Scott Douglas, Executive Director of Greater Birmingham Ministries, nailed it on the Colbert Report, Monday night not only in diction but also in tone, as he made his case against HB 56. Sometimes people try to go on Colbert and be funny, but it's hard to outfunny Colbert. It's better to just play it serious and let Colbert be the comedian, and Scott Douglas did that ">just as he said he would. More important, were his profound words which were almost always applauded by Colbert's audience.
Here are Colbert's questions and Douglas's responses which elicited applause from the audience:
STEPHEN COLBERT: We don't want the feds marching into Alabama. They did that 150 years ago. It didn't work out too well.
SCOTT DOUGLAS: The point is that Alabama should not be joining one of those states that has its own state immigrant law. We don't need 50 immigrant laws across the United States of America. We need one comprehensive law that's just and fair for everyone. (APPLAUSE)
COLBERT: But why as an African-American would you be fighting for the Latinos? Because they didn't fight for you guys.
DOUGLAS: This is Martin Luther King's birthday celebration and he famously says, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And HB 56 is a threat to me and all Americans. (APPLAUSE)
COLBERT: Are things so good for black people in Alabama that you can turn your focus to Latinos?
DOUGLAS: African-Americans can never forget how hard we toiled to gain the rights we now have, and how far we've got to toil to gain even more. We know the path we had to trod and we're trying to be in solidarity with these people as they face this stage of this abuse. (APPLAUSE)The Colbert Report (16 January 2012)
That last question was especially difficult to answer, much less in such a succinct fashion, and I hope folks in the pro-migrant movement will join me in thanking Douglas for his courage and eloquence. Douglas' interview builds nicely on my comments, on MLK day. As an African-American and the leader of a historic civil rights organization, in an area with a lot of civil rights history, he's one of the few that can make the connection between MLK and the civil rights movement and the pro-migrant movement. I would also recommend reading Alfredo Gutierrez, former state senator in Arizona, who eloquently describes the differences between civil disobedience during the civil rights era, and the current pro-migrant iterations of civil disobedience.
The only very small qualm I had with both Scott Douglas and Stephen Colbert is that they suggested that unauthorized migration is a crime, when the vast majority of unauthorized migration is prosecuted by the federal government as a civil violation. This is an important distinction to make because there are nativists who want to make unauthorized migration a crime, which would be a disaster for public safety. Furthermore calling unauthorized immigration a "crime" and unauthorized migrants "illegal immigrants" effectively denies unauthorized migrants commit crimes at lesser rates than the native population.
I pray my herman@s in Alabama keep up the good work and are ultimately successful in repealing HB 56. If you haven't signed the Presente.org petition against HB 56 please do so.
Kyle de Beausset is a pro-migrant blogger at Citizen Orange.
“8″ Trailer: Long Version from American Foundation for Equal Ri on Vimeo. The cast for the West Coast one-night production of Dustin Lance Black’s “8″ has been announced, and it’s rather hottie-intense. Here’s[...]
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It has been confirmed that Batesville attorney, Richard ?Flip? Phillips, has qualified to run for the Supreme Court position currently held by Justice George Carlson. Carlson has announced he will retire after his term is complete. The election will take place in November of this year. It is rumored that Phillips was very close to being appointed to the position when Governor Musgrove decided on Carlson. Carlson and Phillips, from the same geographic region, are said to be good friends.
Phillips, age 64, will be an imposing figure in the race and may even deter others from entering the Secretary of State?s office to qualify. Phillips is reputed to have substantial personal wealth derived from his successful law practice and other business ventures. He has financially supported numerous political candidates from both parties, with more recent involvement tilting Republican. The judicial race will be non-partisan. Just as Republican Congressman Gregg Harper was, Phillips was a trial lawyer years ago, but began representing primarily manufacturers, banks and local governments in the last decade. This will give him great appeal on both sides of the civil trial bar. He also has not been involved in the criminal law field - a fact that should minimize some of the ridiculous third party attacks we have seen in recent judicial elections.
Judges are not allowed to solicit or receive contributions to their campaign this year until March 11, which will give Phillips an enormous advantage. He can spend his own money getting organized, printing materials, hiring the best campaign minds in the district, before the others (if there are any) can even hold a fundraising reception.
Phillips, and wife Vera, have grandchildren in the Jackson area, making the trip back and forth to Jackson a pleasure rather than a burden. The grind of the trip from north Mississippi to Jackson is often cited as a reason for potential candidates to pass on the race (particularly if they have young families) and is rumored to be the reason appellate Judge Jimmy Maxwell and Chancery Judge Robert ?Bobby? Chamberlain passed on the opportunity, keeping their powder dry for another day.
It is not often that the money, the enthusiasm, the resume, the politics, the family ties and the mojo so quickly line up in a Supreme Court race. This could be a one horse contest.
Folks are wondering about Flipper and his 15% tax rate declaration. "How could a man who is worth over three hundred million dollars pay a lower tax rate than say a school teacher?" Well, it happens, this is A-merry-ca.
Personally, I am not as upset about Flipper and his 15% tax rate. I understand that he is paying that on capital gains, dividend and interest income, and not on earned income. Flipper has put away a lot of money thanks to all of his investments. The speculating business has been very good to him. Making money at the expense of others is nothing new to the vultures from Wall Street, and Flipper was one of them, we all know that.
But Flipper made a statement yesterday that bothered me even more than his paltry tax contribution:
"Though it's no secret that Mitt Romney's income is made up of residual Bain investments taxed at the low rate of 15%, the candidate admitted it this morning at a campaign stop in Florence, South Carolina. ?It?s probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything,? Romney said. According to the Times, he also loses his speaking fees in the cushions of his couch. ?And then I get speaker?s fees from time to time, but not very much.?
"Not very much"? Let's see, he made over $374,000.00 in speaker fees last year at a time when most A-merry-cans are struggling to make ends meet, and he says that the money he made "is not very much"? Nice.
Honestly folks, doesn't it just make you want to slap the starch right out of his shirt?
Finally Juan, I tried to warn your black ass, but you wouldn't listen. You went over to the dark side because you thought that the clowns at the news network for dummies and their minions were your friends. Well I guess they showed you.
So now you are pushing back, and you can't understand why those folks were mean to you.
"On Tuesday's "The Five," he explained why he asked the question. When co-host Eric Bolling insisted that Gingrich's comments were about economics and not race, Williams disagreed. He said, "It's very racial and... unless i missed it, black people havent been out there demanding food stamps, or marching for food stamps." ..."I don't think [Gingrich] answered the question at all," [Source]
So now you are sticking up for black folks, Juan? Well I appreciate the effort, and I appreciate the fact that you went into the middle of
that Klan Rally the republican debate (in South Carolina no less) and asked a tough question that needed to be asked.
You got your answer, and it wasn't pretty. Sorry Juan, if you are surprised at the answer you got, you just might want to start spending less time over at FOX.
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A Mormon friend of mine here in L.A. told me that Buck McKeon was so freaked out about being exposed for taking gargantuan bribes from Countrywide-- hundreds of thousands of dollars-- but not because he's afraid of the toothless and pathetic House Ethics Committee, which he knows will do nothing. Instead, he's afraid of the Mormon Mafia. Turns out, he hasn't been giving them their cut of the action.
Mormons are required by Commandment of God to pay 10% of all their GROSS income to the LDS church. This includes all income-- including: employment, unemployment insurance, student loans, Pell grant checks, Social Security income, Medicare, foodstamps, trust funds and any other form of income, even including finding money on the ground.
Romney?s 15 percent rate is likely to draw fire from opponents because it highlights the tax advantages enjoyed by wealthy Americans who make most of their money from investments rather than labor-- a disparity that has been criticized by billionaire Warren Buffett and many Occupy Wall Street protesters.
A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently showed that investment income, of the kind Romney is citing, was the biggest contributor to an increase in income inequality between 1996 and 2006.
Most Americans earn their income from wages and salaries, paying higher tax rates-- up to 35 percent-- the more they earn. The tax on capital gains, which include profits from the sale of stocks, bonds and real estate, is 15 percent.
The wealthy take advantage of this lower rate far more than other Americans. In the last 20 years, about half of all capital gains income realized have gone to the wealthiest 0.1 percent.
Romney?s tax returns could also reignite a debate over how to count income earned by partners at private equity firms. When private equity firms sell long-run investments, those profits are treated as long-term capital gains, which means they?re taxed at no more than 15 percent. Critics say those earnings should be taxed as ordinary income because the partners are mostly managing other people?s money, not their own.
Tithing always comes first in Mormonism. Any member who is struggling in any way (job loss, broken down car, depression, etc) will always be counseled to pay tithing in order to receive blessings. All blessings, privileges and callings in the LDS Church are centered around tithing. Without paying a full tithe, a member cannot be a "member in good standing."
...The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints brings in an estimated 6.5 to 7.0 billion dollars a year in annual tithing revenues. The Church refuses to disclose to the public or its members how much money it receives annually and what those funds are used for. Because the LDS Church is a tax-exempt organization, it does not have to publicly disclose financial books.
In 2005 the LDS Church purchased two shopping malls in Downtown Salt Lake City for $500 million dollars. The Church plans to spend $1 to $3.5 billion dollars renovating them. In official statements from LDS Church, the Church claims that not one dollar of member tithing funds went into the deal.
Mormons are required to attend a Tithing Settlement with the Bishop each year. [Remember, Romney is a Mormon Bishop.] A member is questioned in a one-on-one interview with the Bishop to ensure the member is paying a full 10%. Those members who are not paying a full 10% loose their temple recommends and are prevented from entering the Temple.
Mormons who loose their temple recommends are in serious jeopardy of loosing their Celestial blessings. A Mormon who does not pay tithing cannot enter the temple. If a member cannot get into the temple, the member cannot learn the secret handshake, secret password, secret "new name" and special ?sealings.? Without these, the member will be unable to pass Joseph Smith and the angels who guard the entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.
Mormons are commanded that tithing must come first before anything else. Utah has the highest rate of bankruptcies in the United States. Mormons often are told "I cannot pay my bills until I've paid my tithing." Mormons will even pay their tithing rather than give the money to a relative who is on the verge of eviction. Mormon published magazines (Ensign, New Era) constantly stress that tithing must always be paid.
Recently, Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch passed legislation that allowed members to pay a full tithe even while they were in bankruptcy court.
Mormons are told: "if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).
Mormons who have not paid tithing will be denied a temple recommend and will be considered "unworthy." However; Mormons who pay "back-tithing" (some as much as $5000 or more) are instantly found to be worthy and can receive their temple recommends back once the money has been paid. The Mormon Church uses this as an extortion method when it comes to temple marriages. Parents or family members who have not paid tithing are required to pay back tithing-- sometimes in the thousands of dollars-- which must be paid before a temple recommend can be issued in order to see their own children married.
Mormons are further threatened that if they do not pay a full tithe, they will be burned with fire when Jesus Christ comes again. Mormons see Tithing as "fire insurance".
Mormons who claim that tithing is purely "a personal choice" are deceiving themselves and outright lying.
Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River. It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate[...]
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It may be that the purpose of your life is to serve as warning to others.
(Jeff Haynes/Reuters)From The Hill:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that the challenges faced by his presidential campaign had strengthened his spiritual life, telling South Carolina voters on Monday he knew God had never promised him he would win the GOP nomination.
"He sure didn't tell me I was gonna win," Perry said at a campaign event in South Carolina, according to NBC News. "But I know I'm doing God's will for my life.?
God told him to run. But God didn't say he would win. God, as it turns out, was bored out of his omniscient mind last summer and, knowing that he would have precious little to do right about now other than decide the outcome of football games based on public displays of piety, thought he could at least have a little fun goading people into doomed runs for the presidency.
I've noticed that the conservative version of God is really kind of a jerk. Which I guess explains why so many religious conservatives think "acting like a jerk" is the most godly thing you can do, and why they do so much of it.
Well, at least Perry is treating this as a teachable moment. I actually applaud the guy for this:
?I've matured as a Christian in the last six months as I've gone through this process,? said Perry, speaking at a town-hall event sponsored by website CafeMom.
I think everyone seeking true spirituality should run for president. Sometimes it will get you exposed as a philandering ass (see: Herman Cain), which is probably good for you, or sometimes it will just prove to you that you are not, in fact, seen by the wider public as the greatest thing since sliced bread?also probably very good for you. So if you've got a few million dollars to spend and nothing much to do, sure. Go out there and have a go at it.
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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is doubling down on his assertion that Barack Obama is a "food stamp president" by suggesting that the current White House resident doesn't even think "work is good."
During a Fox News debate in South Carolina Monday, moderator Bret Baier lobbed the former House Speaker a softball question, asking if he supported 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. The Georgia Republican is on record saying, "I don?t want to pay people 99 weeks to do nothing."
"The help we ought to give them is to connect them to a business-run training program to acquire the skills to be employable," Gingrich explained. "Ninety-nine weeks is an associate degree."
"It tells you everything you need to know about Barack Obama and the five of us [Republican candidates] that we actually think work is good," he added to the delight of the conservative South Carolina audience.
"And we think unconditional efforts by the best food stamp president in American to maximize dependency is terrible for the future of this country."
Later in the evening, the audience booed moderator Juan Williams for asking if Gingrich had ?belittled the poor and racial minorities? by declaring that black Americans should demand jobs, not foodstamps.
cross posted at My Left WingMy father faced a layoff in 1970, the year he turned 55. For the three weeks leading up to the event, Dad was a wreck. "Danny," he said to me, "if I get laid off, I'll never work again." I was laid off in 2009, the year I[...]
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This morning, Chuck Todd and the rest of the gang at MSNBC's First Read sounded a very interesting alarm:
There are some increasing signs -- though all of it anecdotal for now -- that Newt Gingrich is gaining some momentum three days before the South Carolina primary.
First was his strong debate performance on Monday, from which his campaign cut a new TV ad. Second, the Romney campaign today is holding a conference call (featuring former Sen. Jim Talent and former Rep. Susan Molinari) with the sole purpose of hitting Gingrich, and we haven?t seen one of those from the Romney camp since Iowa. And third, Sarah Palin sort of endorsed Gingrich last night, saying per NBC?s Alex Moe: ?If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going, I?d vote for Newt and I would want this to continue.?
Within hours, as if prompted by the invisible hand of the Peacock, polling data began to surface, on a national level, to buttress the point of Todd and company:
NATIONAL (CBS News): Romney 28, Gingrich 21, Santorum 16, Paul 15, Perry 7, Huntsman 2
NATIONAL (Gallup): Romney 33, Gingrich 16, Santorum 14, Paul 12, Perry 7
NATIONAL (Pew): Romney 31, Gingrich 16, Paul 15, Santorum 14, Perry 5, Huntsman 2
NATIONAL (Rasmussen): Romney 30, Gingrich 27, Santorum 15, Paul 13, Perry 4
FLORIDA (CNN/Opinion Research): Romney 43, Santorum 19, Gingrich 18, Paul 9, Perry 2
NEW JERSEY (Quinnipiac): Romney 40, Gingrich 14, Santorum 14, Paul 12, Huntsman 4, Perry 2
OHIO (Quinnipiac): Romney 27, Santorum 18, Gingrich 17, Paul 10, Perry 4, Huntsman 2
SOUTH CAROLINA (CNN/Opinion Research): Romney 33, Gingrich 23, Santorum 16, Paul 13, Perry 6
The general election numbers, which could take on more significance if Mitt Romney is able to close the deal on Saturday, portend a toss-up, but a race where Mitt Romney may well be losing some of his luster as a candidate with the general electorate:
NATIONAL (Pew): Obama d. Romney (50-45); Obama d. Romney and Ron Paul (44-32-18)
NEW JERSEY (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (48-38)
OHIO (Quinnipiac): Obama d. Romney (44-42); Obama d. Paul (48-39); Obama d. Santorum (48-37); Obama d. Gingrich (52-38)
Some thoughts about "Newtmentum II: The Sequel" past the jump.