By The Associated Press - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says the congressional fix for widespread flight delays is…
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says the congressional fix for widespread flight delays is an irresponsible way to govern, but he’s prepared to sign the legislation that lawmakers fast-tracked.
He says the bipartisan bill to end furloughs of air traffic controllers is a “Band-Aid” solution rather than a lasting answer to this year’s $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.
The cuts have affected all federal agencies, and flight delays last week left thousands of travellers frustrated and furious and Congress feeling pressured to respond.
By macleans.ca - Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 8:41 PM - 0 Comments
Former presidential nominee talks tears, defeat and failure
In their first TV appearance since election night, Mitt and Ann Romney took questions from Fox News in an interview broadcast earlier today. Here are the highlights:
1. Until eight or nine on the evening of the U.S. election, Mitt Romney was certain he was on his way to the White House. “We were convinced we would win. My heart said we were going to win.”
2. The former Republican presidential nominee said he lost because he could not connect with the minority vote. “We did very well with the majority population but not with the minority populations and that was a real failing, that was a mistake. We didn’t do as good a job as connecting with that audience as we should have.”
3. Ann Romney cried after her husband’s defeat. “The dream was to make a difference,” she explained. ”The dream was to serve.”
4. Romney also confirmed that she declined an invitation to appear on Dancing With the Stars. “I’m not really as flexible as I should be.”
5. One more thing from the wife of the former nominee: “I totally believe at this moment, if Mitt were there in the office, that we would not be facing sequestration right now.”
6. Mitt Romney talked about the “47 per cent” of voters he thought were out of reach. “It was a very unfortunate statement, It’s not what I meant. I didn’t express myself as I wished I would have. You know, when you speak in private, uh, you don’t spend as much time thinking about how something could be twisted and distorted. And it could come out wrong. … There’s no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign.”
7. Romney insists he has no hard feelings toward New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — a Republican who praised Obama. ”Chris was doing what he thought was best for the people of his state. I lost my election because of my campaign, not because of what anybody else did.”
8. Chris Wallace, the Fox News host who scored the interview, says he thinks Mitt is in a better head space than Ann about the election results. “Not to say she’s bitter — and she enjoys her life. Look, they live on the beach, north of San Diego and a bunch of their grandkids are around. You know, they’ve got a pretty great life. But I think she feels the pain and the what-ifs and the hurt more than he does.”
9. That said, Mitt Romney confessed that it kills him not to be in office, “not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done.”10. With his first post-election interview out of the way, Romney returns to the public stage on March 15 in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 6:49 AM - 0 Comments
The Official Republican State of the Union Response by Marco Rubio (as prepared for …
The Official Republican State of the Union Response by Marco Rubio (as prepared for delivery):
Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.
The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.
But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.
Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM - 0 Comments
As Prepared for Delivery –…
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow
As Prepared for Delivery –
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:
Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”
Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before. Continue…
By Jaime Weinman - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:11 AM - 0 Comments
Right-to-work laws target the same labour unions that helped fund Obama’s victory
As Republicans try to rebuild after November’s electoral defeat, one of their priorities for 2013 may be going after the sources of the Democrats’ power—and no target is easier, or more inviting, than labour unions. The first post-election salvo against unions came in Michigan, home to thousands of unionized auto workers. By signing a right-to-work law outlawing requirements that workers pay union fees to work, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder may have inspired other Republican-controlled states. Groups like the pro-business American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which provided the template for Michigan’s law, are already hoping to take the fight to other blue states in 2013.
Weakening unions has been a traditional Republican priority, from 1947’s Taft-Hartley Act that restricted union power, to former president Ronald Reagan’s famous fight with the air-traffic controllers’ union in 1981. But in past decades, there was a countervailing pro-union wing of the party, consisting of moderate northeastern Republicans. Now most are gone, and the party stars tend to align with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who once declared: “I love that we are one of the least unionized states in the country.”
Beyond party ideology, taking on unions has a clear political advantage: right-to-work laws cut off an outside source of funding for the Democratic party—funding that helped drive the get-out-the-vote operations which propelled President Barack Obama to victory in most swing states. But by reducing the amount of money unions can collect by an estimated 20 to 30 per cent, the new Michigan law might make it harder for future Democratic presidential candidates to win the state.
Of course, there are political risks: Mitt Romney’s stance against Obama’s auto bailout may have cost him labour-friendly states like Ohio and Michigan. And while groups like ALEC are already eyeing Republican-controlled Pennsylvania as a possible new right-to-work state, Gov. Tom Corbett says “there is not much of a movement to do it.” Then again, movements can start pretty quickly: Snyder once called such laws “divisive,” and said they were “not on my agenda,” only to change his mind this year. It remains to be seen whether other governors will, too.
By Lee-Anne Goodman - Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 4:21 PM - 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – A new United States Congress took office on Thursday, ready to face…
WASHINGTON – A new United States Congress took office on Thursday, ready to face the same bitter partisan standoffs that plagued the previous congressional session and kept the world on edge during the so-called fiscal cliff crisis.
With the 112th Congress now widely considered one of the most dysfunctional and least productive in decades, the 113th was sworn in amid the customary pomp and circumstance in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
John Boehner, beleaguered speaker of the House of Representatives, narrowly held onto his job despite his icy relations with the Tea Party members of his Republican caucus. Continue…
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM - 0 Comments
Will a blood clot scare stop another presidency run?
The U.S. secretary of state has been making the media rounds saying she’s ready to leave—to be a grandma, to travel for fun, to teach and, above all, to sleep. But nobody quite believes that she isn’t planning another run for the White House. “I really don’t believe that that’s something I will do again,” Hillary Clinton told interviewer Barbara Walters recently. But, asked whether, at the age of 69, she’d be too old to run, she bristled: “I am, thankfully, knock on wood, not only healthy, but have incredible stamina and energy.” Clinton’s hospitalization on Sunday for a blood clot may have cast a shadow on that optimism. The clot stemmed from a concussion she sustained after fainting from dehydration due to a severe stomach virus, and doctors were confident about her recovery. But the string of illnesses has forced her to cancel most of her engagements for the better part of a month, and is an unforeseen setback as she wraps up her tenure as secretary of state.
Of course, Clinton has more than optimism on her side. She exits with one of the highest approval ratings on the national stage, 66 per cent (10 points higher than President Barack Obama), and 57 per cent of Americans say she should run again, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM - 0 Comments
Senator John Kerry will be U.S. President Barack Obama’s nomination for Secretary of State,…
Senator John Kerry will be U.S. President Barack Obama’s nomination for Secretary of State, CNN and ABC news are reporting based on tips from unnamed sources. The White House has not confirmed the reports.
The White House issued a statement late in the week to say that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, had taken herself out of consideration for the role of Secretary of State.
Rice had come under scrutiny recently from everything from her inaccurate explanations of the attacks in Benghazi; to her extensive investments in the oil sector, including a large stake in TransCanada Pipelines.
Senators from both partieshave expressed support for Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
But, as Luiza Ch. Savage reported earlier this week, choosing Kerry presents a dilemma for Obama: should he vacate his Senate seat, there is a good chance it would be won by former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who narrowly lost a bid for the state’s other senate seat this November. With the Democrats’ narrow lead in the Senate, every seat makes a difference.
By Jaime Weinman - Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:11 AM - 0 Comments
After losing two key players in as many weeks, does the grassroots movement carry the same weight?
Is the Tea Party disbanding in the wake of the 2012 election? Maybe not, but the movement has begun losing some of its most powerful supporters. Last week, FreedomWorks, the conservative advocacy group that helped create the Tea Party movement, parted ways with its chairman. Dick Armey, the former House majority leader said he left due to “serious concerns about the ethical and moral behaviour” of FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe. Kibbe had allegedly used staff resources to help write his book, Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, leaving the group little time for actual Tea Party organizing.
The Tea Party also lost its key player in government last week. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a powerful conservative who raised money for many anti-establishment candidates and wrote an article this year for The American Spectator called “Tea Party is the new reality,” announced he was giving up his Senate seat. He had accepted a position to head the Heritage Foundation, a 40-year-old conservative think tank.
Tea Party supporters argue that the movement maintains power in Washington. The Tea Party caucus of the House of Representatives still has 47 members; many candidates DeMint endorsed are in the Senate, including Marco Rubio, a rising Republican star from Florida. But the Tea Party, which was formed to energize the Republican base, may have outlived some of its usefulness. DeMint told the Wall Street Journal that Republicans must reach beyond the base and convince people who don’t already agree with them: “This is an urgent time because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections.”
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:32 AM - 0 Comments
[View the story "Wintour rumour met with a chill on Twitter" on Storify]…
Wintour rumour met with a chill on Twitter
Rumours that Anna Wintour is on the shortlist to be the next U.S. ambassador to the U.K. — or maybe France, some say — have been greeted with downright hostility on the internet and elsewhere. Here’s what Tweeps are saying about the ‘ambassador in Prada’ —
Storified by Maclean’s Magazine · Wed, Dec 05 2012 07:30:57President Obama said to consider Vogue editor Anna Wintour as next ambassador to the U.K. | http://bloom.bg/TGIADFBloomberg NewsArticle: Obama Is Reportedly Considering Anna Wintour for Ambassadorship to UK or France http://pic.twitter.com/8vYSkO4eNicholasSinghSGIs Anna #Wintour the new Pamela Harriman? #France #Obama… #RidiculousThePositionsToBeBought http://bit.ly/SF2jWv http://pic.twitter.com/qw6SMJDrcu_mr2ducksAnyone who knows me knows that I ADORE Anna Wintour. But appointing her as a diplomatic ambassador would just be ridiculous.Bernice McMillanAnna Wintour, an Ambassador? Really give up #Vogue mag b/c Obama asked? Anna, stick to your day job! #toocrazy http://pic.twitter.com/SqlPhIAWParish JMAnna Wintour is a ludicrous pick for US Ambassador to London: the Special Relationship is not a fashion statement http://soc.li/SpAW40kAndy ParkerSo Anna Wintour to become Ambassador to the UK? Is it #fashion truth or publicity for the Vogue HBO documentary? http://pic.twitter.com/LiDhq4ImTFNOWShe just throws a dinner party and becomes ambassador! U gotta love Anna Wintour! http://pic.twitter.com/UBisrnbfLukasBlasbergIf Anna Wintour is appointed US ambassador to the UK, they should retaliate by appointing Russell Brand.David Burge
By Jana Juginovic - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 8:51 PM - 0 Comments
‘I’m never going to be the president,’ says a man some think will be president
America’s newest political rock star dismissed “what ifs” during a visit to the London School of Economics on Monday.
“I’m never going to be the president or the vice-president,” Julian Castro told a largely fawning audience.
Few in the crowd seemed inclined to believe him. To judge by his delivery, he does not believe it himself.
The San Antonio mayor spoke about U.S. leadership in the 21st century — a prophetic subject for someone who has been touted as next Texas governor, U.S. Senator or the first Latino democratic presidential candidate.
Castro spoke candidly about potential Latino Republican rivals. “Of course it will help (Republicans) to have Marco Rubio: he relates well to the Latino experience and he has a bright future and I wish him well.” But Castro stressed it will take more than a face to win the Latino vote. “If Marco Rubio were running against Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush would win.”
If Castro ends up throwing his hat in the Texas governor or senator’s race, he could face Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush, (grandson of George Bush Sr., nephew of George W). The younger Bush, whose mother is Mexican, recently filed papers with the Texas Ethics Commission, a stepping stone to seeking state office.
The Latino vote represents 12 per cent of the U.S. electorate. (President Obama won an overwhelming 71 per cent of that vote.) After losses in the last presidential, senatorial and house elections, Castro says Republicans must change their tone on immigration, healthcare and other issues sensitive to Latino voters. He says he’s convinced the growth of the Hispanic community will eventually turn Texas, one of the reddest of the red states, into a Democrat state.
Castro earned a starring role at this year’s Democratic convention by harnessing the power of that voting block. He recently secured a book deal to tell his family’s success story. It’s an inspiring narrative: his grandmother was a maid and cook, and his single mother put he and his twin brother through Stanford and Harvard. It’s a story similar to another racial ceiling breaker, President Barak Obama.
Castro passed his first test on the international stage, avoiding the Olympic pitfall Mitt Romney fell into when he criticized the security preparations for the London Games. In fact, the ever-smiling politician gave a nod to Romney’s visit as he opened with a bow to the organizers of the London Games for “doing a great job.”
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, October 15, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
Political junkies look to Brooklyn-based blogger who correctly predicted 49 out of 50 states in 2008 election
When a string of new polls came out this week showing Mitt Romney making major gains on the heels of his aggressive debate performance against a subdued President Barack Obama, there was a sense of panic among the President’s supporters. “Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever?” fretted commentator Andrew Sullivan. “On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion.
Democrats mourned and Republicans gloated, but one voice stayed calm amidst the furor.
Nate Silver, a 34-year-old Brooklyn-based statistician and blogger who correctly predicted the results of 49 out of 50 states and every Senate race in the 2008 election, tried to cool emotions on Monday. “According to Twitter, Barack Obama went from a huge favorite at 1 p.m. to a huge underdog at 4 p.m.,” Silver tweeted. “Get a grip, people.”
Silver’s blog, FiveThirtyEight.com (named for the number of electors in the U.S. Electoral College system that technically elects presidents), was licensed by the New York Times after his 2008 success. In a post on Sunday, he counselled caution in over-interpreting the latest polls: “Polling data is often very noisy, and not all polls use equally rigorous methodology. But the polls, as a whole, remain consistent with the idea that they may end up settling where they were before the conventions, with Mr. Obama ahead by about two points. Such an outcome would be in line with what history and the fundamentals of the economy would lead you to expect.”
By Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press - Friday, October 5, 2012 at 12:14 PM - 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, reeling from a poor debate performance, won a valuable…
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, reeling from a poor debate performance, won a valuable reprieve Friday with a reduced unemployment number in September that brought the jobless rate down to a level unseen since January 2009 when he took office.
The new threshold carries more political than economic weight. The Labor Department reported that employers added 114,000 jobs in September, slightly better than expected but still below levels needed to sustain a reduction in unemployment.
But the report held several good signs for Obama as he and rival Mitt Romney enter the final four weeks of the presidential campaign in an election dominated by the economy and high unemployment.
The economy created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than initially estimated, a sign of the volatility of the jobless reports and their unreliability as a snapshot of the economy.
The Labor Department also reported wage growth in September, evidence of more people looking for work.
Still, Romney cast the new reports as further sign of a weak economy under Obama.
“This is not what a real recovery looks like,” he said in a statement, noting that the figures showed fewer jobs created in September than in August and, that if people who have dropped out of the labour force were counted, the unemployment rate would be closer to 11 per cent.
By John Parisella - Monday, September 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM - 0 Comments
Canadians are mourning the passing of Peter Lougheed, premier of oil-rich Alberta from 1971…
Canadians are mourning the passing of Peter Lougheed, premier of oil-rich Alberta from 1971 to 1985. He was a Progressive Conservative leader, so his legacy reflects a progressive and a conservative current of governance, reminiscent of the Republican Party in pre-Reagan days. Reflecting on Lougheed’s contributions, I can’t help but consider what lessons today’s Republicans could draw from his governance.
By Barbara Amiel - Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM - 0 Comments
Family anecdotes sideline frightening issues on the U.S. campaign
Michelle Obama loves her husband. He is the “guy” who had a car so rusted she could see the pavement through a hole in the passenger side door. His only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small. Her own father had multiple sclerosis and had to prop himself up with his walker to shave. Mitt Romney’s father began as a carpenter. His parents were married 64 years and every day his dad put a rose on his wife’s bedside table. She knew he had died when “that morning there was no rose.” Ann Romney has a “deep and abiding love” for Mitt. When they married their dining room table was an ironing board. Ann’s grandfather was a Welsh coal miner. Ann has fought breast cancer and MS. Ann loves her five children. Barack loves his two children. God, it makes me wish for the old Chinese and Russian political model.
Those rows of stern grey men in ill-tailored identical suits whose very middle name was a state secret let alone their marital status. No politburo member talked about the illnesses of their spouses. Evil people, the product of an evil system, but they spared their population the soap opera narrative of happy families. They didn’t talk prayerfully about braving Siberia without overshoes. Indeed, this very week China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping, the man expected to take China’s top post next, has gone missing and you can’t even find his name on some Chinese websites, let alone the diseases his family had.
That total dehumanization was to make government as remote and scary as possible. Even in Western Europe, to be seen without a tie or to take off one’s jacket was to detract from the dignity of political office. Now, it seems, America has decided to explore the lower depths in the other direction—shirtsleeves all the way, and I am fully expecting people in the next election to campaign in swimming trunks.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM - 0 Comments
Luiza Ch. Savage explains why neither Joe Biden nor Paul Ryan are ideal VP choices
Perhaps it should have been a warning. Back in 2008, Joe Biden said of his then-rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” As vice-president, he has been caught on video telling an Indo-American supporter, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent . . . I’m not joking.” (He meant it as a compliment.) And at a campaign stop ahead of the convention, he introduced himself to some Greek Americans as “Joe Bidenopolous,” the “most Greek Irishman” around.
It’s vintage Biden: the glad-handing old-timey pol at ease with voters from all walks of life—and the ham-fisted loudmouth who won’t stop making America cringe.
The vice-presidency, complained John Nance Garner who held the office in the 1930s, isn’t worth a “bucket of warm piss.” Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays a fictional vice-president on HBO’s Veep, sums up the institution as “someone in a seemingly powerful position who is also powerless.”
By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM - 0 Comments
Two days and no chair. At least there’s Kim Kardashian. Rumours abound that in addition to Eva Longoria (famous for her role as domestic tempress Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives) reality television starlet Kim Kardashian (famous for being famous) will also be making an appearance at the Democratic National Convention this week. That’s what Twitter says anyway…
I’ll be at the Official DNC after party this Thurs, September 6 at Club Hush in Charlotte, NC! Excited to see everyone there!! #spon
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) September 5, 2012
By Emma Teitel - Monday, September 3, 2012 at 7:43 AM - 0 Comments
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni lamented the lack of gayness at the Republican National Convention, especially in light of how keen the GOP was to court other minority voters — women and Latinos, in particular. “You certainly didn’t see anyone openly gay on the stage in Tampa,” Bruni wrote on Sunday. (Apparently Marcus Bachmann had a prior engagement). “More to the point,” he wrote, “you didn’t hear mention of gays and lesbians.”
What the RNC lacked in gay voices, however, and more importantly, gay rights, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, is making up for in—well—a hell of a lot of gay people. A total of 534 openly LGBT Democrats—the most in convention history—will take part in the DNC this week (the RNC had roughly two dozen). Charlotte will play host to gay and lesbian caucuses and parties all convention long, and openly gay Wisconsin rep. Tammy Baldwin (vying to become the first openly lesbian senator) is set to speak. In many ways, this convention is shaping up to be a kind of miniature political pride parade.
In fact, so great is the number of gays descending upon Charlotte that popular Conservative radio host and professional bigot Bryan Fischer, (the man who shamed Romney’s only openly gay staffer, Richard Grenell, into resigning) has cancelled his DNC appearance, literally fearing for his life. “I’ll miss the fun, and potentially vigorous interviews with folks on the other side of the aisle,” he said, “but I might live longer this way.”
Let’s hope he’s wrong.
The Democrats are expected to officially write marriage equality into their platform on Tuesday, which could give new life to a viciously negative campaign that desperately needs it. After all, as the Republicans rightly pointed out in Tampa last week, Obama’s lofty oratory doesn’t quite resonate in trying times. The best line in Paul Ryan’s convention speech (and possibly the only one based in reality) was his proclamation that “college graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”
The only problem is that for many Americans—and the LGBT community, in particular — it isn’t Barack Obama who’s preventing them from “getting going” in life, but the GOP.
I spoke with a number of gay and lesbian delegates last night at Unity Charlotte, what is likely to be the convention’s largest and most stereotypically gay event (Beyonce techno remixes were at full blast all night long), and it became clear to me that while the rest of America is increasingly aloof when it comes to Barack Obama’s last four years, the gay community (Log Cabin Republicans excluded) is decidedly not. What was a dissapointment for many Americans, was overall, a victory for the gays:
“With the president coming out for marriage equality,” says 42-year-old Texan Democrat Jeff Strater, “we’ve seen other elected officials come out in support.” In other words, another term of Barack Obama may mean another term of gay-friendly legislation averse to the kind preventing 30-year-old Erin Goldstein from getting married.
Goldstein, a third-generation North Carolinian and lesbian social worker (“I’m Rush Limbaugh’s worst nightmare,” she says) would like to start a family with her partner, but they want to get married first; something they can’t do in North Carolina, where a recently approved constitutional amendment—amendment 1—prohibits same-sex marriage. And they don’t want to move either. “I shouldn’t have to move to Canada to be treated equally,” says Goldstein.
This is a common sentiment among proud gay southerners. LGBT activist Omar Narvaez, from Dallas, Texas, would also like to marry his partner of 16 years, but he can’t because his state outlaws same sex marriage. “I shouldn’t have to move,” he says, echoing Goldstein. Narvaez believes that Barack Obama can and will (if he is elected) repeal DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act). “That’s not going to fix everything,” he says, “but once we get that fixed we will be a little closer.” Elect Romney, he argues, and the goal for equal rights will slip farther and farther away.
This is why the 2008 campaign spirit remains very much alive for this year’s LGBT delegates at the DNC. There is only one party, one leader who recognizes their civil rights. The Romney/Ryan “Comeback Team” is not “coming back” for gay people. And until it does, gays in America have only one viable political option: to look up at their fading Obama posters and hope for change.
By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM - 0 Comments
The Republican National Convention is an opportunity for the GOP to close the gender gap, and convince women it cares more about restoring the economy than controlling their vaginas. Too bad it has already failed. Miserably. Not only because of its recent platform pledge to ban abortions, but because the party’s new matriarch—Ann Romney—gave a speech so old fashioned my grandmother would have gagged. To sum it up, Mitt is master of the universe. Ann would be dead without him. And her fragile teenaged body is a metaphor for the fragile state of the nation:
“He [Mitt] will take us to a better place just as he took me home safely from that dance.” (four score and seven years ago?)
By the end of it I felt less like she wanted us to elect her husband president, and more like she wanted us to marry him.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 11:13 PM - 0 Comments
Ann Romney’s convention speech was very strong, though somewhat uneven. The weakest and most contrived stuff came early in the speech when she did the “just girls” bit trying to overtly and generically appeal to women.
“It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right. It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. [...] You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done…”
“I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!
By Scott Feschuk - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 10:47 PM - 0 Comments
A running diary of the first full day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
2:02 p.m. ET The Republican National Convention begins its Tuesday session with the presentation of colours, followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the National Anthem (performed by a “nationally recognized singer!”), followed by the invocation. Delegates actually cheer during the prayer. “Dear God, bless Mitt Romney and–” Wooooooo! Yaaaaaa! FREEEEEEE BIRD!!!!!! Some housekeeping matters ensue – and then a musical interlude by the house band, led by that G.E. Smith guy who used to be on Saturday Night Live. In the audience, an Ann Coulter lookalike dances amid a sea of white hair and white skin.
2:26 Reince Priebus, the Republican National Chairman, gestures to two debt clocks that have been installed in the Tampa Bay Times Forum. One shows the many trillions in total national debt. The other chronicles how much debt has been accumulated since the start of the convention. Then, using simple math, Priebus demonstrates once and for all how Continue…
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM - 0 Comments
It’s not often a speech by a political spouse can make a real difference in a presidential race. But Ann Romney has a genuine chance to help her husband tonight. If she pulls it off, her speech has the potential be the most important of Republican National Convention. Of all the hundreds of speakers taking the stage in Tampa this week, Ann is the best positioned to dispel Mitt’s robotic image, the cold-hearted capitalist label that the Obama campaign has so effectively pinned on him, and the pounding his party has taken recently with female voters (who prefer Obama over Romney by 50 to 42 per cent according to a recent Gallup poll.)
By Jaime Weinman - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM - 0 Comments
Julián Castro may represent the younger, less white electorate the Democrats see as key to their future.
Julián Castro, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, Texas, is drawing comparisons to Barack Hussein Obama—and not just because they both share a name with a former dictator. When Castro was announced as the keynote speaker at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, stories focused on his background: a Harvard-educated pragmatist who is less left-wing than his mother, Rosie Castro, who heads the Mexican-American civil rights group La Raza Unida. The New York Times, echoing the way people used to speak of Obama, has called Castro the “post-Hispanic Hispanic politician.” Democrats must hope that Castro can do something that Obama hasn’t been able to do: deliver a major demographic advantage over the Republicans.
For 50 years, the Democrats have been losing ground among Caucasian voters. In the 2010 midterms, David Paul Kuhn, with the blog Real Clear Politics, wrote that they “performed worse with whites than in any other congressional election since the Second World War.” Some Democrats have argued the party needs to do more to court the white working class, but others have countered that the party should concentrate on wooing the growing Hispanic population, alienated by the Republicans’ anti-immigration policies. The strategy may have already helped in states like Colorado, which has become more Democratic, and Nevada, where Democratic Sen. Harry Reid managed to win a surprise re-election in 2010, based partly on Latino votes.
That strategy is very likely the reason Castro was chosen to deliver the keynote; it also explains why Obama is campaigning in Texas, a state he has almost no chance of winning. Though Texas hasn’t chosen a Democrat in a statewide election since 1994, it has pockets of Democratic power in urban areas like Castro’s own San Antonio and Houston, which elected an openly gay woman as mayor in 2010. Urban Texas, the Washington Post wrote last month, is “surprisingly fruitful territory” for Obama’s fundraising.
If Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, the keynote speaker for the Democrats in 2008, represented the technocratic moderate Southerners who helped elect Obama the first time around, Castro may represent the younger, less white electorate the Democrats see as key to their future.
Some have already warned that the Democrats can’t take the minority vote for granted: “Assimilation and shifting notions of racial identity could change the equation,” wrote Jamelle Bouie of American Prospect magazine. But the Republicans seem to be going out of their way to create fertile ground for the Democrats with Mexican-Americans. Ted Cruz, the Cuban-American Republican nominee for this year’s U.S. Senate election in Texas, ran a campaign commercial touting his role in helping Texas “execute an illegal alien”—José Medellín, a Mexican citizen. That kind of story provides an opening for politicians like Castro. Plus, he has an identical twin brother, Joaquin, a Texas state representative, so if Julián doesn’t work out, the Democrats could always try again in 2016.
By macleans.ca - Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:10 AM - 0 Comments
1. He was first elected to congress at the age of 28, way back in 1998.
10 things we learned this weekend about 42-year-old Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick:
- He was first elected to congress at the age of 28, way back in 1998.
- He hunts deer with a bow and arrow. Then he makes his own sausages.
- Ryan’s true love is budget-cutting. His plan calls for large reductions in benefits from medicare, the American healthcare benefit for seniors. Ryan is not so interested in reducing America’s defence spending.
- He sleeps in his office during his four-day workweek in Washington, D.C. He maintains his real home in Janesville, Wisconsin, with his wife and three kids.
- He is a faithful adherent to the grueling P90x workout videos, which likely gives him the best abs of anyone ever named on a presidential ticket.
- He opposes the recognition of same-sex marriage, but in 2007 supported a law that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- He once supported the lifting of the trade embargo to Cuba: “If we’re going to have free trade with China, why not Cuba?” he said in 2008. He has since changed his tune.
- His father died at aged 16. This was a turning point for young Ryan, who became rather more serious and industrious.
- He has for many years led attempts to privatize portions of social security, America’s pension plan for most workers.
- He has great hair, potentially making the Romney-Ryan pair the best haired presidential pair of all time.