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Posts Tagged ‘romney’

Mitt Romney for President

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

I am not a partisan voter. My voting record clearly shows that. Here is my voting record since 1968:

Humphrey (D) McGovern (D) Carter (D) Reagan (R) Reagan (R) Bush (41) (R) Clinton (D) Clinton (D) Gore (D) Bush (43) (R) McCain (R)

I choose candidates based on who I think will be do the best job for the country, for Israel, and for the Jewish people. I do not vote by party.

Although I have finally made my decision – for the first time I am not as sure as I usually am about which candidate will actually be the better President.

The last debate added nothing toward that end. The two candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain the same in my eyes. Their views were not made clearer at all on any of the issues that are important to the American people nor to me as a Jew.

I recently wrote that their views on Israel though not identical are both positive – and not all that dissimilar. I also said that for the first time my decision would not be based on that issue. Instead -“It’s (still) the economy, Stupid!” Of course the economy matters to Jews just as much as it does to everyone else. But it is definitely not a Jewish issue.

I do not see any break away solutions by either candidate. The President’s policies have thus far not done the job. Unemployment is still high – as are gas prices. His stimulus polices haven’t really helped all that much. The deficit is soaring . He is also over focusing on environmental issues – by over regulating businesses and preventing more opportunities to become energy independent. That too stifles economic growth. And adds to the deficit

His counter to that is that a divided congress is holding him back from doing more. And that his energy policies are the most productive in history. But that doesn’t explain why he didn’t do more to fix the economy during the first 2 years of his administration when he had a bullet proof congress. Instead he focused on a passing a controversial health care bill that contributes to the exploding deficit.

Romney on the other hand wants to implement a supply side economic policy that lowers taxes for everyone. He says that small businessmen many of whom file individual tax returns would be hurt by the higher taxes the Obama administration wants to impose on them and that would dis-incentivize them from investing the capital they need to grow their businesses and hire new people.

The President countered that Romney’s economic policy does not add up and that it would either explode the deficit even further, or that he would have to cut popular deductions like mortgage interest to make up for the loss.

Romney says that he would go full bore into developing all sources of energy including off shore drilling and do things like extending the Canadian pipeline (which the President rejected).

Obama also claims that he has actually increased oil production under his administration.

Romney would increase the military budget to restore it to the levels that existed before the Obama military budget cuts.

Obama says that the military doesn’t need to be as large and expensive as is used to be – even according the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Increasing the military budget will only grow the deficit.

How the President will grow the economy is still a mystery to me. Platitudes like “the rich must pay their fair share” are meaningless hyperbole designed to appeal to class envy in my view.

He has had four years to fix the economy and he hasn’t done it yet. He still blames Bush saying he inherited this mess from him – and that it was much worse than anyone thought. He touts the fact that in spite of that – the economy has still improved. Though admittedly only slightly. He now claims he needs more time and a willing congress.

Romney says Obama’s polices have failed and it’s time for someone else with a different approach to try. He claims his business experience will help him achieve more private sector jobs and a return to a healthy economy.

On Foreign Policy, Zionist Students Fear Romney Less

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

After the tension witnessed during the second presidential debate, viewers were left wondering if the third and final presidential debate would end with one, or both of the candidates throwing punches. That didn’t happen.  And not much new information came out, either.

On university campuses, students have for the most part remained stalwart supporters of their original candidate, and the debates have merely informed and educated student voters. Still, it appears that many Zionist students are unforgiving of President Obama’s foreign policies, and demand that immediate action be taken in attending to Iran’s nuclear program.

Neena Klein of San Antonio is a junior at Texas State University, and is particularly disconcerted by the President’s foreign policies, especially after the Benghazi cover up.

“The cover up demonstrates President Obama’s lack of concern for our embassies as well as our allies,” Klein said. “He is simply not pushing hard enough for sanctions on Iranian nuclear weaponry.”

For Ian A. Cummings, a junior at Franklin & Marshall College and a resident of Linwood, New Jersey, the choice is clear that come Nov. 6, he will be voting for Mitt Romney.

“As an American Jew, I’ve witnessed the continual ‘throwing-under-the-bus’ of Israel by Obama the last four years,” said Cummings. “Obama has left Israel out to dry, whether it was snubbing Prime Minister Netanyahu, conducting secret negotiations with Iran to undercut U.S. support for an Israeli airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities or publicly criticizing Israel settlement policy. The Obama administration is the most anti-Israel of any in my lifetime—it makes me concerned for Israel’s future.”

The debates and election campaigning as a whole have been filled with fact checking, inconsistent positions on various policies, and many angry accusations.

One student, junior Tal Ben-Maimon of Vanderbilt University, is frustrated and discouraged by this year’s election campaigning, and has little faith in either candidate to restore the economy.

Ben-Maimon has grown impatient, and strongly believes that the United States’ economic and unemployment problems must be the foremost concern of both candidates.

“This election is plagued with pointless areas of debate,” Ben-Maimon said. “There is a lot of fuss around social and foreign policy, and a vast spectrum of opinions as to how these policies should be interpreted or changed, but now is not the time. The issue this election needs to centralize around is economics, so that we can pull this country out of its state of perpetual stagnant growth. If we deal with our economic situation now, we can deal with everything else in the future.”

Jacob Couzens, a Yeshiva University sophomore and native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has also been frustrated by the superfluity and unnecessary arguing during the debates, but believes Romney has shown far greater support of Israel than has President Obama. Couzens was disappointed in the second debates’ absence of matters and policies pertaining directly to Israel, which he considers one of, if not the most important issue, in determining his vote.

“While there are a number of issues I hold in high regard, (economy, government spending, social security) one of the issues held dearest to my heart is the U.S.A’s foreign policy towards Israel and the Middle East in general,” Couzens said. “In the past few years, President Obama has time and again lacked the stalwart support for what is one of the only established free democracies in the vast Middle Eastern region. He has called for Israel’s pre-1967 borders, and also conveniently left Jerusalem being the capital of Israel out of his political platform. His relationship (or lack thereof) with Prime Minister Netanyahu is disappointing.”

President Obama appears to many to be increasingly less supportive of Israel and the decisions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In addition to refusing to state he would provide support for Israel in the event of military action against Iran, Obama refused to meet with Netanyahu last month, claiming that his schedule was simply too busy. While Governor Romney has already made the trip to Israel, some believe that this was done solely for the purpose of gaining Jewish and Israeli support.

Many students are strong and unwavering in their beliefs, yet others are more confident in both the candidates to support and value Israel as an ally and friend of the U.S.

University of Texas junior Caroline Mendelsohn hails from Washington D.C., but will be voting in Texas this November. She trusts that either candidate will do what is in America’s best interest, and continue to keep ties strong with Israel, though Romney would do so in a more traditional sense.

“Both Obama and Romney support Israel,” said Mendelsohn. “Perhaps they do so, or plan to do so in different ways, but when it comes down to it, the President and Governor Romney understand that support for Israel is in America’s best interest. I agree with many that Obama’s positions on Jerusalem and certain border questions are not as clear or defined as they should be, and therefore not seen as pro-Israel, but during Obama’s term as President, Israel has benefitted from consistent support from the U.S. House and Senate, passing information legislation regarding the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, tough sanctions against a nuclear Iran, and the continuation of foreign aid and joint military cooperation.”

One thing that seems to be universally agreed upon is that Iran’s nuclear program must be taken care of. The support for Israel will likely be present regardless of who is in office, yet it is quite clear that for President Obama, costly mistakes were made in his foreign policy with the Benghazi cover up, his dismissal of Netanyahu during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the U.S., and his call for Israel’s reversion to the pre-1967 lines.

Though Romney’s foreign policy is far from perfect, it seems to students that he is making fewer mistakes, and that if elected, he and the U.S. will act as the bulwark that Israel needs and deserves.

Romney’s Plan to Lose the Little Contest and Win the Big One

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

As I was watching the battle proceed before my astonished eyes, with Mitt Romney touting so many of the President’s policies and actually confirming what so many of us know are half truths mixed with wishful thinking, if not outright lies, it occurred to me that someone back on the Romney bus decided not to win last night, but to shoot for a different target. The more the conversation unfolded, the more I understood how such a strategy could have been conceived.

It comes down to keeping your eyes on the prize. You’re the come-from-behind candidate, you’ve won a decisive opener and either won the second debate by points or lost by points, depending on who’s writing the review. You’re tied in the national polls, but still behind in most swing states. Now comes the third debate, and it’s about foreign policy, which means the president has all the best cards, because he understands foreign policy, because his record is mixed—not a complete disaster—and because he killed Bin Laden after you said it wasn’t worth the effort (it really wasn’t, but who’s listening).

The only way to win this debate would have been by attacking the president brutally, confronting him on every fact, cutting into every statement he makes, causing him to lose his footing and to look like a fool. It could be done, and I’m sure many of you watching at home were heckling the living daylights out of Romney for not grabbing all those golden opportunities – but I think he was smart not to. I think the guys on the bus were right. Because Romney could easily have come across as a mean spirited Nixon-like figure, beating on the poor president.

By staying away from the rough and tumble of the first debate, Candidate Romney reached a status equal to that of the man next to him on the split-screens: they both looked ready for office. And that was huge.

Remember, both candidates were really playing for the relatively narrow sliver of independents in swing states. Romney is pushing hard there, gaining on Obama in Pennsylvania, which used to be considered a sure Democratic state only in August and even September. He is ahead in Florida, but he’s still behind in Ohio. Romney has to take Ohio – and he won’t take it by winning on points in a foreign policy debate. He can win Ohio by looking so presidential, you could imagine him on a U.S. postage stamp.

That’s what the guys on the bus told their boss to go for tonight, and, with some hesitation, he followed their orders. It makes no difference now whether or not the pundits will say (as they have done already) that this was a win for Obama. Because there’s one thing Obama couldn’t deny his opponent tonight – respectability. No matter how Obama tried, he couldn’t push Romney so far out to the right he would lose his appeal to the independents.

Bob Schieffer of CBS News started with Libya, and Romney described the troubles associated with the Arab spring. We’ll have to develop a new, comprehensive strategy to combat the negative changes in the Middle East, he suggested.

You would have expected him to start right off the bat with a tirade about how both the president and Ms. Crowley have lied in the last debate about the spirit of what Obama had said regarding Benghazi. But, in retrospect, Romney’s taking the high road was a good strategic step.

Obama recounted his record as president, keeping Americans safe, decimating Al Qaeda, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He compared the liberation of Libya without boots on the ground to the costly other two wars, saying Libyans now support America. He accused Romney’s strategy of being “all over the map.”

Romney attacked some of Obama’s delusions, but never even got close to a body blow.

Schieffer asked Obama about Syria. Can we influence events there?

Obama mentioned that the U.S. has organized the international community in saying Assad has to go. The U.S. has mobilized sanctions, isolated the government, mobilized humanitarian aid and supported the moderate forces within Syria.

Seriously? We are supporting the Syrian moderates? Those moderates who are taking out whole city blocks with their car bombs? Is the president actually suggesting there are good guys and bad guys in Syria?

Then Obama said that, ultimately, Syria will have to determine its own future. The U.S. is cooperating with Israel and Turkey, its two friends who are next door to Syria. And he opposed giving heavy weapons to the opposition, as he claimed Romney had suggested.

The Sheer, Small-L Liberalism of ‘Rabbis for Romney’

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Despite recent polls suggesting Jews may not be voting as a monolithic bloc for the Democratic ticket, at least in this presidential race, it still has to be lonely being a rabbi who has publicly committed to supporting Mitt Romney for U.S. president.  And it must be even lonelier for someone who publicly committed to creating an organization called “Rabbis for Romney.”

But when you talk to the man behind that organization, you discover that not only is he not lonely, he is not a particularly partisan individual. In fact, he’s a registered Democrat, whose sole purpose for starting Rabbis for Romney  is that he didn’t want there to be rabbis united for only one candidate, when he knows that there are Jews who also support Romney.

And while, unlike Rabbis for Obama, Rabbis for Romney does not boast hundreds of members, Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg is confident that the hundreds of hours and thousands of emails he has written has had an impact.  He knows there are people who are just a little bit better informed because of the efforts he and his dozens of volunteers have put in.

Rabbi Rosenberg makes it very clear that he is not a conspiracy theorist and he insists that “the president of the United States deserves our respect,” he explained to The Jewish Press.

The basic policy differences that Rosenberg sees between the choices for president this year are: partisanship, the economy, and the threat Iran poses to Israel and to all of western civilization.

On all three, he sees Romney as the one more likely to be a better leader.  He thinks Romney is more likely to be willing to reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats than Obama has done and would do in a second term with the Republicans.

Romney is someone, according to Rabbi Rosenberg, who not only has many years of experience in the business world, but he actually understands how business works both on the smallest scale, on up to the largest size corporations.

And finally, for someone born in a Displaced Persons camp whose parents were both survivors of the horrors of the Holocaust, it is Rabbi Rosenberg’s belief that left undeterred, Iran will perpetrate another Holocaust on the world’s Jews, and do its best to destroy western civilization in the process. Rosenberg is convinced that Obama will not do what needs to be done to prevent that catastrophe.

What Rosenberg doesn’t believe is that what people see in the presidential debates matters.  “Both sides lie, these are shows, with the players coached by fantastic people.”  As someone who lost virtually his entire extended family to evil, Rosenberg isn’t easily charmed by such shows.  “Anyone who believes either side is a fool.”

When asked how his congregation feels about his latest project, Rosenberg says he “does not discuss it with them.”  He believes the sanctuary is sacred and should not be used for politics.

But deciding to create a group called Rabbis for Romney is not the only time Rosenberg has put his beliefs into action.  He told The Jewish Press that he has volunteered for every war Israel has been involved in, not in combat units, but as a volunteer, for example, in hospitals.

The reason he wants Jews to be knowledgeable about the choice they will be making in this year’s election, is because, while he does “not think Obama is evil or an enemy of Israel,” he thinks “Obama is the wrong man for this time.”  It may sound nice, says Rosenberg, for Obama to try to make peace with extremist Muslims, “but it cannot be done.”  And, despite his promises, “Obama has failed to turn around the economy.”

When asked his position on Obamacare, and whether it isn’t part of Jewish values to take care of everyone, Rosenberg agrees that “it is a mitzvah to help others,” but helping others does not mean encouraging them not to rely on themselves.  When Rosenberg’s father came to America, he was given $13 from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and that’s it.  There was no food stamps, there was no welfare, his father only spoke Yiddish, but he worked hard and Rabbi Rosenberg, the only child of his parents who survived the Holocaust, proudly reveals that he has two masters degrees and two doctorates, and is the author of several books.

When Rabbis for Obama was launched, a long list of members was released, and the claim was that there were 613 members in the group – a significant number, of course, because it corresponds to the number of mitzvot.  But there was immediate controversy about some of the members, a number of whom are not considered to be rabbis according to halacha, and quite a few of whom had ultra-left-wing views, and had engaged in activity that suggested outright hostility to the Jewish State.

Rosenberg won’t disclose the names of the rabbis who have signed on to Rabbis for Romney, he says “there is just too much hostility directed against them by too many Jews.” He told The Jewish Press that he received an email after announcing Rabbis for Romney, that said that he “should have been cremated with the rest of his relatives.”  Still, he is pleased with the numbers who have signed on and with the support he has received from so many.

Rabbi David Algaze of Havurat Yisrael, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, is the co-chairman of Rabbis for Romney.  Algaze recently said in an interview with The Jewish Star, “We clearly deny the impression created by the Rabbis for Obama that American Jews want ‘daylight’ between America and Israel, as Obama declared, or that the social views espoused by these Rabbis are rooted in our authentic tradition.”

Both Rabbis Algaze and Rosenberg acknowledge that the American Jewish community historically supports the Democratic Party, many fully believing it is one of the 613 mitzvot. “However,” Rabbi Rosenberg has written, “this tie pales in comparison to ties of 5773 years. Mitt Romney’s outspoken support of Israel has left no ambiguity. I believe he is genuine. While you may not agree with Mitt Romney’s positions on various issues that matter to you; in this election his support of Israel trumps everything else. He deserves our support. This is our opportunity to end up on the right side of history. Let’s not miss it.”

Given his personal history, perhaps the single greatest organizing principle of Rabbi Rosenberg’s life has been “never again.” But, he says, “Without Israel, ‘Never Again’ is nothing more than a mere slogan.”

Romney by Points, Obama Still Underpresent, Candy Crowley Not the Greatest Hall Monitor

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

I made the mistake of letting the CNN feed linger beyond the hour and a half of the second presidential debate tonight, and so I realized, as I often do in these cases, that the folks around the discussion table and I come from alternate universes—very close, many of the same details on both my and their planet Earth, but still different universes.

They said something about the president being forceful and challenging Romney at every turn, reversing the trend, stopping the bleeding.

I saw President Obama still finding it difficult to sound cool and calculated without his trusted teleprompter. Romney is also not the captain of the debating team, but compared with his opponent he came across coherent, strong, self assured.

This has nothing to do with my opinion of which one of these two men is better suited to be president, only with their performances tonight. And I’m beginning to think a freestyle conversation, just like a structured debate, is not something President Obama is good at.

I took copious notes, so I’m ready to do the play by play to make my point, but first a note about tonight’s moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley: decidedly not Martha Raddatz. Where Raddatz was authoritative while allowing Joe Biden and Paul Ryan some moving room to make their points – Crowley was all about making sure the next Hofstra student got a chance to ask his or her question. Instead of helping the candidates, she tripped them, consistently denying both of them the chance to respond to one another’s charges.

I wanted to hear those responses, and definitely cared more about what either candidate had to say about the other’s allegations than I did about whether or not every kid on Crowley’s list got to show America how bright they were (they weren’t—you got the feeling each question was an obvious softball for one of the candidates, Romney even thanked one of them for a question that served his campaign needs, letting him massage away the 47% freeloaders thing).

Crowley was less informed, less agile, less introspective, and in the end far less effective than Raddatz. To her credit, though, she was equally annoying to both candidates, cutting them off about the same number of times when they were in the middle of saying something interesting, or just going to.

So, now, the play by play.

The first question was: How can you reassure me that I will have a job when I graduate. It brought on a minor clash between the two men over the Detroit bankruptcy. Romney said that what he meant by his “let it go bankrupt” remark was that GM and the rest of the big car makers needed to undergo a court monitored Chapter 11 procedure, and emerge prosperous in the end. He lied, of course. He meant let them drop dead–check out You Tube. Obama managed to capitalize on the opportunity and called Romney on it, developing the point into an attack on Romney’s record in business and as governor.

But even that early in the game it became obvious that no matter how good a strike Obama will get tonight, he couldn’t hit it out of the park. He ended up making the necessary argument, but his delivery was choppy, he paused to think way too frequently in mid-sentence, in a manner that almost made me lose interest in his final answer.

He reminded me of those endless debates he had with Hillary, back in 2008, when Obama just couldn’t deliver the knockout punch. It’s not his strong suit. He’s not eager enough. Maybe he’s not that kind of a fighter. He is better at jabbing for points and avoiding being knocked down. But that makes for boring television.

Both candidates were stiff and reserved on the question “Do you agree that it’s not the job of the Energy Dept. to lower gas prices.” It was a strangely phrased question, too, not dealing with the issue of whether or not gas prices were too high, but with government’s role in tweaking them.

Of course, Romney took it to the arena of gas prices being too high (up from $1.80 under Bush to $4 today – although I thought it was more like $2.50 under Bush), saying Obama cut drilling licenses on federal land. Obama explained there were too many license holders who didn’t use them, and those were eliminated. He sounded presidential for a brief moment, showing deeper knowledge than his opponent of the working of government. But he didn’t relate specifically to the actual price shifts at the pump, letting Romney win the round on points.

On tax deductions and tax credits, Romney set the record straight on his own tax policy. He will not reduce taxes on the rich and will not increase taxes on the middle class. Addressing one of the main items Democrats present as his plan, Romney was forceful in saying it ain’t so.

Obama said he cut taxes 18 times and reduced taxes by $2,500. He added that it’s Republicans in Congress who are holding the middle class hostage, until they’re allowed to to cut taxes for the top 2%.

Romney challenged him quite comfortably, avoiding any reference to the stonewalling Republican House, naturally. He promised he would bring tax rates down, emphasized that he’s not interested in cutting taxes for the rich—they will continue to pay 60% in income taxes.

No, they won’t, of course, because their teams of attorneys would make sure of that. But Romney sounded extremely confident in stating, for the record, that he didn’t have a soft spot in his heart for billionaires.

Obama said Romany’s math doesn’t add up. He challenged Romney to show specifics. How would he cut taxes and increase spending on the military, for instance, without adding deficits?

This is one of Romney’s weakest points, and so he attacked Obama’s deficits, and didn’t offer specifics on his own plan. And Obama let him get away with it. This time it wasn’t the moderator’s fault. Obama remained seated and let the opportunity go by without hitting Romney hard on his “voodoo” economics .

In what ways do you plan to rectify inequalities in the workplace for women’s pay?

This was a softball for Obama. Romney, who answered first, proceeded to talk about his record as governor, with Massachusetts hiring more women than any other state. He promised flexible hours, so mothers can keep their jobs and take care of their families (when do these women sleep?). He attacked Obama on women’s unemployment under his stewardship. Well, sure, if you have 20 million unemployed Americans, 10 million are liable to be women. But Romney scored better than his opponent on women in the workplace, and for a Republican this is found money.

Obama attacked Romney on Planned Parenthood, which Romney had said he would eliminate. Once again, the president missed out on one of his biggest advantages over Romney. Even women who plan to vote Republican are afraid of what that would do to Roe V. Wade. Planned Parenthood survived a congressional attack this year and is thriving because women across party lines support it. Republicans this election year have made countless blunders on a woman’s right to abortion and contraceptives – and Obama was unable to deliver a good blow with that one?

Romney did very well on the question of what’s the biggest difference between Romney and Bush, which was tailor-made for him. He said he agrees with Obama on the failure of the Bush administration on deficits, and said Obama is making them worse. It was almost fun to watch Romney hit that one skillfully.

Obama attacked Romney, saying his policies promote the same tax cuts that brought us from surpluses to deficits under Bush. He attacked Romney on his outsourcing to China and on investing in companies that sell surveillance equipment to China. And he said Romney is worse than Bush on social issues, because Bush wasn’t against Planned Parenthood.

Really? This is when you finally turn on the Planned Parenthood attack? Phrase “too little too late” mean anything to you?

There’s no doubt about the difference between the two candidates tonight: Romney was smoother, more fluent. Obama was choppy. It’s a matter of personal style. Obama’s attempts to interrupt Romney were halfhearted. Romney didn’t do it as many times—or so it appeared—but when he did, he was robust, his heart was definitely in it.

A Black gentleman said he voted for Obama in 2008, and asked what the president has done since to earn his vote in 2012.

Obama reviewed the highlights of his record, and it was becoming more and more obvious that he was off his mark tonight. His speech just didn’t flow, he didn’t seem confident. He came up with the facts and figures, but he continued to sound hollow, continued to fail to be excited about his own record.

Romney delivered a simple attack on Obama’s record, and it worked. He listed Obama’s failures with conviction. I didn’t think he was a lot better than his opponent, but enough to sound like the more energetic of the two.

On immigration policy, Romney said that he’s for immigration, but will not grant amnesty to illegal aliens. He attacked Obama on not enacting the laws he promised four years ago, to reform immigration policy.

Obama was hesitating on what should have been his softball to hit into the parking lot. He was good on the facts but, again, not exciting. He was good on the Romney record supporting “self immigration” and the Arizona “papers please” law, but failed to make even the most elementary Democratic plea about compassion and the lives of countless individuals who are already contributing to American society.

In this clash between two styles of speech, Romney’s continued to work better tonight.

Romney hits Obama on immigration policy. It was amazing to see him hitting the president hard on not living up to his promises on an issue that Obama should own.

Obama’s counter attack was reluctant.

Then Romney hijacked the discussion to discuss his investments—an Obama charge from half an hour earlier—saying Obama’s pension fund also invests in China. He tried to engage Obama in revealing, basically, how much money he had, to which the president answered what we all know: a lot less than Romney. Score half a point to Obama.

Obama started sounding better when he noted that Romney’s adviser on immigration is the guy who designed the “papers please” law in Arizona. But he didn’t do much more than that with this gold nugget of a talking point. It was hard to watch – like sitting in the stands watching your kid’s team losing because he or she missed a free throw…

The question “Who denied enhanced security for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya and why?” had only one great Democratic answer, which Joe Biden delivered last week: Paul Ryan did, when he slashed $200 million for embassy security from the budget.

Obama was really bad on the Benghazi question. He tried to sound commander-in-chief like but came across underpresent. He accused Romney of being irresponsible, sending out a press release while the action was still going on. Good point, but he couldn’t in his wildest dreams connect Romney to the abysmal intelligence failure that led to the consulate quadruple murders. Hillary said earlier that half the buck stopped with her – she accepted responsibility for Benghazi but it was someone else’s fault. Obama should have said: It was Congressman Ryan’s fault. End of discussion. Because otherwise that whole affair made the Administration look awful.

Romney sympathized with the losses, ignored the press release thing altogether, and accused Obama of going to fund raisers while the action on the ground was still going on and an ambassador had just been killed. He was strong and forceful – but still no knockout.

Obama defended his record on Benghazi, and sounded injured, telling Romney it’s offensive to say he doesn’t care. These people work for him, of course he cares.

The CNN experts later said this was among those big all-time presidential debates moments. I didn’t fall off my seat. But what do I know, they could be right.

Then Obama scored a point on fact checking, when Romney challenged his statement that he called the Benghazi attack an act of terror on the first day. Candy Crowley confirms. That was a win for the president.

But when Obama told Crowley to repeat out loud that, in fact, he called it an act of terror on day one, he sounded actually angry. He suddenly appeared very much aware of the tough night he was having, and that things were not going his way.

I believe Obama only had about four really good minutes, near the end. It started with a softball question to both candidates: What do you believe is the biggest misperception that Americans have about you as a man and a candidate.

Romney lapped it up and came across great, talking about how he’s really embracing 100% (not 47%) of Americans. And added some stuff about believing in God.

Obama said he does not believe in government-created jobs, as his opponents claim he does. But he believes everybody should have a shot, and everybody should have a fare share. He then delivered the first good attack of the night, saying Romney’s behind-closed-doors 47% comment betrayed his real scorn for the elderly, the veterans, the unemploed etc.Alas, too ,little too Late. Match goes to Romney, but I don’t expect this debate to have a dramatic influence on the polls. According to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Tuesday night’s debate, 46% of voters who watched said the president won, 39% said Republican nominee Mitt Romney did.

Nobody calls me from these polls…

 

Clinton Takes ‘Responsibility’ for Benghazi, But Not Blame… (Video)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton told CNN during an interview in Lima, Peru on Tuesday, Oct. 16, that she takes “responsibility” for what happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on the evening of September 11, 2011.  But, she said, “what I want to avoid is some kind of political gotcha or blame game.”

What?

If you’ve said you take responsibility for something, there is no “gotcha” or “blame game,” your acknowledgement means that you are the one to be blamed for the failure, that you are responsible for the consequences of the failures that occurred under your watch. So the question may remain whether the Secretary can credibly deflect responsibility from President Obama for the failure that led to the murders of American personnel in the most dangerous part of the world on the anniversary of the single worst attack on our country in history, not whether or not someone is to blame.

Blaming public officials for a failure so colossal that our Ambassador and others who were serving our country were murdered, that the buildings in Benghazi, Libya  – which are the iconic representations of the United States of America – were invaded, looted and destroyed, is exactly the right thing, not a “game” and not to be ridiculed and not to be avoided, even if a national political campaign is taking place.

Has Clinton explained why the U.S. State Department refused to provide additional security when experts involved knew it was needed and made the requests? Has she explained why the man she personally chose to be the U.S. Ambassador to Libya received death threats and yet no additional security was provided? Has she explained why the sensibilities of the Libyans who might be offended if the American security assigned to the Benghazi consulate had bullets in their guns trumped the sensibilities of the American family members whose loved ones died because they were not protected?

Clinton said,

In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.

But Clinton’s direct subordinate Charlene Lamb, the person from the State Department with direct responsibility for the consulates, testified at the House congressional Oversight Committee hearing last week that she was in contact with the Benghazi consulate from almost the first minutes of the assault.

That means the State Department knew virtually immediately that there was no protest-gone-wrong outside the consulate, what there was, was a well-planned attack.  As Lamb’s testimony made clear, There was no violence inspired by a movie deemed insulting, there was violence inspired by anti-American hatred.

But despite Secretary Clinton’s efforts to use her claim of responsibility as a shield to block further inquiries and to cast any efforts to do so as electioneering and playing “gotcha,” at least some Republican members of congress have made clear the president is ultimately responsible for both the tragedy and its cover-up.

In a letter released Monday, October 15, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) stated,

the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there.

What’s more, the laying of blame for the tragedy on an American-made film for which this administration repeatedly apologized to the Muslim world also needs to be explained

the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.

To mangle a tag phrase from a popular 1970 movie, responsibility means always having to say you’re sorry.  And in this case there remains much more to be said.

Zionist U.S. College Students Are Favoring Romney

Monday, October 15th, 2012

The 2012 presidential debates are underway, and the race for the 45th president of the United States is in full swing. On university campuses around the country, students are gearing up for the elections, getting informed, and deciding which presidential candidate will best suit their needs.

Young people, (ages 18-29) account for 21 percent of the voting population entitled to vote, according to civicyouth.org. According to yda.org, in the 2008 elections, 62 percent of youth enrolled in college cast their votes, in contrast with the 36 percent of youth who voted, but did not attend college.

For Zionist students, foreign policy, and particularly the candidates’ positions on Israel and the Middle East, play a pivotal role when choosing their candidate. For many of these students, Israel is ultimately the deciding factor in determining for which candidate they will cast their vote.

American University junior and Voorhees, New Jersey resident Gabe Duec told The Jewish Press that the only thing standing in the way of his voting for Obama are the current President’s positions regarding foreign policy.

“I don’t care that Obama hasn’t gone to Israel—Bush didn’t go until late in his second term,” Duec said. “I do care that Obama isn’t taking as hard of a line against terrorism and extreme Islamism in the Middle East, and in my opinion Romney is much better for Israel right now, especially if Netanyahu gets re-elected.”

However, Duec is hoping for Romney to find his way into the White House, but for a Democratic controlled Congress.

Currently, one of the major concerns for both the United States and Israel is the issue of Iran’s rapidly growing nuclear program.

Yiriel Liss of Sharon, Massachusetts, is a sophomore at Yeshiva University in New York, and specifically concerned with the safety of the U.S. and Israel, and believes that Iran’s nuclear program demands immediate and serious attention.

“Neither candidate is outspoken enough in decrying the alarming rate at which the Iranians are building their nuclear weapons, and that itself is tantamount to anti-Zionism,” Liss said. “Instead of focusing on who would tax us more, the candidates should be explaining to us their policies on foreign affairs, and specifically the calamities befalling the other nations throughout the world.”

Liss, who studied in Israel for two years, believes the world has failed to provide sufficient support to the tiny country, which has produced technological and medical advancements of epic proportions, sharing its innovations with the world. Liss has deemed it “our duty to help save indefensible countries from destruction,” and expects to see more than, “laughable sanctions and little pats on the back,” and hopes that whichever candidate is elected will emphatically defend the Jewish homeland.

It seems as though for Israel-conscious students, Mitt Romney is the best option for Israel, though many of these student-voters don’t necessarily identify themselves as Republicans.

“This year we saw that Jerusalem, as the capital of Israel, was taken out of the Democratic party’s platform, and after immense pressure from Jewish groups it was forced back in, against the Democratic National Convention’s own rules,” said Aaron Elkin, a native of Broomall, Pennsylvania and a freshman at Cornell University. “It seems clearer than ever that Mitt Romney is the real supporter of Israel. He, unlike President Obama, understands the stakes of a nuclear Iran and the premature talks with Palestinian partners who refuse to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.”

Elkin’s standpoint is clear, and though Obama is a supporter of Israel, Elkin belives he has only done the bare minimum in order to propitiate the majority of the Jewish public.

“Obama has done what is necessary to please major Jewish interest groups, that’s it,” Elkin said. “Is he truly behind Israel? I think not.”

Generally, the younger, pro-Israel population enrolled in universities seem to heavily favor Romney. Obama has not been nearly aggressive enough in his attempts to prevent Iranian nuclear weaponization. Obama signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act this summer, and outwardly expresses his support of the Jewish state, but for students such as Elkin and Duec, this support has been appreciated, but isn’t enough to earn their votes.

No one seems to be perturbed by the fact that Obama has yet to visit Israel, despite making trips to Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The underlying problem rests in the security of Israel itself, and it seems at the moment that President Obama needs to take action in halting, or at the very least attending to, the Iranian nuclear program, if he expects to receive votes from Zionist students.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/zionist-u-s-college-students-are-favoring-romney/2012/10/15/

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