Thursday, September 6, 2012

Headlines - Thursday September 6

Photo: We can listen to rhetoric or we can look at facts, and see what actually happens in the real world when both sides implement their policies.     The bald truth is; going back to 1961 democratic administrations have created nearly TWICE the amount of jobs republican administrations have.
Bill Clinton's 48-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night was, as put it, "a fact-checker's nightmare: lots of effort required to run down his many statistics and factual claims, producing little for us to write about."

Clinton's numbers checked out, according to most fact-checking outlets, including Politifact, which has been accused of unfair exaggeration by liberals before. Though he frequently departed from the script, the former president correctly cited the statistics on Obama's job growth, decreasing health costs since 2010, and the stimulus tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans.

Yet one outlet disagreed with the general consensus: the Associated Press. The AP fact-check said Clinton "either cherry-picked facts or mischaracterized the opposition." It even "fact-checked" Clinton's offhand reference to the Romney campaign's dishonesty by bringing up Clinton's Monica Lewinsky scandal:

CLINTON: "Their campaign pollster said, 'We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.' Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself — I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad."

THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," Clinton told television viewers. Later, after he was forced to testify to a grand jury, Clinton said his statements were "legally accurate" but also allowed that he "misled people, including even my wife."

During its fact-check of this claim, the AP article had to ignore the Romney campaign's dishonest attack on Obama's welfare work requirements, which even Republican governors have questioned. It also fails to consider the campaign's habit of deliberately editing Obama out of context, as they did in Romney's first ad, which attributed the line, "If we talk about the economy, we're going to lose," to Obama when he was actually mimicking the McCain campaign in 2008. Also missing is the fact that the Republican National Convention last week was based on a distortion of Obama's "you didn't build that" quote. ThinkProgress has compiled a comprehensive catalog of Romney's lies on virtually every issue he's had to discuss.

Rather than attempt to debunk Clinton's attack on the campaign's dishonesty, the AP could only imply that Clinton cannot criticize any false claims because of his past scandal. And, to make the attack seem more credible, it is presented as "THE FACTS."

Remember when Ohio Republican Secretary of State John Husted tried to extend voting hours in Republican counties, and then when everyone bitched and moaned about it he was all FINE, I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND AND NO ONE GETS WEEKEND VOTING, and then it came out that this was all part of a heroic plan to save the election from being sullied by certain kinds of voters? Well, now Jon Husted has had it with all of these shenanigans and with the contortions of the electoral process. This has become too darned confusing, all these voting hours being extended and then not extended and then extended for everyone except for "urban" people and whatnot, so he's refusing to comply with a court order to expand voting hours so that voters are not "confused." READ MORE »
Prior to any possible post-convention bump, Nate Silver at 538 has calculated that the president has a 76 percent chance to win the election. That number could go up or down between now and November, however I would reiterate that Silver's calculations were astonishingly accurate in 2008.

Mitt Romney's own mother destroyed months of planning and message building in just a few simple words. She even used the word "welfare" directly. Mitt cannot catch a break, first by taking on the pathological liar as his vice president, then by being upstaged by an empty chair. Now his own mother from beyond the grave is destroying her sons hopes of becoming the first President of the United States from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Keep reading and watch the video of his mom saying his dad was on welfare for years:

Matt Miller at the Washington Post:

All I can say is this: If Democrats can make every undecided voter sit down and watch Bill Clinton's speech, this thing is over.

Clinton's ability to frame the arguments and the choice in a way that treats people as adults, explains the policy stakes accessibly and then downright inspires you, remains unmatched. This blend of Arkansas boy and Rhodes scholar turned political happy warrior is utterly unique. As we all know, he's hardly perfect, but Clinton's persistence, his seriousness and his sheer joy in the fight — the man's passionate conviction that politics matters, that it's a route to improve people's lives and to elevate our collective destiny as a people — all this redeems him and makes him a treasure.

Politico: "Pundits swoon over Bill Clinton":
"I've been watching this former president of the United States going back to 1992 when I was CNN's White House correspondent, and I have to tell you, this may be the best speech I have ever heard Bill Clinton deliver over all of these years, and I listened to so many of his speeches during his eight years as president," CNN's Wolf Blitzer said.

James Fallows, Why Bill Clinton's Speeches Succeed:

Because he treats listeners as if they are smart.

That is the significance of "They want us to think" and "The strongest argument is" and "The arithmetic says one of three things must happen" and even "Now listen to me here, this is important." He is showing that he understands the many layers of logic and evidence and positioning and emotion that go into political discussion—and, more important, he takes for granted that listeners can too.


Joe Patrice at Recess Appointment, Bill Clinton — No, He Wasn't This Good Before:

[...] Bill Clinton is now your smartest drinking buddy, explaining his take on politics over a beer. He introduced statistical comparisons with variations of, "now, check this out…" The shrugs, the eye rolls, the pointed, yet conversational tone make him persuasive and likable, but would not meet the accepted image of a President. If President Obama dropped the "it takes a lot of brass" line, it would chafe with Americans because Presidents can't talk that way. But your smart drinking buddy can.

This is Clinton's greatest speech because we finally see him without the cloak of the presidency, which creates a stronger bond of identification between Clinton and the audience. 

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