Obama vs. Romney: Disagreeing to Agree

  1. During the first presidential debate, the candidates argued over six different “pods.” The most controversial topics included social security and the economy.Obama accused Romney of devising a plan for over $8 trillion in tax cuts.
    Romney refuted these accusations and said, “you can keep referring to it, but that’s not my plan.” He said he doesn’t plan to change any taxes that would further increase the deficit.
  2. CNNMoney
    Debate left many questions unresolved. But Romney tried to answer one unequivocally: He won’t cut taxes for the rich http://cnnmon.ie/SuPHCP
    Thu, Oct 04 2012 15:15:00
  3. Romney said he plans to cut spending by holding all programs to a certain criteria. He will measure if they are essential enough to keep borrowing money from China.
    Among the programs to be axed, Romney said he will cut Obamacare and PBS. He had to explain his hit against PBS since the moderator, Jim Lehrer, was a former news anchor on PBS NewsHour.
  4. HuffPostHill
    Don’t worry, Jim Lehrer, it gets better. #stopbullying
    Wed, Oct 03 2012 19:15:44
  5. “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird.”
  6. CNN
    Fact check: Will Romney send Big Bird to the unemployment line? http://on.cnn.com/REn5Es
    Thu, Oct 04 2012 13:57:46
  7. During this part of the debate, Obama proposed to tax the rich. He said it isn’t unreasonable for the country to ask those, including himself, who have done very well in life to contribute to America’s revenue.
  8. On the point of social security, Obama made it very clear he does not agree with the idea of a voucher system. He said this would leave the elderly in the hands of insurance companies.
    Romney fired back and said it wasn’t originally his idea, it came from Bill Clinton’s presidency.Both candidates did agree, however, that voters need to decide the future of social security.
  9. Many other topics were discussed over the course of the hour and a half debate. However, the discussion became heated and tense when the candidates talked about social security and the country’s budget.

Mother Jones releases secret video of Mitt Romney

A screenshot taken of the original article about Romney’s secret video posted on Mother Jones.

On Sept. 17, 2012 Mother Jones revealed a secret video of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to an audience at a private fundraiser event.

In the video, Romney heavily criticized supporters, which he argues are 47 percent of all voters, of President Barack Obama by calling them freeloaders who don’t pay income tax and expect the government to take care of them.

According to the original story by Mother Jones, Romney said, “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Keeping with the topic of Obama supporters, Romney said voters who voted for Obama four years ago are afraid to admit they made the wrong choice.

“Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task,” Romney said. “They love the phrase that he’s over his head.”

He later strayed away from bashing voters and moved on to Obama himself, claiming his heritage takes priority in the minds of voters.

“Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this,” Romney said.

Critics also capitalize on Romney’s comments about the “Palestinian problem.” He told supporters, “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.”

This statement is being interpreted as a lack of action and awareness on Romney’s part to establish peace between Israel and Palestine.

In an updated article, the Huffington Post, whose editors claimed they were the first to release the video, reported Romney stood by his statements in the video about Obama’s supporters to Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.

“We were of course talking about a campaign and about how he’s going to get half the vote,” Romney said. “And frankly we have two very different views of America.”

The secret video left audiences wondering who the mysterious recorder was.

Originally, editors of  Mother Jones said they wouldn’t release the time, date or location of the event in order to keep the recorder safe.

Now, however, publications such as Philebrity.com have disclosed that the event was held this past May in Marc Leder’s, co-owner of the 76ers, home located in Florida.

Other critics have indicated the exposure of the video has actually helped the Romney campaign because it took focus away from his controversial criticism of Obama’s view on the “Libya crisis.”

Several conservatives have argued the speech was manipulated and had two minutes erased from it. Benny Johnson, of The Blaze,  wrote that Romney’s statement, “We do all these polls — I find it amazing. We poll all these people to see where you stand in the polls but 45 percent of the people vote for the Republicans and 48 or 49–,” was cut out of the video. Johnson said this statement was made to justify Romney’s view of the 47 percent.

Romney is not only receiving flack from Democrats over the video, he has also lost support from Republicans because they feel his statement about the 47 percent only further prove he is out of touch with the struggling economy.

As a consequence, voters have been reinforced to believe Romney is out of touch with the average American.

Besides the general public, elected officials and candidates have also weighed in to scold Romney for his statements in the secret video. Former Wisconsin governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, R-Wis., has actually blamed Romney for his own dip in the polls.

“The presidential thing is bound to have an impact in any election, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” Thompson said. “If your standard bearer for the presidency is not doing well, it’s going to reflect down the ballot.”

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said Romney has proved he is more concerned about the wealthy instead of the middle class and doesn’t care to win over the 47 percent of voters who don’t pay income taxes.

Baldwin argued Democrats understand, “the best way to build the economy is from the middle class out, not the top down.”

On the other side, however, many media officials released statements of praise for Romney.

“Oh, Romney doesn’t much care for those who benefit from the system without contributing? Good. Me neither. I think I’ll vote for him,” Brady Creemens, a writer for the Right Sphere, said.

In comparison, Fox News’ Todd Starnes tweeted, “Mitt needs to speak in public like he speaks in private.”

With all of the buzz this video has created, the person who originally recorded it has yet to be identified. Many are also wondering if, once identified, he or she will face legal troubles. CNBC reported Floria is a two-party state, which means both parties involved in a conversation must give permission to be recorded.

According to Florida Attorney Marc Nurik, because Romney was unaware of the fact that he was being recorded, the person who taped it could face a third degree felony under the two-party consent laws.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with news organizations releasing this video. Sure, the person who recorded the video secretly should’ve thought twice before doing so, but once the deed is already done why should the media feel remorse for releasing it?

Voters absolutely have the right to view this content once it has already been recorded.

As an editor, I don’t think I would be the first to publish a story of this magnitude, but I would publish a story about the fact that Mother Jones released the tape. This may be seen as a cop out, but I would just make sure my publication was out of legal fire.

Photo Editing Samples

(Photo #1-Before) Photo by Marjorie Etheridge

 

(Photo #1-After) Photo by Marjorie Etheridge

 

(Photo#2-Before) Photo by Marjorie Etheridge

 

(Photo #2-After) Photo by Marjorie Etheridge

 

(Photo#3-Before) Photo by Marjorie Etheridge

 

(Photo #3-After) Photo by Marjorie Etheridge

 

Programming preschoolers, a debate by Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist, brought up a very interesting debate in his column titled “New Rules.”

He wrote it from China, a country that is predominantly known for producing intelligent, successful children.

A picture by Jon Lim of Estonian children learning to program computers in first grade. This is a screenshot taken from Wired.com.

The Chinese culture overall is one that values achievement.

Author Amy Chua, who wrote the memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” said that her children were raised to think that an A- was a terrible grade and that they could only participate in activities that could potentially lead to winning a gold medal someday.

Friedman said this way of thinking led him to think about a new program that is being developed in Estonia, a small country located in northern Europe.

According to Wired.com, Estonian first graders are being taught to program and code websites.

The reasoning behind this comes from the country’s desire to increase development, which stemmed from the creation of Skype in 2003.

Participation in the programming class is a choice, however. Mozilla executive director Mark Surman explained that children decide if they want to be content managers or consumers around age eight.

In “New Rules,” Friedman takes a stance on this issue and suggests that Americans develop more vocational-training classes for young students. He suggests that American students should strive for the practical training of the Estonian and the academic excellence of the Chinese.

However, in many ways, America is already jumping on this band wagon.

Carlos Bueno, Facebook engineer, recently wrote a children’s book titled “Lauren Ipsum.” It is a fairytale that introduces children to computer programming.

Bueno said that programming should be a part of everyone’s education.

“The first step to controlling your life in the modern world is understanding computers,” he said.

With all of this said and done, there is another side to this argument.

President Obama and former president Clinton have both said that if you just “work hard and play by the rules” you should expect that the American system will deliver you a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one.

Friedman argues that this slogan is out dated and needs to change.

“Technology and globalization are wiping out lower-skilled jobs faster, while steadily raising the skill level required for new jobs,” he said.

It is apparent that Obama is catching on to the new wave of technological education. He is quoted by Friedman as saying, “We have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are being created in a world fueled by new technology.”

To conclude Friedman’s article, he questions if the success-driven Chinese will follow in Estonia’s footsteps. He feels that American students should follow suite with children in Estonia and be introduced to vocational-training classes due to the recession and the increasing demand for jobs in technology.

A review of Lifeasmom.com

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The blog mylifeasmom.com serves to help busy moms preserve their tranquility and peace of mind by suggesting resources and outlets for a more balanced life.

Lifeasmom.com can be very influential for busy moms who:

  • Look for healthy, easy recipes to feed their families
  • Want to find inexpensive alternatives for buying clothes and food
  • Want t converse with other women/moms

For instance, the blog has an entire section of healthy, seasonal recipes that are both easy to make and good for you.

There is also another section that is dedicated to book clubs that the busy mom can participate in. This part of the blog allows readers to join together and comment on their discoveries in the text.

The authors of Lifeasmom.com use very neutral, calm tones in the layout. This accompanies the crazy lives of their audience because the site is meant to be a “safe haven” of sorts. The idea is for women to come to this blog and unwind.

The tone in which the writers of the blog use is very conversational. Many words are written in “cute” swirly letters and in a creative and easily applicable language. Headlines such as “Buy or DIY,” highlight posts that are meant to help busy moms increase their qualities of life.

Being that it is fall, I feel that the writers should feature a post that is all about making your own Halloween costumes. This is an easy way for parents who are on a tight budget to make the best out of the holiday.

I think the writers should also post about easy, safe ways to carve pumpkins. I think the site should include appliques that the audience could download and print.

I also think it would be interesting to look ahead to November and include recipes that would allow a family to have an “all vegan thanksgiving dinner.”

Busymomsblog.org is definitely competition for this blog. However, mylifeasmom.com has a much more interesting layout.

It appears that the writer of busymomsblog.org doesn’t put as much time into the layout of her content because there are many colors that clash, for instance the banner color is florescent purple, and the background is a pale pink color.

Another competitive site is chicbusymom.blogpost.com. This blog is full of fashion and interior design ideas. It is comparable with mylifeasmom.com because the layout of the site is very well done, and you can tell that the writer has the clear cut intention of bringing “chicness” back into motherhood.

However, chicbusymom.blogspot.com could use more pictures and creative fonts.

Stuftmama.com is similar to lifeasmom.com because it is also dedicated to healthy living and eating. The layout is also very tranquil with its light blue theme.

I like that the writer of stuftmama.com includes many of her own personal stories. She writes about the daily frustrations of trying to stay fit and dealing with her children. I think lifeasmom.com would be making a wise decision of the chose to do something like this as well.