By Michael Steele, on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM ET
Contributing RP Michael Steele, Former Democratic Senator from Arkansas Blanche Lincoln and USA Today’s Susan Page talk about where President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are Tuesday and how Hurricane Sandy could impact the last week before the election:
Imagine a political party “really” wanting America governed progressively. Imagine its platform stressing social justice, human and civil rights, peace, disarmament, and other populist policies. The two-party duopoly may say they support progressive values but upon closer analysis they are actually spurned.
Presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein of America’s Green Party believes another United States is possible but another party is necessary.
She fully embraces the Green Party’s ‘Green New Deal’ platform. The Green New Deal is the only detailed program from any political party for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future.
Inspired by FDR New Deal that helped us out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the ‘Green New Deal’ will provide similar relief and create an economy that makes our communities sustainable, healthy and just.
Here are some but not all of the policies Dr. Stein and the Green Party proposes.
Dr. Stein believes our country cannot truly move forward until the roots of inequality are pulled up, and the seeds of a new, healthier economy are planted. Thus she supports an economic bill of rights that ensures all people:
1. The right to employment through a full employment program that will create 25 million jobs by implementing a nationally funded, but locally controlled direct employment initiative, offering public sector jobs when private sector jobs are not available;
2. Workers rights including the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace and to organizing a union without fear of firing or reprisal;
3. The right to quality healthcare achieved through a single-payer Medicare-for-All program;
4. The right to a tuition-free, quality, federally funded, local controlled public education from pre-school through college;
5. The right to decent affordable housing, including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions by creating a federal bank with local branches to take over homes with distressed mortgages and either restructuring the mortgages to affordable levels, or renting the homes by expanding rental and home ownership assistance;
6. The right to accessible and affordable utilities, expanded Internet for all, and public transportation through democratically run, publicly owned corporations that operate at cost and not for profit;
7. The right to fair taxation distributed in proportion to earnings and one╒s ability to pay. In addition, corporate tax subsidies will be made transparent by detailing them in public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks.
By John Y. Brown III, on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM ET
I was once a millionaire.
Not for long. But for about a year. And I only recently found out about it. Even though it happened some 40 years ago, I find myself reflecting a lot recently on that year—“My Big Year.” And asking myself, what went wrong and what can I learn from it?
In 1971 my father sold his controlling interest in Kentucky Fried Chicken. He made a good deal of money and, as the story goes,
created a $1M trust for each of his three children, my two sisters (Sissy and Sandy) and me.
Which was a surprise hearing about all these years later since my father reminded us regularly growing up that he didn’t believe in giving his children money because it would take away their motivation. But this one time, he apparently did. (In my teens I once suggested he test his theory by doing a pilot project with me as the one child who gets money–and my two sisters as the control groups— and see how I do. “If I fail,” I reasoned, “you can continue with your current policy and be reassured by recent supporting data that you are doing the right thing.” But all I got was a laugh.)
Anyway, I was 8 years old at the time and totally oblivious to the fact that I was a millionaire. At least I was “on paper,” as a lot of millionaires seem to be fond of saying. I’m not sure what that means but I like the sound of it and so I’m repeating it here.
Read the rest of… John Y’s Musings from the Middle: I Once Was a Millionaire
Closing arguments for President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney should contrast their respective records and declared agendas. But that’s not enough. Each candidate lives and breathes in a political party ecosystem with a dominant worldview and armies of enforcers to keep office-holders, even presidents, from straying too far from received doctrine.
Let’s start with the President’s record. He was sworn in facing the worst economic conditions in 80 years, and with only three Republican votes enacted an economic stimulus agenda that saved or created 1.4 to 3.3 million jobs. The stimulus worked. He saved General Motors and Chrysler from collapse, signed Wall Street reform legislation and, to top it off, drove through Congress the most important health care reform since the 1960s. He brought our troops back from Iraq as promised. Obama rang up historic accomplishments in the teeth of fierce Republican opposition even to proposals (like Obamacare) with a strong Heritage Foundation roots.
In a second term President Obama is committed to further spending restraint and entitlement reform as long as the deficit-expanding Bush tax cuts are, for the super-wealthy, repealed. He’ll make immigration reform and strengthening America’s education system important priorities.
Mitt Romney’s rhetoric reflects the right-wing fear of “dependency” if Americans choose to tackle our pressing public challenges through government action. Since the goal is for government to spend and do less, it’s no wonder that he promises big tax cuts for everyone and “big change” without explaining what he means. But we should look beyond the rhetoric.
The ideas, bundled into worldviews, which define the parties today will shape the administration of the winner on November 6th.
For most congressional Republicans today and their active supporters, government routinely infringes upon personal liberty, undermines self-reliance and is generally inefficient and incompetent. Since government is the problem, taxes should be cut, regulations reduced and—somehow—all be well in time. How that will happen is a matter of faith, not evidence. Republicans would roll back health care coverage for more than 30 million Americans who will finally obtain it through “Obamacare.” They deny the overwhelming scientific consensus about the threat of climate change. The economic plan consists of vague “free market” generalities.
People who don’t believe in government don’t run it well. That’s one lesson from the George W. Bush administration. That’s why, given the enormous challenges of making the federal government work well, it should be left in the hands of those who are willing to try.
Read the rest of… Tom Allen: A Closing Argument for Obama
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
— Mark Twain
“The best part about being my age is in knowing how my life worked out.”
— Scott Adams
I’m particularly drawn to this last quote. It has me thinking about life as a story, experiences filling the pages of each chapter, and chapters are all made complete by both insignificant and significant details.
As I think about this, I see that we can’t possibly know the relevance of an experience until many experiences later when they’ve all been assembled and integrated into the story line.
But even having been the one to have lived my own experiences doesn’t automatically make me well versed in the symbolism and meaning therein.
Could I lead a high school or college English seminar on the symbolism of love, addiction, family, grief, bliss, and all the living that has been the great work of my life so far? Hmmm.
Hell, yes. I force my teen daughters to take this class almost every day. (I’m sure they’d say “hell” was a good way to begin this paragraph.) But they are allowed to audit because I am a kind and righteous mother.
But perspective isn’t immediate—it tends to be quite a little journey down that road of whatever experience and accompanying emotional stuff it features—it has to be that way, the panoramic view requires distance and space. And similarly, the plot doesn’t make sense when you read only chapter 18.
By Lauren Mayer, on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM ET
I’m the proud owner of a uterus, and I’d like to be in charge of it. Period. (And yes, really bad pun intended.)
No matter how many positions Romney takes on female reproductive rights (and he’s taken more positions than are in the Kama Sutra), we have to look at his party platform and his choice of running mate, not to mention his unwillingness to withdraw his endorsement from candidates like Richard Mourdock. You know it’s bad when Romney comes across as a moderate, because he actually would allow an abortion exception in cases of rape . . . excuse me?
And as for the pundits and online commentators who wonder why so many women are ‘quibbling about irrelevant subjects like women’s stuff instead of the economy’? Even the best economy doesn’t matter to a woman who can’t control her own body, on top of the fact that the GOP also doesn’t believe that women deserve pay equity, or insurance coverage of birth control – and those ARE economic issues, by the way. (Plus anyone who was alive before Roe v. Wade might recall that making abortions illegal doesn’t end them, it just makes them more dangerous. I’m with Bill Clinton in hoping abortions will be safe, legal, and rare.)
Add in all of Romney’s mis-statements and condescension to 47%ers, like my mom who’s on social security and depends on Medicare, on top of his refusal to release tax returns, his belief that millionaires should pay a lower tax rate than I do, and his plan to return to the same unregulated, ‘trickle-down economics’ that caused the recession in the first place, his reliance on Bush-Cheney-era neocon hawks, oh, and did I mention his latest lie about Jeep moving to China, even running an ad after Chrysler explicitly refuted that story?)
Fortunately, before I start ranting too much, I’ll take a break and launch into song!
Everyone says – and the polls suggest – that this year’s election is going to be close. Normally any candidate who keeps his money overseas and who has made his living sending jobs overseas wouldn’t even stand a chance of being elected to the highest office in the land, especially at a time of grim economic times.
Romney may win this election, despite all of his flaws, mainly because Obama has done such a mediocre job the last four years at best.
Instead of dismantling all of the Bush Era policies, he let them all ride. Many of my Democratic friends are less than enthusiastic about their President because of this.
But, I would simply point out to the American people, especially the undecided voters to think about the points that I considered before making up my own mind.
Obama did inherit the worst economy since the Great Depression. George W. Bush took a 5 Billion dollar surplus that Clinton left him and in his first few months in office, squandered it all and turned it into a 5 TRILLION DOLLAR Deficit. The only way he could have ruined the country this badly is if it were intentional. I believe, Bush was the worst President in US History for that reason. To me, it was even a treasonous Presidency far worse than any other treason in our history. And the damage that Bush did is still not fully appreciated. The Wall Street FatCats that sold the world trillions in fraudulent paper are still doing it. Another shoe is yet to drop.
Obama faced the greatest resistance to getting any of his bills passed than any other President in history and I believe it was a Racial Bias on the part of the Republican Party. They even admit that their primary job was to defeat Obama. Actually their job is to get things done and try to fix problems. SO, in effect, the Republicans were the BIGGEST protaganists of EXTENDING the Bush Treason.
Obama is an imperfect man. He would be the first to admit it. I think his humility is his greatest downfall. But, I believe that his experience in his first term has honed him, like a sword that is forged in the fires of the Hell and that he now has the strength and wisdom to make his second term astonishingly good.
And, last but not least, you must consider this: Whoever gains the White House will inherit the worst economy since the one Bush handed to Obama.
The challenges will be extreme. The next administration will have to make huge cuts in everything. Do you want a Republican making the cuts, which will be mainly in social programs. OR would you prefer the cuts to be in THE PENTAGON, Oil Company Subsidies, Tax cuts for the wealthy and HUGE WASTEFUL programs like that? The choice is really that simple.
Do you want more of your countrymen to go hungry, lose their homes, suffer and die? If you do, vote for Romney because he says he will increase Defense spending. That will only come from the Social Programs and also ultimately RAISE your taxes.
OR would you rather take money from the guys who wasted TRILLIONS of your money in Viet Nam and Iraq, Afghanistan, etc? IF you are not a war-mongerer, like the Republicans then you must vote for Obama.
The choices are GRIM either way. It’s only what you feel you can support as the least grim choices we must make.
That is the way you should make your decision this year. And it always helps to remember at election time. Which side of the bread is your butter? Do Republicans ever give you or your family anything to make your lives a little better?
Or is it the Democrats who do that?
THINK about your own family for a while before going to the polls.
We face serious challenges that demand all our efforts as citizens working together to build a brighter future for our nation, to ensure prosperity, wellbeing and safety for all our people. I pledge to work tirelessly and seek solutions that are sound today and instill hope for our children’s tomorrow. Three areas of primary concern to me are jobs, access to health care and keeping America safe.
I believe that our troops and their families must be cared for. When wounded soldiers return, we must provide them the best possible care in a timely manner.
It is not in the interest of national security to engage in military actions without thoughtful discussion and solid funding. America is not safe without financial stability. Staggering deficits serve to mortgage our children’s and grandchildren’s future.
Concern for our nation’s safety must rise above partisanship. I believe that the people must have faith that our government will do its job, and that the people’s representatives in Washington will stop the politics that end in gridlock and waste. Partisan politics endangers progress and interferes with oversight of the agencies that monitor the safety of food and drugs, cars, trains and planes, and workplaces.
It is extremely important to have a healthy, growing economy. First, we must keep the jobs we have. National policy must be fair to our workers.
I pledge to support policies that help working families. Opportunities for job training, re-training and lifelong learning are essential to economic stability in our country. Improving our infrastructure will provide much needed jobs. I will be vigilant in seeking resources to bring new technologies to compete with and lead the world in innovation and securing our growing energy needs. Access to affordable health care should be a given in this country. Healthy citizens are more able to make positive contributions to this nation. I support making affordable health insurance possible for everyone. The middle class have been burden with skyrocketing healthcare costs for over a decade and it has stagnated wages for the middle class. With a thriving middle class, we will be able to start really reducing our deficit and stop just kicking the can down the road. It is our civic duty as a nation, to build the middle class back up along with allowing prosperity to flourish in a free market society. Because when you have a strong middle class, you have a stronger nation.
I ask for your support in becoming your United States President.
By John Y. Brown III, on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM ET
“When I was a child….I spake as a child….but when I became an adult, I still wanted to sound younger than I really am.”
There probably should be a rule that people over, say, age 34 shouldn’t be allowed to use hip lingo. Because it never sounds as good as hoped when a midster (or beyond) tries using new jargon. And often goes far worse than was foreseen as possible.
For example, the other night while in California, a hypothetical person (we’ll say “a friend”) was overheard trying to use the terminology “Hooked up” while talking to several younger colleagues.
“So, a couple years later they hooked up again in New York. Not, like, the modern “hooking up” but, you know, the more….the older…I mean more traditional meaning of hooking up. I mean. They didn’t …I’m not saying they, like, you….ha…um….you know. I don’t mean intimately. It’s possible, isn’t it, to hook up and not be about sex, right?”
Colleague: “It can.”
Hypothetical person (friend): “OK. That’s the kind of hooking up I was trying to infer..I mean imply. So, anyway….the more traditional meaning of hooking up. I tell you what….Let me start over. Do you know what “meet up” means?”
Hypothetical person (friend): “OK, They met up in New York….Just forget my whole experiment with trying to fit “hooked up” into my story. It was a bad idea.”
Our Gen Y closing argument debate cannot be complete without hearing from the generation’s unofficial spokeswoman, actor/writer/director Lena Dunham. Here’s her controversial Obama endorsement, “First Time.”