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House built on a sand foundation

Original post made by Tom Cushing on Aug 31, 2012

Political campaigns are not famous for hewing to any line of ethical rectitude. The First Amendment that honors free expression is never stronger than when the subject is political speech; candidates have always relied on the fact that just about nothing that they say will subject them to government censorship.

Thus it was said of Abraham Lincoln that he was a "filthy story-teller, despot, liar, thief, braggart, buffoon, usurper, monster, ignoramus, old scoundrel, perjurer, robber, swindler, tyrant, field-butcher [and] land-pirate" and that an opponent "has all the characteristics of a dog, except loyalty" (per Sam Houston). The electorate is accustomed to some level of hyperbole in the political rhetoric regularly served-up to it.

That said, we inhabit an internet era of relatively easy fact-checking. While contemporary debates are rather more focused and sometimes less personal, candidates do risk credibility when they lie about the issues in ways that are too-easily detected. There is also the risk of alienating a country saturated with ads underwritten without limit by partisans outside the campaigns. The candidates may be tarred with those zealous SuperPAC brushes.

So it is that the GOP may have made ironically appropriate choices of a beach town for their convention, and "we built it" as their theme. In the words of that old Caribbean spiritual: house built on a sand foundation will not stand (oh no). They have built a series of claims so untethered to any foundation in fact that even reliably right-wing Fox News opined that the major job creation effect of the Party's work would be to create legions of fact-checkers to keep pace with the campaign's whoppers.

The reliably liberal, but picky when it comes to those "facts" things, New York Times (people have been fired for making stuff up -- no word where they found their next work, but I have my suspicions) was similarly incensed; the grey lady pointed to the following untruthienesses in the Ryan speech alone:

Item: Mr. Obama's policies closed an auto plant in Mr. Ryan's hometown. In fact, the plant was closed by GM in 2008; Obama's policies did resurrect the US auto industry.

Item: Mr. Obama ignored the Simpson Bowles deficit reduction committee's recommendations. In fact, Mr. Ryan served on that committee and his own opposition to its findings doomed it in the House.

Item: Mr. Obama funneled $716B out of Medicare. In fact, Mr. Ryan's shadow budget did the same, and his voucher system would clearly foist further out-of-pocket costs onto seniors.

Item: Mr. Obama's policies are to blame for the downgrading of America's credit rating. In fact, it was the House-led GOP of Mr. Ryan that held the debt-ceiling increase "hostage" (their words), which directly led the S&P to lower the US rating on the basis of its demonstrably dysfunctional government.

Item: when he paused to carefully compliment Mr. Romney's tenure as Massachusetts Governor (sidestepping the delicate matter of ObRomneyCare), Ryan claimed it was done without raising taxes. In fact, it was done by closing loopholes, which has the very same revenue impact: collections went up. When folks complain about their taxes going up, it's not the rate, it's the payment.

And while we're on the subject of ObRomneyCare, it is not "government-controlled health care," as Mr. Ryan claimed, but fundamentally a baseline requirement that everyone acquire coverage from private sector insurers. That's something like how the government "controls auto liability insurance" by requiring everyone to have it. (This is controversial?)

Finally, the whole "we built it" theme intended to contrast their Party's direction with that of their socialist, reg-spewing, freedom-killing, pseudo-American opponent doesn't stand up to much scrutiny, either. It was a sentence fragment lifted from a paragraph to the effect that we are all in this together -- that we share resources, like education, the rule of law and infrastructure, to create and sustain conditions that promote each other's success. That point should also be non-controversial, but it's worth the reminder to anyone prone to the GOP's brand of hubris.

In order to win in November, the GOP will have to attract and hold the Great Moderate Middle. This convention's showplace content, however, was directed at the Fearfully Credulous Faithful who are already in the Party's sway. Worse for them, they have founded their campaign on sand that can be readily swept away when the debate is not with an empty chair.

Comments (33)

Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Danville
on Aug 31, 2012 at 11:34 am

Are you a paid blogger by the DNC? You do not even pretend to be a fair minded, neutral, open minded "journalist". All you write is straight off the Democrats play book. Zero credibility, and very pompous. Gosh, it must be nice to have all the answers in life, and not need to actually listen to another point of view, and see if maybe you can actually learn something.

By the way, the "great moderate middle" of the United States has nothing in common with a liberal old white guy living in the bay area. Go spend some time with folks living in places like Elkhart, Indiana, and other simiilar true "moderate middle" towns, and listen to their views. Going to church and faith in God is important to them, although your party would like to label them as "religious right extremist". Not having enough money to send their children to neighboring state colleges, when illegal aliens actually pay less than they do, bothers them(but under President Obama's "dream act", that is a good thing) Working two jobs and living within their means, while welfare moms's children are wearing $150 Air Jordan basketball shoes frustrates them. Those are issues that the "great moderate middle" thinks about, and I know, because I grew up and was raised, and spend a lot of time, in that community.

It is hard to learn when you think you have all the answers. It is really hard to learn when you refuse to listen to someone who has a different perspective and different life experiences than you. But you do not seem to have any desire to learn and be open minded. All you do is write attacks on the Republican party.

You are not doing a service to anyone by simply writing hate pieces, constantly ripping the Republican party. You are simply causing more resentment, more dissent, and less trust, between Americans.








Posted by underdog, a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Being working middle class, an independent voter, and of an objective nature, I would like to see a strong healthy GOP and a strong healthy DEM party. Especially if both support and serve the plurality of American people. Whatever Tom's political views, his "reporting" of what occured at the RNC Convention, specifically Paul Ryan's speech was simply opined in the National and unbiased press and accurate. It's easy to check the facts and if that is consdiered a "ripping" of the GOP, then it is deserved. The effect or effectiveness of Ryan's speech (or anyone elses) is seriously undermined by hypocrisy. Not sure how you could create less trust than that. Although not mentioned, Clint Eastwood's improv was strange and an embarassment that I'm sure the RNC wishes it could have avoided. The Romneys speeches and some others, touched some high notes, but were largely devoid of substantive policy initiatives to differentiate from Obama, or Bush for that matter. You may not like where we are, but what's the plan for changing it. That was not well expressed. We'll see what comes next, but if this is the GOP product, it seems to be suffering a lack of quality and the strong taint of misrepresentation.


Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Danville
on Aug 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Underdog: "whatever Tom's political views"...Have you ever read one single blog where Tom ever points out misreprestations by Democrats? If you claim to be a true moderate and independent, but can't even admit that Tom's views are 100% in line with Democrats play book on every issue and never gives credit to a single Republican idea, than you are hardly being honest or objective.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Alamo
on Aug 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Dan Ville, you are making an ad hominem argument against the writer rather than addressing what he wrote. If what he wrote is wrong, say why. Otherwise, spare us the personal attacks.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on Aug 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Agree. Tom accurately reported several instances of misrepresentations by Ryan. It's a shame when a party has to resort to lies and distortions, smugly delivered, rather than to tell us what they would do differently.

Apparently, Ryan's budget plan would increase the deficit even more than what it is now, because it would cut taxes (revenue) more than it would cut spending. How does that help?


Posted by Raymond, a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 1, 2012 at 8:27 am

I'm using Safari on a Mac. Is anyone else getting strange characters in Tom's posting?


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Sep 1, 2012 at 9:57 am

I think Vile Dan is representing his ideology faithfully. Truth is optional; all that matter is following and repeating what the right wing propagandists say. Anyone who fails to adhere to the dictates of Limbaugh, Hannity at al. must be attacked. It doesn't matter what they say; after all, reality is what the right wing propaganda machine says it is.

And of course, anyone who points out that a Republican is lying when he makes false accusations a Democrat is a bad person, "causing less trust" between Americans. "Balance" means that right wing lies should be treated the same as objective truth.

Why couldn't Ryan detail his actual, specific proposals instead of spinning a patently misleading story about a factory that was shut down during the Bush Administration, blaming it (somehow) on Obama? Why didn't he defend his own decision to vote against the debt reduction commission's work instead of claiming that Obama ignored the report that Ryan himself rejected? It was a bizarre exercise in turning history on its head. He didn't have to bring those things up if he didn't want to; but having done so, he should not have lied about them.

I've respected conservatives and been willing to vote for (some) Republicans for most of my life. After all, reasonable people can reasonably disagree about a lot of things. I've lost that respect. Until the Republican party can rid itself of the "reality is what we say it is," anti-science, radical fringe that has taken control of the party, the GOP will represent a threat to the future of the nation. I don't trust the Republican party anymore. It's not because of what Tom Cushing wrote, it's because I saw the same thing he saw, heard the same thing he heard, and I'm reading the same comments he's reading: attacking the guy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes, defending lies told in a nationwide broadcast.

Raymond: I'm getting that, too. Windows 7 with Chrome and Firefox both.


Posted by Raymond, a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

Notwithstanding the political content, Tom needs to look at the Text Encoding that he uses when saving his stuff. I'm no expert but I think he needs to use Unicode (UTF-8) when he saves his document. (This is a WAG on my part.)


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 1, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hi all:

Weirdest thing about the odd punctuation effects is that I only get them sometimes. I've tried posting with various versions of MSWord; next week I'll try converting the whole thing to .txt before I upload it, and see if that helps.

I just Have to add an entry from my I-Wish-I'd-Coined-That-One Department: after Mr. Romney looked-right-at-us and claimed that the Republicans tried to work with the President [calling Sen. McConnell], somebody blamed the GOP's memory loss on "Romneysia."

And per a FB friend who suffers through my prose regularly, if the Dems are smart (and no, 'Dan', I'm not privy to their plans), they will be verry accurate, and verry specific in their statements at Their gathering in Charlotte. I think she's right -- stay tuned!


Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Danville
on Sep 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

I look forward to Tom, and Huh? and Dave immediately writing on this blog about all the misrepresentations and inconsistencies and false statements that will occur during the Democrats convention. You all claim to be so independent and not simply party advocates, and that the truth is your primary concern. Let's see how many blogs and comments you make when the Democrats make misrepresentations. Let's see how truly independent and fact checkers you really are. Truth is we all know we will not hear a peep from any of you.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 1, 2012 at 10:46 am

Aw, Dan -- what the hell else am I going to write about next week, if not the Dem Convention? Maybe my beloved A's instead, who treated the Red Sawx wicked-bad last evening (20-2, in case you follow ESPN and so might not have heard), or the Michigan Wolverines, if they rise up and smite the wicked Red Tide.

But you might not like those posts, either. BTW, if you really think the Republicans' policies have in-mind to benefit that struggling family in the Midwest (where I grew up and went to school), then either they are better propagandists than I give them credit for being, or you are their stooge.


Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Diablo
on Sep 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Tom: Calling me a "stooge"? Typical for you, when you resort to name calling. Let me educate you about Indiana, where I grew up, in a true great middle class part of the US. Places like Elkhart, Indiana, will decide the next election. Places where people worship God, not Barbara Boxer.

The governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, used same blueprint to turn around Indiana, that Governor Romney wants to use. Governor Daniels turned a $600 million deficit into a $370 surplus, by passing laws that made Indiana pro-business, by cutting government waste and bureaucracy, with 8 years of no tax increases. CNBC named Indiana the most improved state in US for business. He turned the state economy around, by being pro-business, and unlike Obama, he championed successful businesses and people that created jobs.

The true middle class state realized how these same policies that Government Romney will use helped create jobs and turned the economy around, by electing Governor Daniels to a second term with the largest number of votes ever for a public office in state history.

You see Tom, true middle class people from the Midwest are a lot smarter than you and your liberal friends give them credit, and it is their votes that will send Governor Romney to Washington.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Sep 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

This is Tom's 50th article for the Danville Express. In all of those articles, can any of you find a single instance where he has been critical of the Obama administration? Just one instance? Anyone?

And in all those articles, how many times has Tom been critical of the GOP? I'm guessing pretty much all of them.

Wouldn't it be great if the Danville Express hired writers who were a little less tunnel visioned?

If you are looking for a good discussion of the deceptions of both the Romney and Obama campaigns, there are many websites that do a fair job.

Weekly Standard's view is that the NY Times and other articles critical of Ryan fail to cite a single fact that Ryan misstated or lie that he told.

Web Link

Mother Jones's view is that while Ryan may not have lied, his speech failed to provide context for his criticism of Barack Obama, which was misleading. Of course, Obama has NEVER been misleading. No sir.

Web Link

And Tom, " “s “s “s s “s “s !!!! Ha HA HA!!!!


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 3, 2012 at 8:37 am

Well, it wouldn't be the weekend without another 'shoot the messenger' comment from ol' spc. Aim needs work, though. I'm pretty sure if you reread my stuff you'll see I've been critical of Obama on topics like drone policy, giving-up too much when he bargains with Insurgents (by which I mean the House) and not building/taking his case to the people directly. There. Feel better?

But that's really beside the point, as these Raucous Caucus columns are not ever intended to be straight news: they are Opinion Pieces. As such, they contain my opinions. It should not be particularly surprising that they come from a consistent viewpoint. My hope is that they generate discussion -- heated is fine -- but On.The.Topic. Much of the commentary here just isn't, which is a lost opportunity but also part/parcel of a Board on which commenters don't have to put their names behind their statements.

Spc, Since it's been clear for several months that you want your very own Blog, here's how easy it is: go to the top, click "Post a Topic," call the category anything you want, and fire away! Pretty sure you can still use your acronym, even. That's also a Much better solution than calling for my head -- or at least my keyboard, as others have done.

And Dan -- you don't like being labeled? Good -- me neither. Howsabout we both avoid that in the future? Your comment about Daniels was interesting and thought-provoking -- why do you think he was not able to gain traction for a Presidential run?


Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2012 at 10:57 am

Governor Daniels was approached by Purdue University, one of the top educational public colleges in the US, to become President of University when his term of Govenor ends in January. Purdue is the alma mater of Neil Armstrong, a real American hero, as well as over 25% of all astronauts. Ironically, it was Obama who cut NASA program, because NASA employees have traditionally been Republicans. Purdue is also a real middle class fiscal conservative school, which is a great fit for Mr.Daniels.


Posted by Nostra O'Damus, a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2012 at 11:24 am

Ah Purdue, The Harvard of west central Indiana. Go Broilermakers!

Prediction: Irish 31-Broilers 14.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

"...it was Obama who cut NASA program, because NASA employees have traditionally been Republicans" Actually, the only time the NASA budget was bigger than under the current administration was four out of the eight Clinton years - and that's adjusted for inflation, too. (And yes, you can look that up, too.)

Ah, but those are just "facts", and we all know, mere "facts" are unimportant to the right wing when you're blaming Obama for everything that you feel is wrong with the world.


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

** Left out: "in the past 30 years." The NASA budget was much bigger in the 60's, during the Apollo program.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Dn Ville also forgot to mention that much of the improvement Indiana's ecomony, which is heavily dependent on the transportation sector, during the past three years is due to the auto industry being saved and now prospering. Hmmmm, whom might we have to thank for that?


Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Sorry "Dave", but Obama had absolutely nothing to do with the success Governor Daniels has had in Indiana. Governor Daniels was named in 2008 by CNBC for making Indiana the most improved state in the U.S. for business, for Governor Daniels term between 2004 and 2008. Obama was not even President yet in 2008 when Governor Daniels received this award.

By the way, it was Governor Daniels legislation that limited frivilous product liability lawsuits against manufacturers that helped create jobs and success for businesses and employees in the Hoosier state. Eli Lilly, and Caterpiller, are two of the largest employers in the state of Indiana, and they were able to hire more people, create more good paying jobs, without spending all their money fighting frivilous lawsuits.

Ironically, despite the thousands of pages in Obamacare, there is absolutely nothing in his manifesto that deals with limiting frivilous medical malpractice claims. Of course, because the largest campaign contributor to the Democrats is the trial lawyers, i.e. ambulance chasers of America. The John Edwards of your party have no interest in limiting frivilous lawsuits, that is their bread and butter. Defensive medicine, due to fears of lawsuits, really adds to the costs of healthcare, but Obama does not want to discuss that, as it would upset his ambulance chasing donors.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Making a state the most "improved for business" is not equivalent to, nor does it assure, an improved economy.


Posted by Real Republican, a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Oh Tom, how do you and your Repub Dad get along these days? What school did you attend to get so far off track?
First, it's very unfair to lump/judge ALL REPUBs alike, like it would be wrong to assume you could be as bad as extreme leftists. I'm more pro-choice than not. I'm a strong fiscal conservative. I'm for common-sense domestic energy development & North American energy that could make us INDEPENDENT...like Ms Pelosi only 'talked' about, but blocked with every vote.
My mechanical engineer son has been UNemployed by a shuttered company, under Obama. I don't like that my grandkids are discriminated against in school...it seems the duty of this generation to do without, with the mistaken belief that makes all the minority groups better, faster...over EastBay born who aren't given same preferences.
But FIRST and foremost, I am angered that every DEM politican is owned by debt causing PUBLIC unions who are breaking cities, counties, and states throughout America. It is all so deep now, I can't see how to save 'the taxpaying people' from the stranglehold. We are hostage to their demands. Which is why FDR said it would be wrong for American people to ever have PUBLIC employee unions, threatening taxpayers. Sadly, Obama is also owned by unions..
Iso LOVED SoCarolina Repub GOV. Nikki Haley's speech at the R convention. She had to 'fight' the Obama admin for BOEING tobe 'allowed'to build their new plane in So Caroling, a right-to-work state. She won the fight, Boeing built their private, non-union plane!! Home factory in Seattle, didn't lose anything...they ADDED 2,OOO NEW EMPLOYEES...EVERYBODY WON!!! Obama would have driven them OUT of the country, and then complained about companies outsourcing. Her speech (Indian immigrant) is worth seeing, as is the speech of New Mexico Repub GOV Martinez..her immigrant Mexican parents started as Dems, she learned she believed in Repub priNciples, and became GOVENOR! SHE'S A GREAT speaker !
US has the HIGHEST in the WORLD corp tax rate, so overseas companies are sitting on Trillions in our new world that could come back
if Obama would work with them. That would help our economy and JOBS !
Tom, now back to your invalid sterotyping. I never, never listen to Limbaugh. He's a blowhard, and more extreme than I am. I listen to ALL networks,including c-span and pbs regularly, but check in on msnbc least. I must hear and see lips move myself or read author's names on my several publications, before I form my opinions. I don't know if you're married or not, but it's rare to find a thinking person who agrees 100% with another thinking person. Some less thoughtful, just go along.
Lies. First nobody, and I mean nobody, can match the lies from the snide & scowling mouth of Stephanie Cutter. 2nd would be a tie of lies among chairman Debbie W., Rev Sharpton, Axlerod, and Gates.
Re Ryan I know that Obama said with Obama money the plant would be in buisness for 100 years!!
Ryan thought stronger fixes were needed in Simpson & Bowles.
The 'HealthCareACT' is not about 'care', it is about getting 'insurance' for the inner-city uninsured...funded by taking away my SR.Advantage portion of individual medicare, for which I pay EXTRA over and above my individual medicare, plus my personal insurance. The $716 Trillion transfer, also comes from paying doctors less, until nobody wants to BE a doctor. Taxpayers will make up the shortages. Getting insurance is one thing, FINDING a doctor to get medical CARE is quite something else in our tomorrows!
Being a junkie, I saw Obama's 'you didn't build it' slandering small business in one of his 'faction' groups (different words for different factions). I'm a big c-span watcher, so I always get the full lead-in 'context'. He's defends with 'well, everybody gets streets, public services, busride to school, etc.etc. Well, Obama, that is right...but,some people charge ahead, work around the clock and create a sucessful business, and some don't !!..Well, When success happens, THEY built it ! Don't try to diminish success!!!
Now back to watching the Dem convention on c-span. I KNOW WHY I'm a Republican. I want what is best for Americans. Watching this show, of individual 'groups', wanting for themselves, not America.
I believe in individual Americans and America, not groups. Group-think is not good for the whole of America...it by nature, group-think sets up 'sides'...not the good of ALL.
Sad so many will be voting, altho not citizens.


Posted by Ann, a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I surely hope the "unbiased" journalists and pundits have their fact checking process in place for the Democratic Convention this evening. It was missing last night. OH wait - that's not possible with 98% of the journalists in this country registering as democrats. So grateful for FOX TV during times such as these.


Posted by Real Republican, a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm

actually, David Gergen, carly Fiorino, tom Forman, piers Morgan, and anderson Cooper all did a great job of hammering that blabbie Debbie W. over the platform changes, which had been discussed yesterday. They all sort of mocked Debbie and Pelosi attitudes today, with 'move on, move on, next' like Debbie and Pelosi were denying the problem, they absolutely would not answer the platform change back questions.
Yesterday, the platform changes from last year's copy had removed the word 'God' from where it had been, and removed Jerusalam as capital of Israel. 'oh, those were minor overlooks, all taken care of, nothing to talk about...all fixed.' blah, blah, Well, Anderson and Piers, at diff times said, 'but, last week, you said Romney was responsible for anything the committe put in or out of the platform, SO shouldn't Obama be questioned on the single words God and Jerusalam being removed with no other words changed...pretty intentional, and then put back in TODAY ! SO? isn't Obama also responsible...either candidates are responsible for writing of platforms or not..."all taken care of, nothing to discuss" over and over. Usually I watch on c-span, so I see the real thing without translation and talk-overs...but glad I caught those scenes.


Posted by Diane, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 6, 2012 at 7:01 am

The now-infamous Janesville auto plant closed on April 23, 2009.

That was after Candidate Obama stood at the site and said that under his Presidency it would remain open.

Facts are facts.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

Dear Real: my Dad died a few years ago, peacefully after a long illness -- secure, I think, in the knowledge that he had raised two sons to think for themselves, and that one of them had presented him with the Perfect Grand-daughter.

We were close; I think about him every day. He, like you (I suspect, based on your lengthy epistle above), was a good 20th Century Republican. His thoughts, however, were rather better organized and his approach was forever based on principle -- lacking that angry ad hominem element, and the misplaced disdain and condescension.

We agreed on many things, and when we disagreed we did so with respect. Needless to say, the GOP and the world are both very different now from the world and party he understood.

Ann: if Fox News is your window on the world, well, good luck to you.

And Diane: the clear import of the Ryan speech was Obama's policies killed the plant. If it was locked in April, it had to be announced under the WARN Act in February; Mr. Obama took office in January. In 'fact,' GM made the decision to close it in 2008. It was in bad enough shape that GM Still hasn't reopened it, even in the renaissance of the US auto industry.

Hopefully that'll change as conditions continue to improve, but even that happy outcome won't alter the deceptive nature of Mr. Ryan's claim. He made that bed, and he continues to lie in it.


Posted by Dan Ville, a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

Tom: So, any "misrepresentations" by the Democrats at their convention that you feel the need to bring to the attention of the American voters? I saw that even the liberal media had to point out all the "misrepresentations" made by Mrs.Obama about "good jobs" allegedly being created, which they even pointed out was not accurate.

I am also not surprised that the Democratic delegates loudly voted against having any mention of God in their platform. Funny, people were so quick to rip Governor Romney for anything in the Republican platform they did not like, claiming as candidate, he was responsible for everything in the platform. Well, doesn't that mean Mr.Obama is responsible for voting against God? Actions also speak louder than words. Even the liberal press pointed out that Governor Romney is in church every sunday, and reported that Mr. Obama showed up at his alleged church two weeks ago, the first time he had attended since Easter! He knows the media is watching, and he only shows up at his alleged church 3-4 times the entire year? I bet his attendance was a lot better when he was going to see that extreme minister in Chicago, Pastor Wright, who has conveniently not been shown during this convention.

You are right, Tom, about the great middle class deciding this election. Obama and the Democrats voting down God will not go over very well in Elkhart, Indiana, or the rest of the real midwest. There is a clear difference in this election, and the great middle class voters will vote in favor of God, and against Obama.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

Ryan's point was that Candidate Obama made a false promise while campaigning at that plant in 2008, that if they voted for Obama that somehow Obama could keep the plant open.

Obama said in 2008, "I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years."

That's the real deception. Obama made campaign promises he couldn't possibly keep.

Ryan didn't lie.

Here's exactly what Ryan said:

My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it—especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, "I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years."

That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that's how it is in so many towns where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.


Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Thanks, spcwt, for posting the actual quote from Ryan, regarding the closing of the Janesville plant. People can form their own conclusions as to whether it is "fair" to link the closure to Obama's policies. But I don't see any lies in Ryan's actual statement.

As a side comment, from knowing some folks who worked at the Janesville plant, my impression is that it wsas primarily engaged in light trucks (e.g. pick-up trucks, and possibly SUV's based on similar platforms). As such, recent trends toward more high-mileage vehicles may have had as much to do with the demise of Janesville as any other factor.

Stepping back a bit, there's little point to engaging in a pissing-contest about statements made in campaign speeches. This election is bigger than that, representing a fundamental clash of philosophy, on several levels. But if I had to pick a common denominator, it is about the fundamental clash between the collective and the individual. If you fundamentally want to make your own way as an individual, for better or worse, then your philosophy is more aligned with Republicans. If you fundamentally want to be part of a group or collective of some kind, for better or worse, then your philosophy is more aligned with Democrats. Unfortunately for Republicans, more and more Americans are now receiving some form of govt. assistance, or have some other form of dependency on government. The "lure of the collective" has never been stronger. One fairly small indicator of this is that the numbers of people receiving "food stamps" (actually in the form of plastic) has doubled during the past 3.5 years. It might be argued that some of this increase is due to the economy being that much worse now, then at the start of Obama's term. (Although that doesn't reflect well on Obama, either.) But a large part of the reason is that the eligibility for food stamps has been expanded. More dependency translates to more Democratic voters. It's no accident that you now see TV ads focused on getting more people to sign up for food stamps (in the guise of "reaching out" to eligible people).

The only thing that helps Republicans is that most people still want to feel like they're doing things on their own. That, and the fact that the trend toward greater collectivism inevitably drives all of us to the lowest common denominator. Thankfully, there are still large numbers of people who are not content to be "just another brick in the wall" (to quote Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, somewhat out of context...).


Posted by Huh?, a resident of Danville
on Sep 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm

"The now-infamous Janesville auto plant closed on April 23, 2009.

That was after Candidate Obama stood at the site and said that under his Presidency it would remain open.

Facts are facts."

The closure was announced in July, 2008, the last GM vehicle rolled off the line in December, 2008. A few dozen workers remained for another six months doing mop up work needed to mothball the factory (which was shuttered, but kept available to reopen.) Those are the actual facts.

But I'm glad to see that the right wing propaganda machine is roaring ahead full steam.

"So grateful for FOX TV during times such as these." So glad to see you're able to protect yourself from any facts which don't fit the narrative spoon-fed to you by the corporate propagandists. Wouldn't it be uncomfortable to have to deal with the truth? Fortunately Fox "News" is there to spare you that agony.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on Sep 11, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Dan Ville -

Courts dismiss most frivolous lawsuits already. So-called "tort reform" has very little to do with economic growth.

And with Indiana's unemployment rate hovering around the national average, one would hardly point to Indiana as a success story -- especially compared with Silicon Valley, which is leading the nation in job growth, despite California's strong consumer protection laws.


Posted by Ann, a resident of Danville
on Sep 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Tom - Interesting way to "honor" your late father. Some egos just can't ignore missing an opportunity to educate the rest of us.

Comparing your late father's good character while insulting "Reals" political opinions as NOT being "based in principle" as you say - well, that's not condescending is it?!

Your father sounded like a very decent and admirable man with "clear 20th century" Republican views. What are the clear 20th century Democrat views? Your party seems as fractured and divided as you infer about The Republican views.

Maybe you missed a few of the important lessons growing up; treating people with respect whether they have your political views or not. I'm sorry but you don't sound like you're lacking that "angry ad hominem element and the misplaced disdain and condescension."

As to your comment to me about needing "luck" in how I view my world politically; I don't need any luck. I simply stated that I was grateful for FOX TV. They balance out the rest of the obvious media bias when all the TV stations and pundits are telling us all what we saw and heard on TV. It would be astonishing to listen to these convention speeches without any news reviews at all - anywhere. Gosh, we could actually make up our own opinions without the "news" people grasping for adjectives and explanations of what we saw for ourselves.

I didn't feel like boring anyone else on this website earlier with a long-winded diatribe on the views I have about the current media environment. BUT, I'll bite...

I read several newspapers, local and the Wall Street Journal. I watch CNN, (Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, etc.) and I try to stomach MSNBC for as long as I can during the week. For me at this current time when I have so little of it, listening to experts in the financial fields is central to making sense of our US economy. I do enjoy Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Neil Cavuto, and I happen to agree with every single word Laura Ingram has ever spoken. We are cut from the same cloth. I listen to NPR (which I enjoy very much), Mark Levin (constitutional law expert) and Huckabee. Googling helps me in researching more than one source on a subject as well. I compare the news coverage constantly (being the news junkie that I am), and there has never been a greater time, the public needed more balance from the liberal views of the media. So Tom, thanks, but I don't need any luck in how I form my personal opinions.

Not sure if any of the democrats admire the thinking process coming from the writers of The Rolling Stone or Mother Jones, but these are the people who actually might need some luck seeing clarity in their social and political views - especially if the writers are in their 50's. Lots of anti-establishment views still clinging to their "guns" so to speak.

The elite journalists today are just every day politicians. They are sheep. There is no independence between the liberal democratic leadership in the country and the 98% liberal media. The propaganda that comes from these large corporations (Time Warner - NBC,ABC,CBS etc.) are at the helm of decision making when it comes to what is reported and how...Not only do they manufacture the news, they withhold information which is as bad as flat out lying when a journalist chooses this road.

They allow democrat politicians to lie without holding them accountable for the lies they speak. They don't press the issues with facts or questions when interviewing democrats.

All anyone has to do is watch closely and objectively in how and what they ask Republicans being interviewed. Just watch closely. It's obvious to most rational and reasonable people in the difference in how they treat the two political parties.

Watching Tom Brokaw squirm when Hannity (yes on FOX) asked him a question that he didn't want to answer was priceless during the DNC two weeks ago. They can only be so creative when their answers are obviously biased with a personal political opinion and agenda.

Can anyone admit to seeing or hearing a lone journalist covering the White House, EVER, EVER press Obama or his spokes people with tough, follow-up questions about anything he has ever done or said to the American people?! It is a total joke in how they handle the childish Obama with "kid gloves" when asking him soft-ball questions that lead to nowhere...that's IF he ever decides to talk with the press. During his 17 vacations in the past three and a half years, (it's so fun burning up that gasoline and money flying) Obama is not exactly available to speak with the nation about silly national and international issues.

Sadly this past week the microphones were left on during the set-up time period prior to the press interviewing Mitt Romney. It was business as usual for several "journalists" as they colluded to how they could ambush the candidate collectively; each supporting one another with the type of questions they could hammer him with.

THAT is why FOX and other media options are welcomed and watched by so many millions of Americans who are hungry for the truth and the facts. SO...As far as television goes, yes, I am one of millions who is GRATEFUL for Fox TV.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

Hi Ann:

I wished you good luck, and still do, because my opinion is that Fox is so over-the-top in its right-wing orientation that it's nearly impossible to have a reasonable discussion of actual issues with someone who can't see that to be the case.

Your reply post tends to confirm that impression. The entire first five paras are a scornful attack on me, which is okay -- unless you don't agree that the Republican approach is fraught with, indeed Based On, such Anger and Fear. You are its perfect example. Go ahead and vent your frustration, but please at least understand about the futility of shooting the messenger -- demonizing me as a prodigal son just isn't the same thing as disagreeing with my opinions.

Now, about 20th century Republicanism: I think Ike was its icon -- you might want to reread his farewell address that I posted as one of these early missives. It's here as edited, with a link to the unabridged version: Web Link

To me (and my late Dad), Ike stood for such things as fiscal moderation: he ran small deficits 5 of 8 years (netting-out negative) and enacted a federal stimulus in 1958-9 to address a mild recession; civil rights, as he sent troops to Little Rock to help desegregate its schools; deep concern for the dangerous influence of the Military-Industrial Complex (his term), and government investments in infrastructure, such as the Interstate highway system; standing up to clear threats (then the USSR); and expressing a foreign policy as follows:

"America knows that this world, ever growing smaller, must be a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength."

In my view, the base of the GOP has moved so far to the Right that Ike would not/could not be its nominee. Romney's is a Goldwater candidacy, and, I believe, the dwindling moderate wing will need to re-find its voice, or leave as I did.

Finally, you've undoubtedly watched Meet the Press the past two weeks -- kindly compare the kid-gloves with which moderator David Gregory went after Mr. Romney, with his aggressive treatment of Ambassador Susan Rice today (and his attempt to get PM Netanyahu to endorse Mr. Romney, which he appropriately refused to do), and Then tell me about your 98%. Rice did fine, I think, but to suggest that Gregory and others are in the tank for The President is just so much more hyperbole.


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