Second Presidential Debate, 10/16/12- Complete Video and Transcript

Posted on October 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Video via New York Times:

Washington Post has provided a full transcript. Here is a portion:

    MODERATOR CANDY CROWLEY: … the candidates will oblige by keeping their answers concise and on point.

    Each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a common question, and there will be a two-minute follow-up. The audience here in the hall has agreed to be polite and attentive — no cheering or booing or outbursts of any sort.

    We will set aside that agreement just this once to welcome President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

    (APPLAUSE)

    Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us here tonight. We have a lot of folks who’ve been waiting all day to talk to you, so I want to get right to it.

    Governor Romney, as you know, you won the coin toss, so the first question will go to you. And I want to turn to a first-time voter, Jeremy Epstein, who has a question for you.

    QUESTION: Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?

Click on the above links to watch and read the answers, as well as the rest of the debate.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

DNC2012, Day 2- Address of MO Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and the CBC: ‘We Will Never Be Better Off Without Being Better’ (VIDEO)

Posted on September 5, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Wow. Fired UP and ready to GO.

Have heard from a NY delegate that this speech by Cleaver was not scripted and that the teleprompter was blank. Again, wow.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Romney/Ryan Play “Battleship”- and Promptly Scuttle Themselves

Posted on August 11, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

No military experience for either Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney, no comments by either on defense or foreign policy- yet they are comfortable using the retired USS Wisconsin naval battleship as a prop.

As Rachel Maddow pointed out, can you imagine the outrage if 2 Dems with no military experience did this?

Then there was the actual announcement- definitely one for the “You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up” files.

Romney owes me and so many others this morning a new keyboard for THAT gaffe!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Mitt Romney’s “Hail Mary” Moment- Desperate Campaign Picks WI Rep. Paul Ryan as Running Mate

Posted on August 11, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

(BONUS: I am not the only one reading the play call as a Hail Mary.)

The past few weeks have been nothing short of an “un-Mitt-igated” disaster for Team Romney. To quickly review this past month, we have:

1. Mitt Romney addressing the NAACP amid allegations that he stacked the deck with supportive audience plants, same as he did during the primary.

2. The Olympics. YeGods, The Olympics. Did I mention the Olympics? How about the rest of Mitt’s European vacation? Oh, was he glad to get back to the States

3. The TaxMan Cometh– but he does not reveal what he knows, let alone or what he owes. When even some of these allies including members of the Mormon Church gang up and demand one coughs up the previous tax forms, you KNOW it’s been bad for Mitt. President Obama’s coining the phrase “Romneyhood” to describe Mitt’s tax plan was brilliantly done; Romney’s slap back of “Obamaloney” was a swing and a miss.

“[The independent Tax Policy Center] determined that Governor Romney’s plan would effectively raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 — to pay for this tax cut. Not to reduce the deficit. Not to invest in things that grow our economy, like education or roads or basic research. He’d ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. (Boo.)
It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. It’s Romney Hood.

4. The Bain of Mitt’s Existence. Mitt’s Bain in the Neck. Last night, “Son of Boss”.

This did NOT help.

And then add that the Ron Paul delegates in Maine and other states are not “going quietly into that good night” and going to create a real nightmare scenario for the GOP Convention in Tampa later this month- let’s just face facts; it’s gotten pretty scary for Team Mitt.

And the latest poll numbers haven’t helped, either. Nor has the missteps by spokeswoman Andrea Saul, who got raked over the coals by conservative pundits, creating arguably “the moment Mitt Romney lost the election”.

And this BEFORE a Veep was announced, despite much speculation. In desperation, Mitt went to NH and did some shopping. Went to the Heartland and hobnobbed with a farmer.

He even begged Obama to stop attacking him on issues.

Nothing helped.

So, what else could Mitt do? Speculation narrowed the list to 5 possible horses, er, candidates for a running mate. Desperate times call for desperate measures and late last night, it was learned that Team Romney was going with the “bold” selection- 7 time Representative Paul Ryan of Janesville, Wisconsin.

A place Romney has recently visited- but failed to mention, in his stop, the closed GM plant in town.

Wonder why?

Anyways, the announcement of the Romney/Ryan ticket takes place at 9am this morning in Norfolk, VA alongside the retired USS Wisconsin (see what they did there? Clever…)– but the reality is that this will be the closest to any sort of military action by either of them. In fact, the last “Romney” in the Navy was this poor example.

Oh, I canNOT wait for Joe Biden as Team Obama to debate Paul Ryan…

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

(New DNC Video) Mitt Romney: Little to Like

Posted on May 30, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

From the accompanying letter:

In honor of Mitt Romney securing the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination for President – after six years of trying and millions of dollars spent – we’re releasing a new video of our version of Mitt Romney’s Facebook time line for the last year. In that time we’ve learned that Mitt Romney and his brand of Romney Economics is wrong for the middle class.

From declaring “corporations are people” and we should let the foreclosure process hit bottom to saying he isn’t concerned about the poor and likes firing people Mitt Romney’s time line shows he would return to the same failed policies of the past and is out of touch with the needs of the middle class. And Mitt’s time line, in the words of his fellow Republicans, shows that Romney Economics – whether his time as a corporate raider dismantling companies and jobs for profit or his abysmal record as Governor of Massachusetts where he finished 47th out of 50 in jobs – would be a disaster for the American people.

And of course, there’s Donald Trump – liking an article on Mitt’s time line… about himself, naturally.

Yep, when it comes to Mitt Romney’s time line and what we’ve learned over the past year, there is little to like.:

Bonus: Find the following within the clip.

–Romney speaking to an empty Ford Field in Detroit
–A car elevator
–Romney telling CNN that Russia is “without question our number one geopolitical foe”
–Rick Santorum wielding an Etch a Sketch
–Romney telling the AP “I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners”
–Romney squirming with Bret Baier
–Reuters analysis: Romney Is Clear Favorite of Washington Lobbyists

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz Blasts Romney On “Corporations Are People” Remark

Posted on August 13, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Bonus: Calling Mitt Romney “Weird” is a fireable offense per Obama campaign.

 

 

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) spoke on the same stage today and mocked the presidential candidate’s assertion. Wasserman Schultz asked the cheering crowd, “Is Exxon Mobil a person? General Electric, do they have human-like qualities?”

This was in response to this statement by Romney on the same stage a day earlier:

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Standard and Poor’s Downgrades U.S.’s AAA Credit Rating; First Time in History

Posted on August 5, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

The S&P put out a press release this evening via the Wall Street Journal regarding their decision. Some highlights:

We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.
– We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.

– The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

– More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

– Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.

– The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

TORONTO (Standard & Poor’s) Aug. 5, 2011-

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’. Standard & Poor’s also said that the outlook on the long-term rating is negative. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘A-1+’ short-term rating on the U.S. In addition, Standard & Poor’s removed both ratings from CreditWatch, where they were placed on July 14, 2011, with negative implications.

The transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment of the U.S.-our assessment of the likelihood of official interference in the ability of U.S.-based public- and private-sector issuers to secure foreign exchange for debt service-remains ‘AAA’.

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.

Our lowering of the rating was prompted by our view on the rising public debt burden and our perception of greater policymaking uncertainty, consistent with our criteria (see “Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions,” June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). Nevertheless, we view the U.S. federal government’s other economic, external, and monetary credit attributes, which form the basis for the sovereign rating, as broadly unchanged.

We have taken the ratings off CreditWatch because the Aug. 2 passage of the Budget Control Act Amendment of 2011 has removed any perceived immediate threat of payment default posed by delays to raising the government’s debt ceiling. In addition, we believe that the act provides sufficient clarity to allow us to evaluate the likely course of U.S. fiscal policy for the next few years.

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

Our opinion is that elected officials remain wary of tackling the structural issues required to effectively address the rising U.S. public debt burden in a manner consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating and with ‘AAA’ rated sovereign peers (see Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions,” June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). In our view, the difficulty in framing a consensus on fiscal policy weakens the government’s ability to manage public finances and diverts attention from the debate over how to achieve more balanced and dynamic economic growth in an era of fiscal stringency and private-sector deleveraging (ibid). A new political consensus might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections, but we believe that by then, the government debt burden will likely be higher, the needed medium-term fiscal adjustment potentially greater, and the inflection point on the U.S. population’s demographics and other age-related spending drivers closer at hand (see “Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even More Green, Now,” June 21, 2011).

Standard & Poor’s takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.’s finances on a sustainable footing.

The act calls for as much as $2.4 trillion of reductions in expenditure growth over the 10 years through 2021. These cuts will be implemented in two steps: the $917 billion agreed to initially, followed by an additional $1.5 trillion that the newly formed Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is supposed to recommend by November 2011. The act contains no measures to raise taxes or otherwise enhance revenues, though the committee could recommend them.

The act further provides that if Congress does not enact the committee’s recommendations, cuts of $1.2 trillion will be implemented over the same time period. The reductions would mainly affect outlays for civilian discretionary spending, defense, and Medicare. We understand that this fall-back mechanism is designed to encourage Congress to embrace a more balanced mix of expenditure savings, as the committee might recommend.

We note that in a letter to Congress on Aug. 1, 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated total budgetary savings under the act to be at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years relative to its baseline assumptions. In updating our own fiscal projections, with certain modifications outlined below, we have relied on the CBO’s latest “Alternate Fiscal Scenario” of June 2011, updated to include the CBO assumptions contained in its Aug. 1 letter to Congress. In general, the CBO’s “Alternate Fiscal Scenario” assumes a continuation of recent Congressional action overriding existing law.

We view the act’s measures as a step toward fiscal consolidation. However, this is within the framework of a legislative mechanism that leaves open the details of what is finally agreed to until the end of 2011, and Congress and the Administration could modify any agreement in the future. Even assuming that at least $2.1 trillion of the spending reductions the act envisages are implemented, we maintain our view that the U.S. net general government debt burden (all levels of government combined, excluding liquid financial assets) will likely continue to grow. Under our revised base case fiscal scenario-which we consider to be consistent with a ‘AA+’ long-term rating and a negative outlook-we now project that net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 79% in 2015 and 85% by 2021. Even the projected 2015 ratio of sovereign indebtedness is high in relation to those of peer credits and, as noted, would continue to rise under the act’s revised policy settings.

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.

Our revised upside scenario-which, other things being equal, we view as consistent with the outlook on the ‘AA+’ long-term rating being revised to stable-retains these same macroeconomic assumptions. In addition, it incorporates $950 billion of new revenues on the assumption that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating. In this scenario, we project that the net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 77% in 2015 and to 78% by 2021.

Our revised downside scenario-which, other things being equal, we view as being consistent with a possible further downgrade to a ‘AA’ long-term rating-features less-favorable macroeconomic assumptions, as outlined below and also assumes that the second round of spending cuts (at least $1.2 trillion) that the act calls for does not occur. This scenario also assumes somewhat higher nominal interest rates for U.S. Treasuries. We still believe that the role of the U.S. dollar as the key reserve currency confers a government funding advantage, one that could change only slowly over time, and that Fed policy might lean toward continued loose monetary policy at a time of fiscal tightening. Nonetheless, it is possible that interest rates could rise if investors re-price relative risks. As a result, our alternate scenario factors in a 50 basis point (bp)-75 bp rise in 10-year bond yields relative to the base and upside cases from 2013 onwards. In this scenario, we project the net public debt burden would rise from 74% of GDP in 2011 to 90% in 2015 and to 101% by 2021.

Our revised scenarios also take into account the significant negative revisions to historical GDP data that the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on July 29. From our perspective, the effect of these revisions underscores two related points when evaluating the likely debt trajectory of the U.S. government. First, the revisions show that the recent recession was deeper than previously assumed, so the GDP this year is lower than previously thought in both nominal and real terms. Consequently, the debt burden is slightly higher. Second, the revised data highlight the sub-par path of the current economic recovery when compared with rebounds following previous post-war recessions. We believe the sluggish pace of the current economic recovery could be consistent with the experiences of countries that have had financial crises in which the slow process of debt deleveraging in the private sector leads to a persistent drag on demand. As a result, our downside case scenario assumes relatively modest real trend GDP growth of 2.5% and inflation of near 1.5% annually going forward.

When comparing the U.S. to sovereigns with ‘AAA’ long-term ratings that we view as relevant peers-Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K.-we also observe, based on our base case scenarios for each, that the trajectory of the U.S.’s net public debt is diverging from the others. Including the U.S., we estimate that these five sovereigns will have net general government debt to GDP ratios this year ranging from 34% (Canada) to 80% (the U.K.), with the U.S. debt burden at 74%. By 2015, we project that their net public debt to GDP ratios will range between 30% (lowest, Canada) and 83% (highest, France), with the U.S. debt burden at 79%. However, in contrast with the U.S., we project that the net public debt burdens of these other sovereigns will begin to decline, either before or by 2015.

Standard & Poor’s transfer T&C assessment of the U.S. remains ‘AAA’. Our T&C assessment reflects our view of the likelihood of the sovereign restricting other public and private issuers’ access to foreign exchange needed to meet debt service. Although in our view the credit standing of the U.S. government has deteriorated modestly, we see little indication that official interference of this kind is entering onto the policy agenda of either Congress or the Administration. Consequently, we continue to view this risk as being highly remote.

The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. As our downside alternate fiscal scenario illustrates, a higher public debt trajectory than we currently assume could lead us to lower the long-term rating again. On the other hand, as our upside scenario highlights, if the recommendations of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction-independently or coupled with other initiatives, such as the lapsing of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners-lead to fiscal consolidation measures beyond the minimum mandated, and we believe they are likely to slow the deterioration of the government’s debt dynamics, the long-term rating could stabilize at ‘AA+’.

On Monday, we will issue separate releases concerning affected ratings in the funds, government-related entities, financial institutions, insurance, public finance, and structured finance sectors.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: