News media fact checkers are finding Congressman Paul Ryan’s big Wednesday night speech to be very, er, factually challenged.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … AFTER THE ROMNEYRAMA, AND MORE SERIOUS MATTERS and WHILE ONE CLINTON WOWS AT THE OBAMARAMA, ANOTHER PIVOTS TO THE LONG GAME.
** QUICK HITS. The California legislature continues working through its legislative hopper, with the session over for the year at midnight Friday night. (Or thereabouts.) Will there be anything especially new on workers compensation? … Reaction to the public pension reform compromise plan is moderately favorable, with most not simply pro or anti-union calling it a good set of beginning steps, but only that. The trick in dealing with any overhang of unfunded obligations to current employees is that the courts have viewed them as sacrosanct. Absent new case law, or an initiative, which has not emerged, that overhang can’t be addressed. …
** ROMNEY CONVENTION SPEECH EXCERPTS (STOP ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE):
Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.
When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.
That very optimism is uniquely American.
It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.
They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.
Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.
Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.
Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.
This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.
This was the hope and change America voted for.
I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.
Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!”
So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.
To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.
My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.
Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love– this world would be a far more gentle and better place.
My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?”
I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations of all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.
And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.
When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.
So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.
That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.
But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.
Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.
To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.
What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.
I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.
And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.
We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman, and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.
The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.
Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.
That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.
That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.
That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.
** NEW SURVEY: REPUBLICANS LESS LIKELY THAN DEMS OR INDIES TO STRUGGLE WITH NECESSITIES. It certainly stands to reason, but a new Gallup Poll survey delineates what you can already tell from the party’s policy stances.
Democrats and independents are far more prone than Republicans to struggling with basic necessities like food, shelter, and medical and dental care.
Only a party whose members have largely gone beyond any worry about basic necessities can afford to entertain Ayn Rand ideological musings.
Amusingly, the Gallup Poll analysts struggle with their explanation for what the findings mean:
There appears, however, to be more than just demographic differences that divide the three partisan groups in terms of their access to necessities. Even when controlling for income and other demographic factors, Republicans still maintain an advantage over Democrats and independents, possibly suggesting a more robust social support infrastructure of family and friends.
Still, the direction of the relationship between party identification and access to basics isn’t clear. It is possible, for example, that the noted relationship between a Republican political identity and basic access could go in the other direction — that people who have ascertained a lifestyle that ensures them of meeting their basic needs are more likely to identify with the ideological and political orientation of the Republican Party.
Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, wowed the Republican National Convention last night as he complained about the Obama Administration blaming the nation’s problems on the Bush/Cheney Administration. 1936 Republican vice presidential nominee Frank Knox did the same thing.
** NEW COLUMNS COMING UP … AFTER THE ROMNEYRAMA, WHY THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS DISAPPOINTING, AND MORE SERIOUS MATTERS and WHILE ONE CLINTON WOWS AT THE OBAMARAMA, ANOTHER PIVOTS TO THE LONG GAME.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
He and Vice President Joe Biden have received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
At 10 AM Pacific, Obama and Biden have lunch in the Private Dining Room.
While it’s Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney now, thanks to a quick Tuesday vote at the hurricane-shortened GOP confab in Tampa, tonight is his big night, long anticipated.
The corporate takeover artist-turned-one-term Massachusetts governor delivers his acceptance speech tonight.
Last night was his running mate Paul Ryan’s night, along with 2008 Republican nominee John McCain and former Secretary of State Condi Rice.
Ryan delivered a very spirited run-through of his very conservative agenda. More tax cuts for the rich, less regulation of Wall Street and business in general, privatizing Medicare while insisting he’ll protect it, cutting social spending, beefing up our beefy military, hewing to the fossil fuel path on energy and denigrating renewables, and so on. He didn’t mention his opposition to abortion for rape victims, or the ticket’s super-hawkishness, for those would be too obvious for undecided independents.
Ryan’s politics obviously aren’t much different from Sarah Palin’s. He knows more and is able to avoid the obvious deer-in-the-headlights stuff. He also lacks her pizzazz, though he’s certainly peppy, if more than a little preppy. Ryan was also quite, er, factually challenged, but there are plenty of folks weighing in on that.
McCain and Rice handled the super-hawk side of things, especially McCain. Naturally, he didn’t talk about Obama getting Osama bin Laden, nor about the sweeping Obama anti-terror program which has resulted in the deaths — by unceasing drone strikes and special ops raids — of thousands of jihadist cadre in several nations.
He also didn’t talk about Obama’s very successful program in Libya, which resulted in a true coalition effort and the overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi. And the election of a non-Islamist government.
He did talk about him not staying the course in Afghanistan, not overthrowing the Iranian government, not doing something quite unclear to change the situation in Syria, not being sufficiently hawkish with Russia and China … You get the gist.
Rice’s message was more measured, although most anyone’s of substance would be. She’s moved more to the right since she was on the advisory board of Senator Gary Hart’s Center for A New Democracy during his presidential frontrunner days.
But she is much more moderate than most of the folks on display in Tampa. A useful symbol for the GOP, but nothing more, as she will never run for public office. And given her deep involvement with the Iraq War — not that she was a strong advocate of it, but she was national security advisor when the fateful deals went down — her career in public office is probably over.
Meanwhile, Obama is preparing for the the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte, North Carolina, and managing some geopolitical crises.
While he works with former President Bill Clinton on his one-time opponent’s nominating speech, he dispatches Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on another lengthy geopolitical Pivot tour, again to the Asia Pacific region.
Clinton was to have met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a Pacific island nations summit in the capital of the Cook Islands, but Gillard is staying at home to deal with the death of five Australian soldiers yesterday in Afghanistan. It’s the bloodiest day for the Oz military since the Vietnam War.
Most were killed in the latest example of “green on blue” violence by an Afghan military colleague.
Australia is a key partner in the Pivot, with US forces increasingly integrating at the base in Darwin.
Gillard says that yesterday’s tragedies won’t hasten Australia’s departure from Afghanistan, but that may be wishful thinking, as the deployment is very unpopular. Longtime US ally New Zealand is already rushing for the exits.
The news is rather better elsewhere, especially in Tehran.
Iran is hosting the 120 nations in the Non-Aligned Movement, with the summit beginning today.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the USC-educated Muslim Brotherhood leader who won the first democratic presidential election in the lynchpin Arab power since the overthrow of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, today denounced the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Addressing the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, capital of one of the Assad regime’s few remaining allies, Morsi reminded the assembled heads of government and ministers that the Syrian uprising is part of the Arab Awakening. This prompted an angry walkout by Syria’s foreign minister and the rest of the Syrian delegation, and angry murmurs from Morsi’s Iranian hosts.
New Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi laced into Iran’s ally Syria for its ongoing violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters in his speech to the summit. That prompted an angry Syrian walkout and displeasure from Iranian leaders.
And UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took Iran to task for its human rights violations and for its support of the Assad regime in Syria, as well as its foot-dragging in allowing UN inspectors in to its nuclear facilities.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Syria, Iraq, AfPak, and the South China Sea.
Military Crisis Zone Times: The Arabian Gulf is ten hours ahead of Pacific time and Afghanistan is eleven and a half hours ahead of Pacific time. The time in Manila, on the South China Sea, is fifteen hours ahead of Pacific time.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Southern California and Northern California.
This morning he appears at a school in Los Angeles promoting the Proposition 30 revenue initiative. Brown will be at a public elementary school in Hawthorne, which is also the home to SpaceX.
California’s landmark climate change program will run a test version of its cap and trade program on Thursday, with the Air Resources Board monitoring for glitches and potentials for gaming.
A bill to place a privately-funded statue of Ronald Reagan inside the California State Capitol has passed both houses of the legislature and gone to Governor Jerry Brown. A Reagan statue? Sure, why not? I like Reagan. He did some very good things as president (along with not very good). And he was a very interesting governor, who in the present day would probably be run out of the far right state GOP.
It should make for some interesting commentary opportunities going forward, and an amusing way to see if far right wingers actually understand their putative hero.
In another sign of the impact of the great global recession and subsequent budget cuts, California’s community college enrollment is down 17% from what it was in the 2008-2009 school year.
Brown, not surprisingly, will not be attending next week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He’s never been much of a scene maker and, in any event, it’s not his show.
** SPACE, JERRY BROWN’S PLACE, AND A RACE. … From my August 27th essay.
** AN INSULAR ROMNEY STRUGGLES WITH HIS SURPRISINGLY HEARTFELT VEEP PICK AFTER STRIKING OUT INTERNATIONALLY. … From my August 23rd essay.
** RECALLING TOTAL RECALL: INTRIGUE, ULTRA-VIOLENCE, HUMOR AND WHAT ELSE THAT IS MISSING FROM THE SCHWARZENEGGER REMAKES. … From my August 17th essay.
** LONDON’S GRAND OLYMPICS, ON AND OFF THE TRACK. … From my August 13th essay.
** GORE VIDAL: REMEMBERING A BRILLIANT, CONTROVERSIAL LEGEND OF THE SORT WE DON’T FOSTER ANY MORE. … From my August 3rd essay.
** ROMNEY’S DANGEROUS BUFFOONERY. … From my August 1st essay.
** SUNRISE IN CALIFORNIA? … From my July 26th feature.
** FROM GOVERNATOR TO MOONBEAM. … From my January 3rd, 2011 feature.
** OBAMA: RIDING WITH HISTORY. (NOTE: As Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, this column was the featured column on the top of the front page of the Huffington Post.) … From my January 19th, 2009 Huffington Post column.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in major military operations in the region, and the Arab awakening underway, it’s valuable to keep up with news and perspectives from the leading Middle Eastern-based TV news network. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer. The NWN live link to AJ does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer from the Russia Today channel. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the state-run channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Having crashed over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, 2008, crude oil is trading around $94 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $60 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity, and down about $20 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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