My Feelings on the First Presidential Debate

Having just watched the debate, I am stunned. Romney outright lied and did a 180 from his campaign positions. I am amazed at how much bullsh*t was spewed from his mouth on topics like social security, Medicare, healthcare reform and reducing the deficit. It was an homage to the past (states’ rights above everything) and an attempt to seem relevent and modern at the same time. I hate to say it, but Romney did well and Obama was off his game.

Why wasn’t President Obama more aggressive? What about calling Romney out on his 47 percent comments? What about Romney’s position on abortion (outlawed in all cases, rape and incest included…just ask his campaign)? Why didn’t the President call Romney out for contradicting himself on healthcare reform? Why was there not a word on climate change or marriage equality?

Mitt Romney does not care about the future of Medicare (ie: “Vouchercare”) nor the disadvantaged family struggling in this economy, and he surely doesn’t care about same-sex families being discriminated against by DOMA. He has been inconsistent throughout the campaign and attempted to seem moderate and in the center in tonight’s debate. His plan for tax cuts alone don’t add up. I guess I’ll have to wait until the next debate to hear more about those issues (hopefully).

I realize that this is politics and that it’s dirty, but what Romney did was gutless. Does he honestly think he can get away with what he said? Time will tell and I hope President Obama is more aggressive during the next debates (and can we please get a new moderator?!).

The Rev. Al Sharpton provided his take on MSNBC after the debate and I couldn’t agree more:

“…Romney’s problem is that this debate is in 2012 not 1812…No doubt Mitt Romney was at his best tonight, but his best is not good enough when you look at the fact that he’s saying that taxes will not go up on the middle class…It will in fact go up on the middle class and [there will be] a much lower rate for the rich…The facts will not bear him out…he stood there all night advocating states’ rights across the board. What is that saying to women about who’s going to decide on women’s issues? What is that saying to minorities about immigration, civil rights…This man went back to the 19th century on states’ rights all night long. When we hear him stand up there and talk about things that are patently contradictory to his position…What I’m surprised at [is that] he’s going to care so much for the poor, so much for the disadvantaged. Would that be the 47 percent that he said were moochers and had no responsibility? …So, his problem is not going to be Barack Obama or Leher [the moderator]. His problem is going to be Mitt Romney because when they play Romney as opposed to the Romney tonight, he’s going to look like a flagrant and blatant flip-flopper.”

Mitt “Out of Touch” Romney

You are a lazy, irresponsible moocher feeding off of the successful in this country and don’t you forget it!

Earlier this week, it was revealed via video leak that earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a room full of wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans are essentially lazy and “entitled” because they don’t pay income taxes. He said he wasn’t even going to try to get their votes because they were going to “vote for this president no matter what” (said with disdain).

“I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney told the donors.

Despite the fact that insulting half the country probably isn’t the best campaign strategy, Romney’s comments highlight just how disconnected and out of touch with average Americans he is.

If you go to college, you are a part of the 47 percent. As a college student (assuming you work a minimum wage job part-time and go to school full-time), you pay no federal income tax.

The other groups of people who don’t pay income taxes: the elderly and the poor. Elderly tax benefits make up 44 percent of that 47 percent figure Romney mentioned. Tax credits for children and the working poor make up another 30.4 percent.

A large majority of the 47 percent is made up of households earning less than $20,000 a year. That number has grown the past few years in light of the economic downturn. The poor, more than any other group, have been hit the hardest.

Social mobility (the ability to climb the economic ladder into success) is at an all-time low. Inversely, the amount of wealthy households paying no federal income tax is at an all-time high.

With economic policies that have solely benefitted the richest in America, the past decade has seen the number of wealthy households NOT paying income taxes skyrocket. Last year alone, 110,000 households making over $200,000 a year paid $0 in federal income taxes. That number includes 7,000 households that made over one million dollars.

Another interesting fact: Eight of the ten states with the highest amount of those who paid no federal income taxes are “red” states, meaning they vote Republican during presidential elections.

What exactly is Mitt Romney trying to accomplish by insulting half the country, including many of his own supporters?
No candidate is perfect and all of them make mistakes or say things they probably should not say. That’s politics and the ugly truth of campaigning.

However, trashing half the country as lazy and entitled is not only the worst campaign strategy, it’s offensive.

We’re slowly coming out of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Families are hurting. Many have been laid off. The prospects have been dim.

Romney’s tax plan calls for massive tax cuts for the wealthy and massive tax hikes for the poor and middle class. If you object, it’s because you’re some kind of parasite. It’s only fair, people!

Mitt Romney doesn’t care about those who have the audacity to be poor or elderly (see the Romney/Ryan Medicare “plan”). His robotic callousness towards the nation’s vulnerable shows what he really thinks of America.

In Romney’s America, only the wealthy deserve the rewards of living here. The traditional idea of everyone being given an equal opportunity to succeed is radically foreign to Mitt Romney. It doesn’t compute.

photo credit: AP

By the way, this blog post was also published as an opinion piece in my university newspaper, The Collegian (CSU Fresno). Feel free to see it here. I’ll be writing opinion pieces for The Collegian every two weeks…I’m pretty excited 😀

Madonna, Mitt Romney & One World Trade Center in One Post

It’s been a little while since my last post and some very interesting things have happened since then. So, here’s my take on a few subjects that piqued my interest.

 

 

Madonna’s New Music Video, “Turn Up The Radio,” Came Out

Because I am a Madonna fan extraordinaire, it is only natural that I blog about her latest work. “Turn Up The Radio,” the third music video and single from her 12th and most recent studio album, MDNA, debuted on VEVO on Monday. In it, we see the Queen of Pop trying to get away from the paparazzi (while channelling a sort of updated ’60s go-go dancer look). The theme may be a bit cliché (escaping life’s troubles through music), but the video itself is different…in a good way. Throughout the video, Madonna embraces different kinds of people, from hipsters to a transgender woman, while riding through the Italian countryside in an old school car (not a car person – don’t know the model 😛 ). No matter who you are, turn up the radio until the speakers blow 😉

 

 

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Mitt Romney? Lie!

This election cycle wouldn’t be complete without some good ‘ole fashioned manipulation and outright lying. The Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney, has many problems, one of which is his venture capital firm, Bain Capital. Under his supervision, thousands lost their jobs and had their lives ruined…but not according to Mitt Romney. He claims he left Bain in 1999 (before they effed up American workers’ lives by sending jobs overseas). There’s a big problem with that version of the story; It’s literally not true. Company documents show Romney in charge of Bain years after he supposedly left.

Then there’s his most recent distortion of reality, this time involving a campaign speech by President Obama. Romney claims the President told small business owners that they did not build their companies, that others are completely responsible for building their businesses. Outrageous, right? Wrong…here’s what President Obama actually said (in context):

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that [public infrastructure].  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”

Leave it to someone like Mitt Romney to turn a message of the goodness of public investments into one of something horrible. Way to go, Mitt.

 

 

One World Trade Center Update

One World Trade Center is expected to top out within the next few weeks. The steel structure has already made it to the top floor, 104 stories above Lower Manhattan. Concrete flooring is being installed above the 93rd floor and the beautiful glass facade that encapsulates the building has risen above the 80th floor. The tower is also 55 percent leased, which is a promising sign since two of the towers in the complex were stalled due to a lack of tenants. It should be noted that the federal government pushed the leased space to 55 percent – it has agreed to occupy six floors, or 270,000 square feet. The Vantone China Center (cultural/business center – 190,000 square feet) and Conde Nast (publisher – 1.2 million square feet) will also call the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere home.

incredible photo of One World Trade Center at sunset – July 2012

Stimulus? What Stimulus?!

It turns out the stimulus worked….I know crazy, right?! Despite slow-but-steady economic growth, many are claiming The Stimulus didn’t work….many who benefitted form the Economic Stimulus and are now claiming credit for it.

On yesterday’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow brilliantly showed her viewers the political hackery of 2012 Presidential Election candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney.

Watch: