The International Panel on Climate Change, which includes more than 1,300 scientists, forecasts temperatures to rise 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. That puts California’s record heat well within the range of what’s to come, turning this “hot weather” into, simply, “weather.”
BREAKING: The largest climate march in history on Sunday Sept. 21st will be followed on Monday by the movement’s largest act of civil disobedience against Wall Street’s institutions that are profiting from the climate crisis. Let’s make this huge! SHARE this then RSVP Join on the Facebook event and invite your friends: http://bit.ly/floodwallstreet
Still the Same Tea Party Frank Guinta
When you’re stuck in a hole, stop digging. Speaker Andy Tobin doesn’t understand that. Arizona is at the bottom.
Per Pupil Spending? We rank dead last. Math and Science Scores? 45th. Speaker Tobin’s response? He took the shovel and kept digging. Tobin slashed over 1 billion dollars from Arizona’s schools, increasing class sizes
Speaker Tobin took our schools to the bottom and then he kept digging.
The latest chilling example in Georgia is part of a long, shameful history of how Republicans win elections.
Sometimes conservative politicians, particularly those who hail from the South, accidentally forget to dog-whistle and they say what’s really on their minds. It’s always revealing.
Take the Georgia secretary of state, for instance, who just this week gave a speech about voting “integrity” and told his Republican audience, “the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.” That was actually a rare slip-up in an otherwise pretty slick speech where he obliquely referred to ACORN and its alleged misdeeds and bragged about how the state is making it really complicated to register online so as to root out (nonexistent) voter fraud, wink, wink. (That last seems like a dubious strategy for a party that is dependent on elderly, rural white voters …)
But after you isolate all the clever obfuscation, you see that he is simply saying that Democrats are registering too many racial minorities and that will inevitably hurt the ball team. This is, of course, an old story that goes back to Reconstruction. In those days the Southern conservatives all gathered in the Democratic Party, but any party with which those particular folks identify gets upset at the prospect of racial minorities voting. Such things as “citizenship tests” and poll taxes are no longer available to them so they have to rely on subtler ways to ensure that this group of citizens are kept from voting their interests.
It used to be strictly African-Americans about whom these fine folks were worried but the modern GOP has been pretty concerned about the Latino vote for some time as well. As long ago as the early ’60s, Arizona Republican activist (and future chief justice of the Supreme Court) William Rehnquist was involved in something called Operation Eagle Eye. This document in the LBJ library, which Rick Perlstein found for his book on the Goldwater campaign called “Before the Storm,” lays out the strategy:
John M Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, charged today that “under the guise of setting up an apparatus to protect the sanctity of the ballot, the Republicans are actually creating the machinery for a carefully organized campaign to intimidate voters and to frighten members of minority groups from casting their ballots on November 3rd.
“‘Let’s get this straight,’ Bailey added, ‘the Democratic Party is just as much opposed to vote frauds as is the Republican party. We will settle for giving all legally registered voters an opportunity to make their choice on November 3rd. We have enough faith in our Party to be confident that the outcome will be a vote of confidence in President Johnson and a mandate for the President and his running mate, Hubert Humphrey, to continue the programs of the Johnson-Kennedy Administration.
“‘But we have evidence that the Republican program is not really what it purports to be. it is an organized effort to prevent the foreign born, to prevent Negroes, to prevent members of ethnic minorities from casting their votes by frightening and intimidating them at the polling place.
Republicans who buy the nonsensical insistence by vacuous right-wing operatives that Democrats are the real racists because the Southerners used to vote for them will be very confused by this. Obviously, the parties switched places over civil rights. But then you knew that, of course. In any case, these vote suppression tactics have been going on for a very long time. A certain type of conservative voter really does not want racial and ethnic minorities to vote, for some reason.
But there was one event in more recent history that really focused their attention and made them extremely nervous. It happened in the mid-1980s during the height of the Reagan revolution when movement conservatives were riding their greatest wave of success. That event was the Jesse Jackson campaign and his rainbow coalition. It was something of a precursor to the winning coalition that Barack Obama was able to put together 20 years later and spelled danger to the more perspicacious of Republicans. That’s when they started to organize in a more systematic fashion.
Back in 2004, the Center for Voting Rights put together a report on the GOP’s vote suppression strategy. They interviewed many people involved in campaigns during the period, including Donna Brazile who had been Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000. She had worked for Jackson’s campaign and saw that by 1986, the Republicans had started to initiate massive voter roll purges (of the kind that thwarted Gore’s victory in 2000 in Florida). All over the country the Republicans were putting volunteers to work as they always had to ensure that the vote among their rivals, particularly in the minority communities, was kept as low as possible. But they soon discovered that they needed something more professional and so they created the Republican National Lawyer’s Association, which the report describes like this:
A group of lawyers who had worked on the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984 were behind its founding, and it was designed “to be a sort of Rotary Club for GOP stalwarts,” according to a contemporary article in Legal Times magazine. The RNC helped the association get off the ground with a $5,000 loan, although today the RNC claims no official connection with it. By 1987 the RNLA had active chapters in several states and the District of Columbia, and planned to hold its first annual convention early the following year. A lure for attendees, the planners hoped, would be continuing legal education credits and a possible appearance by Attorney General Edwin Meese III and President Reagan.
The RNLA turned out to be much more than a Rotary Club for GOP lawyers, however; it became the predominant Republican organization coordinating ballot security. By its own account, in early 2004 it had grown to “a 1,900-member organization of lawyers and law students in all 50 states.” Its officers were experienced lawyers who knew their way around Washington as a result of having served in Republican administrations at the national and state levels and in major K Street firms. Michael Thielen, its current executive director, who earlier worked for the RNC, describes the organization as follows: Since 1985 the RNLA has nurtured and advanced lawyer involvement in public affairs generally and the Republican Party in particular. It is accurately described as a combination of a professional bar association, politically involved law firm and educational institute… . With members now in government, party general counsel positions, law firm management and on law school faculties, the RNLA has for many years been the principal national organization through which lawyers serve the Republican Party and its candidates.
Their finest moment came in 2000 when the call went across the land for lawyers to converge on Florida to help litigate the disputed election. They were very good, having been schooled for a couple of decades in the dark art of election stealing. (And just as his predecessor had done several decades before, the future chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, did his part.)
Eventually the vote suppression effort broadened even further with new groups like ALEC at the state level, eventually resulting in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding the spurious voter ID laws (despite the fact that there is no evidence of systematic voter fraud anywhere in the country.)
The Georgia secretary of state, Brian Kemp, does not appear to be a current member of the Republican National Lawyer’s Association. However, his former general counsel and chief legal advisor until 2013 is. And here he is pictured on the RNLA’s Facebook page. And considering the RNLA’s blog praises him to high heaven for admonishing the first lady for having the temerity to call out the fraud that is voter fraud, it’s safe to say that Kemp is sympatico with their goals. And he is one of many Republican officeholders they have trained for a couple of decades now to keep that minority vote down as low as they can. For some reason they seem to think that racial minorities will never vote for them. You’d think it would occur to them at some point that their decades of vote suppression efforts might be one of the reasons.
Oh, and for those who insist that in his speech Kemp was only saying that Republicans should match the Democratic registration efforts, this week he announced his office was investigating alleged voter fraud by a group registering minority voters. The group was surprised since they had contacted the secretary before their voter drive to ensure they were following the law to the “t.”
But Georgia is facing what might be a close election for governor and the U.S. Senate. Republicans aren’t taking any chances.
Conservatives think tax cuts for billionaires will change this. All poverty issues are fixed by giving the richest in America even more. #excess
Five Finger Death Punch - Wrong Side Of Heaven
On World Suicide Prevention/Awareness Day, I’m drawing attention to veteran homelessness, PTSD, and veteran suicide. Please, everyone, reach out to people who need help. This video, albeit a heavy metal video, is an important reminder of what often happens in some veterans’ lives. Let’s care and help those who have given all for our country and freedoms.
McCain thought The Surge™ worked, too. Conservatives are stuck in a binary win/loss rhetoric. They simplify all complex issues into impossibly naive narratives.
Just look at Bush’s ‘us v them’ foreign policy. He never defined who ‘them’ were and America paid the price a trillion times over.
America’s military are not pawns for politicians’ egos. Let’s help McCain check retirement off his bucket list.
By Mark Whitehouse
U.S. consumers have made a lot of progress in paring down the extreme debt loads that helped make the 2008 financial crisis such an epochal disaster. Fresh data from the Federal Reserve, though, offer an important caveat: Millions of the poorest families are still very deep in the hole — and might be getting deeper.
The triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, released by the Fed last week, confirms an overall improvement in the state of U.S. household finances. The average debt burden for all families stood at about 105 percent of pretax income in 2013, down from about 125 percent in 2010 and the lowest level since the 2001 survey.
The improved finances, along with more recent signs that consumers are feeling comfortable about borrowing again, has given some economists cause for optimism: The more progress households make in getting out from under their debts, the logic goes, the greater the chances that renewed spending will boost growth.
A closer look at the Fed data, however, suggests that the financial improvement is far from evenly distributed. The least wealthy families have made the least progress, and by some measures are in worse shape than ever.
As of 2013, the debts of the quarter of families with the lowest net worth stood at about 156 percent of pretax income, according to the Fed data. That’s more than in 2007, before the financial crisis hit. It’s also more than any of the wealthier groups — something that hadn’t happened before 2010.
The poorest quartile of families is the only group that owes more than it owns. Thanks to declines in the value of assets, the group’s average leverage ratio — debt as a percent of assets — increased to 137.5 percent in 2013, the highest on record since the survey started in 1989.
There are various possible explanations for the poorest families’ financial predicament. Incomes have declined, making debt burdens look worse. Some previously wealthier people probably migrated into the group as the value of their homes fell below what they owed on mortgages. More ominous is a steady increase in installment debt, a category that includes both student and auto loans — areas that have recently seen a lot of questionable lending to lower-income borrowers.
Whatever the drivers, the data suggest that the 2008 crisis and subsequent economic malaise have left a troubling legacy: A group of the poorest families, numbering roughly 14 million, whose precarious finances make them vulnerable to shocks and limit their ability to contribute to future growth. That’s hardly a strong foundation for a healthy recovery.
To contact the writer of this article: Mark Whitehouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this article: James Greiff at email@example.com.
Students for Liberty? Well i hope they vote, otherwise what’s the point. As it goes, less than 35% of all eligible students vote in presidential elections, it’s near 20% for midterms.
Marijuana should never have been made illegal. how many lives have been lost, ruined or negatively affected as a result of the criminalization of marijuana?