Monday, October 22, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FDR and the Republican Strategy

This isn't the first time FDR has blown my mind, but this may be one of the best quotes I have ever heard from him. It's exactly what we are hearing from Mitt Romney right now, the new, supposedly-moderate Romney, who campaigns on cutting government spending, getting rid of tax loopholes, and lowering tax rates by 20%. But Romney also refuses to elaborate on what government programs he will eliminate, he wants to build even more warships and submarines than we currently have, he doesn't elaborate on tax loopholes he will be eliminating, and he is not going to touch the current social welfare programs we have. The problem is, well, FDR will explain...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

MSNBC, The Lumineers, and Mr. Potato...head?

Here are a few DU Debate Fest pictures from yesterday.

I'm not enforcing stereotypes here, but she was wearing an NRA hat.

Next door to the Romney table.

Mr. Potato Head....wait a minute.

Readying for Obama's arrival.

Secret Service and security taking some pictures before the Debate Fest gates open.

Martin Bashir broadcasting from DU, right in front of the Mary Reed Building.

Chris Matthews

More talking to cameras. I can't be the only one that always thinks of Bashir's interview with Michael Jackson when I see him. It's a classic. Here's the interview.

Let's play hardball!

The Lumineers put on an excellent show. 

A bass drum like the sun.

Mark Koebrich of 9News recording a segment during the Lumineers' concert.


The Tale of the Tables

Here are two awesome photos from yesterday's debate. I stood right between these two tables and took a picture of the Romney table, turned around, and took a picture of the Obama table. 

DU Debate Reaction

When you really believe in the majority of a politician's policies, when you know that they are going to be better for this country than the other politician, when you just really like someone over the alternative, it really sucks to see them lose a debate. Obama is my candidate, always has been. I firmly believe his interests align with a much broader swath of Americans than the interests of Romney. But Romney won the debate last night. Pretty solidly too. 

It's been written about Obama that he is not very confrontational. It's not that Obama doesn't lash out and call someone out, but it's that he takes so long to do so. So when Romney presented himself as a candidate vested in all of our interests, a candidate who says he is going to balance the budget by reducing taxes by 10% and cutting government spending, and as a candidate who believes in a fair tax system, Obama was slow to react or didn't react at all. This hurt Obama. He was probably caught off-guard by Romney's shifting positions and blatant lies too. Obama looked down a lot. He scribbled on his notepad. He didn't maintain eye contact with Romney. He had a hint of a smile at all the wrong times. He didn't interrupt. He was polite at a time he should have been confrontational with Romney. He was silent, when he should have asked why Romney pays a lower tax rate than those people cleaning the White House? He should have mentioned his Jobs Act that could have created more jobs for Americans. He should have pressed Romney on his government spending cuts. What are you going to cut, Romney? I mean, besides getting rid of PBS and Sesame Street, what else are you going to cut? He should have asked Romney why another massive tax cut is the right policy when government revenues from taxes are at a 50-year low?

Obama just wasn't on his game last night. And since the majority of Americans aren't going to FACT CHECK this debate, it will be taken at face value, which equals a win for Romney. If the election were held tomorrow, there's no doubt in my mind that Obama would win. His poor performance last night hasn't and will not cost him the election. It would take two more equally poor performances from Obama to do that. I guarantee that Obama is going to come out swinging in the next debate. Well, he has too. But I think he will because he is a fighter. When pushed to the edge he can reach that level of bluntness bordering on rude that is sometimes necessary to control a debate. I am much more interested in the other two debates now, but I sure wish Obama had won the debate at DU. 

And one last thing, the real loser of the debate last night was Jim Lehrer. What an awful moderator! He didn't keep either man on topic. He let Obama talk four minutes longer than Romney. He was owned by Romney, who just kept rolling over Lehrer's attempts at moving the debate onward. He seemed ancient, off his game, and outmatched. And he'll lose his job if Romney becomes president. Well, at the very least, he needs to lose his job of moderating presidential debates. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

DU Debate Debacle

For almost eight years, this blog has been a place for me to share stories, articulate my opinion, post pictures, post video, and to share what little fiction I have written. Today it serves one of its most important purposes, that is, a place for me to vent my frustrations. The topic: the first presidential debate at the University of Denver (where I currently am in graduate school), happening tomorrow (if you've been living in a hole in the ground). 

When I first heard of DU hosting the debate, I was excited and happy for the university and its students. Now I know the error of my thinking, that the debate is brought to a university to expose the most important people on campus, the students, to a historic moment in the election season is what I thought this was going to be. Having never been on a campus that hosted a presidential debate, I didn't know any better. But a few months ago as signs started to appear all over campus about impending closures, event cancellations/rescheduling, and class cancellation for October 3rd, I began to have my doubts.

Now, one day away from the event, it is clearer than ever that the debate is not, and has never been handled as an event, to benefit the students. Reported this morning on the local news, Magness Arena, in the Richie Center, is going to hold 1000 debate spectators. DU students will occupy approximately 92 of those seats. The students lucky enough to attend were picked in a lottery yesterday morning. All students and 2012 graduates of DU were automatically entered into the lottery. Knowing full well that only a small section of the student body would be able to attend the debate, DU designed an on-campus watch party called Debate Fest. The initial introduction to Debate Fest was an email that called the party a ticketed event available only to DU students, faculty, and those living near the campus in the university hills neighborhood. An email invited people to register and reserve their spot for Debate Fest, where they could enjoy the festivities, feast from Denver's best food trucks, and enjoy a show from The Lumineers, who will play prior to the debate. I, along with hundreds more, registered for the event. Shortly after registration opened, Debate Fest reached capacity. This should not have been surprising to anyone, but it seemed to have surprised DU. 

Yesterday, DU re-opened Debate Fest registration. It once again closed shortly thereafter due to the remaining spots being filled up. Then, last night, DU sent out an email with tips for Debate Fest. Here, I highlight point number three from the email:
3.) Please note that registration does NOT guarantee entrance to DebateFest. The number of people admitted to the event will be limited based on space constraints due to fire laws. We recommend that you arrive early.
What this means is that any student or faculty member or neighborhood resident can show up as early as they want tomorrow and get in line for Debate Fest. The doors open at 3pm and space is now on a first come, first served basis, thus guaranteeing that many of those that did register for the event (read: students) will be denied entrance to their campus and "their" debate. There are many reasons why this is frustrating. To mention one, I am a graduate student. I have reading to do tomorrow. I can't devote my entire morning to standing in line for a party I am not even sure will be a good place to watch the debate from. My plan was to walk over at 3pm, stand in a short line, have my name scratched off a list because I registered for the event, and then walk inside. I am one of many students who planned to do that tomorrow. 

The DU Presidential Debate is for DU administration, big-time DU donors, and the press. It is not for the students, nor is it for the Denver community or undecided voters. By yesterday, campus was crawling with members of the media from all over the world, while fences continued to sprout up everywhere to keep the students away from the most important, high-profile event that will ever happen on their campus. This event is a sham and it is embarrassing how DU has handled it from the start.