Thursday, October 4, 2012

Last Call

Frowny Bee is generally disappointed in the liberal blogothingy debate analysis stuff today.

This has made Frowny Bee mildly annoyed.  Look upon your works, liberal blogothingy.  Look at that face. F-Bee, being kinda roly-poly and sober for a bee, suggests chillaxing is in order, folks.
He is cheering himself up with some pretty even-handed debate stuff here and is secure in the knowledge that this too will pass.  Good advice.  Keep roundy and carry on.

Of course, Frowny Bee gets even more frowny when he sees obvious voter intimidation like this in Cleveland:

 According to Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, who took the photo, this sign is directly across from Arbor Park Village, a subsidized housing development of more than 600 units. It is also within a few blocks of three public housing estates and right down the street from Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus. 
This is blatant voter intimidation,” says Councilwoman Cleveland. “A direct attack in the heart of African American community meant to scare people and keep them from exercising their right to vote.”

Frowny Bee would therefore like to remind you of what the hell really matters, and liberal blogothingy self-pissing with your hair on fire is not in that gorram category, understand?  Perspective, you see?

Good.  Frowny Bee, outro.

Fact Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

The New York Times has an excellent interactive combination debate transcript and fact checking analysis of the first debate here, and it's very well-done and thoughtful if you're looking for hard facts.

A couple of good moments from the debate on specifics.  First, President Obama:

Over the last 30 months, we've seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. The auto industry has come roaring back and housing has begun to rise. But we all know that we've still got a lot of work to do. And so the question here tonight is not where we've been but where we're going. Governor Romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy, and roll back regulations that we'll be better off.

I've got a different view. I think we've got to invest in education and training. I think it's important for us to develop new sources of energy here in America, that we change our tax code to make sure that we're helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States, that we take some of the money that we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America and that we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make these critical investments. 

President Obama was correct on both the jobs created and the war savings issue according to the times.

But Mitt Romney did get some shots in on the economy too:

The people who are having the hard time right now are middle- income Americans. Under the president's policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. They're -- they're just being crushed. Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a -- this is a tax in and of itself. I'll call it the economy tax. It's been crushing. The same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president, electric rates are up, food prices are up, health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family.

Middle-income families are being crushed. And so the question is how to get them going again, and I've described it. It's energy and trade, the right kind of training programs, balancing our budget and helping small business. Those are the -- the cornerstones of my plan.

The numbers, according to the Times, do add up here.  How much of that is President Obama's fault is up to the voters.

But the Times called Romney out for this lie on Medicare:

We also have 50 percent of doctors who say they won't take more Medicare patients. This -- we have 4 million people on Medicare Advantage that will lose Medicare Advantage because of those $716 billion in cuts. I can't understand how you can cut Medicare $716 billion for current recipients of Medicare.

Now, you point out, well, we're putting some back; we're going to give a better prescription program. That's one -- that's $1 for every 15 (dollars) you've cut. They're smart enough to know that's not a good trade.

The NY Times called that "debunked" and points out Paul Ryan's plan includes "identical savings."  Oops.  Romney also got busted on repealing Obamacare and, yes, once again, DEATH PANELS.

And unfortunately, when -- when you look at "Obamacare," the Congressional Budget Office has said it will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance. So it's adding to cost. And as a matter of fact, when the president ran for office, he said that by this year he would have brought down the cost of insurance for each family by $2,500 a family. Instead, it's gone up by that amount. So it's expensive. Expensive things hurt families. So that's one reason I don't want it.

Second reason, it cuts $716 billion from Medicare to pay for it. I want to put that money back in Medicare for our seniors.

Number three, it puts in place an unelected board that's going to tell people, ultimately, what kind of treatments they can have. I don't like that idea.

Which is of course, a complete fabrication.  The board makes recommendations for spending and savings, not for treatment.  Do you know who makes those decisions now?  Unelected insurance company officials.

Overall, the Times did a really good job here.  Do check out the entire transcript with video, as well as the fact checking highlights.

Shocked But Not Surprised In The Treasure State

A federal judge has struck down Montana's campaign finance limits, calling them unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down Montana’s limits on contributions to state political candidates, allowing politicians in the state to receive unlimited donations from individuals, party committees and PACs.

U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled that Montana’s contribution limit to candidates was unconstitutionally low.

“Having reviewed and considered the entire record and the parties’ arguments and evidence, the Court concludes that Montana’s contribution limits in Montana Code Annotated § 13-37-216 are unconstitutional under the First Amendment,” he wrote in his decision. 

Nobody should be surprised by that given Citizens United, but the logic here is just as shocking as that awful decision:

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court case Randall v. Sorrell, which struck down Vermont’s strict limit on contributions to candidates, Lovell wrote that, “[t]he contribution limits prevent candidates from ‘amassing the resources necessary for effective campaign advocacy.’”

Montana law limited individual and political action committee contributions to $630 for the gubernatorial candidates, $310 to candidates for statewide office and $160 for candidates to other office.

Political party committees could contribute $22,600 to gubernatorial candidates, $8,150 to statewide candidates, and $800 to candidates for other offices.

In other words, that's just not enough money to buy a state office in Montana, dammit.  And the legal advocacy group that killed Montana's fight against Citizens United claimed victory here for unlimited corporate money in politics once again.

Montana really is the Treasure State if you're a corporate candidate running for office.

Cop Punches Woman - Not A Repeat. Sigh.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police have launched an internal investigation after a video was posted online that shows an officer striking a woman twice in the face at a neighborhood party associated with Philadelphia's annual Puerto Rican Day parade. The 36-second video uploaded to YouTube and titled "Philadelphia Police Brutality" shows the woman crumpling to the ground after being struck Sunday in north Philadelphia. The woman appears to be bleeding from the mouth as she is led away in handcuffs.
Moments before the woman was hit, the video shows someone else throwing a liquid toward the officers. The woman was also seen spraying something from a can.
The woman, whose name was not released, was cited for disorderly conduct, said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman.
The officer in the video, identified as highway patrol supervisor Lt. Jonathan Josey, is eager to tell his side of the story to internal investigators because there is more to what happened than the video shows, said John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
"We're hoping that it's neither a whitewash nor a witch hunt," McNesby said at a news conference Monday. "At the end of the day, his actions will be questioned, but I believe they can be defended."
While I understand there may be things not captured on the video, and that perhaps the woman was guilty of some level of disorderly conduct, in what way is that grounds for punching a woman in the face?  Watch the video.  At the 40 second mark you can see him focus on her, step up behind her and swing around to hit her in the face while she walks away, watching him over her shoulder.

He wasn't defending himself.  From what I see, he engaged her.  She came in from an angle, he says something and she veers away, and he steps into her space and hits her.  I watched it over and over, noting my original response and what I saw as I studied what happened.  I am curious if our readers see it differently.

As people become more frustrated with government and conditions, there will be more marching and protesting than ever.  The Occupy movement will be one of many that will encourage people to speak out.  This must be tolerated, and police must learn how to manage crowds and do so within the boundaries of the law.  If she was guilty of a misdemeanor, it still doesn't give this cop the right to punch her while she is walking away from him.

This jackass had a choice.  He could have taken her arm, or even done a police tackle if one had been required.  Instead he hits her in the face in a sucker punch with way more force than necessary, and in a speech pretending to be neutral, we're told this sucker punch can be defended if we only knew the facts.  The facts I can watch with my own eyes says this is an act of avoidable aggression by a bully with power.

Machete Attack Unsuccessful (Thank Goodness)

Darrall D. Tosh, 49, has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. The attack occurred in an apartment building at 504 E. Cherry. Paul E. Stacy suffered cuts to his wrist and neck area. His injuries were non-life threatening, police said.
According to a probable cause statement filed by police, Stacy said Tosh had been playing his stereo loudly and Stacy had asked his girlfriend’s daughter to go to Tosh’s apartment and ask him to turn down the volume. Stacy said Tosh screamed through his door that he was not going to turn down the volume. In a post-Miranda interview, Tosh said a woman had come to his door and he had turned down his music.
If you read the whole article, you learn his intent, and that he made connection with the man's neck, although he didn't think the force he used would do much harm.

With a machete.

I've seen too many horror movies.  If a dude comes at me with a machete, I am shooting until I'm out of bullets, and removing his head from his body for confirmation that there will be no sequel.

Both Sides Against The Middle

A new CNN poll on the role of government has some interesting findings, namely that the American people want the government to basically leave them the hell alone.

The survey, released Wednesday, indicates that there have been major changes on attitudes toward the government.

"The biggest: The number of Americans who say that the government should promote traditional values has fallen to an all-time low, a finding that might benefit many Democrats," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the survey, just four in 10 registered voters believe the government should promote traditional values, down from 53% in 2010 and 57% in 2008.

"Between 1993, when CNN began asking that question, and last year, a majority of respondents have always said that the government should promote traditional values. Now, for the first time, more than half say the government should not favor any particular set of values," adds Holland.

But the poll also indicates the belief that the government is doing too much is also near historically high levels.

Six in 10 say the government is doing too much that should be left to individuals and businesses. That finding could favor Republicans.

So basically six in ten Americans want the government out economically, but about the same majority want the government to stop pushing moral judgements too.  Hey, that would be actual libertarian stuff, if the actual libertarians weren't closet Republicans.

Go figure.   Still, it explains why this race has been less than a blowout until now.

Debate Deblogging

Wednesday night's debate, the main event:  Mitt Romney the challenger, President Barack Obama the incumbent.  Romney has to go three for three in these debates to have any shot of catching up in the swing states, but he had to have last night's debate to win.  Jim Lehrer of PBS News Hour the moderator, and here's my breakdown of the six segments of the debate, the questions all on domestic issues after the jump.


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