Shorter Question Everything
The biggest thing today is going to be that last debate. Some other stuff happened, of course, but really, horses and bayonets. That is all.
• Complete Third Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy 2012: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney Oct 22, 2012
• The 3rd presidential debate was slated to be all foreign policy. Foreign policy is one of Obama’s strongest points. It’s also one of Romney’s weakest. So I didn’t expect that Romney would do well during this debate but it was hard to picture just how badly he would do.
• “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships. It’s what are our capabilities.”
• The butthurt on the right will point out that the Marines still use bayonets. The army still has horses too, but what Obama said was they have fewer of them because they need fewer of them.
• At The Last Presidential Debate: Romney Told 24 Myths In 41 Minutes
• This was the worst performance of any Republican candidate on foreign policy that I can ever remember. – MSNBC Ed Schultz
• It’s a character issue and I find it disqualifying. We’re going to find out if soulless shape-shifting has its costs. – MSNBC Rachel Maddow
• If this debate had gone on for 30 more minutes, Romney would have endorsed Obama. – On CNN, former Obama green jobs adviser Van Jones
• “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.” – Ann Coulter
• “Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.”: Way back in February, I remember hearing Mitt Romney claim that Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.” Even at the time, it was immediately laughable. Iran and Syria don’t share a border, and Iran already has two long coastlines. I remember thinking to myself, “Well, that’s embarrassing. I bet Romney doesn’t screw that one up again.” And yet, eight months later, there he was in last night’s debate, saying the exact same thing. For another — and this is key — Iran has a massive coastline and its own navy. Iranians don’t need to hopscotch over other countries to access Syria in order to reach water; they merely have to go to their own north or south coasts. There are landlocked countries in the region, but Iran isn’t one of them.
DAN SENOR [Romney campaign’s chief foreign policy adviser, said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe]: The president chose not to weigh in on behalf of dissidents, with the theory you just articulated, that to weigh in would strengthen the regime, and the regime would use that, would argue, you know what the Americans are meddling, they argue that anyways. We didn’t weight in, and Khamenei and Ahmadinejad were still accusing us of weighing in so we stayed out of it, we got nothing out of it, and we let down the dissident movement. We let down the dissident movement. People storm the streets in a country, fighting for freedom and the American president is silent? The American president is silent.
OBAMA [on June 15, 2009, just two days after post-election demonstrations began in Iran]: I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days. And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching.
And particularly to the youth of Iran, I want them to know that we in the United States do not want to make any decisions for the Iranians, but we do believe that the Iranian people and their voices should be heard and respected.
• The biggest doozy of the night came when Romney switched positions on the 2014 deadline for our Afghanistan withdrawal. This is news, folks. His VP running mate said the same thing but left the door open to staying longer. Tonight, Romney shut that door. He did the same on how he would’ve handled former Egyptian President Mubarak. Time and time again, the President reminded America that Romney will say anything to get elected, even if it’s the exact opposite position he took just a few weeks ago.
• Foreign Policy: President Obama’s Strong and Steady Leadership vs. Romney’s Blunder and Bluster: In a series of interviews, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator John Kerry, Admiral John Nathman (ret.), and Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy explain why Mitt Romney is not prepared to be commander-in-chief. They each lay out how President Obama’s leadership has made America stronger, safer and more secure while Mitt Romney has nothing to offer except bluster, chest-thumping, and a commitment to endless war. As Monday’s debate will demonstrate, blunder and bluster are no substitute for strong leadership.
In other news
• Donald Trump Hypes A ‘Big Announcement‘ For Wednesday: “Will it change the election?” Gretchen Carlson asked hopefully. Trump said it’s both personal and political, “all in one, everything. It’s very big. Bigger than anybody would know.”
• GOP Jumps The Shark: Congressman suggests Obama doctored Libyan intelligence to win reelection. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY): I want to find out why the president didn’t ask questions….Did they ask the State Department if they had any videos what occurred at the consulate that night? Why with all these threats leading up to September 11th and talking about terror attacks and how could they now be saying it was not a terror attack. I think they’re hiding behind the term intelligence community. To me shows the president did not look into what happened, did not inquire what happened, was willing to look at something face value. Why was the report at face value whether there was so much evidence in there showing it was terrorist attack. It cries out for explanation and investigation. [...] Who are the individuals or the ones the president claim gave him this information? And did the president steer them in that direction? Was this is mind set by the administration that said Libya was great victory and Al Qaeda was on the ropes and no longer a threat to us?
• Staying Classy: I guess this is what happens late in the tight presidential race. Ronna Romney is the ex-sister-in-law of Mitt Romney. She’s apparently remained close to the Romney family. She has a minor role in the Romney campaign in Florida and has recently appeared at campaign events in Michigan with her daughter. Earlier this afternoon she posted these grotesque images of the mangled body of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens with the words “Obama killed him” surrounded by dripping blood. One of the images in the montage wasn’t Ambassador Stevens. It was Moammar Gaddafi. This is sick, feeble, disgusting imagery intended to drip the blood of a dead United States ambassador all over President Obama. Can you imagine the outrage if we started creating photo montages of dead 9-11 victims or dead soldiers and overlaid them with the words “Bush killed them”?
• Rep. Todd Akin has been repeatedly criticized for his non-women friendly comments during his Missouri Senate race, and over the weekend he added to his repertoire. Akin likened the work practices of his challenger, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, to that of a dog while speaking at a Springfield, Mo., fundraiser. Local news site PoliticMo has the recording. “So she goes to Washington, D.C., and it’s a little bit like, you know, one of those dogs, you know, ‘fetch,’” Akin said. “She goes to Washington, D.C., and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri. And it seems to me she’s got it just backwards. What we should be doing is taking the common sense that we see in Missouri and taking that to Washington, D.C., and blessing them with some solutions instead of more problems.”
• A financial interest held by Mitt Romney’s son in a voting machine company whose systems are being used in Ohio threatens public confidence in the election’s integrity, according to Jennifer Brunner, the state’s former top elections official. “It doesn’t look good for a presidential candidate’s son to be an investor in a voting machine company,” Brunner told MSNBC.com. “That has to do with public trust in the process.” Hart Intercivic supplies voting machines that will be used in Hamilton County, Ohio, one of the state’s most populous counties. In 2008, Barack Obama won the county with 209,000 votes—his third highest vote total among all Ohio’s 88 counties. H.I.G. Capital, a large investment fund, is a “significant investor” in Hart Intercivic, according to an announcement put out last year by Hart. And H.I.G., in turn, is owned in part by Solamere Capital, the investment fund founded and run by Tagg Romney (pictured), Mitt’s eldest son, The Nation recently reported.
• Louisiana woman set on fire, ‘KKK’ painted on her car. Police in Winnsboro, Louisiana confirmed on Monday that a woman had been set on fire over the weekend and racial slurs were found scrawled on her car. Sharmeka Moffitt told police that she was attacked and burned by three men wearing white hoodies at a park in Franklin Parish on Sunday, according to KNOE. At a press conference on Monday, police said that the letters “KKK” were spray-painted on the hood of her car. Winnsboro Police Chief Kevin Cobb said that the FBI was investigating whether the incident was a hate crime, but authorities declined to classify the attack as racially motivated on Monday.