Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

The inaugural address

Posted by Charles II on January 21, 2013

So the theme of the inaugural speech was that words are not enough, that they must be matched with deeds. The capstone of the speech was this:


That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American….Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.

It’s a good general goal. The rising generation will, in all likelihood, be the one that brings equality to everyone. There are ghettos to empty and pay to be raised. There are pernicious laws to repeal, and pernicious behavior to be shamed away. But this is a generation which has never known Jim Crow or legalized discrimination against women. It may have seen shrinking opportunity, but the pain has been broadly borne. The question will be what energies this speech mobilizes.

Here are key excerpts.

history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth

Our history represents a learning process:

we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

The American system is one of balance and moderation, emphasizing individualism:

we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

We need to change direction, away from war and economic stagnation:

A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless,

More people have to start receiving the economic rewards:

our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

A laundry list of common commitments:

Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security…[protection against] job loss, or a sudden illness, or …storm…the threat of climate change…sustainable energy sources…strength of arms and rule of law…we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice [outside our borders]…[equal pay for women, equal treatment under the law for gays, freedom to vote, gun safety, and a welcoming attitude toward immigrants]

And the call:

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Will that be enough to shape the response? I don’t know. I wish he had focused on the filibuster. That probably would have been impolitic, but it is such a potent force for reaction that any call to build a new era must begin with the burying of the old, corrupt, rotten, evil one.

Posted in 2012, President Obama | 3 Comments »

Soros Gave $1 Million To Obama. Adelson Gave $10 Million (At Least) To Romney.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 7, 2012

Not that this news item from late September will shut up the FOX News dupes, but it must be said:

Liberal billionaire George Soros is giving $1 million to a “super” political action committee backing President Barack Obama. Soros also gave another $500,000 to two congressional super PACs, House Majority PAC and Majority PAC.

[...]

Soros gave $1 million earlier this year to the pro-Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century.

Now let’s compare these amounts, $2.5 million all told, with what Sheldon Adelson gave to Mitt Romney and the downticket Republicans:

New campaign finance figures for the final two weeks of the 2012 campaign show that Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave $10 million to a “super” political committee supporting losing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Adelson, who owns casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore and the Chinese territory of Macau, has been the top donor in the 2012 race, providing more than $54 million supporting Romney and other GOP presidential candidates and an additional $18 million for other Republicans.

$72 million to $2.5 million. Hmmmm.

Sounds like Republicans are 28.8 times more indebted to Sheldon Adelson than Democrats are to George Soros. Who’s puppeting who here, now?

Posted in 2012 | Comments Off

The Voting Rights Act is Obsolete in Colorblind America

Posted by Charles II on November 27, 2012

Dara Kam and John Lantigua, Palm Beach Post:

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says …“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” … “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.

“They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer said. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”

The GOP will say that they wanted to exclude Democrats and didn’t care what color of skin they had, that they’re criminals but not racist crininals

I’ll give odds that white Democratic precincts didn’t have lines anywhere near as long as African American or (non-Cuban) Hispanic ones.

(oh… the title of the post is ironic, in case that wasn’t clear)

Posted in 2012, election theft | 3 Comments »

“Romney campaign a win for Mormons”

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2012

“Romney campaign a win for Mormons” is how Rachel Zoll‘s AP article was headlined.

The thesis is that some fundamentalist cranks no longer label the LDS a “cult” and are now acknowledging “the church’s dedication to family, charity and community service” which, uncharitably translated, means subordination of women, welfare for members, and funding anti-gay ballot propositions. Per Zoll, the best news of all: since Romney lost, people will stop paying attention to the LDS.

Yes, the article is that obtuse and that obsequious.

I think that what the election outcome will do is brand Mormons as losers, which is the greatest sin of all that a conservative can commit, and that once the enforced solidarity seeps away with the loss, the knives will come out.

So, may I wish conservative Mormon candidates many more such wins.

Posted in 2012, Associated Press, mediawhores, Mitt Romney | Comments Off

Why I regret not reading Scoobie Davis more frequently

Posted by Charles II on November 22, 2012

Via Scoobie Davis, this gem from Rick Perlstein:

And that, at last, may be the explanation for Mitt Romney’s apparently bottomless penchant for lying in public. If the 2012 GOP nominee lied louder than most—and even more astoundingly than he has during his prior campaigns—it’s just because he felt like he had more to prove to his core following. Lying is an initiation into the conservative elite. In this respect, as in so many others, it’s like multilayer marketing: the ones at the top reap the reward—and then they preen, pleased with themselves for mastering the game. Closing the sale, after all, is mainly a question of riding out the lie: showing that you have the skill and the stones to just brazen it out, and the savvy to ratchet up the stakes higher and higher. Sneering at, or ignoring, your earnest high-minded mandarin gatekeepers—“we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” as one Romney aide put it—is another part of closing the deal. For years now, the story in the mainstream political press has been Romney’s difficulty in convincing conservatives, finally, that he is truly one of them. For these elites, his lying—so dismaying to the opinion-makers at the New York Times, who act like this is something new—is how he has pulled it off once and for all. And at the grassroots, his fluidity with their preferred fables helps them forget why they never trusted the guy in the first place.

Don’t miss the part about an oilfield in the placenta.

And if I’d read Scoobie, I would have seen the latest Jack Chick, which ties together Catholicism, Islam, Communism, Nazism, Free Masonry, and Satanism into one neat bundle. Did you know that 1 million Southern Baptists have joined their body to the Whore of Windsor and become Masons?

Posted in 2012, liars, Mitt Romney | 1 Comment »

Obama victory margin up to 3%

Posted by Charles II on November 18, 2012

The Republicans want to say the election was close.

It was not.

Via Mark Sumner, DK

As Charlie Cook says, the Republicans are engaging in wishful thinking in presenting this as a close election. They

have now lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections, from 1992 on. For the GOP, this was more than one bad night.

__________
Update: More people voted for Democratic House members than for Republican House members. This margin is likely to grow. The Republican maintain a majority only because of the gerrymandering they did in 2010.

Posted in 2012 | 3 Comments »

About that mandate

Posted by Charles II on November 11, 2012

Apologies to the DK poster from whence this comes. I would like to give you credit, but have forgotten whence the link came.

Posted in 2012, humor | 4 Comments »

Reasons to keep faith that we will weather this national storm of crazy

Posted by Charles II on November 7, 2012

1. Mitt Romney did not heed Donald Trump’s call for revolution (though not everyone has heeded Romney’s call to stand down.)

2. new: Elizabeth Warren! In the Senate!

3. Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson are no longer in the Senate.

4. Alan Grayson is back in Congress to keep them honest. He doesn’t get paid enough.

5. Allen West might be out of Congress (down 380 votes with 99% counted and The Hill has called it for Murphy). Regrettably, Michele Bachmann will probably remain in Congress (50.41-49.31) but , if so, only because the Twelve Apostles personally went and voted for her. Yes, it’s that tight.

6. Obama will probably surpass 50%, meaning the Republicans can’t whine that wasn’t really elected.

7. Women proved that Si Se Puede.

8. Maryland told the Catholic Church that same sex marriage is actually OK.

9. It is now legal to toke in Colorado (should do wonders for tourism).

10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORFjdSu97hE

You know, America has long been a conservative nation at heart, all I made it/you’re lazy if you haven’t. But it might be starting to grow up, starting to set aside discrimination of many kinds, starting to reject mindless militarism.

This time we can’t march off figuring we’ve done our duty. We have to keep leaning on Democrats to keep them from caving, and start preparing early for 2014. We voted for hope and change. Now we want the fundamental change we were promised four years ago.

Posted in 2012 | 17 Comments »

Vote theft 2012, updated 6:45 Eastern

Posted by Charles II on November 6, 2012

I’m going to use this post to link to stories about how the right is trying to block voting. Please feel free to add your own. I should add that if the experience of 2000 and 2004 is repeated, these represent a small fraction of instances of voter harassment, with many more emerging after the election or never being reported at all.

Florida: In Hillsborough Co., Republicans file last-minute challenges against a list of (mostly black Democrats to force their ballots to be filed provisionally. In Tampa, they prevent handing out water to voters standing in long lines and challenge.

Around the country. In Virginia, Hurricane Sandy interfered with filing absentee ballots. In Colorado, Arapahoe Co. is using unreliable touchscreen machines, and there has been a last-minute purge. In Fulton Co. Georgia, a huge backlog of voter registration applications and delays in sending absentee ballots that could cost people their vote. The Pennsylvania ACLU filed suit to prevent the state from continuing to circulate false information that voter ID is required. Poll workers in Nevada demand ID on specious grounds. In New Mexico, the so-nonpartisan-it’s barely-useful League of Women Voter’s guide has been banned from polling places. Riverside Co., CA Democrats were signed up as Republicans using phony petitions. Southern CA Edison is planning power outages to LA County on Election Day.

In Cincinnati [that's Ohio, 'Wege], voters who have come to the wrong polling place are told to file provisional ballots, rather than being told where their polling place is.

Around the country. Allegheny Co., PA: Republicans demand photo ID from voters are ordered to cease their activities. Milwaukee police block voting over a hit-and-run investigation, but stop interfering after Election Protection is called.

In NY and NJ, Hurricane Sandy is seriously interfering with voting in many places. While those states are attempting to compensate by loosening voting restrictions (e.g., letting rescue workers vote where they’re working rather than at their home address), expect lots of late provisional ballots. If Romney has a “majority” on Election Day, remind people that hundreds of thousands or even millions of provisional ballots, either due to the hurricane or to Republican Jim Crow remain to be counted.

Pinellas Co., FL: Secretary of Elections makes robocalls telling people they have until 7PM Wednesday to vote. Even Charlie Crist’s wife got a robocall.

Pennsylvania: Voting machine will not record votes for Barack Obama.

Bowling Green, OH: Volunteers are prevented from providing water to people standing in line to vote. Some people leave.

Palm Beach, Florida: Voting place is moved without prior notice.

Wisconsin: Romney trains poll workers to prevent rehabilitated ex-cons from voting. State law allows them to vote. (This link is especially encouraging because it’s on CNN.com. Maybe some of their idiot reporters will read it.

Pueblo, Colorado: Sheriff’s deputies accost GOTV workers, run their IDs, and tell them they should “call it a day.”

Columbus, Ohio: An ABC affiliate of Sinclair Broadcasting airs slanted news broadcast.

Pennsylvania: Republican efforts to confuse people about Voter ID have succeeded.

Connecticut: Linda McMahon airs ads made to look like Democratic ads saying I support Obama and McMahon

Miami, FL: Teahadist Pamela Evans Rhodenbough files allegations of discrepancies in voting addresses and of felony convictions. Since these are filed under oath, she could face prison time if they’re found to be frivolous.

Houston, TX: True-the-Vote interferes with handing out water to people standing in line. Bible text for the day, Matt. 10:42.

Philadelphia, PA Tens of thousands may be disenfranchised due to slow registration processing. Some will vote on provisional ballots. Some may not be able to vote at all.

Posted in 2012, Republicans as cancer, voting rights | 8 Comments »

PPP: Minnesota Voter Suppression And Marriage Suppression Amendments Look Doomed

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 5, 2012

Here is very good news from Public Policy Polling. In addition to reporting that Obama leads Romney comfortably in the state, 53% to 45%, there is also good news on the two crummy amendments the state GOP wanted to shove down our throats:

The more interesting findings on our final Minnesota poll deal with the state’s high profile amendments to ban gay marriage and require voter identification. We find both narrowly trailing. 45% of voters say they’ll vote for the gay marriage ban, compared to 52% who are opposed to it. And 46% say they’ll support the voter ID amendment to 51% who are opposed.

Not only is the “Voter ID” voter suppression amendment losing (46% to 51%), so is the marriage suppression amendment, 45% to 52%. Since amendments to the state constitution need not just a plurality, but a majority of the votes cast, this bodes well for Tuesday.

Now, the marriage amendment never got much more than 50%, and it’s been below 50% for some time now, so it’s not surprising to see that it’s now in the mid-40s. What surprises the local punditti is that the voter suppression amendment is also losing — it had started out with between 70% and 80% support, so much support that various big local Democratic-affiliated groups didn’t want to waste time and money fighting it. But Sally Jo Sorensen, the best blogger in the State of Minnesota and one of its top five journalists, period, noticed that a lot of county governments were expressing to their local papers their absolute horror at the damage this massive unfunded mandate would do to their already-stressed budgets. We are literally talking about counties having to forego fixing roads or hiring cops because of this amendment.

Over the months, as winter turned to spring and spring to summer, more of these county governments started speaking out about this — and more to the point, they started to compare notes, aided in large part by Sally Jo’s publicizing of the issue (a publicizing I did my small bit to aid), even as both the StarTribune (the Minneapolis paper of record) and the Pioneer Press (the Saint Paul paper of record) largely ignored this. Soon, a critical mass of note-comparing turned into the production of a few studies, studies that confirmed the counties’ worst fears as to the costs and complexities that would be forced upon them by this amendment.

This hit home with the vote suppressors. Even as the Republicans laughed off efforts to condemn the voter suppression amendment as racist — the racist intent would appeal to a lot of Minnesota voters, so the GOP was quite happy to see Democrats talk it up — they didn’t laugh off efforts to enumerate the cost to rural counties. They sent out the attack bozoes at the Center of the American Experiment to create some numbers purporting to show that the amendment wouldn’t cost as much as feared, but Sally Jo’s good friend, Gustavus Adolphus professor and elections expert Max Hailperin, shot down their numbers right quick. Finally, the voter suppressors turned to running TV ads — but by that time the various movers and shakers in Minnesota’s Democratic establishment and allied groups had started running TV ads of their own, ads featuring guys like former Republican governor Arne Carlson and current Democratic governor Mark Dayton.

Again, keep your fingers crossed. And I’m knocking on wood with one hand while I type this with the other. But if what I think will happen does happen, a good chunk of the credit for doing the early, unglamourous spadework will go to my friend Sally Jo Sorensen, who in a just world would be entrusted with the editorship of a big daily paper or the media operations of AFSCME or SEIU or the DFL.

Posted in 2012, Minnesota, voting rights | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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