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Hillary: The Deck is Still Stacked



Hillary Clinton In Iowa, April 2015

Trump’s Pledge


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The Pledge to support any Republican Nominee…this guy want to win this…and he’s a closet liberal willing to appear racist and fascistic to win this nomination. Don’t be surprised that if we wins the nominations the Wall which is now a Fence will become a string of boutique hotels….these guys (Trump as his team) are attempting to make a bee line to winning. And the real backlash…begins now.

Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Would Crush Donald Trump In A 2016 Presidential Match Up


Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Would Crush Donald Trump In A 2016 Presidential Match Up

Thursday, July, 30th, 2015, 3:49 pm
 sanders-trump

A new Quinnipiac University poll found that Bernie Sanders would crush Donald Trump in a potential 2016 general election contest.

According to Quinnipiac University:

– Clinton thumps Trump 48 – 36 percent. She gets 41 percent to Bush’s 42 percent and gets 44 percent to Walker’s 43 percent.

– Biden tops Trump 49 – 37 percent. He gets 43 percent to Bush’s 42 percent and ties Walker 43 – 43 percent.

– Sanders beats Trump 45 – 37 percent. Bush edges Sanders 44 – 39 percent and

– Walker slips past Sanders 42 – 37 percent.

– Trump has the worst favorability rating of any Republican or Democrat, a negative 27 – 59 percent among all voters, with Clinton getting a negative 40 – 51 percent score, her worst ever.

Sanders also posted a new high approval rating of 32%, and the constant negative Republican and media attacks have taken a toll on Hillary Clinton who now has a net (-20) rating on the question of honesty and trustworthiness. In contrast, Sen. Sanders has a net (+18) rating on honesty and trustworthiness.

Bernie Sanders was not supposed to be a serious presidential candidate, but the senator from Vermont would defeat the current Republican leader, and he runs within five points of the other top Republican candidates. The poll confirms that Democrats have the top two candidates in either party. Clinton still beats Sanders by wide margin among Democrats nationally (55%-17%), but the media spent years denying Sanders the respect that he deserves, but the numbers are proving that he is a national political force.

One of the main goals of the Sanders campaign is to build a national populist movement that can take back the government from the Koch brothers and their oligarchic allies. Donald Trump is the embodiment of the entitled billionaires that Bernie Sanders is campaigning against. The poll demonstrates the power of the Sanders grassroots populist message.

The success of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign reflects the nation’s move left. Sanders would beat the billionaire, as the American people want a president who will speak for them instead of a reality television star who is running for president because he is “really rich.”

Our Favorite Image of the Campaign So Far


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Here is Hillary Clinton with a new, glamourous haircut….cuuuuute!

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Bernie: Because Fuck This Shit


Bernie

Bernie: Because Fuck This Shit

This is kind of a campaign sign first.

The Trump Leads in the Polls Thing: Media Hype or the Real Deal


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While this is definitely the big story in American politics today, the Bushes will not take this lying down. What really matters? Are the majority of Americans as thrilled with Marriage Equality and Obamacare as many of us are….or is there…as a great music writer out there recently suggested, a large, seething part of the public, possibly a “Silent Majority” (Sigh), that feels rolled over right now….if there is…..this story has to be taken more seriously than many critics who call this dude a “Buffoon” would suggest. I think the progressive revolution will continue with Hillary….and I can’t see a real estate developer married to, you know, Melania winning….and the Repubican establishment behind Jeb is gonna do everything to blow this guy’s toupee off…most people do believe Jeb’ll get the nomination…but this is actually very exciting politics and I’m not completely sure this guy will be toast a year from now.

From the Hill July 9th 2015

Media coverage of Donald Trump’s controversial immigration remarks have lifted the GOP presidential candidate to the top of the Republican field, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll.

Trump was the preferred GOP nominee for president for 15 percent of respondents — 4 points ahead of former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), who were tied for second place.

Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) shared the third spot with 9 percent each.

 

In addition to being the first choice for the majority of likely voters who participated in the poll, Trump was also the primary second choice for those who preferred another candidate as their nominee.
12 percent of respondents said Trump was second in line for their vote, while only 7 percent picked either Bush or Paul as their safety candidate.

While Trump may be on top this week, registered Republican voters gave him a very weak chance of holding on to that spot in the long run.

The vast majority of respondents — 29 percent — said they believed Jeb Bush would ultimately claim the GOP presidential nomination. Only 7 percent said the same about Trump.

Unlike other polling companies, YouGov relies on a preselected pool of registered voters from which it pulls respondents at random.

Though this methodology has been called into question by some, the results of this poll are in line with other surveys, including one from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling, which gave Trump a comfortable lead in North Carolina.

TAGS:Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, 2016 Polls
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Trump’s First Campaign Apperance: Manchester New Hampshire


DJ IN New hamspsire

 

The sign lifted to the camera reads “Mexicans are People Not Criminals” THe Donald is off to a bumpy start at Manchester Community College on June 19, 2015

The 2015 State of the Union Address


 

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

 

 

We are fifteen years into this new century.  Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world.  It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

 

But tonight, we turn the page.

 

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.  Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.  More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

 

Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.  Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, fewer than 15,000 remain.  And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe.  We are humbled and grateful for your service.

 

America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:

 

The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

 

At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.  It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.

 

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?  Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?

 

Will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing?  Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet?

 

Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another – or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled America forward?

 

In two weeks, I will send this Congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan.  And in the months ahead, I’ll crisscross the country making a case for those ideas.

 

So tonight, I want to focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us.

 

It begins with our economy.

 

Seven years ago, Rebekah and Ben Erler of Minneapolis were newlyweds.  She waited tables.  He worked construction.  Their first child, Jack, was on the way.

 

They were young and in love in America, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

 

“If only we had known,” Rebekah wrote to me last spring, “what was about to happen to the housing and construction market.”

 

As the crisis worsened, Ben’s business dried up, so he took what jobs he could find, even if they kept him on the road for long stretches of time.  Rebekah took out student loans, enrolled in community college, and retrained for a new career.  They sacrificed for each other.  And slowly, it paid off.  They bought their first home.  They had a second son, Henry.  Rebekah got a better job, and then a raise.  Ben is back in construction – and home for dinner every night.

 

“It is amazing,” Rebekah wrote, “what you can bounce back from when you have to…we are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.”

 

We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.

 

America, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story.  They represent the millions who have worked hard, and scrimped, and sacrificed, and retooled.  You are the reason I ran for this office.  You’re the people I was thinking of six years ago today, in the darkest months of the crisis, when I stood on the steps of this Capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation.  And it’s been your effort and resilience that has made it possible for our country to emerge stronger.

 

We believed we could reverse the tide of outsourcing, and draw new jobs to our shores.  And over the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs.

 

We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet.  And today, America is number one in oil and gas.  America is number one in wind power.  Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008.  And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.

 

We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world.  And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record.  Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high.  And more Americans finish college than ever before.

 

We believed that sensible regulations could prevent another crisis, shield families from ruin, and encourage fair competition.  Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices.  And in the past year alone, about ten million uninsured Americans finally gained the security of health coverage.

At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits.  Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years.

 

So the verdict is clear.  Middle-class economics works.  Expanding opportunity works.  And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.  We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns.  We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix.  And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, it will earn my veto.

 

Today, thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives.  Wages are finally starting to rise again.  We know that more small business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.  But here’s the thing – those of us here tonight, we need to set our sights higher than just making sure government doesn’t halt the progress we’re making.  We need to do more than just do no harm.  Tonight, together, let’s do more to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American.

 

Because families like Rebekah’s still need our help.  She and Ben are working as hard as ever, but have to forego vacations and a new car so they can pay off student loans and save for retirement.  Basic childcare for Jack and Henry costs more than their mortgage, and almost as much as a year at the University of Minnesota.  Like millions of hardworking Americans, Rebekah isn’t asking for a handout, but she is asking that we look for more ways to help families get ahead.

 

In fact, at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances, and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot.  We set up worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity.  We gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure and the internet – tools they needed to go as far as their effort will take them.

 

That’s what middle-class economics is – the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.  We don’t just want everyone to share in America’s success – we want everyone to contribute to our success.

 

So what does middle-class economics require in our time?

 

First – middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change.  That means helping folks afford childcare, college, health care, a home, retirement – and my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year.

 

Here’s one example.  During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority – so this country provided universal childcare.  In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever.  It’s not a nice-to-have – it’s a must-have.  It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.  And that’s why my plan will make quality childcare more available, and more affordable, for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America – by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.

 

Here’s another example.  Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.  Forty-three million workers have no paid sick leave.  Forty-three million.  Think about that.  And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home.  So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own.  And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington.  Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave.  It’s the right thing to do.

 

Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages.  That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.  Really.  It’s 2015.  It’s time.  We still need to make sure employees get the overtime they’ve earned.  And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this:  If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.  If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.

 

These ideas won’t make everybody rich, or relieve every hardship.  That’s not the job of government.  To give working families a fair shot, we’ll still need more employers to see beyond next quarter’s earnings and recognize that investing in their workforce is in their company’s long-term interest.  We still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions, and give American workers a voice.  But things like child care and sick leave and equal pay; things like lower mortgage premiums and a higher minimum wage – these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families.  That is a fact.  And that’s what all of us – Republicans and Democrats alike – were sent here to do.

 

Second, to make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills.

 

America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college, and trained the best workforce in the world.  But in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to do more.

 

By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education.  Two in three.  And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need.  It’s not fair to them, and it’s not smart for our future.

 

That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college – to zero.

 

Forty percent of our college students choose community college.  Some are young and starting out.  Some are older and looking for a better job.  Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market.  Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt.  Understand, you’ve got to earn it – you’ve got to keep your grades up and graduate on time.  Tennessee, a state with Republican leadership, and Chicago, a city with Democratic leadership, are showing that free community college is possible.  I want to spread that idea all across America, so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today.  And I want to work with this Congress, to make sure Americans already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments, so that student debt doesn’t derail anyone’s dreams.

 

Thanks to Vice President Biden’s great work to update our job training system, we’re connecting community colleges with local employers to train workers to fill high-paying jobs like coding, and nursing, and robotics.  Tonight, I’m also asking more businesses to follow the lead of companies like CVS and UPS, and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships – opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs even if they don’t have a higher education.

 

And as a new generation of veterans comes home, we owe them every opportunity to live the American Dream they helped defend.  Already, we’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care.  We’re slashing the backlog that had too many veterans waiting years to get the benefits they need, and we’re making it easier for vets to translate their training and experience into civilian jobs.  Joining Forces, the national campaign launched by Michelle and Jill Biden, has helped nearly 700,000 veterans and military spouses get new jobs.  So to every CEO in America, let me repeat:  If you want somebody who’s going to get the job done, hire a veteran.

 

Finally, as we better train our workers, we need the new economy to keep churning out high-wage jobs for our workers to fill.

 

Since 2010, America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all advanced economies combined.  Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs.  Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming.  But there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn’t even exist ten or twenty years ago – jobs at companies like Google, and eBay, and Tesla.

 

So no one knows for certain which industries will generate the jobs of the future.  But we do know we want them here in America.  That’s why the third part of middle-class economics is about building the most competitive economy anywhere, the place where businesses want to locate and hire.

 

21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure – modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.  Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this.  So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline.  Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.

 

21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas.  Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages.  But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region.  That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage.  Why would we let that happen?  We should write those rules.  We should level the playing field.  That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair.

 

Look, I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense.  But ninety-five percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and we can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities.  More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China.  Let’s give them one more reason to get it done.

 

21st century businesses will rely on American science, technology, research and development.  I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine – one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.  In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable.  Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes – and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.

 

I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.

 

I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs – converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay.  Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars.  In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space.  Good luck, Captain – and make sure to Instagram it.

 

Now, the truth is, when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, I know there’s bipartisan support in this chamber.  Members of both parties have told me so.  Where we too often run onto the rocks is how to pay for these investments.  As Americans, we don’t mind paying our fair share of taxes, as long as everybody else does, too.  But for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight.  They’ve riddled it with giveaways the superrich don’t need, denying a break to middle class families who do.

 

This year, we have an opportunity to change that.  Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America.  Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home.  Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford.  And let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth.  We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college.  We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together.

 

Helping hardworking families make ends meet. Giving them the tools they need for good-paying jobs in this new economy.  Maintaining the conditions for growth and competitiveness.  This is where America needs to go.  I believe it’s where the American people want to go.  It will make our economy stronger a year from now, fifteen years from now, and deep into the century ahead.

 

Of course, if there’s one thing this new century has taught us, it’s that we cannot separate our work at home from challenges beyond our shores.

 

My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of America.  In doing so, the question is not whether America leads in the world, but how.  When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military – then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world.  That’s what our enemies want us to do.

 

I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership.  We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents.  That’s exactly what we’re doing right now – and around the globe, it is making a difference.

 

First, we stand united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists – from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.  We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.

 

At the same time, we’ve learned some costly lessons over the last thirteen years.

 

Instead of Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan, we’ve trained their security forces, who’ve now taken the lead, and we’ve honored our troops’ sacrifice by supporting that country’s first democratic transition.  Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America.  In Iraq and Syria, American leadership – including our military power – is stopping ISIL’s advance.  Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.  We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.  This effort will take time.  It will require focus.  But we will succeed.  And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.

 

Second, we are demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy.  We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small – by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.  Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength.  Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.

 

That’s how America leads – not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.

 

In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date.  When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new.  Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.  And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.  As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of “small steps.”  These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba.  And after years in prison, we’re overjoyed that Alan Gross is back where he belongs.  Welcome home, Alan.

 

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.  Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies – including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict.  There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.  But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.  It doesn’t make sense.  That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress.  The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.

 

Third, we’re looking beyond the issues that have consumed us in the past to shape the coming century.

 

No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids.  We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism.  And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.  If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable.  If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.

 

In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola – saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease.  I couldn’t be prouder of them, and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts.  But the job is not yet done – and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.

 

In the Asia Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules – in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, and how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief.  And no challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

 

2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record.  Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does – 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.

 

I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act.  Well, I’m not a scientist, either.  But you know what – I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities.  The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.  The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.  We should act like it.

 

That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it.  That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.  And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.  I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action.  In Beijing, we made an historic announcement – the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions.  And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.

 

There’s one last pillar to our leadership – and that’s the example of our values.

 

As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.  It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.  It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims – the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.  That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.

 

As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice – so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit.  Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of GTMO in half.  Now it’s time to finish the job.  And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down.  It’s not who we are.

 

As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties – and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks.  So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I haven’t.  As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse.  And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.

 

Looking to the future instead of the past.  Making sure we match our power with diplomacy, and use force wisely.  Building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities.  Leading – always – with the example of our values.  That’s what makes us exceptional.  That’s what keeps us strong.  And that’s why we must keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards – our own.

 

You know, just over a decade ago, I gave a speech in Boston where I said there wasn’t a liberal America, or a conservative America; a black America or a white America – but a United States of America.  I said this because I had seen it in my own life, in a nation that gave someone like me a chance; because I grew up in Hawaii, a melting pot of races and customs; because I made Illinois my home – a state of small towns, rich farmland, and one of the world’s great cities; a microcosm of the country where Democrats and Republicans and Independents, good people of every ethnicity and every faith, share certain bedrock values.

 

Over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn’t delivered on this vision.  How ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever.  It’s held up as proof not just of my own flaws – of which there are many – but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, and naïve, and that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it.

 

I know how tempting such cynicism may be.  But I still think the cynics are wrong.

 

I still believe that we are one people.  I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long.  I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best.  I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California; and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London.  I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown; in Boston, West, Texas, and West Virginia.  I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard.  I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.

 

So I know the good, and optimistic, and big-hearted generosity of the American people who, every day, live the idea that we are our brother’s keeper, and our sister’s keeper.  And I know they expect those of us who serve here to set a better example.

 

So the question for those of us here tonight is how we, all of us, can better reflect America’s hopes.  I’ve served in Congress with many of you.  I know many of you well.  There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle.  And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for – arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.

 

Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns.  Imagine if we did something different.

 

Understand – a better politics isn’t one where Democrats abandon their agenda or Republicans simply embrace mine.

 

A better politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears.

 

A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.

 

A better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter, and spend more time lifting young people up, with a sense of purpose and possibility, and asking them to join in the great mission of building America.

 

If we’re going to have arguments, let’s have arguments – but let’s make them debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country.

 

We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care she needs.

 

Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

 

We may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred; that it’s being denied to too many; and that, on this 50thanniversary of the great march from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, to make voting easier for every single American.

 

We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York.  But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed.  Surely we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift.  Surely we can agree it’s a good thing that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together, and use that as a starting point for Democrats and Republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform America’s criminal justice system so that it protects and serves us all.

 

That’s a better politics.  That’s how we start rebuilding trust.  That’s how we move this country forward.  That’s what the American people want.  That’s what they deserve.

 

I have no more campaigns to run.  My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol – to do what I believe is best for America.  If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand.  If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree.  And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.

 

Because I want this chamber, this city, to reflect the truth – that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity of spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, and help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world.

 

I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood:  your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids.

 

I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen – man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, immigrant and Native American, gay and straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability.

 

I want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true:  that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states; that we are the United States of America.

 

I want them to grow up in a country where a young mom like Rebekah can sit down and write a letter to her President with a story to sum up these past six years:

 

“It is amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to…we are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.”

 

My fellow Americans, we too are a strong, tight-knit family.  We, too, have made it through some hard times.  Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America.  We’ve laid a new foundation.  A brighter future is ours to write.  Let’s begin this new chapter – together – and let’s start the work right now.

 

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this country we love.

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A Summation of 2012 Capaign Videos #1


In the third and final presidential debate between President Obama and GOP challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said the word “peace” or “peaceful” seven times, including one instance where he used those words three times in the space of two sentences.

But when asked by moderator Bob Schieffer about his “strategy” on foreign policy, Romney defaulted to violence as his first choice and noted “to kill them” [“bad guys”] was his strategy.

It is simply unconscionable to keep saying “peace, peace” when you mean war and the use of force as your first choice.

“They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, “’Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace,” lamented the biblical prophet Jeremiah in a different context. (6:14)

Peace, peace, said Romney, but there was no peace actually in evidence.

The use of force, up to and including war-making, is one of the most morally serious undertakings a president, and a nation, can undertake. Lives are lost, lives are ruined, countries are devastated, perhaps for generations, and the risks of escalation to global conflict looms.

But Romney pivoted to peace in this third presidential debate for a different reason, and he even explained why. He said, “Today, war is an election loser.”

This was the most remarkable statement made by Romney during these 90 minutes. He was transparent about the fact that his newly found commitment to the “principles of peace” was “[b]ecause when there are elections, people tend to vote for peace. They don’t vote for war.” That’s as true in domestic elections, as in foreign elections, as Romney well knows because I am sure his pollsters have told him today, war is a loser even for Republicans.

In 2012, a majority of Republicans, polling shows, now oppose the Afghan war and think it was a mistake.

This is the real reason Romney said “peace” or “peaceful” seven times. But it could be seventy-times seven, and it was clear, even within this third presidential debate, that violence, not peace, was Romney’s default.

In a response to a question from the moderator on the changing Middle East, Romney noted “[w]e can’t kill our way out of this mess. But in very the same segment of the debate, he said that “my strategy is pretty straightforward, which is to go after the bad guys, to make sure we do our very best to interrupt them, to — to kill them, to take them out of the picture.”

Thus, Romney, by your own words your strategy actually is to “kill your way out of this mess.” It takes more than saying the word “peace” to be in favor of the painstaking processes that make for peace. Your advisers on foreign policy are, according to General Colin Powell, “quite far to the right” and include many of the former Bush-Cheney advisers who got the United States into two wars in eight years and exploded the deficit.

The Brookings Institute, staunchly bipartisan in its approaches to foreign policy issues, posted this summary of Romney’s approach to foreign policy, and Iran in particular. “Gratuitous swagger on Iran has long been a part of the Romney repertoire. He has likened the Islamic Republic with the Soviet Union’s ‘evil empire,’ tossing in an analogy to Nazi Germany for good measure.”

Evoking “evil” has long been a staple of Republican bellicosity, as the attack on Iraq was justified, retroactively, because Saddam Hussein showed he was “evil.” That was, of course, only after no “weapons of mass destruction” were found in Iraq.

None of his previous speeches and positions kept Romney from saying, in the third presidential debate, “our purpose is to make sure the world is more — is peaceful. We want a peaceful planet.” And he indicated he, as a President, would be “promoting the principles of peace.”

Unfortunately, Romney followed this triune use of the words for peace by calling for more military spending. Schieffer underlined this by asking, “Governor, you say you want a bigger military. You want a bigger Navy. You don’t want to cut defense spending. What I want to ask you — we were talking about financial problems in this country. Where are you going to get the money?” The governor gave no specifics in reply.

Over and over again, since the time of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have exploded the deficit by grossly inflating military spending and refusing to find ways to pay for it.

Romney showed his plan is more of the same.

Both President Obama referred to just war theory and war as “last resort,” remarking “The disagreement I have with Governor Romney is that, during the course of this campaign, he’s often talked as if we should take premature military action. I think that would be a mistake, because when I’ve sent young men and women into harm’s way, I always understand that that is the last resort, not the first resort.”

President Obama knows just war theory and just peace theory quite well, as he showed in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. I have called this complex combination of approaches the “Obama doctrine.”

So, by contrast, what is the “Romney doctrine?” Romney apparently also subscribes, at least for the purposes of the third presidential debate, to the “Obama doctrine,” as he said, re “Iran,” he would use “peaceful and diplomatic means. Of course, a military action is the last resort.”

Of course. But this is Romney position now, as he stated, taken for the purpose of winning the election. To quote Romney again, “War does not win elections.”

I found Romney’s pivot from “gratuitous swagger” and bellicose language to saying peace and peaceful over and over to be completely unconscionable. Romney’s ability to take any position for political gain is now, for me, evidence of a severe character flaw.

I wish to God “[w]ar does not win elections.” But even that is not always true.

Former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (1998-2008), the Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is professor of theology at Chicago Theological Seminary and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress .

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Mitt Romney and Binders Full of Women


Mitt Romney: Throwing Binders full of Women at the Glass Ceiling.

In the October 16th debate at Hoffstra university Mitt Romney mentioned binders full of women. Here are the best memes that came out of that of which there are hundreds of thousands…and a story on the subject from the Times published about an hour ago. Here are 5 of the best memes we’ve seen.

 

 

 

Now that “binders full of women” has officially become the “Big Bird” of the second presidential debate — the line that the president and his surrogates are quoting on the stump, supposedly as evidence of Mitt Romney’s extremism and his back-to-the-1950s reactionary worldview — and before it’s eclipsed by something else from Monday’s looming foreign policy showdown, it’s worth pausing a moment to reflect on the strangeness of how partisan psychology works during these last, lunatic days of an election cycle.

There have been plenty of moments during this campaign cycle when Romney delivered some line or another that really did fit the caricature that Democrats have been sketching of him, with the famous “47 percent” monologue being the most deservedly devastating example. But the “binders full of women” line was nothing remotely like this. Instead, it was an amusingly maladroit phrase that was woven into a full-on pander to exactly the kind of concerns that liberals are often more likely than conservatives to argue that politicians should address — concerns about workplace diversity, female advancement, the glass ceiling, work-life balance, you name it.

Sure, the first half of Romney’s answer may have overstated how pro-active he actually was in recruiting female candidates for positions in his Massachusetts administration, but the fact that he relied on a binder put together by a women’s group was a case study in exactly the kind of behavior that feminists, in particular, tend to argue that we need more of from executives and hiring managers. Writing for New York on Wednesday, Ann Friedman bravely stepped outside of the partisan bubble to make exactly this point:

Boston journalist David Bernstein reports that while Romney did indeed find himself with a binder full of women’s names, it wasn’t something he requested. The binder was put together by MassGAP, a bipartisan group of women who joined forces in 2002 to push Romney’s incoming administration to hire more women. Did you catch that? The binder of women was assembled by women and pushed onto Romney’s desk, unsolicited. When we mock Romney’s reliance on it, we’re actually mocking a concerted strategy by an accomplished group of women to diversify their state government. Oops.

The binder-full-of-names approach is a time-honored way of getting people (mostly men, sure, but also women) in positions of power to do more than pay lip service to the idea of diversity. In my own industry, I got so sick of hearing male editors say over and over that they didn’t know or couldn’t find any great women journalists, so I created an online compendium of recent work by women. A digital binder full of women journalists, if you will. I have no idea if editors have turned to it when they’re looking to assign articles, but I do know that its very existence disproves a classic excuse for lack of gender balance in magazine bylines. It answers a very stupid but persistent question: Where are the women writers? Right here, in this binder that I can show to you.

The second half of Romney’s answer, meanwhile, was essentially an endorsement of the kind of female-friendly workplaces that featured so prominently in, say, Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much-discussed call for making the work-life balance easier on working mothers. You can argue with Slaughter’s “having it all” framing (I certainly did) but the issue she’s talking about —how to help women navigate the workplace while their kids are young — is about as far from a reactionary concern as you can. And what Romney said about it is exactly the kind of thing that our leadership class, both corporate and political, should be saying:

… one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.

She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.

In the land of the partisan mind, of course, this part of Romney’s answer has likewise been invoked a sign of his out-of-touch “Donna Reed in the kitchen, Dad in the barcalounger” view of women — because maybe wives don’t want to make the dinner, governor! Maybe they want to be the ones working late at the office! But back in nonpartisan reality, both working mothers and stay-at-home mothers are likely to cite part-time rather than full-time work as their ideal professional situation. Not necessarily because they want to cook more meals for their children, true, but almost certainly because they like the idea of “being with them when they get home from,” just as Romney put it. Overall, the idea that the Republican nominee is somehow out of touch with contemporary life because he believes that female voters (especially, I dunno, blue-collar female voters living paycheck to paycheck in Ohio …) would like more flexible work schedules is itself completely out of touch with contemporary life.

The real problem with Romney’s comments about workplace and family issues is that (as is so often the case) there wasn’t any policy meat on the bone. (The cause of work-life balance would be dramatically furthered if Republicans actually backed the kind of family-friendly tax reform that certain voices on the right have been championing these last few years — but alas, no such luck.) And if liberals were using this gap between his pander and his actual promises to hit Romney as hopelessly light on substance (and to be fair, some are), then they would be on completely solid ground. But the line the Obama campaign is mostly taking instead — that this is “Father Knows Best” unleashed, and patriarchy red in tooth and claw — is a case study in the black-is-white, up-is-down thinking that we’ve come to expect from this most wonderful time of the political year.

 

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