SCOTUS: Future, Ginsburg Criticisms

Nel's New Day

On the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s new session, and the conservative justices are already voiding citizens’ rights, temporarily stopping early voting in Ohio which was scheduled to begin tomorrow. The 5-4  vote to reverse a federal appeals court decision stays in effect until SCOTUS acts on the state officials’ appeal, which has not yet been formally filed. If that is denied, the order lapses. The order could also mean that early voting will not be permitted on most Sundays and after 5: pm, perhaps the only time that low-income people can vote.The ruling may also suppress the vote in Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. (The five conservative justices from left to right: Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy)

supreme court justices What other damage can the conservative Court do in the current session? Ian Millhiser and Nicole Flatow identify major cases and issues for this term:

Pregnancy Discrimination: UPS refused…

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David Brooks: Raising Money For Homophobia

Social Justice For All

David BrooksNew York Times contributor David Brooks has decided to give the keynote address for a right wing Christian money maker called The Gathering. I admit I have never been a fan of Brooks.  While at times he is able to almost contain his arrogance and white privilege when he does his occasional spot with E.J. Dionne on NPR, his white, heteronormative, misogyny ekes out, as we saw in his book The Social Animal. 

The Gathering is not some ecumenical group. The Gathering is more of a collection of white, right wing “Christians” that raise money to proselytize, which might not be so bad, save that much of the money they raise goes specifically to hate groups that target LGBT organizations.  The Gathering has funded over 125 anti-gay organizations and ministries. This money includes funding such violently hateful groups such as Uganda and its anti-gay bill. Not a big surprise…

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Control by Religious Fanatics

Nel's New Day

ISIL has established school curriculum in the occupied Iraqi city of Mosul, declaring that it seeks to “eliminate ignorance, to spread religious sciences, and to fight the decayed curriculum.” History classes are on hold until a revised history can be written and codified, and offensive pictures are to be removed from textbooks. Science classes are to be taught in accordance with religious doctrine, including the banning of evolution as a subject. In its anti-homosexual, anti-women and pro-death penalty approach, ISIL opposes all other religions. Imagine if you woke up in the morning and found yourself in a country controlled by religious fanatics? That would happen in the U.S. on November 5, the day after this year’s general elections.

Political right-wing leaders in the United States support the following:

Texas is trying to approve new textbooks that place Moses into history lessons.

The Wilks brothers, Farris and Dan, are using millions of dollars…

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Far-Right Indoctrinates Small Children through Terror, Falsehoods

Nel's New Day

Desperate because conservatives are losing their constituency of older white people, far-right leaders are working to proselytize the young. Fox network is losing its watchers, and conservative radio shows are losing their sponsors. The answer to the conservative movement is children. The best way to take them into the fold is false and misleading education. For a long time, schools have tried to obtain textbooks that give the conservative revisionist history and science. Ten scholars in politics and history have found that Texas textbooks are full of lies and distortions to trick students into believing the radical right myths about racism, government, and the false perception that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.”

For example, segregation wasn’t so bad, according to the textbooks, because white and black schools had “similar buildings, buses, and teachers.” Although taxes have gone up since 1927, society “does not appear to…

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Your Vote Is Your Voice

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Your Vote Is Your Voice
September 23, 2014 by Terry O’Neill | Leave a Comment
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2999130055_8697986e51_zThe following article appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Ms. Read more of our election coverage by getting a digital subscription to the magazine.
Hardly a week goes by in Washington, D.C. that doesn’t include an announcement, panel discussion or report on women voters—how we think, how to win us, where we live and what we had for breakfast. OK, I made that last part up.
But consider this: The Republican Party is spending $10 million on a marketing campaign aimed at people of color and women voters in order to shed its image, as described by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, as a “narrow-minded, out-of-touch” party of “stuffy old men.”
Meanwhile, the Democrats have unveiled a computer turnout model called Rosie—Re-engaging Our Sisters in Elections, inspired by Rosie the Riveter.
All this attention comes as no surprise, considering how often women have provided the winning margin in the most important elections. The gender gap, as first identified by Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, is very real.
For example, women provided the margin of victory for Barack Obama in 2008, and in 2012 voted 55 percent for Obama compared to men’s Obama vote of 45 percent—a historic gender gap of 10 percent. That same year, large gender gaps determined the outcome of many Senate races, leading to a Democratic Senate majority. If only men had voted, the Senate would be primarily Republican. Even in 2010, a year of House gains for Republicans, the gender gap was widespread—but too small to offset men’s higher percentage of votes for Republican candidates.
The gender gap has also been decisive in passing marriage-equality ballot measures in Maine, Maryland and Washington and defeating an anti-equal-marriage amendment in Minnesota. If only men had voted, marriage equality would have been defeated in those states.
Gender differences at the polls are driven by social, economic and environmental issues—thus if candidates want women’s votes, they should speak to what’s relevant in women’s lives. So why aren’t they? Maybe it’s because the (mostly male) candidates still haven’t learned how to listen to women. They listen to their pollsters, they listen to their friends on the golf course, they listen to other politicians—but when it comes to communicating with women, many still don’t get it.
Connecting with women voters is pretty simple, really. Candidates who want the women’s vote need to engage with them about what matters most to them. And candidates need to make a specific commitment to things like women’s access to health care, paycheck fairness and protection from violence, whether we live in an immigrant community, on an Indian reservation or in a mansionized home in the suburbs.
I’m often asked why the National Organization for Women (NOW) endorses men as well as women. The answer is that we endorse those who will champion our issues, male or female. But I also know that we need to elect more women—feminist women. Women make up less than a quarter of Congress and hold five governorships, ranking us behind Afghanistan, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. At the current rate, women won’t reach political parity until 2121!
The evidence is clear that in progressive, moderate and even conservative circles, women leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to prioritize issues affecting women and families. The nonpartisan group Political Parity states that women political leaders are ranked higher in public polling than men in five of seven key policymaking areas, including working out compromises, keeping government honest, standing up for what they believe in and representing constituents’ interests.
Pollsters and political pundits love to slice and dice the electorate into demographic wedges with cute names— soccer moms, Walmart moms, NASCAR dads. Fine. Whatever. I’m less interested in politicians’ marketing strategies than I am in voters’—particularly women voters’—power to make elections really matter. Here’s how we can do that in 2014:
Step One: Vote.
Step Two: Vote.
Step Three: Vote.
Repeat until politicians get the message