Comedy VIDEO: Triumph ‘The Insult Comic Dog’ Covers Presidential Debate, GOP Spin Room
Conan O’Brien’s furry correspondent Triumph takes GOP scalps at the final 2012 Presidential Debate:
The Debate: A Masterful Liar Defeats a Man Without Conviction (video)
Sr. Editor of The Real News Network Paul Jay invited York University professor Leo Panitch onto his show to discuss the first Presidential Election Debate, and why President Obama was virtually incapable of countering any of Romney’s gross misrepresentations:
JAY: So my headline take on the debate was Masterful Liar Beats Man without Conviction. What was your take?
PANITCH: Well, I thought Romney said one thing that was absolutely true, and President Obama agreed with it. And that was when Romney said, high-income people will do well whether I’m president or you are. I think that was the truest thing he said all night.
That said, he was full of cant and hypocrisy, although he pulled it off well because Obama was unable to present any vision of his own. The hypocrisy was astonishing when he said that Dodd–Frank protects banks ‘too big to fail’—these are known as systemically important financial institutions—and then in the next breath said this is going to harm middle-size banks. And, of course, would those banks fail, the whole point is they would bring down the middle-size banks with them. That’s why they’re systemically important.
It was astonishing that Obama was unable to respond to that. And he was unable to respond to it, because indeed he is so much in the pockets of the big banks and the banking system and is responsible for reproducing that system through this crisis. […]
JAY: The reason I say, man without conviction, and obviously I mean President Obama, is on the campaign hustings, at least when he is amongst working people, he sounds like this kind of rallying, rabble-rousing, Left-winger, and he’s railing against the rich and all of this. In this debate he seemed to have no conviction about anything he said, except that he was trying to become more of a Republican than Romney, and then he got caught, because Romney was actually more a Democrat than Obama.
PANITCH: Yeah. It was such a weak defense of any alternative program, even the one that he stands for. It was an amazingly weak defense. And it was a constant attempt to stand on both sides of every issue. So when he said Clinton created 20 million jobs, in the same breath he said: and he created lots of millionaires in the process. So all along he was making this appeal to the middle class, hardly at all to those below the middle class.
And, of course, objectively what’s happening is that more and more people are being thrown out of it and have no prospect whatever of climbing into it. And it was just amazing that he should be presenting himself in a way that is—not only doesn’t offer a vision beyond the limited kind of Clintonomics, but a vision that is even defending what he has done. […]
VIDEO: Green Party’s Jill Stein: Romney Is A Wolf In Wolf’s Clothing, Obama Is A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein sits down with RT America to discuss the current state of the nation and the systemic forces that work against all efforts for real progressive reform. The video proceeds the following transcript highlights:
Stein explains how the 2-party political establishment works to marginalize all political opposition:
RT: You’re going to be on ballots but not in all states. Can you explain what it is in the system of the US that makes it so hard for a third party to break into this two-horse race?
JS: Exactly. The American system is designed to eliminate political opposition, like some of the dictatorships we criticize that have rigged political systems. In many ways the American system is also rigged, but in ways that are not so straightforward.
You have to actually see what it takes to get on the ballot if you are not already on as one of the big machine parties. Each state has its own set of rules which are very demanding, very detailed and bureaucratic and require lots of signatures in order to get on the ballots.
For the most part you need a lot of money, many millions of dollars, to buy your way on to the ballot, basically by hiring signature gatherers and people to keep track of this.
Stein explains that beyond their rhetoric, the 2 establishment parties are virtually one in the same:
RT: The Green Party often describes itself as the party that represents “Main Street” versus Wall Street. In what way do Barack Obama and Mitt Romney represent Wall Street that is against the interests of the American people?
JS: You know, Mitt Romney doesn’t even pretend to do anything other than advance the economic elites’ agenda. He has a track record which is to advance the likes of his own to acquire enormous amounts of wealth by tearing down other companies and businesses, firing workers and off-shoring jobs, gobbling up the profits themselves.
He’s got a track record which is pretty clear and he has a pretty straight-ahead Wall Street agenda.
With Barack Obama and the Democratic Party it is a little harder to see clearly what they are about because they do talk a populist line, but to actually look at their record – it is pretty clear who their allegiances are to.
George Bush provided about $800 billion in bailouts for Wall Street. But under Barack Obama it has been many trillions, some $4.5 trillion worth of bailouts that has already been dispersed and there there are many more trillions worth of loans and emergency loans and guarantees and quantitative easing through the Fed. All kinds of backdoors to basically funnel either out-and-out bailouts or free money to Wall Street.
So Mitt Romney is a wolf in a wolf’s clothing. Barack Obama is a wolf in a sheep’s clothing, but they both essentially have the same agenda.
How the establishment has worked to stifle and silence the Occupy Movement:
RT: Can you talk a little bit more about your involvement with the Occupy Wall Street movement? Has the movement been big enough to make a tectonic shift in the US politics?
JS: I believe that that tectonic shift is happening and Occupy is one of the indicators it is happening. It is happening because one out of every two Americans is either in poverty or low income. Americans are really hurting and are desperate for solutions which they are not getting.
There is a rebellion that is in full swing. Occupy speaks for that rebellion. We saw in polls early on that a substantial majority of Americans was very sympathetic and supportive of the Occupy agenda.
RT: With the majority it is kind of a silent rebellion.
JS: Exactly. We are silenced. I believe it is not silent but our voices are continually muzzled. Through all kinds of ways. We cannot speak out politically. The media is very much in the hands of big corporations.
RT: The Congress approval rating is 11 per cent, so people are unhappy – but it is silent.
JS: Yes, by design. So that people have to work very hard to break through. And Occupy got the critical mass by assembling in our public squares, and they were very effective in breaking through – until the public relations campaign began to be conducted against them.
And we saw that, because that PR campaign actually got leaked. It was a many many hundreds of thousands of dollars campaign that was constructed even before the counterattack began. So you have both a media counter attack and than you had a counterattack by way of police brutality and suppression of our civil liberties as people were brutally attacked.
Stein describes U.S. foreign policy over the last decade as a failure, and how Barack Obama embraced George W. Bush’s policies:
RT: Let’s talk foreign policy. What is at the basis of the US serving as the world police? Would you carry on with it as a president?
JS: This world police policy is bankrupting Americans. We’re spending about $1 trillion a year on the military-industrial security complex. That budget has roughly doubled over the last 10 years, and we’re certainly not more secure for it.
We’ve spent trillions of dollars in Iraq. When we withdrew from Iraq how did we do it? We withdrew from Iraq in the dead of night, on a secret undisclosed date, because we were afraid that we would be ambushed in the process. How many friends exactly did we make in this war? What kind of a stable democracy did we make in Iraq? Iraq continues to tether on a brink of a civil war. It has certainly not become a straunch and reliable ally for the US, or for democracy, or for women’s rights, for that matter.
The barrel of a gun has not been an effective diplomat, and we need to heed that and take a lesson from it.
Unfortunately, President Obama basically embraced George Bush’s militaristic approach to foreign policy. On his third day in office he intensified the bombings in Pakistan, then went on to spread the drone wars into Somalia and Yemen. He surged the troops into Afghanistan. We still have about twice as many troops as we had under George Bush. It has certainly not made Afghanistan a safer and more secure place. We’re not in a better position to withdraw now and declare victory than we were years ago.
We know that when you have the kind of civilian casualties that you have with drone bombing, you’re simply aiding and abetting those very terrorist organizations that you’re trying to go after in the first place.
RT: What makes you concerned with regards to Mitt Romney’s foreign policy plans – if anything?
JS: His plans are basically, “let increase the military budget.” He has a lot of machismo and bravado when he beats the war drum. He wants to really flex muscle against Iran. But so too does the Obama administration, though they are less warmongering about it. But they are basically in agreement about coming down very hard on Iran, and holding no options off the table. So, they both threaten to use war where we should be using diplomacy.
On the 2-establishment parties’ financial dominance over third parties:
RT: We talked about money in politics. Everyone knows that campaigns are not cheap. You’re a physician. Your net worth is probably far from Mitt Romney’s $200 million. Your party is financing a lost cause at this stage. What is the real goal at this stage?
JS: In my view to say it is a lost cause is to say that our economy is a lost cause. It is to say that it is inevitable that we’re going to crash.
I mean the uphill battle for our election is identical to the uphill battle to rescue our economy.
We are a real political party. We’re not just the storefront that looks like it is main street, but is actually funded by Wall Street – that’s what the other political parties are. They pretend to really have the public support, but what they really have is the support of this 1 per cent. They have a propaganda campaign going on and intensive public relations and psychological warfare that is intended to convince people that they don’t have any options.