In Support of Obama
October 24, 2012
My name is Willis Harvey, and I am a Democrat and a proud supporter of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their wives, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. I am a healthy, 86-year-old veteran of the Second World War and the Korean War. I was born in 1926 on a farm in Mississippi. By today’s standards we would be considered as having been poor, but looking back on my experience as a member of a family of seven boys, our parents reared us to be honest and hard working and to live lives without prejudice toward anyone. We learned from them to appreciate our great country. They were dedicated democrats and understood that the founders who wrote the Constitution included everyone, “We the People.” Unbeknownst to them, my grandparents’ names, Thomas Jefferson Harvey and James Madison Porter, gave me a leg up in the selection process for special work as a radio operator, to which I devoted my time while in service. Also, the GI Bill allowed me to pursue a college education, giving me a promising future.
Women who came out of the Suffragette Movement had a great hand in the creation of our country’s safety net. Frances Perkins, who was FDR’s Secretary of Labor and the first woman ever appointed to a U.S. Cabinet, pushed for Social Security, Child Labor Laws, and an equitable work week. Over 60 years later, our country took a major step forward for the benefit of all of its citizens when we elected Barack Obama as our president and Joe Biden as our vice-president. They continue to build upon past achievements by insuring equal pay for equal work for women and making health care available for more of the country’s citizens. Also, their re-election will protect Roe vs Wade from being repealed, ensuring women have a choice.
In the 2008 campaign I worked diligently in Harnett County, NC to register new voters, including both African Americans and young voters. Now in this 2012 campaign, not only have I continued to register voters here in Wake County, close to Raleigh, the State capital, I am also encouraging them to vote early. I do hear on the news the claim that many African Americans and young voters are not bothering to vote or are considering switching parties. To both of these groups I urgently appeal to you that you reconsider the effect this would have on our country. We might find ourselves headed toward the world’s worst depression, and we would lose the momentum we have gained in building partnerships with our allies.
Folks, the turnout for Obama is crucial. We must preserve what we have accomplished for all of our country’s citizens and not allow our future to be governed by the upper one percent.
Stay tuned. I will be sharing with you what it was like living during the Great Depression.
The Depression Years
October 27, 2012
FDR Great Depression Memorial: A Bread Line
This is Willis Harvey again, the 86-year-old veteran who has supported President Obama from the very beginning of his 2008 campaign. In my first message I promised to share what it was like living during the depression years of the 1920’s and 30’s. After the fall of the stock market, it was not just the poor who stood in bread lines. Bankers, stock brokers, and professional people stood with them. My family was fortunate to live on a farm, and though we had no money, we were able to survive off the land. My father had bought our farm through the Federal Land Bank, so the cash that came from the sale of cotton and corn went to pay off the loan. The cost of taking cotton to the gin was paid for with the cotton seed. When the corn was taken to the grist mill to be turned into corn meal, part of it was given to the mill owner as payment. The same approach was used when sugar cane was taken to be turned into syrup. In addition to “cash” crops, we grew lots of vegetables. My brothers and I also hunted and fished to supplement our diet.
It was not until Roosevelt put the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) into action that we finally had some disposable cash. One of my older brothers went to work with the CCC helping to build dams, roads, and bridges that are still in use today. In return, each man received $30 a month, $25 of which my brother sent home, keeping $5 for himself. That enabled us to buy staples such as flour and sugar, tea and coffee. We lived in a four- room log home without electricity, bathroom facilities, or running water. Our lives were accustomed to lighting by kerosene lamps, bathing in tin tubs, and drinking water gathered from a cistern rather than from a well saturated with sulfur. Believe it or not, we were a healthy family. I don’t recall any of us ever going to the doctor. When not in school, our time was spent chopping cotton and earning what little extra we could by selling firewood and wood for cross ties and staves for making barrels. This lifestyle came to an end for me in 1944 when I was drafted on my 18th birthday. Fortunately, I was allowed to finish high school before joining the Navy.
We are now coming out of a recession that could have sunk us into a deep depression, except for the fact that programs such as unemployment compensation now offer protection from bread lines. In that same tradition, President Obama has helped get our economy back on track by saving the auto industry and adding more private-sector jobs. He also is promoting education to prepare workers for skilled jobs and is doubling the funding for Pell grants.
Let’s keep the momentum going by supporting Obama’s dream for the future, a future for every American, not just a chosen few. Volunteers are energetically making phone calls and knocking on doors urging supporters to vote early. You, too, can help by forwarding this link—www.support-obama.com—to your friends.
We must keep North Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio among the Blue States to absolutely assure Obama’s re-election! I’ll soon be talking to you about eliminating discrimination in our country.
The Economy and Discrimination: What Obama Has Accomplished During His First Term
October 29, 2012
October 29, 2012
When I returned home after WWII, rationing was still being enforced. Servicemen were adjusting to civilian life, many of whom, including me, went back to school on the GI bill. Europe was in a shambles, and Japan had been devastated by the atomic bomb. How was the world’s economy going to get up and running again? General George C. Marshall came up with a master plan known as the Recovery Act, and Truman signed it in to law. It became known as the Marshall Plan. The United States helped countries, including Germany and Japan, to get back on their feet, making them viable trading partners. We were already a strong, industrialized country, and our quality goods were very much in demand. That all changed with globalization, and, because of the Iraq war, by the end of the Bush administration our credibility abroad had reached an all-time low.
When Obama came into office, he successfully renewed our country’s place in the community of nations, making cooperation in tackling the world’s challenges possible. With new policies, diplomacy, and rhetoric, Obama has improved America’s image abroad. According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, from 2008 to 2011, favorable opinion toward the United States rose in 10 of 15 countries surveyed, with an average increase of 26 percent.
He is now helping veterans return to the work world and has encouraged small businesses to succeed by reducing their taxes over and over again. Our work force has traditionally been made up of innovative, creative individuals. Start-up businesses are being created, and many new jobs become available each month. Obama also strongly emphasizes tax incentives for corporations that bring their manufacturing base back to the United States. Warren Buffett has stated that the economy is improving.
Among the economic accomplishments during Obama’s first term are the following:
- Created millions of jobs—The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that 4.4 million jobs have been created since Obama took office. Jobless rates dropped in 34 states and DC. March 2012 jobs data showed biggest growth in three years.
- $5,000 tax credit for every new worker
- Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
- Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act—re-regulates the financial sector. The new law tightens capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide “living wills” to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers’ money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.
- Turned around the auto industry—Since bottoming out in 2009, the auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers all gained market share for the first time in two decades.
- Recapitalized Banks—Got banks back on their feet at essentially zero cost to the government.
- Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis—To keep world economy out of recession in 2009 and 2010, helped secure from G-20 nations more than $500 billion for the IMF to provide lines of credit and other support to emerging market countries, which kept them liquid and avoided crises with their currencies.
- Passed Mini Stimuli—helped families hurt by the recession and spurred the economy as stimulus spending declined— signed series of measures to extend unemployment insurance and cut payroll taxes
- Passed Credit Card Reforms—Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, which prohibits credit card companies from raising rates without advance notification, mandates a grace period on interest rate increases, and strictly limits overdraft and other fees.
- Advanced women's rights in the work place—equal pay for equal work—Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
- Increased federal employment of individuals with disabilities
- Overhauled the credit card industry—making it much more consumer-friendly
- Created The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
I also promised in my last sharing that I would discuss the problem of discrimination that continues to exist in our country. Prejudice against people of color and heritage has increased since Obama took office. Our country has come a long way, but it is troubling that more progress on racial prejudice has not been made. When I see how young people have embraced each other, I feel optimistic that racial tolerance will win out. It behooves us to look at the qualifications of a person, not the color of his or her skin, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation. Obama has proved himself to us by basing his decisions on our Constitution and by looking after the welfare of all of our citizens. He will keep us moving forward in his second term, just as he’s done during his first term.
The following are some of his anti-discrimination achievements:
- Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—allows gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.
Appointed two “liberal” Supreme Court justices—Nominated and obtained confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman to serve, in 2009; and Elena Kagan, the fourth woman to serve, in 2010.
Expanded Hate Crimes Protections—Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009), which expands existing hate crime protections to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.
Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers—In 2009, signed Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers who the government cheated out of loans and natural resource royalties in years past.
American Recovery and Investment Act—Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act
VOTE FOR OBAMA NOW!
Presidential Memorandums—one extends benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and another protects gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights
Go Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, and Ohio et al.
Don’t forget to forward www.support-obama.com to your friends and relatives (and your enemies, too!) You can also go to Facebook page, In Support of Barack Obama, and "Like" it!
Read more about Obama’s accomplishments at:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obamas_top_50_accomplishments035755.php?page=1
The Washington Monthly—March/April 2012
Obama’s Top 50 Accomplishments
By Paul Glastris, Ryan Cooper, and Siyu Hu