Day: April 20, 2012

Conservative Group With Abramoff Scandal Ties Picks Up Voter ID Issue Where ALEC Left Off

One has to wonder, why the GOP think that they will truly suppress tens of thousands of voters without a valid ID from casting their ballots on election day.  If their strategy was to make sure those tens of thousands don’t vote, activists and civil rights advocates are making an effort to help voters with the process of obtaining an ID before election day.

In the meantime, some of us sit and watch this attack on democracy try to take hold, but I am certain those leading the effort to retain our democratic principles will eventually rule the day.  I intend to do my part.

TPM Muckraker

Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced it was dropping voter identification laws from its agenda, another conservative group is stepping in to fill the void.

The National Center for Public Policy Research announced this week it had formed a “Voter Identification Task Force” to continue ALEC’s “excellent work” in “promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting.” Describing itself as a “conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank,” the group was established in 1982.

“The fact that ALEC is no longer going to be offering the services it did got us interested in doing something,” National Center for Public Policy Research executive director David Almasi told TPM. “We obviously can’t do everything ALEC did, but we can do something to make sure the issue doesn’t go away.”

“This is something that we picked up because someone else dropped it and not because anyone has come to us and said here’s a check, do it. It’s something that we feel strongly enough about that we’re willing to do it off our regular strategic plan,” Almasi said.

“We’re putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we’ll kick it up a notch somewhere else,” Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement. “You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory.”

Corporate CEOs who “cower in the face of liberal boycott threats need to understand that the left never gives up,” Ridenour said. “If these corporations do not reverse course and immediately grow enough of a backbone to say no when the left tells them what to do, conservatives may as well consider them part of the organized left. It doesn’t matter if corporate executives have free-market sentiments hidden deep inside them if they continually surrender to the left’s Trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand after demand in public.”

While several conservative organizations have taken up the issue of voter identification, no national group that considered voter ID their central issue has existed since the American Center for Voting Rights disappeared back in 2007. More recently, the Tea Party group True the Vote has held a national conference to address the issue and James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has produced a number of “undercover” videos in an attempt to show why they believe voter ID laws are necessary.

The NCPPR got a bit tangled up in the Jack Abramoff scandal a few years back. The Center for Media and Democracy points out that a Senate investigation found that Ridenour directed money received by the NCPPR at Abramoff’s direction. The group reportedly covered the cost of several of former Rep. Tom Delay’s overseas junkets. Nobody from the group faced charges.

KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut’s Owner Is The 12th Corporation To Drop ALEC

This is excellent news…

Think Progress

Yum! Brands, the owner of fast food brands KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut told Color of Change that they will no longer support the American Legislative Exchange Council, the right-wing front group that, until recently, was a driving force behind state voter suppression and “stand your ground” gun laws. Yum!’s decision means a dozen corporations (plus the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) have now dropped the conservative group:

Now we know that Yum! Brands has joined the 11 other companies that have announced in recent weeks that they’re no longer members of ALEC. These companies are McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis and publisher of science and health information), American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service.

“We want to thank these companies for making the right decision, and we want to thank ColorOfChange members and our partners. We continue to call on all major corporations to stop funding ALEC given its involvement in voter suppression. Our members and allied groups are prepared to hold accountable companies that continue to associate themselves with an organization that has attacked voting rights, causing irreparable damage nationwide.”

Yum!’s decision to remove ALEC from the Colonel’s Special Recipe is particularly significant because it shows that the group remains toxic even after it announced earlier this week that it would shut down its “Public Safety and Elections task force,” which led ALEC’s efforts on voter disenfranchisement and guns. Even without a task force devoted to promoting firearms and hindering democracy, ALEC remains committed to a regressive economic agenda that includesunion-busting, repealing the minimum wage, and, of course, cutting taxes on the very rich.

The loss of Yum! is also a significant loss for ALEC because the fast food giant held an important leadership role within the conservative group. YUM! co-chaired ALEC’s Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee which, among other things, fought to repeal laws guaranteeing paid sick leave to workers.

Lawrence O’Donnell Rips Mitt Romney, Ted Nugent, and the Silent Republican Outrage Machine: VIDEO

This video is a couple of days old, yet note-worthy.  H/t:  View From The Middle Class

The Origin Of Fox News’ Blatant Lies (Re-Post)

In light of this recent article demonstrating Fox News’ consistent lies, usually (but not always) perpetuated by their “contributors”,  I’ve decided to re-post an article on the issue.  I originally posted the article in two years ago.

This is a re-post of an original article from March 31, 2010.

___________________________________________

Why does Fox News lie so much with impunity?  Why are they able to get away with the things they say?  Why does EVERYONE on Fox news tout  the usually distorted or outright false,  talking point of the day with no guilt or shame?

In short: 

People frequently refer to a court case that Fox won, which essentially gave the media the right to lie. This came from an appellate court decision that states that the FCC’s news distortion policy  does not qualify as a rule, law, or regulation.

Wikepedia:

When Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are “Family Values”

Taking a stand against domestic violence is a start.  Trying to get the idiots (on the Right)  in Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act is like pulling teeth.  And they claim there’s no war against women coming from their camp…

The People’s View

Domestic violence and sexual assault. The original and literal war on women. And now, the Republicans in Congress are refusing to re-authorize the assistance for abuse victims. Yesterday, Vice President Biden gave a sobering speech on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act, genuinely stunned that the GOP has gone down the road this far. Joe Biden is not a Johnny come lately to this fight. He is the original author of the VAWA. He is the original author of the law.

Republicans are blocking it in the Senate right now, and even if the Democrats can muster enough votes to overcome a filibuster, the Republican House is not so keen on bothering to stop domestic violence. Why? There are stuff in there that are not “consensus items”, argue Republicans.

 Iowa Senator Charles Grassley (R), who leads opposition to the law’s renewal, said, “I wish we could proceed in a consensus fashion again. But there are provisions in the bill before us that have never been part of VAWA before. They’re not consensus items.

Well, what are these non-consensus items that’s forcing the Republicans hands to put at risk resources to fight sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and physical abuse? What is the big poison pill? Not to spoil the surprise, but it’s teh gays, teh “illegals” and teh Indians.

If you ask why the Republicans are holding it up – other than their fierce hatred for anything the administration is for – they have an interesting answer: it’s because this version of VAWA includes protection for people who they do not believe deserve equal protection of the laws: LGBT people, undocumented immigrants, and native Americans. Because, you know, gay people don’t experience domestic violence (or maybe if we do), sexual battery against women is fine so long as the woman doesn’t have papers, and native American reservations don’t deserve any federal funds for housing and protecting victims of sexual assault because… well, just because.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has put together the most succinct statement rebutting the Republican disgraceful opposition to the bill.

 “Whether you are gay or straight, whether you are Caucasian or Native American, whoever you are–you should have access to services that protect you from domestic violence. It is very important for millions of American women all across the country.

“I ask those who are threatening to block this bill: If the victim is in a same-sex relationship, is the violence and danger any less real?

“If a family comes to this country and the husband beats his wife to a bloody pulp, do we say, ‘Well, you’re illegal, I’m sorry, you don’t deserve any protection?’

That is exactly what the Republicans are saying. If you’re gay, or transgender, then you deserve to be beaten up at home, and suffer sexual and physical assaults at the hands of a partner in the dark corner of social stigma and a lack of resources. If you are undocumented and your husband or boyfriend is assaulting you, you should have no place to go. If you’re a native American, you’re just shit outta luck.

There is another overarching, despicable umbrella point to conservative opposition of the Violence Against Women Act, and it is the conservative support for violence against women.

 Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land and two dozen other conservative leaders urged the Judiciary Committee to reject the bill, claiming VAWA would harm the family while maintaining programs that are ineffective. They acknowledged the “very real problem of violence against women and children,” but countered with VAWA “encourages the demise of the family as a means to eliminate violence.” The letter also indicated the latest version of VAWA would add expensive programs, including one that would have the effect of re-educating “school children into domestic violence ideology.”

That’s nice. VAWA “encourages the demise of the family as a means to eliminate violence.” Does it ever occur to these morons that the building blocks of a family – love, faith, trust, care, and respect - are decimated the moment domestic violence is perpetrated? The demise of the family does not come from interventions to assist the victims of domestic violence; it comes from the perpetration of domestic violence itself. A family where domestic violence is the norm is already demised.

But, when ending domestic violence means breaking up family – after all, the battered wife may have to get a divorce from her husband who might one day kill her – I suppose it’s nice to know that the conservative movement would rather see continued battery of the abused instead. After all, how dare you suggest women (or men) be able to escape from a “family” that gives them a black eye once every night?

It says something about conservative family values. When the social pressure to keep a dysfunctional unit nonetheless intact takes precedence over the protection of the abused, that is what a conservative family values society looks like. Good to know.

Nah, there’s no Republican war on women. Why do you ask?