Voter Suppression 101

Undermining Democracy is a very serious offense against our Constitution.

Yet Republicans, with the help of Right-Wing front group ALEC, have done just that on a massive scale.

The following is just a small segment of a brief  the Center for American Progress compiled…

Center For American Progress

How Conservatives Are Conspiring to Disenfranchise Millions of Americans

Download this issue brief (pdf)

Read the brief in your web browser (Scribd)

The right to vote is under attack all across our country. Conservative legislators are introducing and passing legislation that creates new barriers for those registering to vote, shortens the early voting period, imposes new requirements for already-registered voters, and rigs the Electoral College in select states. Conservatives fabricate reasons to enact these laws—voter fraud is exceedingly rare—in their efforts to disenfranchise as many potential voters among certain groups, such as college students, low-income voters, and minorities, as possible. Rather than modernizing our democracy to ensure that all citizens have access to the ballot box, these laws hinder voting rights in a manner not seen since the era of Jim Crow laws enacted in the South to disenfranchise blacks after Reconstruction in the late 1800s.

Talk about turning back the clock! At its best, America has utilized the federal legislative process to augment voting rights. Constitutional amendments such as the 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th have steadily improved the system by which our elections take place while expanding the pool of Americans eligible to participate. Yet in 2011, more than 30 state legislatures considered legislation to make it harder for citizens to vote, with over a dozen of those states succeeding in passing these bills. Anti-voting legislation appears to be continuing unabated so far in 2012.

Unfortunately, the rapid spread of these proposals in states as different as Florida and Wisconsin is not occurring by accident. Instead, many of these laws are being drafted and spread through corporate-backed entities such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, as uncovered in a previous Center for American Progress investigative report. Detailed in that report, ALEC charges corporations such as Koch Industries Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and The Coca-Cola Co. a fee and gives them access to members of state legislatures. Under ALEC’s auspices, legislators, corporate representatives, and ALEC officials work together to draft model legislation. As ALEC spokesperson Michael Bowman told NPR, this system is especially effective because “you have legislators who will ask questions much more freely at our meetings because they are not under the eyes of the press, the eyes of the voters.”

The investigative report included for the first time a leaked copy of ALEC’s model Voter ID legislation, which was approved by the ALEC board of directors in late 2009. This model legislation prohibited certain forms of identification, such as student IDs, and has been cited as the legislative model from groups ranging from Tea Party organizations to legislators proposing the actual legislation such as Wisconsin’s Voter ID proposal from Republican state Rep. Stone and Republican state Sen. Joe Leibham.

Registering the poor “to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.”

-Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum

Continue reading here…

Right Wing Watch Blog Roundup

Right Wing Watch

Political Correction: The Real Republican Pledge To America.

Alan Colmes: Anti-Abortion NY Gov. Candidate Paladino Is Landlord To Abortion Clinic.

Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: Six Reasons Why Americans Should Care About What is Happening in Uganda.

Steve Benen: Ron Johnson plans a ‘re-education of America’.

Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Rand Paul Wants To Abolish Dept. Of Ed So Kids Don’t Have To Learn About ‘Two Mommies.’

Sam Stein @ Huffington Post: Tides Foundation CEO To Fox News Advertisers: Drop Glenn Beck Or Have Blood On Your Hands.

It never fails to amaze me how whenever President Obama talks about his faith, the reaction from the Religious Right is to accuse him of being wrong and a bad Christian.

Ummm, hasn’t Glenn Beck’s entire career been based on comparing his opponents to Nazis?

It is easy to turn your book into a best-seller – just ask Mitt Romney.

Jesse Lee Peterson’s B.O.N.D celebrates its 20th anniversary of calling African American Democrats racists while defending white people who actually are racist.

You know, I’d be more than willing to threaten to do stupid things if people would give me a free car not to do it.


Right wing and a prayer: Michelle Obama attacked for appreciating prayers

I have concluded over the past few years that right-wingers are just plain nuts!

Media Matters

Right-wing media figures have attacked recent comments by Michelle Obama in which she thanked people for their prayers, calling her words “spooky” and accusing her of “feeling entitled to America’s pride and prayers.”

Michelle Obama thanks “prayer circles” and “people who are keeping the spirits clean around us”

Obama: “Everybody I know in our communities are praying for us.” On October 13, Michelle Obama appeared on the nationally syndicated The Tom Joyner Morning Show:

OBAMA: So, once again, we have the power. We’ve got this man in office. I think we’re all proud of Barack and his accomplishments. Everybody I know in our communities are praying for us. Every day we feel that. And let me just tell your listeners that it means all the world to us to know that there are prayer circles out there and people who are keeping the spirits clean around us.

TOM JOYNER (host): Yes, they are.

OBAMA: So, that means a great deal. So, we’ve come a long way, but we got to keep it coming.

Beck invokes The Omen and says Michelle Obama is creating “spooky phrases” that he has “never heard from a Christian.” On the October 14 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Show, Beck invoked the horror film The Omen while attacking Michelle Obama for her comments. Beck said, “I’ve never heard that. I’ve never heard that from a Christian — I’m not questioning her Christianity, here.” Later, executive producer Steve “Stu” Burguiere said, “Thank you, Michelle Obama. Creating jobs.” Beck replied, “Jobs? Spooky phrases.”

Malkin accuses Michelle Obama of “feeling entitled to America’s pride and prayers.” In an October 13 blog post titled “Bitter Half Watch: Mrs. O needs you to clean the ‘spirits’ around her,” Michelle Malkin wrote, “In an interview to rally black voters on the Tom Joyner Show, Michelle Obama chose some rather odd words to motivate black voters of faith.” After excerpting part of Obama’s comments, Malkin wrote:

“Keeping the spirits clean around us?” Huh? She sounds like the liberal caricature of Christine O’Donnell. Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble.

As for the “prayer circles” and “Everybody I know in our communities is praying for us” and “we’re all proud of Barack and his accomplishments” jabber, have the Obamas learned nothing about the price of arrogance and the value of humility over the last two years.

Question: Does Michelle O ever pray for anyone other than Barack?

Instead of feeling entitled to America’s pride and prayers, why doesn’t the First Lady show some pride and say prayers for Americans outside the White House, not seeking office, not calling on her to raise campaign funds for them, and not expecting her to clean up their problems.

Ah. Forget it. Being the “most powerful woman in the world” means never having to apologize for one’s galactic hubris.

Savage says he finds comment “somewhat questionable, in terms of the biblical literature.” On the October 13 edition of Talk Radio Network’s The Savage Nation, Michael Savage aired a portion of Michelle Obama’s comments and said, “The Bible, in Leviticus, says, ‘You shall not practice divination nor soothsaying.’ ” Savage later said, “[I]f Ms. Obama — or the first lady, whichever you wish — believes that the black churches should be praying for the president, she’s certainly entitled to suggest that. But if she’s telling them to keep — they should do so to keep the spirits clean around them, I find that somewhat questionable, in terms of the biblical literature.”

Limbaugh: “I’ve never heard of prayer circles and keeping the spirits clean around us.” On the October 14 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh mocked Michelle Obama, saying, “I’ve never heard of prayer circles and keeping the spirits clean around us. I mean, I’ve been praying for things like my family and friends’ health, the country, things of this nature, and now I learn that we’re supposed to be praying for the hygiene of the spirits?”

Continue reading…

WAPO: Righty pundits on ‘suicide’ watch

Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin with Repub...
Image via Wikipedia

This is going to be interesting to watch.  Will there be an implosion within the Republican party, resulting in a schism so wide that it might be irreversible? 

Washington Post – Media Notes – Howard Kurtz 

Conservative pundits are split on Christine O’Donnell’s victory, just as they were on her Delaware primary campaign. The question of the hour: What does it mean?With Karl Rove whacking away at her, several prominent commentators on the right are somewhere between distraught and distressed over the O’Donnell win, while others are angry at the Architect. Check out Michelle Malkin taking on her fellow Fox contributor: 

“Rove came across as an effete sore loser instead of the supposedly brilliant and grounded GOP strategist that he’s supposed to be. Expect more Washington Republicans to start sounding like tea party-bashing libs as their entrenched incumbent friends go down.” 

Former WSJer Tunku Varadarajan, in the Daily Beast: 

 The Tea Party has won its precious primaries. And I am stomping my foot as I write this, because that party has succeeded in handing American democracy back to the floundering Democrats. 

In Delaware, Republican primary voters have delivered a gift to their opponents: the gift of near-certain re-election. Confirming the truth that primaries are but a sweaty, vulgar contest in which ideological bully boys stomp to the forefront, Republican die-hards have voted for “purity,” an elusive concept at the best of times, but in this context a vote for suicide. 

 Frum Forum also sees a dark day for the GOP: 

 The real action in this election cycle was in the Republican primaries, they are almost over, and we already know who won: (drum roll, please!) President Obama. American conservatives have suffered a crushing and lasting defeat. The center of gravity in American politics has shifted permanently and irreversibly to the left (and conservative ideology will eventually follow). 

At Hot Air, though, Ed Morrissey blames the Republican establishment: 

 What does Mike Castle’s crash and burn among Delaware Republicans say about their party organization? After all, we have heard oodles of commentary about how Delaware Republicans are moderates who might get energized by the Tea Party but supposedly aren’t looking for conservative candidates. Instead, they convinced Castle to leave a relatively safe House seat instead of looking for someone who hadn’t backed a government takeover of the energy sector in cap-and-trade (in a coal-dependent region!) and co-sponsored the DISCLOSE Act. Perhaps had the GOP establishment listened a little more carefully to Delaware Republicans, who turned out relatively heavily in this election, they wouldn’t find themselves crying in their lattes this morning. 

They stuck with a liberal, establishment candidate in a cycle where liberals and establishment figures are uniquely unpopular. Had the Republican leadership been in touch with Delaware Republican voters, they might have found a more suitable candidate for the popular mood, and would not have had to deal with Christine O’Donnell and her outsider bid. They have no one to blame but themselves. 

Continue reading… 

REPORT: Overview Of House Committee Chairmen In A GOP-Controlled 112th Congress

Members of the Committee on Financial Services...
Image via Wikipedia

Think Progress

With less than two months until the midterm elections, all eyes are on what a Speaker Boehner would look like if Republicans take back the House. Just as important, though, are those GOPers who would head the House committees. Republicans have vowed that House committee chairmen like these will see their power increase if their party returns to power. With that in mind, it’s worth asking: Who are the House Republicans who would control national legislation in the 112th Congress?

A new report from ThinkProgress takes a closer look. The potential committee and subcommittee chairmen aren’t your run-of-the-mill House Republicans. Rather, those who could be in charge of our nation’s laws are the GOP’s right-wing extremists. Of the 10 right-wing extremists we profiled, eight have voting scores of 95 percent or higher from the American Conservative Union, seven are stimulus hypocrites, four are members of the Tea Party Caucus, and one is even a birther.

Those would control the House committees and subcommittees also may include:

– A Judiciary chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who has hinted at impeaching President Obama

– Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who opposes the existence of the global warming committee he would chair

– The subcommittee that controls monetary policy would be headed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has called paper money “nothing short of counterfeiting”

– Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who apologized to BP during the oil spill for a $20 billion “shakedown,” would control national energy policy

Click here to download a pdf of our report.

Explore the profiles of these right-wing extremists and decide for yourself: do you want these men in charge come January 2011?

The Right Finds Bogeymen Everywhere

As you can see, this is the third consecutive post from Mario Piperni’s website.  I am absolutely in awe of Mario’s artwork and try to dispaly it as often as possible.  Out of all of Mario’s posters, this one stands out.  Not so much as being his best work, but certainly his most powerful work.  It’s an attention grabber and eye opener, indeed.

Mario Piperni

The right-wing rag, The Washington Times, finds nefarious motive in the U.S. blocking South Korea from selling vintage World War II MI rifles stateside.

It’s more likely that the administration is seeking to win the admiration of gun grabbers. Mr. Obama has a history of supporting gun control as a state senator and U.S. senator, but he’s been limited in his ability to implement this anti-gun agenda as president. Democratic members of Congress remember the federal assault-weapons ban as one of the lead issues motivating voters to turn Congress over to Republicans in 1994. Senators facing tight races in pro-gun states don’t want to see a repeat of that midterm landslide. Therefore, the best way for Mr. Obama to appease the gun-grabbing fringe is to take actions that won’t bring too much attention to what he’s doing. As long as the destruction of these rifles stays under the public radar screen, he will have achieved his goal.

Too ridiculous.  As the DailyKos notes, if the President was seeking the “admiration of gun grabbers”, why would he keep the ban on MI rifles “under the public radar screen”?  Why not shout it out from the mountain tops?

There’s just no end to this crap.

Conservatives celebrate Labor Day by attacking organized labor

AFL CIO protest of Rite Aid 2009
Image via Wikipedia

Media Matters

Conservatives attack unions as “socialist” “thugs” on Labor Day

Beck guest host Thompson: “Happy socialism day!” During the September 6 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program, substitute host Doc Thompson opened the show by saying “Happy socialism day!” He continued:

Today is America’s yearly tribute to that great political system known as socialism. Oh there are going to be those who are going to pretend today is to honor workers, honor the people who labor, we’re just giving a little tribute to them. But it’s really a day that honors labor unions. posts “Labor Day Special” videos, which depict union members as “thugs.” On Labor Day, Andrew Breitbart’s website posted several anti-union videos with the title “Labor Day Special.” Several of the videos depict union members as “thugs” who engage in acts of violence or intimidation against those with which they disagree.

Big Government claims organized labor “embrace[s] socialist ideals” and calls for Congress to “abolish ‘Labor Day.'” In a Labor Day post on Breitbart’s Big Government website, Kyle Olson argued that ” ‘Labor Day’ ought to be abolished and replaced with a celebration of the American Worker” because “[t]he reality is, unionized workers are no longer the ones driving America’s prosperity.” Olson also wrote:

Big Labor is bankrupting government — and we should continue honoring that?

Perhaps even worse, today’s labor leaders are downright hostile to America’s exceptionalism and worse yet, embrace socialist ideals.

AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka is calling for a global financial tax — driving us down the path of one world government.

Former SEIU heavy Andy Stern was fond of invoking Karl Marx’ calling for “workers of the world” to “unite.”

These are not out fathers’ and grandfathers’ labor unions and they do not deserve our admiration.

Continue reading…

Memo to Media: Obama is not “the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show”

More right-wing whining…

Media Matters

Media outlets have run with the false claim that President Obama’s upcoming interview on The View will mark the first time a sitting president has appeared on a daytime talk show, when in fact, President Bush appeared on Dr. Phil in 2004. Right-wing media have seized on this false claim and his appearance in general to attack Obama’s “priorities.”

President Bush appeared on Dr. Phil in 2004

In 2004, Bush appeared on daytime talk show Dr. Phil. In 2004, President Bush and his wife appeared on Phil McGraw’s daytime talk show, Dr. Phil. The Washington Post reported on September 29, 2004, that “[w]ith ‘Family First’ the title of McGraw’s most recent book, he has promised both candidates the questions would be limited to family-oriented topics” and noted that the segment would air during the afternoon hours.

Right-wing media seize on false reports, attack Obama over View appearance

CNSNews: “Obama Won’t Speak In-Person at Boy Scouts’ 100th Anniversary Celebration But Will Appear on ABC TV’s ‘The View.’ “ In a July 26 article, stated that Obama “will not speak in-person before the [Boy Scouts] group on Wednesday at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, as part of the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration. However, the president is sending a videotaped message to the scouts for Wednesday, the same day he will be in Manhattan to tape an appearance for ABC TV’s talk show ‘The View.’ ” CNSNews further stated that “ABC said it would be ‘the first time in history a sitting United States president has visited a daytime talk show.’ ” The article also reported that past presidents–including conservative hero Ronald Reagan–did not address a Boy Scouts jamboree in person, that Obama would be addressing the Boy Scouts via a taped message, and that the Boy Scouts just visited the Oval Office two weeks ago.  

Hoft: Obama “skip[ping]” Boy Scout Jamboree to appear on The View. In a July 26 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote: “Barack Obama will skip the Boy Scout 100 year Anniversary Jamboree… Instead he will travel to New York City to appear on ‘The View.’ ” Hoft also linked to the CNSNews article.

 Continue reading…

The “New Black Panther” Case: A Conservative Dissent

 I’m willing to wager a bet that not many people have heard of Abigail Thernstrom, a  Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who is calling charges that the Justice Department ignores the civil rights of whites, ridiculous.    

Why is the mainstream media, and in particular, the right-wing media, not picking up this story?    

Is it because it would blow Fox News and the rest of the right wing echo machine’s “scary black man” meme right out of the water?    

Here is what Ms. Thernstrom had to say on the “New Black Panther” “issue”:   

Black Voices/CBS News’ Face The Nation   

“We have no direct evidence that [the NBP activists] actually intimidated anybody, stopped them from voting,” Thernstrom said on CBS’ Face the Nation. In an earlier column, she called the case “small potatoes.”  

“I think the evidence is extremely weak,” Thernstrom said. “If the Justice Department chooses – and I would be delighted if it did so – to send to us, for instance, somebody who is at that alleged brown bag meeting in which [Deputy Assistant Attorney General] Julie Fernandez said, ‘We don’t prosecute cases [against] blacks …’ fine. I’m an evidence girl, really. I want evidence.”   

It’s what most people with common sense said after hearing the facts surrounding the case. The first warning sign that this entire case is questionable is that it is being pushed by former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams, who is now a conservative Republican activist. One New York Post columnist called him a “Republican activist posing as a whistleblower.  

Instead, this case is the part of a larger trend of the far Right using pseudo-racist episodes as political fodder to inspire paranoia. Using the demographic changes in our country and the election of the first black president, the far right is making a concerted effort to scare white people in to believing they are or will be the victims of racism.  

The case of Shirley Sherrod is the most recent example, with media outlets like Fox News helping to spread the story line.  

“The Obama administration has been intimidated by the far-right wing, which is addicted to a kind of paranoia of race that then leads to paralyzing racial conversation,” Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said on Face the Nation.

Vodpod videos no longer available.




Rinse, Repeat: Right-Wing Media Just Can’t Stop Pushing Fake Stories: Media Matters

Media Matters  – (See Media Matters’ Post for details)

-Right-wing media eagerly spread absurd claim that Obama plans to “ban sport fishing.”       3/9/2010

-Fox, right-wing blogs snared by satire post about a global warming activist freezing to death.   3/29/2010

-Right-wing smear machine falls for fake Obama quote labeled as “satire.”   8/25/2009

-Right-wing media adopt “insane conspiracy theory” that Obama lied about attending daughter’s soccer game.  4/13/2010

-Right-wing media apply quote about Obama inauguration crowd size to tea party rally.    9/13/2009

-Breitbart burns right-wing media with false claim of Community Organizers Pray[ing] TO” Obama.   9/29/2009

-Fox Nation, Drudge Report, CNS distortion: White House requested “Jesus” be hidden during speech.   4/15/2009

-Claim that alleged bomber is a registered Democrat collapsed — after Limbaugh boosted it.  5/4/2010

-Fox & Friends forwards Hoft’s debunked suggestion that NAACP president was in attendance at Sherrod speech.   7/21/2010