A Couple Political Things From This Week

I watched the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney this week. I was disappointed that the President didn’t call out Romney for all the BS. I’ve said before, you can disagree with what Obama is doing, but he just doesn’t out and out lie. Romney had one line that was clearly a “zinger” he was trying to get in: “Mr. President, Mr. President, you’re entitled as the president to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts.”. I guess he thought he was being exceedingly clever here, but he repeatedly lied about the tax cuts he is proposing, the welfare work requirement, the “cuts” to Medicare, the AHCA advisory panel, and a host of other items. For being such a pious guy, he sure forgets the Commandment about bearing false witness. A lot. I guess getting elected is more important to him than truth.

The employment report showed that the unemployment rate has dropped below 8%. That’s great, and the trend is still headed downward. Various righties immediately howled that somehow the all-powerful Obama had fudged the numbers somehow (never mind that if you look at the trend, it was due). What really pisses me off is that there has been very little accountability for the Republicans in Congress, for whom I think a case could be made that they have actively hindered the economy, by filibuster in the Senate, and refusal to hear and party-line votes in the House.

It looks like Obama has a decent chance of re-election, and that is good for the country, and the middle class in particular. I hope that there are gains in the House and Senate also.

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10 Responses to “A Couple Political Things From This Week”

  1. Tom Says:

    I see a lot of accusations here, but I don’t see the facts to prove them. I’ve seen most of these same accusations applied to Obama, so how about a little evidence?

    As for the “unemployment rate”: a much more meaningful number is EMployment rate. The uer does not account for those who are no longer eligible for unemployment, those who are working part time who would prefer to be working full time, the underemployed, or those who have just plain given up. When politicians start talking about real measurements, I’ll listen. Until then, it’s just politics as usual from another politician who lied when he said he would be different.

  2. Bill Hensley Says:

    Tom, you only claim no evidence because you are blinded by party. Romney and Ryan both talk a lot about a 20% across the board tax cut, that works out to the numbers claimed by Obama (but, Romney provides no details about how to make the cuts revenue neutral, I’m guessing because if they did people would run from them like crazy). The Romney claim about welfare to work I debunk myself by the simple expedient of READING public documents, which Romney and the rest of the party leadership apparently can’t do. The supposed theft from Medicare has been debunked numerous places. Romney’s claim about the health care advisory panel is thinly veiled death panels again. The entire Romney campaign is based on attacks against Obama and little to nothing about he would do *for* the country.

  3. Tom Says:

    I claim no evidence because you presented none. As for party, I am definitely NOT a Republicrat and never have been. From where I stand, there is no difference between the two parties except for the speed with which I believe they are destroying this country.

    As for workfare vs welfare: I have always supported a work requirement, in spite of the bleeding heart arguments against it. It was that great Democrat, FDR, who established the CCC as exactly that. While not wonderful, it preserved people’s self-respect. Hand-up vs hand-out works every time. BUT it requires humane involvement with the people, not just mailing them a check, so politicians and those who don’t want to get their hands dirty don’t like it. Besides, it makes a key constituency no longer dependent on them if it works…

    Do I think Romney can make such a change? No. Congress would never permit it! Even if it got through the House, it would be blocked by Democrats using the filibuster. (I find it odd that both parties complain when it’s used against them, but both continue to keep it in the rules!) What public documents are you reading?

    As for Obamacare: I still don’t believe anyone really knows what’s in it even now (no, I haven’t read the whole thing any more than you have). A few months ago we found out that the Obamacare penalty was, in fact a tax – so argued by the administration and found by SCOTUS.

    Death panels have always existed, and will continue to exist wherever one group pays for another’s care. They can be found in every insurance company, every HMO, the military health care system, and, especially, the VA health care system. It’s just that no one like to call them that anymore.

    The only way to balance the budget is to cut federal spending. (Raising taxes on corporations does no good – they end up being paid by the rest of us.) Raise taxes on the millionaires? That amounts to spitting in the ocean. The problem cannot be solved by adjusting taxes. The feds simply have to begin spending our money like it’s ours, not theirs.

    “One useless man is a disgrace. Two become a law firm. Three or more become a Congress, and by God, I have had THIS Congress!” — the character John Adams in the musical 1776

  4. Bill Hensley Says:

    Your long post notwithstanding, it’s not relevant in that you do not address the basic thrust of my original post. “I guess getting elected is more important to him than truth.”. Romney and Paul have provided little detail as to how they would accomplish all of the claims they are making. That’s fine, they don’t have to. But the issue I have is that they have based the majority of their bid for the Presidency on flat out untruths, lies. It’s apparently OK with their party, and their supporters as well. And I’m not even addressing differences of opinion, although a number of those press up against that line. Those two guys lie, just to get elected. It’s pathetic.

  5. Tom Says:

    Again, no facts to illustrate your assertions. The exact same assertions are made about Obama, again sans facts.

    Yes, politicians seem to care more about getting elected than truth. That’s ALL politicians, regardless of party. The sad thing is that they and their zealots actually seem to believe that repeating something enough times makes it true. So I insist on people backing their assertions with provable facts. I have no use for unsupported talking points.

    It’s time to get back to classical rhetoric.

    • Bill Hensley Says:

      Tom, just because you claim no facts to illustrate the assertions doesn’t make the claims true. Just because I don’t source things every time don’t lessen the validity of the fact. I will leave it as an exercise in learning for you to find the facts. But I will make it easy for you for the first one. “the welfare work requirement”: you can check this one out easily. You can READ the same stuff I did. I will give you pointers to help you out. Read it here. Your guy is a serial liar. Period. Not stretching the truth. Not policy differences. He lies, and continues to do it when called out for it. His VP choice Ryan lied about some of the same stuff this evening. So much for being devout.

  6. Tom Says:

    Actually, we agree on what the law says, not that the law seems to matter much these days. But the assertion I question here is the liberal media claim of the lie, since I don’t find an actual record of the statement. The media in general-right, left, and who knows- accuses without verification, and I’m just plain sick and tired of it.

    We have been betrayed by both parties starting in 1960. Adlai Stephenson was the very last statesman to run for president, and it’s been downhill since, regardless of party. As far as I’m concerned, the media-all of it-has been complicit in this decline.

    At least these debates are closer to real debates, unlike the liberal love fests of the past. Maybe we should run?

  7. Bill Hensley Says:

    Tom, I honestly do not understand what you are trying to say. This has nothing to do with the “liberal media” (which is just another canard).

    Here is the sequence of events: I saw Romney on TV stating that President Obama had gutted the welfare to work requirement that had been in place since President Clinton. Here is the Romney press release on the topic: http://www.mittromney.com/news/press/2012/08/president-obama-ended-welfare-we-know-it

    I went to the HHS website, found the document, read it, and then went and read the law that implements welfare to work. No “liberal media”, me as a citizen.

    And like I describe in my blog post, Romney lied. And he continues to lie. I saw the ad that propagates the lie when I was in DC this past week, several times.

    You don’t have to like Obama. Policy differences are not lies. Lack of detail in terms of policy is not a lie. A misstatement is not a lie. But there are numerous out-and-out lies that the Republican nominee (and his running mate) use constantly. It therefore has to be a willful, knowing lie, and that is unethical and contrary to the basic code of conduct he says he bases his life on. And that makes him unfit for the Presidency regardless of his policy.

  8. Tom Says:

    Maybe we don’t agree on what the law says. The way I read it, TANF permits States to sidestep (with permission, to be sure) and and all of section 402 (ie, 42 USC 602, Sec 402, including Sec 402 (1)(A) (ii) and (iii) which requires the States submit their plan for workfare.

    I agree that the amount that can be waived is limited, and the terms of any “experiment” are limited. But, it is my understanding that this was a regulatory change to a law, which is somewhat problematic.

    Also, the Romney press release says “President’s policies could change welfare to work into old-fashioned welfare.” The word was “could,” not “will” or “would.” Last time I checked, that would make is speculation. The rest of the release is just a compendium of press blurbs.

    Obama’s view of workfare can be found here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yYpWzSr2bQ, first half) in a 2008 recording. This is part of a Fox News article, so also includes other discussion about this change, some of which is interesting and ties to other changes in such things as the definition of “work” during the Shrub’s administration.

    I actually support the idea behind the additional flexibility, but (1) not without a continuation of the reporting requirement and (2) not as a regulatory change. This should have been done as a law.

    • Bill Hensley Says:

      Tom, I know you are trying to be clever and use the “raising doubt” tactic. But you can check out this Romney ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DL9FhuVUKo. That is hardly “could”. That ad is a very direct statement. A variation of that ad is running right now in at least the DC/VA area as of last week. You can’t use that one word to excuse his bogus claim.

      Romney makes claims that are not true. Welfare to work is not gutted, or even changed. As near as I can tell, there haven’t been any waiver requests submitted. So the bottom line still is, there are no changes to welfare to work.

      Romney is a liar. And it is willful. And again, this isn’t even close to an isolated incident.

      I don’t think your interpretation of the law is correct. “TANF permits states to sidestep…” is not a correct statement. 402 controls the process for states to submit their plans to HHS for approval. Waivers submitted by states can modify their existing, approved plans. The waiver guidance provides specific direction for what kinds of waivers will be considered. Here is some specific language:

      “HHS will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.”

      “HHS is committed to ensuring that any demonstration projects approved under this authority will be focused on improving employment outcomes…”

      “The Secretary will not approve a waiver for an initiative that appears substantially likely to reduce access to assistance or employment for needy families.”

      The first two make it clear to anyone (other than Romney, apparently) that the work requirement MUST be maintained. The third one looks to me like a plan that just cuts people from the rolls will not fly either. Romney, Ryan, and all the rest are ignoring these facts in the face of fact checking. It’s pathetic.

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