Binders Full of Women: Debate II 2012

Last night’s debate was held using the town hall format, a place where President Obama tends to shine. And shine he did. There were a few mucky moments where the two candidates seemed to bicker but the President maintained a more civil tone and answered most questions with succinct flair, sticking to many of the talking points that surround his campaign. It may have come across as a bit redundant to political junkies that have followed each candidate as they make rounds around the country issuing stump speeches. There’s just no getting around their platform and the questions asked zeroed in on both the former governor and President’s goals.

Romney was his usual self, angry and on defense, prepped against possible statements regarding the many missteps that have hammered his campaign all year. His message was on jobs and tax cuts, even though he has yet to explain exactly how he would pay for his 5 trillion dollar tax cut without unloading the burden upon the poor to middle-class. I would like to know of each program he intends to cut and which tax loopholes would be closed. Mitt also re-emphasized how his plans will create 12 million jobs over the next four years but later in the debate chants, ‘government doesn’t create jobs, government doesn’t create jobs’.

If you can ignore Romney’s lies and anti-math tax plan, he almost held his own until the tedious topic of Libya came up. He fumbled like a quarterback with a slime-covered football, attacking the President on his handling of the incident.

He continues sputtering and stuttering on the point until the President expertly interjected in order to move things along. Priceless.

The highlight of the night came when Romney was asked the following question from an undecided voter, Katherine Fenton of NY, which President Obama was given the opportunity of answering first:

Question: In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

The President spoke of education and the Lily Ledbetter Act but it was Romney’s answer that shook the internet hemisphere:

They said, well, these are the people that have the qualifications. And I said, well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?

And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of — of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.

Not only was he lying, as fact-checkers conclude, it was an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. And hilarious! Binders filled with women? Get him those binders! Where are these allegedly smart women?! Surely they exist! I wonder how long it took Mr. Romney to come up with that. It will surely go down as one of the best and funniest gaffes of all time.

Post-debate polls declared President Obama the winner and I agree. It was a good night and liberals ought to feel enthusiastic and hopeful as we head into the final stretch.

Food-Stamp Companies

Newt Gingrich openly called President Obama the ‘Food-Stamp President’ earlier this year when discussing the economic crisis and middle-class crush. Throughout all the blowhard meandering, his intent was to cast the Obama base as dependent and idle, a sentiment oft-shared by many far right conservatives. The GOP often uses such (bigoted) code-language to discredit the values and wants of a vast majority of Democrats that do not wish to return to business as usual on Capitol Hill. Why, we liberals couldn’t possibly be interested in equal pay for women, gay rights, a full military withdrawal from the middle east, bank regulation and education. No, we just like Obama because he gives us free stuff. Oh and he’s just really cool.

In June, Leslie Marshall– a nationally syndicated talk-show radio host and Fox *gasp* News contributor– reported that more Americans signed up for food stamps under Bush.

I had to laugh…or perhaps I should have cried. Sure, there are lots of Americans who partake of what the government has to offer. Sure we, especially the right, can blame President Barack Obama. But there are a few realities I want to point out:

1. More people signed up for food stamps under President George W. Bush than President Obama.

via America Is Less Dependent Under Barack Obama – Leslie Marshall (usnews.com).

A touch misleading perhaps, since Bush had eight whole years to rack up the debt and help crash our economy with the war on Iraq. Personally I would be surprised if her data were entirely accurate, with the understanding that recessions tend to create desperate aggregate need. The country was hemorrhaging jobs when @BarackObama took office– people from all backgrounds applied for some assistance. Causality, my friends.

I am really not here to talk about Newts but of companies that reduce overhead costs by hiring part-time workers and contribute to the problematic surge in applied-for government assistance. Over the last decade the involuntary part-time workforce has exploded. Involuntary because these workers prefer full-time employment. So why is this, you might ask? Well its cheaper for starters. Not as cheap as sending your job overseas where CEOs can get the most bang for a buck but cheap. Part-time workers are generally paid less than their full-time counterparts and do not always receive medical, vacation or sick time packages. And they can forget about workers compensation and retirement benefits. These employees then must rely upon government programs such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF and Medicaid at the expense of John and Jane Taxpayer.

So here I am, stuck within the part-time trap. Even with my accumulated skills and experience, I was hired in May to work as a Merchandise Associate at a popular, multimillion dollar retail store for 8.60 hourly. The orientation session consisted of a few pamphlets read and videos played on a dilapidated VCR. I stifled a giggle or two when a segment began with a very stern woman launching into a passionate lecture on the evils of unions and when to alert a supervisor if contacted by their representatives. Organized labor is bad. Bad! Bored and lazily nursing a water bottle, my eyes roamed the tiny break room as I planned future lunch breaks and escapes from the sales floor. I noticed a poster on a bulletin board announcing the national 800 number for SNAP assistance. In 30 minutes I had learned all I needed to know about this company:

1. If any associate attempts to support a unionized effort within any of their stores, your ass is grass.

2. We are not going to hire you full-time so that you can actually take care of yourself and pay your bills.

3. Apply for food stamps because we ain’t feeding ya.

Sounds like Walmart.

I quit after a few short months. Not that I didn’t need the money. I didn’t need the headache. I found it more advantageous to spend the time I would have toiled within their slave-shop of a store to look for a better job, however difficult. I have been working at part-time jobs for about 5 years now and it has been the same thing time and time again. My educated guess would be that many part-time workers are ticked off, as I am. We are not sitting around waiting for a handout. We are being forced to take jobs with companies that are doing well in spite of the economy but won’t offer living wages, utilize scare tactics and encourage their employees to apply for government assistance to supplement their needs. Food-stamp companies. It is wrong and it is disgusting.

Presidential Debate 2012

Where shall I begin?

I apologize in advance for this rant but what the fuck? Mr. President? Really now? Perhaps this is a trick, designed to throw the enemy off the trail before expertly leaping from the bushes with renewed vigor. Or just wishful thinking for my part.

I am disappointed.

Mitt Romney left himself wide open for various attacks. His view on Obamacare with regards to Romneycare, comments about the 47%, women’s and LGBT rights, government level regulation, corporate ‘welfare’ (I did like that one), the 716 billion medicare LIE– that Mr. Romney has not fully disclosed his plans except but to say how he’ll simply do everything’s better– all these things were there, ready to be pounced upon with ravenous glee. Mitt Romney postures with smug certainty as if his mere whiteness will fix everything and calm the masses that fear the re-election of our black and white President. Where was the cross-examination? I expected it and yes, words cannot describe my dismay.

The President appeared calm, if not a tad bored. I detected a measure of irritation in him when Mitt mentioned small businesses and other distortions but these false claims went unanswered by Obama. And the mediator didn’t help things much with his sputtering interruptions and mismanagement of time. What I heard tonight were reiterations of policy points I have studied for the last four years. I believe in our President and he has done much for us and against great odds and opposition. Mitt attacked him shamelessly, taking zero responsibility for how our crisis began or how the Republican party has stonewalled on a number of bills and issues the last 4 years. Mitt’s plans, the little he’s shared, mimic many of George Bush Sr/Jr’s ideas. In other words…nothing new there. 12 million new jobs Mitt? Really? Do tell, because inquiring minds want to know. Why wasn’t he forced to explain himself?

What the fuck?

Mitt Romney is a bold-faced liar and has no plan to help the American people. The only thing he clearly states is how he wants to erase everything President Obama has accomplished and take us back to the Republican way of doing things which are to: erase social safety nets, kill Big Bird, send gays back into hiding, send our young to war, drill for more oil, roll back regulation, pussyfoot around environmental assurances and regulations, tell women when or how she should have sex and make babies, include banks in the student loan process and keep up current loopholes that allow rich people to exploit the very country that helped make them just that, rich. Cayman Islands, Mitt? Anyone? (crickets)

Where is the Secretary of Explainin’ Shit? I need him to make sense of all this.