2012 Election, Activism, Chief Justice John Roberts, Civil rights, Conservatism, Supreme Court

Voting Rights Under Siege

vote

What the GOP are trying at the state level and the conservatives on the Supreme Court by judicial fiat is an all out destruction of the Civil Rights Movement accomplishments and an institutionalization of Jim Crow election laws.

Pure and simple.

Justice Scalia today said that some parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 smacked of “racial entitlement”. You read that correctly. A supreme court justice in the 21st century just claimed that the enforcement of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution is an example of “reverse racism”, the insidious racist apology that legitimizes Jim Crow institutional racism. I have to say that I am honestly stunned by this. I cannot believe I am seeing a return to the sort of ignorance and stupidity that marked the legal decisions of the Supreme Court during the era of Dred Scott and Plessy. The congress updated and reconfirmed the Voting Rights act as recently as 2006 with near unanimous support. What has changed between then and now? The election and reelection of an African American President by an electorate that is made up of more minorities than ever before. This is the worst nightmare of the GOP and conservative whites in the south and midwest. They will do anything they can to stop states like Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina becoming viable battleground states in future elections. They will do anything to keep the United States from becoming a pluralized racially diverse democracy. It will not stop there of course: they will try, and are already trying, to limit the voting rights of students, women, latinos, naturalized citizens and young people. They want the past, the Jim Crow nadir of the first half of the 20th century, to return with the full force of the Supreme Court behind it. This is racism, this is fear. If the court invalidates this law the United States will cease to be a democracy.

Pure and simple

I will write more on this it unfolds

Advertisements
Standard
2012 Election, Congress, economy, Fiscal Cliff, Politics, Taxes

Fiscal Cliff Vote Happening Any Minute

us-congress-j001

The House GOP leadership will soon allow a vote on the Senate Fiscal Cliff/Tax cut bill that the Vice President and the Minority Leader worked on earlier today. The last debates on the House bill are on CSPAN right now. Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor are now in open warfare over the votes needed to pass the bill. Cantor wants to torpedo the economy and give the shaft to the middle class to uphold radical libertarian economic dogma. Boehner I think just want a drink.

The first procedural vote is happening right now with the big vote to follow soon.

While there are many problems with this compromise I am heartened that a compromise has happened. Taxes go up on 450k+ income (a slight compromise that many liberals are going nuts about but pragmatist left wingers like my self see as fine), unemployment insurance, vital to a recovery, is extended, and taxes remain low on the middle class and the working poor. President Obama did his best with this horrible situation. He has had to fight like mad on issues that used to be routine or at least relatively simple. The GOP seems to think that if they can shut down government they can blame the chaos on Obama…this has not been working so well for them. Like it or not, the first African American President reelected to a second term in offices is NOT going away.

Now on to the debt ceiling…yippie.

Standard
2012 Election, Election, Mitt Romney, Ohio, Politics, Tagg Romney, Voting

Tagg Romney And Ohio Voting Rights

I wrote this email today to the Justice Department asking them to look into the ownership of a voting machine company by Tagg Romney, son of Mitt Romney.

To whom it may concern,

I am a citizen and voter who lives in Sycamore Illinois. It has come to my attention that Tagg Romney, the son of current Republican Presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney, has an ownership stake in Hart InterCivic Voting Machines which are supplying the electronic voting machines for many Ohio counties in this election. I believe this is a breach of the public trust and a potential violation of the civil rights of the people of Ohio and by extension the people of the United States of America. I politely request that the Justice Department and/or any other appropriate agencies investigate this connection or at the very least secure the voting machines and make sure that they go without any hacking or tampering. I understand that you get a lot of requests from the citizenry on many different issues, but I believe this is important and I hope that I at least get a response assuring me of what precautions, if any, have been taking or will be taken to prevent voting irregularities or manipulation.
Thank you for your time and consideration
***
If you would like to send an email regarding this issue or any other questions, comments, or concerns you have about your voting rights please go to the Justice Department website and look at the contact page. We are the people are the last line of defense against those who would usurp our democratic authority
Standard
2012 Election, Arab Spring, Christopher Stevens, GOP, Libya, Mitt Romney, Obama, Politics

Mitt Drops A Deuce

The little photo meme I made above says it all in my opinion. Romney just proved that he has no decency or intelligence when it comes to foreign policy or really any other policy.

The Libyan situation is a tragedy and I really feel for Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the three embassy staff members and 11 Libya Civilians who were killed by the mob of Islamist fanatics. Of course Mitt Romney decided that this delicate and tragic situation was in need of an idiot to come in and politicize it all. Romney just disqualified himself from any other elected office in my opinion. He preempted the official Presidential response, and accused the President of SYMPATHIZING with the people responsible. Even the GOP blogosphere and media are attacking Mitt for his bad timing and stupidity!

That’s really all I have to say about the situation for now…I will end by thanking the Libyan people for their heartfelt support and apologies, though it is really not their fault at all, and also by thanking President Obama for not reacting to this situation the way George W. Bush would have: namely, invading and bombing Benghazi into the stone age. Thank you for being a good leader.

Standard
2012 Election, abortion, Bigotry, Conservatism, Conservatives, GOP, Politics, racism, Religion, Republicans, right wing, Rights, Romney, Satire, Socialism, Women

Right Wing Delusion Glossary

I have been around the political block a few times in my short time in this planet. I am only in my late 20’s and I have still heard the same right wing tropes and theories over and over again. But sometimes the right wingers get embarrassed at their own ignorance and hate, ans they attempt to disguise their true feelings and beliefs with coded language. I am here to let you in on the biggest open secrets in the political world. No need to thank me, just be sure to call your conservative friends and family members on their BS when you hear it spewed.

“Welfare Queen”: An African American woman who has the audacity to collect legal and needed welfare services. In the mind of a conservative this means that she has 18 children by 18 different fathers, and owns a big screen tv and a Cadillac. Why is it always these two things? Can’t they update their racist stereotypes to include LCD screens and maybe a Chevy Volt?

“Socialist”: Synonymous with “Nazi”, “communist” or “statist”. A socialist is anyone who thinks that the country in any way needs an overhaul in the way it handles the economy or welfare services i.e. regulating the market or making life easier for the working poor. Can also mean this person advocates “reeducation camps”, “Sharia law” and “government tyranny”.

“Tyranny”: The act of doing anything that offends conservative sensibilities. This can be anything from taxing businesses and individuals to mandating a waiting period for the assault rifle you want to buy. Also, whatever President Obama does in his capacity as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief.

“Multiculturalism”: Any attempt by anyone to make sure that cultures other than white, christian, conservative, straight male points of view are discussed or celebrated or respected in public. Example: “Damn multiculturalism teaching my kids that A-rabs invented algebra! Next they’ll say that pasta is Chinese!”

“Race Hustler”: An African American (usual a man) who has the audacity to point out the inequality inherent to American society, and the white privilege that permeates our culture, economy, and government. Also, anyone who attempts to appeal to the African American community as a political interest group. Also, any African American man who has succeeded in politics or government who has not explicitly condemned other African Americans for…something?

“Terrorism”: A violent incident, always perpetrated by Muslims, that leads to the death of mostly white people. . Example: A Neo-Nazi shooting up a Sikh Temple and killing 6 is not terrorism…One man being shot in the arm at the Family Research Council HQ, damn that is the next 9/11! Also, any action taken by a liberal group or person to protest a conservative idea or group.

“Liberty”: The right of a white male to do what he pleases, when he pleases, without reference or concern for anyone else. Example: “Damn government is attacking my liberty to charge my employees for parking in our lot when they come to work! Dang socialists!”

“Freedom”: A much more nebulous term. Can mean anything from waving an American flag to buying a gas-guzzling car. That vague feeling conservatives have when they see American soldiers in a desert nation or see B2 bombers flying overhead at an overpriced sporting event. Also, anything relating to the response to, and aftermath of, the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Sharia Law”: Muslim Americans wanting to be able to build a mosque in their community or otherwise freely worship as do Christians and Jews. The nebulous concern that somehow in a nation that bans crosses on public land we will somehow have to answer to non-existent Iranian style Islamic courts. Also, strangely, any ruling in a US court that favors religious freedom, especially for Muslims or atheists for some reason.

“Real Americans”: White, Christian, straight male American citizens who vote for the Republican party and live in states not on either the west coast or the North Eastern coast. Can be extended to include stay at home mothers, conservatives christian women, conservative christian African Americans (provided they have NEVER used welfare or any other government service) and and some single women (provided they do not have a child out of wedlock and has NEVER used welfare or any other government service).

“Reverse Racism”: Any instance when a white, usually male, Christian American Citizen does not get what he wants, has to respect the rights of minorities, or believes in his mind that some opportunity was taken from him by a “minority” i.e. “Affirmative Action”. Example: “Damn government with their hate crime laws! There ain’t no hate crime laws for white people!” OR “Damn affirmative action, made it so that black guy got the job I wanted!” Also, anytime when a member of a racial or other minority group dares to complain about racism in American society or government. Also, the fact that it is now frowned upon to use racial slurs or tell racially tinged jokes.

“Homosexual Agenda”: Any school or government agency/service that dares to acknowledge or celebrate LGBTQ people, accomplishments, ideas, or rights. Also, any open display of affection between two men, or less often, two women. Also, the fear of closeted gay conservative christian men that they will be outed and have their masculinity doubted.

“The Civil War Was Not About Slavery”: African Americans need to stop complaining about the 400 years of inhumane treatment and depraved genocidal acts committed against them by whites and the American government.

“America Is a Christian Nation”: Someone who has never read an American history book, any of the founding documents, or any of the Supreme Court rulings of the past century and a half. Also, the need for an white male christian American to have his own personal morality enshrined in national laws.

“Chicago Style Politics/Politician: The belief that any government that has a large number or majority of African American and/or liberal and/or union member participants is inherently corrupt. The belief that the way politics were conducted in the uber-corrupt 1920’s and 1930’s is how politics is done today everywhere in Chicago and in the state of Illinois. A politician who stands up for minorities and the working poor, or who wins in a close election or uses tactics that conservatives often use to get elected.  Also, President Barack Obama.

“Pro-Life”: The belief that women who want to control their reproductive system are sluts, whores, and/or evil. The belief that a bundle of cells or a zygote is the legal and moral equivalent of a American citizen, or in the case of a pregnant woman, the legal and moral superior. Also, the worship of a fetus as an icon of purity and inherent goodness.

“Feminazi”: A woman who does not believe that men are inherently superior. A woman who dares to stand up to a man or a patriarchal institution. A woman who acknowledges that women in general are accorded the same rights and opportunities, or given the same respect, as men in American Society, economy, and government. A liberal woman. A single woman who enjoys sex. A single woman who wants to be able to use birth control. A woman who believes that equal rights and opportunity should be enshrined in law. A woman who disagrees with Rush Limbaugh.

“Liberal”: All that is evil, perverted, corrupt, indecent, wicked, or otherwise wrong with the world.

***

That’s it for now folks, but I do believe I will be returning to this subject later: the coded language of the conservative movement is always expanding and updating! I’ll keep you posted.

p.s. Thanks to “Vicki” for the typo wrangling!

Standard
2012 Election, Ayn Rand, Budget, News, Obama, Paul Ryan, Romney, Vice President, VP

AP & NBC Report Rep. Paul Ryan is VP pick For Romney

In other news, the Romney campaign just lost the 2012 Presidential election.

He picked a guy who wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

A guy who wants to dismantle the entire Great Society/New Deal edifice

A guy who makes his staffers read Ayn Rand

And I guy who literally looks like a weasel (seriously, look at him!)

Even Catholic nuns hate this guy!

He snubbed the Ohio choice (Portman) The Florida Choice (Rubio) and the Minnesota choice (Pawlenty). There go the swing states.

At this point I think the GOP establishment has given up on Romney and they are giving Ryan the cred to run for President in 2016.

Barring some 2000 level voter suppression shenanigans (not impossible believe me) Obama has this.

But

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE

Standard
2012 Election, Bigotry, Civil rights, Florida, history, Liberty, News, Obama, Ohio, opinion, Pennsylvania, Politics, Rights, Romney, Voting, We The People

The Death of American Democracy: Voting Rights Under Attack

“[…N]o citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State…” 

“No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of this Act or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person’s vote.”

“If in a proceeding instituted by the Attorney General under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, it shall suspend the use of tests and devices in such State or political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appropriate and for such period as it deems necessary.”

“[The GOP controlled Legislature in PA passed the] Voter ID [law], which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

The first three quotes are from the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest piece of equal rights and democracy expanding legislation passed after the 19th Amendment allowing women to vote. The last quote is from Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a blatant admission of the attempt to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of PA voters, mostly Democratic leaning. By forcing anyone who wishes to vote to get a voter I.D. (which even the GOP in court has admitted will do NOTHING to stem “voter fraud”) they are administering a poll tax that is prohibited by the 24th Amendment.

Some even think that welfare recipients should not be voting at all! http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/welfare-voters-massachusetts-11479280

Florida has famously attempted to purge hundreds of thousands of black, latino, felon, and legal immigrant voters from the roles for no other reason then that they may tend to vote democratic. I say this because no other valid reason has been giving that any court, Florida election board, or Federal Court has chosen to respect. http://articles.cnn.com/2012-06-12/politics/politics_florida-voting-lawsuit_1_florida-voter-lists-voter-rolls-rick-scott?_s=PM:POLITICS

Ohio has RESTRICTED voting on weekends and sundays immediately before the election, days that are  traditionally know as times when African American churches “turn out the pews” and vote en mass in Presidential elections. No reason has been given for this restriction other than “expense”. I was not aware that democracy had to come in under budget. http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/early-voting-in-ohio/

The Ohio Attorney General has also personally intervened in local election board decisions that decide when and where people my vote. As a result of his “tie-breaking vote” on this politically divided boards, Democratic leaning counties will have less voting hours than counties that lean GOP. No explanation for why this (illegal under Federal law) decision has been made has been forthcoming.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/09/1118341/-Ohio-sets-up-one-early-voting-system-for-Republican-counties-another-for-Democratic-counties

Sen. Scott Walker of MA attacks the welfare service of the state sending out voter registration forms to those receiving legal and means tested welfare. He thinks it is will only benefit his opponent Elizabeth Warren. http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/08/09/scott_brown_vs_elizabeth_warren_brown_accuses_welfare_office_of_boosting_warren_s_voter_base_.html

What is going on here?

Under the red herring of “voter fraud” (instances of voting fraud are literally as rare as being killed by lightning http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/policy_brief_on_the_truth_about_voter_fraud/) the GOP in many states is attempting to make it harder to vote.

Mitt Romney is trailing in every major poll in every swing state and nationally. The only way for Obama to lose (the #1 goal of the GOP according to their own Senate Minority Leader) if the numbers stay this way is for less people having access to a ballot.

Voting in federal elections is a right enshrined by the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments, and by the Voting Rights Acts of the 1860’s and 70’s and 1965. Voting in the USA is a right and no one can take that right from you legally. No state law requiring I.D. or any other piece of paper or permit is valid if it is in conflict with any of the Federal statutes above.

All of these laws disproportionately affect African American men, single mothers, the working poor, and the elderly. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/07/pennsylvania-voter-id-philadelphia-blacks-latinos_n_1752480.html and http://www.brennancenter.org/content/section/category/voter_id/

The right to vote should not be decided on a state by state or county by county basis, and it should not be up to the whims of the political winds. The assumption should be made that if you show up to vote, you are legally able to vote, and if they state suspects otherwise it is up to them, and not you, to prove that you are not eligible.

Contracting voting rights is not the intention or the spirit of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Let’s not start restricting access to suffrage.

If you feel that your voting rights are being abridged in your county or state please contact the Justice Department http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/

Or the American Civil Liberties Union

http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights

Standard