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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for September 2014

Let’s talk about black girls

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Much of our attention has been focused on our young black men, and rightly so, given the propensity in this culture for them to be shot in cold blood, killed and incarcerated. We’ve discussed President Obama’s initiative for young black men, “My Brother’s Keeper.”

However, a new report, issued by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is important for us to pay attention to. Read the full report here.

Michelle Obama: “They’re assuming that we won’t care … and only we can prove them wrong”

First Lady Michelle Obama was in Milwaukee on Monday at a campaign rally for Democratic candidate for governor, Mary Burke.

She spoke to a packed house at the Wisconsin Center and challenged us to Get Out The Vote:

“We all need to be as passionate and hungry for this election as we were in 2008 and 2012,” Obama told a packed crowd at the Wisconsin Center Monday.

“When the midterms come along, too many of our people just tune out, and that’s what a lot of folks on the other side are counting on this year,” she said. “They’re assuming that we won’t care, they’re assuming that we won’t be organized and energized – and only we can prove them wrong.”

Transcript: Remarks by the First Lady at a Voter Mobilization Rally — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This rally was for Mary Burke but the words should be repeated at every Democratic campaign rally in the country between now and election day.

Elections Matter — for Future Elections! UPDATED

The ruling by the anti-voter judicial activists on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the ruling which implemented newly developed and completely untested voter id rules for Wisconsin’s general election on November 4, 2014, will not be reviewed by the full panel.

ACLU Comment on Federal Appeals Court Ruling on Wisconsin Voter ID

CHICAGO – The full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals today declined to rehear a three-judge panel’s order reinstating Wisconsin’s voter ID law prior to the midterm election. The vote was split evenly, 5-5, meaning the panel’s order stands. Neither the panel nor the full court has yet ruled on the actual merits of the law, which was found unconstitutional by a federal judge in April. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the law, and petitioned for a full appeals court review following the panel’s order on September 12 allowing the law to take effect. The ACLU presented oral arguments to the panel that day asking the court to uphold the April decision striking down the law as unconstitutional and in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The following is a statement from Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project:

“Allowing this law to take effect so close to the midterm election is a recipe for chaos, voter confusion, and disenfranchisement. The court could have avoided this pandemonium and given Wisconsin voters a chance to cast their ballots free of obstruction. It failed to do so, and we are evaluating our next step.”

Me to GOP: Tough. YOU don’t get to choose.

In the wake of Eric Holder’s announcement that he will be stepping down as Attorney General, the media is filled with right-wing bloviating (no, right-wing, Eric Holder’s Justice Department is NOT “scandal ridden” … any more than “Romney won Ohio”).

This headline from The Hill stomped on my last nerve:

“GOP to Obama: Don’t replace Holder in lame-duck Congress”.

That article includes this quote from Ted Cruz:

“Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced”.

“This shall not stand!” proclaims man whose freshness date expired months ago. “Abuse of power” and “should not be countenanced” are, of course, code words for impeachment. Go with that, GOP!! It has worked so well for you in the past. If the Republicans want to waste their time on impeachment to please their shrinking base, let them. The country needs a strong, intelligent, principled, Democratic replacement to continue the important work that Eric Holder started; if we have a better chance to get that now rather than later, with a thinner majority, we should do it.  

President Obama: “We choose hope over fear”

On Wednesday, President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly … spoke to the people of the world.

“We choose hope over fear. We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort. We reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs; we choose to work for the world as it should be, as our children deserve it to be.”

— President Obama to the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2014

President Obama:

We come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

Around the globe, there are signposts of progress.  The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted, and the prospect of war between major powers reduced.  The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half.  And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.

Today, whether you live in downtown Manhattan or in my grandmother’s village more than 200 miles from Nairobi, you can hold in your hand more information than the world’s greatest libraries.  Together, we’ve learned how to cure disease and harness the power of the wind and the sun.  The very existence of this institution is a unique achievement — the people of the world committing to resolve their differences peacefully, and to solve their problems together.  I often tell young people in the United States that despite the headlines, this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, to be free to pursue your dreams.[…]

Fellow delegates, we come together as united nations with a choice to make.  We can renew the international system that has enabled so much progress, or we can allow ourselves to be pulled back by an undertow of instability.  We can reaffirm our collective responsibility to confront global problems, or be swamped by more and more outbreaks of instability.  And for America, the choice is clear:  We choose hope over fear.  We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort.  We reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs.  We choose to work for the world as it should be, as our children deserve it to be.

His conclusion:

The people of the world now look to us, here, to be as decent, and as dignified, and as courageous as they are trying to be in their daily lives.  And at this crossroads, I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done.  We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we’re prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come.  I ask that you join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s.

More below …

Yes, Voting Matters. Register, Persuade, & GOTV


I vote. I take my kids to vote.

Voting is the currency of our democracy.  It’s how we choose our political leaders who represent us.  Voting is what we have.  

We have midterm elections for 435 House seats.  33 Senate seats.  Almost every state house, some of the state senates, some statewide offices, county offices, and many schoolboard offices.  Perhaps some municipal offices too.  In other words, maybe there’s not a president at the top of the ticket, but there is plenty to vote for.  

I believe every vote counts.  I live in Utah, I don’t have the luxury of not voting.  I have voted in elections decided by fewer than 200 votes.  I have watched elections be decided by single digits.  

Salt Lake County had a primary this June, for Auditor on the Democratic side, Assessor on the Republican side, and many school board positions.  Turnout was 9%.  

We have pilot programs for same-day registration in Salt Lake County, and All Vote by Mail in the county to the north, Davis.  

Everything depends on turnout.  Even in Utah.  To hold our State house seats, keep our senate seats, pick up a few more seats, and help the county elections.  

From Maine to Hawaii, and Alaska to Florida, every vote counts.

The highest duties we can do as citizens include helping other people vote.  

We have a couple weeks left for voter registration in most places.  Some places seem to have complicated requirements.  

Then we GOTV and persuade the middles until Nov 4.  

We sleep on Nov 5.  

Today was the National Voter Registration Day.  nvrd_profile_pic

We can keep going on this registration through the deadlines, which is Oct 6 here in Salt Lake County.  

Every vote counts.