Category Archives: 2012 Election

America Is Not Dead

“The nightmare of ‘Obamacare’ has already begun.  Many small businesses have already said they will close down because of the added cost of the health-care provisions under ‘Obamacare’, while other businesses have stated that they will only hire future employees on a part-time basis.  […]  Businesses are panicking because of the extra financial burden this presidential plan creates.  I heard from another of our employees that her husband’s company is going to start charging him $40 extra a month for his family policy, because his wife (our employee) has access to other coverage.  Wages will stagnate or go down because of the added financial burden on the companies, so the employees will have less income to cover these rising costs.  In addition, President Obama has said that he will implement ‘green’ policies that he freely admits will cause the prices on electricity and gas to rise for the consumer.  So get ready for the ride.  It’s going to be tough on us all.  And I’m only mentioning a small piece of what is coming down the pike.  I grieve that you and your sisters will probably never know a better America.  Our country’s heyday as a world power and a true land of opportunity and freedom has passed.”

This was most of the final paragraph of an email my mother sent me just recently. Notice anything about it? It’s very… How shall we put this… Doom and gloomy. It waxes Poetic, insofar as it sounds like something Edgar Allen Poe would have written up.

After the election, the fox-for-hair wearing grumpypants pile of severely unimportant yet we still talk about him known as Donald Trump ranted on Twitter about how this was not a democracy (because I guess in democracies, Trump gets to put people in power) and how Americans should start a revolution. Useless has-been rocker and walking pile of anger Ted Nugent called all the people who voted for President Barack Obama pimps, whores and welfare brats as well as suggesting America had just committed spiritual and economic suicide. Former SNL cast member Victoria Jackson said thanks a lot to the Christians that didn’t show up to vote and that she couldn’t stop crying because America is now dead.

Well. I guess that’s it then. Let’s pack our bags and head to another country because this one’s all washed up. It’s over. Let’s not even give Obama a chance to do anything. The mere fact that we utilized our Constitutional rights to vote for a new leader of our country and over 50 percent of the nation chose to give Obama four more years means that this country is, quite simply, gone to pasture.

We’ve got over 20 different petitions on WhiteHouse.gov now, last I counted, for different states to secede from the union. One of those states, Texas, has now received the 25 thousand signatures necessary to have the petition officially reviewed and responded to by the White House. 25 thousand. Which is .1% of the entire state’s population.

When George W. Bush was reelected, many liberals were upset. Heck, a lot of the world was confused and upset. In their being upset, some liberals said silly things and said they’d leave the country. But, honestly… maybe it’s because back in 2004 Twitter and Facebook weren’t big on the scene, but it seems like the right wing has completely lost it. The hyperbole and hype of how this is the end of the world, not to mention all the rather abhorrent racism, is just disgusting. Seriously. It’s awful. And if you’re someone who thinks America is dead or our nation is ruined or whatever, then you are not a patriot.

Let me say that differently: If you think America died when Obama was reelected, you hate America.

The end.

See, America isn’t a nation about getting your way. It’s a nation about growth and competitive ideas working together and against one another to spawn greater, stronger ideas that will create a greater, stronger nation. Your guy didn’t get in. So what? Will things maybe be rough? It’s possible. It’s also possible that things will go better than you expected, that America will improve. But to those that say this is the worst thing that could ever happen to America, I kindly invite you to shut up.

The reason I get snippy and angry at people that act like this, the reason I will likely go off on my mother should she talk politics at Thanksgiving, is because it’s completely idiotic and disrespectful to our nation’s history. You know what some of the worst things to happen to America are?

The War of 1812, when the White House was set on fire.

The American Civil War, perhaps the bloodiest war America has ever fought, where brother fought brother and neighbor fought neighbor for five years.

The Great Depression, where our economy, and the world’s economy, crashed so thoroughly, people were eating ketchup and water for meals.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor, a shocking attack on our homeland that dragged us into the bloody Second World War.

The Vietnam War, a lengthy, pointless war that ended with atrocities and body counts too numerous to list.

September 11, 2001.

Seriously. Did Obama’s first four years lead to any event, even one event that comes REMOTELY close to anything on the list I just gave?

No.

Did Obama’s economic recovery, slow though it may be, resemble in ANY way the devastation of the 1930s?

No.

And did America ever even ONCE fail to rebound from each catastrophe and tragedy it faced, often times coming out on the other side even stronger than before?

No.

So, even if Obamacare is a disaster that will destroy small businesses, and even if taxing the wealthy at a higher rate will do nothing to stem the tide of our growing debt and massive deficit, and even if Obama’s social policies will change the face of America forever…

America will survive. And those of you that think otherwise? I hear Antarctica has some open space to start your own government.

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Obama Wins

I don’t really have anything else to say. President Barack Obama has beaten the Republican contender Mitt Romney, making this election out to be just like 2004 with different colors.

In other news, three of the more heinous candidates for U.S. Congress got ousted or kept out… Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock of the infamous rape quotes lost their Senate races and Representative Joe Walsh lost to Tammy Duckworth. Also, the hotly contested, high profile Massachusetts senate race was won by Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Colorado has become the first state to legalize marijuana, which will probably bring the far too pointless and costly war on drugs (particularly marijuana) to the front of Obama’s next term, and Maryland just became the first state to legalize gay marriage by a popular mandate. Or maybe Maine was. It seems like both are doing it.

In more downer-esque news for my state, it seems the controversial, will-be-a-major-pain-and-harm-our-state Judge Roy Moore will win the election for Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. I can only imagine the SCOTUS will get a lot of appealed cases from Alabama.

Anyway. As the elections unfold, I’ll keep my eyes on them, pretending to try to sleep and failing miserably. If your candidate(s) just lost, please don’t say you’ll move to another country or America’s going to be destroyed. It won’t happen. Just calm down, breathe deep and try to get through it. And maybe take a more active role in government.

…I guess my political posts are going to be severely truncated now. Lord knows what I’ll write about.

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Remember, Remember, Tomorrow Go Vote

I’m sure someone in your life at some point has made the “V for Vendetta”/Guy Fawkes Day reference to the date today.

“Remember, remember! / The 5th of November, / The gunpowder treason and plot. / I know of no reason / Why the gunpowder treason / Should ever be forgot.”

There’s a few interpretations to be had with that poem. It refers to the plot by Guy Fawkes (and others) to blow up the Parliament building in England in 1605. English Catholics, struggling in a predominantly Protestant society that fined and punished Catholicism, were attempting to create change through domestic terrorism, change that ultimately failed and ended with eight conspirators, Fawkes included, executed.

One could take it to be a reminder that we as a nation must be eternally vigilant, for treason comes from within. Always look for treachery, never forget what nearly happened that day. I, however, take a different approach, one that I feel the character V took. We should never forget men who attempt to enact change. We should never forget the power of the people. Granted, domestic terrorism and mass murder aren’t good solutions, but when in the face of abuse and tyranny by government, remember that government can be overthrown.

In America, we have similar sentiments. “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government […] But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Maybe not as catchy, but it’s a similar sentiment. Granted, it’s no 36 kegs of gunpowder under a government building, but it is one of the most powerfully written letters of intent in the history of the world. You may have heard of it, particularly if you’re an American. We call it the Declaration of Independence.

Every four years, Americans have the opportunity to decide who they want to be governed by. Are there flaws in the system? Tons. The voting process has seen tons of roadblocks and restrictions thrown up over the past four years, and especially the last one, the electoral college is an antiquated bunch of hokum, voting on Tuesdays is rather unnecessary, the two party system just screams of corruption and “vote for who you hate least, not who you want to govern you most” mentalities… the list goes on.

But it’s our system. And it’s important to participate in it. The next president affects your life in many ways. The next state Chief Justice affects your life. The next mayor of your town affects your life. Government affects you, and voting day is your chance to affect it.

It’d be great if people were going to the polls fully informed, fully aware of their candidate’s stances and the likely results of those stances, yadda yadda. I think you all can probably guess who I’m voting for if you’ve read any other political post I’ve written. Even though my vote doesn’t mean anything in Alabama, as a non-Romney vote doesn’t get counted in the long run. Thanks, Electoral College.

But even if you’re not in one of those eight or so states that’s not massively entrenched in a political side, voting is still important. This government is founded on its people, and this is our chance to make our voices heard.

So, tomorrow, please. Go out and vote.

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On Aid Privatization And Disaster Politicization

So, this hurricane thing… it’s been happening, and it hasn’t been grand. Hurricane Sandy has wreaked quite a bit of havoc on both New Jersey and New York City, with power still out in many areas of both places.

It used to be, it seemed, that when a big disaster occurred, be it natural or man-made (I will include terrorist attacks in this category), Americans could pull together to figure out what to do to fix things, at least for a while. Pearl Harbor brought the nation’s furious wrath into World War II, a war it had no true intention of entering before. 9/11 brought Americans together to aid New York City as much as possible and, for a few months at least, it seemed, brought petty partisan politics and hate to a standstill… well, except for some unfortunate xenophobia and Islamaphobia. Truth be told, we did the same thing to the Japanese-American population after Pearl Harbor.

…so, America doesn’t have the best track record on FULL unity and cooperation and support after massive attacks from a foreign entity… but when the tornadoes ripped through Alabama, severely damaging Tuscaloosa in particular, the nation turned to help. Same for Joplin, Mo. Neighboring states took in refugees after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. When the federal government failed to mobilize responsibly, local and private interest groups stepped in to pick up the slack.

But, apparently, that togetherness disappears a week before elections.

See, when the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, President Barack Obama came into town to view the damage. Obama walked with Mayor Walt Maddox, Republican Governor Robert Bentley and several Congresspeople, many who were also Republicans. During that event, in April 2011 before the real meaty parts of the reelection process began, no one thought anything of it. It was the president doing his job, surveying damage with local government officials, discussing strategies for aid and pledging support. Didn’t matter who was what political party.

But, now, here we are with Hurricane Sandy. Obama has done the same thing he did with Tuscaloosa. He left the campaign trail to focus fully on his duties as president and try to preserve as much life and livelihood as possible. He mobilized FEMA. He called New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie the night of the storm hitting the coast. He came to New Jersey and surveyed the damage. Pledged support. Discussed strategies for aid. Gov. Christie has praised Obama for his speedy and efficient support in the matter, and it can be noted that Christie, a Mitt Romney supporter, has had some less than glowing words about Obama even within the past week or so. When “Fox and Friends” tried to ask Christie about whether he thought Romney would do the same thing, Christie said, “If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.” You can see it here on this “Daily Show” clip about the hurricane.

Of course, Republicans are crying foul over Christie’s words. Human waste pile Rush Limbaugh thinks Christie’s gay for Obama. The Daily Caller columnist Matt Lewis is wondering if Christie could find a way to not look like a prop for Obama’s reelection. And President George W. Bush’s FEMA director during the Hurricane Katrina debacle Michael Brown decided to criticize Obama for reacting to the destruction too quickly.

Yes, there is some political discussion that could be had. For example, what is the benefit of government-assisted disaster relief? Should FEMA be cut or privatized? Those are the conversations that can be had. After we focus on helping those in need, those affected by the disaster.

Yes, Romney suggested cutting FEMA, letting the states handle it entirely. Yes, that would likely leave New Jersey in trouble right now with how it’s been affected. And, yes, Romney has now changed his position on FEMA, saying it plays a key role in disaster relief. So, yeah, we’ve got another flip-flop from Romney, and yeah, the conversation about federal disaster relief v. state disaster relief v. privatized disaster relief is one that we can have, and perhaps should have. I plan to go into it myself at a later time when discussing the desire to have states with more government power than the federal government.

But can we not, for this moment now, just stop playing politics and just help people? Seriously.

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And Now, We Wait. Then Vote.

Tonight was the third and final presidential debate, and the first and only one I managed to watch all the way through live. In my personal opinion, President Barack Obama won the debate. Mitt Romney did put some strong points out there at times, but most of the time, while the debate was still thoroughly on foreign policy, Romney looked and sounded less than confident. Many times, Romney contradicted himself (such as complaining that Obama attacking him isn’t talking policy, then turning to attack Obama, or his stating that killing doesn’t solve thing,s then advocating for our ability to have multiple conflicts simultaneously). Other times, Romney simply seemed to say, “I agree with the president, I’d’ve just done it better.”

In the end, though I know people will likely say I’m biased, I think Obama came out strong and clear, working on his record and calling out Romney’s “mistakes.” Romney, meanwhile, seemed to capitulate and only on occasion fight back with any conviction.

If you missed the debate and want to see them talk foreign policy (and often slip back into domestic policy and the economy, where Romney felt far more sure of himself), you can view the debate here. (Someone tell me if that doesn’t work, by the by.)

Anyway, after Tweeting up a storm (most of which didn’t end up on Facebook… probably a good thing), and not sleeping much ever, I feel exhausted. I also need to go start working on cooking up my two chilis for Thursday’s chili cook off. I have to let the flavors sit and mingle, though I’ll add most of the chocolate to the sweet chili the day of, I think.

Now that the debates are over, though? Go vote. Seriously. Do it.

So. From me to you, goodnight and talk to you later.

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Obama Stepped Up His Debating Game

I actually got to watch, like, the last half or quarter of the debate this time! Success (sort of)! I was coming back from auditions for “Godspell.” …and now I get to wait all morning for a return phone call. Yay nerve wracking waits.

Anyway, while I missed the “folders of women” part of the debate people are still memeing about, I did get to watch some pretty great moments. I saw the moderator Candy Crowley fact check Mitt Romney. I saw President Barack Obama get angry enough in tone and body language to make me think he was about to let fists fly. I saw substance. I also saw Barry ask a “really tough” question. (Hint: It wasn’t at all.)

The biggest thing I saw, though, was a massive change in Obama. He seemed to take a bit of advice from Vice President Joe Biden’s performance last week: Be aggressive.

While I think Obama (and Romney at times) did perhaps abuse his time with the mic a bit too much (One instance in particular made me want to say, “Come on, you’re doing great, just let the next question happen.”), he definitely brought his A game this time. He actually called Romney on his… mistakes, rebutted, talked with passion and compassion, and still managed to get facts and numbers out there.

He had chutzpah, as some would say. And it was nice to see.

No other real reaction from the debate, except can we PLEASE have more moderator fact checking? Seriously. It’s beyond wonderful, it’d be almost criminal not to have it.

If you missed the debate, you can view it here, or on YouTube.com/politics, I shouldn’t wonder.

…now I’m going to go to bed and fret over this potential callback. If you want more of my commentary on the debate, you can check out my Twitter. I did a few live tweets.

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The Failed Math Of The Romney/Ryan Budget

Now, fair warning before I get started: I’ve not seen this budget that these two have worked out. As far as I can tell, almost no one has. See, the two of them are nearly adamant in refusing to actually tell anyone how their budget would work. In an interview with Fox News, Paul Ryan nearly said that he didn’t have the time to give Chris Wallace the numbers and said, “It would take me too long to go through all of the math.”

Which might be true. It’s an interview. But maybe Ryan and Mitt Romney could supply some of those numbers, considering Ryan is claiming that the budget is “revenue neutral.” Which, from my understanding, means that their budget plan won’t earn America any money, but it will certainly stop America from losing money.

That means, numbers wise, that they have to cut $1.1 trillion (the current deficit, as I recall) from the current budget, or add it to the government’s income. Generally speaking, the government’s income comes from taxes. So, the solution is to cut spending and to raise taxes.

Now, Romney’s been having a bit of a problem on the road of telling anyone what he’s going to actually do in any specifics whatsoever. He’s said, specifically, he’ll cut funding to PBS and NPR. Okay. That’s specific. He’s said he’d slash funding to education. …a bit less specific, but alright. He’s said he’ll close tax loopholes… though, apparently, we have to wait until he’s elected to find out which ones.

“The Daily Show,” my go to source for a collection of clips of candidates and others saying things that don’t seem to add up with one another, had a rather excellent segment on Romney’s odd mathematics, or lack thereof.

See, it’s hard to find the specifics of what Romney wants to give up. We could look at Ryan’s budget, but Romney has said, very firmly, that his budget is different. Things changed. So it wouldn’t really do us much good. There are, however, some specifics on Romney’s website here. With the numbers provided there, it tallies up to a total of:

$219.6 billion slashed from the deficit. With a potential extra $100 billion from “empowering states to innovate.”

That’s a chunk, but it’s not deficit eliminating chunk. So, is he going to do something else?

Well, apparently, Romney is going to cut taxes across the board by 20 percent, and then he’s going to restore the defense budget to pre-Obama spending and increase it by building a lot more boats and three subs a year.

…which is where things start to get wonky for me. See, the way I understand it, if taxes, the federal government’s biggest revenue, go down, then the deficit goes up. For taxes to lower, things have to be slashed en mass to get the deficit lowered. But Romney wants to increase defense spending. All of this seems to almost eliminate the (let’s say) $319.6 billion cut from the budget.

“But it takes time! You can’t eliminate a deficit this big in one night!”

I find that argument intensely ironic, as that’s what supporters of President Barack Obama have been saying for a while now. And he still had to drive through the storm for a couple years before coming out on the other side. Romney would be starting his presidency, if elected, with unemployment rates lower than Obama started with and a stronger stock market than Obama started with. It’d seem that the sluggish removal of the deficit would have almost no excuse.

“If you lower taxes, the economy improves!”

Now, this gets into big economic theories I’m not personally familiar with. However, using logic, I can determine a few things. First, that likely isn’t true as a rule. If lower taxes improved the economy, then why tax at all? There is likely a point after which to lower taxes any more would be detrimental. Second, I feel like if that were a fact, the economy would have been doing nothing but improving since Ronald Reagan. In fact, it should have seen a strong hey day during Bush’s presidency. And it was strong for a while. Then it crashed. Which reminds me of the 1920s in America. The economy was going swell… and then it shattered. Could it be that there were not enough regulations and policies were passed that saw brief economic booms traded in for lengthy depressions?

But whether the economy improves or not isn’t what I’m discussing. I’m talking the federal budget. Simple as that. An improved economy would help, certainly, as it would potentially increase tax revenue, but I don’t think the economy will improve that much during a Romney presidency. It would be slow. Which sounds like his recovery plan.

And that’s the thing. Romney’s specific slashes and changes to the budget (which are, in my opinion, quite irresponsible) would move the deficit down some, while our debt continued to increase. Then he’d put policies in place he thinks will improve the economy (and let’s hope it won’t crash it), which would slowly move the deficit down some more. And if no one touches anything, maybe, in 10, 15, 20 years, the deficit will be gone. Tada!

But that’s not enough. There need to be some harsh realities. Taxes need to be raised. Loopholes need to be closed, particularly for corporations that get to keep their money overseas for free. We need to make it more expensive for companies to give their jobs to other countries, and make sure no corporation goes without paying taxes. The defense budget needs trimming, as does the rest of the budget. If you eliminate charitable donations tax deductions, close off tax deductions and loopholes that tend to only apply to the extremely wealthy and the big corporations, and bring corporations and companies back to the US with their jobs, you might start seeing a flow of money both in the economy and in the government’s pocketbook. THAT is what needs to happen.

Dunno if Romney will do that or not.

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So, Why Kill Big Bird, Exactly?

And by “kill Big Bird,” I am of course referring to Mitt Romney’s comments in the presidential debate stating that he would cut federal funding to PBS.

Now, I’ve talked about this before. I’ve made a generally philosophical and cultural plea to continue funding the arts. I could make a plea to education, or a plea to emotions about education…

…but the more I think about trying to convince people to not take federal funds away from PBS and company, the more I realize that I have no idea WHY people want to take those funds away.

“The Daily Show” has a bit discussing the ridiculousness of it all and supplying some reasoning for why people might want to cut it: Propaganda. …which I honestly can’t recall ever seeing on any show on PBS. Seriously. It seems like, more and more lately, the right is wanting to condemn education and facts as propaganda and warp them to fit their own narrative. Intelligent design, make history exclude certain people, et cetera. Which, really, is a frightening prospect. It’s like a war against reality. Considering Mr. “Pack of Lies from Hell” from yesterday’s post, I feel that might be accurate, sadly.

There’s another argument to keep funding PBS going around lately, from the Twitter account of fictional “The West Wing” President Josiah Bartlet. The tweet read: “TLC was founded in 1972 by NASA and the Health Department as an educational channel. It was privatized. Now it shows Honey Boo Boo.#SavePBS”

And that’s a really disturbing thought. I have heard counter-arguments, saying if PBS were defunded, it would pay for thousands of Pell Grants… Which sounds great, until you remember that the guy that wants to defund PBS wants to cut Pell Grants, too.

So, why defund PBS? There are SO MANY OTHER items in the budget that could be dropped, items which would return SO MUCH MORE money. “The Daily Show” has clip after clip after clip of Republicans dismissing the president’s attempts to cut amounts from the budget that are “insignificant” and “too small to matter” before they turn around and support cutting PBS and company, which gets a far lesser amount.

Before I can really form an argument to defend PBS and NPR and the like, defend their spread of education and facts to everyone, people who might not be able to access other methods of education or somesuch, I need to know why this is Romney’s big slash to the budget. As far as I recall, it’s one of the only things he’s flat out said he’d cut from the budget. For everything else, apparently he’ll tell us after he’s elected? I dunno. But he has said, unequivocally, he will cut funding to PBS. I would just like to hear why, exactly.

So, conservatives: Your turn. Tell me why.

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The Bill O’Reilly/Jon Stewart Debate

So, today was another debate (quasi-political, quasi-comedic) that I managed to miss. I very nearly missed it because I had forgotten about it. It was on the internet, viewable with a donation of $4.95 to charity, at TheRumble2012.com. But I saw people talking about it on Twitter, so I remembered and went to watch it. Which means that the actual reason I missed it is because the servers were apparently all down nearly the entire time. I didn’t even bother trying to watch it after all the Twitter complaints and my one attempt that led to a “This page ain’t loading” page.

Fortunately, I did manage to find some live updates for this “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.” For those unaware of what that is, it was a debate, moderated by CNN anchor ED Hill, between liberal host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart and conservative host of “The O’Reilly Factor” Bill O’Reilly. Huffington Post fortunately had a live update of the debate going, though it’s obviously not even close to actually watching the thing. Hopefully, the internet will eventually pull through and either post a free version, or a taped version you can still pay the $4.95 to watch.

Anyway, there were a few things I wanted to say about the debate. If my readings of the updates are right, Stewart probably “won” the debate because it seems like O’Reilly was randomly not taking things seriously at strange points and by doing strange things. Granted, it was supposed to be humorous as well, but… Apparently he started talking in an odd Southern-esque accent at one point? No idea why.

But, being that I’m a liberal, you’d probably figure I’d side with the diminutive Jewish funny guy anyway. Fine. Still, there were some rather interesting points raised throughout the debate. For example:

On defunding PBS and NPR, as Mitt Romney wants to do, what’s the point? O’Reilly… didn’t really seem to have anything but complaints. “Why should I be paying for this stuff? It’s gross! I don’t like it!” Not that he said any of that, but it comes off as that type of tone. Stewart’s reply, asking for a refund of the $800 billion used to fund the Iraq War, points out a pretty good secondary argument over this question of defunding these programs. First is the argument that defunding these programs is like trying to kiss better a lopped off limb. Ultimately, it’s a rather worthless gesture. But secondly is, if you want to defund things because you disagree with them, then the government is going to have to take back the money for a whole mess of things.

On entitlements, Stewart has actually brought up this point before on his show in one of his more serious, poignant and pointed moments. As Stewart said in the debate, “Why is it that if you take advantage of a corporate tax break you’re a smart businessman, but if you take advantage of something so you don’t go hungry, you’re a moocher?” There has been, as I’ve talked about before, a strange and unfortunate trend to paint those that need government help to stay on their feet, however permanent or temporary, as somehow less deserving of American life than people that survive without any help from the government, outside of tax breaks and roads and education and so on. Specifically, people that ever take welfare or use food stamps are deemed as lesser beings. It’s stupid and demeans all their potential eventual success.

But my favorite little nugget of the night, besides O’Reilly admitting America shouldn’t have gone to Iraq, is something Stewart said that I’d never really thought of. He suggested, via a single-payer system as it’s the only way he thinks it would work, that health care should be removed from work.

That’s a point I’d never really thought about. And, frankly, it should. People that dislike Obamacare gripe all the time about how it eliminates choice and destroys a person’s ability to choose their own health care. Well, even if that were true, unless you’ve got a good amount of money set aside for health care and, y’know, don’t have a big family, you don’t have much of a choice. You get the health care your job offers, or you don’t get anything. And if you don’t have a job or don’t have a job that offers you health care (like me, as I’m not hired on for enough hours to apply for health care through my job), then you’re just screwed. You don’t get health care. Unless you’re independently wealthy. It would be much nicer if health care were more readily available to the unemployed and the part-time workers that are strewn throughout the country.

Based on what I read, this debate was likely far more entertaining and exciting than the first presidential debate, sadly. But I’ve said my piece on that a couple times now. Hopefully, I’ll manage to catch the next presidential debate… and, looking for the schedule, I’ve discovered that the next debate will be the vice presidential debate on foreign and domestic policy on Oct. 11, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Then will be a town meeting style debate on foreign and domestic policy on Oct. 16, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, which in theory will be where Barack Obama can shine. And the final debate, in the style of the first debate, will be on foreign policy on Oct. 22, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. That one could be anyone’s game.

Anyway, here’s hoping I can actually watch these debates as they happen next time.

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My Actual Debate Response

Okay. As I said, I’ve watched the debate. Aaaaaand it’s a bit of a snoozer. My opinion from last night still stands. The response to the debate has been, generally, pretty spot on.

Seriously. President Barack Obama lacked a lot of the wit and rhetoric that makes him popular at rallies and speeches. He lacked the barbs required to truly pop the balloon of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. While he generally tended to actually lay out his plans decently well with some details, something he was chided for not doing much of in 2008, he lacked that passion that made him popular in 2008. Passion and nonchalance that made Bill Clinton’s DNC speech so well received. He’ll need to bring the fire and rhetoric to his next debate, or he’ll see his reelection chances slip away.

Meanwhile, Romney did well with being more personable, comparative to both the president and to, well, himself. And he did seem more playful, opening his arguments with a decent joke. The reason Romney “won” is because he came off as the stronger, more confident, more aggressive opponent.

What’s truly unfortunate about these debates, however, is that the content doesn’t actually matter all that much. Facts don’t matter. See, most of the fact-checking organizations I’ve found post-debate have agreed: Romney lied his butt off through the entire thing. Maybe it’s a famous (and seriously overplayed) reboot or Etch-a-Sketch moment for Romney, in which he once again says “Forget all that stuff I said I believe before, listen to what I say I believe now.” Meanwhile, Fox News and the Drudge Report are trying to nail Obama for things he said in 2007 (which they already tried to nail him for) and in the 1990s. But, honestly, if you just Google “Fact Check Presidential Debate,” you’ll find tons of sources that go through bit by bit what was said at that debate. And you’ll find that both candidates stretched the truth throughout. However, you’ll tend to find that Romney did it more, and more often. That he would flat lie while Obama would more often just misguide people when he slipped up.

That’s one reason I wish there were live fact checks. Because in our instant gratification nation, people don’t care about looking up the facts for themselves. They take what’s given to them, most of the time. They judge instantly for themselves and let it lie. That’s why this “Number truthers” bullcrap has been so popular amongst conservatives. I refer to today’s earlier report about unemployment. Unemployment numbers have dropped to 7.8 percent, the first time in four years it’s been below 8 percent. It’s a big deal, and a big boost for Obama. And along comes Jack Welch on Twitter, saying “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

Clearly, these numbers, which make the president look good, can’t be real. Clearly, if anything good happens, Obama is cheating and paying people off.

It’s distressing that so many people in this country want to see this country ruined just so their candidate can win an election. And it’s distressing that telling falsehoods confidently, with more panache than your opponent, can mean you “win” a debate. Granted, it’s politics. Lying and misleading is part of the game. But wouldn’t it be great if the moderator or opponent could confidently call them out? Or, frankly, ANYONE? Just hit the Taboo buzzer and say, “False.” Maybe get Rainn Wilson to do it.

I don’t know what the issues of the next debate are. Nor do I know who the moderator will be, or what style it will be in. But Obama will need to attack. He didn’t once bring up Romney’s 47 percent comment, which was a massively missed opportunity for him. Even Bill O’Reilly was confused at that choice.

If you missed the debate, you can still find it on Youtube here. I implore you to look at the facts, though. And don’t be a Jack Welch. Don’t hope for disaster for either candidate. Hope the nation improves, and hope the facts of their campaigns are what prevail.

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