Posts Tagged ‘independence

05
Jul
14

Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?

Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?

 

by @zizii2

****

On that sweltering July 5th 1852, exactly 162 years ago today, Frederick Douglass delivered his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”, a speech uncensored in its brutal rebuke of the hypocrisy of America celebrating independence, while its black population remained shackled in slavery. I wonder what he would say today if he were here in our time. No doubt the brutality of slavery in his time can never be compared to anything going on today.

Yet in view of the determined aggression of America’s conservative forces in our time, to derail every single gain made in the last century to advance Democracy and make this country “a more perfect union,” one wonders what he’d say. In the lifework of Frederick Douglass in which he combined his abolitionist cause with the fight for Women’s Rights, he always saw the struggles of enslaved African Americans as intertwined with the struggles of ALL disenfranchised Americans.

**** Continue reading ‘Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?’

04
Jul
13

America the Beautiful…

Thomas Jefferson’s “original rough draft” of  the Declaration of Independence (with revisions by Adams & Franklin)

1

**

Yes, it’s true: Jefferson’s tombstone doesn’t say that he was ever president. He didn’t want it mentioned

1a

***

***

Fun, Fireworks, and Games

***

Click here to see the rest of the post

04
Jul
13

What Kind Of Free Is This?

 On a day like today, the realities of this country’s past, who we are, and where we are headed must not be forgotten. This is a powerful piece. I encourage you take the time to read it, in its entirety.

***** 

statue-of-liberty

****

Goldie Taylor: Growing up in East St. Louis, the Fourth of July holidays hold some of my fondest memories.  My cousin Booky and I woke at daybreak to help my Uncle Ross clean the grill and get a first crack at the box of fireworks. When Aunt Gerry wasn’t looking, he’d sneak us a few boxes of sparklers and a book of matches he knew we weren’t supposed to have. Booky, a crafty Svengali, always managed to come up with a cache of forbidden bottle rockets.

Uncle Ross placed the large American flag into a metal bracket affixed to a freshly-painted white column on our front porch.  He was proud of that flag, proud of his Army, proud to have served his country in the Korean War. Back in 1976, we were brown, small and indifferent to the world swirling around us. Unbeknownst to us, we were living history too, the children of the Great Migration. Our grandparents had joined the movement of six million African-Americans out of the rural South, in search of good paying jobs, housing and a basic fairness they had never known.  My mother’s family had come north from Tunica, Mississippi, my father’s family from tiny Spadra, Arkansas. Some took jobs in factories, others as domestic workers. But that was everybody’s story. It wasn’t unusual for somebody’s cousin to be visiting from “down South.”

We were 134 years beyond the Declaration of Independence when the migration began around 1910. However, it had to be abundantly clear to my grandparents that despite the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, rights on paper did not always equate to rights in practice. Today, East St. Louis is nearly 98 percent black, largely impoverished and mostly forgotten. It is no longer useful to measure how many students don’t graduate from high school.  Many do not reach the 9th grade.  The cycle of poverty begins and is perpetuated in the halls of a junior high school. That Fourth of July night in 1976, Grandma Alice and I sat at the windowsill in her upper room, listening to the Cardinal game on a transistor radio, then watching the fireworks over Busch Stadium. “What kind of free is this?” she said, stroking my head. “What kind of free is this, child?”

More of this emotionally riveting piece here

*****

“I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.” – Abraham Lincoln, July 1858 in Chicago, IL

****

uc06330

****

 

04
Jul
13

Rise and Shine: Happy 4th!

President Barack Obama holds a baby while greeting guests during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 ****

Jamelle Bouie: In the United States, voting rights don’t march forward as much as they ebb and flow. Often, it happens like this: The prospect of short-term political gain leads one of the two parties to make a massive push for democratic participation, which is then countered by the other side, which has an equally large interest in maintaining a smaller electorate of particular people. After North Carolina Democrats won unified control of state government in 2006—thanks to wide dissatisfaction with the Republican Party and high turnout from black voters—they moved to expand voting with same-day registration. Greater participation, they argued, was a good in itself. North Carolina Republicans took control of the legislature in 2010, and in the same vein, promptly moved to restrict voting where it was previously open. In 2011, then-Governor Bev Purdue vetoed a bill that would have required identification for all voters, end same-day registration, restrict early voting, and end voting on the Sunday before an election.

Now, however, Republicans have the governorship as well as a veto-proof majority. And with the Supreme Court’s decision last week—which gutted the Voting Rights Act and ended the pre-clearance requirement for North Carolina, among other states—the GOP has a chance to turn this proposal into law. They aren’t wasting any time.

With the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act—as well as the actions in states like North Carolina—that’s where the fight is now. Are we still a country that’s serious about opening the polls to all of its citizens, or do we believe that voting is for some, and not for others?

More here

****

7743234670_e56bcb9fb6_h

President Barack Obama holds a baby while greeting guests during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 *****

Washington Post: the Obama administration announced that it would delay the “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act, which requires businesses of 50 employees or more to provide health insurance or face a penalty. The reason for the delay, as Sarah Kliff reports for The Post, is that the administration has heard “significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it.” As far as policy is concerned, this isn’t a huge blow to the ACA.

Indeed, there’s a case for repealing the employer mandate altogether, given how little it matters to the full scheme of the law. But such an administrative reform is only possible in a settled political environment, where both sides accept the reality of the Affordable Care Act. As it stands, the Republican Party is still committed to repealing every portion of Obamacare, regardless of the costs. Indeed, after news of the delay broke, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor responded on Twitter with a simple declaration. “Rather than simply delaying the pain, we should go ahead and scrap this entire law before any more damage is done.”

More here

*****

*****

7743235236_e357ef4b6c_h

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch from the White House roof as fireworks erupt over the National Mall, July 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

*****

Urban Institute: On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced a 1-year delay in the implementation of employer penalties associated with large employers (50 or more workers) who do not offer affordable coverage to their full-time workers (30 or more hours per week). Our prior analyses show these penalties are not the driving force behind the ACA’s coverage expansions. Nor are the penalties a significant source of federal revenue. Contrary to some initial reactions, the employer responsibility requirement is not a critical factor in meeting the goals of the law.

As we have explained elsewhere, there is very little in the ACA that changes the incentives facing employers that already offer coverage to their workers, and fully 96 percent of employers with 50 or more workers already offer today. Competition for labor, the fact that most employees get greater value from the tax exclusion for employer sponsored insurance than they would from exchange-based subsidies, and the introduction of a requirement for individuals to obtain coverage or pay a penalty themselves, are the major factors that will keep the lion’s share of employers continuing to do just what they do today with no requirements in place to do so.

Throughout the development and the implementation of the ACA, there has been more worry than warranted that employers will drop insurance coverage.  The current furor over the delay of the employer penalties appears to be more of the same. With or without the penalties, most people will still get coverage through their employers; the fundamental structure of the law will remain intact.

More here

****

A Year Ago Today

****

*****

6047848364_6517b154f4_b

A young girl salutes President Barack Obama as he shakes hands along a ropeline with members of the military and their families during the Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Coral Davenport: Within hours of President Obama’s sweeping climate speech last week, Republican campaign committees reignited the charge that the president has declared “War on Coal.” They blasted inboxes and airwaves with “War on Coal” talking points, now aimed squarely at Democrats running in Senate and House races in 2014. The “War on Coal campaign” failed to unseat Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign. And despite the potency of the rhetorical attack, it’s unlikely to have much impact on the 2014 races.

Here’s why: As National Journal reported last week, the political power of coal has fundamentally weakened, a shift laid bare by last year’s elections. Between 2008 and 2012, the coal industry nearly quadrupled its political contributions, directing 90 percent of its money towards Republicans. But Obama still won comfortably in the four key swing states that produce the most coal: Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Thanks to a recent boom in cheap natural gas—which has brought with it a boom in domestic manufacturing—coal is a smaller piece of the economy than it once was. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 84,000 people employed in the coal-mining industry—a number that just isn’t enough to make a difference in a national election.

More here

*****

6047297089_8eb6211537_b

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch fireworks from the roof of the White House, July 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 ****

Texas Tribune: After closing public testimony just after midnight, the House State Affairs Committee voted 8-3, along party lines, to approve House Bill 2. Public testimony was closed before more than 1,000 people who wished to testify on the bill were given the opportunity. Of the 3,543 people who registered a position on the bill, fewer than 100 testified — in nearly equal number for and against the bill —­ before midnight. According to House officials, 2,181 people registered against the bill, while 1,355 registered for the bill.

“The time clock has not run out on this special session, and I do believe the people who come here do have a right to have their voices heard,” state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, told the committee. He voted against the bill. People waiting in the committee room called out requests to testify. “My mom died of a back-alley abortion, and I want to testify,” a man called out from the audience. He added that he’d waited more than seven hours.

More here

*****

4799515175_103d1abce4_b

Fireworks begin as the Killers perform on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2010, during the Fourth of July celebration. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 *****

Note: The media should stop referring to them as “abortion clinics.” They are “Women’s Health Clinics” which provide a range of healthcare services to women and men alike.

****

Tara Culp-Ressler: In addition to criminalizing abortion services after 20 weeks, the other provisions in Texas’ abortion proposals would impose harsh restrictions on abortion providers. By subjecting abortion clinics to new regulations that would force them to make expensive updates to their facilities — unnecessary measures that major medical groups, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, oppose — Texas’ bill would force 90 percent of the state’s clinics to close their doors. That would leave just five abortion clinics in the entire Lone Star State, which happens to be the second most populous state in the country.

Texas is 773 miles wide and 790 miles long. The proposed restrictions would wipe out all of the abortion clinics in the western half of the state, leaving just a handful remaining in urban centers. If the measures currently being advanced in the legislature become law, many women living in rural areas will be forced to travel hundreds of miles to get to the nearest clinic — a trek that low-income women, who struggle to take time off work and pay for transportation, aren’t likely to be able to afford. And the real catch? Outside of the debate about abortion access after 20 weeks — even outside of the fight for abortion rights altogether — the “abortion clinics” in question are often providing health services that encompass much more than helping women terminate a pregnancy. Many of them also provide preventative care, family planning counseling, STD testing, and cancer screenings. And they offer those health services to Texans of both genders who are typically uninsured.

Under Texas’ proposed legislation, many clinics that currently offer birth controls and condoms would have to cease those services for some of Texas’ neediest residents. “That is part of the concern that’s getting drowned out in the abortions versus pro-life soundbite,” Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D) told ABC News in a recent phone interview.

More here

****

4799515197_6e9febbdee_b

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pretend to march to music in the Blue Room of the White House, July 4, 2010, before delivering remarks to military families during a Fourth of July celebration. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

*****

****

Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern)

****

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host military heroes and their families for an Independence Day celebration with a barbeque, concert and a view of fireworks on the South Lawn. Staff and their families from throughout the Administration will also attend this event for the concert and fireworks viewing

6:00PM: Pres. Obama will deliver remarks

*****

7743235026_b748132ed5_k

4799515171_1198aea9aa_b

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the fireworks over the National Mall from the roof of the White House, July 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 ****

Have A Safe Fireworksstacular Fourth Of July! :D

****




@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@blog44

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

@DaRiverZkind

@Lib_Librarian

@amk4obama

@zizii2

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 27,782,958 hits
October 2014
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031