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S: Famous Americans

FC: Current Event book Jasmine Harden Government 11/17/2012

1: Table of Contents P.2-3 Bloomberg endorses Obama P.4-5Main Street P. 6-7 & 8-9 'Just Americans' P. 10- 11 &12-13 A New Birth of Politics? Bangladesh prime minister alleges arson in deadly factory fire P. 14&15- 16&17 Democracy Now/War and Peace Report P.18&19

2: Bloomberg endorses Obama New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has backed President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, saying the incumbent Democrat will bring critically needed leadership to fight climate change after the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy. The endorsement on Thursday from the politically independent mayor of the biggest US city was a major boost for Obama, who is spending the campaign's final days trying to win over independent voters whose voices will be critical in determining the winner of Tuesday's election.

3: Both candidates had eagerly sought the nod from Bloomberg, who did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008 and has publicly grumbled about both Obama and Romney. But Bloomberg said the possibility that Sandy resulted from climate change had made the stakes of the election that much clearer. "We need leadership from the White House, and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption,'' Bloomberg wrote in an online opinion piece for Bloomberg View.

4: 'Main street' Obama was back on the campaign trail on Thursday, after a three-day pause to manage the federal response to the deadly storm that battered the East Coast. His first stop was Wisconsin, where he was making up for an event that was canceled earlier in the week because of the storm. He had rallies planned later in Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as Boulder, Colorado, a heavily Democratic area of the swing state.

5: 'Main street' Patty Culhane reports on Obama in Las Vegas, Nevada. Polling shows the presidential race essentially tied nationally ahead of Tuesday's vote. The incumbent was backed by 47 per cent of probable voters and Republican challenger Romney supported by 46 per cent in a Reuters/Ipsos poll presented on Thursday. Romney aimed at patriotism and the heartland as he was campaigning in Virginia on Thursday, mentioning Boy Scouts, football, "America the Beautiful" and the flag. He also criticized Obama's comment in an interview aired by MSNBC on Monday that he would like to consolidate government agencies that deal with business issues in a new department under a secretary of business. "I don't think adding a new chair to his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street," Romney said. The last of the closely watched monthly unemployment reports comes out on Friday. Last month's report said unemployment had dipped below eight per cent for the first time since the month Obama took office.

6: 'Just Americans' In Wisconsin, Obama returned to the aftermath of the storm, saying he saw yet again "that there are no Democrats or Republicans in a storm. There are just Americans". Obama has been given high marks, even from some of his harshest Republican critics, for his handling of this week's storm crisis and the dispatch of massive federal aid to victims. Romney has been forced to answer questions about his earlier campaign statements that the key federal emergency relief organization, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, should turn its role over to the states. Obama also resurrected his 2008 "change" slogan and said he was the only candidate who had actually fought for it. "You may be frustrated at the pace of change, but you know what I believe, you know where I stand," Obama told a crowd on an airport tarmac. "I know what change looks like because I've fought for it."

7: 'Just Americans' Both candidates will spend the final days in eight swing states that will decide who wins the electoral votes needed to capture the White House. Obama holds slim leads in a majority of the so-called battleground states. Those states are neither reliably Republican nor Democratic; giving them outsized importance in the US system for choosing the president. The winner is not the candidate with the most popular votes nationwide but the one who manages to accumulate at least 270 electoral votes in state-by-state contests. Those votes are determined by a state's representation in Congress. Despite a Romney surge nationwide after the three presidential debates, polling shows Obama holding on to leads in enough of the all-important swing states - most notably Ohio - to win at least the necessary 270 electoral votes. No Republican candidate for the White House so far has won the election without capturing Ohio. More than 19 million people have already voted, either by mail or in person.

8: 'Just Americans' http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/11/20121111628487287.html (Summary) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing President Barack Obama, not Republican Mitt Romney; Mayor Bloomberg thinks President Obama will lead the fight for climate change legislation after the Superstorm Sandy. The politically independent mayor’s endorsement of a major US city is a great boost for Obama. After a three-day break, because of the storm, Obama was back on the campaign trail on the 1st November. He stopped in Wisconsin and plans on being in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Boulder, Colorado later in the week. Polling shows the presidential race is tied nationally ahead of Tuesday's vote. Romney was campaigning in Virginia on Thursday. He also disliked Obama's remark that aired on MSNBC on Monday. He said he would like to compact government agencies that deal with business in a new department under a secretary of business. "I don't think adding a new chair to his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street," Romney said. October’s unemployment report had dropped below 8% for the first time since the month Obama took office. The candidates will spend the last eight days in swing states that will pick who wins the electoral votes that are needed to take the White House.

9: http://blog.syracuse.com/shelflife/2008/03/einstein2.jpg | 'Just Americans' (Significance) Mayor Bloomberg, one of the nation’s most important independents, is quite a boost to President Obama’s campaign, considering that the independent vote may help decide who wins in the swing states in the 2012 election. It seems it will be a very close race till the end. After managing the disaster on the east coast, the President got back on the campaign trail with stops in Wisconsin, (Paul Ryan’s territory) and planed rallies in cities in key swing states. With the race so close, Mitt Romney is jumping on the patriotic band wagon, trying to sew-up Virginia. The President unites the nation around hurricane Sandy, receiving praise even from the Republican Party. The President consolidating government agencies that deal with business issues seems out of step with the way Romney would handle it, he would probably outsource it. The President is retaining the lead in the all important electoral vote.

10: A New Birth of Politics? Suddenly it seems as if everyone in the political world is talking about Steven Spielberg's splendid film Lincoln. Instead of the standard Hollywood hagiography, it is an act of civic virtue: a movie about a living, breathing, horse-trading, occasionally mendacious genius of a politician. It resurrects the noble greasiness of politics at a perfect moment: we need some inspired horse-trading in Washington right now, with short-term stimulus, long-term deficit reduction, health care and other issues on the table. They shouldn't be. Earmarks are a useful lubricant for the great gears of legislation. Lincoln obviously loved them. In Spielberg's film and Tony Kushner's brilliant script, Lincoln doesn't compromise his principles to win passage of the 13th Amendment. He compromises his morals, a little. He trades jobs for votes. He pulls a Clinton--lawyering the truth--over the question of whether he's about to commence negotiations with a rebel delegation. That was the miracle of Abraham Lincoln, politician. He pursued the high purpose of moving justice forward via the low arts of patronage and patronization. Indeed, in a democracy, it is usually the only way great deeds are done.

11: http://hawaii.gov/hawaiiaviation/publications/above-the-pacific-by-william-j-horvat-1966/images/EarhartPlaneHonoluluToCoast19350108.jpg | A New Birth of Politics? If he'd been negotiating Obamacare, Lincoln would have made the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" deal--$100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska to secure a Senator's vote--in a heartbeat, even if the press howled as it did when Barack Obama agreed to it, forcing its cancellation. Which raises another point: if we're going to resume deal making in Washington, my colleagues in the media are going to have to get off the high horses we mounted when, in the wake of Watergate, exposing "corruption" became the surest path to journalistic gold and glory. We're going to have to stop the nonstop cynicism about politicians and start celebrating those who have the genius to find consensus, even when it gets messy. We need to be less puritanical about politics. What would Lincoln do about the fiscal cliff? The answer seems obvious. He would narrow the debate where necessary--on the revenue side--while expanding it to make more-creative long-term judgments about spending. He'd set a revenue figure, let's say $2 trillion, and allow politics to run its course toward a $1.5 trillion-or-so compromise, with the actual menu of rate increases and loophole closings subject to the convenience of the polls. On the spending side, he would probably have to look at health care in a new way. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2130399,00.html#ixzz2DedC5OID

12: A New Birth of Politics? (Summary) In this article Joe Klein Monday of Time Magazine, theorizes how President Lincoln would play politics in today's United States, specifically negotiating Obamacare and the fiscal cliff. The article was inspired by the Steven Spielberg's new movie Lincoln. The article talked about how Lincoln was quite the negotiator. He was able to play both sides of the isle. If Lincoln had the fiscal cliff on his hands he, “would narrow the debate where necessary--on the revenue side--while expanding it to make more-creative long-term judgments about spending.” (Significance) President Obama has talked in the past as looking-up to our 16th President and studying the way he governed during one of the most trying times in our nation’s history. Mr. Klein is stating what he thinks President Lincoln would do if he was in President Obama’s place in our own trying times. It is interesting that the 13th amendment freed African American slaves and now, 174 years later we have an African American President in his second term, which is leaving his own legacy with Universal Health Care.

13: A New Birth of Politics? (Commentary) I think Mr. Klein is writing about how President Lincoln would handle today’s government issues, but I think President Lincoln was like President Obama. The Obama campaign was like that of the Lincoln campaign, from making his announcement speech on the steps of the Old Illinois State Capitol in Springfield (the site of Abraham Lincoln's famous "house divided" speech) to deflecting questions about his lack of national experience (also a criticism of Lincoln). Both Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln adopted Illinois as their home state. President Obama, who has talk about Lincoln in almost every major speech he had given in his campaign for President in 08’. Both had distant fathers and were raised in families of few means. Both had curiosity, devouring studies. And to finish on a personal note President Lincoln and President Obama are two of my favorite Presidents. (Questions for discussion) 1. How are the two men alike and how are they different? 2. Both President Barack Obama and President Abraham Lincoln adopted Illinois as their home state, but only one did it as an adult, which one?

14: Bangladesh prime minister alleges arson in deadly factory fire Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- The clothing factory fire that killed more than 100 workers in Bangladesh over the weekend was no accident, the country's prime minister said. The fire Saturday at the factory near Dhaka, and a second fire at another factory Monday were "planned arson," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Monday. Two people were arrested Monday trying to set fire to an apparel factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, but local police said they had not yet found any links between the arrests and the other factory fires. Hasina's remarks came the night before Tuesday's day of mourning for those killed at the factory and for the victims from a recent overpass collapse in southeastern Bangladesh. All apparel factories were to be closed Tuesday, and special prayers will be offered at mosques, churches and temples, the government said. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. put some distance between it and the clothing factory, saying the factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for the company.

15: Bangladesh prime minister alleges arson in deadly factory fire "A supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorization and in direct violation of our policies. Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," Wal-Mart said Monday. The clothing factory, housed in a multistory building near the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, caught fire Saturday night. More than 100 people were killed and at least 200 were injured as they rushed to escape the factory in Ashulia, police said. More than 100 people were killed and at least 200 were injured as they rushed to escape the factory in Ashulia, police said. "How the factory caught fire, I don't know. But when we heard 'fire,' we all rushed out and we were trying to get out of the factory," said Parul Begum, a survivor. "One factory worker broke a window and one of the workers pulled me through. After the fire, we tried to run out the door, but it was locked. When the floor (became) dark with smoke, the boys came to rescue me," she said.

16: Bangladesh prime minister alleges arson in deadly factory fire (Summary) More than 1,200 workers at the Bangladesh garment factory gutted in a fire last month that killed 112 people have no work and few prospects, and many want their old jobs back. Almost one-third of Bangladesh’s 150 million people live in extreme poverty, and garment work is one of the few paths to a stable income, especially for young, uneducated rural women. The government is giving 200,000 takes ($2,500) to the families of those who died in the fire and 50,000 takes to the injured, while uninjured workers will get their November wages. It is not yet clear when, or even if, the factory will be rebuilt. (Significance) The Tazreen Fashions’ blaze is just the latest and worst of a series of factory fires in Bangladesh and other countries used as cheap labor platforms, According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, more than 500 Bangladeshi workers have died in factory fires since 2006.In February 2006, at least 54 workers were killed and over 100 seriously injured when a textile factory burned down in Chittagong, a city in Bangladesh. Many of those killed or badly injured were unable to escape because the main entrance and other gates were locked.

17: Bangladesh prime minister alleges arson in deadly factory fire (Commentary) The fire at Bangladesh’s Tazreen garment factory might not have killed more than 100 people if the facility had had half as many fire escapes as there have been evasions of responsibility for the disaster.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. said they didn’t know their clothes were being made in the firetrap. Sean Combs’ clothing brand blamed a middleman for choosing the factory. Tazreen Fashion Ltd.’s owner, Tuba Group, pointed to a certificate of safety compliance from a nonprofit group, but the group said that document is bogus. Government officials laid blame for the deaths on arsonists supposedly out to undermine Bangladesh’s position as the second largest exporter of clothing after China. Each of these parties bears a share of responsibility for the tragedy. Among them, however, retailers from wealthy countries have the greatest ability to ensure that the factories they hire don’t sacrifice safety to the bottom line. They should force change – for their own sake as well as for the workers on whom their profits depend. (Questions for discussion) 1. What does the Bangladesh fire have in common with a fire in New York City in 1911? 2. What did the New York City fire lead to?

18: Democracy Now/War and Peace Report (Summary) This podcast was a conversation with Mr. West and Mr. Smiley; they co-authored a book called “The Rich and the Rest of us-a Poverty Manifesto”. The book talks about how one in two or 150 million Americans has fallen into poverty or could be considered low income. They discuss the fact that one percent controls forty-two percent of the wealth. Mr. West points out that in 2010 one percent earned ninety-three percent of the income in America, wealth redistribution-poor to the rich. The House Republicans want to cut social services to the poor, while giving more to the Pentagon. They talk about the need for good jobs for Americans, with a living wage. (Significance) One in Two Americans live in, or is near poverty? Hard to believe, in a nation with this much wealth, that one in two is in poverty. There has not been much dialog on this subject in our government. Most of them seem to be pretty well off, so maybe they don’t care. I agree with something they said in the podcast, poverty is a direct threat to democracy. (Questions for Discussion) 1. Will poverty in America ever get more than lip service from our leaders? 2. Will social health care help put a dent in poverty?

19: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tKxK9ZC0AY- | Democracy Now/War and Peace Report (Commentary) I live in a low income home. My dad is disabled and lives on a fixed income. My mom still suffers from the effect of a stroke she had a few years back, and has a small trust she receives monthly. My parents have struggled to get help with their medical expenses. They do not qualify for assistance in the county of San Diego, (they have a mortgage and a couple of old cars, that’s too much according to the county). After much effort and talking on my dad’s part these expenses have been forgiven. But my mom was left with a hernia after an appendices operation that she received no follow ups on, because she lacks health insurance. Now she is looking for charitable doctors to help her. My dad just suffers with no strong pain meds or physical therapy and since it is a degenerative disease, it is only getting worse, all this because we are poor. We don’t lack for food yet, but if the price of food keeps going up, we will have a problem.Sure do hope the people who represent us in our government, you know the “public servants” have enough health insurance and money to have a great Christmas.

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