Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blacks and Latinos Need Not Invite

Looks as if the Republican Party really cares about reaching out to black and Latino voters. From the front-page of today's Washington Post:

Debate No-Shows Worry GOP Leaders
Candidates Are Urged to Attend Forums Sponsored by Minorities

Key Republican leaders are encouraging the party's presidential candidates to rethink their decision to skip presidential debates focusing on issues important to minorities, fearing a backlash that could further erode the party's standing with black and Latino voters.

The leading contenders for the Republican nomination have indicated they will not attend the "All American Presidential Forum" organized by black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27 at Morgan State University in Baltimore and airing on PBS. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) all cited scheduling conflicts in forgoing the debate. The top Democratic contenders attended a similar event in June at Howard University.

"We sound like we don't want immigration; we sound like we don't want black people to vote for us," said former congressman Jack Kemp (N.Y.), who was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996. "What are we going to do -- meet in a country club in the suburbs one day? If we're going to be competitive with people of color, we've got to ask them for their vote."

Making matters worse, some Republicans believe, is that the decision to bypass the Morgan State forum comes after all top GOP candidates save McCain declined invitations this month to a debate on Univision, the most-watched Hispanic television network in the United States. The event was eventually postponed.


Senators Block D.C. Vote Bill, Delivering Possibly Fatal Blow

Republican lawmakers yesterday blocked the Senate from taking up the D.C. vote bill, a potentially fatal setback for the District's most promising effort in years to get a full member of Congress.

The vote was on a motion to simply consider the bill. Fifty-seven senators voted in favor, three short of the 60 needed to proceed. Without enough support to vault the Senate's procedural hurdles, the bill is expected to stall this year and possibly next year.

So the GOP message to minorities appears to be: we're not showing up at your events and we don't give a damn about your issues. (Don't forget how most Republican candidates and lawmakers responded to the immigration bill).

If memory serves, not too long ago a Spanish-speaking Republican governor talking compassion made some inroads--albeit slight--into the Latino and black vote. And that guy even ended up winning (so to speak) the presidency by a few hundred votes. Nowadays, no leading GOPer (Jack Kemp no longer counts) seems to give a damn about the party's relationship to these voting blocs. The Republican Senate leadership killed a bill that would give Washington, DC, a voting representative in the House (and add a representative to the Utah delegation for political balance). And the GOP presidential wannabes do not have the guts to appear for debates before black and Latino audiences. It's back to the future--and good news for Democrats looking for winning Florida and Ohio in 2008.

Posted by David Corn at September 19, 2007 10:07 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

The GOPhers are too busy gettin' their war on. Heck, they can read all of our emails and listen in on the all the phone calls - why would the GOP need to pretend they care about anything or anybody?

The massive illegal data collection allows the slugs to weigh the content and count the emails sent to Democratic candidates. Go figure - they can't possibly lose.

ES&S, Sequoia or Diebold will just add their (black and Latino) numbers to the GOP column anyway - why bother with the pretense?

(Oh, that's right you don't think the GOP steals votes - Oop's I should post to someone that is more reality based - my bad)



capt said...

A Stolen Election
The View From My Black Helicopter

by Greg Palast

I’d just stepped out of my black helicopter to read that one of my favorite journalists, David Corn, had attacked my analysis of the vote in Ohio as the stuff of “grassy knoll conspiracy theorists.” (”A Stolen Election,” The Nation, November 29 issue.)

Oh, my! And all because I wrote that the uncounted ballots in Ohio — more than a quarter million designated “spoiled” or “provisional” — undoubtedly contain enough votes to overturn George Bush’s “victory” margin of 136,000.

Corn says, “Palast wrongly assumes that an overwhelming majority of these ballots contain votes for Kerry.” Now why would I think such a thing? Maybe because the precinct-by-precinct analysis of “spoiled” votes (those which machines can’t count) by Professor Mark Salling of Cleveland State University, the unchallengeable expert on Ohio voting demographics, concludes that “spoiled” punch cards in Ohio cities come “overwhelmingly” from African-American neighborhoods.

The Republican Secretary of State of Ohio does not disagree, by the way; he intends to fix the Jim Crow vote-counting problem in Ohio — sometime after the next inaugural ball.

The second group of uncounted ballots, “provisionals,” were also generated substantially in African-American areas, the direct result of a Republican program to hunt down, challenge and suppress the votes cast in black-majority precincts.

What happened in Ohio is one-fiftieth of a nationwide phenomenon: the non-count of African-American votes, about a million of them marked as unreadable in a typical presidential race. (See, Palast, “Vanishing Votes,” The Nation, March 17, 2004.)

I will admit, David, I can’t tell you exactly how each of those disenfranchised voters would have cast their ballots. Indeed, one Republican statistician claims these uncounted ballots are cast mostly by African-American supporters of George Bush.

Nevertheless, most of us conspiracy nuts on the Grassy Knoll hold to our wild belief that most black citizens whose ballots were spoiled or rejected tried to vote for the tall guy from Massachusetts.


*****end of clip*****

The facts seem to prove out Greg’s point of view and supports his conclusions.

Bummer we will never know as the Ohio election criminals get a pass from such an important and reasonable voice as DC’s.


capt said...

Fred Thompson Fears Presidential Run Will Typecast Him As Politician

WASHINGTON, DC—Veteran character actor and Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson expressed worries to reporters Tuesday that a successful White House bid could spell "total career death."

"It would be nice to get away from the FBI agent and district attorney roles—that's why I eventually decided to try out for the Oval Office part—but would being forced to play presidents for the rest your life be that much better?" said Thompson, whose résumé includes Law & Order, Die Hard 2, U.S. senator from 1994 to 2003, and Baby's Day Out. "Sure, you don't want to turn down work, and it'd be a solid four-to-eight-year gig, but after that I'd always be known as 'that politician guy.' Look what happened to Reagan—he never worked again."

Recent polls have placed Thompson among the GOP frontrunners, with many voters citing the value of his experience as U.S. president in the 2005 docudrama Last Best Chance.


capt said...

Orthodox Jew tapped for A-G
known for work on terrorism

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In the aftermath of her son Ari's murder by an Arab gunman on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, Devorah Halberstam was introduced to a federal judge for the Southern District of New York with a longstanding interest in terrorism-related issues.

Mukasey became a fixture in the life of Ari's family, keeping a photo of the slain teenager on the mantle in his chambers, meeting regularly with his mother and in March, receiving the memorial award established in Ari's memory.

Mukasey even attended the weddings of Ari's siblings, one of which required him to endure torrential rainstorms during the outdoor ceremony. But he stayed until its conclusion, Halberstam said, even though he was drenched.

"That is the kind of a person he is," Halberstam said. "He's an immaculate human being. You don't find people like Halberstam and Mukasey would meet each year around Rosh Hashanah in his judge's chambers in Lower Manhattan. This year's meeting was scheduled for Monday, but the day before Mukasey called to say he had an urgent engagement in Washington: President Bush would be introducing him as the White House's pick to be the next U.S. attorney general.

Those who know the retired federal judge say Mukasey, an Orthodox Jew, is a political conservative who kept his politics and religion out of the courtroom.

That's in marked contrast to his predecessor, the scandal-plagued Alberto Gonzales, who resigned this month despite Bush's best efforts to retain him. Gonzales' tenure was marked by his loyalty to Bush and oft-repeated only-in-America story as the child of Mexican immigrants.

As a judge, Mukasey broke with the White House on a key anti-terrorism issue by ruling that a suspect must have access to a lawyer. And unlike some other judges, he has abjured involvement in Jewish advocacy.

"Some judges have improperly remained active in Jewish organizational life while they were on the bench," said Marc Stern, counsel to the American Jewish Congress. "It's a testament to his probity that he was not among them."

That does not mean his Judaism is not deeply felt.

Mukasey, 66, is a lifelong congregant at Kehillath Jeshurun on New York City's Upper East Side. He was educated at its Ramaz school, and his wife for a time was the school's headmistress. He is close friends with another congregant, Jay Lefkowitz, a top Washington lawyer and a veteran of the Soviet Jewry advocacy movement who is Bush's special envoy for human rights in North Korea.

Lefkowitz rushed to praise the selection, as did another top Jewish conservative, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol.

Orthodox groups were not shy about claiming Mukasey.

"He's a man of impeccable character, and it's nice to see someone from the community nominated to such an important position," said Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union's Washington director.

Mukasey would be the second Jewish attorney general. Ed Levi, who served under President Ford in the mid-1970s, also was known for his independent streak.

Mukasey has close ties, dating back to his days as an assistant U.S. attorney in the 1960s, to Rudy Giuliani, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination. The former New York City mayor lost no time in endorsing the nomination, raising the possibility that Mukasey could straddle two administrations should Giuliani win the presidency in November 2008.

A defendant in the first 1993 World Trade Center bombing tried to make Mukasey's Kehillath Jeshurun membership an issue. He filed an appeal to remove Mukasey as a judge, arguing that his allegiances would prejudice him against Muslims.

Appellate judges dismissed the concerns as "utterly irrelevant."

Similarly, in the appropriate forums, Mukasey is not uncomfortable about baring his conservative credentials. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece last month, Mukasey lent considerable intellectual weight to Bush administration arguments that applying conventional legal mores to terrorism suspects is counterproductive.

"The rules that apply to routine criminals who pursue finite goals are skewed, and properly so, to assure that only the highest level of proof will result in a conviction," Mukasey wrote. "But those rules do not protect a society that must gather information about, and at least incapacitate, people who have cosmic goals that they are intent on achieving by cataclysmic means."

Yet in the courtroom, Mukasey strictly adhered to case law and precedent, according to those who worked with him.

"In a criminal sphere I saw that he was very fair, and gave the defense a chance to try its chase," said Baruch Weiss, a criminal defense lawyer who during his stint as a federal prosecutor appeared before Mukasey. "He wasn't afraid to rule on behalf of the government or the defense."

Weiss said the only sign he saw of Mukasey's Judaism was that "he knew how to pronounce my name, unlike a lot of other judges."

Mukasey's best-known dissent from Bush administration dogma came in a 2002 ruling in the case of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen detained as an enemy combatant. He allowed Padilla's indefinite detention, but rejected the government's request to sequester him from his lawyers.

"Padilla's statutorily granted right to present facts to the court in connection with this petition will be destroyed utterly if he is not allowed to consult with counsel," Mukasey ruled.

Mukasey's extensive dealings with terrorism underscore how much that issue has become the Bush administration's focus in its final days, Stern said.

"What obviously propels the Mukasey nomination forward, because there are lots of people who hold his views on terrorism, is that he's strong but credible and that shows how strong those issues of have become to the administration," he said.

Bush made the background in terrorism central to his nomination.

"Some of Judge Mukasey's most important legal experience is in the area of national security," Bush said, standing alongside Mukasey in the Rose Garden. "Judge Mukasey presided over the trial of the terrorist known as 'the Blind Sheik,' and his co-defendants in the conspiracy to destroy prominent New York City landmarks, including bombing the World Trade Center in 1993. Before the 9/11 attacks, this was one of the most important terrorism cases in our nation's history, and the verdict in that case was affirmed on appeal. In affirming the convictions, the appeals court signaled out the judge for praise."

In accepting the nomination, Mukasey also focused on terrorism.

Upon joining the Justice Department as an assistant U.S. attorney 35 years ago, he said, "Our foreign adversaries saw widespread devastation as a deterrent; today our fanatical enemies see it as a divine fulfillment."

The focus concerned Stern, who noted that the Justice Department's bailiwick is much broader than terrorism.

"He's a cipher on abortion, he's a cipher on civil rights, he's a cipher on all the hot-button issues that move the administration's base," Stern said.

That led the AJCongress to call for a rigorous confirmation process.

"President Bush has selected an individual who appears to be beyond ethical reproach and who is not narrowly partisan," the group said in a statement. "Michael Mukasey also appears to be free of the thrall of social conservatives. But though on all three scores he would be a marked improvement over the incumbent, his confirmation should not be a formality."

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a key member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, has already joined the committee's chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), in promising an expansive confirmation.

Still, Mukasey is likely to get the job -- he was one of four candidates Schumer recommended to the White House, and has not irked Democrats as Gonzales had through his department's prosecutions of voter fraud cases that seemed to target close races involving Democrats -- and that fell apart more often than not.

"It is gratifying that the White House didn't go for a nominee that they knew in advance would be controversial," said Sammie Moshenberg, the director of the National Council of Jewish Women's Washington office.

For Devorah Halberstam, Mukasey is the perfect pick.

"His chambers really depict who he is -- clean, immaculate. You would never see even a dust anywhere around. It was the most immaculate office. That is the kind of a person he is. He's an immaculate human being," she said.

"I don't think there was anybody in this country, certainly back then, who was so really on the mark on issues of terrorism. He was the most unique person. I think he understood it better than anybody."


*****end of clip*****

Seems the nominee will likely be confirmed - Just as soon as the WH provides Leahy with the information he needs to move forward with BOTH the wiretapping of American citizens and the politicalization of the US attorney investigations.

I hope Leahy sticks to his guns.


Gerald said...

It is my understanding that Montana has two senate seats and one house seat in congress. If that is the case, Montana should only have one senate seat.

I favor giving D.C. one house seat and one senate seat.

As far as the tasered student in Florida I favored such action. He did not want anyone to speak and he carried out a diatribe. Plus, he asked one student to film him while he ranted and raved. Students should be given an opportunity to speak. No one student should dominate the floor. He was rude to his classmates. Plus, he did not stop when he was told his time was up. More tasers to unruly students!!!

Gerald said...

Nazi America is more evil than Saddam

Gerald said...

Some 200 non-governmental organsiations — including the environmentalist group Greenpeace, the anti-globalization ATTAC and Vietnam Veterans Against the War — as well as a number of prominent intellectuals such as US linguist Noam Chomsky and Egyptian sociologist Samir Amin are involved in the WTI.

Yes, once again I am right that Nazi America and Nazi England are part of the triad of evil that haunts our world. The third Nazi member who is evil is Israel.

capt said...

"More tasers to unruly students!"

I take pause at the gratuitous use of less than lethal weapons.

The LTL (less than lethal) weapons were developed to be used in place of other more lethal weapons. In other words: the officer using the taser would draw the taser in place of his sidearm.

Now, because the LTL weapons are in fact “less than lethal” some law enforcement agencies seem to have lowered the threshold to allow officers to use the LTL weapons in situations where they would never be allow to draw their guns or shoot.

The taser can cause a heart attack or stroke (especially if used on a person with a weakness in those medical areas) and can cause seizure in completely healthy persons. So the use of LTL weapons does still have the risk of death or substantial injury.

As far as the use of LTL weapons on a person who is resisting arrest? I would urge caution and try to make the case that an officer shouldn’t use a LTL weapon unless all other options had failed.

Four or six cops can subdue almost any person resisting arrest. The function of peace officers is to protect (even suspects) from injury or death so if the officers are just reducing the risk of injury to themselves by inflicting injury on a suspect, why not return to choke-holds and warning shots?

All cops have a hard and dangerous job. We all know the challenges they face and the risks they take. This is their chosen profession.

Without regard to my concerns, the cops DID warn the guy. I heard on the video (via radio) “stop resisting or you will be tasered” - If I heard those words I would be very still and I would not resist - it also doesn’t make using the taser right, not when there are plenty of cops handy to subdue the suspect.

IMHO - the less taser use the better.


Gerald said...

Pentagon Sued

I love being a Catholic and a Christian. I cannot say that I am always a shining example of both but I try to be a good Catholic and a Christian. There is one given fact and that is that Nazi America is not a Christian nation. How can the military force anyone to be a Christian when the military is just a trained killing machine with no clue to what is Christianity?

Gerald said...

Let me speak and say that I am no lover of law enforcement agents. For many of these agents power goes to their head. There is a county in Michigan that I will not drive through because the Nazi sheriffs are Nazis. I am aware that police and sheriffs will plant incriminating evidence to get a convivtion. Such behavior is unjust and counterproductive.

With regard to the Florida student he was to carry on for show but did not want to get tasered. Sometimes a taser experience is necessary. If I was next in line and I wanted to say some words and he carried out his diatribe preventing me from speaking, I would have decked him.

Gerald said...

Today, on the Diane Rehm show Wesley Clark was a guest. In 2004 when he threw his hat in the ring to run for president, he sounded good and I would have voted for him. After hearing him today he sounded like Hitler Bush with more polish. Here is my take on all the candidates who are running for president.

For the GOrPs they are all like Hitler Bush. Only Ron Paul is like Hitler Bush with more polish.

For the Dems they are all like Hitler Bush with more polish.

capt said...

New Thread

Gerald said...

If we have a 2008 presidential election, we are going to elect another Hitler Bush. If a GOrP is elected, we will not receive any shoe polishing. If a Dem is elected, our shoes will receive a polishing.