administration's failures around the world, particularly concerning the events in Benghazi, Libya.  As it turns out, making the conscious decision not to do so may have been one of Gov. Romney's shrewdest.  The more information that comes out concerning the events of September 11th and it's aftermath, as well as the administration's response (or lack thereof), the worse the President looks.  And, since Gov. Romney decided not to pursue the subject in the debate, there aren't any sound bites available for the President and his allies to use in an attempt to deflect attention away from themselves and their failures.

As of right now, all of the national polls show Gov. Romney either with a narrow lead or within the margin of error.  The battleground polls show the same, with some truly startling results in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  If you dig into the internals of the polls, it gets even better for Romney, with the trend firmly in his direction in several different metrics.  Barring the collapse of the Romney campaign (or outrageous voter fraud) I'd say the election is Romney's to win or lose.  Obama has shown his true colors, and more and more Americans are beginning to wake up to the destructiveness of his policies.  The only poll that really matters is the one taken on November 6th.  That day will truly decide the course of America's future, for better or worse.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Round 2: A Draw?

Despite all of the fireworks involved, from the increased feistiness of Pres. Obama to the continued pounding away on the economic numbers by Mitt Romney, not much has changed following the 2nd Presidential Debate.  I have it scored as a draw, with perhaps a slight edge to Gov. Romney given that he was outnumbered 2 to 1.

The snap polls taken immediately after the event were inconclusive.  Many of the talking heads said that Pres. Obama won the debate "on points", while two focus groups of undecided voters gave the nod to Gov. Romney by a large margin.  Obviously, the political commentators on the left and right heavily favored their candidates.

The biggest argument for giving the victory to Obama was simply that he didn't do as poorly as he did in the first debate.  A pretty low hurdle to clear.  The biggest argument for not giving the victory to Romney was his failure to capitalize fully on the chances he had to dominate, as he had in the first debate.  A factor that had many scratching their heads.  The biggest argument for giving the victory to Romney and not to Obama was the fact that both the VP debate and the 2nd Presidential debate performances weren't enough to change the status of the respective campaigns in the polls.  While the President may have slowed Mitt Romney's momentum, he failed to stop it, much less reverse it.

The debate was marred to some extent by the actions of the moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley.  She broke a major tenet of being a moderator by inserting herself into the debate.  Not only did she select questions favorable to Obama, she interrupted Gov. Romney 3 times as often as Obama (28 to 9 if you're keeping score), and even went so far as to "fact check" Gov. Romney in Obama's favor during the discussion of the handling of the events in Benghazi, Libya, having to backtrack later when she was proven wrong (in spite of "just happening" to have the transcript of the President's remarks in front of her.  A fact known to the President beforehand, since he was the one who asked her to present it.)  It was no surprise that she was going to tilt things as far towards Obama as she could, given her assertion that the choice of Paul Ryan as Gov. Romney's running mate was tantamount to a "death wish".  It was obvious from the questions chosen by Ms. Crowley for each candidate that she was biased.  Not surprising, all of the moderators are from the liberal side, but at least the previous moderators were able to largely keep their personal political leanings out of the debates.

We got a question from a college student asking for reassurance that he would be able to support himself after graduation.  Neither candidate gave a direct answer to this question.  Understandably so.  No President can guarantee anyone any particular job.  All they can do is try to implement policies that foster an environment where businesses can start up, expand and create jobs.  This first question, addressed to Romney, has no clear, satisfying answer.  The back and forth degenerated to a non-informative did to/did not over Romney's supposed desire to "let Detroit go bankrupt" versus Obama's actually taking the automakers through bankruptcy using taxpayer money.

The next question, for Pres. Obama, concerned the rising gas prices and the fact that his Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, has repeatedly said that it's "not the job of the Energy Dept. to help lower gas prices".  Obama was asked directly whether he agreed with that statement.  This is a situation where the President can, indeed, have a direct (although limited) effect on the situation.  We saw this in action when the first President Bush announced a plan to increase exploration and development of domestic energy sources.  Obama's answer was to blame the Republican's opposition to his subsidies for unproven "green energy" companies.

He claims to have an "all of the above" energy policy, despite his actions to limit and prevent domestic energy development on public lands.  When called on this, when Gov. Romney pointed out that the increase in domestic energy production (oil & gas) that Obama was attempting to take credit for was entirely due to increased production on private property, and that actual production of oil & gas on public (federal) lands was down 14% and 9% respectively, and that Obama had reduced the number of permits and leases by nearly 50%, all of which has been independently verified, he repeated his assertions, effectively calling Mr. Romney a liar.  When asked by Mr. Romney to clarify the matter by telling the people just how much his administration had reduced leases, Obama refused to (couldn't) answer.  He was also unable to answer the charge that his EPA did all it could to prevent development of the oil fields in the Bakkan Range in North Dakota by suing them and bringing criminal charges (since dropped) over the deaths of a few birds.

The next was a doozy.  Taxes.  A woman stood up to deliver her question to Gov. Romney concerning his tax plan.  How could he reconcile the tax rate reductions with the elimination of tax credits?  Would he cut her deduction for mortgage interest? For charitable donations? The Child Tax Credit? The Education Credit?

In his answer to this one, Mr. Romney was as specific as he could reasonably be, I thought.  He mentioned as one possibility the capping of itemized deductions.  People would have a maximum amount (in this case, $25,000) they could deduct from their income, using whatever deductions they qualified for.  The capping of deductions and credits would have a much greater impact on the upper income brackets than the middle income, since it's been a complaint of liberals and progressives for years that "the rich" have access to tax breaks and shelters unavailable to the middle class and the poor.  He also brought out something new.  The elimination of income from interest, dividends, and capital gains being subject to taxes for those earning under $200,000 per year.  A move sure to spark more investment and savings (thus increasing economic growth for all), helping people provide for their own long term needs.  Obama not only repeated the discredited assertion that Romney wanted to increase taxes on the middle class to "give the rich another $5 Trillion in tax cuts", he expanded on it.  He now claims that Romney's tax plan would add some $8T to the debt, stubbornly insisting that there is no way for such a plan to work without increasing taxes for the poor or cutting necessary services.  Again, in the face of being called a liar, Mr. Romney vowed that he would not institute any tax policy that would either raise taxes on the middle class or reduce the tax burden on the upper income, saying, "The top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent [of total Federal Income Taxes], as they do today."

Then came the softballs.  After having such a tough time, apparently Ms. Crowley felt that the Pres. needed a break.  Next question (to the President): What would you do to address the issue of inequalities in the workplace?  Women making 72% as much as men?  (This issue must have been intentionally chosen by the moderator to provide Obama an easy out.  This issue isn't even on the radar of any of the political polls).  Again, Mr. Obama didn't provide a direct answer.  He went off on a tangent on the need to increase availability of college education aid programs.  Mr. Romney pointed out how, as Governor of Massachusetts, he specifically asked for more qualified female candidates to fill senior positions in his administration and how a non-partisan group provided him with "binders full" of qualified candidates.  This resulted in him having the largest number of women in senior positions of leadership of any other state in the nation.  Pres. Obama turned this around into an off-topic argument about Gov. Romney's proposed elimination of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  How that relates to the issue of "pay equality", I don't know.  Somehow, both Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama forgot to mention the fact that the Obama administration pays it's female staffers 18% less then their male counterparts.

Then we get to the most obvious illustration of the moderator having a bias towards the Democrats in general and Obama in particular.  The President's team has spent the majority of the last 3 1/2 years blaming the economic situation on former President George Bush.  In light of that, this question seems particularly suspect: "I am an undecided voter, because I'm disappointed with the lack of progress I've seen in the last four years. However, I do attribute much of America's economic and international problems to the failings and missteps of the Bush administration.  Since both you and President Bush are Republicans, I fear a return to the policies of those years should you win this election."  THIS, is an undecided voter?  Right.  And I'm a closet liberal Democrat.

I won't continue this further.  This blog post has already gotten longer than I had planned, but I wanted to illustrate my frustration with the bias exhibited by a moderator who is supposed to be, to steal a phrase, "fair and balanced"; with the continued lies by the President and the candidates' mis-characterization of each other; with the lack of short, clear, direct answers to questions posed.  Perhaps the final debate on Monday (moderated by Bob Scheiffer, of all people) will provide a little more clarity.  Although, if you are still truly undecided at this point, I'd say you have been keeping yourself willfully uninformed.

One last note.  We can all thank the constraints of time for the fact that Ms. Crowley didn't have time to get to the question of global warming.  Yes, she had actually approved the question and had it on her list.  I wonder if there's any chance of getting a moderator from FoxNews for one of the next rounds of debates?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

VP Debate: No KO in Kentucky

Despite all of the hype leading up to the debate between VP Joe Biden and challenger Rep. Paul Ryan, the actual event failed to live up to expectations in many respects.  There was little information to be gained from the back and forth between the candidates, there was no clear winner or loser at the end and there was nothing new revealed that was likely to sway people's opinion of either candidate, much less their vote.

The post debate polls were inconclusive.  If you went in favoring one candidate or the other, you opinion is likely to be unchanged.  With the exception of an early report on an NBC flash poll which showed a Ryan win by a margin of 56%-36% (8% no opinion), an obvious outlier, polls were within the margins of error.

CNN gave it to Ryan by a margin of 48%-44%, just within the margin of error.  CNN viewers also gave Ryan the edge in communicating himself and his ideas clearly, 50% to Biden's 41%.  A remarkable achievement, given the VP's predilection for bellicose interruption while Paul Ryan was explaining his and Gov. Romney's policy positions.  Joe Biden was judged by viewers to have spent 70% of his debate time attacking his opponent, while Congressman Ryan spent less than 20% of his time attacking Joe Biden, spending the majority of his time answering the moderator's questions and explaining the policies and priorities of the Republican ticket.  As a result, the viewers in the CNN poll also gave Paul Ryan the edge in likeability by a margin of 10 points, 53% -43%.  Other polls showed a closer result, with most giving the edge to Paul Ryan but well within the margin of error.

A CBS poll showed a different result.  As reported by UPI, a CBS snap poll had the debate scored 50%-31% for Joe Biden, with 19% undecided.

This debate was much different in tone than the debate a week before between Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney.  Where the opposing sides in the Presidential debate were largely respectful in making their points and in their attempts to challenge each other's statements, the Vice-Presidential debate was marred to a great extent by Joe Biden's near-constant interruptions of Rep. Ryan's attempts to speak.  His demeanor from the very start led many to remark that his was the most disrespectful behavior exhibited by a participant in a public debate forum (certainly at this high a level) ever seen.

In the past, it was notable whenever a candidate even slightly failed to observe the usual courtesies during a debate.  Remember the press' comments about candidate George Bush looking at his watch during a debate?  Or Al Gore's infamous sigh's and rolling of his eyes (he also repeatedly interrupted Bush's responses to questions)?

Well, Joe Biden reset the bar.  He came out of the box attacking. He was condescending.  He was dismissive.  He rolled his eyes.  He smirked.  He laughed.  He guffawed.  He waved his arms in the air in exasperation.  He interrupted nearly every attempt by Paul Ryan to present his arguments.  He even confronted the moderator, on occasion.  He obviously came into the debate with the goal of taking over the process and being the one to decide how things were going to go.  He was the stereotypical Joe Biden.  On steroids.

He was effective, I'll give him that.  Paul Ryan was clearly unprepared for the onslaught.  Perhaps he expected a civil exchange of ideas, or maybe his debate prep partner didn't properly prepare him for what he was getting into.  Either way, it was clear that he was put back on his heels to some extent from the start and never really seemed to get his feet back under him.

Maybe it was due to inexperience.  This was his first debate on such a national stage, while Biden is by all accounts an old campaigner.  Maybe it was the influence of his mid-western upbringing that made him reluctant to really go after his elder, Joe Biden, in response when attacked and repeatedly interrupted.  Maybe he truly suffered from being "too nice".  Whatever the reason, the attacks and interruptions by his opponent made it difficult for him to present his arguments in their best possible light.

The moderator didn't help matters any.  She clearly lost control of the event early and never regained it.  She wasn't able to control Biden's constant interruptions.  When she tried (rarely) to press him on some of the specifics of what he was saying, Joe Biden quickly put her in her place, even going so far as to wave his finger in front of her.

It has often been said that the job of the Vice-President is to be the "attack dog" of the administration.  In this debate Biden clearly came across as a pit bull, going for the throat.  I saw Paul Ryan more as a bulldog.  He was doggedly determined to stick to his arguments and consistently tried to present his information in the face of unrelenting attacks from the other side, never seeming to lose his focus.  Or his temper.  His demeanor never changed from respectfulness, no matter the provocation.  An admirable trait in someone who could end up dealing with other world leaders under high pressure situations.  Nevertheless, he needs to cultivate at least the ability to go on the offensive, when necessary.

Some brief fact-checking:

In response to a question regarding the events at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Joe Biden repeated the administration's claim that "We weren't told they wanted more security there."  This, despite the testimony before Congress just the day before that the administration had been implored to increase security in response to the terrorist threat and the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Charlene R. Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary for diplomatic security, acknowledged that she refused requests for more security in Benghazi.  Saying, in response to a question by a committee member, "Yes, sir, I said personally I would not support it."  Eric Nordstrom, who was the top security official in Libya earlier this year, testified he was criticized for seeking more security. He said conversations he had with people in Washington led him to believe that it was "abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident". 


When Joe Biden was asked about Pres. Obama's future economic policies, specifically, who would  be required to pay more in taxes in a 2nd Obama term his response was unequivocal:  "People making a million dollars or more."  In fact, Obama's proposed tax increases reach much farther down the income ladder than millionaires. He wants to roll back Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making over $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.


On healthcare, Biden made this absurd claim:  "What we did is, we saved $716 billion and put it back, applied it to Medicare."  Huh?  They cut Medicare by $716B, only to put it back in?  The fact is, contrary to Biden's assertion, not all the money cut from Medicare is going back into the program in some other way. The administration is cutting $716 billion over 10 years in Medicare payments to providers and using some of the money to improve benefits under the program. But most of the money is being used to expand health care coverage outside of Medicare.[ie, Obamacare]


In an attack on the top of the Republican ticket, Joe Biden repeated the assertion that Gov. Romney had wanted to leave the automakers to themselves and to "let Detroit go bankrupt".  Gov. Romney has gotten endless grief throughout the campaign for the headline put on his November 2008 opinion essay that he wrote for The New York Times. But his point was never that he wanted the auto industry to go down the tubes. Romney was simply opposed using government money to bail out Chrysler and General Motors, instead favoring privately financed bankruptcy restructuring. [Publisher's note:  Both GM & Chrysler still went bankrupt.  The only difference was that the President used government  (taxpayer's)money to buttress the deal giving unions an out-sized stake in the companies, while illegally forcing bond holders to accept pennies on the dollar on their secure investments]


Joe Biden also attacked proposals by Paul Ryan and Gov.Romney to effect changes in the ways Medicare, Medicaid, and other transfer payments are handled.  Specifically, claiming that Ryan wanted to increase healthcare costs for seniors by as much as $6400 a year.  Rep. Ryan responded by reminding him that there would be absolutely no changes for those in or near to retirement age.  Those under 55 at the time of implementation would be given a range of options for their insurance, with government sponsored premium support to help them afford insurance coverages (of their choice) that best meet their needs.  The more wealthy would receive less help, the middle class would receive more and the truly poor would have no increases in out of pocket expenses.  Savings would reportedly come from the introduction of competition among insurance and healthcare providers being allowed to offer competing products and plans across state lines, as opposed to being limited to individual states or territories.  Even with these changes, future retirees would still retain the option of enrolling in traditional Medicare.  It is impossible to accurately estimate future costs.  Everything depends on several variables, including the number of people who choose to opt for traditional Medicare and the number of people who choose to use the premium support to purchase insurance of their own choice, as well as the different costs of the various plans that would become available.  There is also the matter of the unknowable changes sure to be made during negotiations between the two parties in each chamber of  Congress, as well as the final  compromise negotiated between the House and Senate versions of the legislation.  To use a worst-case scenario in an attempt to scare senior citizens is inexcusable, even if it is politics as usual.

Given all this, Biden's claim that Republicans want to increase costs on the sick and elderly and limit their access to healthcare rings hollow.  Especially in light of Joe Biden's own comments on the matter of Social Security spending and deficits in 1984.  In 1984, then-Senator Joe Biden proposed that Social Security payments be frozen, saying "Within the next 12 to 18 months this country will face an economic and political crisis of extraordinary proportions if Congress refuses to take decisive action on the deficits that we face." Adding, "While this program [of frozen benefit payments] is severe, it is the only proposal that will halt the upward spiral of deficits."  Joe Biden also proposed action that he now attacks Gov. Romney for:  Joe Biden proposed cutting spending across-the-board, including reduced spending on Social Security, even saying that the debt ceiling should not be increased without spending cuts.


Joe Biden came out and accomplished two things with his debate performance.  One intentional, one not.  He gave the partisans the rare, red meat they demanded.  Many on the left were disappointed that Pres. Obama didn't spend more time attacking Gov. Romney, both politically and professionally, during the first debate and were vocal in their desire for Biden to remedy that omission.  He came through for his base in spades.  In doing so, he directly reversed course on claims by the left that the American public was tired of attack politics and wanted the left and right to work together and stop the outrageous rhetoric.  As a result of his behavior during the debate, Joe Biden revealed the left's cynical use of the terms "bi-partisanship" and "civil discourse" as nothing more than convenient political talking points only used when challenged on their policy choices.

Paul Ryan, in contrast, came across as someone of steady demeanor and nearly unflappable focus.  He came across as firm, yet polite in disagreement.  He was earnest in his belief that the proposals of his and Gov. Romney are the right things to do for the country.  He came across as someone content to present his arguments and let them stand on their own merits without feeling the need to embellish them with derogatory personal attacks on his opponent.

If the Democrats are correct in their oft-made assertion that Republican's "extreme" rhetoric will drive away Independents, it may very well be that Joe Biden energized his base at the expense of the more moderate undecided voters, giving the Obama/Biden ticket a net loss in the race to 270.

Friday, October 5, 2012

1st Presidential Debate: Mitt Romney

The 1st Presidential Debate certainly was an eye opener.  Perhaps most of all for Barack Obama. 

I experienced it only through audio over my satellite radio.  Not seeing the visual of each candidate, I gave Romney the slight edge.  Perhaps 55-45.  It appears that I missed quite a bit of nuance.

I was listening to the pundits' coverage after the debate and it was almost universal that Obama, to quote one political commentator, "got his ass kicked."  While I heard many uhs, ums, and ahs in Obama's oratory, I didn't think it was all that bad, until I saw a few of the video clips later.  By turns he looked like he didn't want to be there, was annoyed that he was in the position of having to answer direct, challenging questions, was perplexed at not being in an atmosphere of near-universal approbation, was caught unprepared for the test and finally, like he thought all he had to do was show up and was confused when the opposition didn't simply melt away.

Mr. Romney, on the other hand, was supremely prepared.  He had what seemed like reams of data memorized.  He obviously knew his stuff and how he wanted to present it.  Not only did he have the advantage in the amount of material he had committed to memory, he knew his facts well enough that he could weave them into the commentary seamlessly.  He was seldom at a loss for words or caught searching for a thought in replying to a question or challenge from either Mr. Obama or Mr. Lehrer.  But it appears that the biggest impact on viewers was in how he presented himself and his argument.  He was upright, head up, and addressed his remarks confidently either directly to the American people through the camera or directly to Mr. Obama, himself.  Mr. Obama, by contrast, spent much of the night with his head down, shoulders a little hunched, and almost never responded to Mr. Romney directly or looked him in the eye when doing so.  In short, Mr. Romney looked more Presidential than the President.

Mr. Romney is well known for his business acumen, and a large part of that is in his preparation for meetings, whether they are with board members, business leaders, or in this case, voters.  He is known as a meticulous planner and for his attention to detail when it comes to researching possible plans of action.  All good qualities in the man we could potentially hire to fix the nation's economic woes.  Mr. Obama's presentation was an example of what he has exhibited over the last 4 years (and before, as a State Senator from Illinois, where he was best known for voting "present"), a lack of interest in the details of good governance.  All of the major policy achievements he touts were the result of his "delegating" the responsibility to others, telling them to set things up and he'd come in at the end and sign off.  He has seldom met with his own economic advisers, or even his Cabinet Secretaries, seemingly content to leave the day-to-day details of running the country to his various appointed czars.  As we've recently found out, he's missed more than 2/3rds of his Presidential Daily Briefings and hasn't even met with his Jobs Council in months, despite claiming that jobs are his priority.

All of this was on display Wednesday night in his inability to hold his own with someone he obviously considers his inferior.  He was embarrassed by someone who took the debate seriously and attended to the details of being prepared, while he expected, like some favored college athlete who is used to the professors covering for him, to just show up and get a passing grade.  Some remarked that it seemed during the debate as if it were a professor trying to educate a (slow) student on the basics of Econ101.  And the student was resentful of having to attend the class.

Political types had tried to downplay the potential impact of the Presidential debates on the race.  Saying that debates have had little impact on the outcome of an election, at least in the modern era.  That with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan's memorable quip about not making age an issue in the election, saying "I am not going to exploit, for political gain, my opponent's (Walter Mondale) youth and inexperience.", a reference to the idea that his age would be a detriment to being President.  They said that people just weren't that interested in the debate process.  With the performances of Messrs. Obama and Romney Wednesday night however, along with a record TV audience for the event, they may have to adjust their thinking. 

The race is sure to tighten up and the public's interest in the next 2 Presidential debates, not to mention the upcoming Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, has been well whetted, guaranteeing a large TV audience and thus magnifying the importance of putting in a positive performance, as well as the consequences of coming off poorly.

Just to make sure I wasn't being influenced by those who were predisposed to see Mr. Romney in a positive light, I spent some little time after the debate tuned to some of the liberal talk stations on my satellite radio.  I must say, the opinions expressed were little different, concerning the President's performance.  Doom and gloom lay heavy on the liberal landscape that night.  It was (if you were inclined to see humor in the disappointment of others and enjoyed seeing the pompous have the air let out of their collective rally balloons [guilty]) amusingly entertaining.  The best comment I heard before I tuned back to the classic rock station (I had to, I couldn't see for the tears in my eyes) came from one listener who claimed that the unusually bold, vibrant performance put on by Gov. Romney was the result of "all the cocaine and speed he did backstage before he came on."  Close behind that was the comment by former Vice-President Albert Gore, Jr. on his network, CurrentTV.  In an attempt to explain Mr. Obama's poor performance, Al Gore suggested that the high altitude had something to do with it.  I guess it was either that or global warming, eh Al?

The question now is, just how ugly is it going to get, now that Obama and Co. have had their noses bloodied?  We may need to get some of the replacement refs from the NFL to throw some flags for unnecessary roughness before we're done.

Get yer drinks handy and pop the popcorn, ladies and gentlemen.  I have a feeling this is only going to get better and better (or worse and worse, depending on your viewpoint) over the next month.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bishop E.W. Jackson

It's not the weekend yet, but I heard this man speak and I had to pass his message along.  Please share this message with your friends and family.  It needs to be shared.

'Nuff said!