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I am a bit dismayed by his foreign policy speech Monday, titled "Mantle of Leadership."
Romney chose to criticize President Obama for seeking to cut a bloated Defense Department and for not being bellicose enough in the Middle East, two assertions with which I cannot agree.
Defense and war spending has grown 137% since 2001. That kind of growth is not sustainable.
Adm. Michael Mullen stated earlier this year that the biggest threat to our national security is our debt.
If debt is our gravest threat, adding to the debt by expanding military spending further threatens our national security.
Posted by grantcart | Thu Oct 11, 2012, 11:36 PM (0 replies)
Latest Suffolk Poll 9/27
President Barack Obama (46 percent) clings to a 2-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney (44 percent), in a swing-state nail-biter, according to a Suffolk University/NBC12 (WWBT-Richmond) poll of likely general-election voters in Virginia. Seven percent were undecided.
The race is close – with survey results within the statistical margin of error – despite a decided popularity advantage for Obama. He boasted a +8 (52 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable) to Romney’s -3 (42 percent favorable to 45 percent unfavorable).
“Barack Obama shows personal popularity and strength, especially outside of the D.C. area in northern Virginia,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.
Pollster David Paleologos of Suffolk University told Bill O'Reilly that his organization will not be doing any further polls in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia because he believes President Obama has no chance to win those states.
If I ever ran a company the way that these guys carry on I would have been closed on day one.
And no one bothers to click on their website to see what the guys own polls show. Oh yeah he was on Fox.
What a farce.
This isn't about cherry picking polls this is about a pattern of incompetence and willful misrepresentation that if it were a lawyer or a doctor would get you a malpractice suit. (By the way did you note that the last poll was 'likely voters' usually the most disadvantageous way to poll for Democrats?
But hey in an industry where an unemployed DeVry graduate can get to the head of the class over night why ask questions.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Oct 10, 2012, 12:31 AM (32 replies)
Gravis Marketing wants you to believe that this is Doug Kaplan
Meet Doug Kaplan
My interest was peaked when gravismarketing entered a thread with this very lame response on a thread.
Didn't seem like a very professional response.
So I started a lengthy background check using public and private sources to track the principles behind Gravis Marketing, all of their public appearances and have come to the conclusion that Gravis Marketing is a complete fraud. Nate Silver and Real Clear Politics have all been punked.
Want to have an impact on the election or do you want to try and make some money out of it then start up a website and start issuing press releases with poll numbers. Find industry averages and publish it on a PR piece. In a poll hungry environment you will be quoted and if you do it regularly you will be put into the regular rotation. And you never have to make a single phone call.
Gravis Marketing promises to be the cheapest in the business. Well there is one way to undercut the others, save on direct expenses like a telemarketing center.
It triggered Daily Kos to ask the question who are these guys and nothing came substantial came up.
This is like the Sherlock's case of the dog that didn't bark. Check out the three 'officers' of the company and nothing comes up. No academic, professional or occupational hits.
They have between 2 to 4 employees.
As a Managing Partner in one of US largest consulting companies between 1994 and 2000 I was thousands of business resumes. This is one of the thinest I have ever seen.
So he promotes himself as a political expert and national pollster.
His public spots? One is with some small failed local Limbaugh wannabe in Florida by the name of Ed Dean. The other is on the Voice of Russia, the Russian Government's English language channel and a political show called: Carmen Russell-Sluchansky's Campaign Connection.
He is quoted there as a national US Pollster and Political analyst.
You can listen to this twerp here:
You can start to listen to him at the 5 minute mark. His comments have all of the sophistication of a poli sci major having a beer induced bull session with a bunch of his friends trying to sound like they are on the inside. Pay special attention to his rambling inarticulate explanation of why South Carolina is important.
He sounds completely uninformed for a pollster. He seems unaware the South Carolina had special importance before because of the heavy front loading of the Republican schedule with winner take all primaries that made it very difficult to be viable after SC if you didn't score in Iowa or NH. He seems unaware of the substantial rules changes that had a dramatic impact on the Republican Primary schedule and dynamics.
I could match his numbers with even better numbers and, like him, not make a single phone call.
Next there is the structure of their business model. Go to any other polling company and the political polls are just a small part of a larger business, usually in doing polling for marketing of consumer products. Face it the general elections only show up every 4 years so you can't make a lot of money there. In fact most polling companies publish polls as a loss leader so that they can attract commercial customers.
None of this exists at Gravis.
But they do have testimonials, all politically related.
There is "Cindy L" in Oregon and "Chris Young" in Rhode Island, both very satisfied and anonymous.
Mike Hardin is very happy with "Doug and the rest of the folks" at Gravis (pretty impressive for a 2-4 employee company).
Mike is also a political consultant (probably a roommate from college) but if you google Mike Hardin political consultant all you get is the Gravis referral page, and this letter to the editor in Sacramento:
The Democratic legislative leadership makes me sick. How dare they place themselves above the thousands of state employees who suffered through furloughs for almost two years and face them again. Speaker John A. Perez derides the California Citizens Compensation Commission. Of course, this is a blip in terms of the budget mess. But why not suffer together through this recession? The political scientists quoted throughout the article are no better. What are they thinking?
Now there is some very sophisticated political analysis.
Leaving us with a single actual political candidate who endorses Gravis Marketing.
And he is a 'Democrat', Chris Benjamin.
Except it turns out that Benjamin is also a fraud:
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/01/4532351/state-officials-pay-cut.html#storylink=cpy
After it was revealed that Chris Benjamin, a municipal judge and part time political consultant, is having serious personal financial problems, questions are being raised about his ability to manage public funds. Benjamin is most infamous for switching parties to run for the State Senate as a Democrat in 2008.
Either Benjamin was one of these guys that takes money to run as a Democrat so that the Republican can win easily or he ran as a Democrat because he thought he might make money it doesn't really matter.
And that is Gravis Marketing's great success and only identified public client.
So Nate, Huffington Post, Real Clear Politics have all been punked.
And the right wing blogs are running around with all of these wonderful numbers, and some at DU get their chain pulled.
Doug probably hasn't made any money off of it yet but next time around the Republicans will be happy to throw some bucks his way to get some good PR numbers.
Until then Gravis remains 'non partisan' lol.
Now you know Gravis is a fraud.
I know Gravis is a fraud.
The media can pick up this work and get a story out of it.
Tabbi reads DU and he may have got interest in the KB Toys from one of my articles so this would be a fun story for him, how many other pollsters are punking the media.
I have done most of the work already so some journalist can take all of the credit, just give a mention to DU.
Now Doug Kaplan is going to scream like a stuck pig.
Well all a good investigating reporter has to do is ask to see his W-2s for all the people making the calls and all of the phone bills for all of the calls. Check back on every poll he made and ask to see the telephone bills for all of the calls, I know my bill lists every call I made. Or do you think that they all used the same Vonage line, lol.
Gravis Marketing is a fraud.
Doug Kaplan is a fraud.
And until all of their records have been published and checked that's how they should be noted.
Just another notch for DU fettering out right wing bull shit.
(if someone could take the time to send this to real clear politics, nate silver and post it at Daily Kos, I would appreciate it. I have to move today. On to Tucson.)
Posted by grantcart | Sun Oct 7, 2012, 12:47 PM (199 replies)
It is difficult for me to be objective about the debate because my distaste for Romney is so strong and visceral that I cannot watch him for more than a few seconds without my blood pressure rising and my testerone pump starting to flood my body with angry little hormones.
I find that after 30 seconds of Mitch watching I am compelled to rise out of my chair and start shadow boxing. This is the kind of telltale indicators that tips you off that you might not be objective about what you are watching.
My distaste for Romney is in part related as a reaction to the corruption of the Republican Party and even capitalism that makes me so angry. You see I followed his dad in '68 and rooted for him to take out Nixon. How different the world would have been. Iit is assholes like Romney who have corrupted capitalism even further making it even more callous, reckless and devastating than it need be.
Then there is his whole phony persona that he has spent a lifetime trying to engineer to get people to embrace him and project his religion as wholesome.
He nauseates me and as a prophylaxis to my health I have taken the very sensible antidote by simply muting him off. I wait until after he has been distilled and analyzed and can take him in short clips.
I also don't trust DU to have an objective view of the debates because you are all political junkies. So I texted about 6 Democratic friends who I trust (and aren't as obsessed as we are) and generally they thought that Romney gave a good 'performance' but that the President also made his points about the policy. They also didn't think that Romney's 'performance' advanced any of his theories.
There is one point that I think DU has lost perspective on and that is even if you thought that Romney handily won the debate it is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the outcome of the election. Intrade went from the astronomical 70% level to the extremely high 65% level. What states flipped from Obama to Romney last night. Possibly North Carolina, possibly none.
It will be seen as a very clever performance by a person that people still don't trust. And if that wasn't enough there is that wonderful little secret Romney telling them over and over again that he doesn't care about the 47% he isn't going to worry about.
I do strongly disagree with some at DU who wish that the President had brought that up. I hope that it never comes up in a debate because it gives Romney the chance to address it and get ahead of it. Today it lingers as a wonderful little antidote to any independent that thinks that they might like Romney.
Having a good performance at a debate is not the same as persuading someone on a policy. People didn't buy the Romney policies, such as they are known before the debate and they are not going to buy it after the debate. People that basically didn't like the guy still don't like the guy. His negatives didn't go down last night.
And for a lot of people who, like me truly hate the idea of a President Romney, they got a lot more focused.
Posted by grantcart | Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:31 AM (1 replies)
So what happened to all of those hundred million dollar Koch brother checks?
Was it all a myth, a bluff? If so it may have motivated Democrats to give more and given Republican fat cats reason to sit on their wallets. About a month ago I predicted that the official Romney campaign would face cash flow problems and a couple of weeks later media reports started reporting that the Romney campaign had borrowed $ 20 million]and was spending considerably less than the Obama campaign.
Now a careful look at media buys is showing a curious result.
Where are those huge Super Pac media purchases by right wing billionaires?
Last week total media buys for all campaign and super Pacs topped $55 million but of that the Obama campaign spent 40% of the total. The two largest Super Pacs involved in buying media last week? Number one was Omaha billionaire Ricketts who just started buying spots with more than $ 8 million and number two was the Obama Super Pac which spent $ 3.4 million.
President Obama, Mitt Romney, and outside groups spent more than $55 million on advertising running between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1, according to sources watching the advertising market. Obama's campaign alone spent $21 million during the last week, while Romney's campaign dropped $14 million on its own advertising.
All told, Obama's team has spent a total of $285 million on broadcast, cable, and radio advertising, while Romney's camp has spent $117 million. Add in outside spending and the total spent on the general election tops $724.6 million to date. With 39 days to go until Election Day, the 2012 campaign has already eclipsed the total amount spent in the 2008 cycle.
Ohio, Florida, and Virginia continue to be top targets for candidate advertising. The two sides are spending a combined $11.4 million reaching Buckeye State voters; $12.6 million in the Sunshine State; and $10.5 million in the Commonwealth this week alone. All three states have seen more than $114 million spent on advertising already.
So where are all of the tens of millions of the Koch brothers. Were they idle boasts? If so they may have crippled the Romney campaign because as I predicted (which was met with almost universal skepticism) the Romney campaign seems to have fallen way way behind the Obama campaign in media buys, in fact buying $ 170 million less.
If Romney has a less than great debate performance he could see his donor base quietly pack up their check books while the billionaires find other objectives for their political play money.
And then there is this;
When the Romney campaign ran short of money the borrowed against unused deposits of primary contributions.
They have already started paying that money back.
While other candidates will borrow to go into the hole it is generally understood that they don't have the resources to cover that debt and they have to spend time after the campaign to raise money to pay it off. With Romney's vast personal wealth he knows that once the election is over no one is going to donate one penny to him. He will have to write personal checks for every cent. My guess is that after the campaign is done the Romney campaign will have no debt.
So it may be that the original prediction of Romney's cash flow problems may have been under stated. It may be that not only will the official campaign have cash flow problems but that the Super Pac money will turn out to be tens of millions less than advertised.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Sep 30, 2012, 07:30 AM (11 replies)
The sniping has already begun but it is rather obvious that on Nov 7th two things are going to happen in the Republican Party;
1) Mitt Romney will become known as the man who gave the election to the President aka the most hated man in the party (which with equally disdainful feelings of the Democrats and the Independents for different reasons) will make him the most hated man in America.
In order to try and undermine the President's second term they will completely take apart the man who ran against him. The meme will be "of course Obama won, look at the idiot that ran against him'.
2) There will be serious talk about structural Republican demographic problems, especially among Hispanics. From the Republican point of view the Hispanics are the most church going anti abortion ethnic group in America, that and the fact that they are the fastest growing means that the only way forward is that they must capture the Hispanic vote to win.
There is only one Republican candidate who has legitimate Hispanic credentials, Jeb Bush. Jeb is married to a wealthy Mexican national and is fluent in Spanish. His views will be portrayed as 'moderate'.
So expect to see;
1) More Romney sniping, cascading into 'he's an idiot' among punsters. You might even see cable anchors look into the camera and cover their face and mutter "sweet Jesus" after watching Romney on the stump.
2) More Romney financial cash flow problems. Now this requires some discipline because people mix up the huge funds of the Presidential campaign and those of the SuperPacs. The SuperPacs can buy ads but for most campaign activities they cannot. In the swing states of Ohio and Florida the Obama campaign has run 10,000 more ads than Romney. (I am also beginning to think that these hundred million dollar Koch checks maybe more myth than reality - in which case they had probably let a lot of Republicans think that they didn't need to contribute anything).
The truth is that the Bush/traditional Republican hierarchy never opened up their pocket books for Romney.
3) Strange polling. What kind of strange polling? Polling in the middle of a Presidential campaign that would suggest that the Bush Brand is not doing that badly, especially compared to Romney:
George W. Bush posts better favorability ratings than Mitt Romney in new Bloomberg survey
For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush –and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee.
A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.
You really have to admire the quality of the Bush machine. Even when they are this obvious most Republicans have no idea what is happening. By December 1st they will be marching in step behind a new movement, "Only Jeb can save us now".
Karl Rove may be a POS but he can run an effective Republican operation.
Posted by grantcart | Fri Sep 28, 2012, 07:29 AM (42 replies)
Babyloniansister posted this thread about Janiya Penny's meeting of the President captured in one of the most arresting pictures every taken at the White House.
We don't know what circumstances led to Janiya getting listed on the 'Make-a-Wish' list but we know there is a mountain of heartbreak weighing on the family of every child who is on that list.
In the picture you will see that Janiya is overcome by joy at meeting the President.
You can see the joy of the parents.
The President is completely in the moment and after greeting Janiya has turned to connect with her parents, who undoubtedly have been through their own personal torment in accompanying Janiya through her challenges.
If that was all in the picture it would be a candidate for the shortlist for iconic White House pictures.
But glance up wards and view the picture with the melancholy view of President Lincoln witnessing the event.
That additional framing gives an added almost surrealistic level to the painting. It shows the completed circle that goes from a compassionate leader who pays the greatest sacrifice to illustrating how progressive policies can transform real people's lives.
And the wise compassion of one leader becomes the foundation for the wise compassion of another.
And in her innocence Janiya becomes not only our sister but shows us how politics does in fact impact real people.
And we all share in her joy.
And grateful to those who have sacrificed before us so that we can share the moment with her.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Sep 23, 2012, 12:09 AM (49 replies)
Romney is definitely in the 47% of the country that are 'takers'.
Their family benefits from tens of millions of US dollars that have gone into decades of research on neuro related diseases in general and MS in particular.
Had a neighbor who suffered tremendously from MS and died young and I don't wish it on anyone.
But I am completely baffled at what kind of morally bankrupt person with a basic education of how society works could see how people suffer with MS and not become more empathetic with their plight.
The National Institute for Health invests in advancing the research and treatment of MS does that make your wife Ann Romney a Taker?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct research in laboratories at the NIH and also support additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Scientists continue their extensive efforts to create new and better therapies for MS. One of the most promising MS research areas involves naturally occurring antiviral proteins known as interferons. Beta interferon has been shown to reduce the number of exacerbations and may slow the progression of physical disability. When attacks do occur, they tend to be shorter and less severe. In addition, there are a number of treatments under investigation that may curtail attacks or improve function. Over a dozen clinical trials testing potential therapies are underway, and additional new treatments are being devised and tested in animal models.
1) Added an aggressive form of MS to qualify for the "Compassionate Allowances Initiative" at the Social Security Administration. This initiative will allow those individuals that qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance quicker than the average applicant.
Established new federal funding avenues that thus far, have yielded over $20 million for MS research. In FY 2008, nearly $4 million was dedicated for MS research in a Department of Defense competitive program. MS activists then successfully advocated for a distinct funding stream that has allocated over $16 million or MS research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
2) Introduced legislation to allow Medicare Part D to cover off-label drugs for people living with MS.
Promoted awareness and importance of a wide range of caregiving initiatives for people living with disabilities. As part of this effort, advocated for increased funding for and reauthorization of the Lifespan Respite Program, which improves access to quality respite for family caregivers, and supported introduction of legislation o support Adult Day Achievement Centers.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Sep 19, 2012, 02:18 PM (4 replies)
Not the Super Pacs (although they may not be getting any more either) but the official Romney campaign.
First thing is Romney has a very small base of contributors and the highest percentage of maxed out contributors.
Second thing is that with debacle after debacle event only the most diehard contributors will stay, most will go to Senate campaigns.
Third Romney never really engendered diehard contributors but more fair weather friends, and the sky is very cloudy.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 08:58 PM (36 replies)
One of Danny Devito's scummy characters.
Could have been Owen from Throw Mamma from the train
washed up actor Martin Weir in Get Shorty
Priebus is playing the ambulance chasing attorney Deck Shifflet in the Rainmaker.
You remember the shiftless, scummy attorney who spends his time handing out business cards to neighborhood kids while Matt Damon is meeting with the dying client.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 10:58 AM (2 replies)