Candidates debate domestic policy

first_imgPresident Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney debated domestic policy Wednesday evening in the first of three presidential debates during an evening that seemed to focus more on style than substance at the University of Denver. In a reversal of the usual pattern, Romney’s poised, polished performance seemed to outshine Obama’s lackluster appearance, political science professor Michael Zuckert said. “Romney knew exactly how he wanted to put things and he put them pithily, he put them smartly and sharply ⎯ he was very smooth,” Zuckert said. “Obama was still looking for words and ways to formulate things … He should have had better formulations right at hand that he could have relied on and spoken more forcefully, instead of groping around for ways to express things that he could have had on the tip of his tongue.” This impressive showing from Romney won him the debate, at least stylistically, Zuckert said. “In terms of overall impression, Romney carried a lot of the debate, but in terms of issues, I think Obama carried it,” Zuckert said. “I saw the polls afterward and they said that they thought Romney could handle the economy better, that Romney could handle jobs better.” The thermometer measuring audience reaction on the bottom of the CNN broadcast of the debate seemed to indicate that the audience was reacting more to style than substance, Zuckert said. “It isn’t clear to me how much of the content of what they actually said made an impression, but I do think that style counts a lot,” Zuckert said. “That’s an example of why rhetoric is important – people react more to the impressions things leave on them rather than the substance of what is there … and the impression in this performance was that Romney is ‘presidential.’” Film, Television and Theatre professor Susan Ohmer said Romney’s structured answers helped him retain attention. “It was striking to me that he numbered his points,” Ohmer said. “That’s a strategy that you see in formal debate that helps keep listeners organized – a very smart strategy on [former] Governor Romney’s part.” Moderator Jim Lehrer, executive editor and former news anchor of PBS news hour, told the candidates that the debate would be divided into six units of 15 minutes, each structured around different focal points. The first question asked the candidates to speak to their plans to create jobs, which focused the debate on differences between two disparate plans to stimulate the economy. Economics professor Eric Sims said this beginning gave Romney a lot of momentum starting the debate. “I think people vote with their pocketbooks,” Sims said. “People want to ask the question ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ and I don’t think many people can say yes to that question – the president is taking a hit for that.” Rarely has an incumbent candidate been reelected to the presidency after presiding over a downturn in the economy, Sims said. “Historically speaking it is surprising that a president would be running this well with the economy in this shape,” Sims said. “To be fair it is hard to tell how responsible President Obama is or is not for that… he did walk into a bad situation but it is very unusual that we are in a recession and he is polling so well.” Both candidates have very different visions on how to solve the jobs problem, but Romney’s points were more salient because he was able to put Obama on the defensive, Sims said. The president failed to refocus the discussion of the economic progress and job creation during his term as an analysis on improvement, rather than focusing on its current status, Zuckert said. “Bill Clinton gave Obama a script that he could have used more effectively on that issue, and though Obama did try, he didn’t push it as forcefully as he might have done as a ‘Look where we started from and look where we are type of thing’ as opposed to ‘Look where we are at the absolute moment,’” Zuckert said. “Obama didn’t emphasize the trends, some of the trends are not great but they’re better than Romney portrayed them.” Zuckert said the focus on the economy played right into Romney’s hands. “Criticism of Obama on unemployment is still Romney’s best technique, but I’ve been waiting to hear more details about how he would actually change [unemployment],” Zuckert said. “I just haven’t heard a policy to me that sounds persuasive enough yet, to me it’s just not enough detail.” Romney was able to contrast his experience with business and economic policy with the relative lack of progress made in those areas in the past four years, Sims said. “That’s Obama’s weakest point. Barack Obama has a lot of pluses: he’s very likeable, at least four years ago he brought this attitude of hope and change to Washington, but the reality is that the economy stinks,” Sims said. “I think this was playing to Romney’s wheelhouse, domestic and economic policy: That’s where he has experience… In their discussion Romney came across as having a very good grasp of economics, in contrast I thought the President looked a little timid at times.” One of the strongest points Romney made was a criticism of the timing of Obama’s health care law, Sims said. “Romney’s point was that he was surprised that Obama was going to move this healthcare reform through [Congress] so fast right in the middle of an economic downturn, and that though we do need that kind of legislation – some kind of healthcare reform in the long term – when the real issue should have been jobs, President Obama was pushing through healthcare reform that created a lot of uncertainty,” Sims said. “Uncertainty is not conducive to a healthy labor market on both ends.” Ohmer said the differences in policy between Romney and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan were highlighted during the debate and by the work of fact checkers after the debate. “Ryan has endorsed legislation that will [end] Pell Grants, while Romney has said he wouldn’t do that,” Ohmer said. “Romney has also said that he won’t cut five trillion dollars when fact checkers said he would.” The degree to which each candidate moved toward the middle was striking, Zuckert said. “Even though people have said the issues were really strongly defined, they moved back towards each other,” Zuckert said. “Romney did maybe more than Obama, but both did substantially: Obama did in his litany about small businesses and job creation, and Romney in how he tailored his position from what we have heard before.” The fundamental difference between the candidates is the role that each envisions for the government within the economy, Sims said. “They characterize each other as free market capitalism and socialism, but on the broad level it is really that one side wants less government intervention and more power and choice in the hands of the individual, while the other side wants more government involvement – I think at the end of the day that’s the main difference here,” Sims said. The debate has changed America’s perception of the choice to make in November, Sims said. “Last night Romney came across as in control of the debate, and looked presidential: He helped himself a lot,” Sims said. “I think the Obama camp will have a different strategy next time around … as they move away from domestic policy to foreign policy it will be interesting to watch – we have a much closer race today than we did 24 hours ago.”last_img read more

Senate meeting discusses future of Campus Dining, Club Coordination Council updates, passes first two constitutional amendments of the academic year

first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate assembled Thursday evening to hear from presentations on the future updates on Campus Dining and Club Coordination Council (CCC), and passed the first two constitution amendments of the school year. Elizabeth Prater | The Observer Senate gathered Thursday to discuss matters regarding dining and club funding. The executive cabinet also provided an update regarding Title IX policies and procedures that affect the campus community.The meeting commenced with an executive announcement providing an update on Title IX procedures and policies. On Wednesday, representatives of senate met as a committee and approved the October 2020 draft for procedure resolving concerns of discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. They will be presenting this information to a number of different University bodies and are working to get as much feedback as possible to finalize the procedure. The senate also acknowledged Abby Wolfe, director of University Policy, for her work on this procedure.Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining and Auxiliary Programs, returned to the senate meeting after presenting a few weeks previously to provide some updates on the campus dining experience.“We have had a significant focus on individually serving each of your meals versus having them pre-packaged,” Abayasinghe said, acknowledging some of the requests made by students during the fall semester.Cheryl Bauer, director of Sourcing and Sustainability, hinted at some things to look forward to at the dining hall.“We are looking at more things to bring in and opportunities for you to experiment with,” she said. “Next month is vegan month in the U.S., so we might be having something there that is surprising.”Additionally, Bauer explained that they are looking forward to expanding opportunities in self-service. Something to anticipate next semester includes the possibility of cereals and overall steps to bring back normalcy in the dining halls, she said.Luis Alberganti, director of residential dining, also revealed that somewhere around the next weekend for Halloween, they are planning a “Spooktacular” event.Afterwards, Ricardo Pozas Garza, (CCC) president, gave a presentation on funding in the Student Union Club. He gave a comprehensive analysis of how CCC is getting involved with clubs on campus, particularly in the allocation of funds.The request for Student Union club funding, $2.4 million, are high compared to the available resources, $371 thousand. As such, the CCC has developed a system to cutting and sorting club asks in order to provide the necessary resources to student organizations.Spring Allocation is the time in which 92% of Student Union funding for clubs is directly allocated, so it is vital that the CCC effectively gauges an effective method to provide for on-campus groups. However, there are additional difficulties this year as a consequence of COVID-19.“First of all, we see the club activities and programming are significantly down this semester,” Pozas Garza said. “Revenues and expenditures are also significantly down.”Nevertheless, with the help of the virtual activity fair this semester, many organizations were able to “recruit members exceptionally better than [CCC] feared.”In addition, the CCC holds semesterly information meetings (CIMS) to share important information with clubs. Pozas Garza reported that 271 clubs attended this fall’s CIMS.The CCC Committee on Club Consulting (C6) is an initiative that CCC is putting together in order to increase their impact on campus.“Essentially, the CCC has been very reactive instead of proactive, in terms of helping clubs out,” Pozas Garza said. “What we should be doing is being more proactive and more engaging. We need to access what their needs are and help them work through those needs.”Pozas Garza said he was excited about their first major project, the Notre Dame Disabilities Club Forum, which features organizations such as Special Olympics of Notre Dame (SOND), Access-ABLE and others.Finally, the meeting ended by passing the first two constitutional amendments of the school year. Chief of staff Aaron Benavides introduced SO2021-12, which was to “essentially abolish the executive programming board and establish the executive committee.”After a fellow senate member raised a point of debate on the order.“At the end of the day, what the executive committee is all about is Student Union cohesion and bringing together the different organizations so that we can work together to serve the student body,” Benavides responded.SO2021-12 was passed, alongside SO2021-13, an order to amend the Constitution of the undergraduate student body to revise article VIII, which outlines the operational procedures of the CCC.last_img read more

R&B star Chaka Khan speak on gun violence in Trinidad

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! Chaka KhanAmerican R & B music superstar Chaka Khan is scheduled to give the feature address at a symposium on gun violence at City Hall, Port-of-Spain, tomorrow from 10 am. Hosted by Nu Wave Entertainment, the symposium is being held to mark the launch of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative.Nicola Harvey, adviser and co-ordinator of the symposium, said Nu Wave felt there was an urgent need to give back to the society and help make T&T a better place. Harvey said Khan is expected to give a motivational and inspirational speech, as she has personally felt the effects of gun violence first-hand. The two-hour symposium will examine the effects of gun violence on the families and friends of victims.In 2004, Khan’s son, Damien Patrick Holland, shot to death his 18-year-old friend. The incident took place at Holland’s apartment where the two men struggled for control over a gun, which discharged a bullet and struck the victim. Holland was acquitted of the killing in 2006.“Chaka advocates for things like this. She tends to give a voice to those voices that are not heard,” Harvey said. Harvey said the multi-platinum recording artiste, who will headline the Every Woman Mother’s Day Concert on Saturday at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, continues to be very vocal on issues involving gun violence.She said Khan has also spoken out on the highly-publicised Trayvon Martin case, in which 17-year-old Martin was fatally shot by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida on February 26. “She is a mother, too, and knows what it’s like to be affected by gun violence. She can therefore share with us how she has been able to survive,” Harvey added.The symposium will also include a panel discussion to be led by head of the Police Victim and Witness Support Unit, Margaret Sampson-Browne, and will feature various community groups including the We Are Better Youth (WABY) of Laventille. “We have lost a lot of young people to gun violence. It’s one of our main crime problems in this country. We need to focus on this,” she said.Harvey said Gender Youth and Child Development Minister Verna St Rose Greaves is also expected to attend the symposium.The Guardian 63 Views   no discussionscenter_img Tweet EntertainmentNewsRegional R&B star Chaka Khan speak on gun violence in Trinidad by: – May 9, 2012 Sharelast_img read more

Pellegrini worried by away form

first_img City lost 1-0 at Sunderland for the fourth successive season on Sunday afternoon and have now taken only four points from a possible 18 on the road during the current campaign. Pellegrini was at a loss to explain exactly how his team had come away from the Stadium of Light empty-handed after dominating for long periods, but admitted their hopes of glory could be dashed unless they can arrest the trend. Manuel Pellegrini has warned that Manchester City’s bout of travel sickness could derail their Barclays Premier League title challenge. He said: “I am concerned because we are losing too many points away and, of course, that’s very difficult if you don’t win away to try to fight for the Premier League. “But I don’t think we are playing badly, so we must have a reaction, we must improve to make sure we are going to win.” Former Manchester United full-back Phil Bardsley’s 21st-minute strike – his second goal in five days – proved enough to claim three priceless points for the Black Cats after he shrugged off James Milner and curled a shot across keeper Costel Pantilimon and inside the far post. The Romanian was once again preferred to England international Joe Hart and Pellegrini refused to be drawn on where he currently ranks his goalkeepers. He said: “At the moment, of course, Pantilimon is playing. He hasn’t had any problems in the three games he has played.” Pellegrini introduced Jesus Navas as a half-time substitute and later added Edin Dzeko to the mix as he sought a way back into the game. But with Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone and a defence marshalled superbly by Wes Brown – starting his first league game in almost 22 months – holding firm, there was no way through. The City manager said: “The reaction is very similar to the other games that we have lost away. It’s incredible the way we lost this match. “Sunderland played really well also defending. The team is not in a good position, so I understand the way they played. “But they had just one shot on our goal. We had the possession, we had the chances and we didn’t score.” Sunderland boss Gus Poyet was thrilled by a win which gave the Black Cats’ survival hopes a major boost, but did his heart little good. Asked if that was the biggest victory of his managerial career to date, even eclipsing a 2-1 defeat of arch-rivals Newcastle, he said: “Yes, probably. “I know that for the fans, for the club, for the history, it’s always more important to beat the biggest rivals without any doubt. That’s when you have to win. “But in terms of opposition, quality, world-class players, this is the biggest of my career, so it’s going to be a good evening tonight without any doubt. “I don’t know how my heart is right now. I don’t want to check it just in case it’s bad news, but it’s going to be a great evening. “I am so pleased for the players. They need to believe. It’s easy to talk – we can say things and you can write. But at the end of the day, it’s the players on the pitch who need to be convinced that this new way of playing football and defending is working, which is great for the future. “So let’s see if we can keep this going. It’s a good time to go into the international break.” Sunderland remain three points adrift of safety, but having won their last three home games, two of them in the league, the table makes for much more satisfying reading. Poyet said: “Right now, yes. Three hours ago? I’ll tell you what, when I looked at that table, it was awful – and we were playing Manchester City. “But that’s the key. It’s the feeling that you are sending to the rest above you. I would be thinking, ‘They are coming’.” Press Associationlast_img read more