Archive for minorities

Who Hurts GOP Women The Most, Men Or Women?

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"Why, I do declare," Miss Elmers said," how awfully hard these men folk make it on us demure ladies. Seems so burdensome, doesn't it now, with all those fancy big numbers and those complicated words they use. Why, it's all a woman can do to not take to the salts and feel the vapors without a man at her side to tell her what she should think. Another Mint Julep?"

If you think that awful made-up dialogue is from some old MGM costume Civil War piece, it certainly could be. But this kind of talk is actually being spewed right now as we speak. And it's being done by a North Carolina congresswoman, Renee Ellmers, who believes that the Republican Party would make more headway with women voters if it could bring policy discussions “down to a woman’s level.”

Raw Story:

The problem, she said, is that male politicians are making the policy discussion too complicated for women to understand.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” she said.

Can you really believe this woman was elected to her office in Congress? She's about as contemporary as a hooped skirt and a whale bone corset. What is going on in this country that backwards thinkers like this are being allowed to ruin the lives of other women?

North Carolina by its mere antiquated, backwards and restrictive actions has a lot to apologize for -- but Renee Elmers's election to Congress might take the cake.

Wake up people. Your votes count. Make sure you use them and use them for your best interests. You don't need someone to tell you what's right nor do you need someone to talk down to you. You deserve better than this.

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Wednesday Links

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Photo: Eileen Blass, USAToday

              Photo: Eileen Blass, USAToday

Blocking the vote: Florida County eliminates minority-heavy polling places

Rain and Sleet Move into Metro Atlanta Area

Be sure to read the explanation of why the first recipe is called
The Sure Thing.
Red Red Gingerbread (Karen Noel Hearn's Food Blog

What John Mackey sees as fascism, I see as, finally, a health care law which lets millions of people get health care who would have been turned down before the Affordable Care Act.
Whole Foods Founder John Mackey On Fascism And 'Conscious Capitalism'

Why Boehner Gave Up on the Debt Ceiling

MSNBC confirms NJ Senator Gordon says no members of Christie's office will appear before committee

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Senator Tim Scott Plays The GOP's Stepin Fetchit at National Winter Meeting

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This week the Republican National Committee had their annual Winter meeting. Much was made of the libido remarks by former Governor Mike Huckabee, but he wasn't all the news from the confab. During this gathering attended by the mucky-mucks of the right wing party, the leaders revealed their new plan to retake the Senate and retain the House. They're going to become a party of the people. Yup, that's right. They're going to become you and me.

What I find interesting is their choice of spokesperson for this movement. A Black Republican senator from South Carolina. On the surface that sounds like an effort to be inclusive. To put a different face forward. And this senator, Senator Tim Scott must be considered somewhat of an expert in electioneering -- after all, he's a Black US senator from a red, southern state.

So how did he do it? How did he unlock the mysteries of a minority making it to the upper house in the US Congress? How did he woo the voters of his state? If he could make his miracle happen, maybe sharing this secret of success winning over those the GOP has generally left behind or ignored -- women, young people, minorities, immigrants, the unemployed -- the Grand Old Party might become Grand once again.

What's Senator Scott's winning strategy for the GOP in the 2014 elections and beyond?

According to The Hill:

“For us, for we the Republican Party, the great opportunity party, for us to see our greatest success in 2014 we are going to have to embrace people in a way that they deserve to be embraced. And I will tell you that as we embrace people in a new and fantastic way, we will encourage them to find the potential within themselves to maximize their potential,” Scott said.

Here's the video:
Note: Please go to this link if the video will not play.

In this video Senator Scott talks about his volunteering for jobs to get the feel for what regular people are going through. What did he pick for maximizing our potential? A stint as a janitor. A waiter. A grocery bag packer Somehow that hardly seems like maximizing one's potential.

Oh, and one thing Scott forgot to mention. He was never elected to his office. He got in by a gubernatorial appointment to fill out former Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) term, in 2012. So somehow his appointment makes him the guru to others seeking election to office? Hmm.

So it seems Senator Scott, who's up for reelection this fall in a real election, has never won the office that he's running for. Why not make him the "face" of for the GOP?  But it does make you wonder, couldn't the GOP find someone who has a winning election formula and has a track record to prove it? Oh, that's right, they would be old, white and male. This is the new GOP and they're looking to show outreach and diversity, not chalky colored grey haired, gray- complected out of touch old white men.

The idea to "walk a mile in my shoes" to get the feel for one's constituency is a good one. But what Scott didn't tell you is that he wasn't living off of the wages those jobs pay. He wasn't trying to survive, pay for rent, provide heat, food, clothes, transportation, medical care, or any other of life's expenses with the money from those jobs. He was living off of his senate salary ($193,400/year) during that time. He was taking these jobs for the publicity, not survival. When yours and your family's lives depend on your earnings, then and only then have you walked that mile.

Oh, and how interesting the choice of jobs this Black man took to get a feel for what life's really like - working jobs where he claims his friends and neighbors worked. Really? Sweeping floors at a burrito joint, waiting tables and bagging groceries? Those are the jobs his friends and neighbors have? Though he's from the Charleston area, he lives in Washington most of the year and I don't think Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsay Graham or Ted Cruz -- his friends and neighbors -- are tackling too many of those jobs.

So the Republican fraud machine of trying to convince America that their elitist party is really one of the people couldn't be more lampooned with Scott's appearance than if it was a Saturday Night Live sketch. And sadly, what clown do the white extremists get to carry their water, Black Senator Tim Scott. No, he's not played by Jay Pharoah, he's just a fool who doesn't mind playing a role even Stepin Fetchit might have turned down in the '30s and '40s.

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Hold The Pickle, Hold The Lettuce, Eric Cantor, Don't Forget Us

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Burger King had a jingle that they used, actually quite successfully, to woo fast food burger eaters away from Mickey D's, back in the mid '70s. They prided themselves in giving you what you wanted, your way. Check it out.

Well, it seems that good ol' Eric Cantor, the Virginian representative, finds himself in a bit of a pickle.  You see, his party has gotten ginned up a bit on making voter rights, some of which the SCOTUS had limited in striking down Article V of the 1965 Voter Rights Act, an issue once again.  Despite years of intentionally trying to tamp down minority voters, a few Republicans have joined in with some progressive Democrats and are pushing for a new voter rights bill in Congress. With this being a big election year, the GOP doesn't want to come across as anti-voter, even if they are. They want to keep the House and maybe even recapture the Senate. To do that they need minority voters who want their legal right to vote, something the GOP has actively pursued taking away.

With a seemingly bi-partisan backing, Cantor is stuck now that specific legislation has been introduced with the backing of several prominent Republicans. If he comes out against the bill and refuses to let it go to the floor for a vote, he's going to look like he's not supporting voting rights for all legal citizens. And if he comes out for the bill, the right wing, Tea Party nuts will pick on him and possibly even back a challenger for the House Majority leader. In other words, he could get primaried in his state or replaced as majority leader in the House. Yikes. Cantor, the Burger King could become Ronald MacDonald the Clown -- or worse, the Hamburgler.

The good news for Cantor is this, according to The Hill:

There are compelling reasons for Cantor to get on board. As the majority leader, Cantor is on the front lines of the fight to increase the GOP’s control over the lower chamber in November. Republican leaders won't want to be seen blocking a bill designed to protect voters – particularly one with bipartisan support – especially at a time where they’re trying to expand their party’s minority outreach.

The bill also includes a sweetener for Virginians. Under the old provisions shot down by the Supreme Court, the Old Dominion was one of nine states with histories of voter discrimination required to get federal approval before they changed their election procedures. Under the new proposal – which aims to update the formula dictating which states are subject to the extra scrutiny – only four states would be forced to seek such approval. Virginia is not among them.

Oh, in case you're interested, the four states that would fall under the additional scrutiny are: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia – all GOP strongholds. And they're all states working to tighten voter registration laws. Therein lies the rub, or the pickle.

What will Cantor do? America wants it their way -- voting rights for all legal citizens. Will Cantor give people what they want, or force them into going somewhere else? Mr. Majority Leader, have it your way.

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GOP Outreach Program Targets -- Wait For It -- The Country Club Crowd

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Country Club

After the devastating election losses in late 2012, the GOP spent millions to find out how and where they missed the boat. They analyzed what they were doing wrong and publicly took to the airwaves to announce during 2013 that they were going to start reaching out to those who voted against their party and their platform. In essence, it was a plan to open the tent flaps and invite more people into their circus.

The RNC report from early last year called the Growth and Opportunity Project, urged the party to be more inclusive after the dismal electoral results among women, minorities, immigrants, college educated and the poor during the 2012 presidential election. This study, at a cost of millions of dollars was immediately hailed as a panacea and would be implemented immediately.

Let's see how that went.

The plan, despite being publicly lauded by the mouthpieces for the GOP was, in reality, scoffed at behind closed doors. There was really no intention of welcoming new members into their private club without a privileged pedigree.

During the nearly one year since the "autopsy" of the Republican loss led by party chairman Reince Priebus, there's been some moment. It wasn't forward nor necessarily backward. It could at best be called, treading water. Or maybe hoping for a miracle.

The "autopsy" called for the the Republicans to increase it's outreach to women. Instead, they pushed for restrictions on women's reproductive rights already adjudicated in Roe V. Wade by the US Supreme Court.

The plan called for outreach to immigrants. The GOP killed, by refusing to vote, the Senate immigration plan because it had a path to citizenship and the Republicans feared the new voters would not vote for the Red party because they had been systematically persecuted by the GOP for so many years.

The plan called for a jobs bill to improve the economy. The current 113th Congress voted that down numerous times during the last session. They even forced a government shutdown that cost the tax payers $26 Billion and netted us nothing for the effort.

The Growth and Opportunity Project called for outreach to the LGBT community. Build up the Log Cabin Republicans. Instead the party fought that minority with law suits even after the SCOTUS struck down DOMA, opening the door for same sex marriage.

The proposed road map was to reach out to racial minority voters in rural areas. Instead they GOP-led state legislatures enacted stricter voter registration laws making it harder for minorities to have an equal opportunity to cast a vote. This fear that Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Indians and others might actually get a chance to speak up was muffled in legislative tricks and gerrymandering to making it difficult to qualify to have your voice heard or counted. Ask former Speaker of the House, republican Jim Wright or current state senator Wendy Davis in Texas how those new, restrictive laws are doing.

So it seems they're acting in denial of their own multi-million dollar plan to improve their standing and increase their chances to win the 2014 and 2016 elections. If so, who are they really going after?

The country club crowd. The Republicans have pushed through continued tax loopholes strictly for the rich. They've targeted but one group -- the one they already had -- the top 2%. By fighting health care, by denying minorities their constitutional rights, by tamping down immigration reform, by killing jobs bills and by regulating women's health care issues What's left is not a big target, but the GOP's focusing on it, anyway. It's the old, white guy.

Here's what the GOP Chairman said, according to THE HILL:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus vowed in 2014 that his group would spend time in communities it has overlooked in the past.

“As a party, Republicans resolve to make 2014 about engaging with more people in communities all across America,” Priebus said in a statement ringing in the New Year. “We’ll spend our time welcoming new people to our party and listening to people in places where we haven’t spent enough time in years past. I look forward to all this year has to offer.”

It's hard but lets take the chairman at his word, because he said the very same thing nearly a year ago when the results of the study were first made public. Everything he and his party did last year was contrary to that.

Some things never change, the leopard and its spots, the zebra and its stripes and the GOP and it's arrogance. So next time you're at your private country club, playing a round of golf with Skip, Chip and Thurston Buffington Conroy III, don't be surprised if they don't hit you up for a contribution to GOP American Vision PAC.

Go tee it up and have a great round. Remember, par for the GOP championship course is 72, the same age (and in some cases, IQ) as the average GOP member.

Follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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Epidemic of Voter Fraud Rampant In Iowa - Republican Investigation Proves It

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black voters

It's never to early to stage a fight for people's rights. And in this case, it's the voter rights act, or what's left of it. As you'll see below, Chris Hayes does a great job summing up the issues that are happening thanks to the scurrilous political right. If they don't succeed in stopping selected groups of voters, these wingnuts will lose their grip on power. And make no mistake, they do have the upper hand in power in most of the country, and not just the south. Take the case of Republican  Iowa Secretary of State, Matt Schultz:

This movement of tamping down minority vote has been with us since reconstruction. Before that, Blacks and other minorities were just plain denied the right to vote, even if born here. Color was the obstacle. Jim Crow laws replaced just straight refusal which was followed by gangs literally beating minority voters, sometimes to death for even showing up at a poll. And then again there were the poll taxes.

But these measures were about hate, not fraud... or so they appeared. Then next step up the illusion trail to keep minorities away is the current voter fraud issue. It's so rampant that candidates have based their entire statewide campaign on stamping out voter fraud -- and won. That tired scare tactic has worked. Yet when you run on a platform, you are usually called into service upon taking office to move on the issue.

That brings us to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R). He did as promised and pulled back the curtain on rampant voter fraud in his state. Huffpo revealed this:

Since taking office in 2011, Schultz has made safeguarding the ballot box from fraud a top state priority, striking a two-year deal with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in 2012 that directed $280,000 of federal funds toward voter fraud inquiries. Additionally, a full-time agent was hired and assigned to pursue voter fraud cases.

The results were as reported by Chris Hayes in the video above. There is really no true voter fraud. There's bigotry fraud. And that's what this is all about, summed up perfectly by a well-respected Republican

In August, former U.S. Secretary of StateColin Powell criticized the argument of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) that his approval of a more restrictive voting bill would combat voter fraud.

“You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said at the CEO Forum in Raleigh, N.C. “How can it be widespread and undetected?”

Voter ID laws are not going away anytime soon. So maybe it's time to take the campaign to get picture approved ID's to those without. A door to door program of volunteers to help people accumulate the necessary papers and documents, and then give them a ride to their DMV to get free photo ID's might be what it takes. But when those eligible voters get their identification, they can go from being denied, to doing the denying -- denying the racist incumbents who earlier denied them the right to vote from returning to office. Give them a dose of their own medicine.

You can follow me on twitter: @Linzack

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Guilty of Waiting For The School Bus While Black

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three students arrested for being black

Ah, racial profiling, Will it ever end?

Looks like New York City, with Bill deBlasio coming in this January, might finally be safe for minorities to walk the sidewalks without fear of random and humiliating, arbitrary police stops. Certainly Mike Bloomberg and his police Chief Kelly were all for stop and frisk and the terror it inflicted on their city. But up state, in Rochester, things have gone even further. It's stop and arrest -- skipping the frisk part.

Three Black high school kids, waiting for the school bus to come and take them to basketball practice were arrested a week ago when police officer told them to “disperse,” even though witnesses said they did nothing wrong.

Disperse? Isn't that usually a term usually reserved for crowds, mobs and unruly gangs? It's hardly appropriate for three high school students waiting at an established bus stop for their bus. Isn't that why they call it a bus stop? They boys explained why they were there and that's when the police did what they set out to do initially. They arrested these three Black teenage boys.

Oh, did I mention that all three are honor students as well as athletes? And did I forget to say that none of them had ever been arrested before?

This is what happens when racists are cops. I bet a simple, "We're waiting for the school bus" would have been fine if these were white kids. But they weren't. And as such, they were singled out.

The police have their own account of this incident. According to WROC-TV:

A police report claimed that the boys were blocking “pedestrian traffic while standing on a public sidewalk…preventing free passage of citizens walking by and attempting to enter and exit a store…Your complainant gave several lawful clear and concise orders for the group to disperse and leave the area without complaince [sic].”

Coach Scott [also African-American] arrived just as the boys were being handcuffed and was also threatened with arrest.

“He [the police officer] goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,’” Scott recalled. “I said, ‘Sir, I’m the adult. I’m their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?’”

Check out this short news piece to get the fuller story -- but this kind of bulls**t has got to stop.

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