Alabama U.S. Representative Martha Roby (District 2) has made a political life of contradictions and unabashed hypocrisy. She routinely bemoans government spending yet gloats without shame whenever she secures more government spending for her district. Roby incessantly condemns so-called “redistribution of wealth” and yet is an unapologetic cheerleader for farm subsidies (agricultural welfare). She is quick to bash “government interference” in our daily lives, but she’s more than happy to support measures that facilitate interference (assaulting women’s reproductive rights for example) when it suits her personal agenda.
But a recent appearance at a Wetumpka Tea Party function proves without question that she should not be representing anyone through elected office.
In a video released by Mother Jones, a participant launches into a right-wing, treason-baiting rant in which he calls President Obama a “foreign-born, America-hating Communist despot.” The crowd erupts into laughter and applause, which is predictable given the audience, but Roby’s response is nothing short of appalling and quite embarrassing.
Instead of expressing outrage or at least diplomatic disapproval – a notable example would be Arizona Senator John McCain’s response at a campaign town hall meeting during the 2008 presidential election when similar sentiment was uttered – Roby instead nodded approvingly, continued smiling and simply said, smirking: “Thank you for your question. Um… He said it loud enough that you all heard it.” Roby then simply expressed her opinion on presidential executive orders.
No member of Congress – regardless of party – should condone or encourage such race-baiting, divisive, treason-fanning rhetoric and obviously shouldn’t express such filth themselves. Our elected leaders and fellow citizens should freely express themselves. We should cherish our differing viewpoints, explore our differences, and actively debate pressing issues along with more general concepts such as the role of government.
But our politics should never be fueled by wallowing in the muck of the lowest common denominator, and such wallowing should absolutely not be embraced and perpetuated by an elected member of Congress.
Congresswoman Roby should at least apologize for condoning and encouraging such misguided hatred and falsehood-mongering. But coupled with her record which consists mostly of shameless Obama-bashing rhetoric and having it both ways on countless issues, she should resign. Roby is not serving the people of District 2 and instead is only serving herself while fueling the worst possible race-based, bigoted fears and ignorance in our political atmosphere. It’s cancerous, it’s toxic and it has no viable, productive place in our government. Roby should exit on the pandering, hate-driven horse she rode in on.
Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D, AL-07), that's who. Don't you love this picture of Terri Sewell and friends -- what great shirts!
They're not just for show either. Terri and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus were in Ohio over the weekend campaigning for President Obama. She was back home yesterday, working for her own re-election (no worries, she's a shoo-in) and making sure to get out the vote for Democratic candidates across the state because she knows it's important to elect good people up and down the ticket.
Folks in her district are noticing what a great job Terri Sewell is doing as a member of Congress, too. Last week the Montgomery Advertiser chided Republicans Martha Roby (AL-02) and Mike Rogers (AL-03) for voting in lockstep with the Republican leadership, saying they need to "follow Sewell's lead" in Congress. Amen.
In the 7th District, incumbent Terri Sewell is concluding her first term. She is one of the most impressive newcomers in Congress and 7th District voters should proudly re-elect this smart, compassionate congresswoman.
Alabama is fortunate to have such a shining example of how a "representative" should represent her constituents in Washington, especially since the rest of our delegation is such a disappointment. Terri Sewell not only has Obama's back in this election, she has Alabama's back, all the time.
The Congresswoman will join the Jefferson County Democrats for an Election Night Watch Party tonight at The Parthenon (2210 First Avenue North) in Birmingham. Doors open at 7 pm. Many Alabama Democratic candidates are expected to attend. Supporters, volunteers and staff of all Democratic candidates are welcome, as are representatives of the media.
As the election season draws to a close, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making their closing arguments to voters. Their arguments -- and their vision of America -- could not be more different. Take your pick: we're all in this together orRepublicans will throw a temper tantrum if Obama wins.
On Saturday in Ohio President Obama argued that we're all in this together, rising or falling as one people.
You see heroes running into buildings, wading into the water to help their fellow citizens; neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy; leaders of different political parties working together to fix what’s broken; it’s a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough the times are, we’re all in this together – that we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.
And that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. It has carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years. Remember in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.
In contrast to Obama's vision of an America where leaders work together to solve problems, Mitt Romney's closing argument is based on blackmail -- elect me or congressional Republicans will continue, or even escalate, their obstruction. This is what he told Wisconsin voters on Friday:
"You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress. He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy. The President was right when he said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case, you can take him at his word."
Do you stay with the guy who believes in working together -- even after 4 years of obstructionist tactics from congressional Republicans -- or go with the guy who believes blackmail works?
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade.
Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September.
The civilian labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent. Total employment rose by 410,000 over the month. The employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.8 percent, following an increase of 0.4 percentage point in September.
... there were 813,000 discouraged workers in October, a decline of 154,000 from a year earlier.
More people working, more people in the labor force, fewer discouraged workers -- that's why the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% even with 171,000 new jobs --plus the employment numbers for August and September were revised upward.
Good news for the economy, bad news for Mitt. But then, Mitt would be bad news for the economy, wouldn't he?
Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.
When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.
One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.
President Obama thanked Bloomberg and added (bold mine):
“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time - that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation - together."
Finally, leaders willing to mention the elephant in the room ... climate change. And, gasp, perhaps even go beyond talk to pursue actual policy changes to deal with global climate change. This is a big ___ing deal, folks.
Meanwhile back in Alabama, our state climatologist -- yes, your taxes are paying this man -- says Sandy was not related to climate change and global warming is not causing more major storms. Given Alabama's perennial budget crunch, why is this climate denier still on the state payroll? It would be cheaper, and better, to simply buy the governor a subscription to Scientific American.
President Obama today in Green Bay Wisconsin, reminding voters that we've come too far to turn back now ...
Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we've been cleaning up after for the past four years, and he is offering them up as change. He is saying he is the candidate of change.
Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. What the Governor is offering sure ain't change. Getting more power back to the biggest banks isn't change. Leaving millions without health insurance isn't change. Another $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy isn't change. Turning Medicare into a voucher is change, but we don't want that change. Refusing to answer questions about the details of your policies isn't change. Ruling out compromise by pledging to rubber stamp the tea party's agenda as president, that's definitely not change. In fact, that's exactly the attitude in Washington that needs to go.
Here's the thing, Wisconsin. After four years as president, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I've made. You may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I'm willing to make tough decisions even when they're not politically convenient, and you know I'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as I know how. You know that.
I know what change looks like because I have fought for it. You have too. After all we've been through together, we sure as heck can't give up now. Change is a country where Americans of every age have the skills and education that good jobs now require.
Government can't do this alone, but don't tell me that hiring more teachers won't help this economy grow or help young people compete. Don't tell me that students who can't afford college can just borrow money from their parents. That wasn't an option for me. I'll bet it wasn't an option for a whole lot of you. We shouldn't be ending college tax credits to pay for millionaires’ tax cuts. We should be making college more affordable for everyone who is willing to work for it. We should recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs aren't created in China. They're created right here in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We should work with community colleges to claim another two million Americans with skills that businesses are looking for right now.
That's my plan for the future. That's what change is. That's the America we're fighting for in this election.
Next Tuesday, vote D to move America forward, R to go back to the bad old days.
I'll say it again. God was Pro Choice in 1968, which is when
...Christianity Today published a special issue on contraception and abortion, encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time. In the leading article, professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:
“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”
---Jonathan Dudley, author of "Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics."
Even casual students of the Bible have probably read this verse from 2 Peter 3:8: "Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
But somehow Right Wing Evangelicals and their GOP leaders have persuaded themselves and their flocks that God has changed his mind in the last 40 years or so. The ways of God are hard to fathom, but I want to suggest here that this sudden sea change might have a lot more to do with Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater than any sudden dawning of spiritual light or moral conviction. One might even argue that religious doctrine supplied by two of the most corrupt political animals ever to stain the American landscape hardly meets the smell test.
Patrick Buchanan wrote a memo to Nixon advocating using the abortion issue to woo the Catholic vote. “If the president should publicly take his stand against abortion as offensive to his own moral principles … then we can force [Ed] Muskie [a failed Democratic presidential candidate in 1972] to make the choice between his tens of millions of Catholic supporters and his liberal friends.” The next week Nixon spoke of his “personal belief in the sanctity of human life – including the life of the yet unborn”.---Alan Bean, Abortion and White Evangelicals
Our current 'controversy' also owes a huge debt to Jerry Falwell and his so-called Moral Majority, who campaigned against Jimmy Carter (an actual Evangelical Christian) in favor of Ronald Reagan (who hated going to church and whose wife had a professional astrologer on retainer during the White House years). Falwell was also cozily in bed with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, receiving millions in cash from that source to bail out his failing university. The Rev. Moon convinced thousands of cult followers that he was the physical incarnation of Christ - the New Messiah - and claimed their total allegiance on that basis. Hey, let's talk some Bible here, shall we?
MT 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."
Falwell is also in large part responsible for bringing Roman Catholic dogma into Protestant thinking, and even Catholics haven't always held the belief that life begins at conception.
[Thomas] Aquinas, the father of Roman Catholic theology, believed that life began at forty days but only because he mistakenly believed that’s when the unborn fetus was capable of intellectual life. ”Today, we know that the rudimentary organs are not developed until around ten weeks after conception,” Dudley writes, “and that the brain is not sufficiently developed to support sentient intellectual life until around six months after conception.”
For that matter, neither did St. Augustine - another bastion of the Roman Church. For Evangelicals, who lean heavily on the Old Testament for Biblical support, it's also problematic that Jewish tradition holds that life begins at birth. My opinion is that it has to do with the breath of life. Unlike the anti-choice quotes, which mostly boil down to one sentence ( Jeremiah 1:5), the equation of Life=Breath is repeated endlessly in Scripture, starting at Genesis where God "breathed life into Adam". The act of breathing, whether God's or ours, seems to be a fairly universal definition of life in Scripture. But don't take my word for it. How about an unimpeachable Evangelical source like the 700 Club?
We almost get a little spooky talking about the Holy Ghost, but the Hebrew word behind spirit is ruach, and it means "air in motion." It is the same word for "breath." It also means "life."--Gordon Robertson, The 700 Club
I apologize in advance to LiA's non-Christian and Progressive Christian readers for what may seem to be a religious diatribe, but facts are facts and one big fact is standing out there right now: white evangelicals are going for Mitt Romney ( a huge, proven liar) in a big way. I attribute a lot of this lukewarm support to the Pro Birth Agenda which has convinced God-fearing evangelicals, and in particular evangelical women, that a vote for Obama and the Democrats is a vote for Satan. It isn't. It's a vote against Nixon, Falwell, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Paul Weyrich and a host of other corrupt, non-believing political manipulators who want to use YOUR faith to promote THEIR agenda.
Their agenda isn't yours, and it isn't Christian. In fact, the Republican agenda is as far from the 'red words' as you can get.
If you are wavering towards Romney solely on this issue, please reconsider the history and the men behind it, and vote for what you know in your heart to be the best interests of 95% of the living Americans around you. Leave these personal moral choices where they belong - with those affected. It's moral, it's principled, and it's by Golly American.
One of the photos in this article is human. One is an eleven week old elephant fetus. Can you spot the difference? If you can't, should you be deciding these matters for everyone in the country? Think about it. Take all the time you need.
Literally. When Mitt Romney (R) was governor of Massachusetts he raised taxes/fees on virtually everyone, to the tune of $750 million a year. So much for his pledge not to raise taxes. But, as President Obama pointed out yesterday in New Hampshire, Gov. Romney did manage to lower taxes for a few lucky constituents in Massachusetts -- 278 of the state's wealthiest families -- paid for by everybody else.
"Now, when he's asked about this, he says, 'no, these weren't taxes, these were fees,'" Obama said.
"But keep in mind there were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse. There were higher fees for gas. There were higher fees for milk. There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind. He raised fees to get a birth certificate -- which would have been expensive for me."
"He raised fees for marriage certificates and fees for funeral homes -- so there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees," said Obama.
Here's a fun (partial) list of the fees Mitt Romney imposed as governor:
Last night, Mitt Romney wanted to make one thing clear: He agrees with Obama's foreign policy decisions. Joe Trippi called it the Big Hug, "He decided he was going to hug Obama on policy after policy, not disagree with him."Again and again, Romney got as close as he could get to the President -- which is thankfully as close as he'll ever get to the presidency.
"Governor, the problem is that on a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map. I mean, I’m pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure and potentially having bilateral discussions with the Iranians to end their nuclear program, but just a few years ago you said that’s something you would never do in the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan. Now you’re for it, although it depends. In the same way that you say you would have ended the war in Iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there. The same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after Qadhafi, when it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, when you were a candidate in 2008, I said if I had bin Laden in our view, I would take a shot."
"You said we should ask Pakistan for permission. If we asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten it. It was worth moving heaven and earth to get him."
Tonight it's Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney on foreign affairs, moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS. Watch Mitt Romney vs. Ron Paul on foreign policy and Iran from one of the GOP debates earlier this election cycle. Just so you can see where Mitt used to stand.
Actually, the Tribune has nothing but praise for the Mitt Romney who rounded up all that federal cash for the Olympics, it's the other Mitts that cost him their endorsement:
From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found.
And what of the president Romney would replace? For four years, President Barack Obama has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to pull the nation out of its worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, a deepening crisis he inherited the day he took office.
President Obama also received endorsements from the Denver Post ...
Romney's approach is one of tax cuts for all, drastic Medicare reform, increased defense spending, and what would be catastrophic cuts to other discretionary programs. In the Republican primary, he said he couldn't support a plan that included even $10 in cuts for every $1 in new revenue. To expect the country to balance its budget without additional revenue, in our view, is nothing short of fantasy.
... and the Tampa Bay Times this weekend. The Times hits Romney on his potentially disastrous foreign policy:
Romney suggests Obama has been too timid on foreign policy, but it took courage to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Republican's saber-rattling about the violence in Syria and Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon is particularly concerning. This nation has neither the resources nor the appetite for another discretionary military adventure. Obama's mix of diplomacy, coalition-building and tough economic sanctions remains the smarter approach.
Do newspaper endorsements matter? We'll find out. Unlike Utah, both Colorado and Florida are hotly contested swing states this year.
Video and transcript of Obama's closer last night. Mitt set it up, Obama smacked it out of the park.
OBAMA: Barry, I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over the last four years, has been devoted to this nation that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer.
That's not what I believe. I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world's ever known.
I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded. But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot and everybody should do their fair share and everybody should play by the same rules, because that's how our economy's grown. That's how we built the world's greatest middle class.
And -- and that is part of what's at stake in this election. There's a fundamentally different vision about how we move our country forward.
I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse 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 there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country's dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don't make enough income.
And I want to fight for them. That's what I've been doing for the last four years. Because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.
When my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back and he got a G.I. Bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn't a handout. That was something that advanced the entire country. And I want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities. That's why I'm asking for your vote and that's why I'm asking for another four years.
This is perhaps Obama's best articulation of the key question in this election. At bottom, do Americans want a society where it's anything goes and every man for himself, or one where everyone plays by the same rules and we all have a fair shot at success? That's what all this talk of taxes, healthcare, etc. boils down to. You're on your own, vs. we're all in this together?
I am a Public Health Grad student and I just finished reading Gene Griessman's "Lincoln and Obama". I was surprised to learn the depth of the parallels in these two Presidents' lives. Both acquired the presidency during struggling economic times and war. Both were Washington outsiders and underdogs within their own party. Griessman paints a detailed picture of Obama as a man who not only utilizes Lincoln as a guiding example, but as a man whose experiences and persona are so similar to our great 16th, it is a wonder I never realized it before.
I strongly encourage you to read this book. I feel I learned a great deal about our current president. With the election process in full swing, I feel that it gave me an even greater insight into the man I plan on voting for next month.
“There’s absolutely nothing in this speech. This is a repackaging of language that has been a staple of Romney’s campaign since he threw his hat in the ring,” said James Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations. “If Romney has a foreign policy strategy, he still has not told us what it is. The governor is very fond of saying hope is not a strategy, but that cuts both ways. He didn’t answer two key questions: what he would do differently and why we should expect what he would to work.”
Well obviously, we should expect it to work because Mitt says it should work. And he expects people to hop to and make it work because Mitt is the boss and what Mitt says goes. That's how Mitt would bring his CEO experience to crafting foreign policy ... if your only tool is a hostile takeover, every problem looks like a struggling corporation.
“There’s an awful lot of rhetoric and things but when you get to the specifics, you just get the sense he doesn’t know exactly what tools to use,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on a conference call organized by the Obama campaign. “I just find him very shallow….To those not totally into foreign policy, it sounds pretty good but it’s really full of platitudes.”
As Mitt says, hope is not a strategy. Control-Alt-Delete hasn't worked for his campaign yet and it isn't likely to work in the next 4 weeks. Sometimes you just have to pull the power plug to make the darned thing reboot.
Yes, after all his previous failures, Romney needs to shake the hell out of his foreign policy Etch-A-Sketch at VMI today. Can he shake it hard enough to erase the memories?
In an "interested parties" memo released yesterday, Obama foreign policy advisors Michèle Flournoy and Colin Kahl are not optimistic that Mitt can reboot himself on the foreign policy front.
Today’s latest effort to reboot and reset the Romney foreign policy doesn’t change the fact that he’s repeatedly taken positions outside of the mainstream and often to the right of even George W. Bush. This isn’t surprising. After all, Romney is advised by the same people who were responsible for some of the worst foreign policy failures in American history, including the Iraq War. And now he wants to take us back to the same with-us-or-against-us approach that got us into wars without getting us out of them.
For example, Governor Romney still can’t say what he’d do differently on Iran other than taking us to war. He continues to criticize the President’s timeline in Afghanistan even while saying he’d pursue it as President. His position on Libya has no credibility since he’s been both for and against our Libya policy. And he offers no way forward on Syria other than suggesting that the United States should get more deeply involved in the conflict without defining a strategy.
Governor Romney’s unseemly response to the tragic murder of our Ambassador in Libya raises further questions about his judgment on national security issues. Let’s acknowledge first that international crises happen during every administration, and the real question for voters is who they want to be commander-in-chief when they do. And the clear choice in this election was brought into stark relief when the situation in Benghazi unfolded.
Governor Romney’s first (and second and third and fourth) instinct was to play politics with the tragedy and attempt to score political points in any way he could. As Romney said he would do in that leaked fundraiser video, he has tried to take advantage of an international crisis for pure political gain. That’s not only cynical – it’s offensive.
This is Mitt Romney's third or fourth attempt to reinvent himself and get it right on the foriegn policy front. Maybe that's acceptable in a campaign, especially a losing campaign. But once elected, the President only gets one shot on most foreign policy decisions. When the phone rings at 3 am, the POTUS has to get it right; there's no shaking the Etch-A-Sketch the next day if it turns out the first answer was a dud. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, who do you want answering that 3 am call to the White House? The guy with a well-worn Etch-A-Sketch, or the guy with a proven -- successful -- record on foreign policy?
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate declined because more people found work ...
The job market has been improving, sluggishly but steadily. Jobs have been added for 24 straight months. There are now 325,000 more than when Obama took office.
The numbers of jobs added in July and August were also revised -- upward.
Steady improvement in the employment picture. It's a slower recovery than anyone would wish for -- except Republicans who have done everything possible to slow the economy so they can use it as a tool to defeat Barack Obama -- but still, steady improvement. Things are better now than they were 4 years ago, moving in the right direction, and people know it. That's why Mitt Romney has not been able to turn this election into a referendum on the economy.
President Obama, speaking in Colorado today, pointed out that the Mitt Romney he shared a stage with last night didn't have much in common with the pre-debate Mitt Romney. Based on early reviews, lying is a pretty effective debate plan. For the record, Mitt Romney's campaign actually admits Mitt was pushing misinformation (regular folks call that "lying") to debate viewers last night.
Now, the reason I was in Denver obviously is to see all of you, and it’s always pretty, but we also had our first debate last night. And when I got on to the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.
The real Mitt Romney said we don’t need any more teachers in our classrooms, but – don't boo, vote – but the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers, can’t get enough of them.
The Mitt Romney we all know invested in companies that were called pioneers of outsourcing jobs to other countries, but the guy on stage last night, he said that he doesn’t even know that there are such laws that encourage outsourcing. He’s never heard of them. Never heard of them. Never heard of tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas. He said that if it’s true, he must need a new accounting. Now, we know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant.
So you see, the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for their real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year and that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the last year.
So Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth.
So here’s the truth – Governor Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan without blowing up the deficit or sticking it to the middle class. That’s the math. We can’t afford to go down that road again. We can’t afford another round of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy. We can’t afford to gut out investments in education or clean energy or research and technology. We can’t afford to roll back regulations on Wall Street or on big oil companies or insurance companies. We cannot afford to double down on the same top-down economic policies that got us into this mess. That is not a plan to create jobs, that is not a plan to grow the economy, that is not change, that is a relapse. We don’t want to go back there. We’ve tried it, it didn’t work and we are not going back, we are going forward.
Thirty years of trickle down economics -- cutting taxes for the folks at the top in the vain hope that something (good!) will trickle down to the rest of us -- that's the economic policy that got us into the present hole. The last thing America needs is more tax cuts for people who are already paying very low tax rates, probably lower rates than you and I pay.
Vote D to move forward, R to go back to the bad old days.
Today the Obama administration filed a trade case against China at the WTO, complaining that China unfairly subsidizes cars and auto-parts for export.
Auto parts employment in the United States has dropped by about one-half from 2001 to 2010, as imports from China grew nearly sevenfold over the same period, according to data provided by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
The NYT article makes much of the Ohio auto industry -- they're a swing state, you know, but the auto industry is also a big deal in Alabama. Auto-parts manufacturers directly employ 16,800 people in this state. Add in the impact from associated industries like steel, aluminum, plastics, and electronics and the auto industry supports over 175,000 total jobs or 6.8 percent of the sweet home Alabama’s total employment. That's nothing to sneeze at, and Obama is right to go to bat to keep the playing field level for those workers.
Mitt Romney is also criticizing China's heavy handed trade practices. That criticism rings hollow since Romney himself invested in Chinese companies which exploit the very trade practices he's complaining about, the ones that put American workers at a disadvantage.
At an event today in Cincinnati President Obama calls out the conflict between Mitt Romney's words and his actions on trade with China:
“Now, I understand my opponent has been running around Ohio claiming he’s going to roll up his sleeves and take the fight to China. But here’s the thing: his experience has been owning companies that were called ‘pioneers’ in the business of outsourcing jobs to countries like China. Pioneers! Ohio, you can’t stand up to China when all you’ve done is send them our jobs."
“You can talk a good game, or you can play one – and my experience has been waking up every single day doing everything I can to give American workers a fair shot in the global economy. When other countries don’t play by the rules, we’ve done something about it. We’ve brought more trade cases against China in one term than the previous administration did in two – and we’ve won."
“Earlier this year, I set up a new task force to aggressively go after unfair trade practices that harm our workers – and it’s already delivering. Two months ago, we moved to hold China accountable for unfair trade practices that harm American automakers. And today, my Administration is launching new action against China – this one against illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto parts manufacturing jobs overseas. ... It’s not right; it’s against the rules; and we will not let it stand. American workers build better products than anyone. ‘Made in America’ means something. And when the playing field is level, America will always win.”