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Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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'An awakening': the George Floyd protests spur surge in Black voter registration

'An awakening': the George Floyd protests spur surge in Black voter registration

Activists say enfranchisement effort has not been seen at such a scale since the civil rights era
A voter registration effort in Cincinatti. Across all its affiliates, HeadCount registered 14,898 new voters in June, compared to only 1,204 in June 2016.
Megan Botel and Isaiah Murtaugh
Published on Fri 7 Aug 2020 08.00 EDT

Gregory Sarafan spends most election years assisting team leaders with registration events at concerts, where they target young, unregistered voters. But Sarafan, regional coordinator for the voter registration organization HeadCount, knew that this summer, he was more likely to find that demographic marching through the streets to protest against police brutality after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
How the Navajo Nation won a hard-earned political voice in Utah

So he had an idea. He pasted a 12x12in QR code on his protest sign. Then – from a socially distant six feet away – protesters could scan the sign from their smartphones and immediately register to vote. “The protests were an awakening across all different strata of society,” Sarafan said. “People who might not otherwise engage in civic discussions were there.”

It worked: across all its affiliates, HeadCount registered 14,898 new voters in June, compared with only 1,204 in June 2016. Now Sarafan’s effort is part of a wave of voter mobilization initiatives that have emerged nationwide. Many of those are particularly focused on Black voters – an enfranchisement effort that some activists and historians say hasn’t been seen at this scale since the civil rights era.

Veteran voter mobilization groups like HeadCount, Rock the Vote, Voto Latino and When We All Vote were already planning for a big year, but seized the moment to launch new projects and to reframe messaging around the surging police reform and racial justice movements. The energy has also inspired high-profile Black celebrities like Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, LeBron James and Whoopi Goldberg to step into the fray with PSAs and a number of new initiatives to engage Black voters.

“This has been the story of multiple generations,” said Jennifer Lawson, a veteran civil rights activist who marched in the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. “I have a profound appreciation for what the younger activists are doing in the streets today in terms of building awareness and trying to create change in this country.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 7, 2020, 01:33 PM (1 replies)

Let's Avoid the Dueling Dogma By Connie Schultz

Let's Avoid the Dueling Dogma
By Connie Schultz
August 6, 2020 6 min read

On Thursday, President Donald Trump landed here in Cleveland and had barely plodded across the tarmac before declaring that Joe Biden would "hurt God."

I struggle for the words to convey my joy.

That Trump thinks Biden could inflict injury on God gives us a good idea of just how much he fears Biden.
The clock is ticking, Mr. President. It's too bad the White House staff forgot to give Preacher Trump his Bible prop as he brayed into the wind. That visual worked so well for him last time.

This was Trump's take on Biden, recited as if he were trying to come up with a limerick:

"Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything. Hurt the bible, hurt God. He's against God; he's against guns. He's against energy, our kind of energy."

I'm not sure what energy Trump thinks he's peddling, but I'll pass. I don't need a president who tosses a football on the White House lawn, but I do want one who can work up enough steam to read.

It didn't take long for Biden's spokesman, Andrew Bates, to fire back against Trump.

"Joe Biden's faith is at the core of who he is; he's lived it with dignity his entire life, and it's been a source of strength and comfort in times of extreme hardship. Donald Trump is the only president in our history to have tear-gassed peaceful Americans and thrown a priest out of his church just so he could profane it — and a Bible — for his own cynical optics as he sought to tear our nation apart at a moment of crisis and pain. And this comes just one day after Trump's campaign abused a photo of Joe Biden praying in church to demean him, in one of the starkest expressions of weakness throughout this whole campaign."


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 6, 2020, 08:47 PM (7 replies)

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani submits debate moderator list suggesting 11 Fox hosts and pundits

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani submits debate moderator list suggesting 11 Fox hosts and pundits
Trump's campaign wants friendly hosts and Trump boosters to moderate his debates with Democratic rival Joe Biden
Igor Derysh
August 6, 2020 3:51PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump's campaign submitted a list of requests Wednesday to the Commission on Presidential Debates, including a list of suggested moderators which names 11 Fox hosts.

The campaign submitted a letter by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, which was published by Axios. The letter requests a fourth debate and asks for the first debate to be moved up before early voting begins in certain states. It also includes a list of 24 suggested moderators, nearly half of which are hosts at the Trump-friendly Fox News and Fox Business networks.

The letter suggested Fox News hosts Bret Baier, Shannon Bream, Rachel Campos-Duffy, Harris Faulkner and Bill Hemmer, as well as contributor Michael Goodwin.

Though the campaign excluded Trump loyalists such as Sean Hannity and the hosts of "Fox & Friends," Campos-Duffy's inclusion drew skepticism. The wife of former Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., a CNN pundit who is an official Trump surrogate, Campos-Duffy has long been a "sycophantic pro-Trump commentator across Fox's opinion shows," The Daily Beast reported.

The list also included Fox Business hosts Maria Bartiromo, Gerry Baker, Dagen McDowell and Charles Payne, plus reporter Susan Li.

Bartiromo, a longtime friend of the president, has become one of the biggest Trump boosters at the network.

The list notably excluded Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, who had a contentious and widely-praised interview with Trump last month.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 6, 2020, 05:12 PM (4 replies)

Sherrod Brown: 'I Don't Know How Mitch McConnell Spent His Summer,' But It Wasn't Legislating'


8/06/20 5:22am
Read time: 3 minutes
Sherrod Brown: 'I Don't Know How Mitch McConnell Spent His Summer,' But It Wasn't Legislating'
The Ohio senator absolutely ripped Republicans for refusing to come to the financial aid of Americans and local governments being crushed by the pandemic, made worse by Trump and GOP policy.
By Aliza Worthington
Video @ link~

It's always a good day for some righteous anger from Ohio's Senator Sherrod Brown.

On the Senate Floor Tuesday, Sen. Brown pilloried his fellow Republican senators, especially Mitch McConnell, for refusing to extend the $600 per week additional assistance to Americans suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throwing the hypocrisy of such stinginess back into their faces, Brown pointed out that all of them earn $175,000 per year as U.S. Senators (guaranteed income for six years, mind you,) and also that it so happens most of them happen to be millionaires. Yet, these same millionaires on the GOP side deem $600 per week too much to grant those unemployed, and potentially ill, widowed, or orphaned as a result of the pandemic.

SEN. BROWN: It's pretty unbelievable to hear people on this side of the aisle making $175,000 a year as U.S. Senators, most of my colleagues are millionaires, and they complain that these unemployed workers are getting $600 a week. They complain that these workers are getting too much money, as we earn $175,000 a year.

I'm not really sure how Mitch McConnell has spent his summer, but what I do know is that in May, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act. It helped local governments, it helped people stay in their homes so they wouldn't be evicted. It helped our public school system. It provided $600 a week to unemployed workers. The House did that in May. Now I don't know what Senator McConnell's done since then, through May, through June, through July, now into August.

Last week, Senator McConnell finally came up with a plan. Does NOTHING to extend the $600 a week. It does nothing to help keep people in their homes and pay those bills. The last thing we should want is a tidal wave of evictions, so that people go into crowded homeless shelters, or sleep in their cousin's basement because they don't have a place to live. That bill does NOTHING to help state and local governments. Their plan has ZERO dollars for communities, for Clark County, Ohio, or Clark County, Nevada. We know how hard their budgets have been hit. Ohio's governor has already announced $750 million in state budged cuts, including education and Medicaid. Counties and cities and towns are facing similar impossible choices.

We know with hundreds of thousands of Ohioans out of a job, if they don't get the $600 a week, it will mean more of them go into poverty. More of them have trouble feeding their families. More of them will go to homeless shelters. It will only get worse if we don't step in.

He went on to list the crucial services that won't receive funding if the GOP refuses to adequately support local governments financially in this bill. The list is long, and devastating. The problem is, Republicans — least of all, Mitch McConnell — couldn't care less if the working class suffers. As long as public schools and government services are seen as failing, the better their selfish argument for privatizing absolutely everything, and the more wingnut welfare can run wild and free, enriching them and their millionaire buddies.

At least, though, it won't happen without a fight from Sen. Brown.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 6, 2020, 09:34 AM (6 replies)

Emboldened Pelosi Takes a Hard Line

Politico's "concern" is noted.


Emboldened Pelosi Takes a Hard Line
August 6, 2020 at 6:32 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Politico: “Pelosi is where she likes it best — slugging it out with Republicans on another record-breaking coronavirus relief package. Now, even more than during her first go-round as speaker, Pelosi wields more power than anyone in the Capitol, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). And with Pelosi in firm control of her caucus and Democrats poised to do well in November, there’s no doubt she’ll vie for the speaker’s gavel another, possibly final, time later this year.”

Said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO): “Just about anyone can lead during a sunny spring day, with the temperature at 75 degrees, but it takes a gifted person to lead during a hurricane, followed by a rock-sized hailstorm. That’s what has happened.”

“But the California Democrat is also taking a huge risk during the coronavirus aid talks as she remains almost entirely unyielding in her demands — even as negotiations drag on and millions of out-of-work Americans lose their federal aid. Both she and Republicans risk overplaying their hands and ending up with a stalemate that leads to retribution from angry voters in November.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 6, 2020, 08:34 AM (21 replies)

Good morning, humanity

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 10:13 PM (2 replies)

Tucker Carlson Says It's 'Probably Illegal' For Biden To Pick A Black Woman As VP


8/05/20 3:02pm
Read time: 2 minutes
Tucker Carlson Says It's 'Probably Illegal' For Biden To Pick A Black Woman As VP
Everything but the white hood on Tucker's White Power Hour, when it comes to choosing a Black vice president.
By HunterDK


As transcribed by The Daily Beast: “For what could very well be the most important job on Earth, Biden has decided to hire exclusively on the basis of qualities that are both immutable and completely irrelevant—race and gender. And that’s it. But wait a second, you ask, isn’t that insulting? Isn’t it wrong? Isn’t it probably illegal? Yes, it is all three of those things.”Tucker had personal insults for each of the four Black women he was singling out, of course. Rep. Karen Bass is a "lunatic," Stacey Abrams is allegedly "delusional," former National Security Adviser Susan Rice was something-something-Benghazi, and as for Sen. Kamala Harris: "Pretty much no one who knows Kamala Harris likes her." (If this sounds almost exactly like the same insults Donald Trump himself hurls, it is no coincidence. It is well known that Tucker and Trump share a single brain, which they pass back and forth in a lunchbox. When Trump has one of his sleepier, medicated-seeming performances, it is because Tucker was late returning the lunchbox brain.)

Biden has been considering other Americans besides those four, of course. But it is those four whose presence Tucker considers "probably illegal." He does not mean it; this is just one of many hats Tucker Carlson has donned in his self-promotional career, but at the moment stirring up white nationalism of the Proud Boys, Klan, and bitter drunk uncles everywhere is the most lucrative path.

So sure, Biden being uncomfortable choosing yet another white man in this particular moment is "probably illegal," Tucker says in his nightly attempt to rile his racist audience, "but no one's pushing back against it." It is nonsense meant to make his racist audience angry, in a campaign to make them angry every night, without fail, relentlessly, forever. What happens after that is of no concern to Tucker; at least for now, That Pillow Guy is paying his bills.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 07:34 PM (10 replies)

David Corn: The Self-Destruction of Donald J. Trump


August 4, 2020
The Self-Destruction of Donald J. Trump
Thousands of Americans are dying because Trump can’t even help himself.
David Corn
Washington, DC, Bureau ChiefBio | Follow


The responsible course for the president was not tough to discern. Follow the recommendations of public health experts. Model the appropriate conduct. (Wear a mask!) Assist front-line medical workers. Seek to help the economically dislocated. Mourn the dead and address the national fear and anxiety. Yet Trump’s own inner compass is so broken that he could not even fake concern for his own political benefit. His deep-rooted pathologies—I know best, I can bullshit through anything—blocked him from adopting simple measures that would actually advance his own personal agenda.


Trump cannot stop himself from lying. (Last month, the Washington Post‘s database of Trump’s false statements hit the 20,000 mark.) Trump cannot stop himself from self-aggrandizing. (Trump at the Centers for Disease Control in March: “Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.”) Trump cannot throttle back on his racism (“the China virus”), his ignorance (“supposing you brought the light inside the body”), or his egotism (“we had a lot of people watching, record numbers watching…in the history of cable television, there’s never been anything like it”). But the former reality TV celebrity, who became famous by exploiting the tabloid press, does know a thing or two about PR. So is it that difficult for him to comprehend that this continuing march of death threatens the only thing he cares about: his own standing? Grasping this simple notion should compel him to take immediate and extensive action to limit the number of lives lost to this killer virus—not for the good of others, but for his own sake.

Yet Trump’s demons are in control. He is fueled by spite and by self-glory. Moreover, he appears incapable of peering into the future and considering the effects of his statements and actions. Last month, Trump publicly vowed that he would sign and enact a comprehensive health care plan within two weeks. The fortnight came and went; there was nothing. This was yet one more sign that Trump is 100-percent situational. He says whatever he thinks he needs to say at the moment to gain whatever advantage he seeks, without an iota of regard for later being held accountable. It sure sounds swell to promise everyone a signed, sealed, and delivered health care package within 14 days. Why not say that? So what if there is no new national health care program in two weeks? Trump will deal with that then. Or not. It doesn’t matter to him. Neither present truth nor future consequences hold much reality for him.

Perhaps this explains Trump’s inability to fully fathom the threat he faces. The appalling body count of the present doesn’t move him toward empathy or effective policy, and the prospect of hideous headlines to come also doesn’t motivate him. Not even when his own political career is in jeopardy. Maybe he figures that he will BS his way through all this or rig the system somehow to retain power. Or that he will just get dumb-lucky via an external incident (a vaccine!) that changes the now-dark landscape. But Trump’s inability to make a simple calculation—I should heed the experts and implement the counter-pandemic fundamentals to save lives and (also!) win reelection—is stark and disturbing. It shows Trump cannot perceive or escape the vortex of his own self-destruction. The immense tragedy is that thousands of Americans have died and will continue to die because Trump cannot help even himself.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 05:32 PM (14 replies)

Biden Promises Not To Add Another Foot to Trump's Flimsy "Wall"


Biden Promises Not To Add Another Foot to Trump’s Flimsy “Wall”
Still, the Democratic presidential candidate did not commit to tearing down the barriers Trump managed to erect, even as his border wall remains incomplete.
By Eric Lutz
August 5, 2020


Speaking to reporters from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists on Wednesday, Democrat Joe Biden said in no uncertain terms that the current president’s pointless and mostly symbolic border project will end if he is elected—no more wall-building, no more land confiscation by the border. “There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration,” Biden told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro. “End. Stop. Done. Over. Not going to do it. Withdraw the lawsuits. We’re out,” he continued. “We’re not going to confiscate the land.” But while Biden vowed not to continue building Trump’s border wall, he did not commit to tearing down the barriers that have already been built.

Though Trump’s horrific border policies—the primary goal of which seems to be to inflict as much pain as possible on immigrants from Central and South America, along with places like Haiti and what he calls “shithole” countries in Africa—are among the driving factors in many voters’ opposition to the current administration, there is also concern about what kind of immigration plan Biden would pursue as president. Barack Obama’s approach included protections like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He also, however, deported more people than any other president before him. Obama emphasized that his administration targeted dangerous criminals rather than families, but his record nevertheless attracted a great deal of scrutiny, and it became an issue for his former vice president during the primary last year. “What we need are politicians who have some guts on this issue,” Julian Castro said during a Democratic debate, knocking Biden for failing to “learn the lessons of the past” and calling for civil, not criminal, consequences for undocumented individuals caught crossing the border. But Biden didn’t budge: “If you cross the border illegally,” he said at the time, “you should be able to be sent back.”

Biden’s comments to Garcia-Navarro Wednesday might not fully allay concerns about what his border approach might entail, but, as the NPR journalist noted, he took a more aggressive approach on land confiscations than the president he served, describing a vision of security that relied less on barriers than on using “high tech capacity” to monitor the border and a focus on ports of entry. “That's where all the bad stuff is happening,” he said.

Of course, leaving in place the barriers the Trump administration commissioned is no guarantee they’ll last. Saws have been proven capable of cutting through it, border crossers have been able to use ladders to climb over it, and sections of this “virtually impenetrable” wall were felled earlier this year by some wind. If Biden doesn’t tear down Trump’s wall, perhaps the breeze will.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 05:24 PM (1 replies)

Biden Will Accept Nomination In Delaware


Biden Will Accept Nomination In Delaware
August 5, 2020 at 11:31 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Joe Biden now plans to accept the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in a Delaware speech — not in Milwaukee, which had been the plan for months, officials tell Bloomberg.

The Washington Post has a statement: “After ongoing consultation with public health officials and experts — who underscored the worsening coronavirus pandemic — the Democratic National Convention Committee announced today speakers for the 2020 Democratic National Convention will no longer travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in order to prevent risking the health of our host community as well as the convention’s production teams, security officials, community partners, media and others necessary to orchestrate the event.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 12:07 PM (5 replies)
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