Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dept of Justice Blocks FLorida Voter Purge

Can you imagine getting a letter from a official in your state telling you that your name is being removed from the voter rolls. The letter would inform you that if you wished to vote, you must prove your citizenship. Well, that's what's happening to 182,000 registered voters in the state of Florida.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mitt's Education Policy

Mitt Romney rolled out his Education policy, declaring “the gap in educational opportunity and achievement of people of color in this society, I believe, is the civil rights issue of our time.” In a speech Wednesday, Romney proposed expanding charter schools, which are privately run but funded by taxpayers, and creating a voucher-like system in which poor and disabled students could attend private schools, also using public money.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cory Booker's Gaffe: Fact or Fiction

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker stands in the middle of a major political controversy after his remarks on NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday. Going off message in an unscripted moment, Booker railed against campaign tactics on both sides of the political discourse in the presidential race.

President Obama is using Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to negate Romney's claim that involvement at Bain shows he can create jobs. Romney's campaign has been approached to revisit the Obama/Rev. Wright relationship as an issue during the 2012 campaign.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Questions About Catholic Suit Against Obama

Archbishop Wuerl and HHS Sec. Sebelius
More than 40 Catholic schools, hospitals, charities and dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. are going to court, ostensibly to fight a requirement that would force them to violate church teaching by including free contraceptive coverage for employees in their health plans by as soon as Aug. 1.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pundits Galore –Part Two

Watching politics on the news programs exposes us to a variety of opinions and points of view.  It’s good to be aware the background of the people we are listening to, their experiences and qualifications in the subject matter they are addressing, so that we might put their comments in perspective. In keeping with that thought, let’s meet some interesting people who are popping up on the airwaves.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Will Jeremiah Wright Ride Again?

The media is buzzing about a new Republican super PAC which is considering an ad campaign linking President Obama to his former pastor Jeremiah Wright, a line of attack the party rejected by john McCain in 2008. The New York Times got hold of a proposed campaign playbook commissioned by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, who has become increasingly involved in GOP politics.

The plan, called “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good,” would “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do,” the strategists write, according to the Times report. The $10 million plan would include television and newspaper ads as well as outdoor advertisements and aerial banners, according to the Times report.

Ricketts’s Ending Spending Action Fund super PAC was a player in state Sen. Deb Fischer’s come from behind surprise victory in Tuesday’s Nebraska Republican Senate primary. His son Pete is a member of the Republican National Committee from Nebraska who ran against Sen. Ben Nelson (D) in 2006.

Mitt Romney’s campaign distanced itself from the idea.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marriage Equality: The Week That Was

Everybody is talking about the events of last week as it pertains to marriage equality. The media has covered the stories ad infinitum and pundits comment morning, noon and night. Newsweek's cover calls Barack Obama "The First Gay President". The public buys into the hoopla, but, after all is said and done, there's only one policy change and policy is all that matters.

North Carolina joined 37 other states with a constitutional or statutory ban on gay marriage. That number could grow to 42 states with a ban on same-sex marriage dependent on the four state with the issue on the ballot this year. Voters in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington will cast their ballots to determine how their states will legislate the fate of citizens in the LGBT community. Only 4 states and the District of Columbia have held that gay marriage is legal within their boundaries. Interesting isn't it that 50% of the American public polled favor marriage equality.

The bottom line is that denying LGBT citizens the right to marry discriminates against them since they can not qualify for 1,138 federal benefits that are available to married couples. We therefore continue to have two classes of citizens in our country. That's about civil rights, not religion.

Barack's Got My Vote: Why I Won't Vote Republican

The latest rage in the media circus is President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality.  The religious elements in this country are being used to ferment a backlash from the Black Community against the President. Of course, many say that Blacks will vote for President Obama no matter what he does or says. The implication is that we are too stupid to vote on issues, but rather, simply vote on race.

As a registered voter, I have three choices: vote to re-elect the president, vote for the Republican candidate, or do not vote at all. Let's get right to my reasons for how to cast my vote. After centuries of struggle for the right to vote and while Republicans are actively employing organized efforts to disenfranchise minorities, elderly person and young voters, not voting isn’t an option for me.

Discouraged about the direction the GOP wants to take the country in, I’m angry, disenchanted and disappointed in the policies and proposals Republicans offer.  With the Tea Party Republicans as a majority in a “do nothing” House of Representatives, a  weakened Democratic hold on the Senate and newly seated Republican Governors  and Legislators passing anti-union right to work laws, voter registration changes, and anti-reproductive choice legislation that I disagree with,  I want to know why anyone would ever think that I could vote Republican.

Republicans stand against everything I believe in: Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, tax reform, The Buffet rule, pro-choice legislative compliance with Roe v. Wade, equal pay for women, legislative support against domestic violence, financial reform, abolishing tax breaks for oil companies, and a dozen other issues. I believe the Ryan Budget is shameful in its attack on the poor and needy as well as on the middle class while favoring the wealthy and limitless defense spending. The GOP proposals for immigration reform, such as the AZ “papers please” law, and the lack of support for the “Dream Act” shows me their hostility toward Latinos, as well as African Americans.

I’m still trying to understand why people vote against their own self interest. Moreover, I want to understand the “hate” that some visit on our sitting president. But beyond all this, Republican offer me nothing and I have no reason to support their agenda with my vote. I choose to stand with Barack Obama and the Democrats since they best reflect my values and wishes for the direction of the country. The President’s race has nothing to do with why I won’t vote Republican. GOP policies, programs and proposals make me stand against them.

Friday, May 11, 2012

George Clooney Raises $15 Million for POTUS

What a party! George Clooney was the host, Wolfgang Puck played chef, and Barack Obama was the honored guest.

The guests paid $40,000 to attend, accounting for about $6 million of the evening's financial haul for Obama's campaign and the Democratic Party. The remainder of the $15 million came from a raffle for small dollar donors.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Breaking the Barriers in News Journalism

Take a minute and meet two men who paved the way for the current flood of Blacks who regularly appear in the news as broadcasters, commentators, analysts, contributors, and pundits.  There are many new faces and while they may be interesting, we must remember that someone paved the way for them. When faced with selecting who might be credited with "breaking through the barriers" and making a way for others, I chose Max Robinson and Bernard Shaw.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stop Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners

Jessica Valenti writes for The Nation Magazine. In her recent blog, she addresses five issues that are a part of the Republican’s “War on Women” that goes unnoticed due to the focus on their attempts to roll back women’s rights on reproductive issues. I was stunned when I read what she wrote about the shackling of pregnant women:
Giving birth is no walk in the park—now imagine doing it while in leg restraints and waist chains. Over thirty states still allow the shackling of pregnant women in prison during labor and delivery, despite numerous human rights campaigns to ban the practices. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Public Health Association oppose shackling pregnant women, noting that is a danger to both women’s and fetal health. The practice has been particularly targeted immigrant women and women of color.

Four states (Idaho, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Nevada) passed laws in the 2011legislative year banning the practice, bringing the total number of states with bans on the books to only 14. In addition, only five state corrections departments (including the District of Columbia) have written policies that stipulate no restraints should be used during labor and birth, according to The Rebecca Project for Human Rights.

My country tis of thee...sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing.

Related articles:

Stop Shackling Pregnant Prisoners, Alex Berg, The Daily Beast

The Movement to Stop Prisons From Shackling Women in Labor Builds,
Miriam Zolla Perez, Colorlines

End the Shackling of Pregnant Inmates in Labor, ACLU Georgia

AZ Defunds Planned Parenthood

Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill to cut off Planned Parenthood's access to taxpayer money funneled through the state for non-abortion services.

Arizona already bars use of public money for abortions except to save the life of the mother. But anti-abortion legislators and other supporters of the bill say the broader prohibition is needed to ensure no public money indirectly supports abortion services.

Planned Parenthood Arizona claims a funding ban would interrupt its preventive health care and family planning services for nearly 20,000 women served by the organization's clinics. The organization says it will consider a legal challenge.

The measure targeting funding for Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services was one of several approved by Arizona's Republican-led Legislature related to contentious reproductive health care issues this session.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

American Crossroads Ad Claim “False”

In a provocative campaign ad, American Crossroads, a Republican-aligned group, criticized President Barack Obama for being a "celebrity" who yukked it up with Jimmy Fallon, danced a softshoe with Ellen DeGeneres and dissed Kanye West as a "jackass" -- while the economy crumbled.
PolitiFacts zeroed in on one claim in the ad -- that "after four years of a celebrity president … 85% (of recent college grads are) moving back in with their parents."