Voter-Suppression Laws Aim To Disenfranchise Black People

A new research study from University of Massachusetts Boston professors Keith G. Bentele and Erin E. O’Brien confirms what voting rights advocates have been charging for years: Voter-suppression laws are partisan measures that disproportionately target African-Americans.

In the study, titled “Jim Crow 2.0? Why States Consider and Adopt Restrictive Voter Access Policies,” the authors argue that “the Republican Party has engaged in strategic demobilization efforts in response to changing demographics, shifting electoral fortunes, and an internal rightward ideological drift among the party faithful.”

via Study: Voter-Suppression Laws Aim To Disenfranchise Black People | The National Memo.

And now we have the data to back up the pretty obvious assumption.

When there’s a big “solution” (Voter ID) to a problem that doesn’t exist (Voting Fraud), you can figure with a high degree of probability that the actual “problem” (GOP Losing Elections) was something other than originally outlined.

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Iraq records huge rise in birth defects, the Cost of War, Continued….

It played unwilling host to one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war. Fallujahs homes and businesses were left shattered; hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed. Its residents changed the name of their “City of Mosques” to “the polluted city” after the United States launched two massive military campaigns eight years ago. Now, one month before the World Health Organisation reveals its view on the legacy of the two battles for the town, a new study reports a “staggering rise” in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war.High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiralling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

via Iraq records huge rise in birth defects – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent.

There is “compelling evidence” to link the increased numbers of defects and miscarriages to military assaults, says Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Similar defects have been found among children born in Basra after British troops invaded, according to the new research.

US marines first bombarded Fallujah in April 2004 after four employees from the American security company Blackwater were killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the street, with two of the corpses left hanging from a bridge. Seven months later, the marines stormed the city for a second time, using some of the heaviest US air strikes deployed in Iraq. American forces later admitted that they had used white phosphorus shells, although they never admitted to using depleted uranium, which has been linked to high rates of cancer and birth defects.

The Iraq War happened.  Even when many in this country can’t remember how Wall Street destroyed the economy four years ago and are now poised to vote for a Wall Street Tycoon, err, “Job Creator, we also forget about the nearly decade long occupation of Iraq.   There’s going to be more to this story.  I’ll write about it from time to time, but if anyone wants to dedicate their lives to solving a real and horrid problem…this is a good one.

You can also continue to advocate against offensive, BASED-ON-UTTER-BULLSHIT WARS!!

The problems they cause tend to last for generations.  Generations.

If you’re wondering why I fight for peace so hard, this is reason N!.

Romney Once Again Proves How Different the Real World is from His World

Here’s the “gaffe”.

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” [Mitt Romney] said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires hospitals to treat those without health insurance — although hospital officials frequently say that drives up health-care costs.

[full story]

Here’s the reality.

A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn’t afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care.

According to NBC affiliate WLWT, Kyle Willis’ wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. When dentists told him it needed to be pulled, he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance.

When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn’t afford both, so he chose the pain medications.

[full story]

Again…reality and Mitt Romney’s version of reality differ a great deal.  He says what happened never happens…but it did.

So the question remains…is he ignorant of reality or lying about it?  It has to be one or the other.

Liz Cheney…Proof that evil is a genetic trait?

Liz Cheney accuses Obama of abandoning non-existent country ‘Czechoslovakia’ | The Raw Story

Cheney concluded: “But there’s no question but that we’re weaker than we were when Barack Obama took office. And if he has four more years, we may well be unrecognizable.”

An Associated Press fact check last week determined that President Obama never apologized for the United States or expressed sympathy for the people who attacked the U.S. embassy in Libya.

“The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context,” Washington Post fact checkers wrote in 2011. “Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened.”

As for the claim that Obama “abandoned” Czechoslovakia, that country was dissolved in 1992 — over 16 years before he took office.

The sickest part is how she blames him for doing things he didn’t do to countries that don’t exist. I will say though…at the end of this episode Jake Tapper came out and said how objective he was because he doesn’t vote. It would violate his integrity. Quick question…doesn’t airing blatant lies without correction violate some ethical standards? Or is it only when you invite someone back who displays this behavior that it becomes an endorsement of said behavior?

How is this possible? Let’s ask Rick Santorum

How is it possible that almost four years after we elected Obama president, the number of Republicans who think he’s Muslim could double, and that less than half of all registered voters know what religion he professes (in a country where religion matters)?

via When the big lie works – Salon.com.

Here’s how…

WASHINGTON, DC — Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum attacked the media and “smart people” for not being on the side of conservatives in a speech to the Values Voter Summit on Saturday.

“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country,” Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told the audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel. “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”

No smart people…the whole derptastic platform makes more sense now, there’s not a single smart person so say, “this is stupid.”

BTW, I still love how the most popular cable channel and most popular radio shows in the country aren’t part of the media in Santorum’s fantasy version of the U.S.

UPDATE: In case you forgot, this is a good example of the level of intellectual curiosity that gets one a VP nod in the modern GOP.

On the anniversary of the Sept. 11, Sarah Palin took to Facebook to attack President Obama on foreign policy saying “we already know that President Obama likes to ‘speak softly’ to our enemies,” she wrote on Tuesday evening. “If he doesn’t have a ‘big stick’ to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one.”

These types of attacks are standard for Mrs. Palin and Conservative Republicans. She went on to say that “apparently President Obama can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house,” in a self-deprecating reference to a criticized moment in her own past, when in 2008 she said she could see Russia from her home state of Alaska.

Read more http://politicalgroove.com/2012/09/sarah-palin-apparently-president-obama-cant-see-egypt-and-libya-from-his-house.html?fb_ref=wp

Even Palin makes fun of the dumb things she’s said in the past…

If Paul Ryan “rounds” a four hour plus marathon time down to two hours and fifty minutes…what other things is he lying, err, rounding about?

FARK.com: (7302958) Republican Paul Ryan now says he didn’t run a marathon in less than three hours, but he did catch a fish [—————- T H I S —————-] big

I like to ask Ryan supporters a simple math question…in two parts…

A) How many times in the history of the U.S. have we had 10 years of 5%+ GPD growth and 2% unemployment?

B) How many times does Paul Ryan assume we will if we adopt his budget?

And that is from the guy that “rounded” about a third off his marathon record…starting to become clear what Ryan is yet?

GOP Platform Chair: Rape (a.k.a a “method of conception”) A ‘Detail’ In The Abortion Debate

McDonnell: We’re affirming that we’re a pro-life party.The details certainly are left to Congress and, ultimately, to the states and the people on how they ratify such an amendment. More importantly, what they do at the state level.

Stephanapoulous: So is the party for a rape exception or not?

McDonnell: The party didn’t make any judgment on that. It’s a general proposition to say we support human life. The rest of the details are up to the states and the people respectively, George. That’s simply not covered.

via GOP Platform Chair: Rape A ‘Detail’ In The Abortion Debate | ThinkProgress.

On top of that we also get this wonderful euphemism for rape from none other than Paul Ryan.

Here’s the problem…Republicans want to somehow claim that giving into religious extremists on birth control, outlawing all abortion (even in the case of “illegitimate methods of conception”), and bashing Obama’s achievements in gender equality is somehow *in support* of women, and it’s really the Democrats who are waging a “war on women”.

(As a quick aside, I find it hilarious that the champions of the annual TV-event, the “War on Christmas”, take such umbrage about the usage of the term “War on Women” to describe the methodical nature of Republican’s attempts to limit the rights and freedoms of women.  It’d be more funny if it wasn’t so blatantly hypocritical…but I guess that’s why it *is* funny…so I’m left in something of a pickle in my not-so-quick aside.)

So, yea…there you have it.  Sure, publicly Republicans denounce Todd Akin as an outlier…but the reality of the party’s platform is that it is 100% aligned with the heart of Akin’s comments; “Rape ain’t no excuse, no abortions for anyone…life for all.”

Yes, folks, for a little while in Florida this week, as bizarro universe melds with ours as religious leaders keeping secular employees from getting birth control is called “religious freedom” (as is banning the building of non-Christian places of worship), and “small government” is all about controlling what the majority of the population can and can’t do with their reproductive organs.

GOP 2012…in a nutshell…

…and should probably be in a nuthouse…but they cut funding for those too, if you haven’t been able to tell by the number of mass shootings lately.

 States have cut more than $1.6 billion in general funds from their state mental health agency budgets for mental health services since FY2009, a period during which demand for such services increased significantly. These cuts translate into loss of vital services such as housing, Assertive Community Treatment, access to psychiatric medications and crisis services.

Modest increases in state general fund mental health spending fail to compensate for the loss in federal Medicaid revenues that hit states due to reductions in federal Medicaid rates implemented at the end of June 2011. Moreover, to make up for these lost federal Medicaid revenues, states such as Arizona and Ohio have shifted state general fund mental health dollars to Medicaid recipients, leaving many non-Medicaid recipients with serious mental illness without services.

Pundit calls out political operative’s “Obama isn’t American” b.s.

GOP Convention: Chris Matthews tees off on Reince Priebus – Tim Mak – POLITICO.com

This has been a fairly consistent theme by Republicans. It’s a political move, built on rhetoric and repetition, designed to push the indredibly destructive idea that Obama isn’t really American and secretly hates the country.   The entire birther movement is predicated on this assumption about the current President.

The sad part is how well it resonates with low-information and low-intelligence voters who have no functioning political memory (I.e. Obama is European for passing a stimulus…but Bush’s stimuli were all fine and dandy...just like Paul Ryan said at the time).   Further to this point, if anyone brings up something Bush did in the context of Obama, it’s always about “blaming Bush”…even if one is simply pointing out what happened and what was said sometime during history.

Many of the idiot brigade now openly claim that Obama was trying to hide his birth certificate and didn’t release it until 2011.   That’s because they ignored him releasing it before the election in 2008.

One has to wonder if idiots, racists and Mormons will be enough to carry Romney in November. We shall see.

Update: Video segment.

BTW, note how as “evidence” Priebus cites the Political Lie of the Year, 2010.

That’s how bad it is…the point man for the GOP has a go to point…which is a lie…yet somehow it’s the guy pointing out he’s a liar that is the bad guy.    That’s a broken culture, right there.

Rick Perry promises to Secede from Supreme Court Decision

Texas governor rejects two provisions of health law

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry said on Monday his state will not implement a Medicaid expansion or health insurance exchange, two provisions of the federal healthcare law upheld last month by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government,” Perry said in a statement.

“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab. Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care,'” Perry said. “They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.

So if any of my fellow Texans were excited to finally be able to get insurance…Perry just fucked you in the ass. He was concerned Texas might lose its status as the state with the highest percentage of uninsured children. What an incredible douche.

Or in other words…a Republican.

Perry continues to display his own brand of “wisdom” that made him such a wonderful candidate for President.

Republicans in Congress shift from not passing jobs bills to try to extend largest tax cut in history by calling it tax hike

WASHINGTON – Republicans are calling it “Taxmageddon,” the big tax increase awaiting nearly every American family at the end of the year, when a long list of tax cuts are scheduled to expire unless Congress acts. It would be, GOP leaders in Congress say again and again, “the largest tax increase in American history.”

Except it wouldn’t be, not when you take into account population growth, rising wages, and most importantly, the size of the U.S. economy. When those factors are taken into account, the largest tax increases were those imposed to help pay for World War II — back when the U.S. raised additional revenue to pay for wars instead of simply borrowing. Nevertheless, it is an exaggeration that has proved too tempting for top Republicans in Congress:

_ “Any sudden tax hike would hurt our economy, so this fall — before the election — the House of Representatives will vote to stop the largest tax increase in American history,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a May 15 speech in Washington.

_ “Before we leave for August, I expect to schedule a vote on legislation preventing the largest tax increase in history,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., wrote in a recent memo to fellow House Republicans.

_ “Millions are unemployed and millions more are underemployed and the country is facing the largest tax hike in history at the end of the year,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.

Anyone in the Republican party honest enough to recall how these tax cuts, originally, were both temporary and designed as stimulus? No….ok…just checking.

Anyone in the media going to call out these guys on camera about the reality of the extenssion?  No…ok…just checking.

Before the 1940s, the individual income tax applied to only a small percentage of the population. By the end of war, the income tax was levied on most working people, with a top tax rate of 94 percent on income above $200,000.

By comparison, the current top rate is 35 percent, on taxable income above $388,350. If Congress does nothing, the top rate would return to 39.6 percent next year — the same rate that was in place for most of the 1990s.

In dollars, next year’s tax hikes would be the biggest. But the size of the economy is 80 times bigger than it was in the 1940s, which is why economists usually measure taxes and government spending as a share of the U.S. economy.

The 1942 tax increase represented more than 5 percent of the U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, or GDP. The 1941 tax increase was 2.2 percent of GDP, according to a Treasury Department paper published in 2006.

Next year’s looming tax increase would represent 2.6 percent of GDP — a huge tax hike but not the biggest.

Measured another way, the 1942 tax hike increased federal revenue by a whopping 71 percent, according to the Treasury Department paper. The 1941 tax hike increased federal revenue by 32 percent.

By comparison, next year’s potential tax hike would increase federal revenues by 16 percent, according to CBO.

Funny how when we actually use taxes to pay for wars it leads to “Great” generations.   But when we use tax cuts to pay for wars, it’s obviously domestic spending that is causing the problem.   The mind boggles, but when these guys keep getting away with spouting this b.s., there’s no reason to stop.

FACT CHECK: Republicans exaggerate size of ‘Taxmageddon.’
StarTribune.com
http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/158408015.html

Totally not corrupt Florida Governor moves to purge voter rolls of illegal aliens, veterans, and Democrats

Report: Florida purges war-hero voter – Tim Mak – POLITICO.com

A 91-year-old who received a Bronze Star for fighting in the Battle of the Bulge was reportedly told he may not be an American citizen, in an apparent mix-up due to Florida’s attempts to purge noncitizens from its voter rolls. Bill Internicola received a letter this month stating that he had to prove he was a citizen or lose his right to vote, reports the Miami Herald.

For those that don’t recall/blocked it out, Florida also purged many legal voters both before and after the 2000 election, leading to the first ‘CEO’ President (who left the position in disgrace and the country near collapse). In 2012 we’ve seen the largest number of voting restriction laws passed since Reconstruction, as the GOP realizes the only way they can win on a “We are the 1%” platform is by eliminating millions of voters right to say “No, I’d rather be governed by someone who puts people ahead of profit.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76906.html

The Silly Season of Political Paranoia (and a dose of something else)

It seems as if a certain political sentiment has fully metastasized into the form it will take for the next 7 months.  It goes something like this…as Krugman notes on point..

And it’s not just gas prices, of course. In fact, the conspiracy theories are proliferating so fast it’s hard to keep up. Thus, large numbers of Republicans — and we’re talking about important political figures, not random supporters — firmly believe that global warming is a gigantic hoax perpetrated by a global conspiracy involving thousands of scientists, not one of whom has broken the code of omertà. Meanwhile, others are attributing the recent improvement in economic news to a dastardly plot to withhold stimulus funds, releasing them just before the 2012 election. And let’s not even get into health reform.

Why is this happening? At least part of the answer must lie in the way right-wing media create an alternate reality. For example, did you hear about how the cost of Obamacare just doubled? It didn’t, but millions of Fox-viewers and Rush-listeners believe that it did. Naturally, people who constantly hear about the evil that liberals do are ready and willing to believe that everything bad is the result of a dastardly liberal plot. And these are the people who vote in Republican primaries.

But what about the broader electorate?

Now before you think any of this (or the many, many other examples) are hyperbolic statements about what is passing for “policy discussion” among the dedicated Republican primary voters…here’s an update on what they think is going on…

Seriously…that’s an official Santorum ad.  Wild stuff….BTW…DID YOU NOTICE HOW CRAZY THIS IS?

About :40 seconds in…with the Iranian Boogeyman on the screen…they cut in a shot of the President of the United Stated.

Headshot of Obama interspersed into video of Iranian President

That’s how craaaazy these folks are.  Don’t believe me yet?  Here’s another one, of a thousand, of other examples.

And one that more directly affects real people…

On Monday, the Republican dominated Tennessee Senate passed an anti-evolution bill by a vote of 24-8. The bill, known as HB 368, is sponsored by Republican Senator Bo Watson and “provides guidelines for teachers answering students’ questions about evolution, global warming and other scientific subjects,” according to Knox News,  ”The measure also guarantees that teachers will not be subject to discipline for engaging students in discussion of questions they raise, though Watson said the idea is to provide guidelines so that teachers will bring the discussion back to the subjects authorized for teaching in the curriculum approved by the state Board of Education.” The bill basically encourages teachers to present scientific weaknesses of “controversial” topics.

[full story]

It’s come to the point of people just flat out not believing what is happening….which while not completely abnormal in political season…has gotten so bad that basic math has become partisan politics.

Thus making rational cost benefit analysis of said policies (while factually true) completely irrelevant.

Beginning in January 2011, the payroll tax withheld from employee paychecks was temporarily reduced to 4.2 percentage points from 6.2 percentage points. The cut was scheduled to expire at the end of 2011, but Congress has continued it through the end of 2012.

My calculationslast year, based on the proposed cut of 3.1 percentage points, suggested that the payroll tax cut “could raise employment by at least a million, albeit the duration of job creation is related to how long the tax cut lasts.”

On a seasonally adjusted basis, payroll employment was 130.2 million at the end of 2010, just before the payroll tax cuts took effect. As of last month, payroll employment was up 2 percent, or 2.5 million, to 132.7 million.

[full story]

And dealing with a growing and more well understood problem that much more difficult…

One of the main changes is the inclusion of more data from the Arctic region, which has experienced one of the greatest levels of warming.

The amendments do not change the long-term trend, but the data now lists 2010, rather than 1998, as the warmest year on record.

The update is reported in the published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

[full story]

And leading to some absolutely tragic decision making abilities…

It seems that this old lady believed many of the deliberate lies which were being put forward by the Fox News anchor, lies directed at President Obama and at his health care policy. She appears to have thought that if she had accepted medical care, following her fall, her medical information and her money would have been sent to Islamic extremists. This is of course completely false, but a reasonable deduction from the lies told by Fox News.

[full story]

Which happens while the system keeps chuggin’ along…

National income gained overall in 2010, but all of the gains were among the top 10 percent. Even within those 15.6 million households, the gains were extraordinarily concentrated among the super-rich, the top one percent of the top one percent.

[full story]

And paying the low inegrity-bright smile types to say whatever it takes to keep it coming…

In February, Common Cause wrote to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, asking for an explanation about an apparently unreported $1,350 gift from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2009. Cantor’s office immediately responded, claiming our inquiry was without foundation, but last week his office quietly amended his financial disclosures to include the gift from ALEC.

At that time, I wrote about Cantor’s failure to disclose:

‘ALEC, the so-called “free market, small government” lobby group underwritten by some of the nation’s largest corporations, reported in its tax filings for 2008 and 2009, making “cash grants” to the recipients of several annual awards. Common Cause has identified 22 legislators who received ALEC awards in those two years, including Rep. Cantor, who ALEC records indicate received $1,350 in 2009 as part of their Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award.’

Cantor responded within hours, saying no cash changed hands, but that he received a bust of Thomas Jefferson from ALEC, pictured above. But, under House Ethics Rules this type of award can only be received by a Member of Congress if it is disclosed, which Cantor did not do. This appears to be a clear ethics violation, and we have asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate. Prompted by Common Cause, Cantor has now very quietly amended his 2009 Financial Disclosure Report to include the ALEC gift. He also amended his 2010 report to include another bust given to him by the Associated Builders and Contractors trade group. We had no idea about this second award, but now we do.

[full story]

Even as another does the math, and realizes that we simply cannot go on like this…

However, Dodd–Frank does not eradi- cate TBTF. Indeed, it is our view at the Dallas Fed that it may actually perpetuate an already dangerous trend of increasing banking industry concentration. More than half of banking industry assets are on the books of just five institutions. The top 10 banks now account for 61 percent of commercial banking assets, substantially more than the 26 percent of only 20 years ago; their combined assets equate to half of our nation’s GDP. Further, as Rosenblum argues in his essay, there are signs that Dodd– Frank’s complexity and opaqueness may evenbe working against the economic recovery. In addition to remaining a lingering threat to financial stability, these megabanks signifi- cantly hamper the Federal Reserve’s ability to properly conduct monetary policy.

They were a primary culprit in magnifying the financial crisis, and their presence continues to play an impor- tant role in prolonging our economic malaise.There are good reasons why this recovery has remained frustratingly slow compared with periods following previous recessions, and I believe it has very little to do with the Federal Reserve. Since the onset of the Great Recession, we have undertaken a number of initiatives— some orthodox, some not—to revive and kick-start the economy. As I like to say, we’ve filled the tank with plenty of cheap, high-octane gasoline. But as any mechanic can tell you, it takes more than just gas to propel a car.

It is imperative that we end TBTF. In my view, downsizing the behemoths over time into institutions that can be prudently managed and regulated across borders is the appropriate policy response. Only thencantheprocessof “creativedestruction”— which America has perfected and practiced with such effectiveness that it led our country to unprecedented economic achievement— work its wonders in the financial sector, just as it does elsewhere in our economy. Only then will we have a financial system fit and proper for serving as the lubricant for an economy as dynamic as that of the United States.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/dallas-fed-calls-for-breakup-of-big-banks-2012-3#ixzz1qF2hXi7T

And so the desktop is clear…to watch the world for another couple weeks.