Weekend open thread

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Filed Under Open Thread on Aug 31 

With the GOP convention behind us, what are your biggest takeaways? For those who’ve been slow to embrace Romney, did he finally close the deal?

Who were the biggest stars to emerge from Tampa? Which single speech or moment will you remember?

If Romney/Ryan lose in November, who’s the GOP frontrunner in 2016?

Paul Ryan accepted the GOP’s nomination for Vice President last night with a scathing attack of the Obama Administration, calling out the policies and record of the President and citing the sum of his administration as a “failed opportunity.”

The Washington Post listed Paul Ryan among the winners last night, along with Condi Rice and the Pauls. Among last nights “losers” were Tim Pawlenty, John Thune and “convention floor dancing.” That sounds like something Jason Wright does at CPAC every year.

As expected, health care is surely looking like an issue that the Republicans intend to hammer in the election cycle.

Tonight’s schedule includes in the 7:00 pm EDT hour, a Ron Paul video and speakers Rand Paul, (8:00 pm EDT hour) John McCain, and Rob Portman. In the 9:00 pm EDT hour, a Bush 41 and 43 video, as well as speakers Tim Pawlenty, and Mike Huckabee. Finally, playing to the major networks in the 10:00 pm EDT hour will be speakers: Condoleezza Rice, Susana Martinez, and Paul Ryan.

Last night’s Republican Convention included some highlights, such as the ‘beauty and the beast’ act by Ann Romney and Chris Christie, and some low-lights, specifically Rick Santorum. How in the world was Santorum the guy closest to Romney in the race for the GOP nod?

There was a kerfuffle on the floor as Ron Paul supporters reacted with fury when the GOP leadership and the Romney campaign did everything in their power to stifle any type of Paul demonstration.

Speculation about the “surprise” speaker continues, and here is a list of candidates I found interesting.

The convention’s first full day was highlighted early on with Mitt Romney’s official nomination. Continuing, the evening will proceed with several speakers, including key speeches from the nominee’s wife, Ann Romney, and the keynote address from ever-fiery New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Other speakers of note are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Obama campaign co-chairman Artur Davis, and potentially the first black Republican woman in the House of Representatives, Mia Love.

Tuesday open thread

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Filed Under Open Thread on Aug 28 

After canceling many Day One activities due to storm concerns, the RNC kicks off today in Tampa. Among the highlights on today’s schedule are Chris Christie, Ann Romney and Chris Christie. Expect Christie to bring down the house tonight with his keynote address.

Speaking of conventions, Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting piece called “The Top 10 Political Conventions That Mattered the Most.” It’s worth a read.

Also today, another storm is about to whack the Gulf and CSM says George W. Bush is the GOP’s real Hurricane Isaac. Can the GOP withstand the media’s constant Katrina reminders?

Finally, Politico has a look at who might serve in a Romney cabinet. Who’s on the list isn’t nearly as interesting as who isn’t. No Kaiser or Fountain to be found?

The Republican Convention starts tomorrow. In a recent interview with Politico, Romney laid out part of the convention strategy, to make “the simple case to voters: Nice guy, failed president.” It will be interesting to see if it works, as the Romney campaign needs boost because much polls show him trailing the president.

Meanwhile, President Obama is looking to make inroads in Florida, a key swing state. He recently picked up the endorsement of former governor Charlie Crist. Crist will also be speaking at the Democrat Convention and may be joined, according to Big Government, by former Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

Finally, during a speech on foreign policy at Ron Paul’s personal convention this weekend, Paul said: “Somebody… said the other day on the Internet, ‘if those Paul people had been in charge, Osama Bin Laden would still be alive. But you know what I think the answer is? So would the 3,000 people from 9/11, be alive!”

2016 The Movie

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Filed Under Obama News on Aug 25 

As much as Obama supporters would like to believe that this movie is some hysterical, conservative, religious-right screed, it is not. As ironic as it sounds, this movie is actually apolitical, simply chronicling his family’s history, marriages, his birth and childhood residences, and the people his family knew and associated with.

There is no mention or value judgment whatsoever in the movie about religion, no alternative political/fiscal theories presented as “what we should do instead of Obama’s policies,” no point-by-point argument against his presidency. It is not (as I’m sure his supporters likely believe) a 2-hour long Republican political ad.
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Mitt Romney was campaigning in his birth state of Michigan today when he made a birth certificate reference.

Tropical Storm Issac continues to be a potential menace to the Republican Convention in Tampa, where they are prepared to postpone the convention if necessary.

The Paul Ryan selection has produced some positive results in several swing states, where Romney has cut into Obama leads. Numbers in Ryan’s native Wisconsin, the ever-vital Florida, and the state once governed by Romney’s father, Michigan. In fact, as many as eight swing states have had recent polling suggesting a trend of at least marginal gains for Romney.

A predictive model that has picked every election since 1980 correctly is calling the election for Mitt Romney.

Finally, the GOP is seeking a new path to a majority in the Senate, one which includes a detour around Missouri, where the Republican party is all but writing off the listing candidacy of Todd Akin.

Rate that ad

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Filed Under Rate that Ad on Aug 23 

Two storms, one literal and one metaphorical, top the OT today. Akin-gate continues to rage, as Todd Akin, the GOP candidate once though of as having a solid shot of taking a Democratic Senate seat, has battened down the hatches to weather a fire storm of criticism and calls to drop his bid. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney added his voice to the fierce gale calling for Akin to withdraw.

The second storm is a real doozy and is posing an ominous threat to the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week:

Tropical Storm Isaac is forecast to become a hurricane later this week as it moves west-northwestward, touring the northern Caribbean with squalls of heavy rain, gusty winds and rough seas.

AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists anticipate the storm curving to the north later this weekend into early next week.

Exactly where Isaac makes this turn will be a key for the track and severity of impact on Florida and the southeastern United States during the week of Aug. 27.

The overall size of the system by then will also determine how far-reaching the effects of the tropical storm or hurricane will be.

Finally, could an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear research facilities be this election’s October Surprise?

You may remember that the Obama administration produced a chart by in January 2009 to demonstrate their view that unemployment would never rise about 8% if his stimulus package were passed. However, we now know that unemployment has in fact been greater than 8% for every single month of Obama’s Presidency. The chart to the left (click to enlarge) is an updated version of one we have reviewed here before by James Pethokoukis. It is the administration’s original chart with actual unemployment since the “recovery plan” was implemented with an additional dot added showing where unemployment would be if the labor participation rate were the same today as it was in January 2009.

However, what may be even more interesting is this chart below (click to enlarge) by Political Calculations. It shows what the unemployment rate would be from January 2002 until today if the labor force participation rate were the same as in January 2009:
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Tuesday open thread

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Filed Under Open Thread on Aug 21 

Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin has cut a new ad asking for forgiveness. Will it be enough to change anyone’s mind? When your national party chairman is calling on you to drop out, and anyone with a check book is removing you from their iPhone, and the only folks who want you to show up in Tampa work at the DNC, you’re probably in trouble.

Here’s the big question: Can voters “forgive” him but still ask him to withdraw? Or does “forgiveness” mean they must also forget?

Also today, Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast writes that “The Only Big Idea Coming Out of the Romney-Ryan Camp Is the Big Lie.” It’s a cutie pie piece from one of America’s most liberal columnist and a guy who suggested in December that Romney was toast. So yeah, he’s probably right about this, too.

To cleanse your pallet, check out Mona Charen’s latest. It’s a fantastic piece with a headline that says it all: “Cool Is All That Remains.”

Finally, why not top it all off with this poignant piece on the parallels of drivers education and life.

Monday open thread

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Filed Under Open Thread on Aug 20 

Where’s the buzz today?

It’s all about GOP senate candidate Todd Akin saying that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because their bodies prevent it. If you still wondered why Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill desperately wanted Akin to win the primary, wonder no more. A seat she had no business retaining is now squarely in her sights. And if she wins reelection, the GOP’s hopes of capturing the senate are next to nada.

Also trending online and at your local swimming hole, several GOP lawmakers have been scolded for skinning dipping in the Sea of Galilee. Who did they think they were? The Secret Service?

Finally, your homework today includes reading this article by Larry Summers explaining why we can’t trim federal spending, Newsweek’s cover story arguing why America needs a new president, and Michael Barone’s take on how Romney/Ryan are turning the tables on Obama.

Rate that ad

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Filed Under Rate that Ad on Aug 17 

Forbes analyzes the current state of General Motors and expects it to need another bailout as its market share is steadily declining and stock price is plummeting. If the US sold the shares it owns in GM today, it would lose $16.4 billion. Where do you foresee this ending? Will GM recover or is this the beginning of a pipeline of subsidies?

On MSNBC’s program The Cycle, co-host Touré claimed Mitt Romney’s goal is the ‘n*gger*zation’ of the campaign. Is this Romney’s goal or is the left trying to insert race into the race?

After a short period of relief, gas prices are likely to reach record levels this year. What will you do to recover from the extra money spent to drive your vehicle?

Newsbusters argues media bias in the coverage of shootings as the most recent incident at the Family Research Council was perpetuated by an obvious liberal against a conservative group. Is the coverage really an example of bias or is it related to the comparative outcome of the event?

Finally, NPR brings us ‘Six Policies Economists Love (And Politicians Hate)’. Which would you implement (policies listed after the jump)? Read more