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September 18, 2012

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John Ross

I could not disagree more. This is almost an exact replay of 1980, when Carter led Reagan in the polls up to the week before the election and the "experts" said Reagan should tone down his rhetoric, which he DIDN'T. And then won by a landslide.

We have a President who is MASSIVELY in over his head, steering our country toward economic ruin domestically and third-rate status internationally. Romney has not apologized for his comments, and shouldn't. We need more of the same, not less.

We need another Reagan, not, as you seem to wish for, another John McCain.

Stoli89

Yes, we need another Reagan; a President who increased the national debt from just under $900 Billion to over $2100 Billion. A president who pushed his CIA analysts to publish Soviet Military Power reports annually to Congress that severely overstated the challenge. Yes, I used to read and memorize them at the US Naval Academy...before joining the nuclear submarine force. Am I accusing the CIA of lying to scare Congress into supplying the funds? NO. I don't need to accuse anyone because the CIA already admitted to Congress of the lie while under oath in the early 1990's. If we look at the last 30+ years, it was Reagan who left the USA with huge debt and projected annual deficits. His successor, Pres. GHWB, added a cool $1000 Bio, making it just about 3300 Bio when Pres. Clinton took office. Clinton kept the debt FLAT and delivered 4 successive surpluses in his second term while handing over 10 years of $200Bio annually projected surpluses to Pres. GWB. It was the Republican, GWB, that turned these surpluses into $5000 Bio of additional debt with off budget wars paid via supplementals, huge tax cuts to the rich (thanks dude), and a prescription drug plan to Big Pharma that made us tobacco executives (living in Switzerland) envious. Pres. GWB not only left Pres. Obama an economy in free-fall, but also a FY2009 budget with a $1200Bio deficit GWB signed into law! The GWB math is 3300 + 5000 + 1200 = $9500 Bio. (Note: Putting GWB and math together in the same sentence should be illegal.)

The Republicans want the nation to think it was Obama who caused the trillion dollar deficits. No, it was GWB who signed our first huge trillion dollar deficit into law in Sept 2008. Of course, most of these huge deficits are now caused by automatic triggers that have kept the economy from completely imploding. In fact, most of Obama's FY2010 budget overrun was the result of these automatic triggers.

I am not happy with Pres. Obama's performance when measured against his campaign promises. But on balance, when measured against an obstructionist Republican Congress that has filibustered more than any Senate minority in history, his performance has been pretty damn good.

I'm hoping Romney's Republicans continue to devour themselves to the point where the bloodbath spills over into both House and Senate races. In order to get the USA back on track, we need a Republican minority that is castrated and unable to filibuster. We need a House majority that represents the people, not the 0.05%. We need a Senate that can support Obama in stacking this ultra right wing court so that the US Constitution's principles can be restored. Citizen's United is the beginning of the end of the great US democratic experiment.

PS: A point of trivia. Who gave Karl Rove his first big start? It was Philip Morris USA. Karl was the bag man who ensured the PAC money got to the friendly Texas Republicans. Look it up.

PPS: Karl Rove has been putting money behind Senate and House races becasue he knew early on that Romney was a bad bet, even for him.

boooring

those leeches were not going to vote for romney anyway so who cares?

vladkr

I don't know if this video is a real problem for Romney. I don't pretend to know the US well, it's only a country I cross (for business or leisure), so I don't take time to talk about politics there (and I have no reason for doing it).

But, I can compare with Canada... Canada is quite different of the US : taxes are quite high, there is a social system for everyone... but still many people consider "socialism" as a bad thing, even if they enjoy this system.

It's a mistake to think that voters are objective; maybe many are, but it's not the majority. People vote with their guts, with their feelings.

Some retired people may agree with Romney, even if they benefit from this system; they will agree, because if the system is good to them, they'll consider they deserve it, whereas their neighbour, who benefit the system too, doesn't... just because they don't like him.

I'm not the one who will judge all that : I was born and raised in a country with a strong socialist tradition, Americans have another tradition and it's okay. Still, it's heart-taking for me to see shanty-towns in West O'Ahu, Michigan or New England. All businesses we used to work with and which close.

I still think the game is not over, that everything can happen on Nov. 6th

vladkr

@Stoli89:

Your first paragraph reminds me of a legend about the Harrier :

When Hawker introduced the Harrier, engineers invited a Soviet team from Yakovlev to study their new "baby". Hawker's executives hopped Soviets would design a competitor, what would result in the need of the development of a new Harrier (and more funds for the company).

I don't know how true is this story - Russians actually confirm it - but it's still interesting.

Cold war was a good excuse for incredible and useless spendings, based on lies and cheating.

KPOM

There's a grain of truth in what Romney said. There is a set percentage of the population who will vote for one candidate over another, primarily based on the letter D or R after his name. In addition, both parties, but particularly the Democrats as of late, have used expanded government spending as a way to foster dependence on government, which is a relatively new phenomena in American culture (the last 2-3 generations). Social Security and Medicare have become "third rails" that politicians are afraid to touch, even though the programs need massive scaling back and restructuring.

I don't think Romney is a 1% "elitist" any more than John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, or even Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. He's just not a good campaigner, and the long primary hurt him. Like most politicians, he doesn't really have solid principles and is more of a weather vane, but unlike Bill Clinton or Barack Obama he does a bad job of covering it up. Bill Clinton could say with a straight face that the "era of big government is over," and Barack Obama could "evolve" from being against same-sex marriage to being for it (3 years after neo-con Dick Cheney), or from being against Bush's use of "executive imperialism" to launching drone strikes on US citizens and get away with it because they know the drill. Reagan was the last GOP president who was good at it. Bush I wasn't. He was competent enough to get elected the first time but struggled to relate to people during a recession. Bush II squeaked by barely, primarily because his opponents (Al Gore and John Kerry) were awful candidates.

The 2012 election is turning out like the 2004 election. An unpopular president is coasting to re-election primarily because the public doesn't like the alternative. Again, that should teach the parties to avoid out-of-touch candidates from Massachusetts (Dukakis, Kerry, Romney).

decentralist

There are two factions within the US Power Elite that have lined up behind Romney and Obama. "Big War" and "Big Oil", respectively. The Bush family tried to balance both sides, and despite the buffoonery and atrocities in other areas, Bush family did that balance well.

So "Big War" wants an incident to incite war with Iran vs. Israel and US. Big Oil would rather keep oil and profits flowing predictably in the Middle East.

Watchout as there are whispers that Big War wants to engineer another event like the Iran Hostage Crises of 1979 that guaranteed Carter lost in 1980, so that Romney has a better chance in 2012.

KPOM

@Stoli89, the GOP congress is mostly obstructionist because Obama rammed everything down their throats when his party had a super-majority. Unlike Clinton, he didn't move to the center after getting beaten back in the first mid-term election, but instead doubled down. Plus, his thumb-his-nose strategy fired up the base of the GOP, which got a lot more extreme candidates elected in 2010 than in 1994 (though Boehner is a lot more centrist than Newt Gingrich, and Clinton still managed to work with Gingrich a lot better than Obama with Boehner).

There's only so much that Obama can blame on the GOP congress. By the time they took power, he had already passed most of his agenda. The only major item he didn't get passed was immigration reform, and I get the sense he was never serious about that. Since 2010, he's just overused his executive power the way most presidents do, naturally without any complaints from the Left, who used to decry Bush's "imperial" use of executive power.

European audiences seem enamored by Obama for reasons I don't quite understand. The extreme elements of the GOP don't help matters, but Europeans don't seem to care that Obama views them with disdain. Look at how relations with the UK deteriorated, and yet Britons would elect him in a heartbeat (much like the abused spouse stands by her man). Obama is of the "spend money now, worry about it later" philosophy that has gotten much Europe into trouble. Someone is going to need to deal with the structural deficits that entitlement spending has left us, and unfortunately, it is neither of the two candidates, but especially not Obama, whose crowning achievement is creating yet another, even bigger entitlement.

Rune

"Then all the Paul Ryan favorite Ayn Rand theories about rewarding success and punishing those who are weak start to make sense. The ultra-libertarian view."

The quote above is entirely wrong about ultra-libertarianism. The whole point of the ultra-libertarian is that s/he doesn't want anyone to do any rewarding or punishment. Ayn Rand would claim that success follows naturally from the intelligent, decisive action, if only the state (and similar institutions) would get out of the way. She wouldn't want you to vote for Paul Ryan, but would want the abolishing of politics in general.

John edwards

This is the very conversation that we should be having. Romney has set the table for a feast! I think the presentation was clumsy but the truth was told. The left will parse the words and make a false assertion. However, We have far too many people living on the dole. If we do not get our fiscal house in order then we become a socialist society. We cannot have more people taking a handout than people paying taxes and have a democracy.

Obama wants to distribute weath and Romney wants to create wealth. Romney should take this message right to the American public. He should not back down – he should instead double down. If he backs down then I agree with you – he has lost.

Winter

Nice how the commenters from the USA all work hard to show Tomi's analysis is right. Thank you.

It is revealing that none of the commenters addresses the point that retired people tend to pay no federal taxes and hence are leeches in the eyes of Romney cs.

This whole voting demographic is alienated by the GOP candidate. When these pensioners remember that during the next house/senate elections, the Republicans might be in for a nasty surprise.

Personally, I expect other GOP candidates to drop this issue (and candidate) like a piece of burning coal (hot potato seems to weak).

bjarneh


John edwards>We have far too many people living on the dole.

how many in the US is on the dole? and how much does it cost to have a person on the dole, i.e. how long do the benefits last etc..

MK

@Winter

It's interesting you bring that up about retirees. There is a larger point that can be generalized from Romney's more specific statement about Obama voters.

Yesterday, on NPR, there was a story done at a retirement home (I believe) where just about everyone was using some kind of government aid. A Romney supporter, when asked about the 47% statement, replied that it didn't refer to people like him because he paid his taxes to Social Security and Medicare all his life. When pressed, he claimed that Romney was taking about "voters" when referring to the 47%. Just goes to show the cognitive dissonance that humans exhibit from time to time...

Also, I find these viewpoints fascinating simply because ultimately, things like the Ryan plan do not care about this "nuance" since it would cut benefits to all people under these programs, not just from those who "don't deserve it".

Baron95

It doesn't matter any more if Obama or Romney win. The issue of the role of government, the size of the safety net and the crisis of unfunded entitlement programs and public employee pensions are now front and center in the discourse and voter's mind.

That is the first step about solving it. Putting it up front and Romney, Ryan, Walker, Christie have done that. It may take 4 years or it may take 12 years, but now the issue is framed and it will get attention.

The 1% are public employees in America (actually they are the 15%), who have golden pensions and free healthcare that no other productive citizen in the US has. That will end sooner or later. My bet - 4 years.

Meanwhile, all three top Windows Phone vendors (Samsung, Nokia, HTC) announced their Windows Phone 8 phones against the iPhone launch and got a ton of very positive air time.

Now it is on to shipping it and firmly establishing Windows as the #3 smartphone ecosystem by 1Q/2013, as I have told you back in 2011. Program is right on track.

Stoli89

This whole discussion about the "lazy" 47% who are, in Romney's eyes, on the public dole is not only politically deadly, but factually incorrect. First, of the lazy 47% who Romney thinks will be with Pres. Obama no matter what, 23% pay payroll taxes (which means they are working and paying into Social Security and Medicare), 10.3% are the retired elderly living off of Social Security (to which they paid into, lest we forget). Maybe Romney is talking about the 6.9% who are earning less than 20K per year. The under/unemployed poor, the newly graduated college students who cannot find jobs in this market, or the war torn soldiers returning home to joblessness?

But wait, is the income tax the only tax that funds the federal coffers? No, the income tax makes up about 42% of gov't revenue. The majority (58%) is comprised of Payroll taxes (40%) + Corp Income Tax (9%) + Excise Taxes (3%) + Other (6%: import duties, licensing, etc.). Note that Social Security is not part of the gov't revenue as it's self-funded by its trust fund, to which workers contribute. In the broader sense, nearly everyone is paying some form of federal taxation and certainly state taxes (which include income, sales/excise, licensing, and other forms of tax).

Ten Republican states depend on the Federal government because they take in from the federal government more than they submit in federal taxes. Is Mitt calling the folks residing in these states lazy? How about the white male veteran retirees who vote disproportionately for Republicans. Are they also lazy? What about 55% of the large corporations that paid NO income tax from 1998 to 2005? Corporations are people too Mitt...are they also lazy?

Did Mitt pay any income taxes in 2009? If no, then would he also fall into the lazy 47%?

Baron95

Payroll tax is not a tax, the name of the big one 6.2% is named FICA - Federal INSURANCE Contribution Act. INSURANCE CONTRIBUTION. Same as unemployment insurance that you pay in some state. The other so called payroll tax is of course for MEDICARE another INSURANCE program.

These are involuntary insurance contribution fees paid into an insurance system. For low income workers, a lot more than what they contribute is PAID back to them in FICA retirement and free healthcare.

Just because people call it a tax, doesn't make it so.

Romney's mistake was misidentifying the 47% that will vote for Obama no matter what. 1/2 of those are public employee unions (whose members get tax payer money for salary and benefits), other private union members and minorities like African American who vote 90% for democrats/Obama no matter what. It is not an income device. It is a producers vs leeches divide. 47% is about right.

Winter

The funny thing wrt the "leeches" comments is that the main support base for the Democrats (and Obama) is in states that are net payers of federal taxes (eg, both coasts). The main support base for the Republicans is in states that are net receivers of federal taxes.

It is like those Tea Party demonstrators yelling "Keep Government out off my Medicare".

lokanadam

when are you going to write an article that says obviously htc 8x and 8s are much better nokia; so more competition; so nokia is dooomed ?

Decade

@Baron95 Wow, even in a discussion about US politics, you take the time to fire off a bunch of non-sequiturs, and then you pump for Windows Phone. Well, in the real world, people are getting concerned how all these Windows Phone *devices* are appearing, but no details about the Windows Phone 8 *operating system* have been released. Even the Ars Technica Microsoft expert, Peter Bright, who is usually so bullish about anything Microsoft, is concerned about whether Windows Phone 8 will be ready on time. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/09/where-oh-where-is-windows-phone-8/

Personally, I got bored of this election when Romney got the nomination. We keep getting centrist flip-floppers. Even Bush, Kerry, and Gore are largely centrist, by US standards. It would have been exciting to get a veto-happy ideologue, like Ron Paul. But I know that that is practically impossible at the moment.

Baron95

Well it is just that the past week has seen a tremendous amount of important announcements from Samsung, HTC, Moto (first Android with Intel processors), Nokia (real images of video stabilization), Microsoft (Sept 26 windows 8 Event date), and it is going grossly uncovered by Tomi.

The iPhone was only one of several important events. The future of mobile is being defined in these weeks. For example - RIM has nothing to show and will die.

Decade

I was remembering it wrong. Kerry isn't centrist. McCain is centrist.

Kerry was just incredibly boring. Somehow, some obscure detail of his conduct when he was young managed to overshadow his past 30 years of accomplishments. Which says something about what he has accomplished. It felt like he was nominated because he is tall and has good hair.

Four years ago, I favored Obama in the primary election because he campaigned on "Hope" and "Change," but then he selected Biden, of all people, to be his running mate. I've never voted for a Democrat or Republican candidate in the November election.

Winter

@baron95
A phone OS with 3% market share or less that is all but abandonned by its parent for more sexy tablets? Why would that be important?

Any Bada anouncement warrants more attention. Unless you are recompensated to write about it.

Baron95

@Winter - I think Samsung answered you. Did you see any Bada handset launch event? Did you see all the press effort that Samsung put into the Windows 8 pre-launch?

Why do you think Samsung spent more in the Windows 8 launch than in any Bada launch?

Answer that question, and you will understand why Windows Phone share will grow and Bada will disappear from profitable advanced markets. Don't be like Tomi, stuck in the past. Look at platfom's present velocity, not last year's numbers.

Winter

@Baron95
Because MS paid Samsung for marketing?

MS did the same for Nokia. Actually, phone networks have earned nice extra income from advertising Lumia too. They dropped it immediately afterwards as no one wanted the phones. But the marketing money was welcome.

Stoli89

@ Decade:

Senator Kerry was "Swift Boated" by a group of very rich Oil men from Texas, to include T-Boone Pickens. The term came into the popular lexicon becasue it basically means to falsely re-brand someone through nefarious marketing techniques. Kerry was a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran and honorably discharged officer in the Navy. He commanded a swift boat in the "Brown Water" Navy, supporting special operations missions up and down the Mekong River and its tributaries. This was an incredibly dangerous assignment, where he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and more than one Purple Heart for being wounded in combat. He came back from Vietnam with a seasoned perspective and began to protest publicly in favor of ending the war. The Republican Swift Boaters spent huge money to make it seem like he was a draft dodging hippie who protested the war out of fear from serving. Clearly, the truth is exactly the opposite of this Republican smear campaign. But the Republicans were successful and Bush won his second term handily. Funny enough, it was GWB who joined the Air Guard to avoid the draft and got a cushy assignment stateside whereby he often missed military formation and other assignments. All of these facts were buried long ago by his CIA director father, GHWB, even though his former commanding officer confirmed his poor record.

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