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Thread: Election 2012

  1. #1351

    Re: Election 2012

    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  2. #1352

    Re: Election 2012

    April 22, 2012

    The Amnesia Candidate

    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Just how stupid does Mitt Romney think we are? If you’ve been following his campaign from the beginning, that’s a question you have probably asked many times.

    But the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right — but not in the way he intended.

    First of all, many reporters quickly noted a point that Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obama for his predecessor’s policy failure?

    Yes, it does. Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration’s policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don’t remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.

    How does the campaign deal with people who point out the awkward reality that all of the “Obama” job losses took place before any Obama policies had taken effect? The fallback argument — which was rolled out when reporters asked about the factory closure — is that even though Mr. Obama inherited a deeply troubled economy, he should have fixed it by now. That factory is still closed, said a Romney adviser, because of the failure of Obama policies “to really get this economy going again.”

    Actually, that factory would probably still be closed even if the economy had done better — drywall is mainly used in new houses, and while the economy may be coming back, the Bush-era housing bubble isn’t.

    But Mr. Romney’s poor choice of a factory for his photo-op aside, I guess accusing Mr. Obama of not doing enough to promote recovery is a better argument than blaming him for the effects of Bush policies. However, it’s not much better, since Mr. Romney is essentially advocating a return to those very same Bush policies. And he’s hoping that you don’t remember how badly those policies worked.

    For the Bush era didn’t just end in catastrophe; it started off badly, too. Yes, Mr. Obama’s jobs record has been disappointing — but it has been unambiguously better than Mr. Bush’s over the comparable period of his administration.

    This is especially true if you focus on private-sector jobs. Overall employment in the Obama years has been held back by mass layoffs of schoolteachers and other state and local government employees. But private-sector employment has recovered almost all the ground lost in the administration’s early months. That compares favorably with the Bush era: as of March 2004, private employment was still 2.4 million below its level when Mr. Bush took office.

    Oh, and where have those mass layoffs of schoolteachers been taking place? Largely in states controlled by the G.O.P.: 70 percent of public job losses have been either in Texas or in states where Republicans recently took control.

    Which brings me to another aspect of the amnesia campaign: Mr. Romney wants you to attribute all of the shortfalls in economic policy since 2009 (and some that happened in 2008) to the man in the White House, and forget both the role of Republican-controlled state governments and the fact that Mr. Obama has faced scorched-earth political opposition since his first day in office. Basically, the G.O.P. has blocked the administration’s efforts to the maximum extent possible, then turned around and blamed the administration for not doing enough.

    So am I saying that Mr. Obama did everything he could, and that everything would have been fine if he hadn’t faced political opposition? By no means. Even given the political constraints, the administration did less than it could and should have in 2009, especially on housing. Furthermore, Mr. Obama was an active participant in Washington’s destructive “pivot” away from jobs to a focus on deficit reduction.

    And the administration has suffered repeatedly from complacency — taking a few months of good news as an excuse to rest on its laurels rather than hammering home the need for more action. It did that in 2010, it did it in 2011, and to a certain extent it has been doing the same thing this year too. So there is a valid critique one can make of the administration’s handling of the economy.

    But that’s not the critique Mr. Romney is making. Instead, he’s basically attacking Mr. Obama for not acting as if George Bush had been given a third term. Are the American people — and perhaps more to the point, the news media — forgetful enough for that attack to work? I guess we’ll find out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/op...ml?ref=opinion
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  3. #1353

    Re: Election 2012

    We had our Pennsylvania primary this past Tuesday. While the POTUS and Mitt both easily took the state, the real news came in the 182nd Legislative District (this district covers Center City Philadelphia), where Brian Sims won the Democratic nomination for the PA state legislature over 18 term incumbent Babette Josephs. The district is so heavily in the D column that Sims is practically guaranteed election come November.

    It's noteworthy because Sims will be the first member of the gay community elected to state office here in Pennsylvania. Yes, the state where we cling to our guns and religion is finally stepping into the 21st century
    Me and Flavia Pennetta, we got a thing going on

  4. #1354

    Re: Election 2012

    The Wisconsin Republican and architect of the GOP's budget plan has spent a month arguing that his party's proposals to cut programs for the needy while sparing the Defense Department and not raising taxes on the wealthy are in line with the social justice teaching of his own Catholic Church.
    And for just as long, Catholic groups and theologians — and even the Catholic bishops — have been saying that in fact the GOP plan fails to meet the basic "moral criteria" of Catholic teaching.

    Undaunted, Ryan returned to the fray this week. He penned a column on Thursday in the conservative National Catholic Register saying that the House-passed budget reflects "Catholic social truths."

    That same day, he visited Georgetown University, the flagship Jesuit school and decidedly hostile terrain for Ryan's strain of economic libertarianism, where he argued for his budget's priorities despite vocal and visible protests by faculty and students.

    Yet even as Ryan continues to press the point, it seems like an argument he is destined to lose, at least in the realm of theology.

    The chief reason is that Ryan (and other Catholic conservatives and Republicans, like House Speaker John Boehner) has sought to justify his budget priorities in terms of the Catholic principle known as "subsidiarity," but the evidence shows his platform and that principle just don't match up.

    To be sure, the term "subsidiarity" probably does not play a big role in the average Catholic's vocabulary. But since at least the 19th century, the teaching has been central to how the church envisions a just and equitable society functioning in a world dominated by big business and big government, both of which can dehumanize individuals and undermine the common good.

    The principle of subsidiarity was first articulated in 1891 in Pope Leo XIII's landmark social encyclical, Rerum Novarum. Papal statements up through the encyclicals of the current pontiff, Benedict XVI, have continued to reinforce and elaborate on the idea.

    Still, subsidiarity, as theologian Meghan Clark noted, "is perhaps one of the most crucial and most misunderstood in Catholic social teaching."

    The misunderstanding is in part because subsidiarity has two complementary elements: It argues that lower levels of society (individuals, families, communities) should be allowed to carry out social functions that they can fulfill and larger society (state and federal governments), meanwhile, should provide help ("subsidium," is the formal Latin term) to cover things the smaller units cannot.
    Society's decisions should be made, Clark wrote at the Catholic Moral Theology blog, "at the lowest level possible and the highest level necessary." It's not just a matter of ever smaller government, or reflexively devolving responsibilities downward, but of making sure that key societal functions are provided for.

    If Washington has to do it, so be it; if Mayberry can do it, all the better. But if Mayberry can't, then Washington has an obligation to step in.

    "The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfill their duties," says the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

    In recent years, Catholic conservatives, and especially those like Ryan with a libertarian bent, have focused almost exclusively on the first part of the formula to present a kind of laissez-faire version of Catholic economics. In this reading, government-sponsored universal health care and social service programs, among other things, would violate Catholic teaching and infringe on the individual's freedom and duty to work hard and contribute to society.

    University of Dayton theologian Vincent Miller called this interpretation the "careful lobotomization of subsidiarity," while the National Catholic Reporter's Michael Sean Winters memorably likened it to "mere subsidiarity run amok or, better to say, subsidiarity in drag."

    In an interview in early April that prompted the latest debate, Ryan doubled down on his version when he compared subsidiarity to "federalism," "meaning government closest to the people governs best."

    Even a number of Catholic conservatives were prompted to correct the House Budget Committee chairman on that score.

    "Federalism is a principle of political decentralization which often parallels the principle of subsidiarity, but is not identical to it," wrote Stephen P. White of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

    White explained that "subsidiarity is not about exercising power at the lowest possible level so much as it is about locating social responsibility in its proper place…The goal or end of subsidiarity is the proper ordering of society for the common good."


    Moreover, theologians and church leaders point out that subsidiarity without the corresponding principle of solidarity leaves people to fend for themselves, the weak falling prey to the powerful.

    "The right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces," Pope Pius XI wrote in the 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, another keystone for Catholic social teaching on subsidiarity. "For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching."
    In his 1961 encyclical, Mater et Magistra, Pope John XXIII articulated another element of subsidiarity, writing that, "In a system of taxation based on justice and equity, it is fundamental that the burdens be proportioned to the capacity of the people contributing."

    Experts and church leaders agree that none of this corresponds to the Republican budget that Ryan crafted, even though Ryan has echoed many of the terms that the Catholic Church uses.

    But none of this means that the Republican formula won't win the political debate over America's financial course, or that his approach won't revive the economy in the long run, even if it hurts some in the short run.

    Put another way, the ends could indeed justify the means. But that principle goes against Catholic moral theology, too.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...2/1?csp=34news
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  5. #1355
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    Re: Election 2012

    The Catholic Bishops just completely mystify me sometimes. Sometimes I love them, like when they give Paul Ryan the smackdown. And then other times, like the debate over the HHS contraception rule, I'm just completely lost.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  6. #1356
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    Re: Election 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    We had our Pennsylvania primary this past Tuesday. While the POTUS and Mitt both easily took the state, the real news came in the 182nd Legislative District (this district covers Center City Philadelphia), where Brian Sims won the Democratic nomination for the PA state legislature over 18 term incumbent Babette Josephs. The district is so heavily in the D column that Sims is practically guaranteed election come November.

    It's noteworthy because Sims will be the first member of the gay community elected to state office here in Pennsylvania. Yes, the state where we cling to our guns and religion is finally stepping into the 21st century
    Like!
    Hello, Grigor.

  7. #1357

    Re: Election 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    The Catholic Bishops just completely mystify me sometimes. Sometimes I love them, like when they give Paul Ryan the smackdown. And then other times, like the debate over the HHS contraception rule, I'm just completely lost.
    The right wing embrace of the Catholic bishops, leaders of a belief system many of their followers consider idolatry was amusing to me because agree or not, the Catholic Church is pro life womb to tomb. It does not condone the death penalty for example, a position most of the right wing heartily embraces. Rallying around the Church's position on contraception is one thing. Trying to use the doctrine of "subsidiarity" to justify gutting programs for the 99% end up with you getting a smack down and publicly embarrassed like in this case.

    As a Catholic I can say I don't support the Church's view on contraception but like many Catholic women my dissent is a private matter. I do support the Church's consistency in being pro life though unlike the ideologues of the Right like Ryan. I don't think Boehner is an ideologue but he has to support Ryan in the present environment.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  8. #1358

    Re: Election 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    We had our Pennsylvania primary this past Tuesday. While the POTUS and Mitt both easily took the state, the real news came in the 182nd Legislative District (this district covers Center City Philadelphia), where Brian Sims won the Democratic nomination for the PA state legislature over 18 term incumbent Babette Josephs. The district is so heavily in the D column that Sims is practically guaranteed election come November.

    It's noteworthy because Sims will be the first member of the gay community elected to state office here in Pennsylvania. Yes, the state where we cling to our guns and religion is finally stepping into the 21st century
    You're bad.

    I followed that race in the PGN, which is distributed up here. Didn't see any results yet though. What was the vote?


  9. #1359

    Re: Election 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Catholic Church is pro life womb to tomb.
    This is so true, with a single significant exception. It still challenges public policy that an adult who was adopted as a child in a closed adoption has a right to obtain his/her original birth certificate upon becoming an adult. Given the often debilitating psychological damage the denial of which can cause in a grown person's life, I don't find this stance consistent with everything else.


  10. #1360

    Re: Election 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by craighickman View Post
    This is so true, with a single significant exception. It still challenges public policy that an adult who was adopted as a child in a closed adoption has a right to obtain his/her original birth certificate upon becoming an adult. Given the often debilitating psychological damage the denial of which can cause in a grown person's life, I don't find this stance consistent with everything else.
    I have to agree. It really isn't consistent.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  11. #1361

    Re: Election 2012

    ...Mitt Rommney’s campaign held a conference call with reporters today to discuss what the presumed GOP nominee thinks of President Obama’s record on the youth ...and what they have to offer young Americans ...

    “President Obama gets an ‘F’ for failing our youth,” said surrogate Hank Brown, a 72-year-old former Republican senator from Colorado who also served as the president of the University of Colorado. Obama was merely “able to fool” the two-thirds of people under 30 who voted for him in 2008, Brown added, before promising, “You’re going to see a dramatic turnaround on the campuses this year, with much stronger support for the Republican ticket.”

    First, Romney’s surrogates downplayed the importance of issues that directly affect young people. Schock criticized Obama for his “focus on student loan and student debt,” saying the real issue young people care about is jobs. Brown, meanwhile, attacked Obama for not reforming entitlement programs, saying young people should worry about their solvency in the future.

    And, while Romney and Obama agree that Congress should extend a provision currently before Congress to extend lower interest rates on some student loans, Schock was not optimistic about his Republican colleagues’ willingness to pass it. The congressman repeatedly called the issue a distraction, saying, “In the grand scheme of things, it’s not what we ought to be — we shouldn’t allow issues like this to bog down the bigger agenda, which is how do create jobs in this country.” He added: “In the meantime, we need to be focused on the bigger issues.”

    Meanwhile, Schriver suggested the reason tuition costs are going up is because “this president decided to take over the student loan market.” Schriver is referring to a provision passed along with the Affordable Care Act, that removed Wall Street middlemen from the student loan process. Tuition costs were rising long before the law passed in 2010, and the reform actually saves taxpayers money, so Schriver’s claim rings hollow. But Romney himself has suggested that he would roll back this provision, and insert banks once again in the student loan system, where the money comes from taxpayers and the middlemen merely add costs with profit.

    In all, the call mentioned not a single positive program to help young people directly, offering only attacks on Obama and generalized prescriptions for the entire economy.

    (...)

    Romney also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including its provision that allows kids up to 26 years old to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans. More than 2.5 million young adults had already received coverage, as of December, under this part of the law, and would presumably lose it if Romney has his way.

    A new poll from Harvard University shows Obama widening his lead over Romney among voters 18 to 29, now enjoying a 17 point lead, a gain of six points from the last poll in November.
    http://thinkprogress.org/education/2...nference-call/

    The above was followed by this:

    If you’re young and you want to start your own business, Mitt Romney’s has some advice from you: Borrow money from your parents. At a “lecture” for students at Otterbein University in Ohio today, Mitt Romney told students that, his friend, Jimmy John, started a business by borrowing $20,000 from his parents at a low interest rate. Romney suggested anyone in the audience could do the same:
    This kind of devisiveness (sic), this attack of success, is very different than what we’ve seen in our country’s history. We’ve always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.

    http://thinkprogress.org/special/201...money-parents/
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  12. #1362
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    Re: Election 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    The right wing embrace of the Catholic bishops, leaders of a belief system many of their followers consider idolatry was amusing to me because agree or not, the Catholic Church is pro life womb to tomb. It does not condone the death penalty for example, a position most of the right wing heartily embraces. Rallying around the Church's position on contraception is one thing. Trying to use the doctrine of "subsidiarity" to justify gutting programs for the 99% end up with you getting a smack down and publicly embarrassed like in this case.

    As a Catholic I can say I don't support the Church's view on contraception but like many Catholic women my dissent is a private matter. I do support the Church's consistency in being pro life though unlike the ideologues of the Right like Ryan. I don't think Boehner is an ideologue but he has to support Ryan in the present environment.
    I had an interesting conversation with one of my two bosses about this today while I was at the office. She says the U.S. Catholic church will break away from the Vatican. She also believes that the current Pope is a transitional pope whom they didn't expect to live so long and that she is convinced the next Pope will be much more progressive. Not sure I buy any of it. Though I can somewhat envision the U.S. branch of Catholicism breaking away. Maybe. Possibly. But it would be hell on Earth.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  13. #1363

    Re: Election 2012

    The talk about the American Church breaking away has been going on for years. JMHO but I think the Vatican will do everything in it's power to prevent it. I agree that former Cardinal Ratzinger now Benedict XVI is quite conservative but the conservative forces have been on the upswing for a while now. The organization Opus Dei (God's Work?) has taken a lot of the power once held by the Jesuits. They're an extremely conservative lay organization and there are rumors that some of it's members practice self mortification.

    The problem with the US is that Opus Dei may have a lot of influence among certain elements of the Church but the Jesuits still control education.

    Not to say that the Jesuits have a pristine history - far from it - but they're still a powerful force in the US.

    It's going to be interesting to see who is chosen to be the next Pope. The College of Cardinals has been stocked with a lot of conservatives like the new Cardinal of New York who was in the forefront of the anti contraception news here. I'm not sure the next Pope will be as liberal as the American church might want.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  14. #1364
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    Re: Election 2012

    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  15. #1365

    Re: Election 2012

    If it were only that simple.


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