Romney disavows sex tape . . . the tape, not the sex act

September 17, 2012

Not an apology.  Not an update on information he didn’t have all those weeks ago (8% of Americans do NOT pay income tax, not 47%).  Not a clarification.

“Ooooh, please, look at all the flags!”

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Romney sex tape

September 17, 2012

Is there any rational person in the world who really views the world this way?

I had thought this a minor deal, until I saw the denials on the news a few minute ago.  You might explain it.  But deny it?

Transcript of his remarks on September 17, from AmericanBridge:

Mitt Romney at a secret donor meeting:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

“[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”


Sketches from the Chicago Teacher Strike: Rosa Parks

September 17, 2012

There’s a little bit of fantasy here, but probably not too much.

Rosa Parks on Chicago Teacher Strike, art from Fred Klonsky

It coulda happened, right?

Drawing by Fred Klonsky, from his blog.

So, is the Chicago Teacher Strike illegal?  If so, why — and is it just that working people not be allowed to strike for the benefit of the students?


225 years ago today, in this room

September 17, 2012

Independence Hall, Philadelphia; room where the Constitution was created and signed; Dept of Interior photo

Caption from Department of Interior’s Tumblr site: 225 years ago today, the Constitution of the United States was signed in Independence Hall. Today, you can tour the Hall and see where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were both signed, and you can also view the Liberty Bell [close by]. This is a site not to miss while visiting Philadelphia.
Photo: National Park Service

Does this room look a little familiar?  You’ve probably seen Howard Chandler Christy’s painting of the event we celebrate today.

Howard Chandler Christy’s “Signing of the Constitution,” 1940

Howard Chandler Christy’s “Signing of the Constitution,” 1940; Architect of the Capitol image. This massive, 20′ x 30′ painting hangs in the House Wing of the U.S. Capitol, in the east stairway — a location where, alas, most people cannot get to without a guide anymore.

Click to the Architect of the Capitol’s site for the story of the painting, intended by Congress to fill a gap in the story of America told by art in the Rotunda and throughout the halls of the building.

Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Pepperdine University, creator of the interactive

Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, and expert in the Constitution and its history.  I met Lloyd almost a decade ago, in programs for history teachers, sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, Liberty Fund, and National Endowment for the Humanities.

My old friend Dr. Gordon Lloyd of Pepperdine University, working with the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, created a study tool from the Christy painting which should be used a lot more in classrooms.  Click over to the Edsitement site, and see for yourself.

Every year there are a few more tools on the internet to study the Constitution with, for teachers to use in the classroom on Constitution Day and every day.  I wonder what will be the effects in another decade.

How important is it that students learn the Constitution, what it says, and how it affects our daily lives?  How important is it that students learn the history of the creation of the Constitution, and does that history reverberate for those students as they venture out into their roles as citizens in the republic created by the document?

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GOP trying to shutdown votes of military, veterans, senior citizens in Ohio?

September 17, 2012

I thought the thing in Ohio was settled.

I get e-mail from the Credo Action Network:

Don’t let Republicans steal the election for Mitt Romney

Ohio has emerged as the latest front in the Republican scheme to derail democracy by disenfranchising millions of voters. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, in a blatant partisan move to steal the election for Mitt Romney, is trying to put an end to early weekend voting before Election Day. This change in Ohio election practices specifically impacts minority and low income voters.1

It’s not just Ohio. It’s also Florida and Pennsylvania. Earlier this summer, CREDO Action members signed over 87,000 petitions and made over 1,600 phone calls urging Senator Patrick Leahy, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to hold Congressional hearings on brazen Republican efforts to steal the 2012 presidential election in other key battle ground states like Florida and Pennsylvania. With Republicans showing no sign of slowing down their tenacious efforts to steal the election, we’re escalating our call for Senator Leahy to hold hearings to investigate the GOP effort to suppress the votes of millions of voters in key battleground states across the country.

Tell the Senate Judiciary Committee: Hold emergency hearings on Republicans’ schemes to steal the presidential election in key battleground states.

A prominent Ohio Republican state official has already openly admitted that Husted’s efforts to shut down weekend voting would result in African Americans voters having a more difficult time voting.2 A federal district judge struck down Husted’s effort to restrict early voting during the three days before the election, and after initially resisting that court order Husted backed down for the time being, pending appeal in higher court.3

But the crisis is not over. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that will be reviewing the district court decision to strike down Husted’s efforts to restrict early voting is “a Republican-leaning court with a history of partisan decisions benefiting the Republican Party.”4

The situation in Ohio is crucial given its recent history in Presidential elections. In 2004 hundreds of thousands of predominantly minority and Democratic voters were disenfranchised on Election Day due to massive lines and “widespread electoral dysfunction.”5 As Ari Berman reported in the Nation:

According to one survey, 174,000 Ohioans, 3 percent of the electorate, left their polling place without voting because of the interminable wait. (Bush won the state by only 118,000 votes).6

In response to the mess on Election Day in 2004, Ohio reformed its electoral process by adding early voting before Election Day, leading to a “much smoother experience” in 2008.7 The opportunity to vote early led to record turnout for African American and low income voters.

Now the Republicans in Ohio are working to disenfranchise thousands of those voters in racially diverse urban centers such as Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The restriction on weekend voting is specifically aimed at disrupting minority voters – for example, African-American churches historically rally their congregants to the voting booth on the Sunday before the election.8

Tell the Senate Judiciary Committee: Hold emergency hearings on Republicans’ schemes to steal the presidential election in key battleground states.

The Republican elections officials in Ohio, along with their counterparts in Florida and Pennsylvania, should be trying to help more eligible voters participate in the democratic process, not disenfranchise minorities and the poor.

With Congress returning from summer recess this week, Senator Leahy needs to get the message from as many Americans as possible that it’s not okay for Republican elections officials in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio – or any other state — to engage in systematic effort to disenfranchise U.S. citizens for the explicit purpose of swinging the election to Republican Mitt Romney in November.

Let’s keep the pressure on Senator Leahy to hold a public hearing on the GOP war on voting today.

Thank you for standing up for the right to vote.

1. Aviva Shen and Adam Peck, “Ohio Limits Early Voting Hours In Democratic Counties, Expands In Republican Counties,” ThinkProgess.com, August 10, 2012.
2. Aviva Shen, “Ohio GOP Election Board Member: Our Voting Process Shouldn’t Accommodate Black Voters,” ThinkProgress.com, August 19, 2012.
3. Ryan J. Reilly, “Ohio Secretary Of State Backs Down On Early Voting,”TalkingPointsMemo.com, September 7, 2012.
4. Ian Millhiser, “BREAKING: Federal Court Strikes Down Ohio Law Restricting Early Voting,” ThinkProgress.com, August 31, 2012.
5. Ari Berman, Ohio Early Voting Cutbacks Disenfranchise Minority Voters,” The Nation, August 8, 2012.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Gene Demby, “Black Pastors Group Criticizes Ohio For New Rules That Limit Early Voting,” HuffingtonPost.com, August 14, 2012.

What’s your view?

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Fly your flag today, Constitution Day 2012

September 17, 2012

 

Did you remember to put your flag up today?  September 17 is Constitution, one of the score of dates on which Congress recommends everyone to fly their U.S. flag.

Flag at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, with fireworks - National Park Service image

U.S. flag flying at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, with fireworks – National Park Service image. Fort McHenry is one of the sites Congress designated to fly the flag 24 hours a day, lighted or not.

 


Constitution Day, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012

Happy Constitution day!  (Remember to fly your flag today.)

Have you read the U.S. Constitution lately?

First page of the U.S. Constitution, National Archives and Records Administration photo

First page of the U.S. Constitution, National Archives and Records Administration photo

Okay, maybe that’s a little tough to read.  Check out the on-line display of the National Archives and Records Administration in the Charters of Freedom section:

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Rotunda for the charters of Freedom at Nationa...

Rotunda for the charters of Freedom at National Archives (NARA) building in Washington, D.C. Here displayed are the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 


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