Monday, July 16, 2012

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance wants you to know that it has never, ever worked for Bain Capital in any capacity -- and certainly not as president, CEO, chairman, or managing member from 1999 to 2002 -- as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

There will be no Medicaid expansion in Texas. Off the Kuff discusses why this is such a bad thing.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger knows that hate groups abound in Texas, but is very concerned about the recent developments demonstrating American undercurrents of hate threatening the First Lady.

Is the leading GOP US Senate candidate so far to the right that so-called moderate Republicans would cross over and vote for the Democratic candidate in November? That's what WCNews at Eye on Williamson tries to get to the bottom of, in "Would a Cruz win end the crossover myth?

At McBlogger, we discover Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson cribbing from Hank Gilbert, ca. 2006.

The NAACP's 2012 national convention, held in in Houston last week, was covered by PDiddie of Brains and Eggs, and reports from the the scene included Eric Holder's "poll taxes", Mitt Romney's boos, and Joe Biden's "character of (PBO's) convictions".

Neil at Texas Liberal read a recent Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of Malcolm X as he enjoyed a milkshake.  There might be some things more All-American than Malcolm X and a milkshake -- but it is hard to imagine what those things might be.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Green nominating convention today; Democracy Now interviews Stein

As the corporate media covers every move made by Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, (Democracy Now! goes) to Baltimore to cover the Green Party 2012 National Convention.

"We need big solutions, you know, not solutions around the margins. We really need to end unemployment. We need to put 25 million people back to work with good-paying jobs," says presumptive presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein, who is running on a platform called "the Green New Deal" that emphasizes economic justice, tough financial regulation, the repeal of Citizens United and a transition to a "green economy."

The Green Party expects to be on the 2012 ballot in at least 45 states and plans to spend approximately $1 million on its campaign. Stein is the party’s first candidate to independently qualify for federal matching funds, a milestone for this 11-year-old third party. 

More here of Amy Goodman's interview with Stein and vice-presidential nominee Cheri Honkala. The Green Party's national convention will nominate its candidates in plenary session today. Update: Those proceedings can be viewed via livestream at this link.

Texas Photo ID law is on the chopping block

The state's argument for a voter ID law met with skepticism Friday from federal judges who questioned Texas attorneys about the lack of witnesses and the need to prove the law is fair to minority voters.

Attorneys for the state contend that the law, which would require government-issued photo identification for voters, would not disenfranchise minorities and is instead designed to address fraud. The Justice Department blocked the law from being implemented, ruling that its implications would disproportionately affect blacks and Hispanics.

District Judge Rosemary Collyer told Texas attorney John Highes on Friday that the state must prove the voting ID law adheres to the Voting Rights Act - a federal standard for Texas called pre-clearance. The statute is applied to 16 states with a history of discriminating against minority voters.

"Texas bears the burden here," Collyer said.

Collyer, the presiding judge of the three-member panel, is the lone Republican appointee. All of these signals suggest Photo ID is headed for the graveyard, and it will be next summer before the SCOTUS will be able to issue a ruling on appeal.

Of course, stranger decisions have been made by the Supreme Court...

But this law, at this point, isn't about suppressing votes for President. There is no chance Obama carries Texas no matter what some polls are saying right now. That's a mirage meant for disenchanted Democrats living on hope. (It can still be an effective enticement for GOTV efforts, however.)

If all those dead and Ill Eagle people had actually voted Democratic in years past like the conservative fever dream attests, you'd think Texas would have seen a single, solitary Democrat elected to statewide office in Texas the past 20 years. But noooo...

The long-term goal of this law is about suppressing votes down the ballot; state representatives, state senators, judgeships, the various county offices, etc. But wait; don't we already know that Republicans control the Texas legislature by nearly a super-majority in both chambers? Yes, we do.

So how many more electeds do they need to pass whatever they want? The answer is none, of course.

They already have complete control of the state government, and have for decades. This is about generational control. It's what Tom DeLay sacrificed himself for in 2004, what Karl Rove has spent his life working toward, and what Republicans have successfully exported from Texas all over the country -- Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc. It's what those pasty gangsters over at King Street/True (sic) the Vote live and breathe for.

See, the Republicans aren't satisfied with 75% control of Texas. They want it ALL. One hundred percent. They know -- hell, even Rove knows -- that eventually the Latino population will grow up and get out to the polls, and they have to get their agenda in place in a short time frame, relatively speaking, in order to cling to power for as long as they can.

Even as their base voters dwindle -- a few are transported to the cemetery every day -- they know they have no replacements. The GOP is not in growth mode; it's in survival mode. That's why they're so desperate, so frantic, so angry.

So the more people they can prevent from voting, the longer they stay in control.

They'll have to swallow this defeat and make hay out of it as they have the ACA and the Arizona immigration bill. They can put it to nefarious use; keep the rage ginned up, continue fomenting the fear and hate, and keep hoping for the best in November.

And they will keep doing everything they can to prevent people who don't look them and think like them from casting a ballot. By any means necessary.