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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 -5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomTuesday, September 4, 2012 -. 5A

From Page 1A
Republican platform for ongoing
inattentiveness to students and
workers, particularly in light of
recent GOP comments at the par-
ty's convention last week.
Obama said Romney's recent
speech at the Republican Nation-
al Convention in Tampa, Fla.
wasn't innovative enough to solve
today's economic problems.
"You might as well have
watched it on black-and-white
TV, with some rabbit ears on
there," Obama joked. "Should
have been on 'Nick-at-Nite."'
The president continued, using
football jargon to describe that
Americans have already seen
Romney's flawed "economic play-
book." Obama said that from "first
down" to "third down," Romney's
plan favors wealthy Americans
and big companies instead of
helping the middle class and aid-
ing impoverished Americans.
"It sounds like unnecessary
roughness to me," Obama said,
noting that he would call a pen-
alty "flag on the play," since he
claimed Romney's health care
plan would force Americans
to pay $6,400 for benefits they
already receive.
"You don't need that coach,"
Obama said.
When much of the crowd
expressed displeasure with Rom-
ney by booing during mentions of
the candidate, Obama urged them
to show their discontent through
voting, repeating this call to
" action throughout his speech.
The United Auto Workers dis-
tributed tickets for the event and
UAW President Bob King, AFL-
CIO president Richard Trumka
and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis
helped rile up the crowd before
the president took the stage.
Obama used a frequent tactic
in his own playbook to appeal to
members of the auto industry,
which has a large presence here -
Toledo is home to Jeep
The president pointed out
Romney's previous opposition
to the bailout of Chrysler, which
owns Jeep, and General Motors.
"Just a few years ago, when
the auto industry was flat-lining,
what was in Governor Romney's
playbook?" Obama asked the
crowd. "Let Detroit go bankrupt."
Obama credited the survival
of the American auto industry
to opposing Romney's advice
and subsequently saving the jobs
of autoworkers in Toledo and
throughout the nation.
"If America had thrown in the
towel like that, GM and Chrys-
From Page 1A
ward to her vision and thinking
about how we can build our cur-
rent efforts in Brazil," Heisler
Tessler, who is also a politi-
cal science professor, helps make
decisions about where to go and
who to meet with on Coleman's
international trips.
"One of my responsibilities is
to help us strengthen and deepen
our international partnerships
with important universities over-
seas," Tessler said. "So I'm per-
sonally very interested in this,

and some of the things that we'll
be discussing are in my own area
as a faculty member."
The group will travel to Uni-
versidade de Sao Paulo - one
of the leading universities in
Brazil - the Universidade
Estadual de Campinas and the
Universidade Federal do Estado
do Rio de Janeiro, as well as the
U.S. embassy and other places
of interest like research foun-
dations, according to the press
release. The delegation, which
is comprised of faculty mem-
bers from the School of Natural
Resources, LSA and the Medical
School, will also participate in

ler wouldn't exist today," Obama
said. "The suppliers, and the dis-
tributors, that get their business
from these companies would
have died off, too. Then even Ford
could have gone down as well."
Obama said if the federal
government had let the Detroit
Three go bankrupt, it would have
essentially spurred another Great
Depression for many states in the
Midwest, including Michigan.
Obama decried Republicans for
what he said was an anti-union
attitude, noting that unionized
teachers, public safety employees
and manufacturing workers have
made some of the largest sacrific-
es of any profession in the United
"It's a part of the same old
'you're-on-your-own, top-down'
policy that says we should just
leave everybody to fend for them-
selves," Obama said,
He added he'll discuss labor
rights in his address to delegates
at the Democratic National Con-
vention on Thursday, when he is
expected to accept the Democrat-
ic party's nomination for presi-
dent. Obama said he will offer a
strong defense against Romney's
labor policies that are harmful to
American unions.
Obama further criticized Rom-
ney for a remark he made in April
during a speech at Otterbein Uni-
versity in Westerville, Ohio where
he said young adults should "bor-
row money, if you have to, from
their parents" in order to pay for
"That's one approach. I've got a
different approach," Obama said.
"Let's make sure Americans once
again lead the world in educating
our kids and training our workers
for the jobs of tomorrow."
Obama continued, saying that
American schools should hire
more teachers in math and sci-
ence, and urged individuals to
attend community colleges to
gain skills in advanced manufac-
"Some form of higher educa-
tion, that's not a luxury any-
more," Obama said. "That is an
economic necessity."
Speaking to the union mem-
bers in the room, Obama said
American unions have forged the
expectation that American work-
ers should be able to send their
children to college.
"(That) if you work hard, if
you're responsible, then your
work should be rewarded. That
if you put in enough effort, you
should be able to find a job that
pays the bills," Obama said. "...
And, most importantly then, you
can provide your children with
an education, to make sure that

they do even better than you did."
Andrew Devore, a freshman
at the University of Toledo and
a son of union members, said his
parents probably wouldn't have
been able to send him to his first
year of college, let alone pay the
rent at their current home, if the
auto companies had gone under.
"I'm not sure if we could have
made it past (the crisis) without
President Obama's help," Devore
said. "We might not have been
able to afford our house, our cars,
our education."
Devore, who is majoring in
education, said Romney's anti-
union attitude damages his
rapport with middle-class Ameri-
"It's easy to blame it on unions
when you don't need a union and
you're above it all and you've
already got money from your par-
ents," Devore said.
Jeanetta Mohlke-Hill, a senior
at the University of Toledo and
a local volunteer for the Obama
campaign, said she appreciated
Obama's jab at Romney's "bor-
row money from your parents"
She said she couldn't borrow
money from her parents for her
degree because her mother and
father are still paying off their
own student loans, and she will
likely graduate from college with
about $20,000 in student loan
"My parents can't give me
money, so that struck right to the
heart," Mohlke-Hill said.
Like Devore, Mohlke-Hill
said Romney doesn't understand
how difficult it is for the average
American to pay for their chil-
dren's education.
"He just doesn't understand
that we can't afford to go to col-
lege without some scholarships
or student loans," Mohlke-Hill
said. "Our parents just aren't
privileged to enough to send us to
any school we want."
Mark Carter, a graduate stu-
dent at the University of Toledo,
said he worked for Obama's cam-
paign on campus in 2008. He said
he will also probably leave college
with debt, and expressed concern
about Romney's plans for student
loan debt.
Carter added that there's a
significant push for federal assis-
tance with student loan debt
because, as he has experienced,
sometimes an undergraduate
degree isn't sufficient in this eco-
nomic climate.
"There are very few jobs
around this country that you can
get without a college education,"
Carter said. "It's not like the pre-
vious generation. It's important."

From Page 1A
and unfaithful to his promise of
increasing employment.
"Folks, you can't say you're
going to create jobs in the United
States of America, when you're
willing to let one million jobs go
under by liquidation of the auto-
mobile plants," Biden said.
Biden also addressed recent
claims by Ryan that Obama
was to blame for the closure
of a General Motors plant in
Ryan's hometown of Janesville,
Wisc. The plant actually closed
before Obama was elected, and
Biden was quick to point that
out, claiming that it was "actu-
ally closed on President Bush's
While Biden said he agreed
with Ryan that the economic
state of the country was dire, he
said Obama's role in it was quite
the opposite, claiming the presi-
dent's work has allowed more
automotive plants to remain
"Before the sacrifices you
made - UAW members made
- before those sacrifices and
the courage of the president, all
the GM plants would have been
closed," Biden said.
The reason, Biden said, the
U.S. has made any recovery so
far is in large part because of
American workers. Specifically,
Biden cited a study claiming

Michigan workers were sig-
nificantly more productive than
their Chinese counterparts.
"Look folks, we know who
built this country, and we know
who's going to rebuild it - it's
you," he said. "And instead of vil-
ifying you, we should be thank-
ing you ... you - organized labor
- are one of the reasons why
this country is coming back."
Biden also spoke out against
right to work laws, which allow
employees to independently
decide to join or support a union
and make it illegal for business
to have contractual agreements
to employ strictly union mem-
"Right to work means the
right to work for less, not for
what you deserve," he said.
"Ladies and gentlemen, that's
not going to happen as long as
we're here - it will not happen."
Biden also refuted claims by
Romney that Obama was out of
touch and argued that Romney
was the aloof candidate, citing
his offshore financial arrange-
"How many of y'all have a
Swiss bank account? How much
you got invested in the Cayman
Islands?" Biden said of Romney.
While Biden's speech didn't
focus on foreign policy, it came
into play when Biden inquired
about why America is better off
today than four years ago, cit-
ing two key moments in Obama's

"I've got a bumper sticker for
you," he said. "Osama Bin Laden
is dead and General Motors is
Biden would repeat that
phrase twice more before wrap-
ping up his speech.
The event, featuring several
speakers, began with a speech
by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-
Mich.), who is also running for
re-election this fall.
Stabenow spent an early por-
tion of her speech defending
and lauding Obama as one of the
people who "stood with Michi-
gan when no one else would."
She added if the country were
to stay with Obama, Michigan
- which has faced significant-
ly more hardships than other
states - would not only return,
but lead the return.
"We need to keep pushing
and pushing to make sure that
it comes back even faster, but we
have turned that corner," Stabe-
now said. "I believe that Amer-
ica, if we stay the course, will,
come roaring back and Michi-
gan will be in the driver's seat."
The crowd was responsive to
the speeches, often breaking out
in cheers and chants. The only
negative responsive came from
Biden's first mention of Rom-
ney and Ryan. Biden, however,
quickly turned the jeers into
"Folks, as the president says,
we don't need your boos. We
need your votes," Biden said.

5,000 people recorded as
casualties in Syrian war

alumni events.
At the University, the Center
for Latin American and Caribbe-
an Studies is assisting with many
of the University's Brazilian col-
laborations. Bebete Martins,
director of programming and
outreach at LACS and native Bra-
zilian, is also helping organize
events for the trip and assisting
students who are interested in
doing internships or study abroad
programs in Brazil.
Caulfield added that in addi-
tion to being a critical country
economically and politically to
the rest of the world, Brazil is also
important to Michigan because
automobile companies have
plantsin Brazil.
"President Coleman going to
Brazil sends a signal to people in
Michigan, not just students and
faculty, but also in the state of
Michigan, the importance of Bra-
zil and the importance of the Uni-
versity's globalization efforts and
makes it concrete," Caulfield said.
According to Caulfield and
Heisler, there will be more of
an effort made for students at
the University to have access to
experiences in Brazil, particular-
ly through emphasizinglanguage
programs like emphasize Portu-
guese to help alleviate obstacles
to communication.

"What we're going to be doing
also is really strengthening pro-
grams so that people - starting
with people who have some base
in Spanish - can bring their Por-
tuguese up to speed, so that more
students can take advantage of
these opportunities with lan-
guage training that they get here
at Michigan, and then they can
be part of some of these collabo-
rations," Heisler said.
During the winter semester,
Caulfield will be leading a course
titled "The History of Human
Rights in Latin America," which
will be co-taught with a profes-
sor in Brazil.
"We are going to use video
conferencing to have students
be in contact with one another,"
Caulfield said.
While the Medical School and
the president's office are primar-
ily funding the trip, Tessler said
after the trip is over the bulk of
the funding will be made from
various parts of the University
for the collaborations.
"One of the things that's very
encouraging is that (the Bra-
zilians) value the University of
Michigan and what we have to
offer, and they're very interested
in providing funds for research,"
Tessler said. "We'll probably put
up some funds for that as well."

Ongoing violence
plagues Middle
Eastern nation
BEIRUT (AP) - Activist
groups said Sunday that about
5,000 people were killed in
Syria's civil war in August, the
highest figure ever reported in
more than 17 months of fight-
ing as President Bashar Assad's
regime unleashed crushing air
power against the revolt for the
first time.
The U.N. children's fund UNI-
CEF put the death toll for last
week alone at 1,600, the larg-
est weekly figure for the entire
"The past month witnessed
large massacres and the regime
was conducting wide operations
to try to crush the uprising,"
said Omar Idilbi, a Cairo-based
activist with the Local Coordi-
nation Committees group. "Last
month's acts of violence were
He said the increased use
of the air force and artillery
bombardments was behind the
spike in casualties.
The civil war witnessed a
major turning point in August
when Assad's forces began
widely using air power for the
first time to try to put down the
revolt. The fighting also reached
Syria's largest city, Aleppo,
which had been relatively quiet
for most of the uprising.
The Britain-based activist
group Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights said that 5,440
people, including 4,114 civil-
ians were killed in August.
The LCC put the toll at 4,933
On Sunday, the Observa-
tory and the LCC said more
than 100 people were killed
throughout Syria and the
groups have been reporting
100-250 deaths per day over
the past week.
Syria's uprising has been the
bloodiest in the Arab Spring
that has already removed'long-
serving authoritarian leaders
in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and
The two main activists
groups also released new
death tolls for the entire
uprising since March 2011.
The Observatory said more
than 26,000 have been killed,
including more than 18,500
civilians. The LCC put the
death toll at more than 23,000
civilians. The LCC does not
count members of the military
who are killed, but the Observa-
tory does.
That averages out to about
1,300-1,500 deaths per month,
making the August figure more
than three times higher than
The groups had previously

reported a toll of around 20,000
more than a month ago.
On Thursday, Human Rights
Watch said government forces
have killed scores of civilians
over the past three weeks by
bombarding at least 10 areas
where they were lining up to
buy bread at bakeries near and
around Aleppo.
Last week, activists reported
that between 300 and 600 peo-
ple were killed in the Damascus
suburb of Daraya during days of
shelling and a killing spree by
troops who stormed the town
after heavy fighting.
"The reason behind the high
death toll is military operations,
shelling, clashes and air raids,"
said Rami Abdul-Rahman who
heads the-Observatory.
"I would say most people are
being killed during clashes and
executions," he said referring to
scores of bodies that are found
in streets around Syria who are
shot execution style with a bullet
in the back of their heads.
UNICEF spokesman Patrick
McCormick said 1,600 were
killed last week alone, includ-
ing some children. He did not
immediately explain how he
arrived at the figure, but said
the number was documented.
As the death toll mounted,
international efforts to end the
crisis faltered badly. The U.N.
and Arab League have both led
prolonged but ultimately failed
efforts to negotiate an end to
the violence.
Turkey this week called for
the U.N. to authorize creation
of a safe zone in Syria for tens of
thousands fleeing their homes.

Britain and ,France have left
open the possibility of more
aggressive action, including a
military-enforced no-fly zone to
protect a safe area- thoughthat
still seems a remote possibility.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.'s
new envoy to Syria, told Assad's
regime on Saturday that change
is both "urgent" and "neces-
sary" and that it must meet the
"legitimate" demands of the
Syrian people, words that will
not win the seasoned Algerian
diplomat and international
trouble shooter any friends in
On his first day on the job,
Brahimi also called on both sides
to end violence in Syria, but said
Assad's government bears more
responsibility than anyone else
to halt the bloodshed.
While the military largely
has been able to quell the offen-
sive rebels launched in Damas-
cus in July, it is still struggling
to stamp out a rebel push in the
northern city of Aleppo.
In the latest violence on Sun-
day, the Observatory said the
military pounded rebel hold-
outs in Aleppo, the country's
commercial capital. There was
also fighting in other areas
including the central city of
Homs, Idlib province on the
border of Turkey and suburbs
near Damascus.
The Observatory said 21
people were killed when troops
stormed the village of Alfan in
the central province of Hama.
It added that eight people were
killed in the oil-rich eastern
province of Deir el-Zour that
borders Iraq.

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