Month: July 2011

117 Members Of Congress Join Letter Calling For DOJ Action Against Voter Disenfranchisement Laws

Well this is very good news…

Think Progress

Earlier this month, 16 senators sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for DOJ to examine whether the voter ID laws, which are the centerpiece of the GOP’s war on voting, violate the Voting Rights Act. Earlier this week, over 100 members of the House of Representatives wrote to Holder echoing this call for the Justice Department to take action to preserve America’s democracy:

Approximately 11 percent of voting-age citizens in the country — or more than 20 million individuals — lack government-issued photo identification. We urge you to protect the voting rights of Americans by using the full power of the Department of Justice to review these voter identification bills and scrutinize their implementation.

The Voting Rights Act vests significant authority in the Department to ensure laws are not implemented in a discriminatory manner. [...] [T]he Department should exercise vigilance in overseeing whether these laws are implemented in a way that discriminates against protected clauses in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The VRA not only forbids laws that are passed specifically to target minority voters but also strikes down state laws that have a greater impact on minority voters than on others. Because voter ID laws disproportionately affect minority communities, it is difficult to see how many of the voter ID laws being pushed in GOP-controlled states could survive scrutiny under this law.

Related articles

Tea party rally on Capitol Hill draws thin crowd

The Teabaggers seem to be losing interest in those “rallies” lately…

Politico

It had all the makings of a big time tea party rally: Presidential candidate Herman Cain, conservative Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah all showed up outside the Capitol Wednesday to urge members to “hold the line” against a deficit reduction compromise.

The only thing missing? A big audience.

At the start of the rally, which was organized by the American Grassroots Coalition and Tea Party Express, there were roughly 15 attendees waiting to hear the conservative lawmakers speak. By the time the senators had spoken there were still fewer than 50 tea partiers in attendance.

But that didn’t stop the conservatives from turning up the heat on the proposals Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are preparing in the Capitol. Paul panned the Boehner proposal, saying that it “would cut next year $1 billion dollars,” and eliciting jeers from the crowd. “That is insignificant and not meaningful reform,” he said.

As DeMint spoke, Cain, who did not address the crowd, told reporters, “I believe that president and the Democrats have created this crisis to gain leverage over a plan to raise taxes, and the American people are saying that’s a non-starter.” Cain said he hoped Congress would “do the right thing, and the right thing is don’t raise the debt ceiling, get serious about cuts, and don’t raise taxes.”

“I don’t buy that there is going to be a catastrophe,” Cain said when asked what will happen if a deadline isn’t reached by August 2nd.

Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Paul Broun of Georgia, and freshmen Joe Walsh of Illinois, also spoke. Walsh told the tea partiers his leadership deserved credit for their attempts to negotiate with Democrats.

“My Republican leadership in the House is doing a great job. Imagine having to negotiate with Barack Obama. Imagine having to negotiate with Harry Reid. Give John Boehner, give Eric Cantor all the credit in the world,” he said, “But embolden them. Let them know that the American people are ready for a real reform. They need your help. We need your help.”

Sen. Mike Lee, who authored the Cut, Cap and Balance bill, the said “We’re being attacked by the left for not having the right proposal, but they have yet to submit a single bill to address this issue. Ours is the only show in town.”

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Karl Rove’s Crossroads trolls for guys on gay hook-up app Grindr

I wonder, were they looking for Jeff Gannon for Karl?

Raw Story

Conservative political group Crossroads GPS, co-founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, is notorious for spending millions on political advertising, most recently doling out $20 million for anti-Obama ads. It wasn’t until this week, however, that the placement of their ads drew as much attention as the content.

tipster notified The Hill that one of the group’s “blank check” ads — with the message that President Barack Obama’s spending is out of control — have begun scrolling along the bottom of a smartphone app called Grindr. Grindr allows gay and bisexual men to locate other gay men in their immediate vicinity, opening the door to a sexually-charged encounter.

Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio told The Hill that the ad was distributed by a mobile advertising network, so the group probably has no choice about where the ads appear.

“Ads may run on thousands of websites and apps but are based on the user’s history and profile, not the platform on which the ad appears,” Collegio said. “So if an ad appeared on that platform, it was triggered by the user’s history and profile meeting the targeted demographic criteria, not the platform itself.”

NOT SINCE LINCOLN

I read this article,  and was reminded  of a political pundit on the Martin Bashir Show who said something similar.

This current article by p.m. carpenter talks about the troubles Abe Lincoln had with his political opponents and the comparison to Obama’s political opposition today.

p m carpenter’s commentary

[...]

Not since Abe Lincoln took office has a president’s political opposition been so ruthlessly determined to oppose — even to the point of national disloyalty, which is precisely what the GOP’s treacherous machinations over the debt limit represent. It is futile to look back on Obama’s first two years and speculate that he should have done this, or that he should have done that, and then this or that might have proceeded better; it is futile because whatever path Obama might have chosen, his opposition was acrobatically hellbent on obstructing it.

If Obama is to be properly faulted, then his fault lies in the rather incongruent criticism of excessive rationality. No one, least of all a chief executive of profound intellect and with a corresponding belief in the great and unifying power of Reason, could have predicted in January 2009 that the spiritually broken Grand Old Party would redouble its preceding madness, and then double that, and double even that again. No one could have predicted the right’s absolutely surreal hypocrisy on debt and spending, its Obama-as-Hitler posters, its “death panel” frenzies and its birther lunacy and its Socialist Dictator! dementias. Neither could anyone have predicted the activist left’s infantile behavior and ceaseless crankiness.

No one could have, and no one did.

Yet now we encounter the magnificent bounty of hindsight. And it’s pointless. Because the right was always determined to sabotage Obama’s presidency — if “unusually extreme and intransigent” methods, as Frum grants, proved insufficient, then what the hell; economic treason might do the trick — and with each passing day, it doubles down on its determination.

Again … not since Lincoln.

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Sean Hannity And John McCain Battle Over Senator’s Anti-Tea Party Remarks

Mediaite

Sen. John McCain ruffled America’s already disheveled political feathers today with a Senate floor rant mocking the Tea Party’s position on the debt ceiling debate comparing them to hobbits and disparaging them for turningSharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into Republican nominees. Unsurprisingly, Sean Hannity had a bone to pick with the senator tonight on those comments, and on his opinion that the Republicans will get the blame for a debt default if they do not compromise.

Hannity came out swinging at Sen. McCain, wondering why the senator had turned on the Tea Party– “why not attack the President?” Sen. McCain corrected that he did intend to attack the Tea Party but that he disagreed with their obstinacy, especially if it would mean a plan like that of Sen. Harry Reid’s– “one of the most flimsy, transparent, phony spending cut things, proposals, that I’ve ever seen”– being put into law. The alternative to Hannity, however, was Republicans “competing with themselves, which infuriates me a little bit.” He noted that the Rep. Paul Ryan plan in the House was a good start, and that “the House Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare,” all things it frustrated him not to see in the Senate.

“What I was trying to point out,” Sen. McCain explained, “as the Wall Street Journal was, that we need to act with our own spending cuts, with our own legitimate spending cuts, then all the pressure will be on the President and the Democrats and Harry Reid.” But Hannity continued to argue against the infighting– “I think Republicans in the House and Senate need to regroup, lock themselves in a room, and get behind one plan.” Sen. McCain disagreed strongly with this, as he argued that the Republicans opposing Rep. John Boehner’s plan were demanding too much. “To somehow think that we don’t need to pay 40% of our bills is just wrong,” he argued. “I saw this movie in 1995… they [Republicans] won’t get to prioritize what doesn’t get paid.” Telling Hannity he was proud of his record, Rep. McCain concluded that “to shut down the government and take the blame for it is not something I want to do… I think the Boehner plan is a viable option; you clearly disagree.”

The major rift between them during the debate was not the Boehner plan, however, but the fact that Hannity did not believe Americans would blame the Republicans for a debt default, supporting the Rep. Connie Mack plan: “the country is going to burn and opportunity is going out the window and we’re saying we can’t but 1% a year for six years?”

While Hannity and Sen. McCain ended up not finding common group on the compromise front, Sen. McCain did address the Tea Party, not apologizing, but thanking them: “I admire, respect and appreciate the Tea Party, and they’re the ones that gave us a majority in the House of Representatives so that we can get something done.”

The segment via Fox News below courtesy of Mediaite:

The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann’s District

Michele Bachmann Official Photo circa 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Michelle Bachmann has been absolutely silent on this issue…

Mother Jones

Two years. Nine suicides. Why critics blame the congresswoman’s anti-gay allies for contributing to a mental health crisis.

The first was TJ. Then came Samantha, Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.

Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.

Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an “earthquake issue,” and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the “homosexual agenda.” They have opposed efforts in the state to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians in the classroom, seeing such initiatives as a way of allowing gays to recruit impressionable youths into an unhealthy and un-Christian lifestyle.

But in 2008, when Michele Johnson and her daughter, Samantha, moved from rural North Dakota into the 38,000-student Anoka-Hennepin school district, the largest in Minnesota, they had no idea they were landing on ground zero of that culture war. Coming from a rural small town, Samantha barely knew what the word gay meant when she arrived at Fred Moore Middle School (now Anoka Middle School for the Arts) as a seventh-grader. But by the fall of 2009, the 13-year-old was at the epicenter of the public school fight over gay rights.

Continue reading here…

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Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh sued for $100,000 in child support

This clown loves getting in front of the camera to put down the POTUS and tout his own Tea Party credentials.

As my friend Gilligan said over at The Regulator, Rep. Joe Walsh talks a lot about not wanting his children to be burdened by the debt accumulated over the last decade or so, but it seems he has accumulated his own debt by not supporting them for a while.   More GOP hypocrisy…

Gilligan puts it this way: (H/t: Gilli)

Joe Walsh is just another low-life deadbeat. He may not want to saddle his children with debt, but he also didn’t want to help keep a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, clothes on their backs, pay his share of their medical bills….there is nothing lower than a parent who refuses to support his/her children.

Chicago Sun~Times

 

Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

“I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.

Walsh starts the video by saying, “President Obama, quit lying. Have you no shame, sir? In three short years, you’ve bankrupted this country.”

In court documents, after his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, asked a judge to suspend his driver’s license until he paid his child support, Joe Walsh asks his ex-wife’s lawyer: “Have you no decency?”

Joe Walsh’s attorney, R. Steven Polachek, called the claim of a $117,437 debt “unfounded.”

“I dispute that he owes the child support that she’s claiming or anywhere near that amount,” Polachek said. “Joe Walsh hasn’t been a big-time wage-earner politician until recently — he’s had no more problems with child support than any other average guy.”

While Laura Walsh’s attorneys say they have been awaiting a meeting with Joe Walsh’s attorney to work out a settlement, Polachek said it’s her attorneys who have been stalling.

‘No compromise’

An intense, silver-haired firebrand, Walsh, 49, has taken cable TV by storm in recent weeks, becoming the unofficial spokesman for the “No compromise” faction of the Republican majority in the U.S. House — refusing to consider any debt crisis solution that includes raising taxes on the wealthy.

Walsh admits he is not wealthy. Some of his financial problems — including losing his Evanston condo to foreclosure — were documented before his out-of-nowhere victory last fall in the 8th Congressional District in Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs.

But court documents examined this week by the Chicago Sun-Times during research for a profile on the increasingly visible congressman showed his financial issues also included a nine-year child support battle with his ex-wife.

Continue reading here…

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Chris Christie Taken To Hospital For Tests After Having Difficulty Breathing

Perhaps this will make the Governor of New Jersey lose some weight, I hope so…

The Huffington Post

Blunt-talking Gov. Chris Christie, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to a hospital Thursday after he had difficulty breathing.

The 48-year-old governor was driven to Somerset Medical Center by his state police security detail out of an “abundance of caution,” said Christie spokesman, Michael Drewniak. Christie suffers from asthma and all indications are the governor will be OK, Drewniak said.

Maria Comella, Christie’s deputy chief of staff, told The Associated Press that Christie is “fine and in charge.” Close friend and adviser Bill Palatucci said Christie was “getting tests and working from the hospital.”

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was in her office at the Statehouse.

Christie attended an education conference and a congressional fundraiser in Iowa on Monday, where he again told reporters he was not running for president.

The governor, who took office 18 months ago, has long struggled with his weight, which he said he started putting on after high school when he stopped playing organized sports.

He’s tried dozens of diets over the years with varying success and has shed some pounds in recent months.

His weight came up during his 2009 campaign against Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine, who ran an ad accusing Christie of “throwing his weight around” to get out of traffic citations while he was U.S. attorney. Christie confronted the ads head on, telling Corzine to “man up and say I’m fat.”

The married father of four was named the state’s top federal law enforcement officer after playing an important role in President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign in the state.

He soon gained national exposure by overseeing two major terrorism convictions and the convictions of dozens of public officials on corruption charges.

In 2007, Corzine was seriously injured in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway. Corzine’s femur bone was broken in two places and he sustained a broken sternum, six broken ribs on each side, a head laceration and a minor fracture on a lower vertebrae.

 

See television news report at the bottom of the article on HuffPo.