Day: August 11, 2012

Maddow: Republican voter suppression efforts are deadly serious

 

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explains GOP voter suppression efforts. Photo: Screengrab via MSNBC.com.

The world needs to know what’s going on with Republicans blatantly trying to steal the election by suppressing certain groups who traditionally vote Democratic.

We tout our equality and fairness and most of all our Democracy to people around the world.   Democracy as we knew it no longer exists in this country and the GOP Big Money and The Supreme Court are to blame.

  • Most people on the Right scream about taking their country back.  It seems they want to take it back to a time when women had to use coat hangers and back alley quacks to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
  • A time where Blacks could not vote and when some counties allowed them to vote only after giving the correct answers to questions like “how many bubbles are in a bar of soap?’ or “How many jellybeans in a huge jar”?
  • A time when gays and immigrants and even Jews were treated with contempt and disdain.

That’s what these people want to go back to but Progressives and Independents see it differently…

The Raw Story

Early voting is being stabbed to death in Ohio, and Republicans are holding the knives.

On Friday night’s episode of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the MSNBC host explained that the state’s last three days of early voting, traditionally a time when churches and other urban community groups mobilize voters, have been canceled by Jon Husted, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State. And that will mean longer lines in Democratic-leaning cities come election day.

President Barack Obama’s campaign has sued to overturn Husted’s decision, which he justified to a conservative radio host by saying, “We’re not 7/11.”

As if that weren’t enough, the times for polls to be open during early voting has also turned into a partisan meltdown, with Republicans supporting extended hours and weekend voting in conservative-leaning areas, but closing them early and restricting them to just five days a week in more liberal communities.

“Each county’s election board in Ohio’s 88 counties is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats,” Maddow explained. “In counties that tend to vote for the Republican candidate, like Warren and Butler counties, where John McCain won in ’08 by big margins — in those counties, Republicans and Democrats on the elections boards are voting together to allow early voting on nights and weekends. So that means more voting in Republican counties.

“But in the counties that tend to go Democratic, like Cuyahoga and Franklin and Summit, where Barack Obama won by huge margins in 2008, the Republicans on those election boards are voting against early voting on nights and weekends. And guess who gets the break for the tie votes in those counties?”

None other than Jon Husted.

“He is personally intervening to make sure there are fewer early voting hours on nights and weekends in Democratic counties, while there are more early voting hours on nights and weekends in Republican counties,” Maddow concluded.

This video is from MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” broadcast Friday, August 10, 2012.

 

Weekend Reading List

I’ll be checking out some reading materials on the list below…hope some of you guys can do the same.

Winning Progressive

For this weekend’s reading list, we have an opposition research report on Paul Ryan and the story of how he has helped the GOP be taken over by Ayn Rand’s philosophy, an evaluation showing that the VA provides some of the best health care in the US, a report on the importance of Social Security disability insurance, economists cited by the Romney campaign disagreeing with the campaign, and the perils of child labor in US agriculture.

Paul Davis Ryan Research Report – a 290-page opposition research report on the weaknesses of Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, from his plan to abolish Medicare to his proposal to raise taxes on the middle class in order to finance further tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires.

Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan Captured the GOP- the story of the rise of Paul Ryan, who has explained that “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

Improving Quality of Care: How the VA Outpaces Other Systems in Delivering Patient Care - an evaluation showing that the Veteran’s Administration health care system, which is “socialized medicine,” provides better quality care than other US health care providers.

Social Security Disability Insurance is Vital to Workers With Severe Impairments – an in-depth report on the Social Security disability insurance system, its importance to disabled workers, and how the system can be strengthened.

Economists to Romney Campaign: That’s Not What Our Research Says - many of the economists who the Romney campaign cites in support of his economic proposals say that the campaign is misinterpreting their work.

Fields of Peril: Child Labor in US Agriculture – a report on the hazardous conditions, long hours, and low wages facing many of the hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 18 who are working in US agriculture.

Paul Ryan’s strengths and weaknesses

NBC News

By NBC’s Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro

With all signs pointing to Mitt Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his VP running mate tomorrow in Norfolk, VA, Romney went bold. And here is First Read’s looks at the strengths and weaknesses Ryan would bring the GOP presidential ticket.

Strengths:

  • As chairman of the House Budget Committee, the 42-year-old Ryan is a young rising star in the GOP, and has become their chief spokesman when it comes to reducing the deficit and debt.
  • Romney picking Ryan as his running mate would signal that he’s doubling down on an austerity/deficit-reduction message. Indeed, while the Obama campaign and Democrats could point to visible improvements with the economy over the past three years (a lower unemployment rate, stronger GDP growth), there hasn’t been much progress in reducing the deficit. The deficit was $1.4 trillion in FY ’09$1.3 trillion in ’10$1.5 trillion in ’11 (projected); and $1.1 billion in ’12 (projected).
  • Ryan hails from a battleground state — Wisconsin — where polls show Romney currently trailing Obama. Obama actually won Ryan’s district in 2008, 51%-47%.
  • Comfort level: When Romney campaigned with Ryan in the lead-up to the April 3 Wisconsin primary, the two men demonstrated a rapport that we haven’t seen with other Romney surrogates.
  • He would be a person who could please both the conservative intelligentsia and the Tea Party base.

Weaknesses:

  • Ryan’s budget plan has become a lightning rod, and it will be a focus of Democratic attacks in the fall. The most controversial component of the plan is that it significantly transforms Medicare, which is regarded as the government’s most popular program.
  • In addition to Medicare, Ryan was one of the driving forces to partially privatize Social Security after George W. Bush’s victory in the 2004 presidential election.
  • There are also holes in Ryan’s budget-hawk armor: He voted for some of the biggest drivers of the deficit/debt — the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq war, and the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, all of which weren’t paid for. Moreover, Ryan voted against the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles recommendations.
  • Has never held statewide office and has no foreign-policy experience. Both could be liabilities.
  • As a member of Congress, Ryan currently works in — and is a relatively high-profile member of — one of America’s least popular institutions.
  • And while Romney has criticized Obama for not having private-sector experience, the same is largely true of Ryan: As the New Yorker has written, Ryan briefly worked for his family’s business as a “marketing consultant,” but most of his adult life has been spent as a congressman, congressional aide, or speechwriter/analyst at Jack Kemp’s Empower America think tank.

It’s Paul Ryan!

Could President Obama have gotten any luckier with Mitt Romney’s VP pick?

Did Romney give in to the pressure from the Right?  You betcha!

The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney will announce Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate on Saturday, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision.

Ryan is a bold pick who will energize the Republican Party, but putting him on the ticket is fraught with risk and instantly puts Ryan’s budget plan front and center in the 2012 campaign.

Romney will announce his choice in Norfolk on Saturday morning at the beginning of a four-day bus tour through key battleground states, the campaign said Friday night. The Weekly Standard reported earlier Friday that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been asked to be ready to make the case for Ryan beginning Saturday.

Romney’s alliance with the 42-year old Ryan has become the most dramatic development of the 2012 presidential campaign. Romney had been presumed for much of the last few months to be set on a safe pick, such as Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

But now, Romney, who is 23 years older than Ryan, will signal that he is willing to roll the dice. President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and Democratic political groups have been eager for Romney to pick Ryan, the architect of plans to slash government spending and overhaul entitlement programs that Democrats believe are political losers.

Both liberals and conservatives will be thrilled with Romney’s choice.

Conservatives believe Ryan is one of the brightest, best young faces and minds who can cheerfully articulate a case for limited government while simultaneously arguing that a less expansive bureaucracy and a revamped entitlement system is the best way to preserve government aid and benefits for the poor, indigent and elderly.

Continue reading here…