Tag Archives: women

Tuesday Open Thread | President Jimmy Carter: Trump is an illegitimate president

Former President Jimmy Carter made a remarkable claim during an event at the Carter Center in Leesburg, Virginia, on Friday, describing President Donald Trump as an illegitimate president who wouldn’t have won but for Russian interference on his behalf.

“I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated, would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016,” the 94-year-old Carter said. “He lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

The panel moderator, historian Jon Meacham, asked Carter if that means he thinks Trump “is an illegitimate president.” Carter said he does.

“Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract, I would say yes,” Carter said, as the crowd responded with chuckles.

Carter’s position is a matter of opinion. There is no hard evidence that Trump wouldn’t have prevailed without Russian help.

But there’s no doubt that that help — which, according to the US intelligence community and special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, included digital propaganda and disinformation campaigns, the hacks of Democratic targets, and the ensuing WikiLeaks email dumps that were timed to do maximum damage to Hillary Clinton — helped Trump overcome a 3 million vote loss in the popular vote and win in the Electoral College.

Carter’s opinion, however — coming as it does from a former president — is a remarkable one. On Twitter, former Clinton administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich described Carter’s comments as “stunning” and asked, “When has a former president ever accused a current president of being illegitimate?”

Monday Open Thread | Civil rights groups sue Florida over ‘poll tax’ law to restore felon voter rights

A group of civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida Friday after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would require felons to pay court-ordered financial obligations if they want their voting rights restored.

Florida’s new law, SB7066, violates the prohibition against poll taxes enshrined in the 24th Amendment, claims a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, the Brennan Center for Justice and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The suit filed on behalf of 10 Floridians also claims the law was at least partly motivated by a racially discriminatory purpose in violation of the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to people born or naturalized in the United States, and the 15th Amendment that prohibits the government from denying a citizen the right to vote based on race or color or previous servitude.

“This disenfranchisement will be borne disproportionately by low-income individuals and racial minorities, due to longstanding and well-documented racial gaps in poverty and employment,” the lawsuit states.

An estimated 1.4 million Floridians with felony records had their voting rights restored in January after 64.5 percent of state residents voted last year to approve an amendment to Florida’s constitution. The ballot initiative restored voting rights to residents with felony convictions who have completed their sentences, with the exception of those convicted of murder or a sexual offense.

But DeSantis began to undermine the voter-approved amendment in December just after he was elected.

DeSantis, then governor-elect, told The Palm Beach Post in an interview that the initiative shouldn’t be rolled out until “implementing language” is approved by the legislature and signed by him.

“They’re going to be able to do that in March,” DeSantis told the Post, referring to the 60-day legislative session beginning on March 5. “There’s no way you can go through this session without implementing it.”

The state’s Republican-controlled legislature did in fact introduce a bill to curb felon voting rights in March, a bill that passed both chambers and was signed by DeSantis on Friday.

And while court fees vary per individual, even the smallest amounts can prove difficult for the formerly incarcerated. A Harvard University researcher found that the median annual income was only about $6,500 for those newly out of prison.

Civil rights groups have argued that forcing felons emerging from the criminal justice system to pay debilitating penalties is unconstitutional and equates simply to a poll tax.

“There can be no mistaking the racial and class implications of this regressive new legislation,” said Myrna Pérez, director of the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program. “Florida legislators are trying to do an end run around the unmistakable message that Florida voters delivered at the ballot box in November.”

Julian Castro’s Immigration Policy

As Donald Trump threatens to “close” the US-Mexico border, one of the Democrats seeking to run against him in 2020 is coming out with the primary’s first immigration proposal — one that would dramatically reduce immigration enforcement.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of housing and urban development, released an immigration platform on Tuesday morning, along with a Medium post outlining what the Castro campaign calls its “People First” immigration policy.

So far, the many Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination have stayed in pretty safe territory on immigration, promising to support bills that would provide a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants living in the US — and especially groups that are at risk of losing legal protections under the Trump administration, like immigrants protected from deportation under the DACA, Temporary Protected Status, and Deferred Enforced Departure programs.

Castro’s proposal promises those things, as well as reversals of signature Trump policies like the travel ban and the reduction in refugee resettlement. But it goes much further than that in dismantling immigration enforcement.

In many ways, it seeks to unravel the post-9/11 immigration enforcement system — which has made it legally riskier than ever to live in the US as an unauthorized immigrant.

Most notably, Castro proposes to repeal the provision of US law that makes “illegal entry” into the US a federal crime, which has been on the books since 1929 but has only been routinely enforced in the 21st century. Prosecuting illegal entry — often referred to by “1325,” the relevant section of Chapter 8 of the US Code — gave the Trump administration the power to separate thousands of families in 2018, by referring parents for criminal prosecution.

“The fact that over the last several years this system has been weaponized by the Trump administration to go after immigrants, and the chaos that has been created under 1325, I believe, is the wrong direction for the country,” Castro told Vox. And his response — “to go the opposite way” — is to undo the legal underpinning that made it possible.

That proposal, and others, would require Congress to pass an immigration bill — something that Castro remains optimistic there’s bipartisan appetite for in Congress, but has said elsewhere wouldn’t be his first legislative priority. Unlike other plans 2020 candidates have released on other issues, however, much of the immigration policy Castro addresses is about what to do with existing executive branch resources and authorities — it’s policy, in other words, that Castro or another Democrat could start to change on day one.

Friday Open Thread | Back to Impeachment

I want to talk about the question of impeachment. The polls say that the Democratic Party base is absolutely all-in for impeachment. I am quite sure of those polls. I believe those polls to be true. I am part of the Democratic base. I am an African-American woman. Since Black people ARE the base of the Democratic Party, I understand completely the reasoning behind it.

Black folks believe in the rule of law. And nothing galls us more than when we see the rule of law being so fragrantly disregarded.

I have said numerous times that one of my pet peeves that I won’t let stand is for someone to castigate the patriotism of Black Americans. I don’t know a collective more patriotic than Black Americans. We are the group that had to dig deep to find a reason to believe in this country. We believe in its ideals, and so, when we see instances of those who display everything against what this country IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR, it needs to be called out.

Black folks gathered all kind of receipts during the Presidency of Barack Obama. We have them collected, stored, and file neatly to be pulled when necessary. We also are keeping receipts during this Administration. We now know that all the GOP said that they represented was an absolute and utter farce. They don’t care about treason against this country. Their supporting Dolt45 in lockstep, watching him trample across the Constitution from the Emoluments Clause to challenging the powers of the Legislative Branch, to his purposefully not filling posts, thus damaging the apparatus of Government, Using the Government to abuse the least of us, along the border and within this country.

We look at what Dolt45 has done, and it’s obvious that he is a criminal, heading a criminal family, and the only people he hires are other criminals. Up and down his Administration are criminals. The Justice Department ‘Memo’ on a President can’t be indicted was bullshyt. Either we are a nation of laws, or we are not. He has committed Obstruction of Justice numerous times, and needs to be held accountable.

This time has been very knowledgeable, so that we know who supports, TRULY SUPPORTS this country. And, its beliefs.

 

Barbara Jordan said the following in her opening remarks at the Watergate Hearings:

Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: “We, the people.” It’s a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that “We, the people.” I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in “We, the people.”

Today I am an inquisitor. An hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemnness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.

“Who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives of the nation themselves?” “The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men.”1 And that’s what we’re talking about. In other words, [the jurisdiction comes] from the abuse or violation of some public trust.

It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn’t say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of the body of the Legislature against and upon the encroachments of the Executive. The division between the two branches of the Legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the Framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judgers — and the judges the same person.

We know the nature of impeachment. We’ve been talking about it awhile now. It is chiefly designed for the President and his high ministers to somehow be called into account. It is designed to “bridle” the Executive if he engages in excesses. “It is designed as a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men.”² The Framers confided in the Congress the power if need be, to remove the President in order to strike a delicate balance between a President swollen with power and grown tyrannical, and preservation of the independence of the Executive.

And, Richard Nixon’s transgressions were miniscule compared to the crimes and thievery of Dolt45.

This great piece of writing from Adam Serwer about those who really believe, and practice what this country is supposed to preach:

Black Americans did not abandon liberal democracy because of slavery, Jim Crow, and the systematic destruction of whatever wealth they managed to accumulate; instead they took up arms in two world wars to defend it. Japanese Americans did not reject liberal democracy because of internment or the racist humiliation of Asian exclusion; they risked life and limb to preserve it. Latinos did not abandon liberal democracy because of “Operation Wetback,” or Proposition 187, or because of a man who won a presidential election on the strength of his hostility toward Latino immigrants. Gay, lesbian, and trans Americans did not abandon liberal democracy over decades of discrimination and abandonment in the face of an epidemic. This is, in part, because doing so would be tantamount to giving the state permission to destroy them, a thought so foreign to these defenders of the supposedly endangered religious right that the possibility has not even occurred to them. But it is also because of a peculiar irony of American history: The American creed has no more devoted adherents than those who have been historically denied its promises, and no more fair-weather friends than those who have taken them for granted.

There is no greater example of what it means to be privileged than watching the right abandon democracy in favor of authoritarianism as a means to maintain power.

Reparations Hearing | The Anointed Opening Statement of Ta-Nehisi Coates

God Is In This

Ta-Nehisi Coates words were like King David’s slingshot against Goliath…

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates told lawmakers at a House committee hearing that the debate over reparations is “a dilemma of inheritance.” Coates called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying a day earlier that reparations were not “a good idea” because no one who is currently living is responsible. Coates told lawmakers that many of the inequalities created by slavery persist today, including in the form of economic and health disparities.

Wednesday Open Thread | Call Them What They Are: BRIBES! Emoluments Clause, Anyone?😠😠

Just let this have been 44 getting $2 from ANY foreign government, and Fox News would have been doing an EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE course in every segment.

And, let’s be clear – this is about the EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE…

The Constitution was ready for someone like Dolt45. What the Founding Fathers never saw coming was that one political party would throw their lot in with TRAITORS and betray their Oath of Office.

But, these foreign governments want SOMETHING from Dolt45, and we have a right to know what American policies have been affected because of these BRIBES.

Reps of 22 foreign governments have spent money at Trump properties

The number of foreign governments hints at a significant foreign cash flow to the U.S. president that critics say violates the Constitution.

June 12, 2019, 3:30 AM CDT

By Shelby Hanssen and Ken Dilanian

WASHINGTON — Representatives of at least 22 foreign governments appear to have spent money at Trump Organization properties, an NBC News review has found, hinting at a significant foreign cash flow to the American president that critics say violates the U.S. Constitution.

The extent and amount of foreign spending at Trump’s hotels, golf clubs and restaurants is not known, because the Trump Organization is a private company and declines to disclose that information. Trump promised to donate any profits from foreign governments, and the Trump Organization has sent $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury for 2017 and 2018. The company did not release underlying numbers to support that figure.

Amid two lawsuits accusing Trump of accepting illegal foreign payments, NBC News sought to compile the most comprehensive possible list of foreign spending at Trump properties based on information in the public record. In June 2018, a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen came up with 10 foreign governments that had spent money at Trump venues. More information has since become public.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News.

Tuesday Open Thread | Mitch McConnell is as much a threat to this country as Dolt45

Because, he’s a TRAITOR.

Plain and simple.

Never forget…during the 2016 Election Cycle, when President Obama was first alerted at the attempts of the Russians to interfere, he wanted to make a bi-partisan statement, informing the American people of what was happening, and that, AS AMERICANS, both Democrat and Republicans were standing up against this threat from Russia. He did not…BECAUSE MCCONNELL WOULDN’T GO ALONG WITH IT.

The man is a TRAITOR to this country. Can’t be surprising, since, on the night of Barack Obama’s Inauguration, in the midst of the greatest economic downturn this country had seen since The Great Depression, he met with other GOPers to form a plan to block anything that President Obama would present. No matter how it would help the country. He chose ECONOMIC TREASON against this country in 2009. And, ACTUAL TREASON against it in 2016.

New Election Security Bills Face a One-Man Roadblock: Mitch McConnell

By Nicholas Fandos

· June 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — A raft of legislation intended to better secure United States election systems after what the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, called a “sweeping and systematic” Russian attack in 2016 is running into a one-man roadblock in the form of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The bills include a Democratic measure that would send more than $1 billion to state and local governments to tighten election security, but would also demand a national strategy to protect American democratic institutions against cyberattacks and require that states spend federal funds only on federally certified “election infrastructure vendors.” A bipartisan measure in both chambers would require internet companies like Facebook to disclose the purchasers of political ads.

Another bipartisan Senate proposal would codify cyberinformation-sharing initiatives between federal intelligence services and state election officials, speed up the granting of security clearances to state officials and provide federal incentives for states to adopt paper ballots.

But even bipartisan coalitions have begun to crumble in the face of the majority leader’s blockade. Mr. McConnell, long the Senate’s leading ideological opponent to federal regulation of elections, has told colleagues in recent months that he has no plans to consider stand-alone legislation on the matter this term, despite clamoring from members of his own conference and the growing pressure from Democrats who also sense a political advantage in trying to make the Republican response to Russia’s election attack look anemic.

Monday Open Thread | Now, They Have Re-opened the Japanese Internment Camps😠😠

Native Americans were also imprisoned there too.

You know, when this all started, there were those of us who brought up concentration camps. And, we definitely brought up the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII. But, you had folks, especially in the media, who poo-pooed us, and told us that we were exaggerating, and being melodramatic.

Uh huh

Uh huh

Who’s being melodramatic now, you evil sons-of-bitches.

Trump Administration to Hold Migrant Children at Base That Served as WWII Japanese Internment Camp

BY W.J. HENNIGAN

JUNE 11, 2019

The Trump Administration has opted to use an Army base in Oklahoma to hold growing numbers of immigrant children in its custody after running out of room at government shelters.

Fort Sill, an 150-year-old installation once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The agency said Fort Sill will be used “as a temporary emergency influx shelter” to help ease the burden on the government as it prepares to house a record number of minors even though it already operates about 168 facilities and programs in 23 states.

If you already operate 168 facilities….why do you need one that was used as a Japanese internment camp?

These demons are telling you who they are. And, it’s up for us to stand up against this.

Once again, don’t ask me to understand the voters who read this and are okay with it. I don’t need to understand them.

YOU need to understand that I have no respect for them, and want to have nothing in common with them.

And, this happened this weekend😢😢😢

Refugee Girl’s Death
Gurupreet Kaur, 6 yrs old, has died of hyperthermia in Arizona.
Her mother had been searching for water.

RIP Child. 💔https://t.co/vjTiJkrVsQ

— Dianna BeTheChange (@ArtistsPo) June 16, 2019

Thursday Open Thread | House hearing on reparations for slavery set for next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The topic of reparations for slavery is headed to Capitol Hill for its first hearing in more than a decade with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover set to testify before a House panel.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is scheduled to hold the hearing next Wednesday, its stated purpose “to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.” The date of the hearing, June 19, coincides with Juneteenth, a cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved blacks in America.

Former Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the longtime sponsor of House Resolution 40, first proposed the measure calling for a study of reparations in 1989. Conyers reintroduced the bill every session until his resignation in 2017.

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the resolution’s new sponsor, introduced it earlier this year and pushed for next week’s hearing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in February that she supports a reparations study, a topic that hasn’t been the subject of a House hearing since 2007.

Reparations had been a fringe issue and occasional punchline until Coates’ 2014 essay in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” thrust the topic back into the national discourse. Glover, an activist as well as the star of the “Lethal Weapon” movies and the classics “The Color Purple” and “A Rage in Harlem,” has spoken in favor of the issue for years.

In an interview with Coates as he prepared to leave office, President Barack Obama questioned the implementation of reparations, but not the concept. And in a conversation Coates had earlier this year with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the popular progressive endorsed reparations.

The reparations debate became part of the 2020 presidential race early, as several Democratic presidential primary candidates signaled their support for compensating the descendants of slaves, though not in the traditional sense of direct payouts to black Americans. Most have been vague on more specific ideas, but they have instead offered policies addressing economic inequality that could disproportionately benefit blacks.