Off To The Races


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5 Backwards and Out-of-Touch Comments From CPAC 2015

Earlier this week, we covered some of the rhetoric you could expect to hear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, that started Wednesday and runs through Saturday. CPAC is a prime opportunity for potential Republican presidential candidates to promote their platform, and as expected, there have been concerning statements from the Republican Party’s top 2016 contenders. We’ve rounded up five of the most backward, extreme, and downright wrong statements coming out of the conference:

1. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker compares protestors for workers’ rights to ISIS:
When asked how he would handle ISIS if elected President, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said, “If I can take on a hundred thousand protesters, I can do the same across the world.” The protesters Walker referred to were demonstrating against his decision to sign “right-to-work” legislation that significantly weakens labor unions by forcing them to provide services without payment from workers. (To his credit, Walker did later walk back the comment somewhat.)

2. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry criticizes the unemployment rate:
Rick Perry warned the CPAC audience not to put any faith in new numbers showing an improved economic outlook, calling the unemployment rate a “sham.” This was not Perry’s first time trying to discredit the unemployment rate. Earlier this year, Perry said the unemployment rate has “been massaged, it’s been doctored,” a claim that PolitiFact rated Pants On Fire.

3. Florida Senator Marco Rubio commits epic error on ISIS:
Senator Marco Rubio also failed when attempting to talk about ISIS, telling TV host Sean Hannity that “if we wanted to defeat them militarily, we could do it. [Obama] doesn’t want to upset Iran.” Rubio left out the fact that Iran is actually committed to fighting the terrorist group. In fact, late last year, President Obama wrote a letter to Iran’s supreme leader suggesting cooperation against ISIS. One might expect the Senator to know these things given that he is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Select Committee on Intelligence.

4. Rubio also says he flipped to opposing immigration reform because it “wasn’t very popular”
Before CPAC, Rubio had already publicly flipped from supporting immigration reform to opposing it. But at CPAC, when Sean Hannity asked him about the immigration reform bill he sponsored in the Senate, Rubio said, “Well it wasn’t very popular I don’t know if you know that from some of the folks here.” Bold leadership, Senator. Thanks to Rubio and the Senate’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Republicans are now putting national security at risk to stop President Obama’s order to lift the threat of deportation for up to 5 million undocumented immigrations.

5. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie brags about vetoing funding for Planned Parenthood:
Speaking to a group of CPAC attendees yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie bragged about vetoing funding for Planned Parenthood five times saying, “I was the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the statehouse in the state of New Jersey and I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget.” It was a sharp change of tune from Christie, who while running for re-election in New Jersey, had said vetoing the funds was merely a cost-saving measure. Christie’s politicking with Planned Parenthood funding has had serious impacts on the state—the state’s capacity to meet the need for family planning services for the state’s poorest residents has decreased 25 percent and nine health care centers have been forced to close.

BOTTOM LINE: From the economy and women’s health to national security and immigration, the potential 2016 GOP primary field is off to the races with comments that prove they are not ready to lead the country. The candidates on stage at CPAC have displayed early on that they are willing to say just about anything to appeal to the extreme conservative base, no matter whether those views are truthful or not, and no matter the serious problems they might cause.

African Americans in Full Color


NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.A Page From Our American Story

African Americans in Full Color

In the first half of the twentieth century, Americans became fascinated with photo journalism. Pictures were literally “worth a thousand words” as full-color magazines and tabloid newspapers became the rage.

Publications targeted to African American audiences that featured illustrations and photographs began appearing in the early 1900s. One of the earliest to effectively use illustrations and photography was The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP. Seeking to educate and inform its readers with scholarly articles, the covers of the journal and its entertainment section were designed to appeal to the masses of African Americans.

In the 1930s, we see pictorial magazines such as Abbott’s Monthly, published by Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper, and Flash, which billed itself as a “weekly newspicture magazine.” Published in Washington, D.C., Flash contained a mixture of news, gossip and advertisements and articles on racial issues, providing an overview of the highs and the lows of Black life in the 1930’s.

In 1942, African American businessman John H. Johnson founded the Johnson Publishing Company, a corporation that would go on to publish the well-known magazines Ebony, Jet, Tan, and Ebony Jr. The magazines promoted African American achievements and affirmative black imagery in popular culture, which appealed to readers … and to advertisers. Mr. Johnson was a savvy businessman and used the statistics of a rising black middle class to persuade companies and businesses that it was in their economic “self-interest” to advertise in his magazines to reach African American consumers.

With the success of the Johnson Publishing Company’s magazines, other magazines targeted to African Americans quickly came on the scene. For example, in 1947 Horace J. Blackwell published Negro Achievements, a magazine highlighting African American success articles and featuring reader-submitted true confessions stories. After Blackwell died in 1949, a white businessman named George Levitan bought the company and renamed the publication Sepia. This publication featured columns by writer John Howard Griffin, a white man who darkened his skin and wrote about his treatment in the segregated South, that eventually became the best-selling book Black Like Me.

Whether featuring positive images of African Americans, inspiration stories, news features or commentaries on racism, the rise of African American magazines defied long-held racial stereotypes through rich storytelling, in-depth reporting, and stunning photography.

Due to a variety of economic, editorial, and other factors, most of these magazines have ceased being published. Yet today some African American magazines are still a thriving part of popular culture. Johnson Publishing Company’s Ebony and its digital sites reach nearly 72% of African Americans and have a following of over 20.4 million people.

 dd-enews-temp-lonnie-bunch-2.jpg All the best,

Lonnie Bunch
Director

P.S. We can only reach our $250 million goal with your help. I hope you will consider making a donation or becoming a Charter Member today.

To read past Our American Stories, visit our archives.

Progressive Breakfast: The Fast-Track Fandango


MORNING MESSAGE    ~~~ Campaign for America’s Future

Robert Borosage

The Fast-Track Fandango

The White House recently waived its ethics requirements to bring in a skilled lobbyist, Martin Paone, to marshal its fast-track war room. Paone, who spent three decades running floor operations for Democrats in the Senate, now serves clients like Boeing, Google and the Financial Markets Association. With his corporate and Wall Street allies, he’ll make certain that every Democrat gets a “personal” touch from banks and businesses in his or her state, while enforcing “message discipline” on the administration. One result is that the fast-track lobby is rolling out a few new refrains…

House Will Try Again To Fund Homeland Security

Republicans may surrender this week on funding Homeland Security. Politico:“…the GOP-controlled Senate will take the first step with a vote Monday on whether to head into formal negotiations with the House on financing the security agency. Senate Democrats are expected to block that move. That will put the onus squarely back on Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team. Democrats fully expect the speaker to allow a vote on a so-called clean DHS funding measure that runs until the end of the fiscal year … Republicans were coy over the weekend about what they’ll do [but] Democrats would not have backed a seven-day DHS funding patch without some assurance from Boehner…”

Parliamentary tactic may let House Dems keep Homeland Security open. CQ Roll Call:“…any House lawmaker, arguing that a conference scenario is moot and won’t be resolved before the clock runs out on the current extension of DHS funding, could take to the floor and move that the House recedes from its previous position and concurs in the Senate amendment. Because such a motion is ‘privileged’ that would then trigger a vote on sending the Senate-amended full year Homeland Security appropriations bill to Obama’s desk without any of those riders designed to block his executive actions on immigration.”

Right-Leaning Dems To Challenge Warren

House New Democrat Coalition to propose agenda this week to counter Warren’s populism. The Hill:“…said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) … ‘My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.’ … The fight over the future of the Democratic Party poses a real test for Clinton, who will need to keep the factions from breaking apart should she mount her expected run for the White House.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders says White House could end corporate tax breaks by executive order. WSJ:“He called on the administration to curb six specific tax breaks through executive action that could raise $100 billion over 10 years … Three of the breaks were created through administrative actions or regulation, which means President Barack Obama could use executive powers to void them. The other three could be closed through regulatory powers delegated to the Treasury Department, Mr. Sanders said.”

Walker, Bush Grapple With Right-Wing

Gov. Scott Walker admits immigration flip-flop. The Hill:“‘My view has changed. I’m flat out saying it. Candidates can say that,’ Walker said in an interview that aired on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘I don’t believe in amnesty,’ … Walker said he’s changed his mind on immigration since 2013, when he was asked whether he envisioned a world where illegal immigrants could become citizens if the right penalties and a waiting period were put in place.”

Jeb Bush resisting Grover Norquist so he can cut Social Security. Time:“‘My concern is that he has not made a commitment to the American people that he will not raise taxes when all the other candidates have done so,’ Norquist said … ‘If Governor Bush decides to move forward, he will not sign any pledges circulated by lobbying groups,’ [said] Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell … One reason for Jeb Bush’s reluctance may be his desire to strike a bargain to reform entitlements if he became president.”

Steve King Has : “Never Heard” of Pregnancy from Statutory Rape … unreal and a reminder


Steve King Has “Never Heard” Of Pregnancy From Statutory Rape

Well, if the Todd Akin mess has shown anything, it’s that any talk of abortion restrictions being passed in the name of “protecting” or “helping” women is just that.

There is nothing helpful about forced pregnancy and birth, yet that is the precise position of the Republican party. And as if Akin’s statements that rape exceptions are not needed in abortion bans because women don’t get pregnant in the case of “legitimate” rape weren’t bad enough, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made the case that Republicans don’t believe statutory rape is legitimate rape.

As Talking Points Memo reports, King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

By Akin’s logic, a logic shared by Mike Huckabee, Steve King, Ron Paul and countless others in the Republican party, this lack of evidence of conception means that an exception to an abortion ban in the cases of statutory rape are not needed.

A 1996 report by the Guttmacher Institute found that at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.

That, by definition, is childbirth as a result of statutory rape. But most importantly is the big picture here. These are not isolated, unhinged comments by the fringe of the Republican party. This is their platform.