Posts Tagged ‘slavery

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

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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?’

23
May
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Henry Healy, the President’s distant cousin, after arriving in Moneygall, Ireland, May 23, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today

10:30 AM CT: The President departs Chicago

1:30 EDT: Arrives White House

3:0 EDT: Signs H.R. 1209, an act to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders for conducting the bombings of Tokyo, and H.R. 685, the American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal Act

3:30 EDT: The President will make a personnel announcement (see below)

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Ah, memories:

And the very lovely news: the video will be in the new Barack Obama Visitor Center in Moneygall – thank you Henry Healy!

(Not sure if the video is watchable in all YouTube regions??)

Remember, if you would like to send any election/inauguration items to Henry for the Visitor Center, just email me and I’ll pass on his address – thanks a gazillion for the wonderful response so far.

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USA Today: Obama’s day: A new budget director, housing secretary

President Obama pulls a Cabinet switch on Friday.

The president will nominate Shaun Donovan, now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to be the new director of the Office of Management and Budget.

To replace Donovan as HUD secretary, Obama will nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Obama will make the announcements on Friday afternoon, after he returns to the White House from Chicago. The president spent Thursday night in the Windy City after headlining a pair of Democratic fundraisers.

More here

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Sun Times: Obama in Chicago: “I need a Democratic Senate” (Transcript)

At the first of two fundraisers in Chicago on Thursday, President Barack Obama told donors “I need a Democratic Senate” or else his agenda for the last two terms of his term – including immigration reform – will not succeed. Obama said he is worried about people not voting in November:

…… I need a Congress that works. And that means I need a Democratic Senate. And it would be helpful to have a Democratic House.  Now, you all know this so I’m preaching to the choir. But here’s the challenge we have: Democrats are not perfect and it turns out one of our great imperfections is we have a congenital tendency not to vote in midterm elections.

I don’t know what it is. Presidential elections, we’re all in. In 2008, you all went crazy; 2012, you still went crazy. High turnout, we’re motivated, donors are involved, people are active, folks are knocking on doors, people making phone calls.  And then the midterm comes and we fall asleep.

That cannot happen in this election because the stakes are too high. And I say this mindful that in every election somebody says how high the stakes are. But think about what’s at stake right now. Think about it.  If we do not hang on to the Senate and make gains in the House we may not get immigration reform done, which means we could have another three, four years in which we’re being deprived of talent we’re training here in the United States – they go back home and start businesses someplace else. There are Michael Polskys right now in universities that have the possibility of creating businesses here but may end up going back home because we have a broken immigration system. That’s what’s at stake.

More here

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NJ.com: Obamacare enrollment drives down NJ’s uninsurance rate by 38 percent

The first look at the Affordable Care Act’s impact on New Jersey reveals the percentage of uninsured people is on track to reach its lowest level in nearly a quarter of a century, according to a new report released Thursday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The proportion of uninsured adults decreased 38 percent from September to early March, according to the foundation. That decline is likely to accelerate, knowing that many people waited until the last minute to beat the March 30 enrollment deadline.

“These findings suggest that uninsurance in New Jersey is at its lowest level since 1990,” according to the report produced by the foundation and the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.

The survey results suggest that many concerns about the law — from Gov. Chris Christie hand-off approach to its implementation, to the Obama administration’s troubled launch of the HealthCare.Gov website — did not create insurmountable roadblocks.

More here

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Eugene Robinson: The GOP is still swallowing the tea

What’s happening in the Republican primaries is less a defeat for the tea party than a surrender by the GOP establishment, which is winning key races by accepting the tea party’s radical anti-government philosophy.

Anyone who hopes the party has finally come to its senses will be disappointed. Republicans have pragmatically decided not to concede Senate elections by nominating eccentrics and crackpots. But in persuading the party’s activist base to come along, establishment leaders have pledged fealty to eccentric, crackpot ideas.

More here

Similarly, from Charles Pierce:

This is a mutually co-opting dynamic that is becoming smoother. The “establishment” adopts uniformly extremist policies that would have been unthinkable for a national Republican party two decades ago. The “Tea Party wing” contents itself in the knowledge that the party declines any more to nominate raving loons for election to the national legislature. My guess is that this modus vivendi will provide some empty conflict entertainment over the next two election cycles, but it all will be moon pigeons for the punditocracy to marvel at. The radical conservative philosophy has captured the infrastructure of the Republican party, root and branch, local and national. It’s just wearing shoes again now.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Why Guantanamo remains open

President Obama has received a fair amount of criticism from the left about the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The president vowed to close the prison, but after five years in office, it remains open.

That’s not for lack of effort. Obama has tried, repeatedly, to pursue the policy that used to enjoy bipartisan support, but Congress – including members of both parties – have placed inflexible restrictions on the administration, preventing progress. In other words, the president hasn’t closed the prison because lawmakers simply won’t let him.

Every time there’s reason to think progress is possible, Congress does what it always does…..

… There’s certainly nothing wrong with being frustrated by the detention facility remaining open, but if you’re blaming the White House, you’re pointing the finger at the wrong end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

More here

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Cue Exploding Heads on the Right:

Bloomberg: Netanyahu Says Obama Got Syria Right

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has some uncharacteristically positive words for one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s most controversial foreign policy initiatives: the deal struck last year to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

I met Netanyahu last Friday afternoon in his bunkerlike office in Jerusalem. During the course of our discussion, I asked him about the famous “red line” crisis – Obama’s last-minute decision to abort a missile strike and instead negotiate the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile – that colors so much of foreign-policy commentary today.

Netanyahu issued what was for him a full-throated endorsement of an Obama initiative, calling it “the one ray of light in a very dark region.”

More here

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Greg Sargent: On immigration, the GOP is Steve King’s party

 It’s not often that GOP Rep. Steve King says anything usefully revelatory on immigration reform. Today, however, he went on to the House floor and, in just over a minute, unmasked the truth about the Republican Party’s position on immigration — a position that House Republican leaders have tried to obscure for months.

King cited Chuck Schumer’s recent claim that the Congressman from Iowa is an “extreme outlier” on the issue. King then helpfullly pointed out that in fact, his position is indistinguishable from the Republican Party position, while deriding the Democratic position as akin to socialism…

More here

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Fernando Espuelas: Boehner lies to Hispanics again

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) published an orotund statement predicated on a lie, betting that Hispanic Americans are incapable of distinguishing between fact and fiction.

According to Boehner, President Obama’s recent designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico as a national monument — lands with deep historical and archeological significance to Hispanics and Native Americans — demonstrated “the president’s fondness for unilateral action [that] has created widespread doubt among the American people that he and his administration can be counted on to enforce any law he signs, particularly when it comes to securing our nation’s borders and reforming our immigration system.”

Now, to be fair, the Boehner-led House is so chaotic that it resembles more a gang of yammering ruffians than a serious legislative body. So there is a possibility, even a small chance, that Boehner doesn’t even know what is said in his name through his office’s communications office.

Even so, what is the best case scenario? Incompetence instead of deception? Rogue staff? After a litany of objectively dubious statements about immigration reform in the past, it’s hard to give Boehner the benefit of the doubt.

More here

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Text of the First Lady’s remarks here

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Harold Meyerson: The boost that comes from raising the minimum wage

 The standard argument — really, the only argument — against raising the minimum wage is that it will lead to job loss. The argument is beloved by die-hard opponents of raising the wage because it provides them with a veneer, however flimsy, of concern about the welfare of the working poor.

 Economic studies have repeatedly shown that argument to be spurious. Now the latest survey of 350,000 small businesses from Paychex, a payroll provider company, and IHS, a business analysis firm, provides strong indications that the exact opposite may be true.

 In April, the Paychex/IHS survey, which looks at employment in small businesses, found that the state with the highest percentage of annual job growth was Washington — the state with the highest minimum wage in the nation, $9.32 an hour. The metropolitan area with the highest percentage of annual job growth was San Francisco — the city with the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $10.74.

 This suggests that the relationship between a high minimum wage and job creation needn’t be inverse. If anything, it suggests that relationship is direct.

 More here

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi talks with President of the Harvey Milk Foundation Stuart Milk, next to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, after they unveiled the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp at its dedication ceremony at the White House

 

 

 Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman, fourth from right, and others, applaud during the unveiling ceremony of the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Joining Stroman, from left are, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Stuart Milk, Founder and President, Harvey Milk Foundation, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. On the day he would have turned 84 years old, Harvey Milk, the San Francisco supervisor and gay activist gunned down at City Hall in 1978, had a postal stamp in his honor unveiled at the White House

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Link

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Michael Tomasky: The Roots of the GOP’s Race Problem

Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the Great Society and the civil rights push. But if conservative hero Barry Goldwater had had his way, government would have stayed out of it.

…. I like the way today’s conservatives rush to point out, as they will in this comment thread, that most of the opposition to the civil rights bill was Democratic, as I noted above. There’s no denying that. But the more relevant point for today is this: Over the next few years, those people left the Democratic Party. They knew there was no place for them there.

In today’s GOP, however, the successors to the Richard Russells and Harry Byrds have been welcomed with open arms. And Barry Goldwater is not merely one guy among many guys they kind of like from the past. He is conservatism’s great hero! And 1964 is thought of as a shining moment in their movement’s history! And here we are, 50 years later, with the Republican Party looking as if it just might nominate for president a guy (Rand Paul) who once admitted that he’d have opposed the Civil Rights Act and basically was still against it (and Paul is one of the better Republicans on race!). Half a century, and society has changed for the better in amazing ways. But one of our two parties is still dedicated to fighting it.

Full post here

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Three Years Ago Today

Arriving in Dublin, May 23, 2011

 President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with Irish President Mary McAleese and Dr. Martin McAleese during a courtesy call in the Drawing Room at the President’s residence in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama holds a hurley as Taoiseach Enda Kenny looks on

Arriving in Moneygall (Photo by Pete Souza)

 First Lady Michelle Obama greets local residents on Main Street in Moneygall (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets local residents in Moneygall (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama poses for a photograph with a young girl during a walk along Main Street in Moneygall (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama watches as First Lady Michelle Obama draws a pint at Ollie Hayes’ Pub in Moneygall (Photo by Pete Souza)

 President Obama embraces Liz Sherwood-Randall, Senior Director for European Affairs, at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011. Sherwood-Randall was blown over by strong winds earlier in the day and injured her wrist (Photo by Pete Souza)

Thousands of people gather at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, to welcome President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, May 23, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

People cheer as President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are introduced during an Irish celebration at College Green in Dublin (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leave the stage with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife, Fionnuala Kenny, at College Green in Dublin (Photo by Pete Souza)

 President Obama greets a little girl following his remarks at College Green in Dublin (Photo by Pete Souza)

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19
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

10:45 President Obama will call on Congress to avert the automatic spending cuts coming next week

3:30: VP Biden participates in a Facebook Town Hall on gun violence

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President Obama returning to the White House, Feb 18

USA Today: President Obama will urge congressional Republicans to avoid automatic budget cuts next month by appearing Tuesday with a group of emergency responders who might have to absorb some of those cuts.

The group of emergency responders who will stand beside Obama at 10:45 a.m. are “the kinds of working Americans whose jobs are on the line if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise on a balanced solution,” said an addition to the White House schedule.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Whose “idea” was the sequester, and why should it matter? My Twitter feed these last couple of weeks has been overflowing with people going beyond the usual “communist” and “idiot” name-calling that I get every day and throwing the occasional “liar” in there because I “withhold” the information that the sequester was the Obama administration’s idea. Very well, consider that nugget hereby unwithheld. Let’s grant that this is true. But it’s true only because the Republicans were holding a gun to the administration’s head—and besides, the Republicans immediately voted for it. In any case the important thing now is that outside of Fox News land, it’s an unimportant fact whose “idea” it was. The Republicans are partial owners of this idea, and as the party that now wants the cuts to kick in, they deserve to – and will – bear more responsibility for the negative impacts.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Over the weekend, USA Today published the leaked blueprint of the White House’s comprehensive immigration reform plan, built around an eight-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), demonstrating the kind of devotion to serious policymaking we’ve come to expect over his brief career, immediately condemned the unfinished plan he had not yet seen.

Full post here

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Deaniac (The People’s View): So, after USA Today reported on a White House draft legislation on immigration reform – something the president has always said he would do in the event Congress follows its usual path of doing nothing – Republicans began melting down faster than wax in a lit candle. Suddenly after months of complaining that the president won’t put his own plan out to deal with the debt, Republicans are seething that the president has his own plan on immigration.

Sen. Hydration, I mean Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida accused the White House proposal of following some sort of failed path even though he wouldn’t say just what in the White House draft he disagreed with……

Full post here

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Comment on YouTube by ‘Jack194343′: Before Mississippi could ratify the amendment, they had to learn how to read the amendment. That only took 147 years. Wait until they discover addition. That will knock their socks off. Imagine, not having to count by their fingers. What a leap forward that will be. But first, they have to learn to count to ten, so they know how many fingers they have. First things first, you know.

:shock:

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Join Organizing for Action’s Stephanie Cutter and other supporters online at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time this Wednesday for a policy briefing on gun violence prevention – see here

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The First Lady will be on the Rachael Ray Show tomorrow

Rev Al cracked me up at the end!

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MoooOOoooOOOoorning!

08
Jul
11

oh these people….

Jack and Jill: In Iowa, there’s a social conservative pledge called “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family” that is anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage, anti-divorce etc etc that GOP candidates are being urged to sign. (It includes:)

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

Given that families were broken up regularly for sales during slavery and that rape by masters was pretty common, this could not be more offensive … When will Republicans inquire with actual Black people whether or not we’re ok with invoking slavery to score cheap political points? It has to stop….

Full post here

Michele Bachmann (here) and Rick Santorum (here) have signed the ‘pledge’

More at ThinkProgress and baratunde.com

Thanks lmrj

07
Mar
11

rewriting history?

‘How did the University of Virginia come to publish a version of Lincoln’s inaugural speech that cut crucial words on slavery?’

Matt Seaton (The UK Guardian): ….I was preparing for publication Eric Foner’s article on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration speech … I went searching for a transcript of the speech to link to. The results of a Google search took me to the site of the University of Virginia’s Miller Centre of Public Affairs; reckoning this a prestigious institution at a public university (founded by Thomas Jefferson, no less), I assumed this would be a reliable link to use …

Then I reached the passage quoted by Eric’s piece, where Lincoln flatly states: “One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.”

…I searched the transcript on the Miller Centre site for this sentence but could not find it…. I sent off an email to the Miller Centre staff, alerting them to the fact that they were publishing a misleading, redacted version of Lincoln’s address; and outlining my interpretation that it looked as though the speech had been cut to remove references to slavery… I received an immediate reply; and within an hour, the webpage had been amended and the full text restored.

Since then, I’ve done a full comparison of the cached version of the page and the amended one; at the foot of this article run all the passages that had been omitted from the original…

…the sum of the redactions appeared to have two key effects: first, of toning down or removing entirely Lincoln’s strong assertions of the legitimate authority of the Union before and above the Constitution; and second, as said, of shifting the emphasis away from slavery as the key point of dispute between North and South and towards differences over the precedence and prerogative of individual states v the Union in law-making and enforcement. It is difficult not to see a neo-Confederate agenda in this editing.

It is possible that the erroneous version of Lincoln’s address was published by accident or carelessness. But the alacrity with which a correction was made suggests that Miller Centre executives realised the potential damage to the institution’s reputation of hosting what might appear to be a politically tendentious, “doctored” version of the address.

Having had a polite note from them, thanking me for pointing out the error and confirming the correction, I wrote back saying I was considering writing about it and seeking their comment on several questions (see the questions here)

In contrast to the almost instantaneous earlier response, as yet, I have received no reply to these questions. So the Miller Centre would seem to wish to make no further comment. But given that its online database of the Scripps Library purports to be a vital resource for scholars of public policy, US government and presidential history, I certainly hope they are running some checks.

Full article here




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