Tag Archives: voting rights

Best Quotes of the Week – June 26, 2021

“They’re trying to rig the system to stay in office as long as they can, try to suppress the vote to make it harder – especially for Black and brown communities to vote in Texas – and we’re not going to let them.  We’re going to fight back. We’re going to say no, and we’re going to show up.”

Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, during a rally for federal voting rights legislation in front of the Texas Capitol

“Tucker Carlson didn’t serve.  His biggest achievement is having nine lives in the world of cable news.  Making a bowtie famous, and getting away with promoting conspiracy theories, night after night after night.”

Brianna Keilar, responding to Tucker Carlson’s criticism of Gen. Mark Milley, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and noting the FOX News host didn’t serve in the U.S. military

Keilar added, “That isn’t just a dog whistle.  It’s a white whistle…He is white rage!”

“I want to understand White rage, and I’m White.  What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?  What caused that?  I want to find out.”

Gen. Mark Milley, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the January 6 Capitol Hill riots and the U.S. military’s efforts to push for more diverse and inclusive standards

Conservative critics have painted the new military policies as Marxist and generally anti-American.

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Best Quotes of the Week – June 19, 2021

President Joe Biden points to Opal Lee after signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Washington.  Lee, a 94-year-old Texan, had campaigned for holiday.  From left, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif, Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., Opal Lee, Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., Vice President Kamala Harris, House Majority Whip James Clyburn of S.C., Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, obscured, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“This day doesn’t just celebrate the past. It calls for action today.”

President Joe Biden, upon signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17

“You are courageous leaders and American patriots.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris, praising a group of Texas Democrats for walking out on a state legislative session in protest of a strict new voting bill

“Without a national standard for voting rights and voting reform, states are going to just chip away at the rights of voters state by state. Hopefully, this might inform minds and shape opinions when folks are in that Senate cloakroom wrestling over how they’re going to proceed with HR1 and HR4.”

Texas State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, about the Texas Democratic walk-out

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Political Cartoon of the Week – June 12, 2021

Ruben Bolling

Sen. Joe Manchin

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Best Quotes of the Week – June 5, 2021

“This is an issue that galvanizes, particularly minority voters, and speaking as a Black American, someone who lived through the age of Jim Crow segregation, someone who has seen court challenges where African Americans have had to use the Supreme Court … people have fought and lost their lives to have access to the ballot, to vote.  There should be no retrogression in terms of making sure people have access to the franchise and unfettered access.”

Michael Adams, a professor of political science at Texas Southern University, about the Texas Legislature’s stringent voting regulations

“I think we’re doing a great job in terms of recruiting the right kinds of people, providing access to people from every corner, every walk of life in this country.”

Gen. Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, criticizing Sen. Ted Cruz for his recent demeaning comments about the U.S. military

Austin also insisted that diversity “must be a part of who we are.”

“This sacred right is under assault … with an intensity and aggressiveness we have not seen in a long, long time.  It is simply un-American. It’s not, however, sadly, unprecedented.”

President Joe Biden, on efforts by Republican-dominated state legislatures’ to limit voting rights

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Guns, Votes and Demented Priorities

Last week the state of Texas loosened gun restrictions.  That’s almost incomprehensible in a state that already boasts some of the most relaxed (weakest) firearm regulations in the nation.  But, for the hamster-dick right-wing extremists that dominate the Texas state legislature, any kind of gun restriction is a prospect more terrifying than a bunch of angry Black and Brown women storming into a Proud Boys meeting armed with attitudes and hair brushes.

And that’s pretty much who comprises both the Texas state legislature and the Proud Boys: old and middle-aged White men pissed off the world is no longer theirs to play with.  Thus, they assert control the only way they know how – with guns.

Now, in Texas, people no longer need a license or even proper training to tote a firearm anywhere within the state’s 268,597 sm. (695,663 km).

Gosh, what could possibly go wrong?

Gun rights advocates have always proclaimed that responsible firearm owners have nothing to fear and the general public has nothing to fear from responsible firearm owners.  But they’ve also screamed that any measure of regulation is a step towards elimination.  They’ve warned about those proverbial “slippery slope” dilemmas, even though any nearby slope is slippery because of all the spittle flying out their chapped lips from screaming about gun rules.

Someone with more than half a brain stop the madness!

Contrast that shenanigans with the new voting regulations – restrictions – the same state legislature imposed shortly before then.  Those rules limit early voting hours, ban drive-through voting and require large counties to redistribute polling places that could move sites away from areas with more Hispanic and Black residents.

The voting measures don’t surprise me.  Ever since Barack Obama won his first election – fairly, legitimately and without question – legions of (mostly White) conservatives in state legislatures around the country have done everything they could to ensure that never happens again.

Conservatives have spouted the usual rhetoric about protecting the integrity of the voting process, just as they claim the need to protect their right (their right) to own firearms.  I’ve noticed many of those old men – allegedly tough and strong – always express some degree of paranoia; their fear of someone invading their property and hurting their loved ones.  Therefore, their guns are readily available.  Stupid, paranoid people in the U.S. always reach for their guns and Christian Bibles when things look scary.

Strangely, though, they’ve long since recognized the power of the vote.  Voting is actually more powerful and with longer lasting effects than firearms.  A bullet could kill someone.  A vote can put someone in office who will enact legislation that may alter society for decades.

And thus, they are scared.

It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so serious.  Right-wing extremists always seem to forget – or perhaps, never truly understood – that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the first amendment for a reason.  You vote first to enact and ensure change in society.  Then again, as I stated above, perhaps they do understand the significance of voting – and that’s why they do what they can to assure that only people with their similar and limited intellectual prowess can vote.  With their guns and Bibles by their sides.

My parents told me of seeing television footage of White police officials attacking Black citizens protesting against discrimination and segregation laws and trying to vote in the Deep South in the 1950s and 60s.  I recall my father, in particular, telling me that the former Soviet Union would display those images on their own TVs and point out this was an example of democracy.

The U.S. always promoted itself as a beacon of democracy; a government of and by the people.

I’ve seen those black-and-white images of 1950s and 1960s America in various retrospectives of a time how we used to be.  Considering what conservative-dominated states legislatures have done to voting and gun laws in recent years, I keep seeing those old images in contemporary colors.

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Podcast of the Week – May 15, 2021

Recently the State of Texas passed a bill that was disguised as a voting integrity measure, but in reality, puts more restrictions on the voting process.  In a podcast interview with Jon Favreau, former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke (who challenged Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018) discussed the Texas bill and its adverse effects on voting.

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Press Release of the Week – April 3, 2021

American Airlines Statement on Texas Voting Legislation

Thursday, April 01, 2021, 4:23 PM

Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access. To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it. As a Texas-based business, we must stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote.

Voting is the hallmark of our democracy, and is the foundation of our great country. We value the democratic process and believe every eligible American should be allowed to exercise their right to vote, no matter which political party or candidate they support.

We acknowledge how difficult this is for many who have fought to secure and exercise their constitutional right to vote. Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder. At American, we believe we should break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society – not create them.

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Photo of the Week – March 27, 2021

Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) is placed into the back of a Georgia State Capitol patrol car after being arrested by Georgia State Troopers at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Cannon was arrested by Capitol police after she attempted to knock on the door of the Gov. Brian Kemp office during his remarks after he signed into law a sweeping Republican-sponsored overhaul of state elections that includes new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are run.  Photo: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

To anyone familiar with the history of race relations in the United States, the image of an African-American getting arrested by a bunch of White police officers in a Southern state over a dispute about voting rights is inescapable.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – March 20, 2021

“It was Barack Obama himself who knew about the dangers of ballot harvesting in the state of Texas because under his administration, he sent his U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, as well as the FBI, to south Texas to arrest and to prosecute people who were involved in ballot harvesting that were using cocaine to buy votes through the ballot harvesting process in the state of Texas.”

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX), claiming efforts by the Democratic National Party to secure elections would result in people using cocaine to buy votes

Abbott went on to say, “And when you look at some of the things that they are talking about with regard to H.R. 1, they are trying to institutionalize voter fraud in the United States of America. They want to make mail-in ballots permanent. Everyone knows – including Democrats in Texas – have said that one of the easiest ways to cheat in elections is through these mail-in ballots.”

“Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn’t concerned… Now, had the tables been turned – Joe, this could get me in trouble – had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, on the January 6 Capital Hill riots

“There’s old sayings in Texas about, you know, find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree.  You know, we take justice very seriously and we ought to do that.  Round up the bad guys.  That’s what we believe.”

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), mentioning lynching as a form of justice during congressional hearings about anti-Asian-American violence

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Political Cartoon of the Week – March 13, 2021

Khalil Bendib

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