Did you know that some people think it’s naive to expect a presidential candidate to keep his/her word? I promise you, this is true! I’ve been called it right to my face. By no small coincidence the person doing the speaking was one of the most monumental douchebags I’ve ever met. And no, he wasn’t even my boss. He wasn’t quite that bad.
As we gather our collective will, about to commit ourselves to the task of voting, I’m here to ask: What is a presidential promise? Why are they made? Do they even matter? Should we even care? And what, if anything, should happen when they are broken?
Consider this: If it is naive to expect a presidential candidate to keep his/her promises, then what’s the bloody point of it all? If that’s the case, what selection criteria should go into your vote? Why not just vote for the candidate you “like” the most then, when he/she’s all legit, expect him/her to do whatever the hell he/she wants?
Take Romney, for instance. Part of his platform is officially “get me in there and then I’ll fill you in on the rest of the details later.” Some might call that refreshing. Some might call it straight up. At least he’s not trying to fool the naive folk, right?
On the other hand, he does make his share of promises, too. The biggest one I can think of is: “I’ll create 12 million new jobs.” Now that’s a promise. Never mind that a bunch of economists predict that the U.S. will create those jobs either way, over the next four years, regardless of which of the two choices we select in 2012.
Hey, I’ve got a promise for you, too. The sun will come up tomorrow. I promise. If it actually happens, does that mean I’m brilliant? That I had anything to do with it? And what if it doesn’t? What happens then? Well, we’ll all be dead and there will be no one around to give a shit.
It’s a classic win-win.
Some Eistein smartypants will no doubt say, “Whatever. A president doesn’t have ultimate power. He’s not a dictator. Not unless we’re talking about Obama, of course. A president can’t just do anything he wants. He needs help from Congress and stuff. He can’t go it alone.”
True. And precisely because of that fact, I’ll tell you how, in my opinion, promises should matter.
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This is part two of my pseudo-scientific examination of truthiness in presidential politics. It was prompted by this vague feeling of dread that Romney and Ryan were lying a lot. I was desirous of quantification (and hopefully confirmation) of my feelings. So like any good empirical scientist, I set off on an expedition to prove what I already felt was true. I found me a data source and produced some pie charts.
Methodology: I did an existing data study to produce the pie chart graph shown on the right. The data set consisted of the last 20 “Truth-O-Meter” responses to statements by Barack Obama as evaluated by PolitiFact.com.
I did not “cherry pick” the source data. I merely used the 20 most recent statements by Barack Obama at the moment I happened to look. I then counted each type of rating and produced the chart.
Additional analysis and source data is provided after the jump.
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This is part two in our exclusive and ongoing series of Mitt Romney investigative reports. You can read our exclusive exposé of Mitt Romney’s hidden age here.
Clear your head of all the distractions of this presidential campaign. The Bain Capital years. Reverend Wright. The Super PACs. Dog Gate. Birth certificates. The price of gas. Heck, even try to forget about Donald Trump’s hair – The Coiffure from Another Entrepreneur.
This election is about the economy. It’s about jobs. Therefore, it is fair to ask, “What would Romney do?”
Thanks to the investigative efforts of the Abyss News Team, we will deliver the answer to that question tonight at 11 on Action Central News. If you “believe in America” you’ll catch our team coverage tonight. What you don’t know could kill you. Stay tuned.
Fair notice: Some mathematics will be required.
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Psst. Don’t tell anyone, but I know a little something the Mitt Romney campaign doesn’t want a lot of people to know. And, unlike them, I have no scruples about sharing it.
The cat is old.
I don’t mean “old” in the sense that it’s time for the rockin’ chair. I mean “old” in presidential terms.
Willard Mitt Romney was born March 12, 1947. He’s 65 years old.
Look at the clues. Fact #1: His name is Willard. Normally at this point I’d say, “I rest my case.” But I want to blather on for a bit more.
Exclusive: Abyss scientists have calculated that the first name “Willard” ranked 124.8 in popularity in the United States during the years 1880 through 1946. Mitt’s parents, by selecting the name Willard, simply went along with a trend of the times.
Since Mitt was born, however, the name has taken a beating. The first name “Willard” has dropped in popularity to a whopping rank of 491.2. (Based on years 1947 through 1989, the last year for which data is available.)
No wonder he goes by the name Mitt. He single-handedly made the name uncool. (See below for the graph I made. The higher the bar, the less popular the ranking of the name.)
Keep reading for much much more exclusive presidential election coverage from the Abyss. Did I mention this coverage is exclusive? No one else would think up shit like this.
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It’s winner take all in this battle of the presidential wannabe logos:
Obama wins by a landslide!
I’m being unbiased and open-minded as hell when I declare Obama as the winner in this battle of the logos! I mean, come on, Mitt! What the fuck is that thing?
Tom’s Law #42
A logo similar to one I could make myself is a failure.
I was racking my brain. Where in the name of Zeus’ butthole have I seen that logo before?
Oh yeah! That’s where. It doesn’t feel very “presidential” to have a logo that’s reminiscent of toothpaste, but maybe that’s just me. Mitt is minty fresh! “Minty Romney.” Yeah, I like the sound of that.
Dubya, Barry and Minty. Sounds like a freak presidential version of the Pep Boys.
But wait. There is still some other nagging feeling about that logo. What could it be?
Oh yeah. That’s it.
“Okay, Mitt. Here’s the deal. We came up with a bunch of logos for you to choose from. Remember, this is critical. Which one do you like?”
“I’m rather partial to the one that looks like a blurry, pathetically fat ‘R’. R is for Romney. Get it?”
If the logo is any indication of Romney’s decision making skills, I can guarantee we do not want him to be president. Ever.
Other Wannabe Logos
Note: I visited the websites of some people who have campaigns and attempted to locate their “logos.” The images I found (shown below) may or may not officially be “logos.” It’s not like they offer them up on a silver platter as an easy download for my convenience. I apologize in advance for any logo misrepresentation. I did my best!
Sarah Palin – As a candidate who hasn’t announced yet, she’s still a no show in this department. When it finally does pop on the scene, I’m sure it will have eagles and mountains, amber waves of grain, and be fruited all across the plains. It may also have a book, crosshairs, helicopter and/or a bus.
Meh. Not much to see here. Yes, it does have an eagle, but the colors are off and I could have made something even better. Take one letter of your name and substitute it with something that looks like that letter. That is so Google.
Another eagle. The colors are better, and it has a more official look. Meh. Use a fancy thing known as a “font” and flourish up a single letter. Now that is what I call design.
The graphic designer costs must also be too damn high! This is actually my favorite. Go, Jimmy, go!
This one feels so deco. And just a hint of American flag. That is subtle and works on levels. Also, he boldly explores the seldom used red, white and blue color scheme. That is daring and shows outside-the-box thinking. Personally, though, if I was running for president I’d go with green and blue.
This logo was actually designed to Newt’s exacting standards. “I want red, white and blue.” (Of course.) “Also, put a wavy red thing and a star somewhere.” Also noteworthy: No last name. Newt thinks he is on par with Cher, Madonna and Sting. Ego much?
I’ve actually seen signs for city council that far surpassed this one. The only interesting thing here is that the “H” is trying to flash us. Another example of single-letter-flourish “design.” No eagle, either. Is she anti-American? Perhaps she could add a turkey to set herself apart. That was Benjamin Franklin’s choice for our national bird, after all.
I fired up my internet this morning and immediately noticed something was askew. I logged into my favorite forum and was blasted with frothing post after post about the Constitution and quotations from our founding fathers.
“The Constitution has been killed!”
“The Constitution is now tissue paper!”
“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams
Uh oh! Something must have happened. Gee. Whatever could it be?
Was it the Patriot Act? Is that up for renewal? The same Patriot Act that my bank claimed prohibited the act of signing over a check to a new payee, something I had done since I was a wee small child?
Hmm. Nothing in the news about the Patriot Act right now. Gosh golly gee whillikers. I am so befuddled on this one.
We all know the real reason for the decidedly ramped up fever pitch I encountered this morning within my first 30 seconds of using the internet without really looking: The House of Representatives voted and approved the health care reform bill last night.
Is the bill perfect? Hardly. But it estimated that when it goes into effect approx. 95% of Americans will have health care. Jeez. And that’s supposed to be the best we can do?
Personally I’ve worked full time since the day I turned 16 and I currently have none. Convicted repeat felons in prison have better access to health care than I do. I am the wretched refuse. Changing jobs shouldn’t mean putting your life at risk.
So, for me, the big question now is: Just how hard will I have to work to maintain my uninsured status. Because you can bet your ass when the dust settles I will somehow be one of the lucky five percent. I like to be special.
The AMA signed off on health care but that hardly meant the nation was in agreement. In recent weeks I’ve heard both sides claiming that they held that hill. “58% will be angry or disappointed if Congress stops working on health care reform,” claimed one side. “Americans overwhelming oppose the plan,” said the other. It was hard for a loyal and true American to know which end was up.
I think it was safe to say our country was and still is “divided” on the issue. So how will this pan out? We’ll have to wait and see. But it’s also safe to say that other major pieces of legislation in our nation’s history, like Social Security, Medicaid and welfare reform enjoyed more bipartisan support than what his enemies disdainfully refer to as “Obamacare.” That makes the way health care reform came into being somewhat unique.
A plethora of news stories tell us that “most” Americans know there are serious problems with the current system. Unfortunately it seems we are incapable of deciding what to do about it. I’m just glad we did something.
Nobody, not even Obama, thinks this is a magical solution. Now we will see the acrimony ramped up to record levels of froth. We will hear lies. There will be more protests and more tasteless and offensive signs. There will be lawsuits. And, over time, hopefully the system will begin to incrementally make things better for most of us. No doubt it can be tweaked and improved to work out some of the current flaws.
Good luck, health care reform. You’re gonna need it.