Wednesday: Did you hear that?

It was a collective sigh from all the people who were relieved to see Obama giving it to Romney last night.

Good Morning!

I plumb forgot that I had to write this post. Guess I was enjoying the commentary from all you sky dancers last night.  I’m still worried about what could happen on November 6th…but as least Obama did a better job of it this time around. And kudos to Candy Crowley, she did a fantastic job as moderator….

Full debate transcript here.

I think the photo above is very telling…Romney did not have his jerk ass smirk on, nope…he sure didn’t.  And I also feel that Obama was truly offended by Romney’s politicizing the deaths of our Embassy staff in Libya and it showed when Obama gave the best answer of the night to the question about Benghazi…

Josh Marshall agrees this was a stand out moment:

I’m not sure it’s the most significant. But in some ways a stand out moment for me was the exchange on Libya when Romney clearly thought he’d caught Obama in a gotcha moment (saying he referred to attack as “terrorism” the day after it happened). But if you’ve been paying attention you know that’s exactly the word he used. Whatever else you can say happened — and must is total baloney from the Romney camp — that’s the word he used. But somehow Romney hadn’t been prepped or briefed on that. And even Crowley had to factcheck him in real time. Here’s the video.

Here are a few take-aways from last night’s debate.

First I will point to Andrew Sullivan, who will not be jumping from the George Washington bridge…. Town Hall Debate: Blog Reax  He has put together many of the pundits comments in this one post.  So give that link a look-see.

These are just a few more observations…in link dump fashion…

Obama regains the initiative to win second presidential debate | World news |

Obama Ekes Out a Win in Post-Debate Polls –


Obama and Romney Turn Up the Temperature at Their Second Debate –

Obama turns it around – The Plum Line – The Washington Post

Taegan Goddard- Reaction to the Second Presidential Debate

Last Night’s Debate – Charles P. Pierce at the Presidential Debate – Esquire

Obama Wins Debate. Rude Romney Loses. Round-Up.Tennessee Guerilla Women

#Debates: RomneyShambles, Fair Pay, and Binders Full of Women | Angry Black Lady Chronicles

Obama Strikes Back | Mother Jones

Obama’s Triumph – Robert Wright – The Atlantic

Everything You Need to Know About the Debate Exchange on Libya – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

George Will: ‘This Was Immeasurably The Best Debate’ I Have Ever Seen | Mediaite

Game, Set, Obama -Robert Kuttner

Romney menaces, but Obama emerges as the alpha male in 2nd presidential debate | theGrio

“I Am Bloody Elated” – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

(CNN) – Who was telling the truth in last night’s debate? Check out a slate of CNN Fact Checks below.

CNN Fact Check: A day after Libya attack, Obama described it as ‘acts of terror’

CNN Fact Check: Obama’s student aid boast on the mark

CNN Fact Check: Candidates positions on contraception?

CNN Fact Check: Romney, women and jobs

The Picture That Encapsulates the Debate – James Fallows – The Atlantic

1) The Obama team had clearly thought about one long-term tic in Mitt Romney’s debate demeanor: His apparently uncontrollable vulnerability to being flustered if he thinks the “rules” are not being enforced. “I’m speaking … it’s my turn.” Thus pictures like this, with Romney in a “teacher! teacher!” mode. This is the counterpart to the iconic picture of the first debate, which was Obama looking downcast and downward with a scowl. If I had more time I’d dig up one of those pics.


Getty Images

2) To spell it out, I agree with my Atlantic colleagues Ta-Nehisi Coates and also Robert Wright on the general flow of this one, and disagree with our National Journal colleague Ron Fournier, who considered it a no-winner squabble that left everyone worse off. Certainly there were pitched disagreements — but to me they did not amount to squabbling but rather to the expression of actual differences, on issues from Libya to taxes. Unfortunately not on the automatic-weapons question, but that’s a different topic.

I still think that picture I put up top is better…

And… Fox Doesn’t Declare Debate Winner, Focuses On ‘Aggressive’ Obama, Romney’s Botched Libya Response (Well, no surprise there.)

One of the trends from the debate was taken from a comment Mitt made about binders full of women. In fact, I thought that whole comment of his about hiring women for his cabinet was condescending crap! You know what? Fuck you Mitt! According to this link, (h/t Boston Boomer) it was not a true story : Mind The Binder – Talking Politics

What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct — and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

I will write more about this later, but for tonight let me just make a few quick additional points. First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?

We will keep up with this story…of course.

Anyway,  TRENDING: ‘Binders full of women’ raises brows – CNN Political Ticker – Blogs

Did Mitt Romney really request that as governor of Massachusetts, he be brought “whole binders full of women?” It was his response to a question – on gender pay inequality – which turned heads and started fingers tapping on keyboards. Before the debate was over, there was a Twitter hashtag, a blog, a series of memes, and a Facebook page with over 100,000 fans. The phrase was the third-fastest rising search on Google during the debate.

These are good:

It prompted memes, such as Hugh Heffner in what appears to be a library: “Binders full of women? Oh sure, I’ve got hundreds of them.”

Referencing an investment by Romney’s former company, Robert Drakes asked on Facebook, “Do they sell #BindersFullOfWomen at Staples?”

Others, such as Joi Jamison’s post to Facebook, get at the heart of the matter: “Binders full of women cost 77 cents, while binders full of men cost $1.”

The Obama campaign was in on it as well: a paid post from President Barack Obama’s official campaign account appeared atop searches for “binders full of women” on Twitter.

In the second question of the night, voter Katherine Fenton queried Obama: “In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”

The incumbent cited the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was the first piece of legislation he signed into law.

Romney, who worked in business, then served as governor of Massachusetts, said he “learned a great deal” about the inequalities between men and women in the workplace when chief executive of his state.

“I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men,” Romney said. And I – and I went to my staff, and I said, ‘How come all the people for these jobs are – are all men?’ They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.’ ”

Romney said he requested “a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.”

Then, the sound bite which drove the online chatter.

“I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women,” Romney said.

The tweets and posts quickly stacked up.

You can read lots of tweets here at…#BindersFullOfWomen

Or, check out this tumblr: Binders Full Of Women

Binders full of women.

That is a great way to end this post…so what’s going on in your part of the world?


83 Comments on “Wednesday: Did you hear that?”

  1. ANonOMouse says:

    great post this morning JJ.

    Thanks to you all for a terrific live blog last night. I hope you all get some rest today. I’m going to vote for Obama this morning. FORWARD

  2. Beata says:

    Thanks for the excellent post-debate post, JJ. Lots of fab links!

    I’m tired, but I’m going with a couple of friends to vote for Obama and the down-ticket Democrats this morning. We’re whole binders full of women and we have power!

  3. This is fantastic: Mitt Romney’s binders full of women just don’t stack up | World news |

    In the second presidential debate, women’s issues finally came up. And Mitt Romney had an opportunity to show female voters he cared. But from his bullying of moderator Candy Crowley to his dismissive description of his hiring practices, he fumbled the chance. “Binders full of women,” his badly chosen phrase became the meme of the night and will likely haunt him past Halloween. Here’s a deconstruction of what he had to say about women.

    An important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

    Seemed to be? Implausible from the start, they either were or they weren’t.

    And I – and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are – are all men.” They said: “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.”

    This is hard to believe. Romney was talking about 2003 – not 1893. Plenty of women would have been properly qualified.

    And I said: “Well, gosh, can’t we – can’t we find some – some women that are also qualified?”


    And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said: “Can you help us find folks,” and they brought us whole binders full of women.

    ZING! There was the shot through his foot. “Binders full of women” became #bindersfullofwomen on Twitter, a Tumblr page and a Facebook page which within half an hour had over 20,000 likes. By the end of the debate that had risen to almost 70,000. Why did the phrase resonate? Because it was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration – that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back. And it turns out the way Romney presented it – that he asked for a study of women in leadership positions – wasn’t true anyway.


    Go…Read the rest of it….

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    What Mitt Romney exhibited last night was his insufferable persona that he felt would carry him into the WH. Bouncing across the stage, he had no compunction in treating a sitting president of the US as an unwanted guest at his “party”. The loathesome feeling the GOP has for Obama was fully on display since he felt he “got away with it” last time out and brought it back for an encore.

    For awhile it looked like another version of “The Mitt Show” with Romney rambling all over the place, saying and doing exactly what he wanted without fear of challenge due to the setting.

    Roaming the stage as if he owned it, interrupting and talking over both the president and the moderator, Mitt was going for another outing of “presidential Mitt” that became stale within minutes. There is such a thing as “courtesy” and Mitt wasn’t having any of it.

    One can only imagine Mitt in the Oval, much as he was when governor, in that he sealed off all access to himself and allowed few into his domain. Questions were never appreciated and answers hard to come by.

    As CEO of his own corporation, you could easily see “it’s my way or the highway” approach to what he will answer and how he will govern. Along with those “digits” that is all Grover Norquist is seeking to sign legislation, Mitt is the perfect tool for special interests.

    The simple fact is that he is still a truly unlikable human being promoting an agenda that would be harmful to the public at large. And he does not care.

    • jawbone says:

      I was listening to the debate, so I missed the choreography! Thanks for the description.

      But, in just listening, Romney’s rudeness was on full aural display. The rude entitled SOB….

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Excellent post, JJ. Thanks for all those terrific links. I’m really tired this morning, and now I can just click and read.

    • Beata says:

      I’m surprised at how tired I feel today. I think some of it is relief.

      I voted this morning, straight Democratic, as did the two friends who were with me.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        OK, that’s 5 votes we know for sure Obama got this morning. You, your 2 friends, my partner and me. We’re on a roll. 🙂

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    “I have a blind trust” (don’t we all!) says Romney in reference to his financial interests in China then goes on to tell us how he will “crack down” on their practices while his company investments hire “slave labor” that makes him rich.

    The man is a sham, a liar, a contorter of such proportions that it is difficult to keep up with the excuses he offers on his own behalf.

    He refused to reveal his tax returns because it would be an embarassment of his business practices and shed a light on where and how he makes his fortune.

    Try putting his “greed” on display and explain that to the American public.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    This post by Amy Davidson at the New Yorker is brilliant: MItt’s Binders and the Missing Women

    But one measure of the lack of intensity afforded to women’s issues by either candidate was that, while contraception was discussed, the word “abortion” did not come up at all, except maybe by proxy. Obama mentioned Planned Parenthood five times, once in the same sentence with Big Bird. A woman watching, who did not know either of the candidate’s positions going in, might have guessed the general orientation, but would not have known that Romney—at the moment—supports a ban on abortion unless a woman has been the victim of rape or incest, or will die without it. That is an extreme position. How, after all, is it supposed to work, even for a woman who has been raped? Would she have to go in front of a judge and prove that she had been raped before she could end her pregnancy? What if the alleged perpetrator claimed that the sex had been consensual—would he have an interested in contesting an abortion? Or would a woman need to prove that the risk to her life—never mind to her health—was over a certain per cent—say, seventy-five? Which bureaucrats would decide who got access to this medical procedure? There was silence about abortion in this debate, as there was in the first one, but it is not yet as deadly as the silence would be if women, as in the days before Roe, had no safe and legal access to abortion. They would be left to seek the procedure in streets where nobody knew them—and where some of them would die. Would Romney lead a search party to go looking for them then?

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Just like the 47%, the 52% that is women in the majority in this nation hardly exist for these male politicians. We are all invisible and only called up and marched out when a poltical point needs to be made.

    The choice of Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state is probably Obama’s “finest hour”. But for the ordinary, average female in this nation, our viability is reduced to soundbites during a presidential election every 4 years.

    Romney has never had to face any form of hardship that is apparent in the every day life of a female struggling to just “get by”. A working woman raising children knows the difficulty of trying to maintain her family life alongside of whatever job she has.

    He is simply unrelatable from this perspective alone.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    My favorite part of the debate was when Romney claimed that Obama didn’t call the Benghazi attack an act of terrorism for 14 days. He was so sure he had a gotcha and then he seemed a little unsure when Obama didn’t respond. Then Obama said,

    “Please proceed, Governor.”

    That was awesome. From the transcript:

    Mitt Romney: Yeah, I think it’s interesting the President just said something which is that on the day after the attack he went to the Rose Garden and said this was an act of terror.

    Obama: That’s what I said.

    Romney: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an attack of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration?

    Obama: Please proceed.

    Romney: Is that what you’re saying?

    Obama: Please proceed, Governor.

    Romney: I want to make sure we get that for the record. Because it took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an attack of terror.

    Obama: Get the transcript.

    Crowley: He did, in fact, sir. Let me—he did call it an act of terror.

    Obama: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? [applause]

    • RalphB says:

      That was the height for me. Seeing Obama truly angry was a very good thing IMHO,

      JJ, thanks for the links and post. I’m gonna go enjoy reading now.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I just loved the “Please proceed” bit. You could tell Romney was starting to get cold feet, but he couldn’t turn back at that point.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “I just loved the “Please proceed” bit.”

        Yep, it was priceless. He looked like Cool Hand Luke back there, leaning against the stool and smiling. You could almost hear Obama thinking “you just stepped on your dick mitt”

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Apologies if this has been posted already. Via, Cannonfire: Will Bain-Linked E-Voting Machines Give Romney the White House?

    • jawbone says:

      Romney feels he has a right to win, so he’ll do anything to win. He owes it to himself the and Mormon church.

      If he can use it, he will.

      • Fannie says:

        Yup, I woke up thinking two things about Romney: The fact that he says he worked 25 years in business, and so don’t tell him what to do. His ego is 25 miles long, and he’s entitled, after all his Daddy told him so. The other thing was the question about Obama’s pension……….what the fuck, we still want to know how in the world did Romney gets millions and millions in his IRA Account………..oh, I know he stole it from the workers, and got it from the off shore account and all those job he created overseas……………..Name the others in this country who have an IRA accounts that is extraordinary like Romney. Inquiring minds want to know.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Obama’s pension plan has a little invested in Bain’s Sensata, but Obama has no control over what they invest in.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “Obama’s pension plan has a little invested in Bain’s Sensata, but Obama has no control over what they invest in.”

        I thought Romney made himself look foolish with that attempted gotcha. Comparing investments through ordinary investment vehicles that most Americans use, to his companies investment and it’s huge profit haul from buying into cheap labor plants in China to manufacture products for his American companies is disgusting. He’s such a bag of wind.

  11. ANonOMouse says:

    The early-voting poll opened at 8:00 AM, by 8:30 I had cast my vote for Obama and all other Dems straight down the ticket, it was such a relief and a release, if I still smoked, I’d light up!

    BTW…..My Gay pride flag t-shirt got a lot of looks, but no one questioned my 10 yr old DL photo. Perhaps it was the t-shirt that distracted them, or maybe it was the “don’t fuck with me” look on my face, I raised 4 children, so I have that look perfected.

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    I may have never said this before, but I love AnonMouse!

    We’ve been on some of the same blogs for years and she never ceases to amaze me with her wit, knowledge, and ability to stand up and speak out.

    Good on ya, mouse!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I love you too Pat, you know you’re my Shero

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I’m no Shero but for a long time I watched you take an idiotic position and reduce it to crumbs with logic and intelligence even when the majority “bleated” back in protest.

        And like so many front pagers here who I have admired for years, you take your place right alongside them in my book.

        This goes for our own ralphb, who if he should ever depart, would throw gender partisanship out the window.

        LIke bb has said for years: you guys have save my sanity on more than one occasion.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m honored you feel that way, Pat, Thank you!! And you, along with all the commenters here have helped me to maintain my sanity. Godde knows, at that other place, that shall remain nameless, I was told I was crazy, regularly. But today, we all have reason to feel reinvigorated, we should all make the best of it, Rejoice! FORWARD!!!!

      • RalphB says:

        Wow. Thanks to you both for keeping me sane. Fortunately, I’m going nowhere voluntarily 🙂

      • Beata says:

        But are you really one of us, Ralph? 😉

      • RalphB says:

        Maybe Beata, at least honorary. 😉

      • bostonboomer says:

        Not honorary! We’d be lost without you, Ralph!

    • Beata says:

      I love you too, Mouse! I’ll never forget how you stood up for me at that other place. It meant more to me than I can ever say. I’m so glad you found your way to SkyDancers. xoxoxo!!!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I think I’m blushing!! I’m glad I found my way here too. I appreciate the warm and open reception I have received from everyone here. And you know I love you too Beata. You’re an amazing woman.

        xoxo right back at ya!!! 🙂

      • Delphyne says:

        Chiming in with my love for Mouse, too – I still remember the hilarious repartee with that Z character. Many times I spewed my coffee reading them!

        This is a great place with great writers and commenters….it’s one of the few places I frequent any more for political truth telling.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Thank you Delphyne. And the Z character, other than his total, absolute, obnoxious bluster and his never ending BS (which, last time I checked he was still shoveling), I disliked him mostly because I knew that he was hoarding the last remaining Donna Summer 8 tracks, the original Harvey Wallbanger recipe and the last genuine 70’s Disco Balls in his CT bunker home. That’s hard on all of us Old gay people who need those things. 🙂

    • HT says:

      Echo Pat’s comment from me. Anon has gone through trials and tribulations, particularly at that other place which has now degenerated into a right wing cesspool, although all of them claim they were really democrats who had no place to go.
      Ditto on RalphB – I’ve seen him at many places where he is always forthright and right on the money. Brilliant stuff Ralph.
      And of course Beata – Beata forever! I love those videos she digs up – Don’t know how she does it, but amazing.

  13. RalphB says:

    Gallup’s projection of good employment numbers may trigger wingnut outrage. How to attack Gallup for this while lauding them for saying Rmoney is ahead 🙂

    Ed Kilgore: “Gallup Truthers” On the Way?

    In a rude interruption of the spin battles over the second presidential candidates’ debate, the Gallup organization published its latest estimates of trends in unemployment, and they reinforce the BLS September Jobs Report indication that the unemployment rate is finally and significantly dropping:

    U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 7.3% in mid-October, down considerably from 7.9% at the end of September and at a new low since Gallup began collecting employment data in January 2010. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.7%, also down from September. October’s adjusted mid-month measure is also more than a percentage point lower than October 2011.

  14. RalphB says:

    Pictures of Ann and one of the young mittsters in the audience during the debate. Looks like something from American Psycho.

  15. pdgrey says:

    Great nigt! Great links, JJ. It’s taken a while to read them I think it’s because I don’t feel very good today. But here is a great little pick you up moment for women.

  16. RalphB says:

    If there was a Nobel for snark and fine analysis, Paul Krugman should win it!!! 🙂

    Chicken Hawk Down

    So, do we get to invoke Catch-22, and call him Mitt Binderminder? Especially because his story about seeking out women appears to be false?

    Anyway, I’d like to throw in my two cents on Romney’s most easily demonstrated blunder, his claim that Obama waited two weeks before calling the Benghazi attack an act of terror. Maybe you have to remember the Bush administration to realize just how NOT accidental this blunder was; in at least two ways it went to the heart of the modern right-wing identity.

  17. whoa…Arizona’s largest county listed wrong date for the election on voter ID cards (but just in Spanish) – The Maddow Blog

    Arizonans who went to their local municipal offices in Maricopa County to pick up their voter ID cards may have been instructed to go to the polls on the wrong date — but only if they were looking for the information in Spanish.

    The wrong date was printed on a document that contains the new voter ID card. The document lists the general election date as November 6 in English but reads “8 de Noviembre” in the Spanish translation.

    A spokesperson told local station ABC 15 that they estimated fewer than 50 people got documents with the wrong date, based on the number of people who picked up their cards in-person in “previous years,” though they did not say whether those were election years.

    • Fannie says:

      What the hell, the only way this will stop or come to an end is if someone from the county or city, or state office goes to prison.

  18. ANonOMouse says:

    For all of you poll watchers

    “Do pollsters call cell phones?

    No, generally not. This fact means that people who have only a cell phone and no land line will be systematically excluded from polls. Since these people tend to be mostly young people, the pollsters intentionally overweight the 18-30 year olds to compensate for this effect, but as more people drop their landlines, it is becoming a serious issue. Here is a report on the issue.

    Do pollsters call VoIP phones?

    Increasingly many people have phone service over cable or on Skype. Calling them is a bit tricky because customers can often choose any area code they want. Someone living in Seattle can choose a Florida area code so his mother can call him as a local call. When a pollster calls someone with a Florida area code and gets someone in Washington, the accuracy of the poll is not improved.”

    Since many people are now only cellphone or VoIP (through their cable provider or stand alones like Vontage) , no telling how many people are being excluded from the polls.

    • RalphB says:

      Add to that the 10% response rate, for the best polls, and you get what may be really garbage in the input data. Garbage in, garbage out is always right.

  19. Fannie says:

    About the binders full of women serving on the board…………….How many women served on the Board at Bain Capital, how many women were partners at Bain? I gotta tell you NONE.

  20. Fannie says:

    I can’t wait for the ads to come out about women running home to cook dinner……….and getting the message out that this will be the cause of him losing this election. And it will.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m really really hoping that Ann will say something angry and whiny on The View–isn’t it tomorrow?