AMERICA FOR OBAMA


KEY POINTS:
  •  [President Obama’s record] includes ending the war in Iraq, which seemed like mission impossible when he took office. It includes beginning the wind-down of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan that began when today’s high school seniors entered first grade. He made a gutsy call to get Osama bin Laden. Saving the car industry was an equally tough call, and a good one. And the much-maligned Affordable Care Act ensures that Americans won’t go broke just because they get sick. He found two well-qualified women for the Supreme Court and got them confirmed without too much fuss.

  • The president deserves credit for starting to turn the economy around. Instead of losing 800,000 jobs a month, workplaces have added some five million jobs.

  •  [President Obama] has championed the middle class and has a larger, more tolerant notion of America that includes closing the inequality gap and evening the playing field, as exemplified by making an equal-pay-for-women bill the first law he signed. He has fought for the DREAM Act on behalf of the immigrant youths brought here by their parents, and he wants a Supreme Court that will continue to support Roe v. Wade. That’s crucial.

  • Mr. Romney, meanwhile wants to cut taxes, reduce the deficit and increase military spending. That’s magic, not real math. And it’s hard to see how any candidate who keeps much of his wealth stashed overseas — like Mr. Romney — could credibly ask Americans for sacrifice.

  • In the end, Mr. Obama’s policies across the board — the environment, social policy, taxes and immigration — offer a more generous vision for America. The issues he has fought for, coupled with the lingering doubts about Mr. Romney’s persona and his true intentions, make this a clear choice.

Obama for president
Miami Herald
Given the avalanche of mudslinging in the presidential race, voters can easily forget that both President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have positive stories to tell about themselves and their records.

For President Obama, it includes ending the war in Iraq, which seemed like mission impossible when he took office. It includes beginning the wind-down of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan that began when today’s high school seniors entered first grade. He made a gutsy call to get Osama bin Laden.

Saving the car industry was an equally tough call, and a good one. And the much-maligned Affordable Care Act ensures that Americans won’t go broke just because they get sick. He found two well-qualified women for the Supreme Court and got them confirmed without too much fuss.

No one’s happy with the pace of the recovery, but the president deserves credit for starting to turn the economy around. Instead of losing 800,000 jobs a month, workplaces have added some five million jobs. Winning cooperation from Congress would have yielded better results, though it must be said that Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader whose stated priority is to send Mr. Obama packing, is no one’s idea of a great dance partner.

Similarly, Gov. Romney has an affirmative record to run on. His success in the business world is undeniable. Rescuing the Salt Lake City Olympics demonstrated the kind of tough-minded competence it will take to fix this nation’s finances.

As governor, he worked with Democrats to close a budget deficit of $3 billion without raising taxes or borrowing money. He passed a model healthcare reform program and burnished his bipartisan credentials by inviting Ted Kennedy, the U.S. Senate’s leading liberal, to share the spotlight at the signing ceremony.

That’s the good Romney, the one we had in mind when we noted favorably earlier this year that he was the closest thing in the Florida primary to a mainstream candidate.

He went on to win that race, but in the ensuing primaries he tacked so far to the right that at one point he managed to paint Texas Gov. Rick Perry — a hardline conservative by anyone’s definition — as a bleeding heart because of his more enlightened stance on immigration. Goodbye, Mr. Moderate. Hello, Mr. Severe Conservative.

Voters rightly complain that they don’t know what the candidates would do in office. Both the president and the former governor are big on rhetoric and stingy on details. But for Mr. Romney, the problem goes deeper, raising doubts about what he stands for and what he believes.

He has taken so many contradictory positions on important issues — abortion, immigration, even Obamacare (first he said he would repeal it; then he said he would keep the parts most people like) — that he could take any action he chooses once in office and claim that it fulfills a campaign promise he made at one point or another. He has run on his record, and he has run from his record.

That’s not an issue for the president. Not all Americans like what he stands for, but they know who he is. He has championed the middle class and has a larger, more tolerant notion of America that includes closing the inequality gap and evening the playing field, as exemplified by making an equal-pay-for-women bill the first law he signed. He has fought for the DREAM Act on behalf of the immigrant youths brought here by their parents, and he wants a Supreme Court that will continue to support Roe v. Wade. That’s crucial.

Like Mr. Romney, he has not said which tax loopholes he would close or how he would go about balancing the budget. But he has insisted on a balanced approach and shared sacrifice — cuts in spending, tax increases for the wealthiest. Mr. Romney, meanwhile wants to cut taxes, reduce the deficit and increase military spending. That’s magic, not real math. And it’s hard to see how any candidate who keeps much of his wealth stashed overseas — like Mr. Romney — could credibly ask Americans for sacrifice.

If he wins a second term, the president must get serious about reforming entitlements and mopping up the ocean of red ink. If spending money to avoid a second Depression was a priority in the first term, balancing the books should be his goal in a second one. To do it, he will have to take a more active role in working with Congress. The Affordable Care Act was a long overdue achievement. But leaving the details to Congress to work out the specifics was the wrong way to go about it.

Indeed, one of the more perplexing aspects of Mr. Obama’s campaign has been the failure to stump for a more reasonable Congress. Whether he gets one or not, if he’s reelected he must summon the skills necessary to persuade lawmakers to meet him halfway. That’s the kind of leader Americans want in the White House.

In the end, Mr. Obama’s policies across the board — the environment, social policy, taxes and immigration — offer a more generous vision for America. The issues he has fought for, coupled with the lingering doubts about Mr. Romney’s persona and his true intentions, make this a clear choice. In the race for president, The Miami Herald recommends BARACK OBAMA.


Source: American for OBAMA
 
 
 
 
"Governor, the people of Detroit don't forget."

Those seven words from President Barack Obama to Republican challenger Mitt Romney during the final presidential debate are reason enough for MLive Detroit to endorse Obama for another four years in office. We don't forget Romney's editorial in the New York Times titled, "Let Detroit go bankrupt." It is an unforgivable and unconsciouble position by a man with the audacity to claim himself a son of Detroit. Romney may have grown up here, but he left long ago.

Romney defends his editorial as the blueprint for, essentially, what Obama did. The president's administration brought the automakers into a controlled bankruptcy, bolstered the companies with capital, and gave them time to right the ship. Romney says he wanted to do the same, he just wanted to do it through private investment. The problem? No one was investing in anything when the automakers nearly collapsed, much less offering up $80 billion to failing companies. Lack of government intervention would have resulted in the liquidation of Detroit's Big 3 and the end of the American automotive industry as we know it.

Obama saved Detroit. We don't forget.

While enough to earn an endorsement, the president has done enough in his 3 1/2 years in the Oval Office to earn another term. The Affordable Health Care law, while touted as a step toward national health care, is actually a long-term budget solution. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will cut the deficit $1 trillion by 2021. Provisions within the law reign in health insurance spending on advertising and executive bonuses, and, for the firs time, insurance companies will need to publicly justify cost increases. No modern president has done more to bring health care costs into line than Obama. Passing the Affordable Care Act, even in its watered down form, is a fiscally responsible move that ensures Obama's legacy.

The Obama administration also stood strong on national security. The president extricated the U.S. from an unproductive war in Iraq, and his administration brought about the death of Osama bin Laden. He also restored our nation's standing as a voice for freedom in the world. He took the last three years to undo much of the harm created by his predecessor.

We have concerns with the president. While pushing some immigration reform, he's been shockingly tough on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants. The Obama administration has empowered Immigration and Customs Enforcement to unprecedented levels. Thousands of hard-working immigrants have been split from their families due to heightened in ICE enforcement. The president's conservative approach to immigration enforcement falls to the right of previous presidents.

In Detroit, MLive covered the story of one man picked up in a random traffic stop in Pontiac, detained from his family and then sent back to Mexico, where he hadn't lived for two decades. This tough-line policy hurts Detroit by sending fear through immigrant communities that represent some of the strongest neighborhoods in the city. At a time when people are fleeing the city, the Hispanic community is holding strong. Obama's policy threatens these vital communities.

Obama has shown leadership on immigration in the past six months. It's hard to say, though, if that was pandering to Hispanic voters or a sign that he'll address immigration in a substantive way if given another four years. Just this week Obama said he anticipated a compromise with Republicans on immigration if he's re-elected. We hope these are signs that he'll work during a second term for comprehensive immigration reform that supports Detroit's vibrant immigrant communities.

Obama's dismal record on immigration for the bulk of his tenure is only muted by the prospect of a Romney administration. Romney's chief immigration advisor crafted the Arizona law that allows local and state police to seek out and arrest illegal immigrants. Romeny has said he would drop federal lawsuits challenging the Arizona law on his first day in office. Remarkably, immigration may be the one major issue President George W. Bush bests Obama and Romney in terms of Detroit's best interest.

Obama ran four years ago on the promise of change. He's been unable to deliver on this overarching promise, but he's had an unwilling dance partner. Republican leadership the past two years ruled out compromise as a form of governing. With an eye to the upcoming election, they chose to stand against Obama rather than work with the president in the country's best interests. Even when the president attempted to compromise - angering his supporters on the left - Republicans refused to budge off hardline stances against efforts to jumpstart the economy and pass reforms designed to prevent another economic meltdown. They put politics and special interests ahead of good government, and now criticize the president for failing to transform Washington. Amazingly, the ploy may work.

We hope not. For all of the president's faults and disappointments, he's been a steady hand through difficult times and made the right call more often than not. The auto industry bailout is a prime example. Obama intervened where Romney said he wouldn't. The president got it right and saved Detroit. Romney got it wrong. If he'd been in charge, an historic American industry and city may have fallen.

Governor, the people of Detroit don't forget.

 
 
by Dan Rafter

Governor Romney’s calculated discrimination against gay and lesbian parents creates documentation struggles for kids

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is condemning steps Mitt Romney took as governor of Massachusetts to discriminate against families headed by same-sex couples, including demanding that his administration personally review every request to revise birth certificates for children born to same-sex parents. According to a report in the Boston Globe, Romney rejected a request from the state’s Registry of Vital Records and Statistics to revise birth certificate forms to apply to same-sex parents. Instead, Romney insisted his lawyers investigate every single request for birth certificates for children born to same-sex couples. If Romney’s team decided a request was worthy of revising a birth certificate, officials could then write-in, by hand, the term ‘second parent’ on the legal document. In some instances, Romney denied parents proper birth certificates for their children.

The state’s Department of Public Health warned Romney that his intervention placed children at a disadvantage, particularly later in life as they tried to obtain various forms of identification such as a passport or driver’s license, or as they registered to vote. The same DPH official also warned that allowing officials to alter birth certificates by hand – as opposed to simply revising the forms, as the state’s Registry of Vital Records and Statistics had recommended – was tantamount to a violation of statutes, and would impair efforts to keep organized state records.

Romney, who has a significant track record of deriding LGBT families and speaking out against relationship recognition, appeared not to care what impact his close oversight of same-sex families had on the law. The Globe reports that emails between Romney officials and the Department of Public Health contained details about the marriages and births of dozens of families.

“It’s appalling that Mitt Romney would create so many additional obstacles for same-sex parents, particularly when the path to starting a family is already so hard for LGBT people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Romney prioritized his own distaste for LGBT people over the well-being of children in Massachusetts. Mitt Romney didn’t care that these children would face a lifetime of obstacles in obtaining legal documentation for things like getting a driver’s license or registering to vote; he only cared about making sure same-sex parents felt abnormal and isolated simply because they wanted to start a family.”

This isn’t the first time Romney has shown utter disregard for the challenges LGBT families face. Earlier this year, he tried to deflect from his discrimination against LGBT people by saying that adoption for same-sex couples was legal in all states but one. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Same-sex couples face overwhelming legal challenges in starting families – in fact, laws in seven states restrict same-sex couples from adopting altogether. And in the vast majority of states, adoption by LGB individuals and families is unclear and left to the discretion of judges, state agencies and adoption agencies who may discriminate.

Romney also has publicly sneered at LGBT families. During a 2004 meeting with Julie Goodridge, a plaintiff in the historic case that led to marriage equality in Massachusetts, Goodridge asked Romney what she should tell her little girl about why her two moms couldn’t marry. Romney coldly replied: “I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.” And at an event in South Carolina, Romney bemoaned marriage equality in his state, and said of same-sex couples: “Some are actually having children born to them.”

“Mitt Romney has stood before the American people multiple times and said he does not support discrimination against LGBT people – and that is an outright lie,” added Griffin. “Denying birth certificates to children is just the latest in a long list of efforts Romney has undertaken to disenfranchise LGBT people. Support for equality is mainstream, and as a result Romney is attempting to deceive the American people – but his long history of discrimination speaks for itself.”

Birth certificates weren’t the only LGBT issue on which Romney went up against the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In 2006, DPH put the brakes on an anti-bullying guide after consulting with Romney’s staff – because the guide contained terms including “transgender” and “bisexual.”

Learn more about Mitt Romney’s anti-LGBT track record at www.hrc.org/romney.