Quote Of The Day: Black Turnout

by TKOEd • Friday, Dec 28, 2012 • no responses - be the first

This year marks an increase in black turnout for the fourth consecutive presidential election

So our turnout has been increasing since well before Barack ran for POTUS. Surprise, surprise.




Black Republicans & The “Plantation”

by TKOEd • Monday, Dec 10, 2012 • one response - join in

Why do Black GOPers like Herman Cain & Shirley Husar like to refer to Black Democrats as being on the “Democratic plantation” or in “bondage” to Democrats? Why do they always seem to do when addressing white Republicans? And why are they surprised after making such statements that a Black person might call them a “sell-out” or some variation?

I don’t know about you, but when you say that I’m a slave to the Democrats I suddenly don’t think very highly of you. And when you do it while addressing nearly all white audiences I’m become extremely skeptical of your motives. Because you’re clearly not trying to convince me to come over to your side. You’re not even talking to me. Usually you’re in the middle of giving advice to white GOPers about how they should “recruit” Black folks.

Herman Cain described himself as a “modern-day Harriet Tubman.” Shirley Husar (who? exactly) said:

It is time to lay down the tracks of a new “underground railroad,” a movement to help a people who are in bondage to the Democratic Party find hope and encouragement in the GOP…

These self-styled Harriet Tubmans didn’t do so well this year, Obama won 93% of the Black vote. Damn those stubborn coloreds. They really love their massa.

We have values that resonate strongly with GOP values – love of family, the desire to succeed, hatred of cronyism and concentrated power, which are often used against us.

Let’s break this down a bit.

Love of Family: The GOP is generally considered the party of “family values”, but are they really? The Family & Medical Leave Act passed, but nearly all who voted against it were Republicans. They’re anti-gay marriage. They’ve been anti-programs like S-CHIP. They’re anti-family planning.They voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Desire to Succeed: I’m not sure what this is referring to specifically, but I’m assuming it has something to do with work. GOPers are often cited as being on the side of “small business”, but who are they really in the pockets of? Big Business. Who are they always working for? Rich investors and/or rick business owners. They’re virulently anti-union. Again, they voted against Lily Ledbetter. They are generally the ones voting against raising the minimum wage. All these are ways in which people try to better themselves, and the lives of their families.

Hatred of Cronyism & Concentrated Power: Is she really serious with this one? “Heckuva of job Brownie.” Enron. The Wall Street recession. Iran Contra. Blackwater. As far as concentrated power goes, all I’ve got to say is reproductive rights.

Do these people think we’re stupid? Shirley says no:

Blacks and Latinos aren’t genetically Democratic. We aren’t stupid. We aren’t blind.

You’re right, Shirley. We’re not stupid. That’s why we aren’t persuaded by charlatans like yourself looking to bamboozle & swindle us. This isn’t about helping Black folks. It’s about selling the white GOP establishment on how you can magically bring minorities to their side, by telling them to get off the plantation.

Again you’re right, we’re not stupid, and we’re not blind. As a matter of fact, we see right through you.


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Quote Of The Day: Rush Limbaugh

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 9, 2012 • no responses - be the first


Let me take you back to the Republican convention. We had Suzanne Martinez, female Hispanic governor, New Mexico. We had Condoleezza Rice, African-American, former secretary of state.  Both of those people imminently qualified, terrifically achieved… We had Marco Rubio. We had a parade of minorities who have become successful Americans… Now, why didn’t that work, folks? 

I am going to leave that right there for you. Let your big beautiful brain stew on that for a little bit.

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Quote Of The Day: Ross Douthat

by TKOEd • Wednesday, Nov 7, 2012 • no responses - be the first

…getting there requires that conservatives face reality: The age of Reagan is officially over, and the Obama majority is the only majority we have.

Douthat saysthat there has been a major realignment in this country, and it favors the Democrats. One of the problems with his analysis is that he still doesn’t seem to grasp that there is a major demographic shift happening in this country. He alludes to it, and says what lots of folks have said: the GOP needs to wake up, and smell the shitstorm brewing. But like many other observers he misses that for the GOP to embrace this changing demography they have to become a very different party then they are today. A Republican party that is able to win nationally in 10 years will not be one that looks very much like the GOP of today. Not from a diversity standpoint, not from a  rhetorical standpoint, and most of not from a policy standpoint.


A Few Words On Today’s Jobs Report

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 2, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Mostly from brilliant former Veep economist Jared Bernstein, bold mine:

Well, the big jobs report is out showing payrolls grew by a more-than-expected 171,000 last month and the unemployment rate ticked  up slightly, as expected, to 7.9%.  Job growth for the prior two months was revised up by 84,000, and the average monthly pace of job growth over the past four months–a useful way of smoothing out monthly noise in the data–is 173,000, a sharp acceleration over the second quarter’s pace of 67,000 per month (see figure).

The uptick in unemployment was expected after September’s 0.3 percentage point drop, but a few things are worth noting.  First, the 0.1 point increase is statistically indistinguishable from no change at all–the unemployment rate has to rise or fall about 0.2 points to be significant.  At 7.9%, the jobless rate is down significantly–by one full point–from its rate one year ago.  Second, one reason for the slight uptick was more people coming into the labor market seeking work.  We’ll need to see how this development evolves in coming months, but we may be seeing early signs of an improving job market pulling more job seekers in from the sidelines.

All told, given the acceleration in payroll growth, the upward revisions to prior months payroll gains, the trend decline in unemployment, and the pick-up in labor force participation, today’s report is generally pointing to job market that’s showing signs of improvement.

 So basically what we have here is that a decent amount of people are feeling good enough about the economy that they’ve started looking for jobs again. Furthermore, as Berstein notes, the last quarter saw a 3-fold improvement in jobs added over the previous quarter. Obviously, that’s a huge increase. We’re on the right path, and we need to stay on it. Romney, and Ryan have nothing to offer, but reheated Republican rhetoric on taxes. A teevee dinner, if you will, of trick-me now economics. Pardon, that’s trickle-down. I’m sure you’ll pardon the my confusion. 20% across the board tax reductions, Medicare as a voucher system, and promises of 12 million new  jobs? All with no specifics? Sounds like a sketchy deal all right.
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The Big Story: Get Out The Vote

by TKOEd • Friday, Nov 2, 2012 • no responses - be the first

The election is close. Very close. Let’s do a run down of what we currently believe will be the closest states on election day:

The above chart is clipped from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com. The number furthest to the left is the average of the numbers to the right which are themselves either straight up averages of polls or averages with some sort of weighting system built in.

The biggest thing I noticed was the Florida average. Romney is only up by .6 points. Everything we’ve heard has pretty much said that FL was Romney’s to lose. This throws that thinking out. I lived in Missouri in 2008. It’s the only time I’ve ever lived in a state that was contested in a presidential election. It was amazing to me. Maybe that’s because I don’t watch much teevee. I was at the the Obama rally that drew 100,000 people:

Old St Louis courthouse?

On election day that year I went to an Obama field office, and volunteered to knock on doors. It was kind of difficult. Not because people weren’t nice, they were, but I just never randomly knocked on anyone’s door before. Whatever difficulty I felt though was overwhelmed by the amazing feelings I had. The feeling of civic duty was there, but most of all it was the feeling of trying to help a man who I wholeheartedly believed, and still believe, in. Not to mention he would be the 1st non-white man to be POTUS in the history of this country.

Get Out The Vote. GOTV. That’s what I was trying to do that day. This weekend we need to GOTV for this man again. The alternative is a man who inspires no one, and even those who support him see Romney as the snake oil salesman he really is:

Romney’s shape-shifting nature would induce him to govern as a center-right moderate.

Emphasis mine. That’s David Brooks today in an op-ed where he’s actually endorsing Romney for President of the United States of America. The op-ed is titled “The Upside of Opportunism.” I shit you not. Can we let this man become president? NO! Can we let a man who cares not for the right of women to control their bodies sit in the Oval Office day in, and day out? NO! Can we let a man who wants to put even more money in the pockets of rich folks become POTUS? FUCK NO! So if you live in Wisconsin, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina or Iowa (cue Dean Scream!) we need boots on the ground. We need you to go knock on doors. We need you to be poll watchers. We need you. Our country needs you. People’s lives are at stake.

Health care is probably the most important issue in this election, because what the political press nor candidates themselves will tell you is that the president actually holds very little sway over the national economy. And as I’ve alluded to, health care is absolutely life, and death. Country to popular belief, just going to the emergency room is not health care. Not in any real sense of course. As anyone (like me) who’s actually had to use the ER as a family “doctor” will tell you, the ER sucks as health care if you’re not potentially close to death.

So we have a choice. It’s the same choice I had in 2008. Sit on my ass or Get Out The Vote. I chose the latter. I’m imploring you to do the same this year. The candidates have not talked about or only mentioned in passing many of the issues that are close to my heart, but I know who’s closest to what I believe in. I know who will actually work for the most vulnerable if pushed, and given the chance. That man is Barack Obama.

We’ve got a lot of work to do, because even if you’re not in one of the states above, we can make calls. If you do, get down to an Obama field office, and volunteer. At the very least go out, and vote. Our work will make all the difference in the election.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The Big Story: Romney’s Racism

by TKOEd • Friday, Oct 26, 2012 • no responses - be the first

“We’re taking back America” ~ Mitt Romney

Did I miss something? Was America stolen? If so, who stole it? Wait, I know. It must have been that Black guy (from the southside of Chicago no less) in the big White House in D.C. You know, the one with the militant wife. He’s shifty on the basketball court. He’s probably shifty off of it too.

Mitt Romney’s co-chair, John Sununu, is a man who has blown quite a few dog whistles in this campaign. Now he’s recycling one from the 2008 presidential elections: Colin Powell is going to vote for Obama because they’re both Black. Should I assume that Sununu is supporting Romney because they’re both white? Is he “proud” of Romney because he’s running for president, and he’s white?  Should I assume that the 57% of white men who voted against Obama in 2008 did so because he’s Black, and McCain is white? A Democrat hasn’t won the white vote since 1964. That was the year Lyndon Johnson won in a landslide against Goldwater. Interestingly enough, the Civil Rights Act passed that year. I wonder if that had anything to do with whites voting GOP for nearly half a decade? Nah, no way (#straightface).

Personally, I’m interested in any of Sununu’s apologies or retractions of his racist bullshit. I am interested in the fact that Romney has never rebuked any of Sununu’s remarks publicly. Instead Sununu continues to be on the frontlines for Romney’s campaign. Constantly sent to talk to the media. So I have to assume that, at worst, Romney agrees with his co-chair’s bigoted pronouncements or, at best, sees a political advantage to these kinds of statements. For some reason I’m very inclined to believe it’s the latter. Maybe it’s because Romney believes Black people just want free stuff from the government.

Lately, Romney wants the American public to see him as a moderate. But as I watched clips from his speech yesterday, and I heard that “taking back” line, and knew he was going to send out racist dog whistles right up to & on the day of the election. This is who Romney has decided he’s going to be. This is who the modern day GOP is. Blacks want free shit, Obama stole America, and Negroes vote for Obama because he’s Black.

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The Big Story: Last Night’s Presidential Debate

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012 • no responses - be the first

I don’t know about you, but Obama took Romney to college. Stern, but cool, Professor Barack was on full display last night. Obama was downright snarky in a lot of his responses, and sought to cast Romney as a liar, and totally clueless:

On a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map.”

“There have been times, Governor, frankly, during the course of this campaign, where it sounded like you thought that you’d do the same things we did, but you’d say them louder and somehow that that would make a difference.”

“You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said during the final presidential debate. “We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. It’s not a game of battleship where we’re counting ships, it’s ‘What are our capabilities?’”

“Well, Governor Romney’s right, you are familiar with jobs being shipped overseas because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas…”

“When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum…”

This was a presidential sonning. Time, and again Romeny brought up the economy, smartly, but to me it was also because he didn’t really want any part of a FP debate in which he was totally outgunned. Unless you’re a senator on a committee that deals with FP, you’re basically up shit creek when going against the POTUS on that ground. Romney, who’s shown very little interest in FP at all, was no different.

We’re headed down the home stretch is this year’s campaigns, it could be a doozy, but I think Obama’s going to win it in the end. Last night was a definitely good for his chances as most post-debate polls showed Obama winning easily. Probably won’t mean much to the polls, but another good performance by the Prez was definitely a must. I thought he was much better than he was in the 2nd debate. As much as I relished his snark, and full blown clowning of Romney, I was definitely concerned he might come off churlish. Doesn’t seem like most folks thought that. Now it’s all about GOTV operations, and if you were paying attention in ’08, you know that Obama might have the best in the business. Obama is already off to a great start in Nevada. Early voting will be huge again this year, but the race is still very close. I’m crossing my fingers ‘til I someone on MSNBC calling it for Obama on election night.

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The Big Story: Tonight’s Debate

by TKOEd • Monday, Oct 22, 2012 • no responses - be the first

3rd, and final debate tonight between “Benghazi” Barack & “Mexican” Mitt. This one is going to be a foreign policy throwdown. So what should we be checking for during the debate? I’m glad you asked!

  1. Someone out there will be counting how many time Mitt says Benghazi tonight. I do NOT recommend a drinking game based on this word unless you have a doctor standing by.
  2. Can Barack, at a minimum, lay out an a cohesive, and comprehensible outline for what foreign policy will look like in his next term? Especially in the Middle East.
  3. Does Mitt Romeny actually have any knowledge of American foreign policy in the last 4 years that’s more than skin deep? He’s not done well on this front.
  4. How many times will Obama mention Bin Laden? This is probably better suited for alcoholic shenanigans.
  5. Does Mitt Romney sound like he wants to bomb, and/or invade Iran?
  6. How many times will Romney mention Russia? He apparently thinks that Russia is a huge threat to America.
  7. Is Romney able to put President Obama on the defensive?
  8. Is Obama able to make Romney seem out of his league?

Maybe the biggest meme about tonight’s debate will be whether or not comes off like a “plausible commander-in-chief.” I think this does have some importance, but only from the standpoint of facts, and knowledge. The only way to really come off as a plausible C-in-C is to know what the fuck you’re talking about, and to tell the truth. Romney has spent a lot of lying during the last 2 debates. I expect this one to be different, but only slightly. I think it’s harder to tell bald-headed lies about FP, so I think Romney will give a lot of non-answers, and tell many half-truths.

I’ll of course be live-tweeting the debate @AmericaInBlack. Follow me & engage. Thanks!


Mitt “Etch-A-Sketch” Romney

by TKOEd • Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 • no responses - be the first

Everyone agrees, Obama sucked & Romney was King of The Mountain. But this “victory” is completely based upon ignoring the numerous lies Mr. Romney told in last night’s debate. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of someone winning a debate on the basis of falsehoods. You can argue that the 2nd biggest story today besides Romney’s win is all the lies he told which go hand in hand with his previously unimaginable tack to the center.

Let’s do a quick rundown of some of the biggest lies Mr. Romney told:

  1. He’s not going to lower taxes on the rich.
  2. His non-existent health plan will cover pre-existing conditions.
  3. That Obamacare will have an “unelected board” controlling your healthcare. AKA “deathpanels” by another name.
  4. That Obamacare cuts 716 billion dollars from Medicare.
  5. He claimed Obama has doubled the deficit.



The most important was taxes. Romney asserted, “I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans.” Let me explain how this is untrue even by his own campaign’s accounting.

Obama badly flubbed this topic by allowing Romney to change the baseline of the discussion. Romney is promising to extend all the Bush tax cuts and refuses to accept even slightly higher revenue as part of a deficit deal. On top of that, he is proposing a huge, regressive income tax rate cut that would reduce revenue by an additional $5 trillion, but promises to make up for it by closing tax deductions. Obama directed his fire almost entirely at the additional tax cut, leaving mostly untouched, until the end, Romney’s pledge to never bargain away any of the Bush tax cuts.

Obama’s case was sound. The Tax Policy Center has shown that the stated parameters of Romney’s plan don’t add up — even under favorable assumptions, there are not enough tax deductions for the rich to close to pay for the rate cuts. Romney has disputed this and cited a series of studies that, in various ways, change the parameters of the Tax Policy Center study. Some of these studies find that it could be theoretically possible that Romney could cut rates and, by closing loopholes, do so without losing revenue or raising taxes on the middle class — if you lower the bar on who is middle class from $250,000 to $100,000, or count the repeal of Obamacare to help pay for the tax cuts, or use really wildly optimistic growth assumptions.


The other issue was health care. Romney has promised to protect health insurance for people with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage. That caveat is vital, because that right has existed since 1996. It’s a very minor protection. Phrasing his promise this way has allowed Romney to make a promise that sounds like he would keep Obamacare’s protections for people with preexisting coverage without committing himself to anything at all (except, I suppose, keeping in place a 1996 law that didn’t do much).

At the debate last night, Romney didn’t phrase his promise in this misleading-but-true fashion. He promised, “preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.” That is not true. He dropped the legalistic mumbo-jumbo that renders his promise meaningless and promised something. But his plan doesn’t do that. And his adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, asked after the debate if Romney was really promising to cover people with preexisting conditions, admitted that he isn’t. (“With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage.”)


In reality, as the Associated Press points out , the board that is tasked with bringing down Medicare costs is prohibited from “rationing care, shifting costs to retirees, restricting benefits or raising the Medicare eligibility age. So the board doesn’t have the power to dictate to doctors what treatments they can prescribe.” This Romney claim also hearkened back to Sarah Palin’s lie that Obamacare created “death panels,” which was a straight up lie.


Mr. Obama did not cut benefits by $716 billion over 10 years as part of his 2010 health care law; rather, he reduced Medicare reimbursements to health care providers, chiefly insurance companies and drug manufacturers. And the law gave Medicare recipients more generous benefits for prescription drugs and free preventive care like mammograms.

According to nonpartisan analysts, it is Mr. Romney who would both cut benefits and add costs for beneficiaries if he restored the $716 billion in reductions. Restoring higher payments to insurers and other companies would in turn increase Medicare premiums because beneficiaries share in Medicare’s total cost. Marilyn Moon, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research, has calculated that a Medicare recipient’s out-of-pocket expenses would increase $577 a year on average by 2022.


Mr. Romney said Mr. Obama had doubled the deficit. That is not true. When Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, the Congressional Budget Office had already projected that the deficit for fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 30 of that year, would be $1.2 trillion. (It ended up as $1.4 trillion.) For fiscal year 2012, which ended last week, the deficit is expected to be $1.1 trillion — just under the level in the year he was inaugurated. Measured as a share of the economy, as economists prefer, the deficit has declined more significantly — from 10.1 percent of the economy’s total output in 2009 to 7.3 percent for 2012.

 Lie after lie after lie. Only in our truly fucked political world was last night a victory for Mr. Etch-A-Sketch. Romney’s attempt to recast himself as the happy go-lucky boss who has your best interests at heart was built on a foundation misleading statements, outright lies, and zero detail about any of his supposed plans.

Now none of this is to say that Obama did a great job, he didn’t, but in my eyes it was a draw because Romney was untruthful nearly all night long. It’s pretty much a given that the race will tighten, and most political junkies know this. Why anyone would treat last night as some sort of “game changer” is beyond me. Chris Matthews & Ed Shultz of MSNBC were damn near apoplectic at Obama’s performance in the immediate aftermath of the debate. The political media spent a significant portion of pre-debate coverage talking about how rare it is for debates to have much impact on elections, but then folks seemed to forget that after last night. Maybe folks felt like Obama’s demeanor was a sign of things to come, but if you find is rally today on CO, you’ll see that couldn’t be more wrong.

I believe Obama was out to do 2 things last night: 1. Come off as presidential, and 2. Not come off as the angry Negro. He did great on the 2nd point, not so great on the 1st point, but I think he succeeded overall. Romney, to me, came off like he’d had 1 too many espressos just before the debate started.

How much is this debate going to mean? Not much. Debates don’t determine elections. No matter how much the campaigns, and the media focuses on them, and Obama has structural advantages that will be difficult for Romney to overcome. Romney did indeed have a very good performance  (in every meaning of the word) last night. Unless the lies he told become part of the larger narrative, quite possible once the dust settles since the media has become obsessed with “fact-checking”, Romney most likely will not be hurt by last night’s debate. That being said, I see absolutely no reason to think that the 1st debate changed the election in any meaningful way.