Super PACs make me so mad. Regardless of party affiliation, I think that everyone can agree that Super PACs are seriously undermining our democracy. Allowing individuals and corporations to make unlimited and undisclosed contributions is a sure way to buy politicians and thwart the democratic process. Please watch this excellent two-minute NYTimes Cast that gives a very clear and succinct explanation of how Super PACs work. For a more light-hearted and entertaining explanation, watch this clip from The Colbert Report that shows Colbert transferring control of his Super PAC over to Jon Stewart, whom he cannot "coordinate with." It gives me chills of horror when he concludes with: "And God bless Citizens United!"
Here are three simple ways you can take action:
1. Sign this petition started by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to reverse the Citizen's United Decision.
2. Sign this petition to President Obama started by the League of Women Voters to put appoint new commissioners to the FEC. I am a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan group that seeks to promote democracy by educating and registering voters and supporting voting rights. They argue that one way to keep money out of politics is to improve the Federal Election Commission: "The FEC is supposed to be the government agency that enforces campaign finance laws, but it isn’t working and hasn’t for a long time. Of the six commissioners at the agency, three of them simply refuse to enforce the law, and five of the six are serving despite the fact that their terms expired some time ago."
3. Find ways to get involved with your local community through the organization Move to Amend whose stated mission is to "get the money out of politics." They recently called for protests at federal courthouses all across the US on the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision.
Post by Joseph M -
I used to be rather surprised whenever I would see Mormons referenced in the media or popular culture (remember the last line of Raising Arizona?) This is not the case anymore. Here are several links about Romney and his Mormonism. Thanks to all of you that sent us links (my liberal sister for one,) and if you find more, please send them our way!
From Fox News, Jan 12th: Mormons confident US ready to elect first LDS president, survey shows
From CBS News, Jan 14th: Is America Ready for a Mormon President?
From Yahoo! News, Jan 16th: Will America Get Its First Mormon President? Five Facts About Mormons
From Huffington Post, Jan 25th: Why Mitt Romney Can't Be the Mormon JFK
From CNN Belief Blog, Jan 26th: On Call with Conservatives, Romney Speaks to Mormon Beliefs
After losing the South Carolina Primary to Newt Gingrich, possibly in part due to his waffling at the pre-Primary debates about releasing his tax returns, Mitt Romney released his tax returns for the past two years, which show that he paid about 14% in federal taxes on income of nearly $43 million. The timing of Romney's tax return release was impeccable- for Democrats. For months, President Obama and Democrats have been attacking Republicans for wanting to maintain tax breaks and loopholes for the super-wealthy. Last August, Warren Buffet pointed out in an op-ed that he paid a lower federal tax rate than his secretary in 2010. He paid about 17.4%, whereas his office staff paid an average of 36%. Buffet rightly pointed out that this simply isn't fair. He added, "it’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."Read more
My hope is that most people by now have seen the State of the Union Address given by President Obama on Tuesday or at least some of it. That said, regardless if you have or have not, I would recommend you view it with the nifty "PowerPoint" graphics along side by watching it from the official www.whitehouse.gov website. Click here to watch the speech.
I am sure there will be more on this topic posted soon...in the meantime, please lets us know what your thoughts on the address or this great new site.
Let me state the obvious, just because I am Mormon, I don't feel the need to vote for a Mormon. Although I might say that I am voting for Obama because I'm a Mormon. In that same vein, I suppose that every Jew was not lining up behind Joe Lieberman for his 2004 presidential bid just because he is Jewish. (Although I admit that Lieberman is probably more of a Jon Huntsman of Jewish religious practice, so it is not a perfect analogy. But again, if Huntsman was in Romney's position, then my very liberal sister just might throw her support his way because she finds him rather attractive.)
At church a few weeks back, a discussion came up about how one should interact with the numerous homeless people on the streets. The opinions were varied and numerous and stretched across the spectrum of possibilities. We heard everything from a Mr. Wendal-styled approach (this is where I tend to fall) to a response that seemed to be directly pulled from Mosiah 4:17. The point is this: I don't see that Mormons agree on everything, so why would Mormons necessarily all agree on the same candidate for president, regardless of religious affiliation? And I realize that most Mormons know this. So possibly I am writing for those of us that may not understand the diversity of opinion within the LDS church.
But back to my first paragraph: is it possible that a Jew might not vote for Romney because he is Mormon? According to an article posted today on the Huffington Post website, some Florida Jews may take issue with Romney because of the past practice of baptisms for the dead of Jewish Holocaust victims. Or maybe this may be used against him by his rival(s)? Either way, I have to agree with Gary Mokotoff, the Jewish genealogist quoted in the article: "Romney should be judged on his political views and political past and not on the views of the president of his church." True. That is why I am not voting for him.
I guess I could begin by explaining what this website is not, before explaining what the website is. Firstly, we don't hate Mitt Romney, and we don't want to character-assassinate him here. Personally, I kind of like the guy and wouldn't mind having him as my home teacher. My sister (who is unabashedly liberal) keeps emailing me links to various anti-Romney videos, cartoons, and articles; I mostly read them, laugh, or shake my head in pretend disdain, but occasionally I feel the need to reply back in Romney's defense, forgetting to check myself that I am in fact a Obama supporter. (But more on that later.)
Secondly, we don't want to imply that Mormons, by some definition of being Mormon, should of necessity vote for Obama, although my faith does influence my voting decisions. I have observed this sentiment from some conservative Mormons: that because I am Mormon, I need to vote Republican to be a "good" Mormon. We don't want that to be the case here.
Finally, this website is not purporting to speak on behalf of any candidate or the LDS Church. We are Mormons, and we are voting for Obama, but our ideas are our own, and any guest contributors to this website also take responsibility for their thoughts as well.
It probably goes without saying that we originally thought to make this website because of Mitt Romney's campaign for President and the expectation that because we are Mormon, we logically would vote for the Mormon candidate. We noticed that some Facebook groups of Mormons supporting Obama existed from the 2008 election. However, we wanted to have a place to express our support for the President, his vision and policies, and his campaign for reelection; hence, we've created this website.
Through this site, we are hoping to provide a space for an online community for those who are like-minded, but also for those who may differ or disagree that they might learn as well as teach us something. So please feel free to comment on posts and links!
Additionally, we are looking for content. Therefore, if you have thoughts or ideas that you would like to contribute, or if you come across any relevant news links, please send them to us and we will post them here. A brief explanation of submission guidelines will follow, but as long as it's "nice," there shouldn't be a problem. Thank you for your interest!
(Written responding to a friend asking about the party I support)
The fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats is one: the role that government plays. All the social wedge issues? Just talk.
I believe the government has the ability to solve many of our problems, and I also believe that Democrats over the last 100 years have been more consistent, more fiscally conservative (save FDR), and more in line with principles that I believe.
On the surface the parties do not represent what is core about each group. For example, on the Democrat's side you look at Occupy Wall Street, a sliver of what is representative of Democrats, and paint the whole party in a similar manner. What is interesting about the OWS movement, is the wealthy blue states pay for all the social programs of the red states. Also, of the richest 20 individuals in the US, 12 vote Democrat which is again inconsistent with the OWS sliver.
Let me give you another example to why I side with Democrats over Republicans; the only true conservative in the Republican primaries is Ron Paul. He is small government. He is, by definition, a true conservative. An actual conservative should embrace this guy like their own mother, but they don't. Why? The Republican party has an identity problem. They do not understand the definition of conservatism and wrap themselves in issues like gay marriage and abortion which has as much to do with conservatism as Chuck Norris does to baseball. Republicans vote socially, and instead of wedge issue legislation their leaders grow government, give disproportionate tax decreases which shifts tax burden, and funnel more money into the military and subsidies for industries that fund their elections. Jon Stewart said it best ... "Republicans are for limited government...limited to the stuff they want to do."
Economic policy is another example as to why I side with Democrats. Every single candidate on both sides of the aisle are Keynesian except one (RP). One of the fundamental beliefs of Keynesian is the idea that you can deficit spend (ie use government -- a core Democratic principle) to overcome recession and economic busts. Although Republicans like to pretend they are fiscally conservative, I struggle to find a concrete example of when they demonstrated this principle.
The most popular Republican president in the last 100 years was Reagan. People label Reagan as a true conservative, but he was far from it. He presided over two substantial tax increases because governmental spending was out of control, provided amnesty to three million illegals, had a very liberal foreign policy (which I like), and expanded government spending by 60%. Reagan was respected for the bipartisan deals he made, never went to church, and was very silent about his pro-life stance. Reagan would be crucified by the Tea Party, but today he is shrouded as a true conservative. Why? The Republican party has become the voice of the extreme, forgetting their core beliefs. Compromise is an ugly word and moderates, the same people that gave Reagan an astounding 49 state win in 1984, have switched sides, effectively giving Obama a landslide victory in 2008.
Democrats also have an identity problem but this is due to the wide umbrella the party casts on smaller groups. This is the reason Democrats have 20 million more registered voters than Republicans. I can be a pro-life, anti-gay marriage Democrat and be completely supported by my party. Could you be pro-choice, pro gay-marriage Republican and say the same? Democrats are more accepting of differentiated opinions and positions. There are examples of moderate Democrats, but after the 2010 elections, I struggle to think of any moderate Republicans.
Your question is a good one, and I am answering it because I know its sincere. You look at me and wonder why I support the party I do. I look at you and ask the same question.
~The Editors of MormonsforObama.org
Have you ever come across someone who vehemently supports the criminalization of most or all forms of abortion? Chances are that person opposed with equal fervor President Obama's health care reform bill and most, if not all forms of public assistance to those in need. It is also quite likely that that person supported the Iraq War, which we waged on a nation that had never attacked us and was not a significant threat to us. That person probably also whole-heartedly embraces the death penalty the way it is applied today in our criminal justice system. I find it incredibly disturbing when so many conservatives claim that they value the sanctity of life, yet show no concern for the living.Read more
The last convoy of U.S. troops departed from Iraq last week, marking the end of a nearly 9-year war. I am grateful that the Obama Administration did not extend the troop presence any longer, despite harsh criticism from neoconservative Republicans like Mitt Romney, who would have preferred we kept troops in Iraq almost into perpetuity. I was never a supporter of the war, even prior to its commencement. The consequences of the war have been far reaching and disastrous for the U.S. on many levels. Some of the most important consequences are as follows:Read more