LOS ANGELES - There's no question: US
President Barack Obama finally got off the bench
in New York, came out swinging and actually scored
a few three-pointers at the second presidential
The debate also shed further light
on the economic and foreign policy of the
Republican robot posing as a product (or is it the
other way around?). It seems Mitt Romney's outlook
is when in doubt, blame it on China.
robot/product was relentless in his demonization
of the Middle Kingdom. "On day one", he will
single out China as "a currency manipulator"
(China's Central Bank governor Zhou
Xiaochuan, who is more worried by Washington's
quantitative easing scam, is hardly choking on his
wontons; and by the way the yuan did strengthen
against the US dollar by nearly 9% during Obama's
Romney will "keep China playing by
the rules" (rules that US corporations love to
explore to their benefit). He also accused China
of "hacking into our computers" (as if the West
never hacked big time into Iran's computers); and
overall "China has been cheating over the years".
Spy satellites might have been able to register a
roar of collective laughter emanating from the
halls of the Zhongnanhai in a hazy Beijing
According to Romney, China - that
"cheating" land that assembles iPads - would not
be a match for the US if the playing field were
level. Translation: Romney seeks salvation via an
inflation of low-wage, low-skill, assembly
line-style US jobs.
At least Obama
deployed a reality check on Romney's Terminator
policy on China. "When he talks about getting
tough on China - yeah, keep in mind that Governer
Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of
outsourcing to China. And he's currently investing
in companies that are building surveillance
equipment for China to spy on its own folks.
That's - Governor, you're the last person who's
going to get tough on China."
Three-pointer in da house Obama
also nailed it when he related to the US leveling
the playing field by more investment in education
- forming more scientists, engineers, technology
experts. Romney's (predictable) response:
"Government does not create jobs."
the exchange itself did not create was a real
debate on the essence of turbo-capitalism; on why,
irrespective of Obama, much less Romney, the
global power of private capital has been calcified
as hierarchical and organized as a financial
economy - politically conquering the whole world,
and incarnating itself as much in neoliberal
democracies as in military dictatorships and
petro-monarchies of the GCC (Gulf
Counter-Revolution Club) kind.
be too much to expect. So we were back to the
mantra of the day, week, month, year, decade, as
repeated by Romney: "Iran is four years closer to
a nuclear bomb".
The next debate, on
Monday, will be mostly on foreign policy; would
any of these candidates please show some respect
to US - and world - public opinion and at least
acknowledge the latest International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) report, released last month? These
are the two money quotes. (1) The IAEA is
confident about "the absence of undeclared nuclear
material and activities in Iran"; and (2) The IAEA
can "conclude that all nuclear materials in Iran
is in peaceful activities."
would be too much to expect.
terror Assorted right-wingers were
frantically betting on Libya to provide the
definitive "gotcha" moment for Romney.
Here's Romney: "The President just said
something which is on the day after the attack, he
went in the Rose Garden and said this was an act
of terror. You said in the Rose Garden, the day
after the attack, it was an act of terror? It was
not a spontaneous demonstration. Is that what
you're saying? Want to get that for the record,
because it took the president 14 days before he
called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror."
Here's the moderator, CNN's Candy Crowley;
"He did in fact, sir, call it an act of terror."
Obama: "Can you say that a little louder,
Candy: "He did call it an act of
Another Obama three-pointer. If
only that would have led to a real debate on what
kind of "leading from behind" was the whole Libya
operation; the role of Africom and NATO; the
hidden agendas behind the toppling of Gaddafi; and
the inevitability of blowback when you are in bed
with Salafi-jihadists formerly known as terrorists
in a push to dismantle a secular Arab regime.
That would be too much to expect.
As for Romney's boast that his jobs plan
would create 12 million US jobs, that had already
been debunked by the Washington Post in the
morning before the debate. So it got down to Obama
finally nailing 47% Romney in a way that left the
robot/product literally speechless.
"Former" 47% Romney has now coined a new
motto - "I care about the 100%" - repeated ad
Obama: "When he said behind
closed doors that 47% of the country consider
themselves victims who refused personal
responsibility, think about who he was talking
about ... Folks on Social Security who've worked
all their lives, veterans who've sacrificed for
this country, students who are out let it trying
to hopefully advance their own dreams but also
this country's dreams, soldiers overseas fighting
for us right now, people working hard every day
paying payroll taxes, gas taxes, but don't make
Actually, that's about the
overwhelming majority of the US population. Yet as
it stands the future of the country up to 2016
essentially rests on a bunch of undecided Ohio
voters. That's Obama's firewall (he was winning
Ohio by 68% before the debate, according to Nate
Will the firewall
hold? Next Monday will be mostly about foreign
policy; let's see whether China is capable of
swinging a US presidential race.