Vote Obama

When Barack Obama was elected as the President of the United States four years ago it signified the beginning of a new era for American politics: an era of change and of progress.

In the last four years, alone, Obama and the Democrat party have achieved much. They overcame the Republicans’ united opposition to pass an economic stimulus programme, overhauled the US healthcare system, lay down new rules to Wall Street and the banking industry and prevented the US auto industry from collapse. Furthermore, the Democrats overturned a two-decade-old law banning openly gay Americans from serving in the US military.  He also despatched a team of commandos to kill Osama Bin Laden, brought the US war in Iraq to a close and struck a new nuclear arms treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medveder.

But, you may ask, what is he planning for the future? Why is he a better candidate than Mitt Romney?

There are three central issues, in which Obama has proved himself above Romney: foreign policy, the environment and healthcare.

Firstly, he has made it clear that he seeks peaceful negotiations over conflicts. He opposes the near term military strikes on Iran and will only use it as a last resort. He seeks international pressure against Syria rather than repeat the Libyan air power commitment for Syrian opposition. However, Romney appears to have a far more aggressive foreign policy than Obama. He presents a clearer US threat to Iran and has spoken in more permissive terms about Israel’s right to act against Iran’s nuclear facilities, without explicitly approving of such a step. Whilst Obama seeks to avoid conflict as much as possible, Romney is not so inclined as evident by his plan to increase military spending.

The environment has recently become a far more prevalent issue due to Hurricane Sandy. Obama remains the only candidate with any viable environmental policies having already made much progress in that area. He has already achieved the first- ever regulations on heat –trapping gases blamed for Global Warming and on toxic mercury pollution from power plants. He has spent heavily on green energy, as he has recognised that this is a pressing issue. Meanwhile, Romney, in his ignorance, claims green power is yet to become viable and that the causes of climate change are unknown.

Lastly is the issue of healthcare. Obama achieved a landmark overhaul finally putting the USA on a path to universal coverage. Under the new law, insurers will be banned from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidise premiums, people without work-based insurance will have access to new markets, small businesses will get help for offering insurance and Medicaid will expand. Obama has promised to continue on this path to universal healthcare as long as he is in power. However, Romney has promised to do his utmost to work for the repeal of the law. He would destroy the incredible progress that has been made for healthcare in America.

Romney with his aggressive foreign policy, ignorance of environmental issues and his lack of support for universal healthcare is seeking to drag the USA back to the past, to eliminate the progress that has been made in the last four years. Obama, on the other hand, is looking to continue with the work he and the Democrats have been doing. He looks to solve the international issues by peaceful means rather than the use of force, he is looking for an active solution to the issues of the environment and he wants to benefit the entire nation by creating a universal healthcare system. Obama is looking to the future whilst Romney is stubbornly set in the past. Obama is, therefore, not simply the best, but the only candidate for the job.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Chris Coleman (https://www.flickr.com/photos/iceman9294/)

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Rocks Versus Wolves

BBL Championship points were at stake on Sunday the 4th of November as the Glasgow Rocks faced up to The Worcester Wolves in their fifth match of the season. The Rocks went in as the underdogs sitting at only ninth in the table whilst the Wolves were sitting at fourth.

The Rocks were aware it was going to be a tough match having been defeated by the Wolves in all of the three times they faced up together last season.

And so the pressure was very high in the Emirates Arena.  But the Rocks could not have asked for a better atmosphere with their fans having all turned out to cheer them on from the beginning.  And the Rocks managed to stay strong, fight hard and came out to win the game by 85 points to 79 points.

However, the first quarter began with the Wolves appearing the stronger side. They took the tip and managed to score the first two points of the game. However, the Wolves didn’t keep their lead for long with Harrison coming back to equalise shortly after. The Rocks were not maintaining a strong defence; however, meaning the Wolves kept were often able to break through. However, after a few minutes of the quarter the Rocks began to find their stride and came back to take the lead against the Wolves 6 point to 5 points. The Wolves then began to struggle resulting in the Rocks being able to extend their lead significantly. Although the Wolves had started strong in the quarter- it was the Rocks that dominated overall coming out to win the quarter by 23 points to 12.

The Rocks continued to dominate at the start of the second quarter, making basket in the first 15 seconds of the period. The Wolves were continuing to struggle, fouling and not maintaining a good defence, allowing the Rocks to extend their lead further. However, the Rocks than began to slack on their offence, giving the Wolves the chance to close the gap. Arguably the Wolves dominated the rest of the quarter. The quarter ended on the Rocks winning 36 points to 28 points but the Wolves had won the quarter by three points.

The Rocks gained momentum again in the third quarter, but the Wolves were holding strong. The Wolves were awarded two free throws in the first minute due to the Rocks foul but only made one point. Afterwards there were a series of three point shots on both sides. As the Rocks made one the Wolves retorted with another one- making the game incredibly intense. Both sides were fighting hard pushing through on offence almost every time. The Rocks came out on top winning the quarter by four points. The score at the end of this quarter was 59 points to the Rocks to 47 points to the Wolves.

In the last quarter of the game the Wolves were desperate to eliminate that twelve point gap and come out to win the game. Their aggression gained them a basket in the first thirty seconds. However, the Rocks refused to slack and scored a three point shot shortly after. Both sides were scoring points and fighting hard to win. With one minute to go the score was 78 points to 69 points to the Rocks but the Wolves were pushing the Glasgow defence ferociously. However, the Wolves defence got messy and two players committed their fifth foul of the game meaning they were sent off. Despite that setback the Wolves kept pushing the Rocks as hard as they could and wound up scoring the last basket of the game. However, it did not make a difference as the Rocks had managed to maintain their lead resulting in the final score being 85 points to 79 points to the Glasgow Rocks.

It was incredibly close match the entire way with both sides playing some great basketball. At the end there was only six points in it but, luckily, the Rocks were on the right side of those six points.

This means the Rocks have been bumped up to eighth in the BBL championship league table. They have won only two out of five games so far but hopefully they will continue this winning streak and climb higher in the league.

-Claire Flynn