Gov. Rick Scott attempts to decide 2012 for the nation. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)In 2007, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order to restore the voting rights of a huge swath of state citizens: people with felony convictions. Obviously Charlie Crist wasn't fulfilling his duty as a good Republican. He's history, as is his democratic reform. Current Gov. Rick Scott reversed that order, and made regaining the franchise an almost insurmountable challenge that starts with a direct appeal to the governor.
Those with a nonviolent felony must wait five years before applying for a clemency board hearing; others must wait seven years. "Essentially," the Brennan Center points out, "the new rules give the governor, an elected official, the power to decide who will (or won't) be allowed to vote in the next election."The impact of reversing the rule is, well, exactly what Scott was intending:
According to Desmond Meade of the nonprofit Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, "Over 1 million people in Florida right now are disenfranchised," he says. Nearly 1 in 3 of them are African American men. If these people were able to vote, Meade continues, "Florida would no longer be a swing state." [emphasis added]Between shutting these one million people out of the polls, and the purge of registration rolls that is targeting more than 180,000 people, Scott is in hot pursuit of the Election Thief of 2012 award.
President Obama holds an incredible 18 point lead over Mitt Romney in California, according to the newest Field Poll of the state.[...]
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Here are comments from House District 106 Rep. Nelson Hardwick concerning the Georgetown Port.
I support more financial support for the infrastructure in areas other that the I-26 and I-85 corridors. I'm glad other folks are finally beginning to understand that a rising tide should help to float all boats in places like Georgetown, Horry and other areas of the Great Pee Dee that have been forgotten for a long time.
Today's jobs report wins a great big "meh." Unemployment remains at 8.2 percent, public sector hiring is flat, private sector jobs grew at an anemic rate. New York Times:
The economy added 80,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, after a revised increase of 77,000 in May. The unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent.
Economists are expecting tepid job growth for the rest of the year, too.
?This economy has no forward momentum and little help from monetary or fiscal policy,? Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for the Conference Board, said. ?As if that were not enough, ill winds are blowing in from both a contracting Europe and slowing growth in emerging markets. Also, domestic lawmakers? inaction on the upcoming ?fiscal cliff? creates uncertainty that is not conducive to hiring.?
That report was evidently too straightforward for the Fox & Friends gang, who desperately tried to make it into a terrible thing. Media Matters does a good job of debunking that, if you care.
As to the "uncertainty," one might look to Congress to take some serious action on that. After all, they've had the President's proposal for job creation for nearly a year. You remember the American Jobs Act, right? The one that proposed hiring teachers, firefighters and policemen, modernizing schools, expanding infrastructure?
That would be the same American Jobs Act Eric Cantor declared dead on arrival, because he and his merry band of extremist Congressmen are treasonous self-dealing dictatorial idiots.
The report gave Mitt Romney the opportunity to claim that the report was a "kick in the gut for the middle class," blaming it all on President Obama's policies while giving Congress a complete pass. The man who wants to be President should maybe study up on the separation of powers, and also what has been going on over the past couple of years.
Amid all the verbs and gerunds expressing disappointment, Eric Cantor gives us a sort of heads-up about how Congress will respond.
In the coming weeks, the House will vote to stop the tax hike on working families and remove the red tape burdening small businesses to reduce uncertainty and make America more competitive.
What this means, functionally: The House will hold yet another vote on full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It will pass, and die in the Senate. Tread carefully. After that vote, you don't want to be mobbed on the street by newly certainty-infused people offering you jobs.
Yes, that. Exactly. I'm certain there will be a thousand or more votes defunding Planned Parenthood and banning abortion too. Those are true job creators.
Here are the facts. There is uncertainty in the economy right now because on January 1, 2013 two things will happen. The sequester will take hold causing automatic cuts to defense spending and other programs, and the Bush tax cuts will expire.
At one point in time, it was reasonable to expect the Congress to take action on these items, because that is what responsible elected officials do. However, we currently have a Congress full of irresponsible Republican idealogues who value their pledge to Grover over their oath of office, so all bets are off for everyone but the cottage industry devoted to yet another repeal vote on the Affordable Care Act.
Digby has a great list of what this do-nothing merry band of idiots is doing to our economy. Bookmark it.
THE JOBS REPORT knocked Obamacare out of the conversation, rescuing Mitt Romney from himself. Unemployment remains at 8.2%, with 80,000 jobs created in June.
What’s even more interesting is that Politico went out of their way to post Ralph Nader’s post from July 5th, delighting in their chosen headline, “Ralph Nader: ‘Cowering’ Democrats face defeat.” It was obviously created to get traffic, a constant of big media sites in the hot, slow summer season, in the hopes of keeping revenue from crashing. I’ve never been a fan of Mr. Nader, minus what he’s done on product and automobile safety, but considering he basically writes what I’ve been writing for years I did find the scathing criticism amusing.
The Democrats should be landsliding the worst Republican Party in history. Talk about extremists. There are virtually no moderate or liberal Republicans left in Congress after being driven out by their own party hard-liners. So this Republican Party, united over their extremism, should be very easy to challenge.
[..] There are plenty of bright-line issues for the Democrats. Get tough on Wall Street and corporate crime, protect pensions, end the wars, tax the corporate and wealthy tax-escapees, launch community-based public works programs, provide full Medicare for all, expand health and safety programs, to name a few.
As for the economy, Dean Baker analyzes and highlights what few other do:
It continues to be striking that a disproportionate share of the jobs being created are going to men. This is not due to the comeback of manufacturing and construction. Since December of 2009, manufacturing has added just 496,000 and construction has lost 145,000 jobs. The real story is that men have gotten a hugely disproportionate share of the jobs in industries with more of a gender balance.
For example, in retail since December of 2009, men have gotten 474,000 jobs while women have lost 49,000. Men have gotten 190,000 of the 192,000 jobs created in transportation. In finance they have seen an increase in employment of 123,000 while the number of jobs for women fell by 65,000. It is too early to know if this trend will continue, but the disproportionate growth of jobs for men in these and other areas over the last two and a half years is striking.
[..] Overall, this cannot be seen as a good report. Still, if construction employment had grown in line with spending, health care had been in line with its usual pattern, and there had not been anomalous drops in jobs in educational services (9,600) and transit and ground transportation (7,400), the jobs number would have been close to 150,000. It is still likely that the second half of the year will see job growth in this neighborhood.
Beyond the economy, the vice presidential sweepstakes remains a hot topic among Republicans. Gov. Chris Christie made another spectacle of himself, further removing any possibility he’ll be on Team Romney. Talk about a short fuse. Bill Kristol speculates it could be Condoleezza Rice, even though she said emphatically “no” in an interview with Charlie Rose, which I spotlighted earlier. Just yesterday, Ann Romney said there was indeed a woman being considered, with many thinking it’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte. I’m not budging. Liz Cheney remains the only woman who could be the pitbull required of a running mate, while also soothing the neoconservative beasts. But really, who cares? Can anyone make Mitt Romney exciting?
Over at the Grio, an African-American news site run by NBC News, Joy-Ann Reid reveals that the Supreme Court has sprung yet another leak:
A source with knowledge of the deliberations confirms to theGrio that Roberts, possibly as late as mid-June, was prepared to strike down the individual mandate, siding with his fellow conservative justices, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Libertarian-leaning Justice Anthony Kennedy. The source also confirms other elements of Crawford?s story ? namely that intense pressure was being placed on Roberts by the conservatives to strike down the entire law.
Once again, the most important news here is not the revelation that Roberts may have been unsure of his vote until just a couple of weeks before he largely upheld the Affordable Care Act, although that fact does speak well about how the Court’s deliberative process often enables justices to think through erroneous views and realize that they are unsound. Rather, the most important news here is that yet another reporter has found a leak in the Supreme Court’s cone of silence.
As ThinkProgress explained on Tuesday, this kind of thing would not happen in a perfect world. Although there is some marginal value to learning right away what sort of alliances and negotiations occur within the Supreme Court’s marble palace, the fact remains that the Court’s deliberations rest on the assumption that justices can openly exchange ideas without fear that those conversations will later be used to embarrass them. If this assumption dies, the very deliberative process that may have enabled Roberts to realize his initial impression of the health care case was mistaken would suffer a serious wound.
Lawmakers in Ukraine have shelved a bill that would have banned any promotion of homosexuality, including “holding meetings, parades, actions, demonstrations and mass events aiming at intentional distribution of any positive information about homosexuality.” There has been worldwide outcry about the proposed measure, which would have conflicted with Ukraine’s ability to join the European Union. Still, anti-gay sentiments remain strong in the former Soviet republic as evidenced by the violent counter-reaction to a Pride march in May.
I can’t even bring myself to embed it here: some trogolodytes have created a game that lets players beat up Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist video blogger who’s been subject to an unremitting campaign of harassment since she created a Kickstarter to support a project to explore tropes of female characters in video games. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: anyone who thinks that feminists who push back hard against online harassment are being oversensitive needs to understand that we’re all trying to keep ourselves from becoming Anita Sarkeesians. No matter how strong you are, and no matter how much support you have, this kind of concentrated campaign of harassment affects the targets of it. And the goal of these campaigns is to terrorize people into silence. It’s not disagreement. It’s not creative trolling. It’s deployment of a weapon.
And even though it’s frightening, ugly stuff, the campaign waged against Sarkeesian illustrates the fundamental cowardice and weakness of the people attacking her. If you so lack confidence in your ideas, if you’re so uncomfortable defending your appreciation for problematic things (which, by the way, is tricky but not that tricky) that you can’t even put your hands over your ears and sing loudly and ignore them, that you have to actually go out and try to prevent anyone from from saying anything that could make you remotely uneasy, you are a coward. That’s cold comfort to folks like Sarkeesian who have to go through this now. But it’s why, long-term, angry, petty sexists are going to lose, and why it’s important to throw up bulwarks against trolls who try to venture out of their holes and take over mainstream conversations. These ideas don’t stand-up to discussion and debate. And sexist trolls can’t shut down all of those debates, no matter how hard they try.
Women have been disproportionately affected by the public sector layoffs that have become an unfortunate mainstay of the sluggish economic recovery, according to the National Women’s Law Center. The public sector has shed some 700,000 jobs in the last three years — which are the three worst years for public employment on record — and women have born the brunt of those cuts, while not seeing a large share of private sector job gains:
Since the start of the recovery three years ago, women have gained 908,000 net private sector jobs — and lost 396,000 net public sector jobs. Men have gained 2,304,000 net private sector jobs — and lost 231,000 net public sector jobs. In the last three years, women have a net gain of 512,000 jobs; men have a net gain of 2,073,000 jobs.
Men have gained enough jobs in the last three years to equalize the unemployment rate between the sexes. As Bryce Covert explained at Forbes, “Some of this is making up for the disproportionate number of jobs that men lost during the recession itself as construction and manufacturing collapsed. But given that men have experienced over four times the job gains made by women, that can?t account for all of it.”
Public sector layoffs have also disproportionately affected African-Americans. If public employment had simply grown at the historic rate during the recession, instead of shrinking dramatically, the unemployment rate would be a full percentage point lower.