Mar 082015
 

It was spring vacation in my Junior year.  I wanted to do battle in the front lines.  It might have been good for the movement, if future Republicans hadf murdered a young white boy, not yet 17.  But the protestors were better that that.  For my own safety, two very large and very kindly black ladies linked arms with me, refused to let go, and kept me well behind the front lines.  I didn’t get to see much of the violence, but I did get to see way too much blood.  Fifty years later, Obama was upbeat, but realistic.

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On this day in 1965, the nation watched as peaceful civil rights demonstrators were savagely beaten by police as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., a bloody sacrifice that historians credit with helping to usher in the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act days later.

Fifty years later, with the nation embroiled in a fresh debate about race in America, the country’s first black president joined a bipartisan congressional delegation and tens of thousands of marchers at the foot of the iconic civil rights landmark to commemorate a day that forever altered the landscape of American history.

“There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided,”  President Obama told the sea of people who had stood for hours to hear him pay tribute to the day known as Bloody Sunday. “Many are sites of war – Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg.  Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character – Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.”

“Selma is such a place,” he added.

The speech came several days after the Justice Department released a searing report admonishing police in Ferguson, Mo., for engaging in a vicious pattern of racial bias. The police department was home to Darren Wilson, a white officer whose killing in August of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, sparked nationwide protests about police brutality in communities of color throughout the United States…

Inserted from <Washington Post>

The Post was overly generous to call the Congressional delegation bipartisan.  Many of the Republicans present attended only after their intended absence became a talking point.

Here is the video of Obama’s address in it’s entirety.

And click here for the transcript.

One key focus of the speech is that the civil rights movement continues today and has helped many different minorities.  How sad it is that racism was waning quickly, and we would be much further along had the Republican party not embraced racism, as part of the Southern strategy.  Obama alluded to this, but called for us to press on, as the struggle is not yet over.

Another key focus of the speech was the Voting Rights Act.  He alluded to those who are keeping it week, without calling out the Republican Party by name.  He also said that the Congressional delegation could prove their sincerity by returning to Washington and fixing the voting rights act.

I have no doubt that I’ll have more coverage of this story, because these Republicans now need to prove to their rabid base that their sheets and hoods are still intact.  They will immediately return to abusing their power to disenfranchise minority voters.

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Feb 262015
 

0226you-decide

Here’s the truth.  I was to tired that I slept through the Obama Town Hall.  Normally I would post the video and do the analysis for you.  But, since I don’t have time to watch the video, let alone do analysis, we’re doing it different today.  I’ll post the video, and you analyze it for me.

There it is.  What say you?

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Feb 202015
 

Yesterday I took my friend with cancer to dinner.  All things considered, she has a positive attitude.  The food was excellent, and I am still a danger zone.  If only there was a Republican available. :twisted:

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 6:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: President Obama says he’ll veto the latest attempt by Congress to push through the Keystone XL pipeline, but he hasn’t yet committed to rejecting this dangerous proposal outright.

 

As always, the Reich on left, Robert Reich, is right, while the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is wrong. They are bought and paid for by corporate criminals, who don’t care how much they harm YOU! Click through for the MoveOn petition.

From Media Matters: The American Thinker – "one of my most favorite and thoughtful blogs," according to Rush Limbaugh – reports that President Obama flashed a "Muslim gang sign" at an event last year by pointing his index finger upwards.

F.W. Burleigh, "author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet," wrote [bigot delinked] for the conservative website that an "astonishing photo" of Obama during a summit with African leaders shows him "flashing the one-finger affirmation of Islamic faith to dozens of African delegates." According to Burleigh, "the one-finger display is the distinctive Muslim gang sign" and "With his forefinger in the air, Obama affirmed his membership in this tribe." He also postulates that Muslim African leaders present at the event were "all smiles" because "They knew what Obama’s upright forefinger meant."

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Dang!! You can fertilize your veggies with that load!

From Daily Kos: Why Minnesota is Doing Better than Wisconsin

We in Minnesota have a Democratic Governor. Our Mark Dayton is a rich Democrat — the heir of the family who started the Dayton’s Department Stores and B. Dalton Bookstores and Target — and he was educated at Yale, so he’s actually pretty smart for a guy who inherited money. Citizens of Wisconsin have a Republican Governor (Scott Walker, who brags about dropping out of college). In Minnesota we have a balanced budget, partly because we raised taxes on the top earners. In Wisconsin, they cut taxes on rich people and are now scrambling to cut spending (including major cuts for the once proud University of Wisconsin (which breaks my heart)).

The difference should surprise nobody.

Cartoon:

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Republicans don’t want to know this.

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Feb 192015
 

The Republican party faces a dilemma.  They claim to be kind and gentle, compassionate conservatives, while their behavior portrays the polar opposite.  For example, Republicans are hell bent on condemning Obama for not using the word Islamic in conjunction with condemning terrorists.  Could it be that they want to shift attention away from their own terrorist tactics?

0219HateMuslims

Every other year since 2003, hundreds of Muslim Texans – families, young students, community leaders – caravan in from around the state to meet on the steps of the august Texas State Capitol building in Austin. They hope to meet lawmakers, advocate for issues important to them, and just learn about the American political process.

Previous gatherings have mostly gone without a hitch, organizers say. But on Thursday, during the seventh biennial Texas Muslim Capitol Day, the hundreds who gathered were met by a group of angry protesters, who heckled and jeered the crowd as they began – as Texas political events often do – with prayer and the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Emotions have run high as world events, including the rise of the Islamic State militant group and the terrorist massacre in Paris, have sparked pockets of anti-Muslim sentiment throughout the Western world. On Thursday, the protesters, about two dozen members of the Patriot Defense Foundation [Hate Delinked], shouted slogans such as “Mohammed is dead,” “Go back to Baghdad,” and “Remember 9/11.” Some of the group’s signs read "Save America, Stop Islam" and "Go Home and Take Obama with You."…

Inserted from <Christian Science Monitor>

It was actually far worse than the article lets on. Rachel Maddow covered this event in detail, and others, as part of her coverage of Obama’s statement on bigotry.

The problem here is obvious. Obama seems right to us.  We are not terrorists, and America is not at war with Islam. O’Lielly and his declaration of Holy War seem right to Republicans.  The Republican Party are the terrorists, and they are at war with Islam.  Sadly, we are confronted with terrorism on two fronts, one foreign and one domestic.  The most dangerous terrorists of all are the elected kind.

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Feb 182015
 

I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  I feel tired, but I did get enough sleep that I feel feline again.  Yesterday, I felt like a dawg!  Tomorrow, I’m taking my friend with cancer out to dinner.  It’s a Mexican place known for Chile Verde, so I hope there are Republicans downwind.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:30 (average 5:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In a time where people genuinely want to believe that racism is dead, reality has a way of smacking us all right in the face to remind us that it’s actually alive and well. Mississippi Judge Bill Weisenberger was seen and heard by five different witnesses, both white and black, striking a severely autistic African-American man and then yelling, "Run, n*gger, run" at him in 2014.

Nine months later, a grand jury has indicted Judge Weisenberger, and charged him with "assault on a vulnerable adult." Hate crime charges, which carry stiff federal sentencing, have yet to be filed.

Several additional allegations have surfaced against Weisenberger in the last year. He is accused of imposing an illegal DUI sentence against an African American in his courtroom. The Attorney General’s office said it could not confirm or deny whether it was investigating that matter, though District Attorney Michael Guest said it had turned the matter over to the AG’s office.

Weisenberger also had a lawsuit filed against both him and the county in November. The attorney for Charles Plumpp said Weisenberger arrested and jailed her client, who is African American, on the nonexistence charge of "roaming livestock."

I’m surprised that this Republican is being brought to justice. Kudos to those Mississippians responsible.

From NY Times: President Obama surely knew that his recent executive actions to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation would run into trouble as soon as a 26-state lawsuit opposing the actions landed on the desk of Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen, of Brownsville, Tex.

Judge Hanen — who last month invoked a biblical flood in describing illegal immigration into that community — has spoken out aggressively against Mr. Obama’s immigration policy in the past, saying it “endangers America” and is “an open invitation to the most dangerous criminals in society.” Indeed, his earlier opinions were the reason Republican governors and attorneys general pushed to get their suit into his district.

As expected, the judge on Monday night temporarily blocked the first of several programs Mr. Obama announced in November to offer work permits and a three-year reprieve from deportation to more than four million immigrants who are parents of American citizens and who have no criminal record.

That move — which Mr. Obama took only after years of failed efforts by Congress to pass any immigration reform — triggered the fury of congressional Republicans, who responded with threats of, among other things, impeachment proceedings…. [emphasis added]

Judge Hanen is another small part of the damage done to this nation by Crawford Caligula. I pray his partisan decision will be overturned.

From Washington Post: In the wake of Dave Fahrenthold’s great piece about Scott Walker’s college years, Democrats have begun to openly question the Wisconsin governor’s ability and readiness to be president, given that he doesn’t have a college degree.

I disagree with those Democrats who say Walker is unfit to be President, because he does not have a college degree. A college degree measures neither intellect nor ability. 25% of Politics Plus readers have postgraduate degrees, and another 48% graduated college. My lack of a college degree has not impacted my ability to reason and communicate with well educated people. The Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan has proven himself unfit to be a washroom attendant, let alone President, because he is a Koch whore. His degree is irrelevant.

Cartoon:

0716Cartoon

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Feb 072015
 

When Barack Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast, something every President has done every year, since Dwight D. Eisenhower, he set off a national furor from the rabid extreme right, that is, the Republican Party.  Obama suggested that there have been examples of atrocities in all religions, so we should not be overly prideful in condemning others.  Obama was right.  We don’t have to go back that far in our own history.

They burned him alive in an iron cage, and as he screamed and writhed in the agony of hell they made a sport of his death.

After listening to one newscast after another rightly condemn the barbaric killing of that Jordanian air force pilot at the bloody hands of ISIS, I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept roaming the past trying to retrieve a vaguely remembered photograph that I had seen long ago in the archives of a college library in Texas.

Suddenly, around two in the morning, the image materialized in my head. I made my way down the hall to my computer and typed in: “Waco, Texas. Lynching.”

0207jesse1Sure enough, there it was: the charred corpse of a young black man, tied to a blistered tree in the heart of the Texas Bible Belt.

Sure enough, there it was: the charred corpse of a young black man, tied to a blistered tree in the heart of the Texas Bible Belt. Next to the burned body, young white men can be seen smiling and grinning, seemingly jubilant at their front-row seats in a carnival of death. One of them sent a picture postcard home: “This is the barbeque we had last night. My picture is to the left with a cross over it. Your son, Joe.”

The victim’s name was Jesse Washington. The year was 1916. America would soon go to war in Europe “to make the world safe for democracy.” My father was twelve, my mother eight. I was born 18 years later, at a time, I would come to learn, when local white folks still talked about Washington’s execution as if it were only yesterday. This was not medieval Europe. Not the Inquisition. Not a heretic burned at the stake by some ecclesiastical authority in the Old World. This was Texas, and the white people in that photograph were farmers, laborers, shopkeepers, some of them respectable congregants from local churches in and around the growing town of Waco.Here is the photograph. Take a good look at Jesse Washington’s stiffened body tied to the tree. He had been sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman. No witnesses saw the crime; he allegedly confessed but the truth of the allegations would never be tested. The grand jury took just four minutes to return a guilty verdict, but there was no appeal, no review, no prison time. Instead, a courtroom mob dragged him outside, pinned him to the ground, and cut off his testicles. A bonfire was quickly built and lit. For two hours, Jesse Washington — alive — was raised and lowered over the flames. Again and again and again. City officials and police stood by, approvingly. According to some estimates, the crowd grew to as many as 15,000. There were taunts, cheers and laughter. Reporters described hearing “shouts of delight.”… 

Inserted from <Bill Moyers>

Obama was right.  This travesty took place less that 100 years ago.  Republicans objected so strongly because the Republican Party has chosen chose to represent the same racist hatred that inspired this act, when they adopted the Southern Strategy.  And when they claim that there is nothing like this today, they are lying.  The same organization that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast also sponsored an attempt by US Senators and Representatives to draft legislation for Uganda to execute their citizens for being gay.  They almost got away with it

That brings us to the thing Obama did wrong.  No US President should attend an event sponsored by such a hate-filled organization.

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Feb 032015
 

I’ve been reading a lot about Obama’s budget for 2016.  The more I read about it, the more I like it.  It does many things to help build a recovery for the poor and middle classes, not just the 1%.  It pays for these measures by taxing the 1% to return just a tiny bit of our wealth that Republicans have fed them over the years.  Best of all, it does many of the things Republicans say they want to do, as they attempt to fool voters.

0203budgetPresident Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget, released on Monday, pulls together the themes and policies set forth in his State of the Union address and other recent speeches and gives them a force and coherence — an ambitiousness — that a more piecemeal delivery does not convey.

As a practical matter, the budget details what Mr. Obama believes needs to be done to help ensure a more prosperous and inclusive future for ordinary Americans, including greater contributions from corporate America and from those atop the wealth ladder. Politically, it seeks to frame the terms of the debate for the 2016 presidential election season. If Republicans simply reject those terms — if they can’t discuss the ideas and act on them — they may find themselves, deservedly, struggling for a response.

The core of the president’s 2016 budget is a plan to boost the middle class by helping low- and middle-income earners pay for education, child care, job training and other needs, and by vastly expanding investment in the nation’s infrastructure. These initiatives would be paid for, in the main, by nearly $1 trillion in tax increases that would fall on the wealthy and large financial institutions over the next decade.

The new taxes, however, are also carefully crafted to spur economic growth more broadly. A proposed higher rate on capital gains, for example, would discourage rampant and inefficient tax sheltering, while encouraging investors to deploy the capital in ways that are more economically productive. Ditto the financial tax that is structured to discourage speculative activities at banks that endanger the economy, as well as taxpayers… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Click through, please.  It’s worth the read.

I do not seriously think that this budget will pass.  In fact Republican officials from across the spectrum agree that it’s DOA.  But it sets the stage for a Democratic victory in 2016, as voters watch Republicans reject things they claim they are for to protect a handful of billionaires.

Ed Schultz provides some excellent coverage.  The embed button for MSNBC is working again.

I love it, except for the overdose of exceptionalism from the California Democrat.

We call Obama out on what he does wrong.  Lets offer kudos for doing this right.

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