Thursday, February 21, 2013

DOJ Training against civilian targets?

Is this DOJ training to actually take on Americans?  With recent purchases of 1.4+ billion HOLLOW point rounds, one has to wonder.  Furthermore, recent target shooting practice of targets comprised of little kids, grandmothers, pregnant women, etc. is very SCARY.  See for yourself.  If only the government was small and benevolent.....

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mitt Romney strives to strike a posture personable and presidential

TAMPA — Condoleezza Rice radiated charisma, Ann Romney exuded warmth, and Paul Ryan brought his Wisconsin-bred polite pugnacity. But in the end, it was Mitt Romney who capped the Republicans’ big week with a message that carried an unlikely echo of the very president he is trying to unseat.
On the final night of a slimmed-down and at times uneven Republican National Convention, Romney used his long-awaited address to call for national unity and conciliation, to “restore the promise of America.” He used somewhat gentler rebukes of President Obama — more disappointed father than angry uncle — as he pleaded with his party and his country to transfer to him the mantle of hope and change.
It was a shrewd tack, and a more presidential one, performed with the recognition that many Americans are still just forming first impressions of a man who has remained, in the public imagination, something of a riddle.
“That America, that united America” became a refrain, as Romney called for shared purpose — toward putting people back to work, caring for the poor and the sick, and preserving US military strength. In spirit, at times, it evoked Obama’s legendary lament at the 2004 Democratic National Convention about the red state-blue state divide.
Despite the harsh attacks that he, his campaign, and their Republican surrogates have leveled against Obama’s presidency this week, Thursday night was Romney’s moment to rise above all that, to appear, at least for a brief moment, high-minded and more personable. Fleeting or not, it was an approach that surely held appeal well beyond the partisan confines of the Tampa convention hall, even if the speech lacked the soaring rhetoric or cogency of the week’s best performers.
Romney had two key challenges coming into the convention. He had to make voters confident in his ability to fix the economy, but also comfortable with him as a potential president. He has, though, been famously stingy in talking about himself. His campaign book, “No Apology,” is so spare on personal details that he began the first chapter with these words: “I hate to weed.”
Whether he accomplished all he needed to remains an open question. But one of the most important tasks of the past few days — fleshing out who Mitt Romney is, and where he comes from — he achieved to a degree Thursday by revealing some emotion in talking about his five boys and by letting friends and supporters speak to his character.
Party leaders and TV viewers heard uplifting (and selectively chosen) stories about companies helped by Bain Capital. They heard of the loyalty he inspires among those close to him. They heard of his managerial aplomb as governor. But most notably they heard testimonials about his long and committed service within the Mormon church.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

High Stakes For Romney

Over the last two days, the Republican convention has achieved a couple of major goals, but Mitt Romney still has several remaining to address in his speech tonight accepting the party’s nomination for president.

On Tuesday night, Romney’s wife, Ann, made a strong appeal to female voters, particularly economically stressed mothers, saying that she understood the problems they face and the extra burdens they carry. Romney already has a majority among married women nationally – the big Democratic advantage is with unmarried people of both genders – but Republicans hope to push that advantage further and believe that Ann Romney can help on that score.

Republicans have also showcased a parade of Latino officeholders, hoping to narrow the yawning deficit they confront among another key voting bloc. That effort will continue Thursday night as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida introduces Romney.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Romney looks beyond South's electoral votes

Conventions are the seventh-inning stretch of presidential politics, a pause to consider the interminable prelude and the coming climax. Republicans gathering in Tampa face an unusual election in which they do not have a substantial advantage concerning the most presidential subject, foreign policy.
This is not because their nominee has weak foreign-policy credentials, which are not weaker than Barack Obama's were four years ago. And it is not because some of Mitt Romney's policy expostulations during the nominating process -- e.g., "We should not negotiate with the Taliban. We should defeat the Taliban" -- promise a limitless elongation of an 11-year exercise in mission creep that the public is sensibly eager to liquidate. And it is not because there are no ominous potentialities: Both Romney and Obama seem committed to a third regional war if, as is highly probable, Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons. (Israel could make foreign policy central in the U.S. campaign by striking Iran.) And it is not because the world has become tranquil -- although the world, which Romney calls "dangerous, destructive, chaotic," is less so than at any time since the 1920s, measured by the likelihood of people dying from organized violence.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mitt Romney's Personal Side

Ann Romney buys Mitt shirts by the three-pack at Costco, and sometimes he does his own ironing. She's so moved by their commitment to tithing that, when they give the check to their church, she cries. They both envision a White House enlivened by "little feet in the hallway": their 18 visiting grandkids. As they try to warm up a candidate burdened by a cold-fish image, the Romneys are dishing out the endearing details.
Here's one America may not be ready for: Instead of syrup, he slathers his pancakes with peanut butter.
Such homey nuggets, part of an all-out effort anchored by this week's Republican National Convention, are meant to showcase a softer side for voters who may know Romney mostly as a multimillionaire businessman who occasionally blurts out something tone-deaf, such as "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mitt Romney’s road to Tampa

Just under a year ago, Mitt Romney was looking at what promised to be a rough evening in Tampa, the same city where he will formally accept his party’s presidential nomination this week.
At the time, that prize seemed to be slipping from his grasp. Polls showed Romney badly trailing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a late entry into the race who was a matinee idol of the right. And the rowdy crowd that had gathered for a tea party-sponsored debate at the Florida State Fairgrounds was clearly in the mood for a rumble.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Romney’s to-do list for the Tampa convention

Mitt Romney has a lengthy to-do list for this week’s Republican convention here in Tampa, but it’s all aimed at one overriding priority: establishing the presumptive nominee as better equipped than President Obama to fix the ailing economy.
The convention affords Romney the opportunity, finally, to get on message and stay on message. The coming week will be highly scripted.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Romney’s Energy Plan

Ridiculing a campaign document is like shooting unusually large fish in a barrel, but Mitt Romney’s new energy “plan” is so fantastical and extreme that I feel compelled to fire away.
Let’s start first with the premise of the plan, which is also its promise: that energy independence is an achievable goal for America by 2020. Presidents have been talking about energy independence since Richard Nixon and haven’t come close. The simple truth, as President Obama has recognized, is that a country that holds less than 3 percent of the world’s reserves but consumes more than 20 percent of the world’s supply cannot drill its way to energy independence. More production will help, but true independence from foreign imports – not to mention fewer greenhouses gases and a safer climate, a subject Mr. Romney never touches upon – will depend on developing alternative fuels and more efficient vehicles.
Mr. Romney’s position paper says that independence can be achieved if we “partner closely with Canada and Mexico. “ But that wouldn’t do the job either, even if Mexico and Canada sent every single barrel they produce to the United States—highly unlikely since they might want to use some of it for themselves.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Republican VP Candidate Complements Romney

Republican voters and political analysts alike have accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of being stiff, out-of-touch and willing to compromise his political beliefs when pressured. The same cannot be said of Romney's vice presidential pick, Congressman Paul Ryan.

Romney thinks the young, but experienced lawmaker is part of his key to success this year in his race against Barack Obama.

"With energy and vision, Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party," Romney said. "He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don't change course."

Congressman Ryan holds a degree in economics and political science from Miami University of Ohio. He was elected to Congress at the age of 28 and is now in his seventh term representing Janesville, Wisconsin - the town where he was raised and still lives.

Ryan chairs the House of Representatives' Budget Committee. The 42-year-old is best known for presenting federal budgets that propose trillions of dollars in spending cuts as well as controversial changes to Medicare, the government's health care program for elderly Americans.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mitt Romney enters campaign’s final months with big edge in donations over President Obama

Mitt Romney is heading into the final three months of the campaign with far more cash at his disposal than a sitting president known for his fund-raising prowess, a scenario that presents the Republican’s Boston-based campaign with a series of strategic and tactical opportunities that could provide a crucial difference as he enters the final stretch of a race expected to be razor-close.
The growing financial advantage, one that would have been hard to predict several months ago, comes after months of hoarding money as President Obama’s campaign spent heavily on television ads trying to brand Romney early in the minds of voters.
But with a race that still appears tight, Romney’s campaign is now enjoying some of the rewards of withholding its money while being outspent — by about a 3-to-1 ratio — by the Obama campaign through the summer months.
“That will be over soon,” said Stuart Stevens, a Romney senior adviser. “And the playing field will be more level.”
For three consecutive months Romney and the Republican Party have far outraised Obama and the Democrats, even as they spend much less.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Poll: Romney grabs lead in Wisconsin

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has opened up a 1-point lead in the key battleground state of Wisconsin, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Mr. Romney leading President Obama 48 percent to 47 percent in the Badger State. The results are identical to those from a Rasmussen Reports poll released last week.
Mr. Obama, who won Wisconsin by 14 percentage points in 2008, consistently has led in state polls but has seen his lead evaporate in the two weeks since Mr. Romney announced Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.
The poll showed that Republican voters have rallied behind the Romney-Ryan ticket, with 93 percent saying they will vote Republican, and that Wisconsin independents have shifted away from the president, who holds just a 4-point lead with them after enjoying a 14-point lead last month.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting the Facts Straight on Romney and Obama

The rhetoric of the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns has recently become harsher. Both sides have additionally issued highly misleading TV advertisements. The media have devoted significant attention to these controversies while sometimes failing to address underlying policy differences. Financial and healthcare reform notably deserve closer attention than they have received as of late.
Vice President Joe Biden has faced criticism for telling a racially diverse audience that, if Mitt Romney were elected president, he would "let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street" and "put you all back in chains." The Romney campaign took offense at these remarks, arguing that they were extremely misleading and divisive.
Biden's poor choice of words has effectively led part of the public and the media to look at his finger when he was pointing to the moon. The Republican Party staunchly opposed increasing financial regulation following the catastrophic 2008 financial crisis that was caused, to an extent, by the reckless investment strategies of certain Wall Street elements. Only three Republican House members and three Republican Senators voted for financial reform. The GOP affirmed that more financial regulation would worsen the stranglehold of "big government" over the economy by creating needless red tape. Romney himself depicted the relatively modest reform as gross overregulation. "Banks are afraid to make loans right now because of the government hanging over them like gargoyles," he said. Congressman Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential pick, voted against the new financial regulations, which run counter to his libertarian philosophy.
Whether Biden's reference to "unchaining Wall Street" was a proper metaphor or not, the facts demonstrate that the modern-day Republican Party is extremely averse to regulation in finance and other areas, from health care to environmental protection. Insofar as Biden was playing the so-called "race card" by telling his audience that Romney's stance towards Wall Street would "put you all back in chains," it was a counter-productive strategy given that the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession harmed Americans of all races and ethnicities. A compelling case for financial reform may be made by simply stating the facts and without resorting to language that is over-the-top.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Romney Shifts His Tone Toward Obama

Mitt Romney delivered his fieriest denunciation yet of President Obama in front of the stately sandstone courthouse here the other day, arguing that Obama has besmirched the office of the presidency, divided Americans and taken modern-day campaigning to a new low.
"Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago, and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America," Romney said on Tuesday.
The speech received a lot of attention as a new and forceful turn for the presumptive GOP nominee, but it was actually the culmination of weeks of transformation in Romney's tone toward his rival. It is a shift that has occurred because of strategic imperatives, Romney's altered view of Obama and anger at how he believes the president and his allies have waged their campaign.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Romney wants running mate to play it safe, for now

Mitt Romney wants running mate Paul Ryan to play it safe.
Ryan, the nation’s most controversial budget architect, is often described as the intellectual leader of the House Republican caucus. But Romney’s presidential campaign headquarters in Boston seems, for now, to prefer that the 42-year-old father of three talks about camping and milking cows instead of the fiscal proposals that made him a conservative hero.
Ryan, who wrote a plan to overhaul Medicare as chairman of the House Budget Committee, did not use the word ‘‘Medicare’’ with voters over the first four days as the vice presidential candidate. When he finally touched on the health care insurance program for seniors, he did so only in broad strokes after Romney himself first outlined the campaign’s talking points.
‘‘We will not duck the tough issues,’’ Ryan said Friday in Virginia. ‘‘We will lead.’’
But Ryan has been directed to avoid taking questions from reporters who travel with him, and to agree only to a few carefully selected interviews. He is known for sketching budget graphs on napkins to explain his ideas, but this past week it was Romney who used a white board during a news conference to help detail his own plan — one he says is virtually identical to Ryan's.
‘‘I'm joining the Romney ticket,’’ Ryan told an Ohio television station this week. ‘‘It’s not the other way around. So I'm supporting the Mitt Romney plan.’’
Some of the Republican Party’s most passionate voters see it a different way. Reluctant to support Romney during the GOP primary, they favor Ryan and his ideas more than the former Massachusetts governor who will head the party’s ticket.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Romney-Ryan ticket is a flashback to McCain-Palin

I disagree with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) on many policy issues, but I greatly respect him as a politician and a war hero. That is what made the 2008 presidential election so interesting at first: a respected senior senator versus a fresh-faced freshman senator who eloquently spoke of change and hope. And yet, with Senator McCain’s pick of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, he lost scores of votes – and perhaps the election – as the result of a desperate attempt to shore up his conservative credentials.
To the average independent voter trying to decide between Senator McCain and Senator Obama, Governor Palin made the choice clearer. Governor Palin brought a complete lack of knowledge on foreign affairs, an overzealous allegiance to conservative social stances on issues such as abortion and same-sex rights, and a willingness to say whatever, whenever, to rile up the base, no matter how extreme or dangerous those words could have been.

With the announcement of Governor Romney’s presumptive running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, I am beginning to wonder if this election will be 2008 all over again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Romney's Southern Strategy Gambit

Romney's Southern Strategy is anchored in another political reality. He can and has successfully grabbed the majority of conservative white voters. In each of his 2012 GOP primary wins, he got two-thirds of those that self-labeled themselves "strongly conservative" or "somewhat conservative." Ryan will not only fatten the percentage of conservative voters for Romney, it will fatten their numbers as well. This is not speculation. He's already bumped up the Romney percentage in some polls by a notch. Romney had badly slipped in those polls before the Ryan pick. This is no surprise for another reason. Elections are usually won by candidates with a solid and impassioned core of bloc voters. White males, particularly older white males, vote consistently and faithfully. And they vote in a far greater percentage than Hispanics and blacks.
Romney, then, crunched the voter numbers and the stats and those numbers have shown that his only path to the White House is getting an overwhelming number of white voters in the South, the Heartland States, and the swing states. Romney's neo-Southern Strategy with Ryan as point man is simply a repeat of what GOP presidential candidates have routinely done for the past five decades.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mitt Romney to be Introduced by Marco Rubio at Convention

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who was on the GOP short list for vice presidential contenders until nearly the very end, got something of a huge consolation prize – he will introduce Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention in late August.
The role of introducing the expected Republican presidential nominee brings the potential to catapult Rubio – who already enjoys a high national profile – onto an even more prominent pedestal among the American public.
As the Republican National Convention announcement on Rubio noted, the prime-time nomination acceptance by Romney at the close of the convention, on Aug. 30, has the potential to draw tens of millions of viewers. Sen. John McCain’s speech in 2008, the GOP noted, brought in an audience of nearly 40 million.
Rubio, who turned 41 in May, will have the opportunity to show off his telegenic GQ looks, oratorical heft and all-around charm that have impressed those of all political stripes. On Tuesday, the GOP convention committee also announced that the convention’s keynote speaker would be New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also had been rumored to have been a possible running mate, and whose in-your-face, unpredictable style runs in sharp contrast to Rubio’s more careful, measured approach.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to shift the campaign debate; will the gamble pay off?

It doesn’t take a political genius to see where the contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney is heading. With Paul Ryan on the Republican ticket, the campaign is looking at a full-throated debate over the future of Medicare. Are Romney and Ryan ready?
There is plenty in Ryan’s budget blueprint -- and by implication Romney’s platform — that will spark debate and controversy. The size and shape of Romney’s and Ryan’s proposed tax cuts already are under attack by Obama and the Democrats. The domestic spending cuts in Ryan’s plan have been singled out by Democrats, who say they would shred the social safety net.


But from the moment Ryan introduced his blueprint, called the Path to Prosperity, Democrats have seen his plan to fundamentally alter Medicare as the most politically vulnerable of his budget recommendations. Which is one big reason Democrats were gleeful when the news broke late Friday night that Romney had selected Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.
Republicans familiar with the deliberations that led to the pick say Romney and his advisers went into this marriage with eyes open about the pluses and minuses of putting the House Budget Committee chairman on the ticket.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

GOP Looks to Distinguish Romney From Ryan

Mitt Romney's campaign wanted to put some distance Sunday between the presidential candidate and his new running mate's controversial budget proposals, even as Paul Ryan's selection energized Republican voters and Romney himself.
But President Barack Obama's campaign made clear they planned to aggressively cast Ryan's budget as outside the mainstream — and argue that Romney now owns that plan, too.
"Gov. Romney is at the top of the ticket. And Governor Romney's vision for the country is something that Congressman Ryan supports," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said Sunday during a briefing for reporters.
Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Republican campaign, said Romney would have signed Ryan's budget if landed on his desk as president. But he emphasized that as president Romney would "be putting forward his own budget."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Ryan as VP Running mate

So it has been confirmed that Romney has picked Ryan for his VP mate, which in all honesty is not a great choice from my vantage point.  Had he gone with someone like Rubio, he would clench many more minority votes.  Many voters disapprove of Ryan as it is, and personally I don't understand why people think he is so great anyway.  It is what it is.