CHARLOTTE – The Democratic National Convention Committee and Obama for America today announced that First Lady Michelle Obama and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro will speak at the 2012 Democratic National Convention’s opening night, Tuesday, September 4th, at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mayor Castro will be the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention.
To watch a new video of Mayor Castro discussing his convention speech, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucPgknimN5w
“Having both the First Lady and Mayor Castro speak on the opening night of our convention will bring together two incredible leaders whose life stories both embody the promise of America, that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it,” said 2012 Democratic Convention Chair, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The First Lady is an inspiration to millions of Americans, and has been a tireless advocate for military families and our nation’s children. As the person who knows him best, she will offer unique insights into the President as a husband, father and a leader over the last four years.”
“As mayor, Julián Castro has worked tirelessly to move San Antonio forward by building its economy from the middle out, not the top down, by putting the city on a path to being a leader in the new energy economy and making innovative investments in education to prepare San Antonio’s students for the jobs of the future,” continued Mayor Villaraigosa. “That’s the same vision forward for the middle class the President has, and it stands in stark contrast to Mitt Romney, who’s ready to return us to the same policies that crashed our economy.”
The DNCC will unveil additional convention program details and speakers in the coming weeks. The first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5, will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena. President Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President on Thursday, September 6 at Bank of America Stadium.
ABOUT MAYOR CASTRO
A 37-year-old San Antonio native, Mayor Julián Castro is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city and is serving his second term as mayor of San Antonio, the nation’s 7th largest city. Raised by a single mother and educated in public schools on the working-class West Side of San Antonio, Mayor Castro and his identical twin brother, Joaquin, received bachelor's degrees from Stanford University before earning law degrees from Harvard Law School.
While Mayor, he has focused on attracting well-paying jobs in 21st century industries to the city, positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy and raising educational attainment across the spectrum. Under his leadership, the city in 2010 opened Café College, a one-stop center offering high-quality guidance on college admissions, financial aid and standardized test preparation to any student in the San Antonio area. In 2011, those efforts resulted in the Milken Institute ranking San Antonio the nation’s top-performing local economy.
In March 2010, Mayor Castro was named to the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders and Time magazine’s “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics. Mayor Castro also serves on the board of directors of the National League of Cities, is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow. In giving the keynote address, Mayor Castro follows other prominent Texans who have served in that role, including former Texas Gov. Ann Richards in 1988 and former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan in 1976 and 1992. He is married to Erica Lira Castro, an elementary school teacher, and they are the proud parents of Carina, born in 2009.
It's been a long trip apparently. Romney travelling press spokesman Rick Gorka got angry this morning when reporters asked Romney about gaffes and mishaps on the foreign trip and went feral momentarily telling reporters to "show some respect" and then[...]
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THE GAFFERIFFIC foreign policy tour of Mitt Romney has finally gotten to his campaign team.
Walking through Pilsudski Square in Poland, the traveling press corps started yelling questions at Mr. Romney, asking about his string of gaffes, particularly related to the Palestinians, who were furious at what Pres. Abbas labeled “racist” comments.
From CNN has the transcript of what transpired between traveling press secretary Rick Gorka and the press:
CNN: “Governor Romney are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip?
NYT: “Governor Romney do you have a statement for the Palestinians?
Washington Post: “What about your gaffes?
NYT: “Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”
CNN: “Governor Romney just a few questions sir, you haven’t taken but three questions on this trip from the press!
Gorka: “Show some respect”
NYT: “We haven’t had another chance to ask a question…”
Gorka: “Kiss my ass. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”
Moments later, Gorka told Jonathan Martin to ?shove it.?
Gorka apologized, calling his public press meltdown “inappropriate.”
Unfortunately, it gave a very transparent viewing of the pressure inside the Romney campaign after a trip that was supposed to show Mitt Romney as presidential, but instead has revealed him as ill-prepared and amateurish on the international stage, as well as so insecure about his own prowess that he felt compelled to insult London on the Olympics, talk about private MI-6 meetings, and diss a primary Middle East peace player, while rattling sabers on Iran, with the net result of the candidate’s behavior leading to his chief communication’s aide coming unglued.
Click here to view this media
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the great Senator from the state of Alabama did his best to diminish the fact that the Senate just passed the Democratic tax plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for all income under $250,000, which all of the Republicans just voted against during this interview on Fox over the weekend.
Passing tax cuts for the 99 percent, well that's just playing games and a political statement in Sessions' world. Unlike the very serious Republicans who are determined to hang on to those Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. God knows they can't go raisin' taxes on those "job creators." The world would come to an end if we asked millionaires to pay a few more percentage points in taxes don't ya' know.
Sessions also managed to completely ignore the fact that Republicans were the ones holding the economy hostage the last time we had the threat of a government shutdown. He even went so far as to pretend that Democrats believe there's some sort of political benefit to that sort of gamesmanship. I'm not sure where he got that idea, because the fact that Congress allowed our credit rating to be lowered the last time Republicans pulled this stunt is one of the reasons that Congress' approval ratings are at an all time low right now.
Sessions seemed to be suffering from the same memory lapse as his fellow Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who tried blaming the cuts to military spending as part of the sequestration plan, when Republicans are the ones who insisted we make the defense cuts rather than raise taxes.
Sessions followed that by pretending that spending on food stamps is not stimulative to the economy (which is utterly false) and attacking those who are dependent on our social safety nets during this horrible economy that his party is primarily responsible for creating. It's kind of tough pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps when there are no jobs to be found, or very few due to the fact that the economy has not recovered and the fact that Republicans have been doing everything within their power to make sure it stays that way.
Naturally there was no mention by the Fox host Uma Pemmaraju about Republican governors laying off government workers so they can give their corporate campaign donors tax cuts, or the fact that the Republicans have blocked almost every bit of stimulus or the jobs bills that the Democrats have tried to get passed. Heaven forbid facts are ever allowed to get in the way of a Republican's talking points on Fox.
Hard to make a choice without information. When I go shopping, I'd like to avoid genetically modified food. Last month the Senate made it a lot harder for me to do that by giving AgriBusiness a big fat wet kiss. The Senate voted 26-73 against an amendment by Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to the Agriculture Reform Act of 2012 that would have permitted states to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient. Why is this important? Let's look at what GMO is. This is how the Natural Society defines GMOs:
Genetically modified foods are compromised of organisms (known as GMOs for ?genetically modified organisms?) which have been genetically altered for ?improvement?. Biotechnology giant Monsanto is the primary maker of genetically modified seeds, responsible for 90 percent of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market.
The touted reasons for genetically modifying foods vary from making a fruit larger and seedless to resisting pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Millions of dollars are invested in this bioengineering process annually by many, with Bill Gates most notably investing into Monsanto with 500,000 shares. But are GMO foods really the solution to humanity?s problems, or are they negatively affecting virtually all life on planet earth?
Genetically modified foods have been proven not only to be unhealthy, but also deadly. One review of 19 studies showed that with the consumption of genetically modified foods comes significant organ disruptions, especially in the liver and kidneys. What?s more, however, is that the damage posed by Monsanto?s GMO creations extend even further than public health. In fact, they threaten the environment as a whole. This is perhaps the most concerning effect of GMOs.
Monsanto has created GMO crops that contain something known as Bt, which is a toxin incorporated into the crops with the intention of killing off insects. The usage of the Bt biopesticide within these GMO crops, however, has actually led to ?mutant? insect populations which are directly resistant to the biopesticide. Reports state that at least 8 insect populations have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole. As a result, farmers must spray even more pesticides!
Beyond GM seeds and the Bt pesticide, Monsanto is also the creator of the best-selling herbicide Roundup. The usage of Roundup has spawned over 120 million hectacres of herbicide-resistant superweeds that have destroyed the farmland in which they reside. In addition, much of the soil has also been damaged. Even in the face of these statistics, Monsanto continues to disregard any and all warning signs.
Genetically modified foods present a very real threat to the genetic integrity of both humankind and the environment, and require vigorous longterm research before being unleashed on the public. That is why nations like Peru, France, and Hungary are taking action against Monsanto and GMOs over legitimate health concerns.
1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you've watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. "As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn," and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto's GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.
2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto's herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone.
3. Sugar: According to NaturalNews, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they've been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of it's sugarbeets, being ordered to remove seeds from the soil due to illegal approval.
4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.
5. Papayas: This one may come as a surprise to all of you tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though they can't be sold to countries in the European Union, they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and Canada.
6. Canola: One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.
7. Cotton: Found in cotton oil, cotton originating in India and China in particular has serious risks.
8. Dairy: Your dairy products contain growth hormones, with as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows in America are pumped with these hormones. In fact, Monasnto's health-hazardous rBGH has been banned in 27 countries, but is still in most US cows. If you must drink milk, buy organic.
9. and 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Closely related, these two squash varieties are modified to resist viruses.
He is totally listening to Daily Kos Radio.Daily Kos Radio is on the air, Monday through Friday, now from 9 a.m. to noon, ET. We start with two hours of the Kagro in the Morning show from 9-11, and then it's The Ministry of Truth, with Armando Llorens, starring Jesse LaGreca from 11-12.
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What'd you miss if you skipped Daily Kos Radio last week? Well, some of the good stuff went like this:
On George Will's Sunday irrelevance:
On today's show
Our stalwart DemFromCT drops by to update us on issue trends and polling, and we audition a new voice subroutine for the Romneybot3000's readings of Hunter's series, The Chronicles of Mitt. And if you're good, maybe, just maybe, I can experiment with taking some phone calls, and letting things really get out of hand.
Be sure to hang around afterwards for Jesse and Armando, and a full day of solid, progressive programming afterward, brought to you by the gang at Netroots Radio!
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What's happening in Congress today?
In the House
It's the first day of the actual "work" week in the House today, which means Members face a slate of 19 suspension bills, including the very obnoxious "District of Columbia Pain?Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which you can read about and lament here.
In the Senate
The Senate failed to invoke cloture on yesterday's judicial nomination, and so moved to the adoption of the motion to proceed to the cybersecurity bill, and then to the bill itself. Debate on that bill continues today, but no word on whether any votes are expected.
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you?re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- Unsurprisingly, the Catholic Conference of Illinois is seeking to involve itself in defending the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
- The Washington Post highlights the strides the Episcopal Church is making to support the transgender community.
- The Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a new “Gay Man’s Guide To Condoms.”
- Last year, the number of same-sex couples entering civil partnerships in the UK increased by 6.4 percent.
- Chris Brown has attempted to walk back his homophobic reaction to Frank Ocean’s coming out.
- CBS’s Big Brother recently demonstrated the positive impact of simply getting to know someone who is LGBT.
- An Ohio teen whose bullying was captured on video has joined with his mother to tell groups across the state their story. Watch it:
A Mitt Romney spokesman told reporters to “kiss my ass” when they tried to ask the candidate questions about his trip abroad on Tuesday.
Seemingly without irony, traveling press secretary Rick Gorka told reporters to “show some respect” and to “shove it” because they were trying to get Romney to answer questions about his numerous gaffes abroad while at the Polish tomb of the unknown.
Reporters have had virtually no access to the candidate during his three-country tour. When they frustratedly told Gorka “we haven’t had another chance to ask him questions.” Gorka responded, “kiss my ass.” CNN has the video:
While Romney has granted interviews to numerous TV stations in the US, as well as some foreign media, the campaign has blocked the traveling press pool from interacting with the candidate in unstructured settings, as CNN’s Jim Acosta explained this morning. Reporters who flew to England, Israel, and Poland with the candidate have only been able to ask a total of three questions — all on the first day.
Gorka has since apologized for his comments, and Romney adviser Stuart Stevens said of the trip “I think it was a great success.”
– Mitt Romney tried to clarify his statement last March that Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe” on CNN yesterday. “I’m talking about most of the United Nations and actions of a geopolitical nature, Russia is the number one adversary in that regard,” he said. “That doesn’t make them an enemy. It doesn’t make them a combatant. They don’t represent the number one national security threat.”
– Obama administration officials say that the threat of defense industry layoffs is overblown and that Republicans are playing up the possibility rather than trying to head it off. The Labor Department said Monday that it would be ?inappropriate? for contractors to send out large-scale dismissal notices, because it is unclear whether the federal cuts will occur and how they would be carried out.
– House and Senate lawmakers agreed on a bill yesterday that moves the U.S. closer to imposing more sanctions on Iran. The bill includes measures to curb Iran’s oil business and crackdowns on human rights.
– Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sent a tacit message to Israeli leaders on Monday, urging that diplomacy and economic pressure be given more time to work before they move ahead with any military strike on Iran.
– Turkey has sent more troops and military equipment to the Syrian border to shore up its defense there. Meanwhile, Arab and Muslim men from Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Belgium and even the U.S. have traveled to Syria to join the Free Syrian Army forces.
– Congress may be close to a temporary budget deal that would avert a government shutdown — at least until 2013.
– The Romney campaign has released an app to announce their vice presidential pick. The Obama campaign has also released an app, which contains information of how and where to vote, along with a rundown of voter ID laws in the user’s state.
– A new book, The Rise of the President?s Permanent Campaign shows how reelection campaign fundraising has escalated over the years, exacerbated by deregulation that has pushed Obama to break fundraising records:
– Shortly after Romney said that Israel is less safe with Obama in office, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak praised the president’s policies, declaring, “President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.”
– And finally, volatile food prices, a growing population, and climate change may mean we’ll all be eating “sonic-enhanced” food and lab-grown meat in 20 years.