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December 22, 2014

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Obama and Romney square off in fiery town hall debate

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama, right, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the second presidential debate, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 | 10:30 p.m.

Second Presidential Debate: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Tuesday night’s presidential town hall debate was a chance for President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney to answer voters’ questions face to face.

But it also became an opportunity for the candidates to get in each other’s faces as they directly accused one another of everything from shifting their positions to outright lying on the debate floor.

Oftentimes circling one another as if pitted together in a boxing ring, Romney and Obama fought extensively about how to characterize each other’s energy policies. They ripped each other up over the arithmetic of their tax plans. They appeared to nearly physically challenge each other when the conversation turned to immigration, and their efforts to stare each other down over Libya brought an icy pall to the Hofstra stadium.

The result: A debate that wound up more fiery than their first and required both candidates to more forcefully defend their own records and proposals while savaging their opponent’s.

“The commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept. And the commitments I haven’t been able to keep, it’s not for lack of trying,” Obama said. “The choice of this election is going to be whose promises will more likely help you.”

“The policies he’s put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank ... these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow as it should have,” Romney said about Obama. “He’s great as a speaker and describing his plans and his vision, and that’s wonderful, but we have a record to look at.”

The free-wheeling style of the debate highlighted the extent to which this was an existential fight, but it also delivered a few new revelations on underaddressed topics that could swing undecided voters this close to the election.

The debate got off to a meandering start. A question about job opportunities for graduating college students led both candidates to offer expansive presentations of their economic plans. A second question on whether the government can affect gas prices inspired a somewhat tedious back and forth on energy investments and the bailout of Detroit’s automotive industry.

But the conversation quickly became combative — and more focused — when the debate turned to candidate’s respective tax plans.

Obama relaunched his charge that Romney’s tax plan would add $8 trillion to the deficit and force him to raise taxes on the middle class.

“We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating Planned Parenthood in terms of how he pays for that,” Obama argued, turning to Romney. “If somebody came to you with a plan that said here, ‘I want to spend $7 or $8 billion and then we’re going to pay for it, but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how’ ... you wouldn’t take such a sketchy deal. And neither should you, the American people, because the math doesn’t add up.”

“Of course they add up,” Romney retorted. “I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget, I ran the state of Massachusetts as a governor ... and balanced the budget all four years.

“When we’re talking about math that doesn’t add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits over the last four years, $5 trillion? That’s math that doesn’t add up,” he said.

Romney noticeably did not offer more details to counter the president’s accusations, save for one: That he intends to offset whatever losses in revenues are incurred under his tax plan by capping possible itemized deductions at “I’ll pick a number — $25,000.”

Romney first floated this idea on the eve of the first presidential debate, but offered a different number for the cap: $17,000. That — or whatever figure Romney eventually settles on — represents the cumulative cap on home mortgage interest, employer-sponsored health care, child tax, charitable donations and other tax deductions that anyone could claim on an annual tax return.

“But your rate comes down and the burden also comes down on you for one more reason, and that is every middle-income taxpayer no longer will pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains, and no tax on savings,” Romney said, defining a middle-income taxpayer as persons earning up to $250,000. “That makes life a lot easier.”

It’s a potentially critical conversation for the voters of Nevada, where homes are underwater and many families rely on certain middle-class focused tax credits to make ends meet.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the $17,000 cap and even the $25,000 cap would end up adversely affecting at least some of the income earners Romney defines as “middle class,” because they often claim more than that in tax writedowns — particularly in home mortgage interest and employer-sponsored health care benefits.

Conversely, Romney's suggestion to eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends for middle-class earners presumes most have capital to invest. Typically, a middle-class family’s largest investment is their home — and capital gains from most home sales are waived for the middle class already.

Obama has also floated a plan to limit tax deductions based on net rates, rather than caps. Under Obama’s plan, top income earners would not be allowed to claim deductions that reduced their effective tax rate to less than 28 percent.

But Obama kept quiet about that on Tuesday night, arguing instead that Romney’s tax plan favors the rich and will eventually force him to turn to the middle class for revenues.

Equally important for many Nevada voters are the differences Romney and Obama drew on immigration: Obama favors a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants, especially young college students and military enlistees who came to the country as minors, while Romney favors a pathway to permanent residency for those who would enlist in the military and a policy of self-deportation for the rest.

Romney used the opportunity to take a jab at Obama for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform early in his term. As Obama complained that Republicans stood in the way of the bill, Romney piped up, “I’ll get it done in the first year.”

That wasn’t the only unexpected event of the night. In response to a question about gun control, Obama declared his support for banning assault weapons, an answer that gave Romney an opportunity to make an easy play for the gun-toting voters.

Instead, however, Romney pivoted to the role of two-parent households in preventing gun violence.

“But let me mention another thing — and that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids, wherever possible,” he said. “But gosh, to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea.”

Romney also fumbled an opportunity to hammer Obama on his answer to a question about who was responsible for the security lapse in Libya that resulted in the American ambassador’s assassination on Sept. 11.

“The president just said that on the day after the attack, he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror ... It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?” Romney said, staring down a noticeably agitated Obama who told him, tight-lipped, to proceed.

”I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror,” Romney said.

Moderator Candy Crowley jumped in to say Obama did refer to the attack as an “act of terror” the day after the attack.

Various lawmakers have accused Obama of trying to avoid accusations he mishandled security in Libya by blaming what is now known to have been a coordinated attack on protesters angry over an anti-Muslim video.

Romney lost the point in the crosstalk and Obama seized the moment to assume the full poise of the presidency. Obama told Romney it was “offensive” to suggest he “played politics,” adding with an air of finality: “I’m the president, and I’m always responsible.”

Control of the atmosphere and the conversation was as much an issue in this debate as in the first.

Romney strove to police the flow of the back-and-forth, arguing at several points with Crowley over his allotted time to speak. He also delayed answering new questions in order to jump back to an old topic.

That stylistic choice meant that Romney sometimes delivered noticeably inexact answers to very specific questions, such as when he responded to a question on equal pay for women with an anecdote about how hard it had been for him to find women willing to apply for jobs in his gubernatorial administration.

Obama, too, was guilty of pulling the occasional dodge. But for the most part, Obama strove to avoid the pitfalls of his last debate, refusing to give as much ground to Romney as he did the first go-round.

Whether Obama rescued the momentum of his campaign from his lackluster performance in the first debate will be revealed by public polling in coming days — especially in swing states such as Nevada. And with early voting starting in Nevada on Saturday, the debate was a last chance for both candidates to sway many voters in the Silver State.

The third and final debate, on foreign policy, is Oct. 22.

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  1. First question was put to Romney. Romney blows a great chance to connect with college students. Obama's answer is not much better. Neither says how Jeremy can have confidence he will be able to find a college level job. Candy calls them on it. Good for her.

    Their answers to Candy are no better.

    Result is a tie which neither should be happy with.

  2. I think we're starting to see a pattern to Obama's debate rebuttals tonight: anything Romney says is not true.

    Sounds a lot like "It's not my fault, I inherited this mess."

    And now Obama is interrupting Romney's rebuttal. In the last debate he was weak on performance. This time around he is coming off as trying to hide a weakness by overcompensating.

  3. Who the heck coached Obama in his body language?!? That pose he adopts when Romney is speaking is unreal!

    Watching Obama gives new insight into why large codpieces became popular.

  4. Nancy Pelosi set the standard for not revealing details when she said "We have to pass it to see what is in it." No wonder neither Obama or Romney feel they have to tell us how their plans will work.

  5. Why does everyone in a debate feel the need to say "That's a good|great|fantastic|OMG that was an orgasmic" question instead of just getting on with the answer?

  6. The question is about women's pay, and Obama goes off on women's healthcare. Yes, that is a very important issue, but please, does he really think that women can only think with their, errr, well, you know. They're not like men after all.

  7. Ok, Obama just resorted to a personal attack. I was already planning on voting for "NOTA" but that just sealed the deal.

  8. Think what you want, but there is a world of difference between the posture of the two when they are "listening" to each other. Romney has lost the perma-smile, and Obama has shifted to something that I can only say would get me a reprimand from my 3rd grade teacher.

  9. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  10. As before, Obama is running roughshod over the moderator, at least she is fighting back this time.

  11. Obama just doubled down on what he said in March of 2009 that we don't want off-shored jobs to come back.

    Idiot!!!!

  12. I'll call this a draw overall, but the President was by far the loser on style. What a pathetic example to set for someone who is the leader of our country.

  13. President Obama really lost me because he did not appear as a person I wanted to represent our country.

    It is no secret that I intend to vote "NOTA" in this election (just as I did last time.) But Obama really drove it home tonight that I am making the right choice.

    It was his level of arrogance that I could barely stomach.

    Don't get me wrong, I *want* a President to show some American arrogance, but Obama showed only personal arrogance. Let me say this a different way: it is perfectly okay for the President to be arrogant when talking about our country, it is NOT okay for the President to be arrogant when talking about his personal power as President.

    Obama's worse example of this was when he referred to the diplomatic staff in Libya as *his* representatives. WRONG!!! They are *our* representatives, not his.

    That statement was inexcusable in my view.

  14. Left leaning news outlets declare that President Obama won the debate. Right leaning outlets herald Governor Rommey as the victor. When the media becomes this polarized, it does not really matter who won the debate, the voters have lost.

  15. Hi BOFTX, thanks for the blow-by-blow of the debate as I was not able to catch it live. Have an exception to your last statement ... Technically the diplomatic staff are the representatives of the President. He appoints them and they serve at his will. They don't represent us in any fashion like our elected representatives (and they don't really represent us anymore, but mainly cater to the special interest groups). Diplomatic staff might be seen as symbols of the USA, but maybe not as representatives in the vernacular. And.. sorry the moderator watching you ;-) I enjoy reading your posts!

  16. Test_Guy,

    I was thinking in terms of the diplomatic staff being symbols of the US as you put it. In that respect, I still say it was highly arrogant of the President to refer to them as "his" representatives.

    That is in line with my feeling that it is perfectly okay, even expected, that a President show arrogance when talking about our country, but entirely out of line if the President is arrogant about his person (i.e. using the royal "we", as President Obama has arguably done a number of times.)

  17. Speaking as a former member of the diplomatic core, diplomats are "his" representatives. As a diplomat you represent the president and his policies; that's why you are there. Yes, you represent the US as well, but it is party line all the way ( even as a kid you know what is expected of you, and you follow it,) regardless of your personal belief. You are there to act as a presidential surrogate if you will.

    President Obama was 100% accurate in calling the diplomats his representatives.

  18. Seek and ye shall find.

    Mr. BOFTX, you watched the debate looking to denigrate Obama and you certainly found it, based on your very limited frame of reference. You found many reasons NOT to vote for him, more to justify your choice to yourself than to anyone else.

    Be honest, you did not find anything idiotic about Romney's performance?

    And, you're telling us you are voting NOTA? That was quite a performance, blow by blow to boot.

    Try again. The third one is coming up.

  19. bftx, I no longer believe you are voting NOTA!

  20. Yes, I am voting "NOTA". There are a number of reasons that I can not support Romney. Obama has only solidified my decision to go NOTA.

    Given my choice, I would like to see Hillary as POTUS, even *after* what she has said about her responsibility.

  21. EffectiveTeacher,

    I could have voted for Huntsman if he had received the nomination, mainly because I felt he had a unique perspective on our relations with China. Are you saying that (in theory) he represented the person of President Obama and not the US? I have *major* problems with that system if that is the case.

  22. Nancy,

    I was not looking for a reason to denigrate President Obama. In fact, I expected him to be very different from the first debate and to perform at a higher level. (My wife thought he intentionally lost the first debate so he would be an "underdog" for the second.)

    What I want to see from our President is a composure that has no need to fall back on debate tactics because he deals with our national situation every day. The office of POTUS should command tremendous respect or fear all by itself, regardless of who occupies it.

    President Obama simply didn't show that tonight. His posture was terrible! He routinely interrupted both Romney and the moderator, as he did in the prior debate. His position alone should preclude the need for him to do that in order to command respect.

    Being a veteran, I have the utmost respect for the office of POTUS, but that does not mean that I must feel the same for the person who occupies that office. I am disappointed in Mr. Obama's execution of that office so far.

  23. teamster,

    Hillary should be the one running for re-election now. I voted for her in the 2008 primary.

  24. teamster,

    I show respect to the office Barack Obama holds by referring to him as "President Obama" in my posts. That does not mean that I must agree with his policies.

  25. Yet, you mentioned nothing about Romney's behavior - who may very well be the POTUS - if there are enough people like you out there.

    Oh Lord help us. Did you see that picture of Romney at Huffpost?

    The hatred in his eyes is terrifyingly palpable. It was murderous! It seemed to say, how dare you challenge me, a white rich man! How dare you usurp that power that should belong to me. (He did want it also in 2008, but even then Republicans didn't think he qualified and chose McCain and SARAH!).

    Sorry. This was my impression. I could be wrong.

  26. Nancy,

    My biggest problem with Romney is that I fear he will allow his religious beliefs to color his decision making process to the detriment of this country. I have no problem with the fact that he is a Mormon, but I feel that he will be unable to set aside his religious dogma in his decision making process. I feel the same about any religious (or atheist) person running for office.

    I would greatly prefer to have an agnostic as POTUS.

  27. I forgot. If he didn't qualify then, what in the blazes name did he do in the last four years that made him qualified in Republicans' eyes/ears/and whatever else they use to elect.

    Couldn't they find someone else that typify real Republicans? Say, there's Nordquist, the brothers Koch, Boehner, McConnell? Is it because none of them have a good chance to win? So, they 'dress-up' a person with a possibility to win as they did the last Republican president?

    Just asking.

  28. Nancy,

    Other than Huntsman or Ron Paul, can you really say that you would want the Republicans to pick someone *other* than Romney? Would you really want Santorum?!?

    It doesn't matter if you like President Obama or not, there is a significant number of people who do not, and a large number of independent voters who are skeptical at best. It is vital that the Republicans nominate the most reasonable candidate if possible.

    Romney, for all his faults, is head and shoulders about the rest, other than maybe Huntsman or Ron Paul when it comes to that. As much as he denied it during the primary race, he has a proven track record as a moderate.

  29. No questions about Romney wanting a military footprint in the middle East? No inquiries about his wanting America to 'stand up' to Russia and China? Nothing about Bain Capital's Sensata technologies, a company in the process of transferring operations to China this year?

    And Romney's solution of 'flexible hours' to allow more women to be home to cook dinner and then return to work in the evening? Don't they also have to help with the kids with homework and bath them children before putting them to bed? Or do the children fall into bed with spaghetti sauce on their faces as usual?

    All that time on Libya spent on determining what name to call it - should it be a spontaneous or planned action. What nonsense. 15 minutes of planning is the same as spontaneous.

    Romney never did say what actions he would have taken, like an invasion of Libya? Bombing the snot out of the desert? Marines hitting the beach while yelling to scare the terrorists and create another military footprint in the middle east? Then six more years of war chasing ragtags to teach them to be scared of the Americans, like in Iraq and Afghanistan? (Aren't they scared yet?) Or would he open up a Bain field office to hire more women in Tripoli? And give them flexible hours too? (Promise?)

  30. <<No questions about Romney wanting a military footprint in the middle East? No inquiries about his wanting America to 'stand up' to Russia and China?>>

    SunJon:
    Next debate is foreign policy. So there is time for Romney to change his views on foreign policy...again...and again. But if it is up to Romney - it will end up "boots on the ground" in the Middle East even though most of the country does not want another war.

  31. In a way, I pity Romney. That man may not recognize himself anymore when he looks at the mirror with all the "costume" he had to put on. I hope he does not fall into an identity crisis before he has the chance at his magic to "fix" the economy.

    Happy Halloween!

  32. Heretic, I'm still waiting for details from the arrogant knucklehead. There was absolutly no substance at all from Willard.
    As for The President and his mannerisms toward the knucklehead, I for one was happy that Willard received what he has been giving. His stance (willard) has been arrogant and condecsending throughout the debates. I'm happy that he got the same attitude thrown back at him.

  33. It your a person who likes "visuals" this was a good debate. It your a person who likes "substance" this debate was not complete.

    These debates are for the undecided, the uninformed, and people who don't have access to most forms of media and other informational contacts pertaining to Mitt Romney, President Obama and the issues of this presidential campaign.

    No, this does not mean one lives in a cave, or just plain disinterest. As voters, as citizens, we have a responsibility to seek out the facts when making the very important decision on who gets our vote. Or better yet, who will earn our vote.

    The President did well. Mitt Romney did not. It is that simple as far as debates goes.

    If your informed, by watching or listening to the debate, this will reinforce what each of these men stand for. This election provides a clear choice on who is better to lead this country. It's not Mitt Romney.

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  34. ....A word from the wise,

    "Don't argue with liars or ignorant people, they will beat you with experience" (unknown)

  35. @Kepi. "Obama: "Look, those jobs aren't coming back"

    This got your attention, good! To a large degree what the President said is true.

    Kepi, you want the truth, the President said a hard truth with respect to a large portion of the jobs that went overseas.

    Don't hate the messenger, support the message.

    Be part of the solution by supporting companies here in the USA, that make products here in the USA, that hire US citizen to do the work.

    We as citizen may not have millions to influence our political leaders, we do have the power of choice, the power of selective purchase.

    Be smart, use all tools your control.

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  36. Thanks Kepi, good idea. I will start using the same separating tag.

    Your past comments indicates your part of the solution. stay engaged Good Citizen. :)

  37. Back in March of 2009 President Obama, just two months into his term, had this to say about out-sourced jobs: "So I guess the answer to the question is, not all of these jobs are going to come back. And it probably wouldn't be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back ..." ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_offi... )

    Last night, Obama doubled down on that statement.

    For almost four years we have seen Obama act on this belief. He has placed far more emphasis on creating replacement jobs. However, almost all of those jobs are ones that can be, and have been, out-sourced, too.

    The fact of the matter is that current economic policies are not doing anything to reverse this, and worse, the President's own words says he doesn't want to.

  38. @boftx, you naughty person, you.

    Why didn't you post the entire comments the President was making. Now, Now.

    Here is the additional information. The President said;

    "Now, a lot of the outsourcing that was referred to in the question really has to do with the fact that our economy -- if it's dependent on low-wage, low-skill labor, it's very hard to hang on to those jobs because there's always a country out there that pays lower wages than the U.S. And so we've got to go after the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future. That's why it's so important to train our folks more effectively and that's why it's so important for us to find new industries -- building solar panels or wind turbines or the new biofuel -- that involve these higher-value, higher-skill, higher-paying jobs...........

    .....So I guess the answer to the question is, not all of these jobs are going to come back. And it probably wouldn't be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because, frankly, there's no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs -- at least in order to be competitive in an international setting." (The President of United States)

    The facts are telling aren't they!

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  39. How many times now have we heard that many of the solar panels and wind turbine components are coming in from China? Even when there is a start-up solar manufacturing plant in Nevada it is a joint venture with the Chinese.

    The President stated a clear belief in 2009, and it has not changed since then. In reality, we do need those jobs back. Ask the people who have been on UI for 99 weeks how they feel about it.

    While you're at it, take a look at the trade agreements Obama finalized. They give benefits immediately to the respective trading partners, but we don't receive any benefit for as much as five years. They gave our trade partners/competitors a five year head start. That does not seem to encourage job creation here.

  40. Jim, you're flailing all over the place.

    Let's go back to what Obama said about those low-skill jobs that you're up in arms about.

    And let's take the example set forth of call center jobs that were lost to other countries.

    What specific policies should Obama put in place to lure these companies back? Are you demanding we lower the minimum wage to $2.00 an hour to compete with Indonesia? Should we give these companies waivers so they don't have to give employees health coverage? Should we shower them with tax subsidies?

    And doesn't all of this corporate favoritism you demand violate the golden rule of the free market?

    Since you're supposedly dissatisfied with both candidates, surely you can put forth some ideas of your own.

    Why don't you?

  41. Obama did a better job on this debate than he did the last. However, Romney still won. Romney is a proven problem solver and has shown positive results in his state. Look how he turned around Massachusetts. MOST IMPORTANT is Romney has proven to work with Rebuplicans and Democrats. Remember, those Republicans and Deomcrats were elected by us people to represent our views. So if we have ruffly 50% Republicans, and 50% Democrats, then we need president that can work with both sides of the isle and come to agreements that are fair to both sides. That will not work with President Obama. It's his way or the highway. We need a president that will work with both the D's and the R's. I believe Romney would be better.

  42. I have said more than a few times now that I want to see us re-structure our tariffs. Yes, I am advocating what could be called a protectionist position.

    You, Kevin (and others) have often brought up Hoover's attempt at that and the bad result. My counter is that our trade position today is fundamentally different since we are now the single largest importer in the world, with a trade deficit that about the same as the rest of the world combined.

    I do not worship at the altar of "Free Trade" when national boundaries are involved, it simply doesn't exist. And after have seen the definition of "Fair Trade" as used by the WTO I can't use that term either. The latest trade agreements fall into that category and are good examples of how that definition is one-sided.

    At the very least, I think we should be imposing a fee on imported goods that is equivalent to the payroll taxes that would be paid on the labor component of those goods. This would not only help level the playing field (an overused phrase) but could also go into the SS and Medicare funds to help strengthen them, as well.

    Such a fee might well be allowable under the WTO since it is something our domestic companies already pay and is therefore not discriminatory against foreign companies.

  43. Jim, that's a solution to our trade deficit.

    That is not a solution to outsourcing call center jobs.

  44. Imported services, such as call centers, are a much tougher nut to crack. One approach might be to set a requirement that any foreign company with US contracts must meet US labor standards. But I doubt that would even begin to get past WTO regs, let alone Congress. There are also severe philosophical problems with it, too.

    There is no good answer for services such as call centers are programming mills at this moment, other than companies recognizing the quality of service issues are more expensive than hiring in this country.

  45. Clerk at Office Depot helping a customer...

    "Yeah, I heard about that last night at the debates. Binders full of women. We got 'em. But lemme ask you.... Whole? Or partial? Okay. Whole. Go down there (points) to aisle seven, just about halfway down on the left, bottom shelf, you'll see the binders....."

    Romney is a doofus.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

  46. "I'm runnin' for President, for Pete's sake, I can't have binders full of women on my front lawn...."

  47. "Binders?!?!? Weeee doan neeeee nooooo steeenkeeeeng binders fulla women!!!!"

  48. boftx,

    "How many times now have we heard that many of the solar panels and wind turbine components are coming in from China? Even when there is a start-up solar manufacturing plant in Nevada it is a joint venture with the Chinese."

    China is the leading manufacturer and exporter of solar panels in the world.

    We are not competitive, especially since we have barely started compared to Europe who committed to the environmental agreements that we did not under Bush.

    Personally, I think there are too many businesses that want to run before they can walk.

    The only benefit we appear to have gotten out of the deal with China in NV is the price of the land. Who is going to be employed there? China is bringing in it's own highly trained personnel and leadership.

    Who is it that got us into the new China Syndrome? Businesses and politicians. Why? Profits, not people! This needs to change.

    Appears the moral compass has broken down pointing East, South, West, and North.

    Certainly, there is no patriotism in capitalism, only profits.

  49. kepi, you are a wonder. I so enjoyed reading you opinions, and I agree completely.

    Thank your for sharing your insights!

  50. Jobs and outsourcing...

    I'm struck at the impasse that exists in solving this problem.

    We apparently can't count on our politicians to do so.

    We can't count on business to do so either.

    So, who has to be the ones to change this? The people!

    Increasingly, there are owner/worker cooperative businesses that have been started and grow. How would you like to have a job? How would you like to be the boss, as well as the worker?

    Worker/owners share the profits together, they often have a different set of priorities and values than many businesses that exist in our current structure.

    Sure, there is self employment for some, but that doesn't always work for everyone and every type of work.

    kepi, you mentioned buying American produced products. It might also me helpful to buy products from worker coops.

    I think it is possible that worker's themselves may be the answer to bringing back balance and stability to our nation.

    Worker coops are everything in one. The workers are the boss, the Board of Directors, the workers. They decide everything, one person, one vote.

    I was surprised when I started researching this at how many there are and the organizations the help them, the associations. It seems a little known secret. And, whenever possible, my first choice of purchase to support these enterprises.

    Surely, it takes people having an idea, coming together and planning. This isn't a quick process, but it belongs to the workers.

    At the moment the majority of people are held captive by business, having to accept the crumbs they dole out, while their profits soar, stocks are soaring, but they are not willing to start jobs, or create consumers.

    Why...politics! Romney offers them hope to make even bigger profits, with few or no regulations, and much lower taxes, while increasing their opportunities to outsource more jobs, and more use of tax havens.

    This is not something we can fight. It is something we have to take on ourselves for ourselves.

    Only in time and with effort can American workers get back what has been lost. Perhaps if there is enough competition from worker coops, in time business would have to come to it's senses. Depends on the efforts of the American workers.

    2012 is the UN International Year of Cooperatives.

    Even the Small Business Administration is beginning to get involved with worker cooperatives.

    Here is a list of US worker cooperatives.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wor...

    This is not new, but it is gaining a renewed effort.

  51. peacelily,

    What is sad is that I am pretty sure the technology was developed here for both and the leading advances continue to be so. (I could be wrong, but I don't think so.)

  52. Isn't it interesting that when Pres.Obama didn't win the first debate,Republicans were all over him like a cheap suit.They bragged and boasted what a great job Gov. Romney did in winning the 1st. debate.

    It is quite clear by everyone who saw the 2nd. debate that Pres.Obama had won it easily,with a knock out punch.

    These same bragging and boasting Republicans won't concide that Gov.Romney lost the 2nd.debate,they call it a draw.

    If I were a betting man I would bet this was a repeat of the title fight Between Muhammad Ali as(Pres. Obama), and George Forman as (Gov. Romney). In which Muhammad Ali won the fight.He(Ali) called the fight rope a dope (1974).

  53. Kepi and Peacelilly:

    Are you in that Binders Full of Women?

    I wonder how one could get in it. After school, can I get in? How do I get out? Can I just jump in then out?

    Who opens and closes the three rings? Are there binders also for men? Or are they in folders?

    It's 2012, maybe men are ahead and are already inside icons - easy access, you know?

    Darn, women are still in a 'bind'?

  54. Warrior, thanks for the link. It was something we should keep in mind.

  55. Nancy, LOL! Thanks for that one.

    I was just thinking...I wonder how many women are in Rush Limbaugh's binders? :-D

    (I think they fled)

  56. chuck333,

    It is all over the TV in poll results that the strongest supporters of Romney are white males. It is a statistical reference/reality, not racism. Nancy was not being racist.

  57. I think Gov.Romney might have had the blinders on when he made the comment that he had binders full of women.Which he said during the 2nd. debate with Pres.Obama.Gov.Romney did lose the 2nd debate.

  58. Romney likes to tout his experience in business, saving the Olympics, and as Govenor of MA, as qualifying him for President of the US. Here are a few links, or kinks, to look at for some facts.

    Bain Capital:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/20...

    2002 Olympics:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012...

    As Govenor:

    http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/20...

    Personally, I don't see any reason to change Presidents now. Obama should get more time to clean up the economic meltdown he inherited.

    We also need to get rid of the Tea/Republicans in Congress and get it back to functionality.

  59. boftx, I agree with you about the technology grab.

  60. Kepi,
    I did view your 8:03,8:04,and 8:05 am posts.They were all on the money a good explanation on how most of see Gov.Romney.It is a pleasure to read your posts, and also the posts of Nancy, and Peacelily as well. It seems women have a keen sense of getting to the point of things faster than some of us men do. Thanks ladies.

  61. Mitty, Mitty quite contrary
    How does your cabinet grow?
    With huge white fancy binders
    Full of women all in a row.