Jonathan Weiss: A Closing Argument for Romney

The problem that Washington has faced over the last 18 years is that Democrats in Congress still do not accept their minority status and have fought the Republican Party since the revolution of 1994.  The partisanship increased 100 fold as a result of the Democrat Party reeling that the country had the audacity to oust them from 40 years of entrenched power.  Since then, many Congressmen have come and gone, but the so-called “moderate” has evaporated.  While the Republicans tend to elect the principled, the Democrats tend to elect the partisan.
Republican presidential candidates are always labeled as extreme – the Democrats favorite label for any Republican.  In Mitt Romney, they have a hard time labeling him as such since Romney himself took more moderate positions in his race against Ted Kennedy and for governor.  In a twist of good fate, this has worked well for Romney:  Democrats cannot label him extreme-right, on one hand, or a flip-flopper, on the other, since you cannot have it both ways.  Either you are an entrenched, inflexible extremist, or you have a history of showing empathy for your political opponents.
Mitt Romney’s greatest asset, as we are now discovering in the last week of the campaign, is his ability to work accross party lines, bridge the divide, and work to resolve tough issues.  The proof is in his leadership as governor.  This was Barack Obama’s mantle in 2008 – using the the ‘not blue states, not red states’ cry – but he has proven to be the most liberal, leftist political partisan the White House has ever seen.  There is, in fact, no hope with him or for him.
Mitt Romney will clean up Washington, DC by working with anyone who is ready and willing to tackle the hard issues of today and not kick the can down the road for the next generations to solve.

Gary Yarus: A Closing Argument for Jill Stein

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.

Tom Allen: A Closing Argument for Obama

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

Lauren Mayer: Closing Argument for Obama

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!

Mike Mathiesen: A Closing Argument for Obama

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Mike Mathiesen is the Founder of Go Foods Global, Santa Cruz, CA

Ed Marksberry: A Closing Argument for Obama

My fellow Americans,

 

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.

Lena Dunham’s Gen Y Closing Argument for Obama

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.”

And don’t forget to read Jordan Stivers’ Gen Y “She Said” closing argument for Obama and Zac Byer’s Gen Y “He Said” closing argument for Romney.

Zac Byer: Gen Y He Said — Closing Argument for Mitt Romney

Our resident Gen Y “He Said; She Said” team — Jordan Stivers and Zac Byer (who also happen to be dating) offer their closing arguments for the presidential candidates.  Click here to read Jordan’s piece.  And Gen Y’s unofficial Hollywood spokeswoman, actor, writer and director Lena Dunham, weighs in here.

Here’s Zac:

 

Can America really afford to continue down the path we are on?

Can we afford to continue with the same policies that have left 23 million Americans unemployed?  That have resulted in the smallest labor force in over thirty years?  That have ballooned our national debt over $16 trillion – $5 trillion of which has been added in the last four years alone?

Forget about whether or not you’re satisfied with those numbers – I can’t believe you are.  So, the better question is whether you accept those numbers?  I sure hope you don’t.

We must bring real accountability to Washington.  Politicians don’t deserve free passes, especially when they pile even more debt on an already burdened public.  The cost of living is too high, and our national morale is too low.  Short-sighted, quick-fix economic policies and Washington solutions do not have to become the new normal.  Neither does the excuse-me-blame-him strategy.  We shouldn’t – and we won’t – accept that.

That’s why we shouldn’t accept four more years of poor prioritization, insincere excuses, and half-baked leadership.  It’s why we shouldn’t accept four more years of Barack Obama.

***

I won’t argue that the economy was in a good place on January 20, 2009.  The Bush Administration gave us a lot to pay for:  two wars, a new prescription drug subsidy, TARP, lower tax rates.  While his conservatism may have been compassionate, it certainly wasn’t cash-conscious.

And President Obama means well.  While I didn’t vote for him four years ago, I wanted him to succeed as much as his most loyal supporter.  When we wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, we are still Americans…and we are all in this together.

But in the last four years, Obama’s hope has changed to disappointment.

Take the 2012 fiscal year.  The government taxed us to the tune of $2.5 trillion to operate the country.  Whether you think the 16th Amendment is the best or worst component of the Constitution, I hope you’ll agree that $2.5 trillion is a lot of money.  And yet, $2.5 trillion wasn’t enough for Obama’s government.  They spent $3.5 trillion – 44% more than they brought in!  Not only is that unsustainable, but in Mitt Romney’s words, that’s immoral.

Americans all across the country work hard to stick to a budget.  We live within our means, and we don’t spend more than we can afford.  If we can do it, why can’t Washington?  Why shouldn’t Washington?

***

Read the rest of…
Zac Byer: Gen Y He Said — Closing Argument for Mitt Romney

Jordan Stivers: Gen Y She Said — Closing Argument for Obama

Many virtual trees have fallen in examining Gen Y’s involvement in Campaign 2012.  Seen as an excited, game-changing voting bloc in 2008 for Barack Obama, much has changed during the job-challenged recovery of the past few years.

Our resident Gen Y “He Said; She Said” team — Jordan Stivers and Zac Byer (who also happen to be dating) weighs in.  Click here to read Zac’s piece.  And Gen Y’s unofficial Hollywood spokeswoman, actor, writer and director Lena Dunham, weighs in here.

In 2008, I was a junior at the University of Kentucky and it was my first time voting in a presidential election.  I found it so exciting that my first ballot ever cast was for Barack Obama, a candidate so different from any I had ever seen or heard about, not only in terms of race or background, but in what he stood for – equality, opportunity, and working together.  As I walked around my fairly conservative campus the day after the election, wearing my Obama 08’ shirt and getting dirty looks from other students, I felt so proud that our country had come together and decided to go in a new direction.

I admit that a lot has changed since 2008, not only in my life, but in the country and in President Obama’s White House as well.  I’ve graduated from college, worked for two years, and started law school.  I’ve become an adult and realized that the state of the economy affects me and that it is vitally important for our national wellbeing.  The country has come down from the high it was on after the 2008 election, and because of the difficult recovery from the even more difficult financial situation Obama inherited, many have become disillusioned with the President.  But I don’t think this is a result of failed leadership of the President, but a result of our having impossibly high expectations of Obama, and a lack of understanding of the depth of the problems he has had to solve.

I’ve been hearing a lot of Republicans, and Mitt Romney himself, talking smugly about how young people are not as excited about Obama this time around, as if they’re saying, “I told you so, now you know better than to have any optimism about government and the good things it can achieve.”  This is so cynical.  The mood is different this time, but that’s natural.  The President has had the hard job of actually governing for the past four years, and some of the sexiness has worn off.  But this doesn’t mean that young people do not believe that President Obama is still the candidate with our best interests in mind.  Because of the President’s policies, I’ve been able to stay on my parents’ health insurance through my transition from school to work, then back to law school.  He’s supported many of my friends and colleagues who are gay by declaring that they should have the same rights as everyone else. He has kept student loan rates down so that we can pursue higher education. He’s allowed those of us who have grown up in the U.S. but are still not considered citizens to make it official.  And let’s not forget how strongly he has represented the U.S. in foreign policy by killing Osama Bin Laden.

Read the rest of…
Jordan Stivers: Gen Y She Said — Closing Argument for Obama

Nancy Slotnick: Binders Full of Women

So ever since Romney used that phrase, I have  gotten boatloads full of nostalgic comments about Drip, the dating-café  that I started in the late ‘90s.  That’s because we actually did have binders full of women.  Women seeking Men.  Women seeking women.  And we set them up on dates.  With Matchmaker Café, we now do the same thing—i.e. set up men and women on real dates at a real café, and we introduce them when they get there.  Even though we now have all the technology we can imagine for meeting online, we still need that human interaction.   We still need personalized service and hand holding, even though we have Facebook.  Even though we have these things called aircraft carriers.

What made that comment about binders full of women so funny?  I think it was the irony.  If women were really equal in the world of politics, then Romney wouldn’t need to round up women in binders.  He wouldn’t have to go any farther then his own backyard.  They would already be on his short list.  So the binders represent a problem endemic to the system.  As did the binders at Drip.  They represented the same kind of problem.

When the world was simpler and people usually grew  old in the same town where they had grown up, they would meet their  mates through family and friends.  There were local community hang-outs and places like Cheers where everybody knows your name.  (Drip got compared to Cheers a lot.)  Today there’s a level of anonymity and isolation in big cities that engenders a problem when it comes to dating.  You need those binders full of women.  And you don’t have a staff like Romney did to round them up.  Luckily you’re only looking for one.

So why is it, in this age of Facebook, that no one uses Facebook for dating?  Facebook is our backyard, and it is the technological equivalent of binders full of women, yet there is embarrassment around your Facebook friends  knowing that you are single.  When I coach women about dating, I talk about turning your Cablight on, which means showing that you’re available.  When you turn it on then you get more and better dates.  But when Matchmaker Café wants to show your friends that you are using the App, a lot of you have told me that you want to turn off that feature.

What damage will be done if you’re friends know that you are single or that you are using Matchmaker Café?  Why is there a stigma?  Who has time for this ambivalence and mixed messages?  (Besides Romney’s staff.)  You have to show that you’re available by being open to rejection, and even embracing rejection. You have to post publicly for what you are looking for, even if it’s embarrassing.  I’m going to do that right now.  I’m looking for a café owner or small hospitality group in NYC who would like to partner with me to do a re-make of Drip.  We will have binders full of women.  But this time the binders will be digitized on iPads and the profiles will  utilize Facebook to tap into the existing social graph.  Why?  Because Facebook is online dating’s equivalent of nuclear submarines.  And because it will be so much fun.

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