The Last Democrat Standing

Down? Yep. Out? Nope.

 

Hey, Democrats! Let this be a lesson to you. If you run like a coward don’t cry when you get shot in the back. Run away from Barack Obama. Refuse to say whether you even voted for him like Alison Lundgren Grimes before Mitch McConnell turned her into so much yard waste. Deny, dodge, and fake it all the way to Election Day, but it won’t save an extraordinary putrid crop of nominal Democratic candidates from humiliation. The waxing the Democrats received from the Republicans was the voters saying, “We see through your act.”

Grimes lost to McConnell which is fine by me.  Better a committed enemy like McConnell in your face than a sometime ally like Grimes quivering behind your back.

It’s hard to see it now crawling from the wreckage, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the Dems. This should be a teachable moment. Whatever your strategy was, whatever the consultants and the pollsters and the experts told you would work but clearly didn’t, whatever delusion you labored under telling a dude who won two presidential elections to stay the hell away from you because he’s suddenly a loser, it’s over now.

Say what you want about the Republicans. Say they hate science and reason and logic and plain ol’ common sense. Say what they’re for anyone with an I.Q. higher than a cold glass of water should be able to see is nothing but rank bullshit designed with only helping the wealthy and corporations. Say they deep french kiss extremists, racists, homophobes, rape advocates, environmental terrorists, war monger, dictators, arms merchants, tax cheats, vigilantes, xenophobes, gun nuts, and religious fanatics.

Say whatever you want but don’t say the Republicans don’t stand for something even if that something is horrible.

I hate your guts and you hate mine but we both hate Obama.

Mr. Cruz and Mr. McCain don’t like each other, but both despise Obama.

 

What do the Democrats believe in? Besides believing they just got their asses kicked?   Act like swine and you get butchered with the hogs.

At some point after another of these Democratic debacles, liberals and progressives (no, they are not the same) are going to wise up to what conservatives already know: political parties are a vehicle and it’s not the masses but the ideologues who offer the direction it goes in. If you want some real Left-wing politicians whom really believe in liberal politics, then you’re going to have to fight your way in, kick the party bosses and detached from reality dinosaurs out and stop being afraid of calling yourself an upper-case “L” for “Liberal” because its going to piss off talk radio and Fox News.

As long as your enemy defines you and you don’t define yourself, you’re playing their game and its a game that can’t be won. They hold all the cards and all the Democrats are doing is gasping for air like a beached whale.

Ma Pelosi and Pa Reid have got to go!

 

Now the Republicans are the dominant force in American politics, I’d like to take this opportunity to both extend both a “congratulations” as well as “welcome back.” Welcome back to the role of participating in the political process, a role the GOP abdicated on January 20, 2009 when Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

The Republicans opted out of their historic role as the opposition party and instead opted in for aggressive open hostility toward the newly elected president as they denied him both respect and cooperation as they ignored Obama’s initiatives, blocked his nominees, sniped, sneered and took every cheap shot they could at every turn.

The lesson for the Republicans is to hide how far to the Right you really are. Talk about how much you love your family while soft music plays real pretty in the background and how you’re committed to building strong communities, safe schools, being a watchdog for the middle class and their money while hiding you’re a sock puppet for money and power and just how deeply up your ass the hand of the Koch Brothers goes. And it works! Being bastards pays off.
But that’s politics. Don’t play if you can’t stand losing. The GOP has had six years of sitting on the sidelines, but that doesn’t mean they’ve done nothing. They laid back in the cut hatching schemes and making plans. There’s a reason the stock market soared today. For Big Business happy days are here again, Whatever nominal resistance Obama and the Democrats offered to their plans has been brushed aside.

The Republicans have a window of opportunity and it will only be open for a short time before the 2016 presidential elections. With a solid grip on the House (because gerrymandering works too!) and the Democrats in the Senate reduced to trying the same foot-dragging cockblocking tactics Mitch McConnell and company pulled off so successfully, they are going to ram so much legislation thru and on President Obama’s desk he’s going to be swamped under a series of bad bills he won’t possibly be able to veto them all.

Oh, for sure, Obama’s going to need a shitload of Bics to put his “HELL TO THE NAW!” on the trash McConnell and John “Agent Orange” Boehner are going to send up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but he’s got no allies, no good will build up and no help coming.

McConnell meeting with President Barack Obama.

“Nothing personal Mr. President, but I’m going to make your life hell for the next two years.”

Obama is The Last Democrat Standing. He’s marginalized, surrounded by enemies and all empty on friends. Now might be a good time to start working on his post-presidency memoirs and he might want to skip the State of the Union address for the next two years. It’s not as though he’s gonna get anything done.

Still, there’s no reason for Obama to act as though the GOP has a national mandate.   As the president pointed out  in his post-election press conference only two-thirds of voters bothered going to the polls.   Obama’s refusal to bow down to the Republicans was pounced upon by the pundits as proof that the president still wasn’t getting how discontented the American people are with him.   Despite the overwhelming losses, the side effect of Republicans taking control of Congress may free Obama to be more bold and less passive as his presidency winds down.

Going forward, the Democratic brain trust (is there such a thing?) will try to shake off the shellacking they took and try in 2016 to rally around a presidential candidate not named Obama. Good luck with that. While Hillary Clinton is the preemptive front-runner because neither Elizabeth Warren (too green) or Joe Biden (too goofy) can win, the evil mind of Karl Rove and other Republican mad geniuses are already preparing traps for her even Jigsaw from the Saw movies couldn’t dream up.

I want the Republicans to do well.  Not because they’re going to do anything for me, but if  they enjoy some success, maybe that would frighten the Democrats to rebuilds, reinvents, reinvigorate and revitalizes itself  and finds a way to winning  in non -presidential years

One more thing: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should both be voted out of their leadership roles by their shriveled caucuses and immediately resign from Congress They’re old, obsolete and in the way.   For the Dems to move into the future they need to shake off the dead hand of the past.

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Here Comes the Pain

If you ain’t one of Us, you must be one of Them and we don’t like Them.

I was in the lunchroom trying to eat my soup before it got cold.   A pretty young woman who is a political junkie as much as I am smiled an even prettier smile and asked me oh-so-sweetly, “Jeff, do you think there’s any chance the Democrats can win in Ohio in November?”

I could have gone into the gory details at excruciating length, but I kept it short.  “Not a hope in hell.”   Her smile flipped over into a frown.   I didn’t want to dash her hopes, but I couldn’t lie either.

The  suffering is nearly over for the Democrats.  They knew going into 2014 with the sour mood of the voters and the uncanny ability of the Republicans to successfully make all the Democrats fault, they are  standing on the eve of a major wipe-out in November.   The pain is coming and blood will flow with the President and his party on the receiving end of most of it.

Though I’m on the Do Not Call registry, I get hit up by the Democrats for campaign cash because I’ve given in the past.  I get a call tonight for some kid trying to support Democratic candidates for governor and he starts reading from his script.

“Good evening sir, there’s good news for Democrats.  Our candidates for governor are up or close in several states.  Charlie Crist is leading Rick Scott in Florida.   Mary So-and-So is tied with Scott Walker in Wisconsin.   Democrats are on the move, but we need your generous support.”

“That’s GOVERNOR Douche to you!”

I interrupted the kid’s feel-good, happy talk before he could get to the part where I’m supposed to drag out my credit card and send him $50 bucks.  “Well, that’s great for you guys in Florida and Wisconsin, but I live in Ohio and here in Ohio the zombie running for governor is losing to John Kasich by 20 points.   If Kasich died between now and November, they could run Kasich’s dog against Ed FitzGerald and still win by double-digits.”  You could melt steel with the acidic disdain dripping from my lips.

Dead silence.  Sadly for this poor kid nobody prepped him in dealing with an irritated contributor.  He tried to regroup and continue the sales pitch of fairy dust and unicorns pooping rainbows, but I wasn’t trying to hear any of that noise and shut him down quick.”

“Look, I know you’re just trying to do you job and raise some money for the Democrats, but you’re not going to get me to believe things are all sweetness and light,” I said.   “The Democrats aren’t even trying in my state and when FitzGerald goes down in flames next month he’s going to take the whole ticket of other candidates down with him.  They are going to go down hard and lose big.”

It didn’t have to be this way.

Two years ago when President Obama was running for reelection,  I couldn’t go more than a day or so without somebody from the campaign calling, emailing or knocking on the door making sure they got out the vote and more importantly got the base fired up to vote.   Now here we stand less than a month away from an election that will decide the balance of power in Congress as well as statehouses across the nation and the blase indifference of the Democrats is frankly stunning to behold.  Nobody’s knocked on my door.  I barely see any yard signs.  Only the Republicans seem to have bought any commercial time to tell me how wonderful life is since Kasich became governor.   What’s the response from the other side?   Damned if I know.   They aren’t even making enough of an effort to even be considered embarrassing.

It’s as though the Dems have resigned themselves to getting worked by the Repubs.  Yeah, we’re gonna get bitch-slapped.   Going over the cliff.   Driving down a dark country road at midnight with no headlights.  Playing Russian Roulette with five bullets in the chamber.  No sense trying to fight fate.

There’s no shame in losing.  The shame is in not even trying to win.  If the Democrats have a plan to avoid being humbled and humiliated  it will take a far better political prognosticator than I to figure out what it is.

I don’t see any effort.  I don’t feel any sense of urgency.   I don’t have any feeling the Democrats are going to pull off a last minute save and deny the Republicans almost complete control.

The Republicans moved me out of the White House into a warehouse.

And they have plans for you and you and me too.   Lots of plans, and all of you who didn’t care today will care a lot tomorrow and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that.    If you’re a woman they have plans for your reproductive organs.  If you’re in a labor union they got plans to bust unions.   If you’re unemployed don’t look for any extensions of benefits.   If you’re a college student you’ve got no relief coming from those student loans.   If you’re Black there’s more prisons and less affirmative action coming your way.   If you’re gay they’re coming to shut down that marriage equality stuff.   There are lots of folks who are going to get what’s coming to them and the GOP is going to give it to them good and hard.

Sometimes shit has to get really bad before it can get any better and trust me when I say this:  when there’s nothing between the plans of the Koch Brothers and ALEC and all those other incredibly wealthy, incredibly greedy and incredibly vindictive bastards whom have been patiently waiting and plotting and planning for this moment, oh, what you got coming!

Just you wait…

Mississippi, Hot Damn!

Bad guy versus Worse Guy

There is a runoff election tonight in Mississippi in the race between incumbent Republican Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel, who is backed by the Tea Party and other right-wing activists.  Cochran has the support of the GOP establishment who prefer his bland predictability and being a good soldier to McDaniel’s radicalism which would make him a potential wild card and threat to Mitch McConnell’s plans if the Republicans take control of the Senate.

Nobody paid much attention to the race until McDaniel forced Cochran into a run-off in the primary.   Cochran is expected to go down in flames to the hard-charging McDaniel.   In an act of desperation, Cochran is pleading for Mississippi Democrats, especially Blacks to save his seat.  Republican are sending poll watchers to “observe” Democratic voters.

The only reason the Republicans are sending “poll watchers” is not to protect the integrity of the vote but to intimidate Black voters. On the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer where Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner lost their lives buried in the Mississippi mud, this is a repulsive act of Good Ol’ Fashioned Southern Racism.

Mississippi Goddam, anyone?

As regards Sen. Thad Cochran, if he isn’t isn’t cut from the same dirty cloth as James Eastland, John Stennis, Theodore Bilbo, Trent Lott and the other undistinguished gang of losers, idiots and bigots Mississippi keeps sending to the upper chamber in Washington, he’s only a more genteel and low profile version.

Thad Cochran, member of the United States Sena...

Thad Cochran, member of the United States Senate from Mississippi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

He’s been there a long time (36 years), is a committed supporter of pork barrel politics and has accumulated a horrid record on social issues.

Cochran is received an 11% rating from the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance, but that’s positively sparkling compared to his 0% rating by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record and 0% by the Human Rights Campaign, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.

Not that the challenger (and almost certainly the next U.S. Senator from Mississippi) is any sort of prize. In fact, McDaniel is even less appealing than Cochran.

McDaniel, who surprisingly led Cochran by 1,400 votes in the June 3 primary, has been able to mask how far right he really is. Investigative magazine Mother Jones in 2013 reported that McDaniel was featured speaker for a neo-confederate, pro-secessionist conference in Jones County where many attendees wore Confederate uniforms.

Last Saturday, The New York Times, which has sent two reporters to cover the runoff, interviewed Carl Ford, a 77-year-old lawyer in McDaniel’s hometown of Ellisville. A staunch McDaniel backer, Ford admitted being active in the county’s Sons of Confederate Veterans.

What The Times didn’t know is that Ford had been a Klan lawyer who in 1998 served as a defense attorney for the late Sam Bowers of Laurel. Bowers was Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan during the civil rights era. The White Knights was a Mississippi-born group which the FBI charged with plotting several brutal murders.

Bowers was three times prosecuted as the mastermind for violent racial crimes. A state jury in 1967 deadlocked by one vote on convicting Bowers for the firebomb slaying of respected Hattiesburg grocer Vernon Dahmer, an NAACP voting rights leader. Retried in 1998, with Ford on the defense team, Bowers was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the Dahmer murder. Bowers died in prison in 2006.

I have no doubt a Tea Party prick like McDaniel will do his best to get that NAACP rating down to zero and make the dead and damned souls Stennis, Eastland and Bilbo smile on whatever rock in hell they’re squatting on.

If there were a way for both Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel to lose, the U.S. Senate would be better for it. It’s equal parts laughable and contemptible that Cochran is looking to Black Democrats to save his worthless old ass.

This is some real “the devil you know” shit.

If I were a voter in Mississippi tonight, I’d hold my nose, pull the lever for Cochran and tell any “poll watcher” to bacdafucup off me.

No matter who wins nothing good is coming the way for Black Mississippians from either of these two good old boys.

"Do I whistle 'Dixie?'  Why yes, I do.  Why? (photo: Angry Black Lady Chronicles)

“Do I whistle ‘Dixie?’ Why yes, I do. Why? (photo: Angry Black Lady Chronicles)

The Republicans Hate Slavery But Sure Love Talking About Slavery

“If I’m so stupid how come I’m richer than you schmucks?”

What in the hell is up with Republicans and their obsession for making these utterly inept and inane comparisons between slavery and anything else? Is this some new fetish with you guys or what?

Sarah “Pay Me!” Palin: Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China,” she said at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night. “When that money comes due—and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to beholden to the foreign master.”

“Woo hoo! There’s nekked wimmen on the Internets!”

Rand “This Really Is My Hair” Paul: “With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me,” Paul said recently in a Senate subcommittee hearing.

“It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.”

There’s a joke here, but Allen West’s parents made it a long time ago.


One-and-Done Loser Congressman
Allen West: “He [Obama] does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning, and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave.”

Gifted hands. Brain dead mind.


Sean Hannity bestie Dr. Ben Carson:
“You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

“You been hymotized!”

Repeat Offender Michelle “Batshit-Crazy” Bachmann: Health Reform: In a 2009 speech in Colorado, Bachmann railed against healthcare reform. “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass.” Claiming that many Americans already pay half their income to taxes, she said, “This is slavery…It’s nothing more than slavery.

National Debt: In January, Bachmann offered her now infamous take on American colonial history in which she declared that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” Bachmann then framed her speech as an argument against the “slavery” of the national debt. “It is a slavery, it is a slavery that is a bondage to debt and a bondage to decline,” she said. “It is a subservience of a sovereign people to a failed, self-selected elite.”

In 2011, Batshit Bachmann and Rick “Foamy” Santorum were the two GOP presidential contenders to sign a pledge against same-sex marriage which included a passage that stated Black families were better off under slavery.

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA‘s first African-American President.”

That’s okay, Rick. Nobody is taking you seriously.

Governor Goodhair Rick Perry: “I think we’re going through those difficult economic times for a purpose, to bring us back to those Biblical principles of … not spending all of our money, not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks, because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. And we become slaves to government.”

Extra Super Fun Fact: Perry’s family hunting camp was known as “Niggerhead” ranch.

Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler: A Nevada assemblyman said he would vote in favor of legislation allowing for slavery if it was something his constituents wanted him to do.

Jim Wheeler, a Republican from Gardnerville, was talking to a crowd of Storey County Republicans in August he when said “yeah I would” vote for slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted.

If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the citizens of the, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” he said. “That’s what a republic is about. You elected a person for your district to do your wants and wishes, not the wants and wishes of a special interest, not his own wants and wishes, yours.”

Debated Sarah Palin. Was only the second dumbest person on the stage.

Fair and Balanced equal time inclusion from Joe “I Say Whatever Crazy Think I Think” Biden: Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they’re proposing. [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street,” Biden said a rally in Danville, Va. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

Chattel slavery was an absolute evil and as practiced in the United States it became a monstrous abomination. All these cheap politicians and cheaper talking heads are not only engaging in racially insensitive and tone-deaf metaphors with their banal slavery comparisons, they are exhibiting lazy thinking to the extent they think at all.

Republicans in particular should know better. One of their own, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, an accomplishment his fellow Grand Old Party comrades point to with chest-puffing pride when they come in from criticism for their racial views.

It’s doubtful Abe would be down for the casual way Republicans throw the word “slavery” around today. After all, he is the guy who said, “Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Me too, and it’s a little early, but how about a remake of 12 Years A Slave starring Palin, Perry, Bachmann, Paul, Carson, West and Wheeler? As the slaves.

Abraham Lincoln: Republican Slayer

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Hank Aaron: Still Hammerin’

40 years later, Hank is still hammering home the truth.

 

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

~ Hank Aaron

There must be a whistle going off somewhere only conservatives and Republicans can hear that reveals Aaron really was saying, “President Obama is left with his foot in the stuck in the mud from all of the [racist] Republicans [everywhere, but especially in Congress] with the [racist] way he’s treated.”

That has to be the only answer, because there was NOTHING in Aaron’s remarks that put all the Republicans in America in general or in Congress on blast as being racists which is a term Aaron never used.

It would seem crying wolf about racism is not a malady confined only to The Left.  I guess all those right-wingers losing their shit missed the part where Aaron said, “We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements,” huh?

Another baseball legend, Frank Robinsonspoke to USA Today in defense of Aaron.

It is 2014, we have twice elected a black president, and Jackie Robinson is an American icon, celebrated annually on April 15. And yet: Hank Aaron is receiving hate mail, which reminds us that black people are still held to a different standard, when it comes to expressing strong opinions on race.

American Hero. Then and now.

“Hank Aaron is a black man,” Frank Robinson told me on Tuesday, after helping to light the Empire State Building in Dodger blue to honor the 67th anniversary of another Robinson’s debut. “He only spoke his mind. I have seen and heard other people in this country say worse things, and they don’t get hate mail. It shows you we still have a ways to go.”

Robinson — a Hall of Fame player, the first African-American manager and MLB’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development — did not list those “worse things,” but here are a few: Tea Party rallies where people hoist signs showing a Hitler mustache on President Obama, activists sending around emails portraying the president as a monkey, Braves fans calling Aaron the N-word, repeating what the home run king endured 40 years ago.

On Tuesday, USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale, who wrote the original piece, clarified that Aaron did not directly compare Republicans to the Ku Klux Klan. “Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist,” Nightengale wrote. “Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan. . . . Simply, Aaron stated that we are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe racism exists in our country.”

Whether or not Aaron meant to invoke the KKK, the ensuing hate mail is a larger story. The Braves received hundreds of calls, emails and letters eviscerating Aaron, according to USA Today. “Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur),” read one of the notes.

I asked Robinson the obvious follow-up to his initial comment: Are we still in a place in our society where a black person makes controversial comments, and is more vulnerable to vicious criticism than a white person?

“I think so,” he said. “We have made great progress, but we still have a different standard. And it’s too bad. But we keep fighting, and we keep going forward, and taking the cause forward.”

I’m not even a fan of baseball. Don’t like the game and don’t watch it, but I know what men like Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson have done for both their sport and to make this country a less blind, less backward and less racist place than it has been.   The fact that Aaron’s wisdom prompts such knee-jerk reactions and bigoted invective is proof of how blind, backward and racist America remains.

There is nothing anyone can say that in way diminishes Aaron’s standing as the man who broke Babe Ruth‘s home run record and was reviled, vilified and had life threatened by bigots every step of the way who could not their tiny little minds around the idea that a “nigger” could surpass the legendary Bambino.

It is laughable that someone tapping on their tablet or laptop can even slightly tarnish the luster of Aaron’s accomplishments. This is a man who took the worst the most hostile racists could throw at him and emerged triumphant and his pride intact.   This is a country that still bitterly resents whenever a Black man speaks the truth about race instead of what they think is the truth.

Aaron was asked why for 40 years he has kept all the hate mail he receives.

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed.”

Can a brother get a “boom shakalaka” from the choir?

The mouth-foaming frenzy of Aaron’s conservative critics proves him to be a prophet. He’s still hammering home the truth.

Speak softly and beat some sense into a bigot’s skull with some wood.

 

Jon and John’s War Against The Black Vote

“Good job making it harder to vote, Jon.” “Thanks, John.”

I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter turnout machine.”

~ Doug Preisse, Republican Party chairman of Franklin County

Here’s the thing about the sacred right to vote.   It’s only a right as long as you have it.   They don’t have to take it away from all at once.   Killing it off by a slow death of a thousand cuts will get the job done just as effectively.

The hard-right conservatism of the Republican Party does not appeal to Black voters.  This is simply a fact.   Here in Ohio, a perennial battleground state, the Republicans recognize this and have resolved to address it by doing all they can to suppress the Black vote as Think Progress reported:

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has followed through on promises to restrict voting opportunities in his state. The change, announced Tuesday, eliminates extended early voting hours on weekdays, the final two days before Election Day as well as Sunday voting, a day typically important to African-American voters because churches use it to turn out votes.

The early voting period is vital to the elderly, low-income voters, and anyone else with limited means to get to the polls, not to mention that it cuts down on election-day long lines and chaos. MSNBC notes that in 2008, black voters made up 56 percent “of all weekend voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s largest, even though they made up just 28% of the county’s population.”

Optional in Ohio.

Husted’s announcement comes on the heels of other Ohio initiatives to suppress turnout. Ohio just passed two bills that eliminates an entire week of early voting and end the practice of mailing absentee ballots.

Naturally Husted would never say he’s going to make it harder to vote.  The Big Lie told by the GOP is they are streamlining the process and making it fairer. 

“In 2014, absentee voters will have the option of voting in person for four weeks, or they can vote without ever leaving home by completing the absentee ballot request form we will be sending all voters,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said. “Our goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat and to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity in the voting process no matter which method they choose.”

“Easy to vote and hard to cheat?”   That’s a different line than Husted’s rap last year when his office and the state’s 88 country boards conducted investigations looking for fraud in the 2012 presidential elections and came back with 135 cases they recommended for prosecution.

Wow.  That many?  Go get those crooks, Jon-Boy!   Uh-uh.  Not so fast.  Every whiff of smoke doesn’t mean there must be a forest fire.

Voter fraud does exist, but it is not an epidemic,” Husted said. “To put this into context, … that’s 135 referrals out of more than 5.6 million votes cast.”

Oh.

Well, that’s disappointing, but 135 cases is good enough for the G.O.P.   Let’s go ahead and  shorten the early voting period by six full days and get rid of same-day voter registration.  While we’re at it let’s cut the number of voting machines in the state and increase wait time for voters at the polls.  Especially those old Black ones.   Watching them shiver in the November cold to cast their ballots will be fun!

This is how Husted, Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Republicans observe Black History Month.  By trying like hell to make the votes of Blacks history.

Once upon a time Blacks had to march in the streets and even die for the right to vote.   Just because marches aren’t popular and nobody’s dying doesn’t mean Blacks can relax and stop fighting to keep and protect their hard-won rights.

The Republicans are engaged in one of the historically most efficient political tactics: suppress the vote and by making it harder for people whom aren’t going to vote for you to for vote for the other guy, you win.  Voter suppression works for Republicans and that is today’s Black History Moment.  If we sit idly by it will be tomorrow’s Black future.

What the enemies of our progress take away we can take back.  IF we are willing to fight for it.    Hoping someone else will come along and get our rights back won’t do it.  When it comes to voter suppression Husted and Kasich are only getting started.

The secret of the GOP’s success.

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Hating Melissa Harris-Perry is More Fun Than Forgiving Her

melissa-harris-perry

“Look, I SAID I was sorry. Now back off.”

A lot of people found 2013 to be a bad year. MSBNC had a really bad year.

The ratings have been in the toilet. They moved Ed Schultz out of prime-time to a Saturday afternoon (!) dead zone and then back to just-out of prime time though his show wasn’t getting clobbered as badly as the hapless Chris Hayes is by the invincible O’Reilly Factor.

MSBNC gave Alec Baldwin a “talk” show. At least, I guess it was. It got yanked off the air so fast over Baldwin’s bad temper and big mouth that it’s hard to remember what kind of show it was supposed to be.

Martin Bashir lost his afternoon show for suggesting someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth.

Just to wrap things up in a big red bow, on the Melissa Harris-Perry show, the panel had a big tee-hee over Mitt Romney welcoming a new grandson, an adopted Black baby named Kieran Romney, to the family and hilarity ensued on the show.

“Everybody loves a baby picture,” Harris-Perry said, “and this was one that really, a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year. This is the Romney family. And, of course, there on Governor Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”

As Harris-Perry made the introduction, panelist Pia Glenn sang “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same,” a tune whose original lyrics read “one of these things doesn’t belong.”

“And that little baby, front and center, would be the one,” she added.

“And isn’t he the most gorgeous?” Harris-Perry said. “My goal is that in 2040, the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Kieran Romney and North West. Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?”

Comedian Dean Obeidallah chimed in by reducing the baby to a token. “I think this picture is great,” he said. “It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”

There goes the neighborhood.

There goes the neighborhood.

I don’t like Mitt Romney and he would have been a lousy president, but while he is rich elitist and exhibits no particular concern for other races it doesn’t by default mean he’s overtly hostile to them either.  But even if he was that’s no reason to make fun of his Black grandson.

Harris-Perry quickly issued an apology on Twitter and her MSNBC page, but it was too late.  She had handed her critics a sword and they pounced to impale her with it accusing her of reverse-racism against the Romneys.

At the beginning of her Saturday program Harris-Perry issued another apology to Governor Romney’s family and those she offended with her failed attempt at humor, but  didn’t make it though the segment before breaking down tearfully.

Romney was scheduled to appear on Fox News the next day where he was certain to be asked about the controversy, but the blogosphere wasn’t about to wait for him as one critic sneered, “She’s only sorry because her producer/ station caught so much backlash, they knew they needed to apologize. I seriously doubt it’s heartfelt. Even abusers can turn on the tears when apologizing. Not buying into her act.”

I’ve met Melissa Harris-Perry. She’s an academic, not an actress.

When someone says they’re sorry and it’s them saying it and not a spokesperson, agent or some crisis manager, it should be accepted as genuine and heartfelt until proven otherwise. Everyone screws up. It’s how you handle the screw-up and move past it that matters.

Some folks insist on having their pound of flesh and will keep carving until they get it.

She fucked up. She apologized multiple times. The object of the insult accepted the apology.

On her Right flank, MHP is taking flak for an apology judged insincere. On her Left flank, MHP is catching hell for apologizing at all.   They’re both full of it.  Only the blindest partisans and the terminally cynical would doubt the sincerity of the apology.

Romney didn’t seem to as he said on Fox, “I think people recognize, and the folks at MSNBC who have apologized recognize, people like me are fair targets: If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming. For children, that’s beyond the line. I think they understand that and feel that as well. I think it’s a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason we hold no ill will whatsoever.”

That should be it.  Of course it’s not.

Mitt Romney didn’t have to accept Harris-Perry’s apology as being sincere. That he did speaks  to his compassion and understanding that human beings–even ones on MSNBC–fail and when they try to do the right thing after doing the wrong thing, they should be forgiven.

Nothing has changed how I feel about Harris-Perry and her guests heavy-handed and dim-witted attempt at humor at a child’s expense. But let’s not overreact here, okay? This isn’t the first person in the media to screw up and go after a kid or any other soft target. MHP used poor judgment and she got rightfully called out for it.

I hope she learns from her mistakes and grows from the experience. Too often others in the same position haven’t apologized. Not sincerely, not insincere or at all.

For every one Harris-Perry royally effing up there are dozens of examples of a Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, Al Sharpton or Alec Baldwin saying something simultaneously stupid and horrific and any apology, if one is offered at all, comes grudgingly and delivered with a smirk, a snicker and a wink.

I didn’t see any of that in Harris-Perry’s apology. I guess her haters did.

In the depressingly vast sea of Whiteness of cable TV talking heads, Melissa Harris-Perry provides a shot of not only much needed racial diversity, but a degree of intelligence, wit and class to a medium conspicuously short of all the above.

It’s time to forgive and forget and mostly forget.

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The Unforgiven?

The Sphincter of the House

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John loses his boner.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, acknowledged Wednesday that he would allow a vote in the House on a newly-minted Senate deal on debt and spending.

“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” he said on WLW radio in Ohio.

Boehner additionally confirmed that he would “absolutely” allow the whole House to vote on a plan introduced on Wednesday in the Senate. That bipartisan plan, unveiled by Senate leaders, would fund the government through mid-January and raise the debt ceiling until early February.

Which begs the musical question…

How in the hell was this any sort of “good fight?”

What exactly was the high-minded principle The Boner and his fellow knuckle-dragging troglodytes were fighting for worth shutting down the entire government for three weeks,  throwing thousands of federal workers out of work and cutting off their checks (while Congress made sure they were still receiving their pay)  pushing the country into default and making the United States of America look like the nuttiest asylum ever run by the most insane inmates?

“We Just Didn’t Win.”

Which means The Boner is a loser.  The Caveman Caucus is full of grunting losers.  The Republican Party is a loser.   Ted  “Canadian Bacon” Cruz is the biggest loser right along his fellow losers in the collective of whiny losers called the Tea Party.   That is a good thing to come out of a bad thing.

Ultimately the cavemen caved in.  What else could they do?  Though the extremist whack jobs in Congress and their little cheerleaders on Fixed News were ready to crash and burn the American economy for the sake of a temper tantrum, eventually the adults wrested the controls away from them and narrowly avoided one potentially very hot mess.

This is your Republican Party.

This is your Republican Party.

So if the Boner is wimpiest wimp that ever wimped in American political history and is a Dead Man Walking in his remaining tenure as Speaker of the House of Crazy People, who were the winners here?

NOBODY WINS  in a sorry spectacle like this and you are on crazy pills if you think anybody won jack.   The Congressional crazies will be all over the television and the radio and the Internet telling anyone who will listen, “We WON!  We shut down the government!  We brought the country to a screeching halt.  Man, we ROCK!  We are such total bad-asses!  High-five and chest bumps all around!”

This will be nothing more than the hollow victory yelps of crazy people and no different from the whiskey-fueled ranting of a mangy drunk arguing with himself on a standing-room bus as a puddle of pee runs down his leg and all the other riders desperately try to pretend the foul-smelling lout isn’t really there.

That is what the Republican Party is now.  Mangy, ranting drunks who annoy everyone and stink of stale ammonia strong piss.

We’ll take a break from this unnecessary exercise in brinkmanship and be back for more of the same after the Xmas when “The Real Assholes of Washington D.C.” returns for its next season.

What have we learned?  We have learned John Andrew Bohner is the 61st Speaker of the House and a total neutered whipped dog who is regularly kicked around by 30 extremists in his own caucus and he lives in fear of the next kick in the rib.

I’d feel sorry for the Boner if I wasn’t revolted  by his submissive groveling weakness and his gutless  “I don’t give a shit what happens to the country as long as I’m still Speaker”  self-preservation motivation.

See you in January.

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