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There was a vice-presidential debate last night between Republican Paul Ryan and the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland.
The Cheshire Cat also goes by the name Joe Biden, and he's our current Democrat VP.
Cheshire-Biden found last night's proceedings to be hysterically funny, and was greatly amused by things like the laugh-out-loud Benghazi terrorist attack, or those side-splitting trillion dollar plus federal deficits. I know the Democrats wanted to appear stronger after President Obama's debate disaster, but BIden went too far in the opposite direction. First the Dems gave us President Vaium, and then they gave us Vice President Nitrous Oxide.
Biden's grinning, smirking, rude, dismissive, and unprofessional histrionics made it difficult for me to concentrate on the subject matter during the first half of the debate. All I kept thinking was, 'What's the deal with Joe ?' A statesman-like performance it was not. It was more like watching Bill Maher or Ed Schultz, which explains why the smrking, rude, dismissive MSNBC talking heads were delighted with Biden's juvenile antics. Perhaps BIden was auditioning for his next job. I don't know.
Fortunately, BIden's nitrous tank seemed to run dry about halfway through the debate, and he acted more like a normal, sober person from that point forward.
Post-debate poll results were mixed, which has to be seen as good news for the Democrats. At least they didn't get crushed again, as I figured they would. I imagine Democrats and Democrat leaners thought BIden won, while Republicans and Republican leaners thought Ryan won. I doubt many minds were changed.
On debate content, my problem with Biden is always the same. He says lots of things that aren't true. He makes it up as he goes along and dodges direct answers. He did that against Palin in the 2008 debates, and he did it again last night versus Ryan. Biden's evasions began with the very first question from debate moderator Martha Raddatz, who asked Biden if the Benghazi terrorist attack was a "massive intelligence failure". BIden danced around several topics, never answering the question (because the answer to the question is "yes", Benghazi was due to a failure to adequately protect U.S. personnel). Biden ended his non-answer to the Benghazi question by accusing Romney of wanting to start another war in the Middle East, and then when Ryan accurately pointed out the administration's bizarre response to the Benghazi attack, which included blaming the attack on a youtube video, blaming it on protesters that were never present, and even trying to blame Romney/Ryan, Biden smirked and laughed and acted insufferably. Then Biden tried to blame the lack of embassy security on Paul Ryan by saying Ryan wanted to cut the embassy budget, which is not true. Maybe Biden didn't get the memo, but Obama's big talking point is that the Republicans want to INCREASE the defense budget by trillions. The cuts are being proposed by Democrats. Joe Biden is shameless.
Next came this incredible statement from Biden, "Well, we weren't told they wanted more security there (in Benghazi). We did not know they wanted more security again. And by the way, at the time we were told exactly - we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment."
This doesn't square with congressional testimony given the day before the debates. From the Washington Post:
A top State Department security official in Libya told a congressional investigator that he had argued unsuccessfully for more security in the weeks before Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. Department officials instead wanted to “normalize operations and reduce security resources,” he wrote in an email obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press.
Eric Nordstrom, who was the regional security officer in Libya, also referenced a State Department document that detailed 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012 that demonstrated the danger to Americans.
Biden's "we did not know" argument doesn't fly, and neither does his contention that the Obama administration was being straight with the American people about the Benghazi attack as soon as the inteligence community knew what really happened. Administration official Susan Rice was blatantly misleading the American public long after the truth was known. Intelligence officials knew it was a terrorist attack almost immediately.
Biden paraphrased Romney when he contended Romney said, "I wouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin Laden." Romney did say that, but Biden left out the rest of the statement. The WaPo factchecker notes:
Romney made this statement in a 2007 interview with the Associated Press: “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
But Biden has ignored the rest of the interview, in which the AP quoted Romney as saying “he supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.” Just a few days later, Romney expanded on his remarks during a debate:
“We’ll move everything to get him. But I don’t want to buy into the Democratic pitch that this is all about one person — Osama bin Laden — because after we get him, there’s going to be another and another. This is about Shia and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate.”
That's quite a bit different than the way laughing Joe portrayed it.
The most amazing part is, Biden blew all this smoke in only the first ten minutes of the debate. There was still another hour and twenty minutes to go.
Biden repeated other phony Obama talking points, such as "Romney said, ‘No, let Detroit go bankrupt," as if Romney wanted the car companies to go out of business. As WaPo points out in the link above, this is utter nonsense. Romney called for a managed bankruptcy of GM as the solution to their problems, and that's exactly what did happen. Biden also pretended that Obama saved the auto industry, when the auto bailouts actually began during the Bush presidency. Bush also appropriated the TARP funding used for the auto bailouts.
Biden repeated the discredited notion that Romney wants to institute a $5 trillion tax cut. I shot that one down in a previous post, and as Ryan pointed out, even Obama administration official Stephanie Cutter admitted it is not true.
Here's another phony Biden line. "“What we did is, we saved $716 billion and put it back, applied it to Medicare.”
Wrong again, Joe. As WaPo points out:
Biden is completely wrong when he says the money was applied to Medicare. In fact, the anticipated savings from Medicare were used to help offset some of the anticipated costs of expanding health care for all Americans, as Ryan said.
But the transfer does not affect the Medicare trust fund. The Obama health-care law also raised Medicare payroll taxes by $318 billion over the new 10-year time frame, but only a third of that money is credited to the trust fund; the rest goes to general revenues.
Biden tried to recreate reality in the following exchange as well:
Ryan: “Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this [ObamaCare].”
Biden: “That’s not what they said.”
And the loser is...Biden. Again. The actuary corroborates Ryan:.
“It is doubtful that many [hospitals and other health care providers] will be able to improve their own productivity to the degree” necessary to accommodate the cuts, Medicare actuary Richard S. Foster has written. “Thus, providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantial portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable, and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing care for beneficiaries. [Our] simulations…suggest that roughly 15 percent of [hospitalization] providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection as a result of the [spending cuts].”
Last time we checked, 15 percent is just shy of “one out six” (16.67 percent) .
Here's one of my favorites.
Biden: “The middle class will pay less [in taxes under Obama's plan], and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more.”
What Biden is talking about here is extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. These tax cuts have been in effect for a decade, so exactly how does the middle class pay less under Obama ? They'll be paying the same tax rates they've been paying all along, and THOSE TAX RATES WERE IMPLEMENTED BY THE REPUBLICANS !!!
BIden: “We are leaving [Afghanistan] in 2014. Period.”
Yes, except for the 10,000-20,000 troops the administration has proposed leaving there as an "enduring presence".
Biden: “97 percent of the small businesses in America pay less — make less than $250,000”
This Biden statement is actually true, and he made it in an attempt to defend Obama's proposed tax increases, but it is still an odd point to make. Why would we want to raise taxes on ANY of our small businesses during a weak economy with high unemployment ? We should NOT do that, and 3% of all American small businesses still translates to a LOT of businesses in total. Ryan said it was a million businesses, and according to the Tax Policy Center, those businesses produced 40 percent of revenues and 30 percent of all profits. Raising their taxes would be a huge mistake. Biden's attempt to provide cover for that mistake is misguided.
Here's another one of my favorite BIden flights of fancy.
Biden: "they talk about this Great Recession as if it fell out of the sky, like, "Oh, my goodness, where did it come from?" It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. I was there. I voted against them. I said, no, we can't afford that."
Sorry, Joe, but none of the things you mentioned caused the Great Recession, and btw, Joe, you voted FOR the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not against them, remember ? And Joe, you also voted FOR the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit bill. Remember that one, joe ?
Joe Biden is simply unbeiievable. He will say absolutely anything at any time, the facts be damned.
I could go on and on tearing apart Bidenisms, but I'll be kind and give the rest of his loose talk a pass for now.