Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today's Jack Kelly column

(copied from my comment on the PG website) - This Jack Kelly column is a weird combination of alternative reality and wishful prediction. Every time I read a Kelly column citing polls, I just go over to the 538 blog.

As for the prediction part, what the heck, sure, we'll see.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last debate reactions ...

So I have not seen any of the reactions from CNN or ABC or Fox news or the NYTimes, etc to the debate. I watched on CSPAN (in part because my girlfriend doesn't like David Brooks, who comments for PBS, and I would rather not watch on any other network).

My immediate reaction is neither candidate landed a knock out punch. Obama remained vulnerable on Benghazi, but Romney did not hammer him on it. There was a story in the Washington Post about how Benghazi had a CIA facility, so a) maybe the CIA lied to the White House about what was going on and b) maybe neither candidate now wants to risk "outing" the CIA.

Romney did try to pin deaths in Syria on Obama, and various other problems, but I felt nothing stuck, although the same could be said about Obama trying to trip Romney up. You could tell, though, that these are two men who do not like each other.

But the thing that struck me the most? Romney worked up a bright sheen of flop sweat. I first noticed his upper lip shinning, and then I realized he was glowing all over his face. In addition, towards the end of the debate his frozen half smile/smirk picked up a quality around his eyes that made him look queasy. I half wondered if someone had given him a mild poison (or he ate a bad burrito).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jack Kelly goes after Candy Crowley

In today's Jack Kelly column he goes after Candy Crowley, saying essentially she was responsible for Barack Obama winning the last debate. I found that interesting, considering the next (and last) debate is about foreign policy.

Kelly spends much of his column on the Benghazi incident. I have to agree somewhat that the thing was not well handled by the administration, but I think we need to realize that the incident is probably more complicated than we first or even still realize. I have seen an editorial that suggests there was more going on at the "Consulate" than we might otherwise think. It might have been more complicated to add security troops to the "Consulate" since that might have served to put a spotlight on the place.

Meanwhile, Kelly cites Breitbart dot com and Judith Miller for their opinions about the debate. And look what Mitt Romney says when no moderator is around.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Campaign scan-dals?

Today Jack Kelly turns to "Obama's Campaign Scandals". Well, he talks about campaign scandals for the half the column, then starts retreading other (old) scandals. He ties the two parts together by claiming they are not covered by the media. Maybe that's true for people who don't follow the news, but then these are people who don't follow the news.

A lot of people, the people who might not otherwise follow the news, watch Saturday Night Live and the Daily Show (and Stephen Colbert). And a lot of these stories show up on these shows. Sometimes they soft pedal on Democrats, but as often as not they are as vicious to Obama as they are to Republicans.

The thing is, Jack Kelly's paranoid fantasies come out very clearly in this column. It will appeal to people who already agree with him, but it has the opposite effect of persuading anyone else.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The First Debate.

I am still trying to wrap my head around what it is I heard in last night’s debate.

Mitt Romney said that he isn’t giving us details of his tax plan or where he will cut government programs because Congress doesn’t like to be told what to do. It is enough that we know Romney’s principles, that he wants to lower the deficit while not increasing the burden on the middle class. So you may not get a deduction for your mortgage any more (just rent, let the rich own all the houses) and your children may not be able to attend a prestigious college (not even if they would qualify for a scholarship, since the deduction for charitable giving to organizations that give scholarships might well disappear, but just let the rich go to Harvard while you kid goes to community college), but you will have the satisfaction of knowing … tax rates are lower for small businesses.

So now I am confused. Is Mitt Romney going to leave all details up to Congress, or just the ones that involve cutting tax benefits and government programs that people have relied on for decades? Romney cited Reagan and Tip O’Neill as his models here, that they sat down and negotiated legislation. George W Bush expressed as one of his principles that Social Security be privatized. Congress jumped right on that popular idea, and … oh wait.

Which is what I am wondering about. Making cuts and changes like the ones Romney is talking about is going to be really difficult, especially in this partisan era. So instead of presenting ideas to voters so that voters could consider them and compare with them with President Obama’s, Romney wants to throw the issues to Congress. Congress, of course, never shies away from a tough fight, never kicks an issue down the road. This is what Romney’s experience tells him.

That and if three percent of small businesses employ a quarter of the workforce (over 25 million workers), then how are they still "small" businesses? Plus, if you are a worker at a (big) small business, and the businesses income is really high, does that mean you will be paid a huge sum of money ... well, if you work at Bain capital, sure, all the people worth knowing got big salaries. And the secretaries ... well they are nice people too. Romney made a comment about how raising the top tier tax bracket to Clinton levels (38%, not the 40 he quoted) would raise the taxes of all the workers at these 3% of (big) small businesses that employ 25% of American workers. The guy is seriously math challenged.