I love following award shows. I also love movies and music. My favorite movie is The Color Purple with The Wizard of Oz coming in second. My favorite actress is Bette Davis and my favorite singer is Aretha Franklin.
Nov 26, 2010
Dec 01, 2020
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December 1, 2020 at 7:59 am #1203886806
What is voter suppression? Understanding disenfranchisement in the U.S.
by Christopher Johnson and Matthew Lavietes | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16:14 GMT
Despite record voter turnout in the recent presidential election, activists say the U.S. electoral process is still rooted in discrimination against ethnic minorities and other groups
By Christopher Johnson and Matthew Lavietes
Nov 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The U.S. presidential election saw a record voter turnout of 66.9%, prompted largely by a sharp increase in mail-in and early in-person voting.
But despite record engagement, activists say the electoral process is rooted in a system that discriminates against ethnic minorities, the youth and people with disabilities – a phenomenon of voter suppression.
As the battle over what party will control the U.S. Senate intensifies ahead of a January runoff in Georgia – a state rights experts say has a history of discouraging residents from casting ballots – here is a look at the history of U.S. voter suppression.
What is voter suppression?
Voter suppression defines any activity by a party or individual designed to curb participation in the electoral process in the United States.
Historically the right to vote was restricted to the landed gentry – white men who owned land – before the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted it to African American men in 1870 and the 19th Amendment granted it to women in 1920.
However poll taxes, literacy tests and violence were routinely used against the Black community to deter them from voting until the 1965 Voting Rights Act barred such tactics.
“The idea of disenfranchising, especially people of color, was part and parcel of the development of the American South after the Civil War,” said Scott Lucas, Professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham.
Voter suppression persists, activists warn, pointing to examples like voter purging – the act of removing registered voters from the voting roll – and limiting the number of ballot drop boxes in more populous areas.
This, they say, is part of a deliberate push to prevent minority groups from voting and reduces the influence that they can have on the officials that govern on their behalf.
“Voter suppression is rarely overt, but rather manifests when states simply make it harder rather than easier for citizens to vote, often under the pretext of preventing voter fraud,” said Julie Norman, a senior teaching fellow at University College London.
FILE PHOTO: Stacey Abrams speaks ahead of former president Barack Obama’s address in Atlanta, Georgia, one day before the election, November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Brandon Bell/File Photo
Who is most affected?
Historically, Black people, youth and people with disabilities have been the main victims of voter suppression, researchers and activists say.
Across the country, one in 13 Black Americans cannot vote due to disenfranchisement laws, which include statutes that vary by state, barring former and current incarcerated Americans from voting, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a leading U.S. advocacy group.
In 2018, the race for governor of Georgia shone the spotlight on voter suppression, when the campaign of Democrat Stacey Abrams said it was hampered by attempts to dampen turnout in areas that favored her.
She was defeated by Republican Brian Kemp, who was secretary of state in charge of elections but refused to step down over a potential conflict of interest.
Abrams sued Kemp in federal court, claiming he used voter roll purges, shuttered precincts, voting equipment failures and late absentee ballots to target Black voters who lean Democratic.
The ACLU also found that one-third of voters who have a disability report difficulty voting – such as a lack of assistance to fill out ballots – and only 40% of polling places fully accommodate people with disabilities.
On remote and rural American Indian reservations, voting activists say a lack of drop boxes keeps votes from being fully counted when tribal members do not have easy means of transportation.
And advocates point to efforts across the country to stymie the youth vote in this year’s election.
This year Republican lawmakers in New York were accused of moving polling sites off of college campuses to stifle the youth vote – which tends to lean Democratic – a move that the state’s Supreme Court reversed before Election Day.
But more than half of the country’s voting-eligible young people – aged 18 to 29 – voted in the 2020 election, up from roughly 43% in 2016, according to an analysis by Tufts University.
Voter suppression feeds polarisation, said Lucas, as “it relies on certain people being classified as being not worthy of being involved”.
“Those people who have their votes suppressed therefore feel resigned. They will ask themselves: why should we be involved in the process anyway?,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots during early voting at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
Have any efforts managed to tackle it?
Abrams is being lauded by Democrats, academics, voters and activists around the country for bringing attention to the issue of voter suppression and helping propel former Vice President Joe Biden to victory.
She has spearheaded get-out-the-vote efforts and a legal onslaught against voter suppression Georgia, helping to register more than 800,000 voters for the 2020 election.
Voter turnout in Georgia was more than 74%, Kemp’s office said last week, boosted by early voting by Black Georgians, up 40% from 2016. Biden was declared the winner in Georgia, the first Democrat to win the state in 28 years.
The 2020 election also highlighted concerns that the geographical isolation of Native American tribal lands prevents their votes from being counted.
A recent report by the Native American Rights Fund, an advocacy group, found Native Americans – who number about 6.8 million people – face obstacles registering, casting ballots and having their votes counted.
It cited factors such as poor roads, language barriers and a lack of internet access and traditional addresses.
To counter those obstacles, several tribes in Montana successfully fought in court to allow voting groups to collect and deliver the tribe’s ballots to election offices.November 26, 2020 at 4:47 pm #1203876153
Are people saying that a panel is needed to judge the panel?
Just kidding.November 26, 2020 at 2:42 pm #1203875886
I am rooting for Ledisi.November 19, 2020 at 10:35 pm #1203849410
The sad, closeted hypocrisy of Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) at the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing on Oct. 12, 2020 for the nomination to the Supreme Court of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. (Photo by Erin Schaff/The New York Times; POOL PHOTO used with permission)
Sen. Lindsey Graham returned to the national spotlight this week, overseeing the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett. The irony of this appears largely lost on the mainstream media.
Graham, for years and years rumored to be gay, is rushing the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice who will likely rule on challenges to the Obergefell marriage decision that will undoubtedly curtail its scope, if not overturn it entirely, as Justices Alito and Thomas revealed last week as their goal.
The confirmed bachelor’s efforts to keep his sexual orientation a secret suffered a blow this summer, when male escorts and porn stars created a stir with the “Lady Graham” hashtag and revelations about “ladybugs” (Google it if you have an iron stomach). Porn star Sean Harding went public on Twitter, alleging Graham has hired multiple D.C.-based escorts over the years who signed non-disclosure agreements, which have enabled this farce to persist for so long.
Closeted figures like Graham have done so much damage over the years, from Donald Trump’s idol and mentor Roy Cohn, to Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, passing laws and judgment against members of their own community while cowering in the shadows. It’s remarkable that in 2016 Graham ran for president and is now running for re-election to the Senate while largely avoiding questions about his sexual orientation from the media. His disdain for the LGBTQ community is established in a string of votes against our interests, from voting against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to co-sponsoring the Defense of Marriage Act, to shoving a hostile Supreme Court justice down our throats two weeks before a presidential election after vowing he would never do such a thing.
Graham was asked about marriage during a recent debate with Jaime Harrison, his well-funded Democratic opponent in the South Carolina Senate race.
“My partner and I have been married for five years and we’ve been together for 22. What will the candidates do to ensure our rights are protected — the rights of the gay people, married in the state of South Carolina,” asked Louis Yuhasz during the debate.
“The law of the land by the Supreme Court is that same-sex marriage is now legal,” Graham replied. “I accept that ruling. We’re a conservative state, there are a lot of religious people around this state that believe in traditional marriage. They’re not bigots, they’re not neanderthals for believing in that but this man, under our law, has the right to his relationship. I’ll honor the law of the land. … I’ve tried to be tolerant. I’ve tried to understand that people have different life experiences. I do; I’m not a woman, I’m not a person of color. I listen, but I can tell you right now that when it comes to South Carolina, I think I’ve been an effective voice for who we are and to the gentleman, the law of the land is that same-sex marriage is legal and we will honor that.”
Of course, that’s a far cry from actually endorsing marriage equality, as the “law of the land” will likely change given the new 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.
It appears unlikely that Harrison will unseat Graham, but if enough South Carolinians recognize the harmful hypocrisy that Graham embodies, maybe, just maybe, we’ll see much needed change on Nov. 3.
Patti LuPone said it best when she tweeted earlier this year: “Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace. On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.”November 19, 2020 at 10:27 pm #1203849398
David Perdue Hit With More Allegations of Shady Stock Transactions
By Ed Kilgore
It’s not the best time for David Perdue to face multiple questions about his investments. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
One sure thing about being a rich politician is that your electoral opponents are going to take a look at whether you are profiting from your elected office. Media watchdogs keep looking at Georgia Senator David Perdue’s investment history, and they keep finding troublesome transactions. The latest involves his buying and selling of stocks in a Navy contractor before and after he took over the Senate subcommittee that oversees the fleet.
Questions were raised earlier this year about Perdue, and also his junior colleague Kelly Loeffler, for individual stock transactions in companies that might have gotten a boost from the COVID-19 crisis — transactions they suspiciously made around the time of a top-secret briefing on the pandemic they received as senators. Loeffler, who is crazy rich, bought and then sold off some stock in a software company that sold products associated with telecommuting. Perdue, who is just regular rich, did a lot of buying and selling off stock during that fraught period, with two items drawing scrutiny, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted: “Perdue invested up to $245,000 in Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, during multiple transactions around the same time that members of Congress began sounding the alarm that more should be done to address the spread of the virus. Perdue also sold up to $165,000 in stocks for Caesar Entertainment, the casino company whose facilities have shuttered to help combat the spread of the virus.”
Both senators were cleared of wrongdoing under the very tolerant approach to conflicts of interest applied by the Senate Ethics Committee (they both claimed they were unaware of individual transactions), but it didn’t look good. Then this September, Perdue drew some scrutiny via a Daily Beast article on stock transactions involving an industry he was supposed to be overseeing as a senator:
Two weeks after Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) helped to dilute a rule that governed the prepaid debit card industry, he reported acquiring stock in a company that stood to benefit from the rollback of those regulations….
A review of Perdue’s trading of shares of Atlanta-based financial company First Data reveals that an investment firm owned by the senator and his wife, and for which he serves as a director, bought and sold substantial shares in the company from June 2017 to April 2019. Perdue has been among the most active traders in Congress. But of the more than 400 companies in which he’s bought and sold stock since taking office in 2015, he’s reported more transactions involving First Data—a major card payment processor with a significant business in prepaid cards—than any other company but one.
As with the earlier allegations, Perdue claimed third parties handled his investments, making him an innocent beneficiary.
Now comes the same Beast reporter, Sam Brodey, with a third allegation of a potential conflict of interest in Perdue’s stock transactions:
Right before he was put in charge of a powerful Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Navy [in January 2019], Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) began buying up stock in a company that made submarine parts. And once he began work on a bill that ultimately directed additional Navy funding for one of the firm’s specialized products, Perdue sold off the stock, earning him tens of thousands of dollars in profits….
Scott Amey, the general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan good-government advocacy group, said it’s concerning that a lawmaker like Perdue would invest in a defense stock out of the thousands of stocks available, given his specific responsibilities on the Armed Services Committee.
To be sure, all these allegations coming to light involved transactions before Perdue finally decided to stop buying individual stocks this past April. But the aroma of foul conduct won’t quickly go away. And it’s certainly inconvenient that he and Loeffler will both face voters in the incredibly high-stakes January 5 runoffs in Georgia that will determine which party controls the Senate. Perdue’s Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff has already called the incumbent a “crook,” which led Perdue to refuse to debate him during the runoff campaign. I’m guessing he might reconsider that decision if his pollsters tell him he’s in trouble. But then again, at the current rate he might have a lot to explain if Ossoff’s oppo research file keeps swelling.November 19, 2020 at 10:22 pm #1203849386
Lindsey Graham’s Alleged Attempt to Toss Georgia Ballots Is Felony Election Fraud
If he weren’t a senator, Graham might be facing years in prison, according to legal experts in Georgia.
Lindsey Graham frowning in a Senate hearing room
Lindsey Graham on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Chip Somodevilla/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Since narrowly losing Georgia to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump has promoted baseless claims of voter fraud in a desperate effort to overturn the results of the election. So far, however, the only individual credibly accused of a fraudulent effort to steal the election is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. On Monday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—who, like Graham, is a Republican—told the Washington Post that Graham asked him if he could throw out all mail ballots from counties with a high rate of signature mismatch. Raffensperger later clarified that he believed Graham wanted his office to throw out valid, legally cast ballots. The senator has contested this account.
Graham’s alleged request is unseemly and corrupt. But is it criminal? In short, yes, according to multiple Georgia election law experts. If Raffensperger’s account is true, there is virtually no doubt that Graham committed a crime under Georgia law. The more difficult question is whether Graham will suffer any consequences for his alleged offense. Because he is a Republican and a sitting U.S. senator, Graham likely won’t face an investigation, let alone prosecution, for conduct that would get almost anyone else arrested. It might be tempting to dismiss Graham’s alleged interference as unscrupulous strategizing blown out of proportion. But Georgia has a sordid history of prosecuting putative voter fraud involving far more innocent conduct. Graham does not deserve a pass simply because he is a wealthy white senator.November 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm #1203849364
Anyone who supports Trump supports racism.
TRUMP WANTS TO STEAL THE ELECTION BY DISENFRANCHISING THOUSANDS OF BLACK VOTERS
The Republican strategy has been on display in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—all states that Trump won in 2016 but which Biden carried in 2020.
BY TARISAI NGANGURA
NOVEMBER 18, 2020
A voter wearing an American flag scarf stands in line to cast a ballot at an early voting polling location for the 2020…
A voter wearing an American flag scarf stands in line to cast a ballot at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential elections in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Photo by Callaghan O’Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images
On Tuesday night, Republican election board members in Wayne County, Michigan refused to certify the election results in an attempt to delay President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump. According to the New York Times, one of the canvassers, Monica Palmer, who is white, said they would “certify results in communities other than the city of Detroit.” While they ultimately backtracked hours later after a massive outcry, this blatantly partisan act of voter suppression made it clear just who Republicans are targeting in their aimless bid to discredit the election results: Black voters. The Times noted that Biden received nearly 95 percent of the vote in Detroit, which is more than 75% Black. “The rest of Wayne County, which voted for Mr. Biden by a smaller margin, is more than three-quarters white.”
Despite already losing a number of dubious legal challenges, Trump campaign lawyers, led by Rudy Giuliani, continue trying to manifest an impossible win for a candidate beaten decisively in the electoral college and popular vote. In Michigan, according to Mother Jones, “The Trump campaign has filed litigation to throw out the results in only Wayne County.” This would disenfranchise 750,000 voters and at least half the state’s Black population. (Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis applauded the Wayne board initially being deadlocked on Tuesday night—and floated the prospect of Michigan’s majority-Republican state legislature eventually picking pro-Trump electors.) Similar attempts have been made in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, with the Trump campaign’s legal team focused on throwing out votes cast in Philadelphia, a city that happens to be 44% Black and where nearly half of the state’s Black voters reside.
The targeting of Black voters by Trump’s team is nothing new. The 2016 digital campaign team reportedly sought to deter Black voters in Georgia, Wisconsin and North Carolina from showing up to the polls via social media ads spreading misinformation. Shortly before Election Day, Cliff Albright, an Atlanta resident and co-founder of the Black Voters Matter fund, told my colleague Chris Smith, “What I’m more worried about is voter suppression, in all its forms. We already had a white woman who pulled out a gun and was threatening organizers who were giving out food and water at a polling place in Albany, Georgia.”
In Georgia, where Biden narrowly won—the first time for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992— tensions are running high with two run-offs scheduled for January that will determine which party controls the U.S. senate. Voter suppression has been a major concern in Georgia, especially after many Black voters were purged from the rolls or had their registration blocked during the 2018 gubernatorial race between then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp and former Georgia house of representatives minority leader Stacey Abrams. The current Georgia Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensperger, has described pressure from members within his party, including South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, to either step down or throw out enough votes to tip the state in Trump’s favor. Though Graham dismissed the suggestion he called for tossing legal ballots, Raffenberger has stood by his account—and defended the work of officials in his state in a CNN interview. “We feel confident the election officials did their job,” he said.November 19, 2020 at 10:08 pm #1203849347
Who would people bump from this line-up for someone from Lost?
2005 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Blythe Danner as Isabelle “Izzy” Huffstodt on Huff (Episodes: “Is She Dead?” + “Christmas Is Ruined”), (Showtime) – WINNER
Stockard Channing as First Lady Abbey Bartlet on The West Wing (Episodes: “Third-Day Story” + “The Wake Up Call”), (NBC)
Tyne Daly as Maxine Gray on Judging Amy (Episodes: “Early Winter” + “Too Little, Too Late”), (CBS)
Sandra Oh as Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy (Episodes: “No Man’s Land” + “Save Me”), (ABC)
C. C. H. Pounder as Claudette Wyms on The Shield (Episodes: “Doghouse” + “Tar Baby”), (FX)November 7, 2020 at 11:19 pm #1203822904
Hill Street BluesNovember 7, 2020 at 10:56 pm #1203822886
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP
Nov. 7, 2020 6:30 pm EST
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.
“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
Bless your heart.November 7, 2020 at 10:51 pm #1203822881
All of Whitney Houston’s wins.
Jennifer Holliday and Marvin Gaye winning R&B Grammys in the early 80s
Anita Baker winning for R&B Female for the Rapture album.
Annie Lennox winning for No More I Love You’s for Pop Female in 1996
Macy Gray winning Pop Female for I Try in 2001October 29, 2020 at 8:37 pm #1203810469
It will be well deservedOctober 14, 2020 at 10:19 pm #1203779844
The California Republican party is refusing to remove unauthorized mail-in ballot drop boxes despite the state ordering them to cease and desist.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent Republicans an order to cease and desist operation of the unofficial drop boxes, some of which were marked “official,” on Monday. GOP officials claim that the boxes do not violate the law, are refusing to comply with the order and say they hope to add more boxes.
“We are going to continue this program,” California GOP spokesman Hector Barajas told WABC. “If he [Padilla] wants to take us to court, then we’ll see him in court.”
In addition to removing the drop boxes, the cease and desist letter also ordered Republicans to provide election officials with the names, addresses and birthdays of voters who had already dropped off ballots “by close of business” on Thursday. The letter warned that Padilla and Becerra were prepared to “enforce state law, should it become necessary.”
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California Republican Party General Counsel Tom Hiltachk insisted that the boxes are not illegal when speaking to reporters on Wednesday, while adding that falsely labeling some of the boxes as “official” was “an unfortunate error that was caught quickly” and had been the work of “an overzealous volunteer.”
Official ballot drop boxes in California are installed by election officials and are defined as “secure receptacles” that adhere to security regulations. California law also allows voters to designate another person to deliver their ballot on their behalf, but voters are required to be aware and approve of a specific person delivering the ballot.
The offices of Padilla and Becerra both told Newsweek that the GOP’s written response to their cease and desist letter was being reviewed as of Wednesday evening.