Boxer Calls on Department of Justice to Protect Americans from Voter Intimidation

Press Release Senator Barbara Boxer:  http://boxer.senate.gov/en/press/releases/092712.cfm

Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

Boxer Calls on Department of Justice to Protect Americans from Voter Intimidation  

Widespread Efforts to Suppress the Vote, Particularly in Low-Income and Minority Neighborhoods, Threaten the Right of Americans to Cast Ballots

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today wrote a letter to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, calling on the agency to enforce voting rights laws following new reports of widespread efforts by Tea Party-linked groups to intimidate voters and suppress the vote, particularly in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

“The right to vote has been the result of a long and difficult struggle in America,” Senator Boxer said. “It has taken generations to ensure full voting rights for minorities, women, and young people. No group can be allowed to intimidate or interfere with this fundamental right that is essential for American democracy.”

Boxer added, “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 prohibit persons from knowingly and willfully intimidating or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce another person for voting, attempting to vote, or registering to vote.”

Senator Boxer highlighted a disturbing account in the Los Angeles Times today of an Ohio woman recovering from cancer who received a letter questioning her residence and right to vote in this election – even though she had lived at that location for seven years. In the letter, Boxer said, “This type of intimidation must stop. I don’t believe this is ‘True the Vote.’ I believe it’s ‘Stop the Vote.’ ”

You can read the full text of Senator Boxer’s letter to the Department of Justice below:

September 27, 2012
Hon. Thomas E. Perez
Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Assistant Attorney General Perez:I have enclosed a very disturbing article from the Los Angeles Times, which details an organized effort in Ohio to question the voting rights of thousands of Americans.As you know, an organization called “True the Vote,” which is an offshoot of the Tea Party, is leading a voter suppression campaign in many states.The article highlights a woman recovering from cancer who received a letter questioning her residence and right to vote in this election. She was astounded by this outrageous charge as she had lived in that location for seven years.This type of intimidation must stop. I don’t believe this is “True the Vote.” I believe it’s “Stop the Vote.”The right to vote has been the result of a long and difficult struggle in America. It has taken generations to ensure full voting rights for minorities, women, and young people. No group can be allowed to intimidate or interfere with this fundamental right that is essential for American democracy.The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 prohibit persons from knowingly and willfully intimidating or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce another person for voting, attempting to vote, or registering to vote.Please let me know if you are investigating voter suppression incidents such as the type described in the Los Angeles Times and the steps you are taking to enforcing voting rights laws across the country to ensure free and fair elections.Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your immediate response.

Sincerely,Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2012

Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

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Catholic archbishop: If you disagree with church on marriage, don’t bother with communion

From America Blog:  http://gay.americablog.com/2012/09/catholic-archbishop-if-you-disagree-with-church-on-marriage-dont-bother-with-communion.html

by
9/25/2012

How about if you disagree with the church aiding and abetting pedophilia?

And what a surprise that the Catholic church is again trying to usurp our democracy only one month out of an election. And these are the same folks who tell us not to worry about uber-religious candidates, they won’t let their church control them in office – until their church tries to control them office.  (There’s a bit of a “deny me three times” element to the ongoing denial of uber- people of faith on this point – your faith is your number one guidepost but you won’t legislate based on it.  Right.)

What a mean-spirited faith. And the Catholics wonder why they have such a hard time getting new priests and followers.  Perhaps because no one wants to wake up early on a Sunday to get yelled at.

Complete article at:  http://gay.americablog.com/2012/09/catholic-archbishop-if-you-disagree-with-church-on-marriage-dont-bother-with-communion.html

Polling Shows That Bishops’ Campaign Failed

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-obrien/polling-shows-that-bishop_b_1920832.html


09/28/2012

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that Catholics are strongly supporting President Barack Obama in the coming election. Obama leads his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, by a significant margin, 54-39 percent — a 15 percent lead for the president. This is up from a slim two percent margin in favor of President Obama in a similar poll in June.

A lot has happened since June. On the Catholic front, in between those two polls, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) organized a major campaign, the Fortnight for Freedom, from June 21 to July 4, trying to draw attention to alleged violations of religious freedom in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. During the Fortnight, the USCCB characterized the requirement that employee insurance plans must cover preventive medications, including birth control, as an affront to American Catholics.

But the bishops’ protest has not done much to unite Catholics behind this latest crusade against women’s health and rights in this country. Among Catholics who heard about the bishops’ protest and disagree with them, 78 percent support President Obama. Putting that together with this week’s polling leads one to speculate that not only isn’t the bishops’ campaign working — it’s backfiring.

The 2012 election is the first time that both presidential tickets feature a Catholic candidate. This led many to speculate that the mythical, courted, supposedly monolithic Catholic vote was going to be an even bigger factor than before. However, the reality is that the Catholic vote has mirrored the popular vote in almost all of the presidential elections since President Nixon was in office. Despite this evidence, there is a presumption that Catholic voters are particularly conservative on social issues, and that their religion and the views of their religious leaders play an important role in Catholics’ political decisions. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-obrien/polling-shows-that-bishop_b_1920832.html

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Conservatives Stoop To Slut-Shaming Obama’s Dead Mother

From Slate:  http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/09/28/obama_conspiracy_theory_movie_dead_mother_s_sex_life_is_target_in_dreams_from_my_real_father_.html

By Friday, Sept. 28, 2012

The most surprising thing is that it took this long. Frustrated Obama obsessives, unable to believe that the rest of the country doesn’t share their paranoid suspicion that the president has dark secrets lurking under his amiable exterior, have finally stooped to slurring his mother through the time-honored method of calling her a slut.

Michelle Goldberg reports for the Daily Beast on this new round of rumor-mongering about Obama’s origins, which comes mainly from two sources: Dinesh D’Souza’s best-selling book Obama’s America and a pseudo-documentary Dreams From My Real Father that is currently being mailed out to voters in swing states.

Dreams From My Real Father peddles a conspiracy theory so convoluted that more traditional birthers must be envious of its creativity. The director, Joel Gilbert, argues that Obama’s real father is Frank Marshall Davis, a labor activist and poet, and that Davis took bondage photos of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, that he then sold to nudie magazines. Naturally, these questionable photos are prominently displayed in the documentary, and a short clip from the movie with the photos is available for embedding on every two-bit birther blog on the Internet. Gilbert claims to have mailed out a million copies to voters in Ohio, and in this post-Citizens United era, it’s quite possible he does have anonymous donors who made that kind of mail push possible.

D’Souza is slightly less conspiracy-minded, but still subjects Dunham to the same icky, dirty old man treatment conservative pundits seem to have perfected. He accuses Dunham of neglecting her son so she could sleep around Indonesia, painting her as a sexual predator and pretending to be amazed that she supposedly got it on so often despite being a heavy woman. Ginning up sexual hysteria appears to be its own reward for D’Souza; any connection between his accusations and Obama’s political leanings is tenuous at best. The book really serves no other purpose than to promote the notion that Obama is the dreaded Other and imply that the nerdy family man exterior is simply a front for a subversive America-hating radical.

Complete article at:  http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/09/28/obama_conspiracy_theory_movie_dead_mother_s_sex_life_is_target_in_dreams_from_my_real_father_.html

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Care – Obama for America

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D’oh! What We Don’t Know About the White Working-Class

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/doh-what-we-dont-know-about-white-working-class

One of the strongest biases in America is that college-educated whites are very different than working-class whites.

By Simon Greer
September 27, 2012

Remember Archie Bunker, the bigot everyone could relate to? He created and conformed to our expectations.

And while none of us believe we are one-dimensional, understanding we contain multitudes, as Walt Whitman once said, we often accept one-dimensional caricatures of other people, stereotypes reinforced in the American media.

It is unfortunate but true that it is often easier to deal with the predictability of a black-and-white world than to grapple with contradictions and ambiguities. They make our lives complex and sometimes unpredictable. We like security, and some of us don’t like surprises.

But if we keep our eyes and minds open, surprises are inevitable, even desirable. In my many years working in the social change sector with people of all backgrounds, I am often surprised as my assumptions about an individual or group of people are proven wrong. The reality is almost always far more complicated and interesting than my stereotypes.

Given my experience, I’m suspicious of the clichés about the white working-class — their biases and conservatism; how they don’t vote in their own interests – clichés reinforced in much of the literature popular on the left.

One of the strongest biases is that college-educated whites are very different than working-class whites. A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Council , funded in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, shows that on many issues, it is not true. Take one striking example: there is virtually no difference between whites who are working-class and college-educated in identifying with the Tea Party, 10 and 13 percent, respectively. Equal numbers from these two groups identify Fox as a trusted source of news (27% and 28%).

And as Joan Walsh, author of What’s Wrong with White People wrote on Salon , the survey’s results “confounds those who believe that white working-class people vote against their own interests. For example, those who ‘receive food stamps in the last two years’ preferred Obama to Romney 48%-36%.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/doh-what-we-dont-know-about-white-working-class

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General Strike in Greece Says “We Won’t Submit!”

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/11844-general-strike-in-greece-says-we-wont-submit

By Lefteris Kretsos
Saturday, 29 September 2012

Greek workers carried out a 24-hour general strike this week as 50,000 people demonstrated in Athens against austerity. The conservative coalition government is proposing $15 billion of further cuts to pensions and salaries.

Police responded with tear gas when some demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails at the finance ministry and parliament.

The strike was called by the country’s two biggest unions, which between them represent half the workforce. It was the latest of at least 10 general strikes since 2010.

A survey conducted by the MRB polling agency last week found that more than 90 percent of Greeks believe the planned cuts are unfair and a burden on the poor.

Official unemployment in the country runs at 25 percent; fully half of young people have no work. Those Greeks still working would labor six days a week under the new plan.

Already this year the minimum wage was cut by 22 percent, and for those under 25, by 32 percent. In January, the public electricity company raised rates 15-20 percent. The government has ordered an expiration date no later than February 2013 for all collective bargaining agreements.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/11844-general-strike-in-greece-says-we-wont-submit

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