The New Willie Horton – Nikko Jenkins Ad by Republican

Good old Republican racist fear mongering…Again.

NRCC releases Willie Horton-style ad in Nebraska House race

National Republicans are hammering Rep. Lee Terry’s (R-Neb.) Democratic opponent, state Sen. Brad Ashford, with an ad tying him to a convicted murderer.

Within hours of its launch, national Democrats were demanding Republicans take it down and apologize for the “repellent, race-baiting” ad.

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s ad tells the story of Nikko Jenkins, who committed four murders in 11 days after getting out of prison early under the state’s “good time” law.

“Brad Ashford supported the good time law, and still defends it, allowing criminals like Nikko Jenkins to be released early,” a narrator says in the ad.

The ad has evoked comparisons to the controversial “Willie Horton ad” that ran during the 1988 presidential election. That ad hit former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic nominee, for furloughing Horton, who was already serving a life sentence for murder.

Horton was let out for the weekend under a state furlough program, but ran away from authorities and later kidnapped and stabbed a couple.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Ashley Lewis decried the ad, saying it “has no place in America” and demanding the NRCC take it down.

“Republicans should be ashamed that they have resorted to divisive rhetoric, playing up racial stereotypes and fear-mongering to save their sinking candidate,” she said in a statement.

The Nebraska law automatically reduces prisoners’ sentences based on how much time they have served. Critics say it effectively cuts inmates’ sentences in half.

Terry, who has emerged as one of this cycle’s most surprisingly vulnerable House incumbents, hit Ashford on the issue last week, saying he should have added restrictions to the good-time law when he served as chairman of the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

“I think that one of the egregious votes and efforts of my opponent is letting violent criminals out of jail through good time, which in Nebraska is just a straight half time,” he told The Hill. “My opponent prefers criminals over law abiding citizens, putting people in jeopardy.”

Ashford called the accusations “baseless and desperate attacks” from a “flailing campaign” in a statement to The Hill last week.

During a debate last week, Ashford blamed corrections officers, whom he said could have reversed Jenkins’s sentence reductions after he got into trouble behind bars.

The content of the ad underscores just how vulnerable Terry is heading into the final weeks of the election. There’s been scant polling of the race, but a survey Ashford released in August showed the two essentially tied.

The NRCC’s choice to go nuclear, by tying Ashford to a convicted murderer, is likely fueled by an urgent need to shift momentum in Terry’s favor.

NRCC spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton last week said Republicans are not worried about Terry’s campaign and insisted the strategy is to merely shine a light on Ashford’s record.

“This is why we are helping Lee Terry and helping the voters get to know who Brad Ashford is because as soon as they see all this stuff and realize what this guy stands for, there’s no way they’re going to vote for him,“ Houlton said.

Our Future President?

Check this 12 year old out! She has formed a coalition to repeal the onerous voting restrictions implemented by Tea Bagged Republicans in North Carolina, and to get young folks to vote. Her name is Madison Kimrey, an she does one heck of a speech.

The Rethugs in North Carolina have voted to eliminate the ability of teens to pre-register to vote, while getting a Driver’s License at 16, so they can vote when they turn 18. By doing this and raising the bar to College Students voting, they eliminate one of the groups which tends to vote Democrat, or at least anti-Tea Party. This is part of the Rethugly Voter Suppression effort, which includes Voter ID Laws.

Go Madison!

Educational Fraud..Voucher Programs Fail

The whole voucher thing in Louisiana reminds me of the new Mercedes commercial with Willem Dafoe…

Dafoe, playing the Devil in this case selling Gov Bobby Jindal on a shiny new Voucher program for his state instead of the cute entry level Mercedes.

But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails…

Indeed.

According to conservative hucksters, voucher programs are all about helping poor black kids in “failing” public school systems

Having watched this movie one to many times, when conservatives tell me they are “doing good for black folks”, whether such is presented by an actor I think is one of the 10 best male character leads active in hollywood right now or not…

I tend to cinch my belt, put a hand on my wallet to assure it’s still there, make sure Momma and the kiddies are in a safe place…

And flip off the safety on my Colt.

Vouchers have been a failure nationwide. And what the DOJ should be doing is looking at the folks who are setting this crap up as organized crime.

Vouchers don’t do much for students

Ever since the administration filed suit to freeze Louisiana’s school voucher program, high-ranking Republicans have pummeled President Barack Obama for trapping poor kids in failing public schools.

The entire House leadership sent a letter of protest. Majority Leader Eric Cantor blistered the president for denying poor kids “a way into a brighter future.” And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused him of “ripping low-income minority students out of good schools” that could “help them achieve their dreams.”

But behind the outrage is an inconvenient truth: Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition — and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains.

In Milwaukee, just 13 percent of voucher students scored proficient in math and 11 percent made the bar in reading this spring. That’s worse on both counts than students in the city’s public schools. In Cleveland, voucher students in most grades performed worse than their peers in public schools in math, though they did better in reading.

In New Orleans, voucher students who struggle academically haven’t advanced to grade-level work any faster over the past two years than students in public schools, many of which are rated D or F, state data show.

And across Louisiana, many of the most popular private schools for voucher students posted miserable scores in math, reading, science and social studies this spring, with fewer than half their voucher students achieving even basic proficiency and fewer than 2 percent demonstrating mastery. Seven schools did so badly, state Superintendent John White barred them from accepting new voucher students — though the state agreed to keep paying tuition for the more than 200 voucher students already enrolled, if they chose to stay.

Nationwide, many schools participating in voucher programs infuse religion through their curriculum. Zack Kopplin, a student activist who favors rigorous science education, has found more than 300 voucher schools across the U.S. that teach the biblical story of creation as science; some also instruct children that the world is just several thousand years old and use textbooks describing the Loch Ness Monster as a living dinosaur. Parents at one such school in Louisiana received a newsletter calling secular scientists “sinful men.”

Asked whether he was confident that the private schools funded by vouchers are better than the public schools students would otherwise attend, Jindal told POLITICO that parents, not government officials, should make that decision. “We make no apologies for giving parents the option to determine the best educational path for their children,” he said. “President Obama has the means to send his children to the school of his choice. Parents in Louisiana should have the same opportunity.”

His rationale resonates widely these days.

Vouchers are booming in popularity; a record 245,000 students in 16 states plus D.C. are paying for private school with public subsidies, according to the Alliance for School Choice. Nine states added or broadened voucher programs this year and new initiatives are on the table in states including New Jersey and Tennessee.

By 2014, states will be spending $1 billion a year to send children to private schools through vouchers, tax credits and similar programs, according to Robert Enlow, president of the Friedman Foundation, an advocacy group for school choice.

“These programs are expanding, and they’re not going away,” said Kevin Chavous, executive counsel for the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy group that just released an emotional campaign-style video promoting vouchers.

The expansions are stretching voucher programs far beyond the stated intent of rescuing poor families from failing public schools.

Bill Maher Hits Supreme Court Voting Rights Racism On the Head

Maher does it again…

The New and Improved…Jim Crow.

The New Jim Crow – Ben Jealous Hammers New Voter ID Laws

Part of the Republican strategy to defeating President Obama in 2012 – is to reduce the number of black and brown voters.

The last time this strategy was successful was in 2004, when black precincts were denied the number of voting machines required to handle the traffic in Ohio. And we won’t get into the voter role purges of 2000 assisting in the illegitimate presidency of George Bush.

NAACP head likens voter ID measures to Jim Crow

The head of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights group on Monday condemned state laws requiring photo identification of voters as an attempt to disenfranchise minorities through some “of the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow.”

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said a wave of newly enacted photo-ID requirements stemmed from what he saw as “the worst and most racist elements” in conservative Tea Party groups that have immersed themselves in state politics since the 2010 elections.

He compared photo ID laws to poll taxes and other past restrictions — since struck down by the courts — designed to keep blacks from voting in the segregated Deep South. And he said the latest measures were part of a racial backlash against the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

“Our voting rights are under attack because a few years ago, we had a great breakthrough in this country,” Jealous said in a speech at the 102nd annual NAACP convention, held in Los Angeles. “We broke the color line at the White House.”

He said the NAACP would mount education campaigns aimed at preventing minorities and the poor from being disenfranchised.

Supporters of photo ID laws, backed mainly by Republican legislators and governors, say they are aimed at thwarting election fraud and are no more discriminatory than requiring IDs for cashing a check or making credit-card purchases.

Congressman Lewis and Voter ID Laws

This is why I have little respect for the Congressional Black Caucus. With 42 members in the US House, the CBC can pretty much do to Republicans what Republicans did to Democrats between 2008 and 2010…

Stop damn near everything in the House, unless they got Bill Riders or legislation voted on they care about.

Sooooo… WTF aren’t they being proactive about derailing Jim Crow Voter ID? Why don’t you pass a Bill that every state that enacts a Voter ID requirement must meet Federal Civil Rights review by the Justice Department before receiving any federal funds?

Close down Military Bases, and federal facilities in any state with Voter ID laws. Now those are pretty extreme – but I think you get my drift.

Fillibuster and shut down the next “Symbolic Vote” by the tea Baggers in Congress.

If I were head of the CBC, you wouldn’t be able to pass water in Congress without a bill doing something about black unemployment.

Seems to me these guys could be doing a lot more than just speechifying and playing the victim card.

VOTER ID SPARKS BLACK IRE

Washington – Black Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta is joining several other Democrats arguing that the rise of voter–identification laws across many states is a coordinated attempt by Republicans to suppress minority and elderly votes.

Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American NewsLewis, a civil-rights activist in the 1960s said, “We must fight back. We must speak up and speak out. We must never, ever go back. We will not stand idly by while millions of Americans are denied their right to participate in the democratic process.”

Lewis spoke along with other Democrats and warned that the state laws must be rejected.

“These new policies are a clear attempt to prevent certain pre-determined segments of the population from exercising their right to vote,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge. “To be frank, Mr. Speaker, these efforts have an all-too familiar stench of the Jim Crow era.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said the voter-ID laws are a Republican response to President Obama’s election.

“Is this a serious voter problem? No,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is a cynical and malicious Republican attempt to suppress minority and elderly voters who turned out in historical numbers for the ’08 elections.”

Others said the laws are akin to a poll tax, something used more than 100 years ago in an effort to discourage minority voters. The lawmakers said the requirement of an official government identification is a cost that many cannot afford, and which interferes with their right to vote.

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) argued the laws are an “organized effort to turn back the clocks back to the period prior to the 1965 voting rights act.”

Think it is time for another “Yellowback Donkey Award”!

The New Jim Crow, High Stakes Testing, Diversity, and Bigotry

Went through this same battle some years ago at our own local elite High School, complete with threats of lawsuits from the Federalist Society’s KKK racial enforcement arm, the misnomered Center for Equal Opportunity. Increasingly, educational researchers are proving that high-stakes educational testing is a failure. A number of elite Universities have either discontinued the SATs, or reduced their importance relative to academic selection oriented towards a more holistic view of the complete student profile.

That hasn’t quite percolated down to the High School level yet, where there is a tremendous parent investment in keeping the old, racially and economically biased system.

Case in point -

Diversity Debate Convulses Elite High School

Justin Hudson, Hunter College High School Graduate and Commencement Speaker

With one of its alumnae, Elena Kagan, poised for confirmation as a justice on the United States Supreme Court, it should be a triumphant season for Hunter College High School, a New York City public school for the intellectually gifted.

But instead, the school is in turmoil, with much of the faculty in an uproar over the resignation of a popular principal, the third in five years. In her departure speech to teachers in late June, the principal cited several reasons for her decision, including tensions over a lack of diversity at the school, which had been the subject of a controversial graduation address the day before by one of the school’s few African-American students.

Hours after the principal’s address, a committee of Hunter High teachers that included Ms. Kagan’s brother, Irving, read aloud a notice of no confidence to the president ofHunter College, who ultimately oversees the high school, one of the most prestigious public schools in the nation.

The events fanned a long-standing disagreement between much of the high school faculty and the administration of Hunter College over the use of a single, teacher-written test for admission to the school, which has grades 7 through 12. Faculty committees have recommended broadening theadmissions process to include criteria like interviews, observations or portfolios of student work, in part to increase minority enrollment and blunt the impact of theprofessional test preparation undertaken by many prospective students.

Eliminating the test, which has remained essentially unchanged for decades, is not on the table, said John Rose, the dean for diversity at Hunter College. The test, he said, is an integral part of the success of the school, which has a stellar college admissions profile — about 25 percent of graduates are admitted to Ivy League schools — and outstanding alumni like Ms. Kagan and Ruby Dee.

“Parents, faculty members and alumni feel very strongly that the test is very valuable in terms of preserving the kind of specialness and uniqueness that the school has,” Mr. Rose said.

As has happened at other prestigious city high schools that use only a test for admission, the black and Hispanic population at Hunter has fallen in recent years. In 1995, the entering seventh-grade class was 12 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic, according to state data. This past year, it was 3 percent black and 1 percent Hispanic; the balance was 47 percent Asian and 41 percent white, with the other 8 percent of students identifying themselves as multiracial. The public school system as a whole is 70 percent black and Hispanic.

When Justin Hudson, 18, stood up in his purple robes to address his classmates in the auditorium of Hunter College, those numbers were on his mind. He opened his remarks by praising the school and explaining how appreciative he was to have made it to that moment.

Then he shocked his audience. “More than anything else, I feel guilty,” Mr. Hudson, who is black and Hispanic, told his 183 fellow graduates. “I don’t deserve any of this. And neither do you.”

They had been labeled “gifted,” he told them, based on a test they passed “due to luck and circumstance.” Beneficiaries of advantages, they were disproportionately from middle-class Asian and white neighborhoods known for good schools and the prevalence of tutoring.

“If you truly believe that the demographics of Hunter represent the distribution of intelligence in this city,” he said, “then you must believe that the Upper West Side, Bayside and Flushing are intrinsically more intelligent than the South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Washington Heights. And I refuse to accept that.”

The entire faculty gave him a standing ovation, as did about half the students. The principal, Eileen Coppola, who had quietly submitted her formal resignation in mid-June but had not yet informed the faculty, praised him, saying, “That was a very good and a very brave speech to make,” Mr. Hudson recalled. But Jennifer J. Raab, Hunter College’s president and herself a Hunter High alumna, looked uncomfortable on the stage and did not join in the ovation, faculty members and students said.

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