Thursday, July 28, 2011

Voter Suppression 2012 - an update on a previous story

Melissa Harris-Perry discusses the GOP plans for VOTER SUPPRESSION 2012 with these VOTER ID Laws popping up around the country.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

An update on a previous Voter Suppression 2012 story. From North Carolina:

N.C. GOP fails to override veto of voter-ID photo mandate

By Gary D. Robertson


Republican lawmakers failed Tuesday to override a veto by Gov. Beverly Perdue that would have required voters to show photo identification before casting an in-person ballot.

The North Carolina House voted on party lines 67-52 in favor of the override, five votes short of what's needed to move it to the Senate. Republicans performed a parliamentary maneuver, however, that keeps the voter ID issue alive.

Republicans argued the photo ID mandate would discourage voter fraud and build the public's confidence in voting. Democrats said the requirement is unnecessary because reports of fraud are few and that it would only lead to voter suppression, particularly among older people, minorities and women.

The override question spurred passionate debate for more than an hour about voting in an era in which citizens show identification to enter government buildings or get on an airplane but only a half-century since blacks in the Jim Crow-era South were discouraged from voting because of the color of their skin.

"This bill is an insult to me. It's an insult to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King," said first-term Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg. "Right now, I feel like my rights have been raped. Yes I do because there is no substantive problem in North Carolina with voter fraud and this is purely, purely an attempt at voter suppression."

Perdue vetoed the measure last month.

"I want to thank the legislators who stood firm in the belief that every North Carolinian has the constitutional right to vote and that the state should not be creating obstacles to stop them," Perdue said in a statement after the vote.

GOP legislative leaders contend polls show strong support for voter ID and that Perdue vetoed the measure to please her Democratic base. Several Republican House members have said voter identification is one of the most important issues to their constituents.

"How can you possibly vote against a requirement where in one instance you have to show a photo ID (in Winston-Salem) to panhandle but not show a photo ID to do the most important and sacred thing that we do as citizens?" said House Speaker Pro Tempore Dale Folwell, R-Forsyth.

Democrats argue the bill was purely partisan. Others have suggested ID requirements would make it harder for President Obama to win North Carolina's electoral votes next year after winning them for Democrats in 2008 for the first time in 32 years.

Voter fraud is a felony in North Carolina. The State Board of Elections referred 43 cases of potential fraud to district attorneys in 2008 and 21 in 2010. Meanwhile, about 147,100 active black voters do not have photo ID, according to the election reform group Democracy North Carolina. The bill didn't even consider potential fraud problems with obtaining absentee ballots, said House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange.

"Everyone is interested in the integrity of the elections and it does appear that common sense says that people should show an ID," said Bob Hall, Democracy North Carolina's executive director. "But when you look at the data, there are more people that are hurt that requirement than would be helped."

Wealth Disparities between White, Black and Latino Households

Melissa Harris-Perry discusses the Pew Study about the disparities in wealth between White, Black and Latino Households, and how that disparity is rooted in racism.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Journal of Voter Suppression, 2012 -South Carolina Edition

How long will our elders have to CONTINUE TO PAY for living under Jim Crow?

From The

Many face fight to prove ID
No birth certificate, no photo ID, no registering to vote:A dilemma for tens of thousands born in ’40s, ’50s, ’60s

Ruth Johnson remembers being sent to the pay phone in the middle of the night to call the midwife when her mother’s labor pains started.

“I called the midwife. She said she was coming. She never did show up,” Johnson said, thinking back to life as a 12-year-old in Barnwell County in the late 1950s.

Before long, Ruth’s mother sent her back to the pay phone at the Hilda grocery store. The second time, the midwife admitted she had no intention of coming to help with the birth. “She said, ‘Your mama, she owes me $25 for the last baby.’”

And so the baby was born in the family home, without a birth certificate — a common practice in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s in rural South Carolina, but one that is causing problems now for an older generation required to have proof of identification.

Before the government began discouraging midwifery in the 1970s, a lot of women in rural South Carolina didn’t go to hospitals to have their babies, either because of the cost, discrimination or culture. Often, the births were unrecorded, whether a midwife was in attendance or not. In some cases, names were misspelled by illiterate midwives or recorded incompletely when parents couldn’t settle on a first name right away.

But having no birth certificate, or having one where the name conflicts with other legal documents, can cause problems today proving one’s identification — and getting the photo ID required to get a job, travel, go into public buildings and, in a recent and controversial change in South Carolina, register to vote.

In some cases, people who have never had a problem before must now go to family court to authenticate the names they have used all their lives.

Joseph Williams, a physician who sees mostly elderly patients in Sumter, guessed as many as 20 percent of his 3,000 to 4,000 regular patients have problems with identification. Some only know the year they were born.

“It’s extremely common for people who are over 50,” said Williams, who is 60. “Record-keeping was poor in our age group.”

And a birth certificate is considered the “seed document” for establishing one’s identity, making it more important to own — and protect — than in years past, said Adam Myrick, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Environmental Control, which oversees the state’s vital-records division.

No one knows how many South Carolinians don’t have a birth certificate. One indicator may be a tally by the S.C. Election Commission, which shows 178,175 voters do not own a photo ID, according to the latest available figures.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed a law requiring voters to show a photo ID — either a driver’s license, passport, military ID, new voter registration card or a state-issued ID.

But getting a state-issued ID requires a birth certificate.

For those who don’t have a birth certificate, the state’s vital-records division requires at least three documents from a list that includes marriage and school records, military and medical records, the birth certificates of siblings and children and voter registration documents.

But there’s a hitch.

The name must be identical on each document used as proof of identification: no nicknames, middle initials or other variations.

“The law is very specific: The name has to be the same,” said DHEC spokesman Thom Berry. “This is not a South Carolina issue; this is a national issue.”

Mr. Berry is indeed correct - this is a NATIONAL issue.

Because, our Black Elders who lived under Jim Crow, and this kind of lack of record keeping, live all over the country, and I wonder how many live in these states where these Voter ID laws have been enacted.

And now, in their twilight years, the people who actually FOUGHT, and got their asses beat to get the right to vote, can now see that right taken away because of these VOTER SUPPRESSION VOTER ID LAWS.

IF you have elders with this situation, you need to sit them down, and help them get their papers together. It's more than just voting, though voting rights are important. This could mess with their Social Security and other things.

Contact your Congressperson

Like the man said
by Tim F.

Last night Obama asked us all to contact our Representatives and tell them to do the right thing for America. I could not have said it better myself.

Have a Republican congresscritter? Call him and tell him to pull his head out of his ass. Or her ass as the case may be. Democrats could use some support as well, of course, but at this moment in time Republicans need your input more than anyone else. Their staff genuinely may not know that you exist.

As always, use a phone. Email has the same impact as yelling at clouds.

Find your Congresscritter here.

Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Guide for first-timers here.


my update: if you are from:

tell the Rep or Senator that Moodys has said these STATES ARE FIRST OFF THE CLIFF IF A DEFAULT HAPPENS.



From Balloon Juice:

How To Send a Fax for Free
by mistermix

I like to fax my representatives, but I no longer have a fax machine. Here’s how I do it for free using only an Internet connection.

1. Write a respectful, fact-based, and original letter in Microsoft Word. (Or, write it in some other word processing program that creates a .DOC, .DOCX or .PDF file for output). Open Office is a free program that writes Word output.
Be sure to mention that you live in the district and vote.

2. Look up the representatives’s fax number here.

3. Go to FaxZero and create a fax. Attach your Word doc or PDF to the fax. You can send 2 free faxes per day, so do your Member of Congress and most intransigent Senator today, and the lesser asshole Senator tomorrow.

Also, if you’re a Facebook user, lots of representatives have a Facebook page where you can leave comments. I’m sure that amounts to something.

Update: As requested, a letter suggestion after the break.

Here’s my take on a good letter:

Dear Representative/Senator :

I live in your district [, I voted for you – nice to add if it is true, and maybe even if it isn’t]. I’m writing to ask you to vote to increase the debt ceiling.

I know that my job as a [insert your daily toil here] is in danger if the economy gets worse. I also know that the economy will suffer if the United States defaults, and that may mean that I can’t put food on my family’s table. I can’t afford to lose my job over a political food fight.

I think our national debt needs to be addressed, but I also know that when I miss credit card payments, the bank lowers my credit rating and raises my interest rates. If we lose our good credit because of a default, that will only make the deficit bigger.

No matter how I’ve voted in the past, I just can’t vote for anyone who would risk our economy and cost our country billions of dollars in interest in order to make a political point.


[Your name and Address]

Monday, July 25, 2011

Presidential address on GOP debt-ceiling crisis

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Voter Suppression 2012 Update - Wisconsin Version

hat tip-Miranda

from progressivetoo:

WI Governor Scott Walker to cut DMV centers in Democratic districts

The Wisconsin legislature is finalizing a bill to close ten Department of Motor Vehicle centers located in Democratic districts within the state. The money saved will be used to extend operating hours at DMV centers in Republican districts. These cuts come on the heels of new voter ID laws that require voters to present a state-issued photo identification card at the poll booths.

The Wisconsin Republicans, led by Governor Scott Walker, have passed a myriad of unpopular bills that have alienated the public, specifically the public employees whose right to collectively bargain was stripped, their pensions cut and many of their jobs lost. Walker, who has strong ties to Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has served as the poster child for conservative policy in the nation.

This story shows just how stupid neoconservatives think the public really is. Walker and his ilk pass a bill requiring voters to present valid photo identification at the polls. Then, in the same breath, Walker and his ilk propose a bill to close the identification issuing centers (the DMV’s) in the Democratic districts, making ID’s more difficult for low-income voters to obtain.

so, for those who said the ID Laws aren't really voter suppression, now that they've made it harder for folks to get IDs, what say you NOW?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Black Unemployment and Underemployment at an All Time High

Hear a great discussion from NPR about Black unemployment... from a few weeks ago.

A must listen.

Final Mission

Loved the shuttle when I was a kid. Not all that enthused by idea of private industry taking over a large portion of space missions in the future.

Eligible, Black, Male, and Hopelessly Single - Are Women to Blame or is This a Societal Issue?

As a man, I’d feel a certain way if I had a girlfriend but I wasn’t able to take care of her. Nothing special, but you’d like to be able to at least go the movies every weekend and buy her nice things. Yeah, I’m in school now and working towards something. but I’ve actually stopped dating a woman I was interested in because I wasn’t where I needed to be financially. It’s a pride thing.

The quote above is from a great article over at the Good Men Project webpage, entitled Eligible, Black, Male, and Hopelessly Single. This is a great read… so much truth in this article.

I can relate to many of the comments in the article, especially the one above. The exact same epiphany occurred to me several years ago. I stopped dating a young lady (cute Mexican accounting student in her mid 20’s), because I could not court her the way that I wanted to. The relationship was probably not going to go anywhere anyway, but I called it quits early. My obstacles, or what I saw as obstacles, always came down to a lack of money & resources. That was 8 years ago & I haven’t dated since. I don’t see myself as good enough (not for the women I find interesting).

I decided that I had to work on building myself professionally/financially if I was going to date seriously, and be successful. Yes, my pride played a big role in that decision and is a big reason why I don't date today.

But I’m torn about that way of thinking. On one hand, I think dating should be about compatibility, shared values/interests, and the connection between two people. It should not be all about the superficial - the status chasing, the big job, nice car, expensive condo, etc. However, on the other hand, I recognize (& hate) the fact that the real world of dating has a system of rules set up, rules mostly established by women, that forces me to play that game (the superficial game) whether I want to or not.

It’s just interesting to see money as being not only the reason people are divorcing, but now it also seems to be a big reason why singles have a hard time meeting and connecting in the first place. Also interesting to see that my experiences are not unique. I want to say women are to blame for this… but it comes down to society and a pop culture that has warped the minds of Generation X (My Generation) and Generation Y even more. People (women in particular) are watching too much TV. Men are expected to be well-to-do from the first date. There is no building anything together anymore. Today, women consider the man who isn’t fully established monetarily as a loser…. And they move on to the next one, and the next, until they find the attorney, the Barack Obama, the CEO, the Banker, the doctor, the entertainer, or professional athlete that they want. Women aren’t even looking for personality and character anymore… things about the inner core of the man himself… those items are secondary to her. Today, women are searching for titles…status, money…. It’s all about what you do for a living. Whatever it is that you do either has to be raking in cash…or has to have the potential to do so.

When you are a Black man almost exclusively interested in interracial dating, like myself, the problem doesn’t go away.

The article is a great read… the comments section is also very interesting.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today's Update of Voter Suppression 2012 -Louisiana Version

hat tip-GreenLadyHere

Feds: Louisiana Not Providing Voter Registration Forms At Public Assistance Offices
Federal officials are suing the state of Louisiana for failing to provide voter registration forms at public assistance and disability services agencies. The Justice Department said that the state is in violation of section seven of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Louisiana officials, the feds asserted, have failed to provide voter registration opportunities as required under NVRA because they haven't designated all offices in the state that provide public assistance as voter registration agencies (including the Office of Aging and Adult Services); failed to provide sufficient supplies of voter registration applications at the designated agencies; and failed to train and monitor employees to make sure they assist in processing voter registration forms."

There are 1.17 million Louisiana residents enrolled in Medicaid programs, but only 6,037 voter registration applications were received from public assistance offices from 2009 to 2010, according to data provided to the Election Assistance Commission and included in the Justice Department's lawsuit. That represents just 1.1 percent of all voter registration applications received in 2009 and 2010.

While Louisiana processed over 3.1 million Medicaid applications, renewals and address changes from Jan. 2007 to Jan. 2011 as well as 2.4 million food stamp applications, the agencies registered just 14,725 voter registration applications.

"The voting process begins with registration. Therefore, it is essential that all citizens have unfettered access to voter registration opportunities," DOJ's Thomas E. Perez said in a statement. "The department is committed to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act so that neither income nor disability status stands in the way of equal voter registration opportunities for all citizens."

Friday, July 15, 2011

President Obama's Press Conference Today About the Debt Limit

President Obama: We Are Running Out of Time for a Debt Limit Deal

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Election Results from Last Night - Good Night for Democrats in California and Wisconsin

There were elections in California and Wisconsin last night. Good news from both states for Democrats.

From Wisconsin:

Real Dems Beat Fake ‘Dems’ In Wisconsin Recall Primaries

Wisconsin Democrats have easily fended off a Republican ploy in the state Senate recalls, with the official Dem candidates in each of six races easily defeating Republican activists who also filed in the Democratic primaries. But Republicans have not failed to reap some advantages from the situation.

With the vast majority of the precincts now in, all six official Democrats have been projected as the winners by the Associated Press. Only one primary, for the 10th District (GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf), has turned out to be tight or seriously contested, with official Dem candidate Shelly Moore winning by a margin of 54%-46%.

The other Dem primaries are nowhere near that close: Nancy Nusbaum is winning the primary for the 2nd District (Sen. Robert Cowles) by 65%-35%; Sandy Pasch is winning the 8th District (Sen. Alberta Darling) by 67%-33%; Fred Clark is winning the 14th District (Sen. Luther Olsen) by 67%-33%; Jessica King is winning the 18th District (Sen. Randy Hopper) by 68%-32%; and Jennifer Shilling is winning the 32nd District (Sen. Dan Kapanke) by 70%-30%.

Soon after the recall elections were triggered, Republicans declared a strategy to plant fake candidates in the Democratic primaries -- which they have called "protest candidates" -- in order to delay the general elections from July to August, while the GOP incumbents ran unopposed. The candidates included a GOP activist in his 20s, and an octogenarian former GOP state representative, among others. As it turned out, the scheme would cost local governments throughout the state over $400,000.

Predictably, this led to some low-level dirty tricks and mischief-making, with conservatives being urged to vote in the Democratic primaries for the fake Dems. Despite the possibility of countering this, Democrats specifically rejected entreaties by labor to respond in kind and run fake Republicans, in order to keep Republican voters in their own primaries.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Breakdown of Obama's strategy w/debt ceiling

Step-by-step, Lawrence explains President Obama's approach to the debt negotiations and why he's masterfully winning the fight.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sarah Palin and her fake campaign

We try not to post much on Caribou Barbie, but Lawrence O'Donnell was absolutely terrific as he mocked her and Newsweek mercilessly.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, July 11, 2011

The White House Launches The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative

From The White House Blog:

Announcing Strong Cities, Strong Communities
Posted by Melody Barnes
on July 11, 2011 at 12:28 PM EDT

President Obama knows that the hard work of strengthening American communities and revitalizing the American economy happens at the local level – in neighborhood schools and community colleges, at town meetings and neighborhood associations, through new start-ups and small businesses. That’s why the White House is excited today to announce the launch of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative.

Strong Cities, Strong Communities is a new interagency pilot initiative that aims to strengthen neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions around the country by strengthening the capacity of local governments to develop and execute their economic vision and strategies. Strong Cities, Strong Communities bolsters local governments by providing necessary technical assistance and access to federal agency expertise, and creating new public and private sector partnerships. By leveraging existing assets, providing new resources, and fostering new connections at the local and national level, Strong Cities, Strong Communities will support towns and cities as they develop comprehensive plans for their communities and invest in economic growth and job creation.

For more information about this innovative new initiative and its goals, check out the launch video:

As I mentioned in the video, Strong Cities, Strong Communities pilots a new approach to federal-local collaboration that allows the federal government to support efforts from the ground up in four key ways:

Community Solutions Teams will leverage expertise in areas like health, education and transportation to support the six pilot cities as they capitalize on opportunities and tackle challenges
A fellowship program that will place mid-career professionals in city agencies in the same six cities to work closely with the Community Solutions Teams, increasing the capacity of mayors and their staffs on key priorities
A new Economic Planning Challenge grant that, through a national competition, will help additional communities – those without an economic blueprint – design a comprehensive strategy
And the National Resource Network that, pending funding, will serve as a one-stop-shop for local governments to receive technical assistance from national experts with wide-ranging skills critical for promoting economic growth and resiliency.

This morning, Strong Cities, Strong Communities was announced across the country in the six pilot locations:

In Chester, PA, the Community Solutions Team will help Mayor Butler diversify the local economy, support small business development and revitalize the downtown.
In Cleveland, OH, Strong Cities, Strong Communities will support Mayor Jackson in his efforts to coordinate workforce and economic development and to maximize the economic potential of the Cleveland Port.
In Detroit, MI, the Community Solutions Team will partner with Mayor Bing and Governor Snyder to increase coordination and alignment on workforce and economic development issues, and to leverage U.S. DOT's investments in High Speed Rail and the Woodward Avenue light rail project to spur economic revitalization in the downtown corridor.
In Fresno, CA, Mayor Swearengin and the Community Solutions Team will work to capitalize on the coming high-speed rail station to improve the downtown area, and will also build on a successful neighborhood development program.
In Memphis, TN, Strong Cities, Strong Communities will partner with Mayor Wharton and his team to pursue his vision to strengthen the education system and attract new industries.
And in New Orleans, LA, Mayor Landrieu and the Communities Solutions Team will work to integrate existing federal resources to improve the delivery of health services, manage public safety and rebuild public infrastructure.

Over the coming months, with the support of Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiatives, these cities and others across the country will pursue their plans for growth and development, helping to create jobs and improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans. We are looking forward to working with you, in your community, to win the future by building stronger and more resilient communities and laying the foundation for economic growth.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Voter Suppression 2012-the latest from OHIO



I think these MOFOS have scraped the bottom of the barrel...

they find a new bottom.


hat tip-ProfGeo

This can be filed under VOTER SUPPRESSION 2012 News.

From ThinkProgress:

Ohio GOP Weakens Election Law By Allowing Poll Workers To Refuse To Inform Voters Where They Can Vote

By Tanya Somanader on Jul 5, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Last week, the GOP-led House passed an election law overhaul without the highly restrictive voter ID provision. However, the House tweaked the bill to weaken a law mandating poll workers to direct voters in the wrong precinct to their correct voting location. Under the new language, a poll worker need not direct a voter to where they are eligible, adding that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”

Allowing poll workers to refuse to help those who are legitimately confused about where they should vote opens the door for increased voter suppression.

Monday, July 04, 2011




From zizi2, reprinted with permission:



Listen folks! If Halperin’s juvenile antics this past week confirmed anything at all, it is the fact that we should expect even more of this venal behavior from these mediocre silver-spooned DC gate-keepers who will continue to spew right wing ideological gunk cooked up in the dens of America’s corporate powerbrokers, from their gilded beltway media perches. The incorporation of celebrity “journalists” (that label is pointless!!) and their entire media retinue into the plutocratic corps has been the single most damaging blow to our democracy. They render the “public” in Public Square moot. All we have is simulacra.

Beware, Halperin’s job is to distract us, to shift our focus from the Repug economic and Social Safety net destruction agenda. They will do a whole lot more distracting until the election. WE. CANNOT. LOSE. FOCUS!!! We are in an existential war. Our adversaries are a dimwitted but dangerous cabal of right wing media lackeys, corporate boardroom retrogrades, and their puppets in political office. They don’t want the Republic itself to survive with us the 98% who are not super-wealthy thriving in it. When you are dealing with a faction that has told us who make up America, loud and clear that they will detonate Weapons of Mass Destruction unless we surrender everything including our lives to them, you better believe them. They are not bluffing. They mean it. This is no hyperbole.

And when you have a corporate media that tells us to “cave” to our destruction (as Jessica Yellin did on CNN), this is no longer an eye-roll moment. It is an asymmetrical war. We have to work harder, smarter, stealthier, and twice as long to BUILD the tiniest of advances, while they can flunk and grift their way to political power just do DESTROY. Yeah the fact that a sizeable portion of this country gives a platform to the Palins, Bachmans, McCains, Rick Scotts, Scott Walkers, Snyders et. al. should tell us all we need to know about how steep our climb ALWAYS is.

Happy 13th Birthday, Malia Obama!

First Daughter Malia Ann Obama turns 13 today. She's an All-American Girl.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia listen to their guide during a safari in Madikwe Game Reserve June 25, 2011. ----REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool