In our continuing series about how everything that the Romneys have is so much better than anything that you will ever have, we present the house that Ann Romney's Pop n Lock Pony lives in.[...]
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She is visiting Miami on Tuesday, and will be recruiting campaign volunteers at Miami Lakes' Barbara Goleman Senior High. However, though the school is empty for the summer, some Republican members of the Miami-Dade school board don't want her there.
The Miami Herald reported that board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a Republican candidate for the Florida State House, has called for cancellation of the event. Similarly, another board member, Carlos Curbelo, has sent a letter to the board attorney, asking that he reconsider allowing the first lady to use the school "to benefit the president's re-election campaign."
Curbelo, who the paper said worked as a Republican strategist, wrote in the letter that allowing Obama to use the school is "inappropriate and sends the wrong message to our students, employees, and to taxpayers -- even if the president's campaign is willing to pay for all costs resulting from the event."
It's hard to view this through any other lens than racial, quite frankly, particularly Diaz de la Portilla's remarks:
"Don't these liberals have boundaries?" Diaz de la Portilla said. "Our schools are places for learning, not places for politicking."
Really? Boundaries? Keep in mind, school is closed for the summer, and the campaign pays to use it.
Beyond the obvious partisan nonsense, there's an ugly thread of disrespect, as Erin Kotecki Vest notes:
Disrespect. A party that tolerates outbursts of ?YOU LIE? during our country?s most honored traditions. A party that tolerates actual questioning of just how ?American? this sitting President really is?and if he truly loves his country. A party that encourages the First Lady not be allowed to speak on behalf of her husband?as EVERY FIRST LADY HAS DONE, simply because the other side?well, why is it then?because the other side didn?t want her to speak? Because they were afraid of what a strong, black woman would have to say to hundreds of supporters?
Or because they couldn?t stand the thought of this happening in ?their? school? In ?their? district? Heaven forbid the Obamas campaign, legally, on ?their? turf?
This is the woman who intimidates them simply by eating right and wearing a sleeveless shirt, obviously they can?t handle her on stage in their territory.
So we have this general disrespect aspect, and the race card aspect, and then how much of this is about the fact that Michelle Obama is a highly regarded woman? After all, women aren't really favorites of the Republican party, unless they're submissive, pregnant, and/or severely conservative.
My only consolation in this is that these petty little idiots made themselves look awful to anyone who thinks. Those who don't think will vote for the authoritarian conservatives anyway.
This is your daily reminder that Daily Kos Radio is on the air, Monday through Friday, now from 9 a.m. to noon, ET. Just click here or on the player below to listen in. And hey, why not send me a tweet during the show, to @KagroX?
What's going on in Congress today?
In the House
The House has a short day on tap, completing "work" on seven amendments to, and final passage of, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. And then they're outta here!
In the Senate
The Senate might actually do something tomorrow, or it might not. No one knows! Yesterday, they agreed to yield back post-cloture time and adopt the motion to proceed to the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act, but they still appear to be having some problems regarding amendments. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed for cloture on the bill (actually on a substitute amendment to the bill), but unless there's some agreement to move it up, that vote won't come until Friday. Reid tried, offering up a unanimous consent request that would vitiate the cloture motion and give Republicans a vote on the language of H.R. 9, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) version of a small biz tax cut, and then that the Senate take up a free standing bill, the text of which would embody the President's proposal on the Bush tax cut extensions, plus an amendment with substitute tax cut extension language offered by Senator Hatch (R-UT). Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected to the request.
So today, they'll try again. Maybe they'll agree, maybe they won't. If not, cloture votes on Friday.
On the Radio
DemFromCT joins us in his regular slot, and then it's a two-hour sprint from 9-11 a.m. ET through the day's news, Twitter chatter, Wall Street criminality and Congressional craziness, before handing off for our third hour, from 11-12 ET, to Armando and Jesse LaGreca. Tune in and hear us go!
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Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you?re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- The Advocate profiles some of the openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual candidates running for office this year.
- A new Change.org petition is calling on Best Buy to come out against Minnesota’s marriage inequality amendment.
- The Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce has joined the campaign to approve Washington’s Referendum 74 upholding the state’s same-sex marriage law.
- The AFL-CIO, National Education Association, and Change to Win filed an amicus brief calling for the Defense of Marriage Act to be overturned.
- A new class of U.S. Navy carriers will have gender-neutral bathrooms for the first time.
- Glee‘s Chris Colfer shared recently that he was bullied in school “every day” for being gay, including being called “faggot,” and having things taped to his back.
– The Congressional Budget Office said that the five-year spending plan outlined by the Pentagon earlier this year would cost $123 billion more than DOD projected and would violate budget limits set by Congress.
– While Iran beefs up its presence in the Strait of Hormuz with mini-submarines and “SEAL-like frogmen,” the U.S. Navy is set to deploy “tiny underwater drones to the Persian Gulf to help find and destroy sea mines.”
– National Journal reports: “A panel of security experts urged Congress on Wednesday to do something — anything — to combat cyberthreats to the United States.
– The Washington Post reports: “A report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be released Thursday concludes that Mexico?s deployment of its military to fight organized crime has been ineffective and may have increased sensational killings by fragmenting crime mafias into warring bands.”
Because I wrote about She-Hulk and Judge Dredd yesterday, both comics that portray women particularly well, I wanted to pass along some credit to a project that’s become my new obsession: the Ladydrawers column at Truthout. Run by Anne Elizabeth Moore and MariNomi, the project, which launched a year ago, examines everything from how women break into the industry to how they’re portrayed in it. It’s beautifully illustrated intellectual ammunition. In the introduction, they replicate some of the work that Vida’s done for women’s bylines in literary journals, but with comics, and discover that indie Fantagraphics actually publishes a smaller percentage of work by women than Marvel. They come up with other ways to examine inequality in the industry, too, including a count that shows women author comics pages in a lower proportion than you’d expect given their employment at different companies: men, it seems, are getting more work per creator published. They’re clear about what it takes to develop methodology for these measurements, and that they’re still trying. And most recently they did a big survey about who’s submitting work and who’s getting published, and found that while 56 percent of their male respondents had submitted work and 75 percent of those creators said they’d had work published, 55 percent of female respondents had submitted work, but of those, only 57 percent had their work published. The series is ongoing, and I’m glad to see Truthout’s publishing it. Vida’s very specific measurements of women in magazines have made it so that industry can’t claim generalizations don’t apply to them. Ladydrawers could help do the same for comics.
A round-up of the top climate and energy news.
A Texas judge has ruled that the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use, just like water, which could help attorneys tasked with arguing climate change lawsuits designed to force states to cut emissions. [Washington Post]
Adam Abrams, one of the attorneys arguing the case against TCEQ, said Triana?s ruling could be used as a persuasive argument in lawsuits pending in 11 other states.
In Texas, though, a ruling to protect air and the atmosphere has added significance. Republican Gov. Rick Perry is one of the most vocal opponents against widely accepted scientific research that fossil fuel emissions are causing global warming. And the state has refused to regulate greenhouse gases, forcing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work directly with industries to ensure they comply with federal law.
?The commission?s conclusion that the public trust doctrine is exclusively limited to the conservation of water is legally invalid,? Triana wrote.
Power customers in Maryland will likely be fuming when they learn that electric utilities Pepco and BGE will be recouping lost revenue from the recent mass power outages from ratepayers. [Huffington Post]
The most destructive fire in Colorado history ? which killed two people, scorched almost 29 square miles and destroyed more than 346 homes in less than three weeks ? is now fully contained. [Los Angeles Times]
A plunge in the price of natural gas has made it cheaper for utilities to produce electricity. But the savings aren’t translating to lower rates for customers. [Huffington Post]
BP has abandoned its controversial £1bn plan to drill for 100m barrels of oil off the coast of Alaska. [Guardian]
A new report is warning hundreds of inland Australian towns could cease to exist by 2050 if locals do not adapt to climate change. [News Sydney]
New cars and vans in the European Union will produce one-third less carbon dioxide within eight years, under proposed new rules set out on Wednesday in Brussels. [Guardian]
U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said arguments against pushing renewable energy policies are ?dangerous? for the economy, signaling he?s resisting pressure from within the government to cut subsidies for the industry. [Businessweek]
According to the Labor Department, initial jobless claims fell to 350,000 this week, well below economists’ expectations. This is the fewest claims since March 2008, Bloomberg News reported. The drop was likely caused by the fact that auto companies are keeping more factories than normal open for this time of year.
Welcome to ThinkProgress Economy?s morning link roundup. This is what we?re reading. Have you seen any interesting news? Let us know in the comments section. You can also follow ThinkProgress Economy on Twitter.
On Tuesday, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler increased his efforts to purge Colorado’s voter rolls. Gessler sent a letter, backed by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and elections officials in 11 other states, requesting that Department of Homeland Security help verify the citizenship of 5,000 registered voters, and threatening to sue if they do not.
Instead of learning from Florida’s wildly inaccurate voter purge attempt, which managed to target two World War II veterans and incite lawsuits by the Justice Department and civil rights groups, Colorado appears to be determined to pursue a voter purge policy that could disenfranchise eligible voters.
The letter lists nine secretaries of states and two lieutenant governors (who serve as the top elections officials in their states) who Gessler says “share this approach and expect to request” similar agreements with DHS. They are from Ohio and Iowa ? both, like Colorado, battleground states in this fall’s presidential race ? as well as Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Kansas, Georgia, Arkansas, Washington, and Alaska. Like Gessler and Suthers, all of them are Republicans.
Opponents of Gessler’s efforts say they amount to voter intimidation and could keep eligible voters ? particularly Latinos, who are expected to play a big role in deciding the election in states such as Colorado ? from going to the polls. Those voters lean heavily Democratic.
Critics also say trying to compare federal and state databases could lead to errors in matching names and citizenship information ? resulting in some voters improperly losing their Constitutional right to cast a ballot ? and that the problem is not nearly big or serious enough to make that risk worthwhile.
Indeed, even though voter fraud is less likely to occur than getting hit by lightning, Gessler insists that voter rolls need to be scrubbed of non-citizens. The best evidence of voter fraud that Gessler can point to is non-citizens voluntarily pointing out that they erroneously registered to vote.
Gessler acknowledges he doesn’t have a stack of confirmed cases of voter fraud, but he points to 430 cases where non-citizens self-identified their presence on the voting rolls and asked to be removed.
Letters provided by Gessler’s office and reviewed by 9NEWS show non-citizens apologizing, often in broken English, for mistakenly ending up on the voting rolls when they registered for a driver’s license as a resident alien.
Analysis of efforts aimed at dealing with the non-existent problem of voter fraud, including voter purges, ID requirements, and new registration restrictions, shows that they disenfranchise eligible voters and that they disproportionately affect young, minority, elderly, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. Because these voters are more likely to vote democratically, the efforts result in shifting the electorate to the right.