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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Republican National Convention (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Republican National Convention
Ron Lambert
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I was surprised to see no one here comment on this yet.

The speech Tuesday night by Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, and the keynote address by Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, were very effective, each in its own way.

Ann Romney succeeded very well in her evident purpose of humanizing Mitt, making him more appealing--especially to women. I liked her line when she said that she and Mitt did not have a storybook marriage, they had a real marriage. One her best statements was at the end, when she offered her solemn commitment that "This man will not fail." She mentioned only briefly her struggle with cancer and MS, and how Mitt stayed with her through it all, but that was impressive too. Also helpful was her statement: "Mitt does not like to talk about his helping people, because he considers that a privilege, not a political talking point." Mitt came out on the platform to stand with his wife after she finished her speech. I thought it was a good touch that he was there. You could see the warmth between them.

Christie accomplished his purpose of showing that the Republican campaign is about the big issues, not the petty sniping negative attacks that characterize the Obama campaign. He was able to say that the difficult things that need to be done nationally have already been done on the state level in New Jersey--eliminating a huge deficit when he took office, and balancing three straight budgets while reducing taxes, bringing teachers' unions under control, and even dealing with entitlements effectively in a way that preserved pensions by keeping them from going broke. He enunciated clearly the philosophy of the Republican Party in this election cycle. Neither he nor Ann mentioned Obama by name, but at one point he directly addressed the president: "Mister president, leadership does not consist in following polls, leadership consists in changing polls." He also referred to the current president as an "absentee president." This could turn up in the campaign as a recurring appellation.

I liked Peggy Noonan's observation (on FNC) that Christie gave a good speech and a good Jackie Gleason imitation.

It was amusing to see the signs all over the convention floor, as well as written large on the wall, "We did build it." That will probably be one of the key slogans of the campaign--one that Obama handed to them with his foolish misstatement (which he probably actually believed, more the shame).

I watched several networks, mainly ABC and FNC--the latter mainly for the followup. FNC reported that early estimates were that Ann Romney's speech produced a 24 point "bounce" for Romney, and Christie's produced a 10 point "bounce." We will have to wait for further polling in the next few days to see what lasting effect the speeches really had. Of course, conventions always give a multi-point "bounce" to the candidate. That will probably be most pronounced after Mitt Romney gives his speech Thursday night. But it looks like the ticket is off to a good start bouncewise. At the very least, nobody shot themselves in the foot.

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Lyrhawn
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Obama didn't misspeak, he has been willfully and maliciously taken out of context. And I'm sure he actually believes what he actually said, not what Republicans have edited it to mean.

I'm not sure what kind of "points" you're talking about. If you mean polling points, I think you're nuts. Christie spent most of his speech talking about himself, not Romney. I'm sure that did a great job boosting Christie's favorables, but not Romney's.

Ann Romney, and the cadre of women they trotted out the same day as finalizing an anti-gay, anti-women platform, did an okay job of trying to hold the line on the gender gap, but Ann Romney telling America why she fell in love with her husband isn't going to override most of the prevailing issues with most women who weren't sympathetic to begin with.

Plus, I actually found part of her speech rather insulting. She had a line where she said something to the effect of, unlike men, women actually know they'll have to work hard in life for the things they want. Wow, way to throw men under the bus to try and play on girl power.

You also forgot to mention that Ron Paul's delegates were shouted down, not allowed to speak, and their votes were actually not counted in some instances. Hasn't exactly been a harmonious first day of Mitt love.

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Rakeesh
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Well if there's one man who can distinguish a campaign away from sniping, negative attacks it's governor Christoe.

Also, Lyrhawn, it's not anti-gay. We just can't let gays destroy America is all. And it's not anti-woman, wives just need to be submissive to their husbands, that's all.

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Javert
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"Ann Romney succeeded very well in her evident purpose of humanizing Mitt, making him more appealing--especially to women."

What women?

Perhaps you misspoke? Perhaps you meant "I THINK Ann succeeded in making Mitt more appealing to women." Forgive me if I'm just focusing on semantics, but unless you are a woman (and you might be, for all I know), or have actualy numbers, your comment doesn't hold up.

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MrSquicky
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What's FNC?
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BlackBlade
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I think Ann Romney's speech was quite effective. I didn't love every single line, but I definitely felt she believed the things she was saying. I think she effectively demonstrated that Romney knows what it's like to take nothing for granted, and work hard for success.

She touched on education, even pointing out her favorite program her husband was a part of was a scholarship program. Her points about how it should be hard to succeed, but that it shouldn't be as hard as it is, as well as that if things had been prosperous these past four years that her husband's success would not be under attack was poignant.

Doesn't mean I'm voting for Romney, my vote is still up for grabs (But I'm still heavily leaning towards Obama). It's hard for me to get excited about this election, because honestly I feel like Congress is the entity that needs a hard reset.

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MrSquicky
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I admit to be mildly curious if her description of their living conditions are actually true. They both had massive trust funds at the time, but neither were working and Mitt had plans for their vast fortune. On the other hand, it's a pretty easy lie to tell and it obviously not be beyond the Romney campaign to tell it.
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Kwea
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It's a hell of a lot easier to live a small home when you know a mansion is awaiting you once you can tap your trust funds.
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
What's FNC?

Fox News
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Ron Lambert
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FNC=Fox News Channel. Different from local Fox stations with their own newscasts.

Women commentators stated they thought Ann Romney's speech suceeded in making Mitt more appealing to women. Also anyone can see that focusing on such things as love, their life as a family, etc., speaks to women.

Everyone knows that humanizing Mitt, especially helping women to know him better, was Ann's primary assignment. I heard no one on any network suggest she failed to do that.

As for the truthfulness about their early struggles and small home where their kitchen table was propped up by a sawhorse--most trust funds are not accessible until a specified age. Mitt's father, George, is exactly the kind of father who would insist on making sure his son had to work and struggle to make it in life, so he would not grow up spoiled. It seems to have worked. It has also been reported that Mitt Romney gave to charity the entire trust fund he received from his father.

Kwea, some of us are able to stand living in a small home in a dark, dirty, disappointing world because we know we have a mansion waiting for us in Heaven and the New Earth.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

Also, Lyrhawn, it's not anti-gay. We just can't let gays destroy America is all.

It's not homophobic if you're not lynching them?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Also anyone can see that focusing on such things as love, their life as a family, etc., speaks to women.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B004FTGJUW/
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
What's FNC?

Fox News
Is that actually a thing? Seems like a way to avoid saying Fox News.
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Samprimary
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Ron Lambert RNC Thread, the inevitable TL;DR version

1. Republicans said some things. Look at how nice they are!

2. Fox News Channel also thought the things the Republicans said were very good!

3. Liberals are terrible!

4. I'm going to heaven, listen to me! This all has to do with God!

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MrSquicky
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quote:
As for the truthfulness about their early struggles and small home where their kitchen table was propped up by a sawhorse--most trust funds are not accessible until a specified age.
Yes, but theirs was. That was how Ann Romney described how she knew what is was to struggle. They had to sell stock from their trust funds during this period.
quote:
It has also been reported that Mitt Romney gave to charity the entire trust fund he received from his father.
Reported by whom? I'm almost positive that that is a lie.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
It's a hell of a lot easier to live a small home when you know a mansion is awaiting you once you can tap your trust funds.

To be fair, it's not like they could control whether or not they had that money and it does show a great deal of discipline to live frugally under those circumstances, if that is actually what happened. I think it could also lead people to mistakenly think they know what it is like for people struggling to make it.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Yes, but theirs was. That was how Ann Romney described how she knew what is was to struggle. They had to sell stock from their trust funds during this period.
The horror!

We should all be so lucky to live through that kind of suffering.

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MattP
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I have a good friend that married into a family that owned a state-wide chain of stores which they sold a majority stake of for 10s of millions of dollars. This friend does not get a lot of financial support from his in-laws and has a decent career supporting his family, but his lifestyle is still fundamentally different from mine because he'll never truly be in financial jeopardy because of illness or poor decisions. His family, while having an income comparable to mine, can buy a much bigger house, a fancier car, and take extravagant and frequent vacations.

When we were both laid off from the same position at the same time, my job hunt was anxious and desperate. His was not. He can say he knows what it's like to be out of work but when he says that he's not talking about the same experience that most people have in that situation.

It's because of this that the Romneys' "we know what it's like to be poor college kids" story rings so empty to me. They had a trust fund that paid all of their expenses so neither had to get a job and they belonged to a wealthy family that was unlikely to actually let them starve or truly struggle to provide for their basic needs. Mitt's family had an endless well of political and business connections from which he could draw to start his business career.

I'm sure Mitt worked plenty hard to build his own fortune, but he is not the self-made man that started from scratch that his father was. He had a significant head start and uncommonly advantageous circumstances that are not cancelled out by recounting the veneer of a simulacrum of typical college life.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Yes, but theirs was. That was how Ann Romney described how she knew what is was to struggle. They had to sell stock from their trust funds during this period.
The horror!

We should all be so lucky to live through that kind of suffering.

Wow.

Sometimes I get depressed when I think about how my congenital deformity endangers my ability to work, and how my work is bad for my health due to my disability, and how many times I've come close to being murdered while doing my job, and how if and when I am fully disabled I will have to rely on Arizona's healthcare which has gone under drastic budget cuts since Gov. Brewer took over while already being in the low end prior to her cuts of people without children and the like.

But then I think about how hard it was for the Romney family to bide their time, waiting for a big fat check that neither of them earned. I think about how good I've got it, and then bash my head into the bathroom sink.

Poverty is not about having unattractive furniture or eating cheap food, it is knowing just how close you are to being homeless every single day and not being able to change it.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
It has also been reported that Mitt Romney gave to charity the entire trust fund he received from his father.
Reported by whom? I'm almost positive that that is a lie.
Romney donated the money he inherited upon his father's death to the Romney School of Public Management at BYU.

quote:
LAMB: By the way, why did your father not give you any of his inheritance?

ROMNEY: Well, he didn’t have as much as I think some people anticipated. And I did get a check from my dad when he passed away. I shouldn’t say a check, but I did inherit some funds from my dad.

But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor, the George W. Romney School of Public Management.

And as an institute of public management, it helps young people learn about government and about serving in public service. And that’s where his inheritance ended up.


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MattP
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So that's a false then. He donated his inheritance (when he was already wealthy), not his trust fund (which he used to pay for college) and it was to a private school, not a charity.
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SenojRetep
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Right. I was clarifying what I thought Ron(?) was alluding to. It wasn't the trust fund, it was his inheritance.

<edit>Although I don't know about trust funds. This is what I could find easily about the stock they sold while at college:

quote:
They were not easy years. You have to understand, I was raised in a lovely neighborhood, as was Mitt, and at BYU, we moved into a $62-a-month basement apartment with a cement floor and lived there two years as students with no income. It was tiny. And I didn’t have money to carpet the floor. But you can get remnants, samples, so I glued them together, all different colors. It looked awful, but it was carpeting.

We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time. The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year—it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.

Mitt and I walked to class together, shared housekeeping, had a lot of pasta and tuna fish and learned hard lessons.

So it doesn't sound like a trust fund so much as a forced investment account where George squirreled away Mitt's birthday money. Based on Ann's statement, it seems the value of the stock was something in the $10,000-100,000 range. That's a lot more than most kids going to college, especially for the 60s, but maybe less than what most people think when they hear 'trust fund'. That said, the fact that this is the only income source pointed to in the interview doesn't preclude the possibility that Ann's parents (who were also very wealthy) may have helped. Nor does it expiate the obvious security benefit of having wealthy parents that MattP points out in his post above.
</edit>

[ August 29, 2012, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Rakeesh
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I think Tevye says it best, which I'll paraphrase: "May the Lord smite me with it, and may I never recover!" in reference to the early 'struggles' of the Romneys.

The funny thing is, I wouldn't lose respect for Romney on the personal background aspect if he didn't try and be just-folks, which is obviously BS.

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Lyrhawn
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But Rakeesh, he knows what it's like to be unemployed! He's a regular Joe just like you and me.

Have you see his shirtsleeves rolled up?

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SenojRetep
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You know, Rakeesh and Lyr, I respect you both and think you're great guys, but I don't really think either of you know what you're talking about. You're judging this man and his family, their choices and their self-perceptions, based on what, exactly. Some news articles you read?

I mean, I understand that people who put themselves in the national spotlight need to expect their intentions to be weighed based on those sorts of criteria, and maybe I'm overreacting to the statements you've made, but everything I know about the Romneys is that, despite their wealth, they're very caring, down-to-earth people who open their hearts and homes to people from all walks of life. The snide conception of a bunch of richie-riches who pretend to slum it in order to burnish their populist cred couldn't, from my perspective, be more wrong.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
You know, Rakeesh and Lyr, I respect you both and think you're great guys, but I don't really think either of you know what you're talking about. You're judging this man and his family, their choices and their self-perceptions, based on what, exactly. Some news articles you read?

I mean, I understand that people who put themselves in the national spotlight need to expect their intentions to be weighed based on those sorts of criteria, and maybe I'm overreacting to the statements you've made, but everything I know about the Romneys is that, despite their wealth, they're very caring, down-to-earth people who open their hearts and homes to people from all walks of life. The snide conception of a bunch of richie-riches who pretend to slum it in order to burnish their populist cred couldn't, from my perspective, be more wrong.

The thing is, I actually like Romney. I agree with you that he actually seems like a pretty genial, nice, caring guy. He obviously cares a great deal for his family, he's honestly devoted to his faith in a way I totally respect, and I think if I had the opportunity, he'd be an interesting guy to have a beer with.

All that aside, he's a total phony. I'm not basing my opinion on any news articles, I'm basing it on my observations of the actual guy. He's an awkward robot who is totally incapable of relating to an average guy because he has no idea what their lives are like. His and his wife's complaints and pained attempts to tell us how they're just like us are insulting. That thing about how he knows what it's like to be unemployed, or any of the other goofy statements he makes. He called himself middle class for God's sake!

If he'd stop pretending and actually BE Mitt Romney, I'd have more respect for him. Instead, every time he pretends to be just like the rest of us, I'm going to make fun of him.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think if I had the opportunity, he'd be an interesting guy to have a (root) beer with.

FTFY.
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Lyrhawn
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Hah, good point. Well, he can have the root beer.

I'd have an actual beer.

Or a Pepsi, it'd depend on my mood. I actually rarely drink. I just had to throw out a few beers that have been in my fridge for a year that are well past their expiration dates.

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TomDavidson
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As a note: Mitt and Ann moved into BYU married student housing. (Tuition would have been free for both of them.) They were living off an account into which Mitt's father -- a multimillionaire and governor -- had put thousands of dollars over several years, and which had appreciated 15x its original value over those years; let's assume that, pessimistically, it only held $120,000.

Not hardship. Not even minor inconvenience.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Tuition would have been free for both of them.

Why is that? Did they have full-ride scholarships?
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Samprimary
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By his standards, I too am enduring "hardship."

but it's not. it's just a moment of applied non-opulence in an unbroken life of privilege. I mean if I were to describe my college travails as "hardship" someone would need to slap me good.

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Ron Lambert
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You know, this whole foolish carping about Mitt Romney not possibly being able to relate to the common person is just propaganda manufactured by the Obama people in an effort to discredit what are really Romney's vast, vast strengths (especially compared to Obama) in real personal accomplishment and success in business and at nearly everything else he has ever done. As someone has observed (I don't know if it is really true, but it probably is) Obama never so much as managed a lemonade stand. What Obama represents is Chicago gutter politics, and all he ever accomplished in college or anywhere was with the money and ghost-writing assistance and string-pulling of others (to get him into Harvard despite poor grades), mostly documented radicals.

So forgive me if I am totally unimpressed by the intellectual bankruptcy that leads some people to follow blindly the Obama party line of making up negative things to say about the Romneys, without any knowledgeable basis. Mitt Romney is probably the most genuinely accomplished person who has ever run for president, and he has exactly the experience that is needed to address the economic problems America faces. No wonder the Obama people are not just running scared, they are running terrified. And notice how virtually all other Democratic candidates are trying desperately to distance themselves from the lost cause at the head of their ticket.

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Samprimary
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quote:
No wonder the Obama people are not just running scared, they are running terrified. And notice how virtually all other Democratic candidates are trying desperately to distance themselves from the lost cause at the head of their ticket.
Neither of these things is even remotely true. Obama's 'running terrified' from currently being projected as the greatly likely winner? Cool.
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TomDavidson
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Ron, if I were to systematically and thoroughly disprove every single claim in your last post, would it change your mind at all? Is there absolutely anything anyone could say to you to pierce the rock-hard shell you've built around your profoundly deluded worldview?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
It's a hell of a lot easier to live a small home when you know a mansion is awaiting you once you can tap your trust funds.

To be fair, it's not like they could control whether or not they had that money and it does show a great deal of discipline to live frugally under those circumstances, if that is actually what happened. I think it could also lead people to mistakenly think they know what it is like for people struggling to make it.
Certainly all the above is true. What's unforgivable, in my opinion, is the arrogance to assume you know what it's like for someone who doesn't have the enormous safety net that you have under you, if you have one like that, should you fail. I know people who live modestly and have lived modestly, who have means and resources well beyond what they consume. I'm one of them actually. And I don't for a second believe I know what it's like not to have that. I've had friends who've had to live that way, and I don't know how they do it, because I never had to. Me thinking that I know would be the height of arrogance. The attitude involved in even claiming that you know of such things, when you don't, speaks to a blindness, and or falseness, that should cause shame and embarrassment when it is heard and spoken.
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Rakeesh
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Just to be clear: Romney's painfully transparent efforts to appear relatable in his personal financial and working life to the middle class don't make me despise him. They don't even make me think terribly badly of him, since as politicians go that's a bit par for the course. And they certainly don't lead me to make any judgment as to what sort of person he is on a moral and ethical level.

They just make me lose respect for him in that area, because it's treating me like I'm stupid. It is, for my vote's sake, a lost opportunity because if he would just cop to being a rich guy born of a powerful guy, an easier choice since it's obvious, he could pivot to trying to explain something like actual reasons aside from phony biographical nods as to why people should feel like he understands them. Many of the best leaders in history have been, after all, children of privilege, able to relate to their less fortunate fellows.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Ron, if I were to systematically and thoroughly disprove every single claim in your last post, would it change your mind at all? Is there absolutely anything anyone could say to you to pierce the rock-hard shell you've built around your profoundly deluded worldview?

Just do it. Pick them apart bit by bit. Make a discussion about them because of the intransigence of some people's dedication to belief in them.
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Slavim
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I just want to point out that the Republican's slogan is "I did build it" Obama said "We built it." And it is indeed very amusing to see the signs all over the republican convention floor, a stadium, 63% of which ($86 million) was paid by the Florida government.

It's one of the many nuanced tricks Republicans use to misguide people. Not too many people believe they are solely responsible for building a company and “I did build it” comes off as arrogant.

In the same theme, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard Hannity “slip” up and say the president promised to cut the debt by half or when the DOE loaned $600 billion to Solyndra. On countless occasions I’ve seen people re-stating those slip-ups, such as “Obama said he’ll cut the debt by half, instead he doubled it!” It’s kind of funny since it implies some people believed it’s possible to pay off half of the debt while being in the second worst recession. For some reason I can’t find the deficit numbers very easy but the president has decreased the deficit by about 30% as far as I know over the past 3.5 years.

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Samprimary
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quote:
For some reason I can’t find the deficit numbers very easy but the president has decreased the deficit by about 30% as far as I know over the past 3.5 years.
And, oh my lord, would that I could travel to a parallel universe where the republicans had the presidency right now; do you know how hard they would crow about this amazing achievement and how it shows how committed they are to sound fiscal governance?
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Godric 2.0
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Either Matt Taibbi is losing his edge or I'm just becoming desensitized...

quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Mitt Romney is probably the most genuinely accomplished person who has ever run for president, and he has exactly the experience that is needed to address the economic problems America faces.

Are you referring to the accomplishments such as KB Toys?:

quote:
In a typical private-equity fragging, Bain put up a mere $18 million to acquire KB Toys and got big banks to finance the remaining $302 million it needed. Less than a year and a half after the purchase, Bain decided to give itself a gift known as a "dividend recapitalization." The firm induced KB Toys to redeem $121 million in stock and take out more than $66 million in bank loans – $83 million of which went directly into the pockets of Bain's owners and investors, including Romney. "The dividend recap is like borrowing someone else's credit card to take out a cash advance, and then leaving them to pay it off," says Heather Slavkin Corzo, who monitors private equity takeovers as the senior legal policy adviser for the AFL-CIO.

Bain ended up earning a return of at least 370 percent on the deal, while KB Toys fell into bankruptcy, saddled with millions in debt. KB's former parent company, Big Lots, alleged in bankruptcy court that Bain's "unjustified" return on the dividend recap was actually "900 percent in a mere 16 months."

Or Ampad?:

quote:
Bain bought Ampad in 1992 for just $5 million, financing the rest of the deal with borrowed cash. Within three years, Ampad was paying $60 million in annual debt payments, plus an additional $7 million in management fees. A year later, Bain led Ampad to go public, cashed out about $50 million in stock for itself and its investors, charged the firm $2 million for arranging the IPO and pocketed another $5 million in "management" fees. Ampad wound up going bankrupt, and hundreds of workers lost their jobs, but Bain and Romney weren't crying: They'd made more than $100 million on a $5 million investment.

Or how he took time to relate to an employee at Ampad?:

quote:
At one point during Bain's looting of Ampad, a worker named Randy Johnson sent a handwritten letter to Romney, asking him to intervene to save an Ampad factory in Marion, Indiana. In a sterling demonstration of manliness and willingness to face a difficult conversation, Romney, who had just lost his race for the Senate in Massachusetts, wrote Johnson that he was "sorry," but his lawyers had advised him not to get involved.

Or how he handed out bonuses to his employees?:

quote:
"I insisted on having almost dictatorial powers," he bragged years after the Ampad deal. Over the years, colleagues would anonymously whisper stories about Mitt the Boss to the press, describing him as cunning, manipulative and a little bit nuts, with "an ability to identify people's insecurities and exploit them for his own benefit." One former Bain employee said that Romney would screw around with bonuses in small amounts, just to mess with people: He would give $3 million to one, $3.1 million to another and $2.9 million to a third, just to keep those below him on edge.

Or Dunkin' Donuts?:

quote:
In 2010, a year after the last round of Hertz layoffs, Carlyle teamed up with Bain to take $500 million out of another takeover target: the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. Dunkin' had to take out a $1.25 billion loan to pay a dividend to its new private equity owners. So think of this the next time you go to Dunkin' Donuts for a cup of coffee: A small cup of joe costs about $1.69 in most outlets, which means that for years to come, Dunkin' Donuts will have to sell about 2,011,834 small coffees every month – about $3.4 million – just to meet the interest payments on the loan it took out to pay Bain and Carlyle their little one-time dividend. And that doesn't include the principal on the loan, or the additional millions in debt that Dunkin' has to pay every year to get out from under the $2.4 billion in debt it's now saddled with after having the privilege of being taken over – with borrowed money – by the firm that Romney built.

Or how much he spent on those 2002 Winter Olympics?:

quote:
The taxpayer-funded subsidies that Romney has received go well beyond the humdrum, backdoor, welfare-sucking that all supposedly self-made free marketeers inevitably indulge in. Not that Romney hasn't done just fine at milking the government when it suits his purposes, the most obvious instance being the incredible $1.5 billion in aid he siphoned out of the U.S. Treasury as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake – a sum greater than all federal spending for the previous seven U.S. Olympic games combined. Romney, the supposed fiscal conservative, blew through an average of $625,000 in taxpayer money per athlete – an astounding increase of 5,582 percent over the $11,000 average at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.


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Slavim
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
For some reason I can’t find the deficit numbers very easy but the president has decreased the deficit by about 30% as far as I know over the past 3.5 years.
And, oh my lord, would that I could travel to a parallel universe where the republicans had the presidency right now; do you know how hard they would crow about this amazing achievement and how it shows how committed they are to sound fiscal governance?
I was looking for a nice chart but I just googled the individual years. FY 2009 Budget deficit was around $1.4 Trillion. Projected 2012 budget deficit (As of August 22) is $1.1 Trillion. If spending doesn't increase in the next 4 months, the deficit was reduced by 21.4% over 3 years.
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Destineer
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Isn't a lot of that the ARRA stimulus spending wearing off, though?
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Slavim
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Isn't a lot of that the ARRA stimulus spending wearing off, though?

Some yes, although there are fewer teachers, fewer firefighters, far less spending on Iraq as we withdrew most of our forces (though spending a bit more in Afghanistan which will start decreasing from next year). Medicare future growth in spending is capped under the PPACA and defence spending will be cut unless the Republicans have their way.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
For some reason I can’t find the deficit numbers very easy but the president has decreased the deficit by about 30% as far as I know over the past 3.5 years.
And, oh my lord, would that I could travel to a parallel universe where the republicans had the presidency right now; do you know how hard they would crow about this amazing achievement and how it shows how committed they are to sound fiscal governance?
This table from the OMB says the 2012 budget deficit is $1.327T, 2011 was $1.300T, 2010 was $1.293T, 2009 was $1.412T, 2008 was $0.459T, 2007 was $0.161T and so on. The average deficit 2005-2008 was $0.30T, while the average deficit 2009-2012 was $1.33T.

Huge deficits during a recession and the immediate aftermath are understandable, but I don't see any way, based on those numbers, that Obama's deficits can be construed as being down 30% (unless you're talking about the projected 2013 budget; but even that is still three times the average deficit from the pre-recession years). In fact, the projected deficit for every single year until 2017 is more than double the average from 2005-2008 and more than 50% bigger than the biggest pre-2009 deficit.

<edit>I see Slavim added a new post while I was writing. I'd be interested in seeing the source for the $1.1T projection. Maybe they're using a different projection methodology than the OMB?</edit>

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Slavim
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
For some reason I can’t find the deficit numbers very easy but the president has decreased the deficit by about 30% as far as I know over the past 3.5 years.
And, oh my lord, would that I could travel to a parallel universe where the republicans had the presidency right now; do you know how hard they would crow about this amazing achievement and how it shows how committed they are to sound fiscal governance?
This table from the OMB says the 2012 budget deficit is $1.327T, 2011 was $1.300T, 2010 was $1.293T, 2009 was $1.412T, 2008 was $0.459T, 2007 was $0.161T and so on. The average deficit 2005-2008 was $0.30T, while the average deficit 2009-2012 was $1.33T.

Huge deficits during a recession and the immediate aftermath are understandable, but I don't see any way, based on those numbers, that Obama's deficits can be construed as being down 30% (unless you're talking about the projected 2013 budget; but even that is still three times the average deficit from the pre-recession years). In fact, the projected deficit for every single year until 2017 is more than double the average from 2004-2008 and more than 50% bigger than the biggest pre-2009 deficit.

<edit>I see Slavim added a new post while I was writing. I'd be interested in seeing the source for the $1.1T projection. Perhaps they're using a different methodology than the OMB?</edit>

I got my numbers from the CBO: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43523

You have a very good point. However you have to admit that it's difficult to get things done in a Washington climate where 10:1 spending cuts to tax increase deals are flat out rejected and speaker Boehner boasting about getting 98% of what he wanted in compromise talks.

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SenojRetep
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I wonder what the difference between the CBO numbers and the OMB numbers are. Looking on the CBO website, their numbers for past years are the same as the OMBs. Perhaps the ones on the chart I linked are out of date.

I think the bigger point, though, is that deficits are much higher than they were at any time prior to the recession, and that there's no real belief they'll decrease to the levels of recent history in the next five years.

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Rakeesh
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Romney saved the Olympics. That's the story out of the Olympics. Quiet, you godless commies!
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Isn't a lot of that the ARRA stimulus spending wearing off, though?

Ohh. hmm.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
For some reason I can’t find the deficit numbers very easy but the president has decreased the deficit by about 30% as far as I know over the past 3.5 years.
And, oh my lord, would that I could travel to a parallel universe where the republicans had the presidency right now; do you know how hard they would crow about this amazing achievement and how it shows how committed they are to sound fiscal governance?
This table from the OMB says the 2012 budget deficit is $1.327T, 2011 was $1.300T, 2010 was $1.293T, 2009 was $1.412T, 2008 was $0.459T, 2007 was $0.161T and so on. The average deficit 2005-2008 was $0.30T, while the average deficit 2009-2012 was $1.33T.

Huge deficits during a recession and the immediate aftermath are understandable, but I don't see any way, based on those numbers, that Obama's deficits can be construed as being down 30% (unless you're talking about the projected 2013 budget; but even that is still three times the average deficit from the pre-recession years). In fact, the projected deficit for every single year until 2017 is more than double the average from 2005-2008 and more than 50% bigger than the biggest pre-2009 deficit.

<edit>I see Slavim added a new post while I was writing. I'd be interested in seeing the source for the $1.1T projection. Maybe they're using a different projection methodology than the OMB?</edit>

Where do Congressional Republicans fit into this discussion?

Obama doesn't make this stuff up all by himself, in fact, the power to spend is exclusively held by Congress. Ever since the GOP takeover anyway, and I'd argue ever since Brown's win in Massachusetts, Obama hasn't been able to spend a dime without GOP approval. So how is this all his cross to bear alone?

He clearly hasn't gotten everything he wants, and in terms of budget reforms, I'd say he hasn't gotten what he wants at all.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Right. I was clarifying what I thought Ron(?) was alluding to. It wasn't the trust fund, it was his inheritance.

<edit>Although I don't know about trust funds. This is what I could find easily about the stock they sold while at college:

quote:
They were not easy years. You have to understand, I was raised in a lovely neighborhood, as was Mitt, and at BYU, we moved into a $62-a-month basement apartment with a cement floor and lived there two years as students with no income. It was tiny. And I didn’t have money to carpet the floor. But you can get remnants, samples, so I glued them together, all different colors. It looked awful, but it was carpeting.

We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time. The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year—it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.

Mitt and I walked to class together, shared housekeeping, had a lot of pasta and tuna fish and learned hard lessons.

So it doesn't sound like a trust fund so much as a forced investment account where George squirreled away Mitt's birthday money. Based on Ann's statement, it seems the value of the stock was something in the $10,000-100,000 range. That's a lot more than most kids going to college, especially for the 60s, but maybe less than what most people think when they hear 'trust fund'. That said, the fact that this is the only income source pointed to in the interview doesn't preclude the possibility that Ann's parents (who were also very wealthy) may have helped. Nor does it expiate the obvious security benefit of having wealthy parents that MattP points out in his post above.
</edit>

That's my bad. I was wrong about it the stock being from their trust funds. Sorry. I was relying on half-remembered info and I should have been more thorough in checking it out.
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