Archive for Andy Marquis

Voter Suppression Will Backfire

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Andy Marquis is our guest blogger of the day. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

Voter Suppression Will Backfire

It’s a joyous day to be a Republican.  Once again, the partisan Supreme Court has made a partisan decision and written a blank check to Republican legislatures to do whatever the hell they want to take away the rights of minorities.  In the meantime, Republicans gleefully cheer about their latest victory from the Bush/Reagan Supreme Court.  Only one problem – it will backfire.

The black vote in 2012 was higher than the white vote.  It’s something that remains a mystery because, well, blacks aren’t exactly happy with President Obama.  With the African-American community hit hard by the recession, you’d think they’d be the ones to sit out.  But there’s an explanation for this: voter suppression laws.

There is one thing white Americans will never know.  It’s struggle.  African-Americans spent over 150 years fighting to be equal under the law in this country, and they’re not going to willfully sit back and let state legislatures take their rights away from them solely because they don’t vote the way Republicans think they should be required to be.

Republicans genuinely feels blacks are lazy, stupid and entitled.  They don’t think black voters are informed – unless you’re talking about someone like Herman Cain, Allen West or Ben Carson.  Black people tend to vote Democratic, and well, blacks are obviously stupid because all Democrats are stupid, right?  They don’t believe black voters watch the news or read a newspaper or know what’s going on.

Of course, when the Republicans lost in 2012, some of us knew the party wouldn’t make changes.  What’s followed isn’t the need to become more moderate and evolve in to the 21st Century, or hell, the 20th Century.  Instead, they’ve become empowered to become even more extreme, thanks in part to the IRS’ stupidity.  They didn’t look at policy changes – they looked at messaging changes.  Now, they’re not even looking at that because “Benghazi” and “the IRS scandal” is their ticket to supermajorities in 2014 and 2016.

And when “Scandal Mania” dies down, they have no plan for the future.  In the meantime, they continue to push for voter suppression laws.  In Virginia, it’d be easier for me to go buy a gun than it would be to vote.  I can’t possibly imagine why that is.

In 2012, blacks were empowered to vote.  They knew that there were “forces” (the Republican Party) that sought to take away their vote to shrink the electorate.

It’s an age old Republican practice.  In a nation that’s becoming more diverse, the larger the voting populace is, the less likely it will be for Republicans to win.  Gerrymandering might buy them another 10 years, but that’s about it.  So, now they have to come up with a solution that buys them more time – a solution that involves shrinking the electorate without disenfranchising the clingers.

Instead of changing their platform to appeal to minorities and women, wouldn’t it just be better if they couldn’t vote at all?

Meanwhile, in 2012, as their rights were once again under assault, African-Americans congregated in churches to make a statement.  And they did.  The result, the percentage of African-Americans who voted in 2012 was so large that it confounds the Beltway Media to this day.

African-Americans aren’t stupid.  They do follow the news.  And they do know when someone’s aiming to take away the rights they fought for over a century to obtain.  As for the Supreme Court’s decision – they struck down portions of a law, citing a document written over 230 years ago that was designed to protect the rights of slave owners.

The partisan decision will backfire.  African-American voters will be empowered again in 2014, 2016 and beyond to vote for those who seek to protect their rights and against those who seek to take them away.  Until Republicans grow a certain organ inside their craniums and decide to back off of voter suppression, I’d say Progressives will continue to have a lock on the growing minority vote.  Yay for us!

Andy Marquis: www.race22.com; Twitter: @amarquis32 ; Facebook.com/amarquis

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The world Republicans live in: "Greed and selfishness and push for laws that benefit them"

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Andy Marquis is our guest blogger of the day. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

The World They Live In

A young girl was raped by the star players of a high school football team someplace, somewhere. Nobody tried to stop it. A child, wondering whether he or she is attracted people of the same gender, has been bullied and harassed by others in his local middle school. Nobody tried to stop it and the child has killed himself. An honors student is not able to pursue her dream because she was brought here, illegally, by her parents when she was just a child herself. A mother and father are burying their child because a madman that had access to war weapons has gunned them down while they were sitting in their elementary school classroom. That’s the world we live in.

Republicans don’t live in that world. Their world is black and white, right and wrong. You’re either a friend or an enemy. There is no middle ground. They do not see the world in color. The girl who was raped isn’t responsible for her actions because she should’ve known that boys will be boys and she shouldn’t have taken that shot of vodka. The child who is bullied should be grateful to those who tear him down because it somehow makes him stronger. The honors student should be sent to Mexico to be gunned down by a drug kingpin because she should bear the burden of her parents’ decisions. Those children gunned down are merely collateral damage in a war in the streets of America. That’s the world Republicans live in.

When it comes to guns, they see an armed society, not as a fearful society or a society that will be embolden to confront others with violence, but as a polite society that will magically do the right thing. They see everyone who owns a gun legally and think they will be the one to stop the rape of a girl in an alley in Downtown Baltimore somewhere – not as someone who will sit back and do nothing. Those parents who bury their child shouldn’t mourn their loss and expect government to do anything to stop it from happening. They should think about the gun that was used to murder their child in cold blood and think about how it might save someone else’s life someplace somewhere. That’s the world they live in. And if you do not live in their world, you are the enemy of freedom.

The couple that has been together for 27 years and wants to get married shouldn’t be allowed to because it goes against someone else’s moral beliefs. If a criminal is in illegal possession of a firearm, we shouldn’t take that firearm away because the Second Amendment should be absolute. We shouldn’t limit the access to weapons of war to the public because it might eat in to the profits of an American industry. We shouldn’t do anything to promote cleaner, sustainable energy resources because BP cannot profit from it right now. That’s the world they live in.

If a man rapes a woman against her will, well, imagine what she could have done if she had access to a loaded firearm. Weapons of war should be available to the general public because they will have to shoot an army of seven intruders in their home one day or because they will need to take up arms against Barack Obama. That’s the world they live in.

Republicans live in a world where Americans do the right thing. They don’t see the rape culture that exists, or the gun culture. And they sure as hell don’t give a damn about the child who was brought here when she was a child. They believe that gay marriage will lead to the destruction of a society that is already beyond saving while ignoring the social destruction that comes from divorce and addictions to drugs, alcohol and pornography.

Our society is cruel and heartless. We don’t live in a society where others will split up the fight or stop the bullying. We live in a society where a girl being beaten up in the suburban streets of America is met, not with those who intervene, but instead those who pull out their smartphones to record the video for entertainment. The poor boy that is starving is greeted with those who tell him he should fend for himself and display their practice of their religious beliefs by eating at Chick-fil-A instead of donating to a food bank somewhere.

There are good people in America. I do believe in the compassion of those. But it’s become a minority since the start of the Bush Recession. Our society has become fearful, selfish and paranoid ever since Wall Street manufactured a recession.

No longer do “compassionate Conservatives” act out of compassion for others. Instead, they act out of greed and selfishness and push for laws that benefit them by saying other people will be generous. No longer do we invest in our infrastructure or our schools because it’s more important to Republicans that we cut taxes for Donald Trump instead. They see the world in simplistic black-and-white when the world is truly complicated and colorful.

I can only envision what would’ve come if this mentality had controlled the national conversation when I was a child. When two maniacs armed with war weapons were gunning down women and children at gas stations and high school parking lots in Washington, DC, what would they say? Would they have told me that we needed more guns in the streets? Would they have gone on television and stood up for John Allen Mohammed and Lee Boyd Malvo’s “Second Amendment” rights?

We need to quit blaming rape victims for the trauma that’s been forced on them by another human being. We need to feed our poor. We need to tell those who boost their egos by preying on the vulnerable that it is not okay. We need to tell our children that guns do kill people and that life is not a videogame. We need to give the college student who was brought here when she was just a child herself a break and a chance to pursue happiness. We need to protect our children (and yes, this includes putting armed police officers in schools – among other things). We need to care for the weak, the vulnerable and the poor – not blame them for the problems in our society.

Conservatives don’t believe in that America though. They think the woman who was raped in a dark alley should be forced to have her rapist’s child – only for her and her child to be cast out in to the cold. Education should be something that only those born in to privilege should achieve. The poor child who is starving should be left to die. That’s the world they live in.

The world we really live in really does prey on the vulnerable. The banks caused the recession, not poor minorities. Barack Obama was born in America. Sandy Hook really did happen. Bullying does cut people down, not make them stronger. Rape does happen and it does cause pregnancy. Guns don’t kill people but they sure make it a lot easier for people to kill people. That’s the world we live in.

Republicans don’t care that they are disconnected. They don’t give a damn. Their “principles” are more important to them. And their principles are simple: The government should leave me alone and do so by treading on the minorities and on the gays and the college students and anyone else who, realistically, don’t subscribe to their beliefs. As for the Constitution – they don’t give a damn about that either. Listening to the NRA push for a mental health database, the same type of database they oppose when it comes to guns, and listening to them push against the background checks that would enforce that database shows that Republicans truly only care about the Second Amendment.

A world where we scapegoat minorities, Muslims, gays and poor people and stand up only for the rights of gun owners and billionaires – that’s the world they live in. And it’s the world they will push for as they continue to rig elections and disenfranchise voters.

As they do so, our infrastructure will continue to fail. Our poor will become poorer. Our dependency on unsustainable fossil fuels will increase while other nations prosper with sustainable energy solutions. The poor will continue to starve while the rich become richer. Those college students won’t contribute to our country and we will rely on the spoiled sons of privilege who care only about themselves. And all this is because a segment of America sees only black and white.

The survivalists and the greedy, people like the NRA and the big bankers – they’re the bad guys. And we cannot sit back and do nothing and let them win.

Andy Marquis: www.race22.com; Twitter: @amarquis32 ; Facebook.com/amarquis

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If new GOP laws pass, it will literally be easier to legally buy a firearm in Virginia than it will be to vote

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Via Rev. Al Sharpton's Politics Nation:

New legislation passed by Republicans Tuesday is set to further restrict the list of acceptable documents voters may use to cast ballots in Virginia, changing voting rules in Virginia for the second time in just two years.

Andy Marquis, reporter for RACE22.com, is our guest blogger of the day. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest post:

So, a government issued ID is required to vote in Virginia, and was in the last election. President Obama won Virginia, so, now, the Virginia legislature is limiting the forms of government issued identification cards that are acceptable to those with only photo IDs. And they're even considering another bill that even further limits the forms of acceptable ID.

Now, if we use the logic of the gun idiots about the Constitution prohibiting any and all regulation on gun ownership, the Constitution also prohibits any and all regulation on voting rights and anyone over 18 has an ABSOLUTE right to vote.

If these news laws pass, it will literally be easier to legally buy a firearm in Virginia than it will be to vote.

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Off the Cliff: GOP "shameful, repulsive, vomit-inducing... In their world, people are poor and elderly because they choose to be."

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Andy Marquis, reporter for RACE22.com, is our guest blogger of the day. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

Off The Cliff

Strap in, the American economy has officially gone off the “fiscal cliff”. The Senate has acted, but now the Republican controlled House where people like Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Eric Cantor and Congressman Darrell Issa could be poised to wank around and sabotage the Senate deal.

I don’t know, at this point, if Republicans are refusing to act in good faith because they hate President Obama or if they want to punish the American populace for re-electing him. Whatever it is, it’s shameful, repulsive and vomit-inducing.

Instead of cooperating, our nation’s fearless leaders stomped their feet around acting like petulant little children. When a deal was on the table, Republicans walked away in an attempt to spite the President and then spited the Speaker of the House, the leader of their own party, for working with Obama. When a deal looked likely on Monday, Republicans were butthurt over President Obama’s comments. They took to the Senate floor, whining and crying about how Obama said mean things (the truth) about them.

Fact is, President Obama has the advantage in negotiations, but like a pack of Honey Badgers, the Republican Party just doesn’t give a single care. They think they won the election, because Republican Congressmen were gerrymandered right in to their seat on the House Floor. The right wing dumbassosphere knows President Obama’s going to get his way, so they’d rather do nothing at all… the hell with the people.

The entire debate is BS. It’s simple stuff – extend the tax cuts for the middle class, raise taxes on the wealthy (fact, even the majority of the wealthy want their taxes increased) and work on a plan to cut spending. Congress had a timetable, and they knew they did. After all, they are the ones who implemented the “Fiscal Cliff” as a way of forcing negotiation.

You see, I keep hearing Republicans talk about “entitlement reform”. That’s it. That’s all they care about, because they think the money that you paid in to for your Social Security benefits is the exact same thing as giving food stamps to someone who won’t find a job. That’s what the Republican Party, who cares about the rich and damn the poor, thinks about you. They think everyone is a 47 percenter who wants something for free.

Fact is, Democrats have also talked about entitlements – but they believe everything should be on the table.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer in an interview I had with him back in August: “There have been a number. The answer to your question is, I have said all along, entitlements need to be on the table. We need to make sure entitlements are fiscally sound for decades to come and sustainable.”

The difference between Democrats and Republicans can be summed up in this comment by the Democratic Congressman from Maryland, “We need to make sure the most vulnerable are not hurt by any agreement we reach.”

You see, the Republicans don’t give a damn about the poor, the elderly and the nation’s most vulnerable. In their world, people are poor and elderly because they choose to be and they’re lazy freeloaders, so we should just let that starve. And again, this TEA Party logic was rejected in November.

Now that the time has come to talk about meaningful spending cuts, the Republicans would rather see middle class incomes fall to protect their criminal friends on Wall Street and kick the can down the road instead of sit down at the table with a black President. They might think they’re acting courageously, but they’re acting with great cowardice. Instead of bucking Grover Norquist and Donald Trump, they’re bending over the rest of the country.

Let’s all give a round of applause to our “fearless leaders” in Washington who have successfully screwed our economy right off the cliff.

Andy Marquis

www.race22.com

Twitter: @amarquis32

Facebook.com/amarquis

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Republican New Year’s Resolutions

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Andy Marquis, reporter for RACE22.com, is a guest blogger. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

 

In the spirit of the holiday season, I present a list of resolutions the Republican Party should adopt in the New Year.

John Boehner Returns as Speaker

Okay, I know he’s been ineffective and I know how he operates.  But, I do like Boehner.  More importantly, if Boehner keeps the role as Speaker of the House, it flips the bird to the TEA Party faction that has flipped the bird to the American people.  After last week’s circus, Boehner knows the Democrats in Congress (along with moderate Republicans) and President Barack Obama are the only friends he has in Washington, and he knows that he must cooperate with them and not the TEA Party.

Don’t Go Off the Cliff

Unfortunately, Republicans are more than willing to drive off the cliff because it’s the only “win” for them, even though it’s a loss for the American people.  In the long run, it’s a loss for the GOP as well.  Fact, Barack Obama has the upper-hand in Fiscal Cliff negotiations.  Fact, Barack Obama will get his way.  Averting the Fiscal Cliff will force Republicans to accept that Barack Obama has the right vision for America.

Barack Obama is the President – accept it.

Stop with the birther nonsense.  Just, stop.  Obama was legitimately elected President of the United States in 2008.  He was legitimately re-elected in an electoral landslide.  Barack Obama is popular, he has good ideas, he is an American.

Stop Bringing Up Reagan

Reagan did not slash the National Debt, he tripled it.  Reagan did not deport illegal immigrants, he granted amnesty. Reagan did not dramatically reduce the size of government, he increased it.  Reagan was a good President.  He didn’t defeat the Soviets with extreme military force; he defeated them using an unconventional and unbelievably intelligent diplomatic process.  And he did negotiate with terrorists. He would also, in today’s Republican Party, be considered a “RINO”, a “socialist” and be forced to switch to the Democratic Party.  The Republican has invented this mythological superhero, but it’s not the actual Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Kick Out the Extremists

Here’s a secret the media won’t tell you, the TEA Party still defines the Republican Party’s message.  And the TEA Party is still popular with the Republican Party.  However, it’s misguided.  This is nothing more than a group that hates the American government more than it loves America.  The Republican Party needs to reject the entire premise of the glorified internet hate group and rejoin reality.

Simply put, a two party system can work.  There can be ideological differences – a weighed debate with the outcome being what’s best for the American people.  But if the Republicans can only think about winning primary contests, they deserve the political extinction that will come with appeasing the TEA Party faction.

With that, I say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

 

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Infrastructure Spending Anyone?

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Andy Marquis, reporter for RACE22.com, is a guest blogger. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

So here I am sitting in a café in Blacksburg, Virginia because we are working our third full day without power at my home in Copper Hill.  I’ve had a lot of time to knock out some books on my extensively long reading list, but I’ve had a lot of time to think as well, and I’ve been thinking about all those who went weeks without power after Hurricane Sandy.

In all the barking going on in Washington about cutting spending and cutting taxes, I’ve not heard one person talk about the need to invest in our outdated infrastructure.  Infrastructure spending used to be bipartisan common sense, but not anymore.  President Obama and other Democrats have been stonewalled on anything and everything in terms of infrastructure by a radical TEA Party faction that is so extreme in its hatred of government that they’d rather see the country burn.

An infrastructure spending omnibus makes sense in urban and rural areas.  It puts people back to work immediately after it’s signed in to law by the President.  Infrastructure spending should’ve been discussed after the 2003 blackout, it should have been discussed after the I-35W bridge collapse and it should’ve been discussed after Hurricane Sandy.  But once that discussion takes place, people will realize that government can be an instrument of good and that’s something the TEA Party, and the mainstream Republican Party that continues to appease them, do not want to say.

If we discuss ways of making homes, current and future, more energy independent and we talk about ways people can cut back on power consumption, we can have a short term impact on the overloaded power grid and a long term impact on the goal of becoming more green, a goal this country should have.  If we start upgrading the power grid, nationally, and we start repairing and replacing outdated bridges, and paving dirt roads, and making rural areas just a little more modern, we can put able bodied people back to work and create a better country for everyone.

Or we can continue to not do a damn thing while China invests in its infrastructure and continues to attract private sector growth.  The Democrats know the government can work for everyone and make us more competitive again.  Independents know this.  Even moderate Republicans know this must be done.  And, maybe, if we do something, the next hurricane or the next ice storm will be a mere inconvenience and not a catastrophic event that disrupts the entire nation’s productivity in a growing workforce.

Until then, let’s all buckle up because going off this fiscal cliff is going to be a bumpy ride.

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Memo to GOP: Staging a circus makes you a clown

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Andy Marquis, reporter for RACE22.com, is our guest blogger of the day. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here’s his latest guest post:

Staging a Circus Makes You a Clown

December 21st won’t mark the end of the world, but it certainly appears it’s marking the beginning of the end of John Boehner’s tenure as Speaker of the House.  On Thursday night, Speaker Boehner had to cancel a circus that he staged.  That circus was H.R. 6684, otherwise known as “Plan B” (or, more appropriately, “Plan BS”).

The Speaker was close to a deal with President Obama to avert the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” before a bizarre “press conference” on Wednesday in which he announced Plan BS, saying he would only raise tax rates on millionaires.  However, CNBC points out the plan cuts the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, among other things, resulting in a tax increase for the majority of Americans.  The plan would be dead-on-arrival in the Senate if it had passed the House and it most certainly would have met President Obama’s veto pen if it did pass the Senate.

The plan, however, put TEA Party Republicans in a bind.  TEA Party Republicans would have to go against every core principle they preach if they went with Boehner’s plan, raising taxes without cutting spending.  It was bizarre and insane.  Even though it was all political theater, and not meaningful policy, Boehner thought he would get enough Republicans to vote for the plan so he could thump his chest before meeting with the president.

On Thursday night, in a dramatic exhibition of political theater, Boehner was forced to pull his proposal because he could not get enough Republican votes, not to speak of the votes he would not get from Democrats.  So, now, the Republican Party sits more divided than ever and Boehner looks like a clown. 

If you’re going to stage a circus, make sure you look like the promoter and not the ringmaster.  If you’re going to draft a bill with the sole intent of spiting the other party, make sure you have enough votes.  If you’re not sure you have enough votes, don’t go on television and thump your chest.

Boehner didn’t have the votes, he had to pull the bill and Washington, DC sits under a flood advisory due to his tears flooding the Potomac after his epic failure.  Politics should never be this much fun to watch, but it was on Thursday.  The fuse has been lit for the implosion of the Republican Party and, like a demolition derby, it is fun to watch.

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