As many commentators have noted today, President Obama showed up to last night’s debate with an attitude. He was in command of the room, and he gave his supporters a much-needed boost in morale. He also drew important distinctions between his vision for economic stability and what is being offered by his opponent. He struck the right tone as he noted, time and again, the inconsistencies in Governor Romney’s ever-changing positions on taxes, health care, immigration, pay equity and access to contraceptives.
The Obama-Biden re-election campaign has been apprehensive about putting the President in a position where he comes across as an “Angry Black Man.” But last night, it appeared the campaign was willing to let the Vice President unleash his “angry old (white) man with progressive-populist tendencies".
In the past 36 hours, a lot has been said about the President’s baffling performance during Wednesday night's debate. There were numerous missed opportunities: Why didn’t the President mention Bain? The 47% gaffe? Why did he let Gov. Romney get away with so many outright lies, about the thinly-veiled ‘death panels’ reference, about Medicare cuts, about green energy investments? And no mention of the housing crisis?
On the eve of Labor Day, a certain story provocatively titled “Who Wears the Pants in Today’s Economy?” caught my eye. It inspired me to try out a new Labor Day slogan: “Women and men of the world unite and fight for a more humane economy. You have nothing to lose but your pants!"
In honor of Mitt Romney's announcement of Paul Ryan as his running-mate, I looked back in the archives and found the following blog posting about the "Ryan Budget." As we noted in March, It is a pretty radical and morally-bankrupt proposal. If Romney and Ryan want to focus the debate on budgets and deficits, I say, let's seize the moment and put forward our vision for a moral, just and democratic approach to shaping our nation's budget priorities.
[From 03/29/12, Shredding the Social Safety-Net, Again]
First of all, thank you, workers, organizers, students, activists, farmers and dreamers of Wisconsin. You helped pave the way for mobilizations and actions around the country, including the Occupy phenomenon. You also boldly stepped into the electoral arena. An important step, and one that we should reflect upon and learn from in the spirit of moving forward, toward bigger, better street action that is both independent of, and, at times, well coordinated with, electoral engagement. You have much to build upon in Wisconsin, going forward.
This past week, in the span of 36 hours, we moved from the valley of despair, with North Carolina’s vote to ban same sex marriage, to the mountaintop of hope, with a sitting President affirming the civil rights of gay citizens. Yes, this was a notable first. It was a much-needed affirmation of basic rights and freedoms in the face of a majoritarian impulse to deny the rights of a minority. It was a reminder of the vital necessity of constitutional liberalism.
All eyes are on SCUTUS this week as they take up the case of Arizona’s draconian immigration law (SB1070). By the end of this session, the Court will have ruled on a wide range of social and economic issues, including health care, immigration and Affirmative Action. We can expect to see a pattern of radical --- dare I say 'activist' --- jurisprudence from the Roberts Court.
The stories about violent crimes were legendary. Yes, Cabrini-Green had gangs and drugs. But also, it had a community: neighbors who knew and cared for each other; extended families that looked after the kids. This explains why former residents can have such contradictory feelings when they share their stories. It also underscores why plans to ‘fix’ housing projects should have included the knowledge and experiences of residents.
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