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Member since: Mon Aug 20, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Journal Archives

Texas out to save ‘discriminatory’ voter ID, maps after court ruling

Source: AP

SAN ANTONIO — On Election Day in Texas, the mere act of voting would have been fresh flexing of Republican power: Show a photo ID, then cast a ballot in a political district likely drawn to favor GOP candidates.

The script has changed, though, with two federal courts sizing it up as minority discrimination.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and party leaders returned from an upbeat Republican National Convention on Friday faced with the weightier task of trying to save two signature legislative pieces: a voter ID law that judges called the nation’s most stringent and a redistricting map that fortifies GOP power for the next decade — at a time when the rate of a booming Hispanic population is coming into sharp focus.

In back-to-back blows this week, a pair of Washington federal courts ruled that both plans ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act. State prosecutors filed notice of appeal Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court, where they predict victory.

It’s the boldest forecast anyone has made in wake of the rulings — including the political fallout, if any, of two opinions that very publicly concluded Texas passed a political map with “discriminatory intent” and a voter ID bill that would impose “unforgiving burdens on the poor,” who are disproportionately Hispanic or black.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose personal Twitter page is splashed with the backdrop of the “Don’t Tread on Me” symbol, isn’t worried about the message the rulings might have sent the state’s fastest-growing demographic.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20120831-texas-out-to-save-discriminatory-voter-id-maps-after-court-ruling.ece

Love the sign in the photo

Before Talk With a Chair, Clearance From the Top

Source: new york times

TAMPA, Fla. — For all the finger-pointing about Clint Eastwood’s rambling conversation with an empty chair on Thursday night, the most bizarre, head-scratching 12 minutes in recent political convention history were set in motion by Mitt Romney himself and made possible by his aides, who had shrouded the actor’s appearance in secrecy.

Mr. Romney privately invited Mr. Eastwood, of “Dirty Harry” fame, to speak after the actor had given him a gravelly, full-throated endorsement at a star-studded fund-raiser at the Sun Valley Resort Lodge in Idaho this summer. “He just made my day. What a guy,” Mr. Romney joked with his donors that night, flanked by the fake log columns of the lodge.

Thus began an effort by Mr. Romney’s campaign over several weeks to inject a Hollywood-style surprise into the highly scripted, tightly controlled convention where Mr. Romney would formally accept the nomination of the Republican Party to be president.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Eastwood’s convention cameo was cleared by Mr. Romney’s top message mavens, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, who drew up talking points that Mr. Eastwood included, in his own way. They gave him a time limit and flashed a blinking red light that told him his time was up. He ignored both. The actor’s decision to use a chair as a prop was last-minute, and his own.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/01/us/politics/romney-aides-scratch-their-heads-over-eastwoods-speech.html

Ann Romney Welsh cakes branded 'no good at all' by Welsh journalist

oh no.... now we have bogus Welsh cakes? they cant even bake cakes without lying?

From Wales Online:


They've long been a hit around the world but rarely seen quite as much publicity as in recent months since the wife of a US presidential candidate emerged as a fan.

So famous have they become in fact that Welsh cakes have even become the subject of a public row in the US.

A Welsh-born journalist has taken a swipe at the Welsh cakes made by Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt, claiming they are not the traditional kind.

Mrs Romney has made great play of her Welsh grandfather’s decision to “escape poverty” and move his family from Nantyffyllon near Maesteg to the US in 1929.

And on a flight to the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida this week –where her husband was confirmed as the Grand Old Party’s presidential candidate – she handed out her homemade cakes to delegates and reporters.

She said in her speech: “I am the grand-daughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines.

Link to the rest of the article: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/need-to-read/2012/08/31/ann-romney-welsh-cakes-branded-no-good-at-all-by-welsh-journalist-91466-31737545/

Day After GOP Convention, Biden Slams Romney, Ryan

Source: ABC News

ABC News(LORDSTOWN, Ohio) – Vice President Joe Biden slammed the Republican ticket on Friday, just one day after Mitt Romney officially accepted his party’s nomination, saying that much of what they spoke about at the convention “wasn’t on the level.”

Speaking before a local auto workers union, Biden criticized Ryan for linking President Obama to the closing of a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., Ryan’s hometown, but the plant actually stopped producing GM vehicles in 2008 while George W. Bush was still president. Biden didn’t mention that the plant completely ceased operations – a small force continued work for Isuzu - in April of 2009, several months after Obama took office.


Biden, who was speaking at a union site close to a new GM plant that’s set to produce the new Chevy Cruze, pointed to new jobs and investments made in the auto industry here in Lordstown, along with the $23 billion companies like Ford, Chrysler and General Motors have promised to invest in production on American soil.

“What they didn’t say at their convention is because of the auto rescue, there are 4,500 of you working here today making a decent wage. What he didn’t say, GM is adding two shifts, GM has already announced a $200 million investment here in Lordstown,” Biden said. “It’s not the Bain way, not in Mexico, not in China, not in Vietnam, but in Lordstown, in Detroit, in Toledo, in Cleveland. Made in America.”

Read more: http://www.kmbz.com/Day-After-GOP-Convention-Biden-Slams-Romney-Ryan/14131545

Senate Democrats Tie Romney Gulf Coast Visit to Ryan’s Proposed Cuts to Disaster Relief

Source: firedoglake

The only real notable element of Mitt Romney’s post-convention performance today was that he accidentally referred to the United States as a company, i.e. a person. But in anticipation of his visit to the Gulf Coast for some photo-ops with victims of Hurricane Isaac, Senate Democrats are using unusual vigor to hold House Republicans, mainly Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, accountable for the near-denial of disaster relief funds that will be put to use in the aftermath of the storm.

The story goes back to the debt limit deal. That set a spending cap for future budgets with a hard-dollar number. However, it allowed for some flexibility for disaster relief, where the federal government could go above the cap. But even after agreeing to the deal, House Republicans, led by Ryan, wanted to block that, which would have forced unpredictable disaster relief funding to get offsets in the federal budget. This really came to a head last fall, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency nearly depleted its budget before the year was out, which would have forced a supplemental funding bill. The Office of Management and Budget somehow found enough funds to carry through the end of the year, and Republicans reluctantly went along with the flexible cap for disaster relief. But some, including Ryan, did not:

"It had been a different story earlier in the year as the government’s chief disaster fund almost ran dry, thanks to foot-dragging by the White House and demands by tea party House Republicans that disaster aid be partly “paid for” with cuts to programs that Obama favored. The administration instead let the political pressure build as disaster accounts dwindled, sparking the ire of both his GOP rivals and allies like Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., but turning the tables in its favor.

Months after agreeing to the new regime, Republican leaders still had to turn to procedural maneuvers to orchestrate passage of $8.8 billion in disaster money in keeping with the agreement. Ryan, the House Budget Committee’s chairman, was among 66 Republicans opposing the measure "

Read more: http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/08/31/senate-democrats-tie-romney-gulf-coast-visit-to-ryans-cuts-to-disaster-relief/

Did One Of Romney’s Housekeepers Make a Cameo in RNC Video?

Posted on Colorlines.com


Is the woman seen working in the background one of Romney’s four housekeepers that he’s allegedly underpaying? (Video capture from GOP video introducing Romney Family.)

Before Mitt Romney was introduced at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night viewers saw a 10-minute video created to humanize Romney. The video featured the Romney family inside their home several times but in one of the scenes a women who appears to be working for the family in the background was simply ignored.

Is she one of the four housekeepers the reports have alleged Romney is underpaying? It could be, but more importantly some say the video made her invisible.

“As I’m watching Romney’s RNC video spotlighting his family, I find it interesting there is no mention of the woman in the red shirt in the background, who is obviously there helping,” said artist Ramiro Gomez, who’s art looks to start conversations about the labor force that takes care of families and homes.

“Yet another reason why I’ll keep making my cardboard cutouts, we are not invisible and we will be heard,” wrote Gomez to his Facebook followers as the video was broadcasted live Thursday night. Colorlines.com spotted the video thanks to a tip from Gomez, who is a nanny during the day.

“Not only was there an invisible chair last night there was a lot of invisible help in the Romney family story,” said Colorlines.com’s economic justice blogger Imara Jones. “We constantly heard about Ann Romney’s struggle with her five children but no references to the household workers who gave a hand. Earlier this year, when asked, she couldn’t even remember their names.”

IRS forms released earlier this year by Romney’s presidential campaign show that despite reporting income of $21.7 million, the couple paid only $20,603 in taxable wages for household help in 2010. This figure was divided among four women: Rosania Costa ($4,808), Kelli Harrison ($8,667), Susan Moore ($2,238) and Valerie Cravens Anae ($4,890).

more: http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/08/did_one_of_romneys_housekeepers_make_a_surprise_cameo_in_rnc_video.html

Limits on Voting Drives in Florida Fall Wayside

Source: Courthouse News

(CN) - Florida cannot enforce provisions of its new election law that placed restrictions on community-based voter-registration drives, a federal judge ruled.
In December, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund sued the state to overturn new rules for organizations that conduct voter-registration drives.
The statute, which took effect on May 19, 2011, required third-party voter-registration organizations to deliver completed applications to designated offices within 48 hours of receiving them, among other provisions.
Organizers claimed that the law sabotaged their efforts to register voters and discouraged Floridians from registering to vote in the upcoming election.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle temporarily blocked several sections of the law in May, finding that they placed unnecessary burdens on voter-registration groups. The judge noted that the provisions were likely unconstitutional and conflicted with the National Voting Rights Act of 1993, which encourages voter-registration drives.

Read more: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/08/31/49860.htm

Report: Vt. school district violated civil rights

Source: AP

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Federal investigators say a Vermont school district violated civil rights laws while responding to an incident in which a teacher’s aide threatened an African-American sixth-grader and then used a racial epithet.

After a two-year-investigation, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has reached a settlement with the Springfield School District. The Valley News reports (http://bit.ly/ONL4PH) the district is required to pay nearly $3,000 in counseling services for the student and increase regulations in training for employees.

The agency says in 2010, an aide at Riverside Middle School told the student if he didn’t stop using a yardstick to sword-fight with another student, the aide would ‘‘shove it’’ into him ‘‘and then used the epithet. The aide resigned. The child now attends school elsewhere.

Read more: http://www.boston.com/news/education/2012/08/31/report-school-district-violated-civil-rights/f3xD9Lsu0IpyAEZEfcPZ7K/story.html

Racism is almost normal these days.... thank god we still have laws in this country protecting individuals from racial abuse, for now at least...

Romney Heckled By DREAM Act Advocates At Florida Farewell Rally

Source: Think Progress

Mitt Romney, who did not mention immigration issues during Thursday night’s nationally televised address, was heckled on Friday by DREAM Act activists during his “Farewell Victory Rally” in Lakeland Florida. “DREAM Act for fully equality,” they chanted, as Romney introduced his campaign’s officials and the crowd responded with, “USA! USA! USA!.” Watch it:

During the GOP presidential primary, Romney said he would have vetoed the measure. In one Florida debate, he also accused Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) of engendering a “magnet” in Texas by allowing the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/08/31/783621/romney-heckled-by-dream-act-advocates-at-florida-farewell-rally/

Romney’s pre-election rhetoric on Russia unacceptable – Putin’s spokesman

Source: Russian Times

Vladimir Putin’s press secretary has blasted Mitt Romney’s anti-Russian statements and said relations between the countries must not become hostage to the politician’s election battle.

Dmitry Peskov was asked to comment on Romney saying he was not going to be as flexible in relations with Russia as his opponent President Barak Obama.

“As the head of the state has repeatedly stressed, Russia always has been and in future always will be interested in the further development of bilateral Russian-American relations,” Peskov told reporters.

He added that senior officials from both countries have stressed that bilateral relations shouldn’t be sacrificed for the sake of an election.

“We are sure that this is wrong. We know the official Washington point of view,” Putin’s spokesman added.

Read more: http://rt.com/politics/romney-russia-us-peskov-068/
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