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I'm a longtime contributor to MTV, Billboard, Alternative Press and MovieWeb. I've worked as on-air reporter, host, writer and producer for MTV, MSNBC and E!. I have provided opinion and commentary to programs on VH1, IFC, G4, Fuse, Current and Oxygen. I have written for Huffington Post, Premiere, OC Weekly, SFGate.com, NextMovie.com, MTV's television and movie blogs and other publications. I am the founder of Superhero Productions, providing broadcast, online and aftermarket content for a number of clients including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. I personally handle artist management for a handful of bands. "Ryan Downey has established a history of breaking some good scoops in the last few years, and you could certainly do worse than bookmark [him] to check in on." -- Ain't It Cool

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Candidates: Barack Obama

*Check out my earlier blog posts on Ron Paul and John Edwards.

Things I Agree With Barak Obama About:

• He wants to take China "to the mat" about currency manipulation.
• He wants to regulate financial instruments to protect home mortgages.
• He wants to end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.
• He wants to close tax loopholes for US companies relocating abroad.
• He wants to reward companies that create US jobs.
• He wants to hold corporations responsible for pensions and work conditions.
• He wants to provide tax incentives for corporate responsibility.
• He believes the politics of fear undermines our civil liberties.
• He wants to more strongly enforce the Equal Pay Act for women.
• He wants to strengthen the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• He opposes gay marriage but supports civil union & equality.
• He wants the Confederate flag in museums, not state houses.
• He voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag-burning.
• Voted NO on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing and restrictions.
• He supports alternative sentencing and rehabilitation.
• He does not want to lower the drinking age to 18.
• His First Senate bill: increase Pell Grant from $4,050 to $5,100.
• He sponsored legislations that recruit and reward good teachers.
• He voted YES on $52M for "21st century community learning centers".
• He voted YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies.
• He voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education.
• He wants to cap-and-trade carbon emissions; raise CAFE standard.
• He wants to stop sending $800M a day to Mideast dictators for oil.
• He wants Detroit to build more hybrids & use more ethanol.
• He does not believe we can drill our way out of our addiction to oil.
• He sponsored legislations that improve energy efficiency.
• He wants to get 20% nation's power supply from renewable sources by 2020.
• He wants tradable credits for renewable energy.
• Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies.
• Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.
• Voted YES on factoring global warming into federal project planning.
• Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR.
• Voted YES on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas.
• Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%).
• Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
• He wants to educe mercury and lead to protect community health.
• He wants to protect the Great Lakes & our National Parks and Forests.
• He wanted to give Katrina contracts to locals, not to Halliburton.
• He spent three months working on minority students recycling.
• Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations.
• He believes China is a competitor but not an enemy.
• He is willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Il & Hugo Chavez.
• He protested South African apartheid while at college.
• He visited Africa in 2006; encouraged HIV testing & research.
• He wants to enforce existing safety laws against Chinese products.
• He wants to stand firm against CAFTA for labor & environmental standards.
• He believes Congress subsidizing of mega-farms hurts family farmers.
• He wants to amend NAFTA to add labor agreements.
• He does not believe that the market alone can not solve the healthcare crisis.
• He wants to close Guantanamo.
• Voted NO on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad.
• Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months.
• Voted YES on implementing the 9/11 Commission report.
• Voted YES on preserving habeus corpus for Guantanamo detainees.
• Voted YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods.
• Voted NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision.
• Voted YES on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism.
• Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders.
• Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform.
• Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program.
• Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship.
• Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing.
• Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25.
• He wants to get al Qaeda hiding in hills between Afghanistan & Pakistan.
• He is against the Iraq war (and says he wouldn't have voted NO on authorizing the President to go to war).
• Voted YES on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Things I Disagree With Barack Obama About:

• He voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending.
• He supports continuing affirmative action.
• Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act.
• He supports Roe v. Wade.
• Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government.
• Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security.
• He wouldn't say the Pledge of Allegiance and he's a Muslim - JUST KIDDING! (That stuff isn't true, by the way).

Things Barack Obama Believes That I'm Not Sure About:

• He wants to give $50B annually to strengthen weak foreign states at risk of collapse.
• I can't seem to get handle on what he believes about Israel and Palestine.
• Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border.
• I haven't seen a whole about where he stands on taxes, other than wanting to repeal the Bush tax cuts to pay for health care, which I'm undecided about.

What It Boils Down To For Me About Barack Obama is this: I had no idea until I did all of this research how much I like Barack Obama. I really like a lot of what Ron Paul has to say, but I can't imagine voting Republican (especially after the last eight years) and I'm doubtful he'll win his party's nomination, anyway.

More to come!


tornados28 said...

Mr. Obama is exciting a lot of people. He has intelligence and charisma. We will see if that is enough to overcome his lack of political experience.

I think intelligence and leadership ability and the ability to inspire people is enough to overcome inexperience.

Bill Power said...

All I know is, every single time we have a republican in office we go to war. McCain has said he's fine with us being in Iraq for the next 100 years. SERIOUSLY!?!?! That almost makes anything else a moot point. If a democrat is elected and the war is ended - I will happily pay higher taxes for education, health care, etc. At least I will be able to live with myself and not embarrassed to be from this country. A supposed greatest country that allows it's citizens to die without health care and live on it's streets. Time for change!