Texas Republican Judge Quits Tea/Republican Party “of Bigots”

Hope to see a lot more of this happening around the country…

Texas Republican Judge Switches Party, Denouncing GOP as Party of Bigots and Hate-Mongers

 

A Republican Judge from San Antonio, Texas, has announced he is quitting the GOP and will seek re-election as a Democrat, saying that he can no longer be part of political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destroying people’s lives.

Bexar County Judge Carlo R. Key made his announcement in a YouTube campaign video, where the image shifts between the judge sitting at his bench and screenshots of Republicans—from Sen. Teed Cruz to state politicians—boosting their agenda or career by harming others.

Key’s words speak for themselves. Here’s a transcript, where he ends by urging others who share his moderate temperament and respectful demeanor to join him.

I have tried to live a life of principles. These principles have been shaped by mi familia, my community and my country. In fact, it is my dedication to these principles which has lead me to the law in the first place and has guided me to becoming a judge. These values are simple. I believe that justice demands fairness. It demands careful and intelligent probing of evidence. And above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice toward race, color, creed or whom you choose to love.

These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.

I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their ecomonic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of 100s of 1000s of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that will provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.

That is why I am announcing that I am now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate for County Court of Law 11 in the 2014 elections. My principles have led me to the Democratic Party. I can only hope that more people of principle will follow me. If you believe these values are your values, then I respectfully ask you to join me and let’s work together to keep dignity, fairness and respect for rule of law in our county courts.   

Texas Democrats welcomed the judge’s decision but said they were not surprised by it.

“I’m not surprised,” said Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project. “Republican state leaders in Texas have moved so far out of the mainstream. They have become so divisive that fair-minded Texans are turning away. Judge Key is a prominent and respected public official, so his actions appropriately draw attention, but every day I hear from people who formerly supported Republican candidates, but now won’t do it.”

Did Racism Cause the Shutdown?

Great article here with the most detailed history in one place I have seen about racial politics and how the party’s switched positions. Racism has been intertwined with policy at the Federal Level since before the Civil War. This article provides a great background on the what, who, and why…

How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.

I understand if you’re confused. A lot of people think the only way that racism “causes” anything is when one person intentionally discriminates against another because of their color of their skin. But that’s wrong. And understanding the history of the forces that produced the current crisis will lay plain the more subtle, but fundamental, ways in which race and racism formed the scaffolding that structures American politics — even as explicit battles over race receded from our daily politics.

The roots of the current crisis began with the New Deal — but not in the way you might think. They grew gradually, with two big bursts in the 1960s and the 1980s reflecting decades of more graduated change. And the tree that grew out of them, the Tea Party and a radically polarized Republican Party, bore the shutdown as its fruits.

How The New Deal Drove The Racists Out

In 1938, Sen. Josiah W. Bailey (D-NC) filibustered his own party’s bill. Well, part of his party — Northern Democrats, together with Northern Republicans, were pushing an federal anti-lynching bill. Bailey promised that Southern Democrats would teach “a lesson which no political party will ever again forget” to their Northern co-partisans if they “come down to North Carolina and try to impose your will upon us about the Negro:”

Just as when the Republicans in the [1860s] undertook to impose the national will upon us with respect to the Negro, we resented it and hated that party with a hatred that has outlasted generations; we hated it beyond measure; we hated it more than was right for us and more than was just; we hated it because of what it had done to us, because of the wrong it undertook to put upon us; and just as that same policy destroyed the hope of the Republican party in the South, that same policy adopted by the Democratic party will destroy the Democratic party in the South.

Bailey’s rage at the affront to white supremacy was born of surprise. Until 1932, the South had dominated the Democratic Party, which had consistently stood for the South’s key regional regional interest — keeping blacks in literal or figurative fetters — since before the Civil War.

But the Depression-caused backlash against Republican incumbents that swept New Yorker Franklin Roosevelt into the White House and a vast Democratic majority into Congress also made Southerners a minority in the party for the first time in its history. The South still controlled the most influential committee leadership votes in Congress, exercising a “Southern Veto” on race policy. The veto forced FDR to stay out of the anti-lynching fight (“If I come out for the anti-lynching bill, [the southerners] will block every bill I ask Congress to pass to keep America from collapsing,” he lamented).

The veto also injected racism into the New Deal. Social Security was “established on a racially invidious, albeit officially race-neutral, basis by excluding from coverage agricultural and domestic workers, the categories that included nearly 90 percent of black workers at the time,” University of Pennsylvania political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. wrote in The Nation. “Others, like the [Civilian Conservation Corps], operated on Jim Crow principles. Roosevelt’s housing policy put the weight of federal support behind creating and reproducing an overtly racially exclusive residential housing industry.” Continue reading

The Last Colony (Washington, DC) Vows to Ignore Shutdown

Washington DC is unique among all principalities in the United States in that Congress – specifically the House – must approve all spending for the city. This means, if there is a Government shutdown the non-emergency city services would be shut down as well. This is particularly galling to DC Residents as it is their tax money paid to the city which operates the government, not Federal monies as is not uncommon in the rest of the country. So Congress has the authority to tell the DC Government how to spend it’s own tax money…

This has led to any umber of disasters as the Republican Congress has forced the city to adopt their confederate policies, such as school vouchers and limits on health care.

The Libraries are toast, too!

So…What happens if there is a shutdown in DC?

1. Parks, museums, and the Zoo closed: All Smithsonian museums, federal monuments, the National Zoo, and public facilities in National Parks like Rock Creek Park would be closed. Because tourists probably won’t realize it in advance, they’ll probably flood downtown Starbuckses and Potbellies with bored out-of-towners.

2. Libraries and recreation centers dark: All D.C. libraries and recreation centers will be closed, giving kids fewer places to hang out after school, which means who knows what kinds of trouble.

3. Department of Public Works off duty: Trash collection would be suspended for a week, as well as street sweeping, which this time of year means some very clogged drains.

4. Circulator offline: While the Metro would stay open and WMATA buses would keep running, D.C.’s super-convenient Circulator buses would have to stay in the garage.

5. Permit offices and the DMV shut: The Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are closed, meaning even longer lines for licenses, permits, and car registrations when the shutdown eventually ends.

6. No parking enforcement: Okay, you probably don’t mind that so much, but it does cost the city money and could lead to shortfalls down the road.

7. University of the District of Columbia shuttered: You might not be the one with your academic year interrupted, but at least sympathize with the poor students who’ll likely have to make up the class time later.

8. Potential loss of city equipment and buildings: The city has a master lease on pieces of equipment like traffic lights, computers, and public safety vehicles, as well as a contractual agreement to use facilities like the Unified Communications Center, which controls all the city’s emergency systems — as long as payments are made on time. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton warns that they could be repossessed if the city lacks the budget authority to do so. And in any case, ongoing worries about the city’s ability to use its own money could make it more expensive to borrow, which the city has to do every year for capital expenditures.

Yeah…This stops, too!


Mayor Gray designates all of District government ‘essential’ to avoid shutdown

Mayor Vincent C. Gray moved Wednesday to designate the entirety of the District government as “essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property,” in a bid to allow city services to continue during a federal shutdown.

Gray announced his position in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is handling preparations for a shutdown that could take place if congressional leaders fail to reach an accord by Oct. 1.

“I am writing to inform you that I have determined that all operations of the government of the District of Columbia are ‘excepted’ activities essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property and therefore will continue to be performed during a lapse in appropriations,” the mayor wrote to budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Gray’s posture is unprecedented for the District government, whose budget comes largely from locally raised taxes and is set by locally elected officials but is ultimately appropriated by Congress. During past shutdowns, in keeping with federal guidance, the city has designated public safety and some other crucial functions as exempt from shutdown but curtailed many city services, including libraries, recreation centers and trash pickup.

The letter comes a day after Gray and D.C. Council members openly debated ways to defy the federal shutdown and keep the city government operating.

On the good side – these guys are out of work!

It is unclear how President Obama’s budget office will respond to Gray’s broad definition of “essential.” Requests for comment made to the agency Tuesday and Wednesday have gone unreturned.

In a statement issued with the letter, Gray said it is “ridiculous” that the District “cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.”

“Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us,” he said. “I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

Racism …Real and Imagined

The story so far…

White guy marries black woman 17 years ago, and by all appearances they have a successful marriage with 2 kids.

White guy becomes a politician and runs for Mayor of a major American city as a Democrat.

White guy’s team puts out a campaign ad with guy, wife and their son.

Republican Mayor accuses him of playing the “race card”.

Post Trayvon Martin it has become pitifully obvious tha one of the reasons there won’t be that “conversation on race” is that conservatives, and even relatively moderate Republicans like Mayor Bloomberg are wed to racial fantasy. An alternate universe constructed entirely on the sort of ignorance, racism, and fear propagated at the national level by propaganda outlets such as Faux News.

NY Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and family.

Michael Bloomberg Blasts Bill De Blasio Over ‘Racist’ Campaign

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, accusing him of running a “racist” campaign.

In an interview with New York Magazine published Saturday, Bloomberg said de Blasio is “using his family to gain support.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing,” Bloomberg said of de Blasio. “I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote.”

Back in August, de Blasio released an ad featuring his African-American wife, Chirlane McCray, and his 15-year-old son Dante. In the clip, the teen says his dad “is the only Democrat with the guts to really break from the Bloomberg years.”

De Blasio’s campaign has surged over recent months in the polls. Back on July 14, HuffPost Pollster’s compilation of 27 surveys showed de Blasio in fourth place among Democrats, at 14.8 percent support. As of Sept. 1, he was the front-runner at 34 percent.

You mean with a last name like Boomberg… The distinct possibility the Mayor might be Jewish sailed entirely over the heads of the Jewish voters? Wow! Little Teyshawn and Lakaneshia should be so lucky!

Being conservative means you own 8 guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition to defend your home from invasion by black ghetto gangbangers, who for reasons unknown have driven 25 miles out to the suburbs just to rob you, rape your wife, and generally make your life miserable. I mean “statistically” in terms of winning the Powerball Jackpot 3 weeks in a row. But, when faced with continual incidents like  White Dallas Man Shoots 8-Year-Old Black Boy Playing Tag, and this Man shoots Neighbor in the Face, and this Another Black Teen Murdered, black folks fears are “playing the race card”, after 300 years of similar acts by white “conservatives”.

Being conservative means Dan Rather should have been fired for the infamous forged memo on George Bush’s stint in the National Guard… But Faux New made an “honest mistake”, but manufacturing “3 black killers”, when the narrative didn’t fit Faux’s need to find a ” white Trayvon” and facilitate racial journalism overrode facts was…an “honest mistake”.

Being a conservative means a black guy killing a white guy during a robbery is a “hate crime”, while a white guy murdering a black kid because he was wearing a “hoodie” and looked “suspicious”…

Is “self-defense”.

Now this isn’t to say that white conservatives are the only ones affiliated with this distorted world view. Case in point – Oprah and the $40,000 Purse in Switzerland.  I for one, don’t believe the issue was racism. The issue was stupidity. Oprah for being miffed at not having her famous “Oprahness” recognized in every single cubbyhole in the world. The sales lady for being too stupid to follow the first maxim of selling to the well heeled…”Know your customer”. Don’t believe me? Drive your Toyota on down to the Ferrari Dealer and see how long it takes your T-Shirt,  Casio Watch wearing ass to get a test drive of that cute little $350,000 number.

That ain’t racism…It’s basic economics.

Open up a suitcase full of cash at the same dealership… And watch how fast the Sales Manager makes an appointment for you at the Lamborghini Dealership down the street. You don’t understand why Ferrari doesn’t want your cash – you really don’t understand money. Keep the raggedy T-Shirt, swap the Casio for a high end $20,000 Rolex or even more expensive Golay (don’t ask – you can’t afford it)… I guarantee you you will be in the driver’s seat in 10 minutes or less.

By the same token, if you are selling $50,000 purses, you’d better not mistake the Kardashian sisters for Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus – or Lady Gaga for Madonna…or in this case, Oprah for some poor tourist.

But, being a conservative means doing exactly that kind of mis-identification based on your bigotry.

The reason there isn’t going to be any substantive discussion, is best summarized in the quote…

“You can’t reason someone out of a position that reason didn’t get them into in the first place.”

Orange Jumpsuit Politician – Jesse Jackson, Jr.

This one goes under the heading of… What was he thinking?

 

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison

Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the namesake of the famed civil rights leader and once-promising Illinois congressman, was sentenced to 21 / 2 years in prison Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle over many years.

In an emotional hearing in federal court in the District, Jackson said he failed to separate his personal life from his political activities and “could not have been more wrong.”

Jackson, 48, and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for high-end items, such as fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch, in addition to private-school tuition and trips to Costco.

“I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong and I do not fault anyone.”

He asked to serve his term in Alabama, “far away from everybody for awhile.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation) said the former congressman and his wife used his campaign funds as a “personal piggy bank.”

“There may be blurred lines for Congress to follow when their lives are political, this case did not come near those areas,” she said after a more than three-hour hearing. “This was a knowing, organized joint misconduct that was repeated over many years.”

The judge also ordered Jackson to perform 500 hours of community service that is unrelated to politics. She sentenced Sandra Jackson to one year in prison.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Jesse Jackson Jr. was driven by “greed and entitlement,” and they asked the judge to sentence him to a prison term of four years, which falls on the lower end of federal guidelines.

In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves called Jackson’s crimes “staggering,” in part because the couple had sufficient independent financial resources, earning nearly $350,000 in 2011.

“These were extreme abuses that strike at the integrity of the campaign finance system,” Graves said.

The defense team asked for a term of less than four years, saying that a shorter term is critical to Jackson’s mental health and that a lengthy sentence would be “devastating” to the couple’s two children – ages 13 and 9…

In the spirit of bipartisanship…

Perhaps his new room mate will be Va. Governor Bob McDonnell, or AG Ken Cuccinelli…

Standing Tall – Texas Senator Wendy Davis

Another Progressive standing up for her beliefs -Texas Democrat Senator Wendy Davis staged an 11 hour filibuster last night bringing the Rethugly Senate to it’s knees in trying to pass the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation in the country…

So…When we’ve got folks with this kind of grit willing to stand up against Rethugly evil…

WTF can’t President Obama and Senator Harry Reid kick some Rethugly ass?

They can start by filling every single Federal Court Judicial vacancy, and dropping the nuclear option on Rethugly intransigence tying up the judicial appointments.

Former Republican Governor Backs Obama

I raise your failed Congressman, wannabe Governor, Uncle Tom dejour Artur Davis with

Former successful Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist!

Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here’s why I’m backing Barack Obama

I’ve studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I’ve watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I’ve seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes.

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I’m confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president’s response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.

He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.

President Obama invested in our children’s schools because he believes a good education is a necessity, not a luxury, if we’re going to create an economy built to last. He supported more than 400,000 K-12 teachers’ jobs, and he is making college more affordable and making student loans, like the ones he took out, easier to pay back.

He invested in our runways, railways and roads. President Obama knows a reliable infrastructure that helps move people to work and helps businesses move goods to market is a foundation of growth.

And the president invested in our retirement security by strengthening Medicare. The $716 billion in savings his opponents decry today extended the life of the program by nearly a decade and are making sure taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted in excessive payments to insurance companies or fraud and abuse. His opponents would end the Medicare guarantee by creating a voucher that would raise seniors’ costs by thousands of dollars and bankrupt the program.

We have more work to do, more investments to make and more waste to cut. But only one candidate in this race has proven a willingness to navigate a realistic path to prosperity…(more)

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