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Tuesday’s blogger conference call with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Moral Mondays leader and North Carolina’s NAACP president, covered a lot of ground and no small amount of history. It’s purpose was to rally support for the February 8 march in Raleigh. Isaiah Poole, with Campaign for America’s Future, has this:
The organizer of a February 8 “moral march” on Raleigh, N.C. says he wants the largest mass demonstration in the South since Athe 1965ASelma to Montgomery, Ala., civil right march to be a loud rebuke against Tea-Party extremism in state legislatures around the country.
“What we hope this march will do is send a signal around the country that if these legislatures in other Southern states start this extremism, this is what they will face in their state,” said the Rev. William Barber II, the head of the North Carolina NAACP and the leader of “Moral Monday” marches against the North Carolina legislature last year.
Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) has been an annual People’s Assembly in Raleigh since 2007. Since last January when Gov. Pat McCrory and the tea-party legislature began passing a raft of radical legislation that includes the most radical voter suppression legislation in the country, this year’s HKonJ has taken on national significance. Barber says,
In order to change America, you have to change the South, and in order to change the South, you have to change state by state. What we need now is an indigenous, deeply moral, deeply constitutional, broad-based, agenda-driven, fusion-based model [for] taking on the actions of these extremist and regressive people.
Some years ago, Johnny Carson was interviewing a NASA astronaut on The Tonight Show. Carson asked him what he thought of the bestselling book about alien visitations to Earth written by Erich von Daniken, titled “Chariots of the Gods.”
The NASA guy paused, took a breath and said, “Whenever Dr. von Daniken looks around the world and encounters something he doesn’t understand, he sees evidence of flying saucers. And since there is a lot in this world that Dr. von Daniken doesn’t understand, he sees evidence for them everywhere.”
Carson rolled his eyes for a laugh.
People who believe in widespread voter fraud are like that too, aren’t they? From the Washington Post, a study looks at a link between claims of voter fraud and alien abduction:
One of the findings of a new working paper by John Ahlquist, Kenneth R. Mayer and Simon Jackman is that “the lower bound on the population reporting voter impersonation is nearly identical with the proportion of the population reporting abduction by extraterrestrials.” Roughly 2.5 percent of the population effectively admit to one or the other.
The researchers use a clever set of survey questions in which subjects have only to admit to how many of the actions on a given list they have engaged in, without admitting to specific actions. The difference between the control and the subject groups is that the latter lists included the addition of vote fraud. But some people report to having engaged in all actions on the lists. To check for simple carelessness in reporting, another list adds being abducted by aliens. What they find again is people admitting to committing fraud and to being abducted in similar proportion.
The implication here is that if one accepts that 2.5% is a valid lower bound for the prevalence of voter impersonation in the 2012 election then one must also accept that about 2.5% of the adult U.S. population – about 6 million people – believe that they were abducted by extra-terrestrials in the last year. If this were true then voter impersonation would be the least of our worries.
Which is why photo identity cards are insufficient for preventing voter fraud. They might stop undocumented aliens, but not space aliens. GOP governors should be insisting on DNA testing for all voters.
Just where is Hans von Spakovsky from? I mean, really?
(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)
This Wednesday, Oct 30, from 4-8pm, at The French Broad Brewery The good folks of the 9th precinct invite you out to a meet and greet super happy fun time, with beer!
In addition to an opportunity to hob your knob with your favorite/least favorite City Council candidates, there will be raffling off a bunch of goodies (including a BBQ gift card, Brews Cruise tickets, and much much more!), polite conversation, burgers and dogs (the hot variety) will be available to satiate your appetite , and tasty tasty beer. Come meet your 9th precinct officers (That’s you Oakley). Beer, free stuff and political activism, what could go wrong? Nothing! Did I mention beer? Beer!
Proceeds from this event will go toward the establishment of 9er Notes, a local newsletter billed as an insurgency against powerlessness, and cynicism, and the infiltration of our bodily fluids.
More info: here
Big Love Festival today, Sunday, September 15th from 1pm-8pm at Roger McGuire Green and Pack Place.
E.J. Dionne this Labor Day morning examines creative ways in which labor is making a comeback — from Thursday’s one-day fast food strikes in cities across the country to filing complaints insisting that food franchises in federal buildings not flaunt wage and overtime laws. Federal contracts and subsidies should aim toward creating a higher-wage economy.
The genius of the labor movement has always been its insistence that if the law genuinely empowered workers to defend their own interests, the result would be a more just society requiring fewer direct interventions by government. This Labor Day could be remembered as the moment when that idea rose again.
Should “workers seeking to organize unions … be covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from firing or discriminating against workers for reasons of race, gender, age or disability”? Harold Meyerson thinks so.
Citing “Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right: Rebuilding a Middle-Class Democracy by Enhancing Worker Voice” by Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, and Moshe Z. Marvit, a labor and employment discrimination attorney, Meyerson argues in the L.A. Times that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has more teeth than the National Labor Relations Act. Union organizing may be activity protected under the NLRA, but “it’s just not protected very well,” Meyerson writes.
There is, of course, one problem with this proposal: Getting it through Congress might prove just as difficult as reforming the NLRA itself. But that doesn’t mean this proposal can’t be enacted — because many states have their own versions of Title VII written into their statutory codes. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, for instance, prohibits discrimination or harassment against the same categories of workers that Title VII protects, and adds a few protected categories of its own, such as workers who report patient abuse in hospitals or nursing homes that receive public tax dollars through programs like Medicaid. As with Title VII, the penalties that can be imposed on employers under the California act are substantial.
Trends that start in California have a tendency to migrate east. Paging Jerry Brown.
The Guardian reports that in the fast-food sector, more and more workers are the breadwinners in their households, and women.
Women make up two-thirds of workers in the fast-food industry, and the median age of a female worker is 32, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A quarter of fast-food workers are raising children, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research
Because of the low wages, a disturbing number of those workers must rely on public assistance just to get by, Amanda Marcotte observes, meaning “the American taxpayer is bearing a huge chunk of the labor costs for wildly profitable companies like McDonald’s.” The Food Chain Workers Alliance last year reported that 13.8% of food industry workers depend on public assistance compared with the 8.3% of all American workers on SNAP (food stamps). Three in ten get their primary care at the emergency room.
When someone working a job (or two) needs to go on public assistance for food and health care, the worker is not the “taker.” That message is starting to gain traction.