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North Carolina is getting national attention

North Carolina is getting national attention and it is not the good kind. The following is from Think Progress.

GOP Obliterates Voting Rights in North Carolina

We’ve previously discussed the extremist takeover of North Carolina and the Moral Monday protests that have arisen in response. The extreme right-wing of the GOP that now apparently controls the state has rolled back decades of progress on nearly every issue in an apparent attempt to create some sort of you’re-on-your-own utopia for the rich, powerful and well-connected. By contrast, the state’s middle class and the poor will be, well, on their own.

Last month, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) broke an unambiguous campaign promise to sign no further restrictions on abortion and signed an anti-abortion bill so sweeping it will close all but one of the state’s approximately three-dozen abortion clinics. The state then promptly shut down the one clinic that was believed to be able to meet the restrictions under the new law.

It gets worse.

By |2013-08-14T02:42:49-04:00August 14th, 2013|Civil Rights, Education, Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on North Carolina is getting national attention

How to Lose a National Election: 201

If you’re going to go to Screw Up Your Campaign University you will have to take its curriculum. The first class, required by all freshmen, How to Blow Up Your Campaign in a Spectacular Fashion by Trying to Outsmart Everyone Else is a 101-level class and is taught by Rudy Giuliani. The second class, an easy A, is How to Lose a National Election by Being Too Lazy to Try and Campaign is taught by Fred Thompson. Now comes the much harder second-year classes on how to lose a national campaign. This requires special effort. Gary Hart is teaching one of the classes on how to challenge the media to find your girlfriend while denying that you have a girlfriend. The next class is very special. You must have a candidate who is somewhat witty and is extremely successful in private life. The candidate must never say anything of substance. The candidate should repackage old ideas in order to get national traction. Once the candidate gets national attention and begins to jump ahead in the polls, the candidate should release a tax plan that is really rehashing old ideas which were rejected 20 – 30 years ago, but package it with a cute title. Next, the candidate should have some sort of vague sex scandal. The scandal should instantly remind older voters of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Then, instead of squashing the scandal by giving a clear, crisp and precise answer as soon as the scandal breaks, the candidate and his surrogates should give multiple different answers which only muddy the water. The candidate should put out an ad that features a surrogate smoking a cigarette. The ad should look so odd as to make the viewer completely forget what the message is and simply focus on the man smoking a cigarette (see video below). Finally, you should probably have some sort of campaign finance scandal which appeals to even the casual voter to reek of cronyism and break campaign finance laws. This course can only be taught by Herman Cain.

By |2011-11-02T09:43:20-04:00November 2nd, 2011|Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on How to Lose a National Election: 201

Henry Louis Gates gets arrested in his own house (updated with video)

henry-louis-gatesOver the last month there have been a number of stories that have reminded Americans that we still have some racial issues in this country. Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich and other conservatives took a racial view of Sonia Sotomayor. In Philly, there was the pool incident that got national attention. Now, we have nationally known Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, who gets back from a trip to China and can’t get into his own house. He tries to break in and his neighbor calls the cops. He reportedly shows his license and his Harvard ID. Here’s where his story deviates from the police’s version. The cops want more information. He says something. They think that he is belligerent and arrest him.

So, internationally known author and professor at Harvard is arrested at his own home for talking. Is this what we are looking at here? Really?

The Boston Globe has more:

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation’s pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. The incident raised concerns among some Harvard faculty that Gates was a victim of racial profiling.

Police arrived at Gates’s Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, had trouble unlocking his door after it became jammed.

He was booked for disorderly conduct after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to a police report. Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had “no idea who he was messing with,” the report said.

Gates told the officer that he was being targeted because “I’m a black man in America.” (more…)

Update from

Boris Kodjoe owns a mansion in Atlanta. But when he goes to answer his door, the black actor knows what it’s like to be an outcast.

“When I’m opening the door of my own house, someone will ask me where the man of the house is, implying that I’m staff,” said Kodjoe, best known for starring in Showtime’s “Soul Food.”

It’s a feeling some African-Americans say is all too common, even to this day in America: No matter your status or prominence in society, you’re still typecast. That’s why the recent arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation’s most prominent African-American scholars, has stirred outrage and debate.

Jelani Cobb, an author and professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, says it’s troubling on many levels when “one of the most recognizable African-Americans in the country can be arrested in his own home and have to justify being in his own home.” (more… )

Very nice editorial in the Boston Globe.  High five and congrats to them.  Here’s the best part (emphasis is mine):

Gates told the Globe yesterday that the report is full of the officer’s “broad imagination.’’ Once the officer established that Gates was indeed standing in his own home, the encounter should have ended. Objecting to an officer’s presence in one’s residence should hardly be grounds for arrest.

Still, confrontations with police seldom end well, even if officers are in the wrong. If Gates believed he was being treated discourteously, he could have filed a complaint with the police department’s section for professional standards. Ultimately, though, it was the officer’s responsibility to de-escalate the situation, even by walking away. Police are trained specifically to ignore verbal provocations that come their way. (more… )

By |2014-08-24T20:44:30-04:00July 22nd, 2009|Race|Comments Off on Henry Louis Gates gets arrested in his own house (updated with video)
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