The Republic of T.

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Digest for June 4th through June 5th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for June 4th through June 5th:

  • FOX Should Have No Friends After Anti-Obama Cheap Shot | Political News and Opinion from a Multicultural Point of View

    "Fox News sunk to a new low this week with the airing on Fox and Friends of a 4-minute infomercial for the Republican Party.

    Billed as an objective look at Obama’s first 3 and a half years in office, in reality it was a blatant cheap shot, an advertisement for the GOP mixed in with negative attacks on Obama’s 2008 campaign theme of hope and change.

    Given that this is the same news organization that engages in rampant wiretapping and spying, perhaps nothing done in the name of Rupert Murdoch should surprise us. Of course, the same show that aired the GOP attack ad under the guise of objective journalism also took the lead in defending their parent company’s phone hacking habits.

    This behavior is par for the course of anything-but-fair-and-balanced journalism. Media Matters, a media watchdog group, has a lengthy list of all of Fox News’s misdeeds. There are too many to name; in fact, Media Matters maintains an entire page just to keep track of Fox’s lack of balance. They estimate that the GOP received $100,000 in free advertising because Fox and Friends aired the attack ad twice in just one episode."

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  • Out of 90 Million People of Color, Romney Ad Can’t Find One – Jack & Jill Politics

    "In a nation of 310 million people, 90 million of whom are Black and Hispanic, you would think that Mitt Romney’s multi-million dollar presidential campaign could find one person of color to be in a 2 minute and 30 second campaign ad.

    The answer is: Nope.

    Political pundits say Romney needs the Hispanic vote. Does his new Promise of America ad include any of those 50 million people in the U.S. whose help he may need? Incredibly the answer in this political ad is no."

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  • Stonewall National Museum & Archives Stores America’s LGBT History (PHOTOS)

    "A museum in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has something the Smithsonian in Washington wants: a gavel.

    Sitting in a glass case at the Stonewall National Museum & Archives is the very gavel that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used to mark the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010. It was donated to the Stonewall by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who received it from Pelosi.

    "If I didn't work here, I would think it belonged at the Smithsonian," joked museum President Bryan Knicely, who said the Smithsonian has contacted the Florida institution about borrowing it.

    The gavel is just one of many LGBT artifacts to see at the Stonewall, which boasts an extensive collection of literature and historical pieces chronicling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life in America. Tracing its beginnings back to college student Mark Silber's library of gay books and magazines in 1973, the museum is named after the 1969 gay rights riots in New York City, a moment widely regarded as the first shot in the war for equal rights."

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  • Earl Ofari Hutchinson: GOP Steps Up Bogus War on Voter Fraud

    "A defiant Florida GOP governor Rick Scott essentially told the Justice Department where it could go when it demanded that Florida stop its loudly trumpeted campaign to purge tens of thousands it claims aren't eligible to vote. Despite Scott's bellicose rant against the Justice Department mandate, election officials in all Florida counties halted the purge effort, at least for now. GOP state officials almost certainly will try to figure out a way to end around the order to halt the voter purge. There is, of course, absolutely no proof there's any widespread voting fraud, and that the overwhelming majority of those that Florida vote officials said are suspect are black and Hispanic voters, and in many cases have taken painstaking steps to prove their citizenship.

    Florida official's claim of massive potential vote fraud looked even more suspect when Miami-Dade County election officials sent out more than 1,500 warning letters and found a grand total of 13 people that said they were not citizens. Out of that gargantuan number they found that an even more stunning total of two persons that weren't citizens said they cast votes in the 1996 and 2000 and 2004 elections. The underwhelming instances of fraud uncovered in Florida was no aberration. Studies that examined alleged voter fraud in Ohio and Wisconsin in the 2002 and 2004 elections found only a handful of actual cases of voter fraud. More than nine million votes were cast in the two states in both elections.

    But the GOP's bogus war on voter fraud is not about insuring clean and fair elections, nabbing vote fraud lawbreakers, or upholding constitutional precepts. It's about winning elections on the cheap. It can only do that by tipping the vote number balance toward having more likely GOP voters and fewer likely Democratic voters. It's hardly coincidence that the majority of those targeted for voter purges are black and Hispanic. And it's even less of coincidence that the bogus vote purge campaigns are zeroed in on the key battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Colorado and New Mexico where election officials are also mounting similar purge campaigns."

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  • Darkness in the Sunshine State – NYTimes.com

    "Florida ought to know better. And must do better, particularly on the issue of voting and discrimination.

    But, then again, we are talking about Florida, the state of Bush v. Gore infamy and the one that will celebrate the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, with a statewide holiday on Sunday.

    What am I getting at? This: Few states in the union have done more in recent years to restrict and suppress voting — particularly by groups who lean Democratic, such as young people, the poor and minorities — than Florida.

    In May 2011, the state’s Republican-led Legislature passed and the Republican governor, Rick Scott, signed a sweeping election law that cut early voting short and imposed onerous burdens on voter registration groups by requiring them to turn in registration applications within 48 hours of the time they are signed or face fines."

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  • This Republican Economy – NYTimes.com

    "What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.

    So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.

    For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con."

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  • How the Gay Civil Rights Movement Defeated the Defense of Marriage Act – The Daily Beast

    "This week, the federal appeals court in Massachusetts unanimously ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Gill v. OPM is a remarkable ruling, but perhaps as important as the decision is its timing: the court struck down a law of Congress a mere 16 years after it was passed.

    Certainly no one ever thought of challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996! What happened?

    What the Los Angeles Times recently called “the Fastest of All Civil Rights Movements” happened. And the paper wrote that headline before the First Circuit ruled. Maybe something about the president of the United States endorsing same-sex marriage inspired the L.A. Times to note the speed of the social change.

    As progressive movements of every stripe falter and grind to a halt—who’s occupying Occupy Wall Street these days?—it pays to pay attention to how the gay movement broke the spell of right-wing triumph and progressive tragedy."

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  • From The Price of Inequality: Joseph Stiglitz on the 1 Percent Problem | Politics | Vanity Fair

    "Put sentiment aside. There are good reasons why plutocrats should care about inequality anyway—even if they’re thinking only about themselves. The rich do not exist in a vacuum. They need a functioning society around them to sustain their position. Widely unequal societies do not function efficiently and their economies are neither stable nor sustainable. The evidence from history and from around the modern world is unequivocal: there comes a point when inequality spirals into economic dysfunction for the whole society, and when it does, even the rich pay a steep price.

    Let me run through a few reasons why."

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