President Barack Obama was at an Orlando sports bar, snapping a University of Florida Gators’ sign, sipping a pint and working a crowd when he walked up to a table with five children. One adult pointed to one of the boys, 7-year-old Andre Wupperman of Orlando, and informed the president that the boy was born in Hawaii, the president’s native state.
Delighted, the president greeted the boy with a “shaka” sign, the pinky and thumb gesture typical of Hawaiian culture. The boy gestured back.
“You were born in Hawaii?” the president said. Then he asked teasingly: “You have a birth certificate?”
The patrons at Gator’s Dockside, clearly aware of the discredited claims that Obama was not born in the United States, broke up laughing.
We’ve been hearing a lot about the war on women, which is real enough. But there’s also a war on the young, which is just as real even if it’s better disguised. And it’s doing immense harm, not just to the young, but to the nation’s future.
Let’s start with some advice Mitt Romney gave to college students during an appearance last week. After denouncing President Obama’s “divisiveness,” the candidate told his audience, “Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.”
The first thing you notice here is, of course, the Romney touch — the distinctive lack of empathy for those who weren’t born into affluent families, who can’t rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad to finance their ambitions. But the rest of the remark is just as bad in its own way.
I mean, “get the education”? And pay for it how? Tuition at public colleges and universities has soared, in part thanks to sharp reductions in state aid. Mr. Romney isn’t proposing anything that would fix that; he is, however, a strong supporter of the Ryan budget plan, which would drastically cut federal student aid, causing roughly a million students to lose their Pell grants.
So how, exactly, are young people from cash-strapped families supposed to “get the education”? Back in March Mr. Romney had the answer: Find the college “that has a little lower price where you can get a good education.” Good luck with that. But I guess it’s divisive to point out that Mr. Romney’s prescriptions are useless for Americans who weren’t born with his advantages.
… What should we do to help America’s young? Basically, the opposite of what Mr. Romney and his friends want. We should be expanding student aid, not slashing it. And we should reverse the de facto austerity policies that are holding back the U.S. economy — the unprecedented cutbacks at the state and local level, which have been hitting education especially hard.
Yes, such a policy reversal would cost money. But refusing to spend that money is foolish and shortsighted even in purely fiscal terms. Remember, the young aren’t just America’s future; they’re the future of the tax base, too.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste; wasting the minds of a whole generation is even more terrible. Let’s stop doing it.
Go read the whole damned thing.
The GOP-led House’s version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would not only strip away Senate-passed protections for undocumented, LGBT, and Native American victims, it also contains a dangerous provision that violates an undocumented victim’s confidentiality by allowing immigration officials to speak with, and ask for evidence from, his or her abuser.
Visas offered to undocumented victims of domestic violence are called “U Visas” and the Senate version of the bill expanded the number of U Visas offered to victims. The House bill not only strips out the additional visas, it also contains a new provision enabling government officials to inform “the accused” that their victim blew the whistle on their abuse:
Rachel Maddow owns Republican pundit who says women don’t actually make less money than men.
This was pretty beautiful. (If you’re wondering what the president’s done for equal pay, Lilly Ledbetter can tell you.)
“Borrow money if you have to from your parents.”
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.
That’s Mitt Romney’s world view…it’s EASY to pull yourself out of poverty. Just take a risk…get an education (but we won’t help keep rates low) and borrow money from your parents if you have to (even if they don’t have any money to lend). People take risks every day and only a very slight few make it. They’re exceptional and they’re not the norm. The vast majority are stuck in life’s wake of stagnation.
He just doesn’t get it. His dad was a three time elected Governor of Michigan, CEO of American Motors, former Republican presidential candidate and cabinet member in the Nixon administration. Do you think that allowed Mitt for more opportunities than the average person? This is a man of privilege – period. As Anne Richards famously said about George W. Bush…”He was born on 3rd base and thinks he hit a triple.” Well Romney is more accomplished than Bush in that regard but only because he was a vulture capitalist. But I’m sure if Dad loans you $100 – you can go ahead and turn that into the next Google. Give me a break.
"It's outrageous that immigration detention facilities have morphed into college campuses," said Rep. Elton Gallegy (R-Calif.). "Under this administration, detention looks more like recess," Smith proclaimed. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) attempted to turn the immigrant rights advocates' figures against them, arguing that, comparatively speaking, the number of detainees who have died while awaiting deportation is actually quite small: "110 deaths is not alarming to me," he explained, suggesting that immigrants were actually safer in an ICE detention center than they were "in the broader society."
In February, DHS unveiled a new set of guidelines designed to crack down on sexual assault and inhumane conditions at immigrant detention centers. On Wednesday, House Republicans held a hearing to accuse the Obama administration of coddling detainees.
What a psychopath and pig Rep. King is. Just vile.
If and when he wins the nomination, Mr. Romney will try, as a hapless adviser put it, to shake his Etch A Sketch — that is, to erase the record of his pandering to the crazy right and convince voters that he’s actually a moderate. And maybe he can pull it off. But let’s hope that he can’t, because the kind of pandering he has engaged in during his quest for the nomination matters. Whatever Mr. Romney may personally believe, the fact is that by endorsing the right’s paranoid fantasies, he is helping to further a dangerous trend in America’s political life. And he should be held accountable for his actions.
Back in 2001, when Pew first asked the question, just 12 percent of Americans complained that their politicians talked too much about religion.
That number has risen steadily ever since and hit a record high in the new poll: 38 percent of Americans, including 24 percent of Republicans, now say their political leaders are overdoing it with their expressions of faith and prayer.
And more Americans than ever, 54 percent, believe churches should keep out of politics. That’s up from 43 percent in 1996, according to the Pew Research Center.
And pay fucking taxes!!