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Taxation Without Representation

The City of Washington, DC was set up in a Congressional Act in 1787. The city is limited to space of no more than 10 square miles.Until “Home Rule”, the City was ruled by the Federal Government, under the auspices of Congress. Until 1961, citizens in the City could not vote for election of the President or local Officials. In 1973, Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, ceding some of its power over the city to a new, directly elected city council and mayor. Walter Washington became the first elected mayor of Washington, D.C.

Congress still maintains the power to approve any law passed by the City council and Mayor. This was demonstrated most recently when the council approved a bill legalizing Marijuana, and the Republican led Congressional Committee nixed the Law.

Unique among cities with a high percentage of African Americans, Washington has had a significant black population since the city’s creation. As a result, Washington became both a center of African American culture and a center of civil rights movement. Since the city government was run by the federal government, black and white school teachers were paid at an equal scale as workers for the federal government. It was not until the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, a southern Democrat who had numerous southerners in his cabinet, that federal offices and workplaces were segregated, starting in 1913.This situation persisted for decades: the city was racially segregated in certain facilities until the 1950s.

DC Statehood is still a hot local issue. Republicans oppose such for much the same reason the slaveholding South demanded the compromise that all future states added to the Union be balanced between slave and free – due to a large black population, the City leans Democrat. Meaning statehood would likely add two more Democrat Senators to the Senate, and 1 -2 Democrat Congressmen.

Key Bridge – From Rosslyn, Virginia into the Georgetown section of Washington, DC.

John Oliver: Why Washington, D.C., Should Be the 51st State

It sucks to live in Washington, D.C.—or so says John Oliver, the surprisingly nimble political satirist and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Yes, if you thought Sen. Marco Rubio making The Hill’s ultra-silly list of the “50 Most Beautiful People” on Capitol Hill was bad, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for D.C. residents.

“There is one U.S. territory that suffers a lack of representation in D.C., and that is D.C. itself,” Oliver announced on Last Week.

District of Columbia license plates say “taxation without representation” for a reason. If you’re a resident of D.C., you’re forced to shell out for federal taxes and can fight in wars, yet no member of Congress is there to fight on your behalf, even though D.C.’s population eclipses that of states like Vermont and Wyoming, and its GDP is higher than 16 other states.

Oliver noted that when the Dalai Lama came to visit D.C. some years back “…he wondered why ‘a small pocket’ of people living in the world’s ‘champion of democracy’ lacked full voting rights,” calling the practice, “Quite strange”—and Tibet isn’t exactly a bastion of democracy.

The District of Columbia does have Eleanor Holmes Norton, who acts as delegate to the U.S. Congress representing D.C., but “she basically has pretend power,” Oliver said, since she votes by committee, can’t vote on the House floor, can’t vote on tax reform, and can’t vote on whether the country should go to war.

There’s strange historical precedent here, including a clause in the U.S. Constitution granting Congress the power to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over the district. Residents in D.C. couldn’t even vote in presidential elections until 1964, and it took a constitutional amendment to grant them that right. Also, D.C. residents weren’t allowed to elect a mayor and City Council until July 17, 1966—when they were granted “Home Rule”—but it was still required that all legislation, including the city’s budget, be subject to congressional approval.

So for over two decades, Norton has introduced a series of bills trying to grant D.C. statehood or a vote in Congress—to no avail.

“Over the years, Congress has repeatedly stepped in when D.C. is about to do anything they disapprove of,” said Oliver.

Last November, 70 percent of D.C. voters approved Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana, but then congressional Republicans stepped in and enacted a rider preventing them from allocating funds to pass the law—which, Oliver said, doesn’t square with the Republican ethos of “limited government” and “states’ rights.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), a member of the House Oversight Committee, tried to justify stomping all over D.C.’s rights with the following explainer: “Well, Washington, D.C., is not a state. Washington, D.C., has a lot to offer, but…free rein on marijuana use? I just don’t buy that. I just don’t think that’s the way they should operate. So, states’ rights? Yes. But Washington, D.C., is not a state.”

But that isn’t even the half of it.

“The award for the most depressingly cynical thing that has ever been said about D.C. actually goes to our current president, who in 2011 avoided a government shutdown by striking a deal with John Boehner that included prohibiting D.C. from spending its own money on abortions for low-income women, saying, ‘John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it,’” Oliver said.

It seems that it’s been the GOP congressmen who, time and again, have sought to limit D.C.’s voting power or fought its right to statehood. Back in 2009, a bill to give D.C. a vote was introduced in the Senate, and the Senate did, according to Oliver, “the most dickish thing imaginable” by passing it with an itty-bitty addition: an amendment that would repeal all of D.C.’s gun control laws, including its ban on semi-automatic weapons; remove criminal penalties for possession of unregistered firearms; and alter its ability to enact future gun control legislation.

“As a result of that amendment, the bill was dropped, and D.C. hasn’t been close to getting a vote since,” said Oliver.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Congressman Chaka Fattah Indicted

Looks like another member of Congress is getting ready to join the Orange Jumpsuited Politician Group!

Rep. Chaka Fattah Indicted On Corruption Charges

WASHINGTON — Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) was indicted on federal corruption charges on Wednesday in connection with fraud around his unsuccessful 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia.

In a 29-count indictment, federal prosecutors charged that Fattah and his associates were part of a racketeering conspiracy that involved “several schemes” intended to further their “political and financial interests.”

Prosecutors said Fattah, who was elected to Congress in 1994, and four associates were involved in a scheme to borrow $1 million from a wealthy donor, disguising it as a loan to a consulting company. After losing the election, Fattah reportedly returned $400,000 in unused campaign funds to the donor, then engaged in a series of maneuvers — including the misuse of federal grant funds — to repay the outstanding $600,000.

In addition, the indictment alleges a number of improper dealings between Fattah and Herbert Vederman, a lobbyist and a former deputy mayor of Philadelphia who served as the finance director for Fattah’s mayoral campaign. Vederman continued to serve in that capacity until at least 2011 as he negotiated the campaign’s outstanding debts, according to the indictment.

Fattah allegedly accepted payments and other things of value from Vederman while doing him a number of personal and political favors. The congressman offered a job to Vederman’s girlfriend, the prosecutors say, and at another point signed and hand-delivered a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to give Vederman an ambassadorship.

Fattah and his wife, Renee Chenault Fattah, also allegedly used bribery proceeds to “close on a vacation home” in the Poconos by falsely disguising an $18,000 payment on the home as a sale of their Porsche to Vederman.

The indictment also alleges that Fattah used campaign funds to pay for his and his wife’s personal expenses, as well as his son’s student loans…More...

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Orange Jumsuit Politicians

 

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Black Lives Matter Shakes Up the Democratic Primary and Message

The Republican Party is getting shaken up by the Trumplodytes…

The Dems are finally coming to grip with their Minority constituency.

This is just one of the steps that need to be taken to reinvent and create a new Democrat Party responding to it’s modern constituency.

The Republicans…well…Not so much.

The following from the Benjamin Dixon Webcast Show

 

#BlackLivesMatter Is Winning the 2016 Democratic Primary

A disruptive protest leads candidates to change rhetoric

When Black Lives Matter protestors stormed a room at a meeting in Phoenix and demanded that the 2016 presidential candidates say the names of black people killed by the police, the response was swift: Bernie Sanders did it the next day.

“I wish that in the year 2015, I could tell you we have eliminated racism in this country, but you all know that is not true,” said Sanders, to a crowd of more than 11,000 in Houston on Sunday, and then listed the names: “Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray and many, many others.”

It’s a testament to the influence Black Lives Matter activists are already having on the 2016 presidential race. Since the raucous protest of a few dozen mostly African-American activists brought the biggest meeting of progressives in the country to a screeching halt, Hillary Clinton repeated her calls for body cameras and improved early childhood education, and wrote “Black lives matter” in a Facebook post. Martin O’Malley promised to roll out a comprehensive plan to reform the criminal justice system, and Sanders has repeatedly brought up race on the campaign trail.

Now, Black Lives Matter leaders are preparing an agenda of policy demands and requirements designed to push Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley to embrace broad reforms to address systemic racism head-on. Activists foresee a series of demonstrations to call attention to racial injustice in the United States.

“What does the Democratic camp have to say about our society? We are in a crisis,” said Opal Tometi, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement. “If they want our vote, they’re going to have to speak to the death of black people at the hands of law enforcement, and create a racial justice agenda that cuts across all major issues.”

Black Lives Matter activists meeting in Cleveland this weekend will formulate a long list of policy demands for candidates, Tometi said, intended to shape the 2016 presidential race and help form the basis for candidates’ talking points.

Some of the agenda will likely include anti-bias police hiring, the demilitarization of police forces and external reviews of police practices, activists told TIME. But leaders are also calling for more sweeping reforms that include a package of progressive packages intended to help poor blacks, including lifting the minimum wage, aggressive education reform, housing protections, protecting access to the ballot box and ending mass incarceration.

A number of racial justice groups including the Black Youth Project, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, the Dream Defenders and others are expected to be in Cleveland.

“Body cameras and dash cameras are clearly not enough, because Sandra Bland still ended up dead,” said Alicia Garza, a second cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement, referring to a civil rights activist who was found dead in a jail cell in Texas, in what authorities have called a suicide. Many observers have called her arrest violent and excessive.

“I want to see from all these candidates is program for how they’re going to aggressively work to ensure that black lives matter,” Garza continued. “Not just in relation to policing: we have to dive into questions of economics and democracy.”

Black Lives Matter grew out of the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the violence last year in Ferguson, when Michael Brown, an unarmed black man was killed by the police. Over the past year, the organizationally diffuse movement has mounted large protests against police violence and incarceration policies. The movement is fueled by a widespread anger over police violence against black citizens.

Of the Democratic candidates, Clinton has perhaps addressed race in the most detail since launching her campaign. She has called for automatic voter registration and protecting the rights of black Americans at the ballot box, body cameras on police officers, early childhood education directed at low-income families and overhauling the criminal justice system. She has called for greater gun control and raising the minimum wage, and spoken specifically to the persistence of racism.

“Our problem is not all kooks and Klansman,” Clinton said in a speech in June. “It’s also in the cruel joke that goes unchallenged. It’s in the off-hand comments about not wanting ‘those people’ in the neighborhood.”

Sanders led anti-segregation efforts in Chicago in the 1960s and participated in the Million Man March, but does not frequently talk about racism on the campaign trail. He has become increasingly vocal about racism, particularly since Saturday, calling for more accountability among police and larger steps to address prison reform. O’Malley has called for better funding of independent external review boards and reducing penalties for nonviolent criminals.

The spectacle on Saturday at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, Arizona began during former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s presidential town hall question-and-answer session, when several dozen Black Lives Matter protestors marched into the conference room, chanting, “What side are you on black people, what side are you on!” and chanted “Say her name! O’Malley was silenced for some ten minutes before finally addressing the protestors and calling for broader criminal justice reforms. Sanders nearly left the stage in frustration as the chanting continued.

 
 

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There Goes the Hispanic Vote…Dump Trump!

Geez – I imagine that the Republican strategist types are having nightmares right now. It is beginning to look like Republicans are going to have to settle for getting about as much of the Hispanic vote, as they get of the Black vote. Which isn’t much.

 

 

Poll finds Hispanic disapproval of Trump rhetoric on illegal immigrants

…The Univision News Poll, conducted by the independent research firm Bendixen & Amandi International with the Tarrance Group, shows that 7 in 10 Hispanic registered voters say they have an unfavorable impression of the New York businessman. Nine in 10 Hispanics say they have heard about Trump’s comments and, when read specific remarks, nearly 8 in 10 say they find them offensive…

Trump’s low ratings in the Univision poll closely reflect results from a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, which found 81 percent of Hispanics giving an unfavorable rating…

Hispanics remain an overwhelmingly Democratic voting bloc, according to the new survey by Univision. Asked to identify themselves by party, just 16 percent of Hispanic voters describe themselves as Republicans, compared with 58 percent who say they are Democrats and 26 percent who say they are independent. Roughly 2 in 3 Hispanics say they have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party while a slight majority say they have an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party…

Six in 10 Hispanics say the Democratic Party’s overall position on immigration is in line with their own, while only 20 percent cite the GOP. The issue of the path to citizenship could provide motivation for some Hispanic voters in 2016. A slight majority (54 percent) say they are more likely to back a candidate who supports a path to citizenship or legal status.

Hispanic voters are also more aligned with Obama’s overture to Cuba and the effort to normalize relations than with widespread Republican opposition to the moves. Overall, 46 percent of Hispanics say the Cuba issue will not factor into their voting decision in 2016. But by a 2-1 margin, the others say they are more likely to support a candidate who favors normalization of relations.

The Univision poll was conducted June 12 to 25 among 1,400 Hispanic voters interviewed on conventional and cellular telephones.

The following is from PEW Research and describes the battleground before Trump. If the Hispanic vote moves from 73% in 2014 for Obama to 85% for the next Democrat candidate…

It’s all over but the whining.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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Republicans on Welfare

A favorite conservative line is that they are paying for black folks on welfare with their taxes. The following is a list of the counties in America with the highest Food Stamp benefits…

PERCENTAGE OF EACH GROUP THAT RECEIVES FOOD STAMPS
COUNTY STATE 2009 POP. ALL PEOPLE WHITES BLACKS CHANGE ’07-’09
Starr Texas 63,177 36% 63% 19% +6%
Costilla Colorado 3,173 24% 62% 77% +22%
McKinley New Mexico 71,477 28% 56% 0% +11%
Owsley Kentucky 4,667 49% 49% >90% +5%
Wolfe Kentucky 6,933 42% 43% 14% +5%
Clay Kentucky 24,102 37% 39% 9% +5%
Ripley Missouri 13,446 39% 39% 22% +22%
Lee Kentucky 7,389 37% 39% 6% +3%
McCreary Kentucky 17,341 37% 38% 7% +8%
Hancock Tennessee 6,669 37% 38% 26% +18%
Dunklin Missouri 31,300 44% 37% >90% +16%
Grundy Tennessee 14,182 36% 37% 6% +29%
Magoffin Kentucky 13,101 37% 37% 18% +2%
Carter Missouri 5,867 36% 37% 60% +14%
Washington Missouri 24,817 35% 36% 18% +24%

Notice anything?

ANd the two counties where “>90%” of black folks are on food stamps?

Dunklin, Missouri

The racial makeup of the county was 88.64% White, 8.68% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races.

Owsley, Kentucky

The racial makeup of the county was 99.22% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.02% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

You can look at the full data set here.

A Map showing the levels of SNAP recipients on a County level also shows something else interesting. The majority of the counties in America with 25%, 50%, or more on Food Stamps…

Are in the very Republican South. The darker areas represent counties where 30% or more of the population is on SNAP.

According to a TIME analysis of county-by-county food stamp enrollment data, GOP politicians represent more districts that majorly (30%+) participate in SNAP than Democrats.
 

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The New Southern Myth

The new version of the Southern Myth goes something like this –

Whitewashing the Democratic Party’s History

The Democrats have been sedulously rewriting history for decades. Their preferred version pretends that all of the Democratic racists and segregationists left their party and became Republicans starting in the 1960s. How convenient. If it were true that the South began to turn Republican due to Lyndon Johnson’s passage of the Civil Rights Act, you would expect that the Deep South, the states most associated with racism, would have been the first to move. That’s not what happened. The first southern states to trend Republican were on the periphery: North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee and Florida. (George Wallace lost these voters in his 1968 bid.) The voters who first migrated to the Republican Party were suburban, prosperous “New South” types. The more Republican the South has become the less racist…

Speaking of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, let’s review (since they don’t teach this in schools): The percentage of House Democrats who supported the legislation? 61 percent. House Republicans? 80 percent. In the Senate, 69 percent of Democrats voted yes, compared with 82 percent of Republicans. (Barry Goldwater, a supporter of the NAACP, voted no because he thought it was unconstitutional.)…

Amusing. But, if you control for region on voting for the Civil Rights Act, you get

281 out of 313 Representatives from Union States voted yes (90%)

8 of 102 from former confederate states voted yes (8%)

72 of 78 Senators from Union States voted yes (92%)

1 of 22 Senators from former confederate states voted yea (5%)

http://www.theguardian.com/com…

Which is the Party of the South now?

Here is a hint…

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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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.”

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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