Archive for October, 2012
This video was created by the President’s re-election team from footage gathered over a 48 hour period of intensive campaign stops across the country last week. It should be noted that these trips were all scheduled and completed prior to Hurricane Sandy making landfall, which prompted President Obama to immediately suspend his campaign. He is in New Jersey today with Governor Chris Christie, surveying the damage first-hand, and will resume the campaign trail later this week.
The accompanying descriptive of the clip:
- Gotta vote? Go here: http://OFA.BO/Tm1aUv
What’s it like to travel non-stop across the country with the President of the United States? Watch this video to find out then share it with your friends:
President Obama went on a two-day, non-stop “America Forward!” tour with grassroots events in Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia and Ohio. The President talked about the critical choice in this election — moving America forward toward an economy built to last with a strong middle class versus going back to the same policies that crashed our economy in the first place.
This past Saturday, President Obama took one last trip to New Hampshire. I went down to Manchester and got some footage myself; photos are all available here. Here are a few of my clips.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Mitt Romney in 2011 GOP Primary Debate: Federal Disaster Relief For Tornado And Flood Victims Is ‘Immoral,’ ‘Makes No Sense At All’
Watch for yourself (h/t Think Progress).
KING: Governor Romney? You’ve been a chief executive of a state. I was just in Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been in Mississippi and Louisiana and Tennessee and other communities dealing with whether it’s the tornadoes, the flooding, and worse. FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?
ROMNEY: Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.
Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot…
KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.
Since then, we’ve fought our way back. Our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since I took office. Home values are rising again. And our assembly lines are humming once more.
And to make sure America never goes through a crisis like that again, we passed tough new Wall Street reform to end taxpayer-funded bailouts for good.
Wall Street reform also created the first-ever independent consumer watchdog, whose sole job is to look out for you.
That means making sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions like buying a home or paying for college. And it means going after anyone who tries to take advantage of you, or rip you off.
Starting this month, that includes the folks who come up with your credit score.
If you haven’t checked out your credit score recently, you should. It can have a major impact on your life. It can determine whether or not you qualify for a loan or what kind of interest you have to pay. It can even affect your chances at renting an apartment or getting a job.
But here’s the thing: the companies that put your credit score together can make mistakes. They may think you had a loan or a credit card that was never yours. They may think you were late making payments when you were on time. And when they mess up, you’re the one who suffers.
Until this week, if you had a complaint, you took it to the company. Sometimes they listened. Sometimes they didn’t. But that was pretty much it. They were your only real hope.
Not anymore. If you have a complaint about your credit score that hasn’t been properly addressed, you can go to consumerfinance.gov/complaint and let the consumer watchdog know.
Not only will they bring your complaint directly to the company in question, they’ll give you a tracking number, so you can check back and see exactly what’s being done on your behalf.
And fixing your credit score isn’t the only thing they can help with.
If you’re opening a bank account, trying to get a student loan, or applying for a credit card and something doesn’t seem right, you can let them know and they’ll check it out.
If you’re looking to buy a home, and you want to know if you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage, you can give them a call and they’ll get you an answer.
Their only mission is to fight for you. And when needed, they’ll take action.
For example, alongside other regulators, they recently ordered three big credit card companies to return more than $400 million to folks who were deceived or misled into buying things they didn’t want or didn’t understand.
That’s what Wall Street reform is all about – looking out for working families and making sure that everyone is playing by the same rules.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough to stop Republicans in Congress from fighting these reforms. Backed by an army of financial industry lobbyists, they’ve been waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these new rules.
I refuse to let that happen.
I believe that the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history, and that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government.
But I also believe that the free market has never been about taking whatever you want, however you can get it. Alongside our innovative spirit, America only prospers when we meet certain obligations to one another, and when we all play by the same set of rules.
We’ve come too far – and sacrificed too much – to go back to an era of top-down, on-your-own economics. And as long as I’m President, we’re going to keep moving this country forward so that everyone – whether you start a business or punch a clock – can have confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead.
Thanks and have a great weekend.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Weekly Democratic Address by Sen. Chris Johnson (Lincoln): GOP tax policies push costs onto towns, ask taxpayers to foot the bill
When I was growing up my family watched the Wizard of OZ every year. Do you remember the scene in which the curtain is pulled aside revealing the real identity of the wizard, a man with no real wizardry, saying “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”? Well I have to tell you the curtain has been pulled aside again, this time on the economic policies and priorities of the current administration, and the GOP-led legislature.
The truth is that many Maine people are worse off, not better, and paying more for less. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Earlier this month the independent, nonpartisan organization, Maine Center for Economic Policy, released a report analyzing the tax policies and priorities of the last legislature.
Here’s what they found:
Two hundred and seventy thousand Mainers earning $42,000 or less are paying more in taxes.
The wealthiest one percent, earning more than $323,000 a year, are paying a lot less.
And our towns are forced to slash critical town services—letting our local roads crumble, closing or cutting hours at our libraries, or laying off teachers and first responders.
The problem with this slash and burn approach is that, at the end of the day, we are hurting our community. We can all agree to making government more efficient and frugal, but at some point, regardless of how much cutting you do, there is a baseline cost for keeping the lights on and the doors open.
There is a cause and effect to the Republican priority of giving tax breaks to the wealthy; pushing costs onto our towns and asking the local taxpayer to foot the bill.
They’ve created false choices—one where towns are being forced to deplete reserves, cut services, or raise property taxes. It is unfair and not sustainable.
Frankly, the conclusions of this report are not surprising. It confirms what many of us have been feeling across the state, that property taxes are increasing. Towns and taxpayers are feeling the financial squeeze like never before. We are being asked to do more with less—often with so much less, that essential services like police, fire, and rescue are on life support.
I have seen this first hand with the hard choices many of the towns in my district are faced with. Take Damariscotta. Because of the cost shift, they have proposed eliminating the police department in order to save the town money it lost in state revenue sharing. Many residents and local businesses are concerned about what this may mean for their public safety—and rightly so, especially when they have clearly stated their willingness to pay more in property taxes to keep the local police department on duty. Without the cuts from the state, Damariscotta could keep its police department and not pass along a property tax increase.
Other towns have been forced to make similar choices. Just ask Waterville Mayor Karen Heck who had to shed 14 employees as a result of less state revenue coming to her city.
It all comes down to decisions made at the state level. Governor LePage and many legislative Republicans came into office with the promise of cutting taxes, creating more jobs, and getting our economy back on track. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened. While tax cuts have been made–for some–they’ve led to property tax increases for nearly everyone. When cost shifts are ignored by policymakers in Augusta, they are turning their backs on a hard reality faced daily by Maine people. It turns into a State vs. Town game of whack-a-mole.
Since they took over, we have lost more than 2,300 jobs and we still rank at the bottom of the list for personal income growth. Their solutions for fixing Maine’s economy are in fact leaving behind middle class families, and those trying hard to stay in the middle class.
We need economic policies that encourage and prioritize investments for the very things we know will work, like investing in education, R&D, our roads, bridges and high-speed Internet. We need to encourage job growth by making sure our workforce is trained and ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And we also need a realistic tax program considering state and local taxes, that is fair and makes sense.
It is time to pay attention to what’s behind the curtain. It’s time to be realistic, and rely on what our own hearts, brains, and bravery tell us, not trickle-down magic.
This is State Senator Chris Johnson of Somerville. Thank you for listening and have a great weekend.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Audio link here.
Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.
Those who know me know I enjoy reading history – presidential biographies are my favorites. Recently, I spent a few evenings with Bill O’Reilly’s book “Killing Lincoln.” I have read many books on President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination; however, O’Reilly captures this American tragedy, as no other author has. It really is a thrilling read and I recommend the book.
I think there is a lot to be learned from history and I like to think the mistakes and mishaps of the past will not be repeated. But I am not sure this is the case.
For 236 years our constitution has tried to uphold our Founding Fathers intent – to protect Americans rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What I am sure our Founding Fathers did not have in mind is the type of dishonest campaign that those who wish to lead our country and state – both incumbents and challengers – are undertaking.
It’s been called by some, “the mean season.” Don’t get me wrong, our past doesn’t demonstrate that we all have been nice during election season. During the 1864 race, General George McClellan mocked President Lincoln as a “baboon.” The president was also called “two-faced” to which he replied, “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?” Humor aside that was in the middle of the Civil War.
Now, we are in the midst of a different kind of war. Words are the arsenal and they have a potentially devastating consequence to a campaign.
A recent attack ad against State Senate president Kevin Raye who is running against U.S. Representative Mike Michaud falsely claims that Raye spent $20-thousand dollars on a new kitchen at the State House. Even the Portland Press Herald came out in its so-called “truth test” report saying this was a “whopper” of a lie.
There is a difference between calling people names and lying.
The fact is this; we cannot rely on the media to tell us how to vote. While negative ads appear effective I think candidates and PACs are at fault for, at best being deceptive, at worst outright lying, which is not good for Maine or the country.
We have two basic political philosophies – liberal and conservative – but regardless of our views, we must learn to debate the issues with civility and integrity. As Americans, we all want our nation to be strong. And strength is found within its people.
Right now, I’m reading “The American Patriot’s Almanac.” The book shares notable moments and people in our history.
In 1917, Martin Treptow enlisted in the Army to fight in World War I. In his diary he wrote, “The crisis we are facing today…requires our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. And, after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.”
Treptow was killed on the battlefield.
Pat Tillman was a pro football player. In 2000, he set a team record for number of tackles. But after 9/11 he traded his $3 million dollar salary to serve his country. Unfortunately, he was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. As one of Tillman’s coaches said, “The spirit of Pat Tillman is the heart of this country.”
These brave men remind us during this campaign season that we are one nation, and one people. Honesty, integrity and civility are their due for the ultimate sacrifice they and so many other Americans have made. We must never forget, before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans.
Thank you for listening.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
(Shared with Hannah’s kind permission, as the deadline for printing this in the local Brunswick newspapers before the election has passed. ~AP)
As we close in on election day, nerves get frayed, candidates get more desperate, and in my experience, people often say things that are just plain nasty. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case in House District 66 in Brunswick. There is an active Green Party whisper-campaign against Democratic House candidate Mattie Daughtry, urging voters that she is “too young” to competently serve the people of Brunswick. Among the most condescending voices have referred to this hard-working, accomplished 25-year old Brunswick-native as a “little girl.”
I ran for political office when I was 25 years old, and I looked far younger at the time. I was the target of similar remarks from my opponent and his friends, but the people I encountered seemed to appreciate that a woman in her 20’s had moved back to her rural island home. They were impressed that I was interested in their stories and the challenges our communities faced. I was elected by a sizable margin, and in my 8 years in office (before being term-limited) I served my district as a member of the key budget writing Appropriations Committee (at age 25), as the Chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee (at 27), as the House Majority Leader (at 29), and as the Speaker of the Maine House (at 32). In every one of these leadership roles, I earned the respect of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle because I worked hard, did my homework, listened, and always tried to be fair. I was able to accomplish a great deal for the people of my district—regardless of my age.
I also served with a variety of outstanding young leaders like Representative Jeremy Fischer from Presque Isle, who served as the very able Chairman of the Appropriations Committee at the age of 26, and Representative Emily Cain of Orono, who is now the House Democratic Leader and was elected to office at the age of 24. Our retiring senior United States Senator, Olympia Snowe, was elected to the Maine House at the age of 26.
Mattie Daughtry is capable of all of this and more. She has served in a number of important professional and public service roles in her career, and she has proven to be tenacious, hard working, and competent. Whether it was founding a news department at a radio station in college, starting her own small business in Brunswick, or serving as a partner in a consulting firm, Mattie has both initiative and maturity. To call her a “little girl” is insulting.
Maine is the oldest state in the country. We are actively working to attract young people to Maine—and there is an economic urgency to this challenge. The Maine Legislature is typically made up of 70% men, and there are usually very, very few young women in the legislature, compared to the state population.
Instead of making fun of smart, hard-working young women, we should be electing them. I urge the voters of Brunswick to support Mattie Daughtry on November 6th.
Former Speaker of the Maine House
Via Mainers United press release:
President Obama Supports Question 1 in Maine
In a statement, Michael Czin, northeast regional press secretary for the president, said: “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the president believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect. The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1.”
President Obama first announced his support for allowing same-sex couples to marry during an interview with ABC News in May.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told ABC’s Good Morning America.
“President Obama made history earlier this year when he became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage. Today, he spoke out in support of the thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples in Maine who want to accept the responsibility and joy that go along with marriage,” said Matt McTighe, the campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage. “We are grateful for his support.”
Dotty & Harlan Gardner of Machias talk about why marriage matters to them and what it would mean for their granddaughter and her partner, Alexandria. Harlan says, “What has been so good for Dorothy and I is too good not to share with the people we love.”
Via Mainers United press release:
PORTLAND – Harlan Gardner and his wife, Dorothy, return in a new 30-second television advertisement urging voters to vote “Yes” on Question 1, which would allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license while also protecting religious freedom.
Harlan and his family were first featured in a TV ad from GLAD that began airing during the Olympics this summer. The one-minute ad earned Gardner the title of “Maine’s Marriage Hero” from New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.
The original ad has been viewed almost 100,000 times on YouTube.
“While our opponents continue to try to scare and mislead voters with their ads, we believe the best thing we can do is let real Mainers tell their stories about why marriage matters to them,” said Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United for Marriage. “As Harlan says in the first ad, this isn’t about politics, it’s about family, and how we, as people, treat one another.”
The new ad can be viewed at http://www.mainersunited/ads.org. It will begin running statewide today.
Harlan and Dorothy have been married for 59 years and live in Machias. They hope that one day, their granddaughter Katie will be able to legally marry her partner, Alexandria.
“There are four generations of our family sitting around this table,” Harlan says as the ad opens.
“Our granddaughter, Katie, is gay,” Dorothy says. “I would in my lifetime really like to be able to see Katie and Alex get married legally. We want for her what we have. A marriage, not a domestic partnership.”
“What has been so good for Dorothy and I is too good not to share with the people we love,” Harlan says, to close the ad.
Via Obama for America press release:
Former Secretary of State, National Security Adviser, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for re-election today. Powell cited the President’s leadership in bringing us back from the brink of economic collapse, ending the war in Iraq, his plan to end the war in Afghanistan, and his strong record of fighting terrorism as reasons for his endorsement.
ROSE: Will you endorse President Obama this race?
POWELL: Well, you know I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.
ROSE: That’s an endorsement for President Obama for re-election?
POWELL: Yes. And let me say why. When he took over the country was in very, very difficult straits, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos. We had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment would peak a few months later at 10%. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing. The housing industry was starting to collapse, and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising. So I think generally we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude. It doesn’t mean we are problem solved, there are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up. I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on. With respect to Governor Romney, I have the utmost respect to him but as I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with our most significant issue, the economy, it’s essentially let’s cut taxes and compensate for that with other things. But that compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.
Transcript via New York Times. Here are the opening statements:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Good evening from the campus of Lynn University here in Boca Raton, Florida. This is the fourth and last debate of the 2012 campaign, brought to you by the Commission on Presidential Debates. This one’s on foreign policy. I’m Bob Schieffer of CBS News. The questions are mine, and I have not shared them with the candidates or their aides.
The audience has taken a vow of silence — no applause, no reaction of any kind except right now when we welcome President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Gentlemen, your campaigns have agreed to certain rules and they are simple. They have asked me to divide the evening into segments. I’ll pose a question at the beginning of each segment. You will each have two minutes to respond, and then we will have a general discussion until we move to the next segment.
Tonight’s debate, as both of your know, comes on the 50th anniversary of the night that President Kennedy told the world that the Soviet Union had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba — perhaps the closest we’ve ever come to nuclear war. And it is a sobering reminder that every president faces at some point an unexpected threat to our national security from abroad. So let’s begin.
The first segment is the challenge of a changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism. I’m going to put this into two segments, so you’ll have two topic questions within this one segment on that subject. The first question, and it concerns Libya, the controversy over what happened there continues. Four Americans are dead, including an American ambassador. Questions remain. What happened? What caused it? Was it spontaneous?
Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure? Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?
Governor Romney, you said this was an example of an American policy in the Middle East that is unraveling before our very eyes. I’d like to hear each of you give your thoughts on that.
Governor Romney, you won the toss. You go first.
MITT ROMNEY: Thank you, Bob, and thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening. Thank you to Lynn University for welcoming us here, and Mr. President, it’s good to be with you again. We were together at a humorous event a little earlier, and it’s nice to maybe be funny this time not on purpose. We’ll see what happens. (Laughter.)
This is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world and to America in particular, which is to see a — a complete change in the — the — the structure and the — the environment in the Middle East. With the Arab Spring came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation and opportunity for greater participation on the part of women and — and public life and in economic life in the Middle East. But instead we’ve seen in nation after nation a number of disturbing events. Of course, we see in Syria 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military there. We see in — in — in Libya an attack apparently by — well, I think we know now by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead. Our hearts and minds go to them. Mali has been taken over, the northern part of Mali, by al-Qaida-type individuals. We have in — in Egypt a Muslim Brotherhood president.
And so what we’re seeing is a — a — a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region. Of course, the greatest threat of all is Iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. And — and we’re going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president has done. I congratulate him on — on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaida. But we can’t kill our way out of this mess. We’re — we’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the — the world of Islam and — and other parts of the world reject this radical violent extremism which is — it’s really not on the run. It’s certainly not hiding. This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to America long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism.
MR. SCHIEFFER: Mr. President.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, my first job as commander in chief, Bob, is to keep the American people safe, and that’s what we’ve done over the last four years. We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al-Qaida’s core leadership has been decimated.
In addition, we’re now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security, and that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats. Now, with respect to Libya, as I indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, I immediately made sure that, number one, we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm’s way; number two, that we would investigate exactly what happened; and number three, most importantly, that we would go after those who killed Americans, and we would bring them to justice, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
But I think it’s important to step back and think about what happened in Libya. Now, keep in mind that I and Americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to — without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in Iraq — liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed Americans.
And as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying, America’s our friend. We stand with them. Now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of. And you know, Governor Romney, I’m glad that you agree that we have been successful in going after al-Qaida, but I have to tell you that, you know, your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep Americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the Middle East.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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