The sheer number of patents in the U.S. is fueling frivolous litigation and drastic action is needed to make patents more difficult to obtain and easier to invalidate, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit said Tuesday. > more ... (0 comments)
TPM’s Senate Scoreboard today shows the Democrats gaining one seat out of this election cycle, though Republicans are trending the wrong way in the two big toss-ups at the moment (i.e. Nevada and Montana) and the one Repub-leaner in Arizona. Still, a net gain this year would be an astonishing outcome for Democrats, a sign of a clear rejection of Republicans’ philosophy around the country. As exemplified, of course, by Mitt Romney, who’s been a major drag on those races.
Keep this in mind when you read about Republicans fretting about whether to stop funding Romney and put the money into Senate races instead. This is putting the cart before the horse–the reason these candidates are failing is because of Mitt Romney’s awful campaign. If that campaign becomes starved for cash and starts to see defections, it will become even more of a drag on these candidates because they won’t be better able to respond to Obama’s campaign. At this point, I’m not sure whether that would be a desirable outcome–if Romney sinks too much, downballot Republicans might just abandon him entirely and do a triangulation sort of thing that could work in holding off losses. Recall, Democrats kept Congress despite McGovern’s loss in 1972 largely by this very strategy.
Which brings us to the debates. I’m torn between rooting for Romney to make a significant/disqualifying mistake, which I think is possible (e.g. losing his composure, attacking too hard, or trying too hard to be likable and coming off creepy), and between rooting for something that can plausibly be spun by Republicans as a victory (or, more likely, a “game-changing historic victory, the first time a president has been outdebated since Jimmy Carter…” and so on) but is actually just bland and unremarkable and accomplishes little. Admittedly, the catharsis of seeing Romney get pasted would be gratifying, but the risk of the party cutting him loose seems more likely under those circumstances. If Romney fights to a limp tie, nothing changes and we’re that much closer. That’s what I’m rooting for tomorrow.
Mitt Romney plans to turn himself into a one-man truth squad during the first presidential debate next week, casting President Barack Obama as someone who can’t be trusted to stick to the facts or keep his promises.Lol.
From Townhall, naturally:
What we find is that the recovery from the bottom of the recession in January 2009 through June 2009, the official end of the U.S. recession, can only be attributed to policies implemented during the Bush administration, as no policy implemented by the Obama administration could have had any meaningful effect upon the economy during these six months.
That trend of improvement then continued during much of the period of overlap between the times when policies implemented during either President Bush’s or President Obama’s tenures in office could have affected the monthly employment data. In fact, if this were a trend in a stock price, a technical analyst would have been screaming to go “all in” at the time because of its upward momentum!
However, we see that the trend of improvement established during President Bush’s administration dies out toward the end of that overlap period, as the trend in the employment situation in the U.S. during the period where only policies implemented during President Obama’s time in office would have a stronger and stronger effect.
I thought Mitt Romney said we were supposed to consider the amount of jobs created since January 20, 2009, which proves once and for all that Obama is a job-killing failure.
ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Oh, yeah, about that…
Seems as though liberals are panicking about “poll trutherism,” i.e. the Republican belief that the polls are systematically and intentionally slighting Romney. They see this as some kind of way of delegitimizing the election in advance, laying the groundwork to seeing Obama as “His Accidency,” part ii.
I must admit I find this a strange thing to panic about, and not just because Republicans are going to do all that stuff anyway and poll trutherism is only a hook to hang that particular hat on. I find the entire episode pathetic, more so than the usual “media bias” complaint. At least with that, if you say “media” people think network news and big-time newspapers like the New York Times, East Coast institutions that have lots of wealthy, famous people employed at them. Making a case that these folks are elites is easy. Making the case that they’re biased at this point in favor of liberals is much more difficult at this stage, but there was probably enough of a kernel of truth to it at one point to make it stick and it’s been a reliable attack from the right for decades. It’s just built into how people think. Anyway, it’s not hard to make them into a villain to some portion of the electorate just with those things alone.
Pollsters, though, aren’t elites or celebrities. My guess is that, to the extent that anyone even thinks about them, they think of nerdy people in glasses spending most of their time crunching numbers on a computer screen (no offense!). Hardly anyone has a “relationship” with them in the way that they might have one with an anchor or an editorial writer (the only exception is the exceptionally self-serving Scott Rasmussen, whose pro-GOP slant has gotten ridiculous–did you know that America fell in love with Mitt Romney after hearing his 47% comments? It’s true, says Ras!). Anyway, the basis for this kind of conspiracy just isn’t there because there’s not much of a readily available “other” to tie these guys to, and the facts don’t add up. How could this be interpreted as anything other than panic or desperation in the eyes of the public? My guess is that this will backfire on the GOP, Democrats are going to feel emboldened by the blood in the water that this tactic clearly exposes, and the silliness of the charge reduces the GOP from Bond Villains to Scooby Doo Villains (“If it weren’t for you meddling pollsters, my plan would’ve worked!”), not what any political party wants. I suspect that the power-obsessed Villagers of D.C. will just roll their eyes at the whole thing.
Admittedly, the GOP is very adept at playing the victim. But making the “aggressor” such a powerless and, ultimately, irrelevant group isn’t going to work. If you want to play the victim, you need to cast the aggressors as real assholes, opposed to Mom and Apple Pie and the American Way and baaaaaaaaaaase-ball and all the rest. Republicans have done that to a lot of different people, but this is like trying to turn shoe salesmen into America’s greatest menace. Not gonna happen.
I’m actually a little more sympathetic to Conor Friersdorf than this (though I am assuredly not a fan). It’s hard for antiwar people to find a home within the two party system we have, and Obama is uniquely susceptible to criticism on foreign and national security issues because those policies are largely his alone. It’s difficult to know exactly how much blame to affix to Obama for certain domestic disappointments or successes because separating his role from that of Congress is tricky–we call it “Obamacare” but it’s equally as much “Reidcare” or “Pelosicare” (and quite possibly more accurate to use those labels, since Reid was almost LBJ-esque getting the bill through the Senate, and Pelosi’s role in passing it was no less impressive). On some domestic bills it’s easier than others, but it’s complicated in most domestic bills while aside from a few Congressional actions on Guantanamo and the loathsome NDAA, Obama owns just about everything his Administration has done in FP/national security areas. His record is pretty lousy to us civil libertarians, no doubt about it, and just about the only argument you can use is the one that he faces political constraints on his actions. Which is true, he does face constraints in this as well as every other area. But my basic take on this is that Obama’s foreign policy was designed to be popular with the public while avoiding the expenditure of any political capital that might be needed on domestic matters. And that it was. He could easily have thrown the civil libertarians a few bones here and there, struck a better balance, but one of the more persistent facts of first term Obama was a consistent refusal to take the morale of his base in pushing the course he thought was politically advantageous (to do so would undoubtedly have been “small” and “petty”), usually in hopes of striking some sort of rare bipartisan comity or settlement. Sometimes he was right about those choices but usually not, it cost him big, and I hope he’s learned his lesson. I think maybe he has.
But just because Obama has been bad on these issues doesn’t mean Romney wouldn’t be substantially worse:
Last December, Mr. Romney was asked about waterboarding at a town-hall meeting in Charleston. He replied that he would “do what is essential to protect the lives of the American people” but would not list “for our enemies around the world” what techniques the United States would use.
Mr. Romney also declared that he would “not authorize torture.” At the news conference afterward, a reporter pressed him to say whether he thought waterboarding was torture, and Mr. Romney replied, “I don’t.”
That comment appeared to align Mr. Romney with a practice by the executive branch, under President Bush, of defining torture narrowly and saying the harsh treatment it inflicted on detainees fell short of that level. By contrast, Mr. Obama has embraced a more expansive conception of the suffering that is off-limits.
“Waterboarding is torture,” Mr. Obama said in November. “It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we operate. We don’t need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism. And we did the right thing by ending that practice. If we want to lead around the world, part of our leadership is setting a good example.”
Ending torture was a big early step forward on civil liberties. At this point, it looks as though it might be the last big step forward too, at least in the first term. Given how much Democrats developed their case against Bush on security grounds in 2007/2008, that’s sad. But there is little ambiguity that Romney’s Dan Senor-led national security team wants to undo even that one solitary achievement (incidentally, just imagine reading this in the Times a year from now: “Romney National Security Adviser Dan Senor indicated that a second surge in the Iran conflict has not been ruled out.”). Plus, the article indicates they would probably push even further than Bush did in terms of torture. That’s bad. Doesn’t undo that pretty much every other decision Obama’s made in this particular area has been less than ideal, but losing the only one that’s any good is not a positive, and for a civil libertarian that might be what you’d call a VOTING ISSUE. While the Nader types hate the idea that they’re only helping Republicans with their votes (and make no mistake, despite the difference in ideology, that’s what Friersdorf is), it’s impossible to argue that they’re doing anything else short-term. Yeah, the common arguments about “changing the paradigm” and such might or might not happen in the long term, but to quote Keynes, in the long term we’ll all be dead. And given Mitt Romney’s excellent diplomacy skills, the long term might not be so far off…
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